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Digital Photoshop Tricks

    • At the moment you snap the shutter or push the button, you may think you're tied to the image on the other side of the camera. Not so with Photoshop, where you can perform a variety of digital tricks with the Adobe Creative Suite's graphics software. Photoshop lets you transform your images through its collection of palettes, tools and filters. With just a few quick clicks, you can be looking at a whole new image on your computer screen.

    Depth and Shadow

    • Photoshop brings a lot of potential for highlighting your images, even if the sun wasn't out the day of your shoot or you want to make something stand out when it faded into the background of your image. A "Levels" slider bar on Photoshop's "Image" drop-down menu lets you brighten or darken the entire image. You can also select just a certain part of the photo to change. Photoshop's selection tools include the "Lasso," with which you can draw an outline around a subject, and the "Marquee" tools, a variety of shapes such as a rectangle and circle, which can cut your images into those exact appearances. Once you've selected your area, Photoshop can apply a drop shadow, lifting the image off the page and giving it a 3-D appearance. Along with the shadows, Photoshop can also add a glow, which is a faint line tracing around the entire picture or selected area that appears to illuminate it.

    Filters

    • Filters are one of Photoshop's most varied and engaging tools. The "Filter" menu drops down to offer you a tempting collection of ways to transform your image. For example, your once-flat photograph may be rendered into a charcoal sketch, mosaic tiles or embossed piece of metal with just a few clicks. Photoshop can also trick your viewers' eyes into thinking you've produced far more than just a photograph. Its "Glowing Edges" filter renders your photo into a blazing neon sign like the Las Vegas strip, and its "Crystalize" filter makes your image look as if it is made up of hundreds (or more, you get to control the numbers) of tiny grains. You can also place your image on a number of canvases through the "Filter" menu, such as burlap, brick, cement and sand.

    Color Replacement

    • If you asked all members of your family to report for a group shot wearing a purple T-shirt and only half the members complied, you're not stuck. In fact, with Photoshop, you can quickly trick everyone in the party into thinking they really did wear that purple shirt. Once you have the group photo on screen, you'd draw an outline around the first person's shirt to change, then use Photoshop's "Hue/Saturation" menu. This menu offers the "Hue" slider bar, which you move to the left or right to instantly recolor the selected area. Once you've got your preferred hue, you just keep a note of the color number, then select each person's clothes and change them to that color. This process can be used to play other tricks too. Models experimenting with their head shots can use color replacement to see how they'd look with a different eye or hair color.

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