Killer Photoshop effects 6-10
Best Photoshop Effects: 06 Add a quick and easy border
with a Stroke Layer Style
A simple black border can provide the perfect finishing touch to a photo, but there’s no need to mess around with complicated selections when there’s a much simpler, non-destructive alternative – a Stroke Layer Style.
First, double-click the image thumbnail in the Layers Panel to promote it to a full layer, then click the Add a layer style (fx) button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and choose Stroke from the drop-down menu.
The Size slider controls the width of the border in pixels, and you can choose a different Fill Type Color below. Select Inside as the Position.
Best Photoshop Effects: 07 Perfect composition using
the new Crop tool
The new Crop tool in Photoshop CS6 enables you to compose your photos in a more intuitive, effective and reversible way.
You can choose one of a number of compositional overlays using the drop-down View menu in the Options Bar, such as Rule of Thirds or the Golden Ratio.
You’ll notice, too, that when you drag, the crop marquee stays fixed in position and the image moves. It takes a little getting used to, but it’s meant to be more intuitive. Finally, note the Delete Cropped Pixels box in the Options Bar.
If you leave this unchecked, Photoshop retains the full image, even after the crop is applied, and you can ‘re-crop’ the image at any time.
Best Photoshop Effects: 08 Selective sharpening
with the Sharpen tool
The Sharpen tool might look like a poor relation to the Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen filters because it lacks their controls. In fact, it’s designed for a different job.
You use it to apply ‘creative sharpening’, enhancing key areas of the image rather than all of it. Create a new, blank layer, then select the Sharpen tool and check the Sample all layers box in the Options Bar.
The sharpening is applied on the new layer, not the image itself, and you can build up the effect by brushing repeatedly over the key areas.
Best Photoshop Effects: 09 Improve skies with the Graduated filter
In landscapes, the skies are usually much brighter than the foregrounds – that’s why landscape photographers use graduated filters.
But you can apply these digitally in Adobe Camera Raw, as long as the camera has captured enough detail in the sky. Select the Graduated Filter from the top toolbar, then drag downwards from the sky towards the horizon.
Over on the right you’ll see tools for adjusting the graduated area’s Exposure, Contrast, Color and more. It’s quick, simple and works brilliantly. It also brings out extra, hidden highlight detail in the Raw file.
Best Photoshop Effects: 10 Add a vignette in Raw using the FX tab
Vignettes can improve the composition of a photo by suppressing unwanted details at the edges and focusing attention on your subject.
You can apply them in Adobe Camera Raw using the FX tab and the Post Crop Vignetting section.
Leave the Style set to Highlight or Color Priority, use the Amount slider to control the degree of darkening, the Midpoint slider to change the size of the vignette and the Feather slider to adjust how smoothly it blends.
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