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Photoshop Post pictures of photoshopped Legends, have photoshop contests, etc. Enjoy!

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Old 12-07-06, 06:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dramatically improve your photos in less than 5 minutes

Not trying to sound smug here, but I get a lot of compliments for my photography on this website...so I figured I would help everyone out who is trying to improve the quality of image they have of their cars. Everyone probably assumes I have some expensive camera that does all the work for me. They probably also assume their pictures lack quality because they don't have an expensive camera.

That's not true at all.
I own a shitty HP Photosmart M22. It's smaller than my cellphone. It cost $100


I do, however also have a copy of Photoshop. If you don't have a copy, don't worry, you're not SOL for this tutorial. Download the trial version. I'm not sure if this trick still works, but it did back in the day for me.


***SKIP THIS IF YOU HAVE A WORKING VERSION OF PHOTOSHOP***

After you are done with your photo in the trial version of Photoshop, you'll find you can't save it...or so you think...
go:
->FILE
-->SAVE FOR WEB
look towards the bottom, right side of the window that pops up
there will be an icon of a globe or the symbol for your internet browser
click it once
a webpage will pop up with your image on it
right click the image and select "SAVE TARGET AS"

and now your trial version of photoshop is usable =)

***BACK TO THE TUTORIAL***

I'll use a picture of my car no one has seen before. This is before it got painted. I already erased my license plate, but other than that, the photo is untouched....





It's not a terrible picture, but it could be better. Rather than just giving you steps without explaining them, I'll give you a better understanding of how my (and your) shitty camera works. A traditional camera has two adjustments: aperture and shutter speed. To keep it simple, I'll just say that aperture is how much light the camera lets in when you take a picture. The shutter speed is how long the shutter is open to allow light in. On a traditional camera and a DSLR, you can adjust both of these to get the right exposure for your picture.

On a point and shoot digital camera, you can't adjust either of these. In fact, the aperture is fixed, it can never be changed. The camera has a light meter built into it, which gauges how long the shutter speed should be. The light meter is usually that red light you see right when you hit the button to take the picture. Now...since the aperture is fixed and you can't determine the shutter speed....the camera is set up to automatically pick a "safe" shutter speed. "Safe" meaning, it's going to over-expose the image. It's going to let the shutter stay open longer than it should, just to make sure enough light gets in the lense to take a picture.

What does all this mean? All of your pictures are over-exposed. They got more light then they should have. That's why there always seems to be a "white haze" covering pictures off of point and shoot cameras. The picture I used for an example isn't that bad, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Just head to the model gallery, I'm sure you'll find a bunch of pictures in there that look a little too bright.

Right before we dive into the most important part, we'll do something really quick that doesn't dramatically change the picture, but it does help.
GO TO:
->IMAGE
-->ADJUSTMENTS
--->AUTO COLOR

Some older versions of photoshop may not have this, don't worry about it, it's no big deal. Basically, sometimes when you take photos, there will be a tint to the picture. Usually light blue, because of the sky. You can tell if your photo has a tint to it if there is something in the picture that is supposed to be white. It LOOKS white, but if you look closely, it isn't pure white, it has a slight tint to it. Auto Colors fixes that, and makes the colors in the photo more natural. If you didn't notice a difference, don't worry, it just means there was no tint. If you didn't like the difference, hit Ctrl+Z to revert back to the original photo.

So the next step in this tutorial is to adjust the brightness levels. This step fixes the over-exposure most point and shoot cameras cause. You could buy an expensive camera so your pictures look right the first time, or you could spend 2 minutes in photoshop adjusting them. $500 difference, same result. It's up to you.

GO TO:
->IMAGE
-->ADJUSTMENTS
--->LEVELS

and this is what you're looking at..



I know it doesn't look like it makes sense, but it actually does. I circled the 3 sliders you're going to pay attention to....
the slider on the left is "Dark"
the slider on the right is "Light"
the slider in the middle is "Middletone"

Move the box over to the side of the picture so you can see your image and play with the sliders, dragging them back and fourth. It will only take a matter of seconds to realize how they work. I usually don't fuck with the Dark and Light sliders because they reduce the number of colors in the picture, but experiment and figure out what's best for you. Most likely, you'll end up using the Middletone slider the most to alter your images.

Hit "Ok" and you're done! Slap on a border if you'd like. And there you have it, a significantly better looking photo in less than five minutes!




Enjoy your results!
Post up your own before and afters if you'd like!
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Old 12-07-06, 06:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In addition to those, you can use Auto Level, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color in the Image Adjustments menu, they do TONS to fix images.
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Old 12-07-06, 06:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Auto Levels is wack, my tutorial is about adjusting the levels yourself to get what YOU think is best for the picture, not what the computer thinks is best. Auto Contrast usually reduces the range of colors used in the picture, which is why i didn't mention it.
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Old 12-07-06, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. I have PHOTOFILTER on my PC at work (where I'm at now) and although I don't have the same features as Photoshop, I was able to play with some pics.
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Old 12-07-06, 12:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Paintshop Pro FTW.....but good tutorial!! Very basic and user friendly
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Old 12-08-06, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i just downloaded photoshop and wow. the pics look so much better in only a few minutes. but for some reaosn i am able to save my work directly. i didnt have to save it off the web
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Old 12-08-06, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if you downloaded the full version, you don't have to do that trick because its a full version...you only have to do that trick with the trial version

i just didnt say anything about pirating software because i don't want this thread getting locked.
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Old 12-09-06, 12:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Good info, but now I'm confused.
My digital point and shoot doesn't appear to have a fixed aperture. The range goes from f/2.8 to f/17.4
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Old 12-09-06, 06:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telafonic View Post
Good info, but now I'm confused.
My digital point and shoot doesn't appear to have a fixed aperture. The range goes from f/2.8 to f/17.4
it varies from camera to camera. older digital cameras have the aperture fixed. mine actually goes from f/2.8 to f/6.5 but thats a terrible range, it might as well be fixed. your camera is probably newer or a more expensive point and shoot.

no matter what tho, you can never adjust the aperture on a point and shoot, so it really doesn't matter what you have...the camera designates it on it's own. the closest you have to control is selecting macro shot or landscape shot....but even then, the camera will decide which aperture to use. if you select macro, and then try to shoot your car, it won't use a lower aperture, even though you asked it to.
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Old 12-10-06, 02:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALoneR View Post
it varies from camera to camera. older digital cameras have the aperture fixed. mine actually goes from f/2.8 to f/6.5 but thats a terrible range, it might as well be fixed. your camera is probably newer or a more expensive point and shoot.

no matter what tho, you can never adjust the aperture on a point and shoot, so it really doesn't matter what you have...the camera designates it on it's own. the closest you have to control is selecting macro shot or landscape shot....but even then, the camera will decide which aperture to use. if you select macro, and then try to shoot your car, it won't use a lower aperture, even though you asked it to.
Yeah, I see what you're saying.
After looking at some of my pictures, I realized the ones with the high apertures were zoomed in. Looking at my camera, it looks like the range is 2.8-5.8 with no zoom and 5.8-17.4 using zoom.

You should check out some of the newer Canon p&s. They actually have manual (M, Tv, Av) controls. I was pretty surprised when I saw that. Too bad they feel so cheap.
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Old 12-19-07, 02:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the all tips.
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