09 Cropping Your Photos

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Crop to a specific size

To start a new crop select the Crop tool and click-drag a marquee over the parts of the picture you want to keep. You don't have to be exact with this first rectangle as you can adjust the size and shape of the marquee by click-dragging the corner and side handles.

By dragging the cursor whilst it is outside the marquee it can be rotated to crop and straighten at the same time.

Crop to a specific size

Menu: -

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OS: Mac, Windows

Version: 6.0, 7.0, CS,

See Crop tool

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By dragging the cursor whilst it is outside the marquee it can be rotated to crop and straighten at the same time.

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With the dimensions set when you click-drag the Crop tool the feature will only draw rectangles the size and shape of the values you have entered. There is also a place on the options bar to enter the resolution of the cropped image. Leaving this option blank will maintain the resolution of the original; adding in a value will crop and alter resolution in the one action.

You can make a crop of a specific size and resolution by adding these values to the options bar before drawing the cropping marquee. Using this feature you can crop and resize in one step.

To help you preview how your cropped picture will appear, Photoshop shades the area of the picture that is to be removed. You can alter the color and opacity of this shading (called the shield) using the settings in the tool's options bar. The crop is executed by clicking the 'tick' at the right-hand end of the options bar or hitting the Enter/Return key.

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When you execute the crop, Photoshop will automatically crop and resize the picture. To reset the Crop tool to normal choose the Clear button from the options bar. Pressing the Front Image button forces the Crop tool to use the size of the open front image for the crop settings.

10 CREATING PANORAMAS

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Stitching Photos

Menu: File > Automate > Photomerge Shortcut: - OS: Mac, Windows

Version: CS, CS2, CS3 See also: Photomerge (CS3)

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Select Photomerge from the File menu (File > Automate > Photomerge) to start a new panorama. Click the Browse button in the dialog box. Search through the thumbnails of your files to locate the pictures for your panorama. Click the Open button to add files to the Source Files section of the dialog. Alternatively you can start in Bridge by multi-selecting your source files first and then choosing Tools > Photoshop > Photomerge.

Menu: File > Automate > Photomerge Shortcut: - OS: Mac, Windows

Version: CS, CS2, CS3 See also: Photomerge (CS3)

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To change the view of the images in the Photomerge workspace use the Move View tool or change the scale and the position of the whole composition with the Navigator. Images can be dragged to and from the light box to the work area with the Select Image tool. With the Snap to Image function turned on, Photomerge will match like details of different images when they are dragged over each other.

Now choose the Layout type from the Photomerge dialog. For most panoramas the Auto option is a good place to start. For very wide panoramas with many source files try the Cylindrical Layout and for stitches where it is important for the images to remain distortion-free, pick Reposition only. For more manual control or in situations when the Auto option doesn't produce acceptable results choose the Interactive Layout option. The Advanced Blending option (bottom of the dialog) will try to smooth out uneven exposure or tonal differences between stitched pictures. Select OK to start the stitching process. With all options the process will proceed automatically. The exception is the Interactive Layout option which opens the Photomerge workspace and then allows you to start to edit the layout of your source images manually.

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Checking the Use Perspective box will instruct Photoshop to use the first image placed into the layout area as the base for the composition of the whole panorama. Images placed into the composition later will be adjusted to fit the perspective of the base picture. The final panorama file is produced by clicking the OK button.

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