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Without questions, I don't really know where to start, so I guess I'll start with some examples...:)

One of the problems with automatic modes in cameras is, they tend to take an average reading of the scene, while the photographer's attention is focused on a particular element. I tend to use an aperture priority mode for most of my shots that have little movement. For action shots I use shutter priority and for specialized shots I use manual.

Here's a typical situation, where the sky overwhelmed the scene and how it was corrected in Photoshop. As mentioned in other threads, I shoot in RAW+JPEG.

Here's the JPEG... Look familiar?...:)


Here's how it cleaned up... This could not be done with a JPEG file, because too much information would be missing. It's still not the greatest photo, but it beats the delete key...:)
 

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If anyone has questions concerning Photoshop, please be specific as possible. Such as, how to use a particular tool, color correction, contrast, removing or adding an object/person, removing red eye, using the layers palette, etc.

Once you're familiar with what capabilities are available, your creativity will be your only limitation...:)

Here's a composition I did, that entails 21 layers and many of the layers have effects added to them. The sky was shot in my back yard and the mountain in my front yard. The castle was harvested off the Internet, from someone's vacation pics. The cobblestone road was created from scratch. The Pegasus was put together with many pieces. The nose and eyes were robbed from another horse and the tail was made from part of the mane. The wings were from a swan which were posted on a college website, then underwent quite a bit of manipulation with the "Liquify" filter. The frame was built from scratch also. The lady in the foreground is a friend from another forum and for whom the piece was created...:)

 

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OK I'll start off with what appears to be a tough task. I want to take a photo of an object--my Rzr for example--and eliminate all traces of the busy multi-colored background in order to place it in a different environment. I know a simple uniform background can be converted to a transparency but I don't know how to deal with a busy background that contains some of the colors of the object (which seems to fool the handy auto-select tools).

I have CS2 and 5.0LE to play with and can probably get a pirate version of almost anything. (not that I would advocate such irresponsible and unethical behavior...LOL!)
 

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guy48065 said:
OK I'll start off with what appears to be a tough task. I want to take a photo of an object--my Rzr for example--and eliminate all traces of the busy multi-colored background in order to place it in a different environment. I know a simple uniform background can be converted to a transparency but I don't know how to deal with a busy background that contains some of the colors of the object (which seems to fool the handy auto-select tools).

I have CS2 and 5.0LE to play with and can probably get a pirate version of almost anything. (not that I would advocate such irresponsible and unethical behavior...LOL!)
CS3 has some better selection tools, but in CS2 I always used the "Polygonal Lasso Tool" to make a selection just outside of the object. Once you get back to the starting point, the ants start marching. Then, I just click on the layer mask icon, at the bottom of the layers palette. This will mask out the background and you'll see the mask thumbnail, to the right of your object on the layers palette. With the mask active, I choose the Brush Tool, making sure that Black is the foreground color, and clean up the edges of the object. This acts like an eraser. Zooming in to about 300% makes it a lot easier to trim close. This method doesn't destroy any pixels, it just masks them. If you find that you removed something you didn't mean to, just hit the "X" key, which toggles the default colors, and paint the missing part back in. I keep one finger on the "X" key while using the brush tool and toggle back and forth frequently. Changing the size of the brush on the fly is easy also, just use the bracket keys...left [ = smaller right ] = larger

If you need instructions for the Polygonal lasso, let me know.

As always, there's several other ways to accomplish the same task in Photoshop, but this method has always been my favorite, mainly because it's non-destructive.

I wish we could post pics directly from our computers, because I have many screenshots from a tutorial I wrote on this very subject. If you need a visual, I can probably upload to Photobucket, but it's so time consuming.

If you need further clarification, feel free to ask...:)
 

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If you'd like to try a more advanced method of cropping a background, here's a video tutorial on using Paths ~~~> http://tips.watchandlearnphotoshop.com/pstips/PathsCropBG.html

Here's a similar tutorial using the pen tool for extraction ~~~> http://tips.watchandlearnphotoshop.com/pstips/707penextract.html

Here's a neat tutorial on making tricky selections ~~~> http://tips.watchandlearnphotoshop.com/pstips/tricky_selections.html
 

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Yikes! Looks like I'm going to school! :wink:

I do want to learn how and anything has to be better than erasing one pixel at a time in Paint. :roll:
 

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guy48065 said:
Yikes! Looks like I'm going to school! :wink:

I do want to learn how and anything has to be better than erasing one pixel at a time in Paint. :roll:
LOL! Anything looks hard until you know how. If you can upload an original (camera resolution) to your Photobucket page and post a link (not Img code), I'll use your pic to do a tutorial on the method I described. Once you do it a couple times, it almost becomes second nature. Photoshop is just a tool, and like any other tool, the more you use it the less you have to think about it...:)

If you want, provide the new background also and I'll put it together. But, I think you'll get more pleasure doing it yourself...:)
 

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Holy Toledo Batman!!! I got left in the weeds after the first few words!!!
 

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If anyone is interested in learning Photoshop, you can download a 30 day, fully functional, free trial of any of Adobe's products. I always did that before purchasing any upgrades. If you're new to Photoshop, I'd recommend starting with Elements. I think the latest version is 8. If you need help locating them, let me know and I'll post a link. I believe you have to create an account, providing a user name and password, but it's free!
 

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Here's a link to the Elements page ~~~> http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/?promoid=BPDEM

For those that want the full version 'CS4' ~~~> http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshop/
 
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