This exciting lesson in week 5 introduced me to Adobe Photoshop. I have always been fascinated by photograph editing having used internet websites such as LunaPic and Pixenate. For me the favourite tools on these sites include altering the brightness and contrast, using different colouring effects, skin tanning and teeth whitening. Editing can change an image so much, for example a dull and rather ugly featured image can be transformed to look bright and attractive with features beautifully enhanced. Furthermore, I have also enjoyed cropping photographs and adding borders both online and using Microsoft Office Picture Manager which I find very simple and a pleasing part of taking and uploading my photographs.
My expectation was that I would find Photoshop quite easy to use given my previous experience of editing photographs; however it was quite tricky finding an easy way around the many different tools. Using a MacBook computer did not help as I am not experienced in using it. The tutor told the class that we could buy a version of Photoshop which had the main tools needed for us to edit our photographs which comes at a much more reasonable price than the full version and with student discount the cost would be approximately £30.00. I may consider purchasing this once I am fully competent in using all tools. As I will be using this program to edit my portfolio images this semester, I feel confident that I will soon feel like a professional ensuring all my images will be of industry standard.
The image qualities for a portfolio are very important as there is a criterion that needs to be met. When creating an online portfolio, the images need to be of a 72 resolution (resolution meaning the quality of the image), however for a hard copy portfolio, the images need to be of a 402 resolution. The bigger the number, the better the quality of the photograph. The reason for the difference between the two is that a hard copy image needs to contain a high resolution ensuring each detail can be seen clearly, however online artists would want pictures to contain a low resolution to prevent plagiarism. If anyone did try to blow up a 72 resolution image, it would simply look pixelated and blurry. As I am using WordPress for my online portfolio, the size that I choose (large) is appropriate.
If an image measuring 8 inches x 10 inches is required, the width and height are automatically adjusted so that the image is not dragged and it stays in proportion (8 x 10). All measurements were changed to inches to make it simpler for the students (Photoshop has a default setting in cm). When creating a border, an inch needs to be taken off each side of the image so that as a whole (including the border) it still measures 8 x 10 which is an example of industry standard. Therefore the image is changed to 7 x 9 and then a border is fitted to perfection, in a shade of my choice.
We briefly covered a few tools that will be necessary for portfolios such as the lighting levels of the background to make images stand out, curves which offer more contrast, colour balance for correcting work, skin smoothing and finally adding text. All images need to be cleaned before they can be skin smoothed as there will be blemishes, pigments of colour and possibly hairs on the face that can be picked up which will not provide a good skin smoothing effect. By cleaning the image, you can clone; spot heal or patch which offers different effects depending on what is required.
I found using these tools enthralling; the image I was working on (from a special effects assignment in year 1) was quite dull and I felt that the colours were too strong therefore I changed the colour balance to obtain more blue and less yellow to make it appear cold. There was very little I wanted to change with this image; however I cannot wait to practice again in the next lesson. In particular I would like to try the clone tool to give more hair and volume to a model.
This new skill will no doubt make me feel more confident with my makeup applications when I next aim to create the perfect look. Sometimes in an image there may be a tiny drop of glitter on the cheek that was missed or a spot that could not be hidden no matter how well it was concealed. Knowing it is possible to perfect images afterwards will hopefully yield the results that I need to achieve client satisfaction by showcasing how wonderful they can look.
The below images show before (left) and after (right).