whenever I can. Often I take macro shots of flowers, crop small areas of the flower in Photoshop, and zoom in even more, till you can't tell what you're looking at. Because the original was a macro shot, there's detail that the human eye can't see without aid. The final images you can get with this technique can be fun, unusual, and often provide interesting subject matter for (yes) artsy conversations.
Using this technique involves cropping. Cropping even small areas of an image means you're throwing away a lot of pixels. If the photo you want to crop was shot with a 5-megapixel compact digital camera, you may wind up with an image that doesn't have enough resolution for large prints. You can try interpolating the image (using the ImageOImage Size command), but interpolation will get you only so far. For this technique, make sure (if possible) that you start out with images shot at the highest resolution your digital camera will offer.
My technique is pretty simple:
Many digital cameras have a macro mode that gets you within an inch of your subject (or closer), filling the frame with an extreme close-up like the photo in Figure 13-13.
2. Make overall color and tonal corrections to the image.
Make sure you've finished adjusting white balance, shadows, exposure, levels, curves, and hue/saturation before cropping your image. (For more about these adjustments, see Chapters 10 and 11.)
Using the Crop tool, crop the portion of the image you want, as in the example shown in Figure 13-14. Be sure to specify width, height, resolution, and dimension settings on the Option bar.
Figure 13-15 shows the final abstract image.
Figure 13-13: Original macro image.
As a photographer who shoots landscapes often, I've grown quite fond of the Photoshop Photomerge feature: You use it to stitch together some chosen images that were shot in a panoramic sequence to create (well, yeah) a panorama. I've used it often, and can't resist showing off great results like the panoramic of the London riverfront in Figure 13-16.
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