Tips and Tricks

Photoshop

I am wanting to start a large project of compiling photos and memories for my extended family in a book. 

I have all  the old photos to scan and use but many will need corrected.  I’m reading that many do that in Photoshop and my question is, which version of that do I need and is it something I can learn to do?

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Posted by
norstar
Aug 4, 2007 7:03am PDT
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norstar
 

Hi norstar – It would probably be best to get the latest version (CS3), but, many of the "older" versions would go what you want. Not sure if you’d have trouble with older programs being incompatable with whatever operating system you’re running. Meaning, if you are running a new OS on your PC or Mac, it may require you having a new version of Photoshop.

I’m no computer whiz, though, so don’t quote me on that.

Anyway – Photoshop seems like a daunting program, but, once you learn a few things (esp. if all you’re doing is scanning in photos), it can be quite easy. I was totally intimidated by it and now it’s no sweat at all.

There are lots of tools to correct photos and they do take practice, though. Wading thru all of the tools, etc. that you DON’T need can be a little bit daunting.

There may be more simple programs out there… I’ve seen some impressive things done with Picasa, for example. Anyway, I’d research some others too.

Lastly, another thing to consider is that Photoshop is expensive (many hundreds of dollars). I hope that was at least a little helpful?

Posted by
redmeg8
Aug 4, 2007 8:35am PDT
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redmeg8
 

Yes, that was helpful, thanks!

 I don’t mind spending time to learn and practice.  I was wondering if the Photoshop Elements 5.0 would have the tools I needed or if I would need the CS3. The photos do need some major work.

Posted by
norstar
Aug 4, 2007 8:44am PDT
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norstar
 

The helpful folks at the DPReview Retouching forum would be a great resource:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1006

Good luck,

Allen

Posted by
allendunn
Aug 4, 2007 9:03am PDT
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allendunn
 

I am a fan of Photoshop Elements 5.0. It has many of the features of CS3 and is much cheaper. If you are not planning to turn pro, I would think that Elements would be all you need.

Posted by
wtmarks
Aug 4, 2007 10:11am PDT
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wtmarks
 

I suggest you buy a recent version of Photoshop Elements. It retails for about US$70 and has all the features you could possibly need for what you plan to do. No need to get the full blown Photoshop for $100’s.

Posted by
Maxfocus
Aug 4, 2007 4:18pm PDT
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Maxfocus
 

I know many photographers that use the elements program.  Only you will know if the expense of the new CS3 will benefit you.  I presently use CS2 and plan to upgrade to CS3 soon.   What ever program you use perhaps a local adult education program may help you get started.

Best wishes

Pat  

Posted by
pattahan
Aug 5, 2007 5:31am PDT
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pattahan
 

Well, I found this book very helpful when I started scanning and retouching images: "Photoshop retouching & restoration" by Katrin Eismann, published under ISBN 0321316274. I am not affiliated to the publisher or the author, but simply like the structured and straightforward way in which this book helps me to tackle a lot of situations. And if you do not use PS, the book gives you a lot of insight in good restoration practices. Good luck! Diem.

Posted by
Diem
Aug 8, 2007 4:38am PDT
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Diem
 

I will sugest to download free trial of Adobe Lightroom. If problem with your photos are: color corrections, contrast this is the best solution to not spend weeks for photo restaurations. If you need to fix cracks etc. Elelemnts work ok.

Posted by
bestphotopro
Aug 10, 2007 3:16pm PDT
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bestphotopro
 

oh man, i’m still using photoshop seven!

when scanning your images, do you just want to adjust the colors? or get rid of cracks, or "repair" missing areas, it depends on how far you want to dive into touch up photo’s (ex, levels curves. ..etc), to decide which you need.  once you get the hang out ps, it’s quite simple, but it task some time.

Posted by
darkartjames
Aug 10, 2007 9:18pm PDT
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darkartjames
 

Can the HP5000 ICC profile be downloaded to Elements, or is it possible to choose various color profiles only in the full PS version?

Posted by
beesong
Aug 21, 2007 12:19pm PDT
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beesong
 

Im a professional photographer and digital restoration artist. While simple scratches and dust marks can be taken out with some understanding of photoshop, restoring damaged photos takes a professional who not only knows photoshop controls but understands how to digitally remaster damaged photos.

Posted by
chdant
Aug 25, 2007 10:12pm PDT
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chdant
 

I guess it depends on what your goal is.  There is no way I could have had all of my photos restored by a professional due to cost.  So I purchased PhotoShop Elements 5.0 and have been resourcing myself through books, online and some friends who are professionals.   I’ve enjoyed the challenge of learning.  Professionals have to learn some way too.  My restored photos are more than likely not up to professional standards but they do get them out of an ancient photo book and into a useable form for the whole family to enjoy. 

Isn’t that what this whole Blurp thing is about?

Posted by
norstar
Aug 26, 2007 9:52am PDT
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norstar
 

any version will do, but you can’t do this yourself unless you know the many very complex tools of photoshop—i have done photorestoration for many years, but only after several classes and instruction in the software. it can do anything but to correct photos, you have to understand the tools at a pretty detailed level.

Posted by
chdant
Dec 4, 2007 2:08pm PDT
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chdant
 

Hi norstar,

 Starting from scratch in Photoshop, means it wil take you an enormous amount of time to learn to use it. Nothing I would recommend to get started. And really master the various techniques takes years.

But to find out your real needs would take a experiment with one of your photos and you are welcom to mail me one at pahiphoto(at)hotmail(dot)com. The resolution should be around ½MB. I wil give it a quick treatment and you can check if that’s doing it for you. If it is I’ll send you some short instructions in the actions to take in Photoshop (from 7 and up to CS2) – and free of course :)

Posted by
pahi
Dec 5, 2007 11:49pm PDT
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pahi
 

That’s nice of Pahi to offer to do. That’s why I like the forums. Photoshop CS2 or CS3  is indeed a large and complex piece of software….. Not an exageration to say that mastering all aspects and techniques would take years. But mastering that part of PS which has to do with  basic image manipulation, (resizing, fine tuning contrast and colour and in general preparing an image for Booksmart), is not so complicated that it can’t be learned in a reasonable time frame. Of course, that’s a little like using one of Nasa’s main frame computers to balance your check book!....but anyway, bit by bit you can gain other skills so that you can gradually broaden the uses you put Photoshop to.

Posted by
cantudoit2
Dec 6, 2007 4:12pm PDT
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cantudoit2
 

norstar,

I taught myself photo editing and restoration, because I ended up with hundreds of old family pictures going back as far as 100 years (I am not a professional photographer).  Fortunately, an old software program called MGI PhotoSuite was far less intimidating than PhotoShop, and very easy to use, so I had a chance to see results fairly quickly.  If I had it to do over again, I would start with the most simple version of Photoshop available, because initially learning on a non-technical program is still causing me to struggle with PhotoShop.  I have done restoration and editing on hundreds of pictures that suffer from decades of hot attics, shoe boxes, sticky photo albums from 1970, and bad photography.  The sheer number of photos that needed to be archived  and preserved is what drove me to do it myself, since it was not feasible to pay for that much work.  The biggest problem is the time involved, because it does take so much trial and error.  Also, there is constantly a need to upgrade or expand hardware and software, so it is not a cheap hobby by any means.  I can’t do very well with critical repairs to faces and hair, or replacing arms that are torn off the picture.  Other than that, I’ve learned how to do things that I could never have imagined, from giving new life to damaged photos, to putting people and things in pictures that were not there (or taking people out in some cases!).  You can do it yourself if you can give it many hours of work and patience, and if you like detail work—sometimes down to the pixel.   Speaking from the experience of one who dived in too deep before realizing that I was getting in over my head: 

1) It will take much more of your time than you can imagine; 

2) You will spnd more money than you think; 

3)  If you have more than a handful of pictures, file management and organization will make you crazy if you don’t set up a system and use it (how many versions of one photo can possibly exist?).  Actally, it will make you crazy even if you do set up a good system. 

4)  You may be getting into something you really enjoy that could open up creative possibilities that you never thought about—which of course justifies the time, money, etc.

Posted by
bc3550
Jan 2, 2008 10:56am PDT
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bc3550
 

bc3550,

I am hesitate with reluctance to chime in and say something. I am afraid to say that you do not understand the primary functionality of Photoshop. It IS high-end professional version of image editing application for professional photographers. That is to say, it is Photographer’s toolbox. There are alternatives to Photoshop CS3 is Photoshop Element, or other image editing applications. But the result won’t be the same as precise detailed done by Photoshop, if understand how that works, how to work with the app, and techniques and all. Yes, it is true it is very complicated. It is Photographers’ tool. Yes, it is true, it is expensive, but again, it IS for professional photographer’s purpose.

As for file management, if you are saying image management, there are two applications to help address this issue and help to save lot of time, considering dealing with thousands of image files in “database” management apps such as Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture.

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 2, 2008 3:46pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

we just published our first book of original poetry on original photography..found Photoshop Elements to be great of for several reasons…i had complete control in formating the page exactly as i wanted it to appear giving me a freedom beyond the bounds of the user friendly Blurb publishing program…also in saving the completed page i had the option to be sure it was saved as a JPEG within the upper bounds accepted by the Blurb program giving each published page a beautiful clarity…in doing your book this way the only cautions i offer are: be sure to make each page a little smaller in the blurb program as they warn there may be some clipping of the photographs that take up a whole page in the finished product..also be cognizant of where the binding will be and be sure the main focus is toward the side of the page away from the binding point….we are thrilled with our published hard copy…from an artistic standpoint, for those scanning old photographs and trying to correct them…please don’t fret over it…the antiquity preserved is charming in it’s obvious flaws..many photographers try to take current photographs and make them over to give them this touch of authenticity and get away from the plasticness of perfection….my favorite photograph is of my grandmother and grandfathers wedding the stoic nonsmiling faces with the chicken running across the front…perfect in and of itself…good luck and enjoy the process….

Posted by
DocHuckster
Jan 3, 2008 6:15am PDT
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DocHuckster
 

It’s been months since I read this thread and I apologize that I didn’t respond to the kind offers of assistance!

I did purchase Photshop Elements and a couple of books that have been helpful and basically I’ve been having fun learning.  I did include some of my restored photos at the end of one of my books and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out.  It definitely meets my needs and I’m pleased with the outcome.

Thanks for all the helpful advise.

Posted by
norstar
Jan 10, 2008 9:59pm PDT
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norstar
 

Well, I am glad to know that Photoshop Element works out nicely for you. it is for you, not for me. I prefer Photoshop CS3 due to my experience and skills and such.

Have a happy, success year in 2008!

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 11, 2008 9:22pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

For what it’s worth, I am a professional and I use Photoshop Elements 6.0 and it does everything I need it to do once you know all it can do. Never used CS. Though I keep saying I’m going to bite the bullet and spend the hundreds of $. Right now I’m happy with Elements 6.0.

Great forum.

Ed 

Posted by
EdHarp
Jan 18, 2008 1:22pm PDT
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EdHarp
 

Yes, I found Photoshop Elements to be a veritable candy store everytime I turned a corner found something new and exciting to try..have gone back and re reworked photos with new found toys..there are a few things that seem limiting but I have found ways to bully around them and make it work..feel free to contact me at terea7@yahoo.com if you hit a snag.  Just put Photoshop Elements in the subject line.  Enjoy and In Joy…. Terea

Posted by
DocHuckster
Jan 25, 2008 6:01am PDT
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DocHuckster
 

I’m creating the same type of book that you are comprised of a lot of old family photos. I’m using Photoshop V5 and it does a great job. enhancing, removing scratches, removing unwanted objects (trees, people, etc.)  One suggestion, the Sunnyvale-Cupertino Adult Ed has an excellent on-line class that will greatly enhance your ability to use Photoshop V5,6, or CS2. I recommend it.  The URL  is http://www.ed2go.com/ace/

Bob Shoberg 

Posted by
Shoberg
Apr 1, 2008 2:37pm PDT
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Shoberg
 

I was looking for this tips. Thanks for sharing this ideas. I will also give that try.

 

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Posted by
alvinfaddiso
Oct 22, 2013 5:44am PDT
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alvinfaddiso
 

I have an old Creative Suite with Photoshop in it that I use. I have taken a class but still mostly stick to the parts I know best. I also like to use Picasa, which was gobbled up by Google, so can also be used from their photo page. My favorite Picasa tool is the one to straighten my photos—I tend to lean my camera. Picasa is pretty simple and might be a good place to start and then go up to Photoshop Elements and so on. They both have worked fine in Blurb because I saved the photo after repairing it and before uploading it into Booksmart.

I just did a family book and did light touch-ups. Removed lint or spots or filled in backgrounds with the retouch button in Picasa—much like the clone in Photoshop. I’d go to Photoshop if I needed more control, such as working down to the pixel to fix something. Better match, etc. Picasa is a quick fix—so it depends upon the level of work you want or need. Picasa retouch is meant to deal with facial retouching—removing spots and such.

Light work just to be able to include some historical photos was fine for the book I planned. (It’s a perfect way to share out those old family pics and much simpler than making a photo album would be. Takes a lot less space on the shelf, too.)

I have used Photoshop to put two groups together or to add people to a group that came late and missed the first photo op. It helps if the photos have similar light and coloring or you would need to get into more depth to fix them so that the shadows and such match. When planning to meld photos, I have noted my location in a room and tried to place the people to be added at the edge of where the group ended so that I can slip them in or overlap them easier. More convincing that way. (Changing to black and white or sepia could be one way to avoid the color matching problems).

Anyway—Picasa/Google might also be a place to start if you don’t want to, or can’t afford to get into Photoshop.

Posted by
lahr
Dec 30, 2013 12:55pm PDT
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lahr