What do 100 beer glasses, 64 whisky tasting glasses, a watering can, a jug, two funnels and 49 little wooden sticks all have in common? They were all used as props during the Photoshop Advice presentation. The way you capture a photograph in your camera is different if you intend to process it with Photoshop. Experts tell you to “get it right in camera”, but what does that mean? If you remember one thing from my presentation, remember this diagram:
Light comes in from the left, passes through the lens and is converted by the sensor into numbers. The important thing is that your camera’s sensor captures all the information needed to make your photograph. All the settings on the left hand side must be correct, so you don’t lose information by poor focus or exposure. The exposure must be sufficient to capture the shadows with the minimum noise but without blowing out the highlights. The little “buckets” which capture the light in your camera must not overflow. If you haven’t blown out the highlights, it’s OK to overexpose slightly. The secret is to move the histogram as far to the right as you can without blowing the highlights. Photoshop can reduce the exposure to the correct level later. If you intend to use Photoshop, always save your images in RAW format (unless high-speed shooting is your primary goal). This keeps all the information captured by your sensor, and lets you adjust white balance, contrast and sharpness afterwards.
The AAOGlimpse program I used to view photographs as a 3-D surface can be found here. If you use this program, please credit my colleague Keith Shortridge, who developed it and made it freely available.
The slides of Photoshop techniques will eventually become tutorial pages. Watch this space.