Introduction

The rationale for this book can be found in the simple fact that you, Dear Reader — like most of us — are often presented with images that are less (and often far less) than perfect, and are then faced with the prospect of improving and/or altering such images so they can be used in one type of publishing project or another. In other words, many of your images need to be "made over" — and, sensible person that you are, you're inclined to tackle the job using Photoshop.

Before & After Makeover: The Concept

And so was born the Photoshop CS2 Before & After Makeovers concept — whose realization you now hold in your hands. In this book, you'll get a chance to work with images that mirror the kinds of challenges you are sure to encounter in your photographic career. These challenges include image dimension and resolution problems, poor cropping, exposure challenges (stuff like low brightness, poor contrasts, or backlit subjects), incorrect highlight and shadow points, unwanted color casts, composition challenges that require the removal (or addition) of image elements, damaged images in need of repair, and images that need to go from color to B&W or B&W to color (or even to duotone). Add to that the fact that most images could use some form of sharpening — and some could benefit from adding one effect or another — and you can see that the whole "makeover" thing can cover a pretty wide area. Approaches and skills that address all these challenges are included between the covers of Photoshop CS2 Before & After Makeovers.

How to Get Around in This Book

I divide my Photoshop makeover world into 14 distinct areas, which just so happen to correspond to the 14 chapters you'll find in this book. Here's a chapter-by-chapter overview of what you can expect:

Chapter 1: Essential Makeover Tools

This chapter covers some of the most important concepts and tools you'll need to get a handle on, especially if you ever want to carry out the makeovers in the other parts of the book. Get ready to get your hands dirty, tackling issues like interpolation and how best to use key Photoshop tools such as levels, curves, layers, channels, and masks.

Chapter 2: Dimensional Makeovers

In this chapter, you find out how to adjust the dimensions and resolution of your images while minimizing damage to them. In addition, you get a look at combining views by using Photoshop's amazing Panorama tool.

Chapter 3: Exposure Makeovers

Here you get at crack at correcting brightness and contrast, setting highlight and shadow points, and dealing with the all-too-common problem of backlit images. Just as importantly, you get some practice at applying these corrections in the proper order.

Chapter 4: Color Makeovers

The good news first: Correcting color is not as tough as you think. Right off the bat you learn about the importance of color-correcting highlights. Other key topics include adjusting skin tones, color-correcting with (and without) neutrals, matching colors across images, boosting colors, applying quick-and-dirty color corrections, and (as a bonus) all you'll ever need to know about the key concepts of linearization and neutralization.

Chapter 5: Composition Makeovers

Here you focus on changing what kind of content stays in (or gets added to) your image. You learn how to extract image components and take them elsewhere, as well as how to crop to improve image composition, Straightening crooked images, removing distracting elements, removing and replacing backgrounds, vignetting images, and even changing the depth of field get added to the mix as well.

Chapter 6: Repair Makeovers

In this chapter, you find out how to repair a range of image problems that arise from various kinds of wear and tear. Repairs include reenergizing faded images, removing noise and compression damage, removing dust and scratches, zapping blemishes, and making anyone look years younger (in a Photoshop image, anyway).

Chapter 7: Color-Mode Makeovers

This chapter shows you some of the best techniques for reinventing your image by using a fundamentally different image mode — while maintaining (or even improving) image quality and impact. Mode conversions include color-to-grayscale, grayscale-to-color, desaturating images, creating duotones, and converting grayscale and color images into high-impact B&W images.

Chapter 8: Adding Elements as a Makeover

Your focus here is on adding components (borders, type, vector elements, whatever) to your images. You round things off by examining how to create montages by putting images together to create other images.

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Chapter 9: Sharpening Makeovers

Honing your sharpening skills is so important that it gets its own chapter. You learn all about controlling such sharpening attributes as Amount, Radius and Threshold — and get the skinny on controlling where sharpening is applied in your images.

Chapter 10: Shadow Makeovers

Shadows are key components to many images. Here you explore a variety of shadow types — including object shadows, full-image shadows, cast shadows, motion shadows, and internal shadows.

Chapter 11: Effects Makeovers

Sometimes a special effect is all you need to create just the right look or impact. In this chapter, you have a chance to work with a wide range of image effects — including Painting, Motion, Glows, Metal, and Chrome — and pick up tips and tricks on how to deal with line art and create a presentation background by using effects.

Chapter 12: Extreme Makeovers

In this final chapter, you work through examples of really going overboard . . . and having a grand time while creating images that look . . . well . . . extreme, when compared with their starting states! Included here is an example from Neil Fraser, guest artist who won an award for his extreme efforts.

Special Features

What would a Photoshop book be without images to play around with? To that end, the folks at Wiley Publishing, Inc., have kindly agreed to host all the Before images you'll encounter here on one handy corner of their corporate Web site. If you want to follow along with a makeover, just fire up your Internet browser, surf on over to www.wiley.com/go/makeovers, and download the image directly from the site. There you'll also find two bonus chapters — Collection Makeovers and Repurposing Makeovers for your reading pleasure.

Your Invitation to Participate!

I hope you have as much fun working with this book as I did putting it together. I am sure (at least realistically hopeful) that you'll take the ideas, approaches, and skills presented in this book and apply them in all sorts of creative and effective ways that I cannot even imagine. If you're so inclined, and would like to share a makeover project or two of your own that you particularly enjoyed, please send your Before and After images on to me at [email protected] — and I might just place your projects (with your permission, of course) in the next version of Photoshop CS2 Before & After Makeovers. (Volume 2, anyone?)

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