Tuesday, December 18, 2012
These techniques are for much more than panoramas
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Once a merge is complete, you can create further variances by using one or more of Photoshop's powerful distortion tools: Free Transform, Puppet Warp and the filters Lens Correction, Adaptive Wide Angle and Liquify. These can be used for functions as obvious as straightening a horizon, whether uniformly on nonuniformly bowed, or as subtle as subtly adjusting shape, proportion and line angle. While this step is often overlooked, it can produce substantial differences. To apply one or more of these effects to all layers at one time, you can merge them into a single new layer by simultaneously tapping Shift, Option, Control and E.
Cropping And/Or Retouching
The distortion necessary to align and fine-tune image information within the frame also distorts the frame. To restore a rectangular shape requires one of two moves—or a little of both. One, crop. This eliminates some image information along the edges. Again, ensure that significant information isn't lost in the final merged image by framing loosely during exposure. Two, retouch. Using the Clone Stamp tool, Healing brush or Content Aware Fill synthesizes convincing image information to fill gaps left by distortion, often in a way that can't be ascertained by the uninformed viewer, but it nonetheless changes the nature of the photograph created, either subtly or substantially; it's a practice that may or may not suit your intention.
Regardless of whether you use panoramic aspect ratios, the practice of extending format through photo merges can help you perfect many compositions in ways that are often challenging and in some cases impossible to do otherwise. It can help you choose a better angle of view without eliminating essential information or include essential information when you either can't or don't have time to change angle of view. When this skill becomes second nature, you'll find that you've become visually more versatile, flexible and accomplished.
John Paul Caponigro, author of Adobe Photoshop Master Class and the DVD series R/Evolution, is an internationally renowned fine artist, an authority on digital printing, and a respected lecturer and workshop leader. Get his enews Insights with access to hundreds of lessons at www.johnpaulcaponigro.comand see more of his panorama tips at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/downloads/technique/exposure.php.
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