Thursday, 29 November 2012


In today's workshop with Simon we will learn how to use Photoshop in the most efficient and non-destructive way. We will learn new techniques to manipulate photos by completing a range of exercises that require the new techniques to be completed.

First, we were told to never rescale bitmap images, otherwise they can become pixelated and look unprofessional. Instead you should use the dimensions of the outcome mentioned in the brief.  

Some printing measurements 
48sheet - Bilboard.
12sheet - side of bus
So big resolution needs to be higher.

DPI - dots per inch - printing term

Most documents are measured in pixels
most internet images are 72pixel/inch - when printed poor quality.
Resolution is first big difference between print and web images.

RGB - Design for screen 
CMYK - Design for print.

Keep images in RGB, as when at the image on screen we are seeing the image in RGB.
Never change colour mode before.

First method of changing colour for print is destructive - colours cant be changed back.
Image - mode - CYMK
Never change original image.

RGB Image

CYMK Image

The CYMK image looks different as the colours shown in RGB mode cannot be possibly be created using printing techniques.

Proof - test image or mock up to showcase design.

View - proof set up, check its on the right mode for desired outcome. If set up correctly use 'Proof colours' to show what the document would look like printed.

Gammut warning shows us  the range of colours that the printer is capable of producing.

An adjustment layer is a none destructive change to original layer, the best way to work as it leaves the original image untouched. 

By changing hue and saturation of the image you can adapt the images lighting so its suitable for print.

Shadows (black) Midtones (Grey) & Highlights (Light Grey)

Use the quick selection tool to select the statue. Use the quick selection tool as there is a defined edge between the statue and sky.

After statue is highlighted use levels to adjust the shadow.

Then use the magic wand tool to select parts left by initial mask, use a black fill to mask these sections off too.

Moreover, you can create multiple adjustment layers. Here I have created a new layer after using the quick selection tool to highlight the sky. I then used hue and saturation to change the background colour.

Next we learnt how to make a panorama

This is the finished panorama after it has been cropped.

After the de-briefing we were handed a new brief. We are required to produce a set of graphic postcards that explore the shape that simon gave us individually at then end of the briefing. I was given the square. 


For the second session we were required to bring a set of images that we collected regarding our given shape. The session will first look at some important photoshop techniques,  then we will look at the images we have collected.  

first simon showed us how to properly open multiple images in Photoshop.

Make the images a smart object.

If you hover over your layers you can see that the images are shown as one layer.

To get rid of the people use median tool.

The Median mode removes all people from the image, it does this by removing parts of the picture that have moved. The sky becomes blurry as the clouds are moving so they are also erased. 

Moreover, as there were a lot of people underneath the bean sculpture there is a blur of ghost looking figures. To overcome this the photographer would have had to take more images.

To get a crisp realistic looking sky we need to overlay one of the images. After finding an image with a clean sky I used the place option to overlay the image. 

The image is not a smart object so needs changing, to do this I used  the 'rasterize' option. 

I then selected the bottom third of the picture, where all the people are located. I then deleted the selected area. 

Now the image is finished, further editing could take place adjusting the levels of the image, in this case this doesn't need to be done.

Next, Simon showed us some useful techniques regarding our postcard brief. 

First, to make the files easy to select I moved them from my memory card and into a folder on the desktop. Then, I created a contact sheet of my images.   I changed the settings, starting by changing the resolution to pixels/inch. Next, I checked the 'thumbnails' section to check that I had the desired amount of columns and rows. 

I then saved the document.

Lossless (PRINT)/losse (SCREEN) files.

Wed images need to be saved at a compressed size so they loads quickly, the standard resolution for screen based media is 72pixels/inch.

PDF - Portable Document Format.

For a multiple paged PDF. document use Acrobat  and combine the files into PDF. it is important to select file size before combining the files.

For double sided printing select the print option - Preview - Layout - Two sided - If image is portrait bind the short edge, if the image is landscape combine the long edge.  


Below are my initial contact sheet, they show a collection of my photographs collected in response to the brief.

Most of my initial images are based around the square windows that can be found around college, I created design sheets to explore possible outcomes for the project. 

(Scan in design sheets)

The concept behind my idea was inspired by images collected in my research. The photographs are based around reflection, but reflection that is created in Photoshop rather than in camera.

Working with this idea I created my first postcard, selecting an image of a square window that looks into the college library. Upon loading the image into photoshop I realised that the exposure was very high so I adjusted the levels of my image.

Next, I used the 'polygonal lasso tool' to cut out the square window.

I created a new document and pasted the window in. To create the reflect effect I made a copy of the image and  used 'Free transform' to invert the image.

After inverting the image I removed the window frame using the 'rectangular marquee tool'  from the centre, leaving me with a rectangular shaped image.

I copied the rectangle image, and used the same process to reflect it. 

Finally, I once again removed the framing to create my first reflective square. 

 I want to produce a set of postcards similar to my this design however; I want to collect some stronger images before I progress to do this. Below are some variations of my first post card that further explore my reflection idea. However, I don't think they work as well due to their complexity.

I photographed more images based around the square windows found around college. The camera was incapable of focusing on both the outer frame and scene through the window. Therefore, I experimented with taking two images and adjusting the focus.

After I had collected more images I used the same production process to create more postcard designs.

Due to the focusing issues some images had to be overlaid, I simply did this by pasting one image over the other and changing the opacity so I could align the contents.

Once the pictures were aligned I re-adjusted the opacity and selected the square with the out of focus centre. I selected the 'rectangular marquee tool' to remove the centre, I dont want there to be a hard edge or people will know the photo has been overlaid, so I set a feather of 2px before removing the square. 

I then flattened the layers and cut out the window so the image was ready for the reflection process. 

Reflection Images

Below are a selection of the images created from the second set of photos collected. 

Reverse Design

After learning about double-sided printing with Simon I was inspired to experiment with creating a back for my postcard, this will be simple but make use of typography and illustration.

I first selected a typeface, as my whole postcard design is based around my initial shape I have decided to use a square inspired font. I found a typeface called 'Square one' on Dafont.

After I had selected the typeface I opened Illustrator to create some basic vectors. I looked at examples from my research and quickly created a place for the stamp, and a dividing line to separate the text from the address.  I used guides to ensure that everything was aligned correctly.

 If it was not already clear enough I used my selected typeface to reiterate the purpose of the postcard. The type was then placed along the dividing line.

Additionally, I used a rectangle and the 'pathfinder tool' to remove the section of the line where the type sits.

Finally, I decided to remove the rectangle used for the stamp as it was close to the edge of the design and could create a problem when printing double sided. I added a bleed of 5mm and extended the line, so that when cropped down the line runs off the edge of the postcard. Moreover, I also remembered to flip my design, so that it is facing the correct way. This needs to be done when printing on both sides otherwise the print on the back will be upside-down. 


Below are images of the front and back of the postcards, I have combined the files in Adobe Acrobat pro so they are now ready to take to print. I want to print the images onto thick gloss paper so that the highest possible image quality can be achieved.

Finals - Printed

I want to print my postcards on thick glossy paper/card, like an actual postcard would be. Moreover, I will achieve higher image quality printing onto a glassy surface than a matt textured one. I started looking at different printers that could achieve the result I want.

Unfortunately, the printers I contacted only produced bulk orders, so I cant get them printed there. Therefore, I will book time to use the university print room.

Final Images