Sign & Digital Graphics

March '20

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6 4 • M A R C H 2 0 2 0 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Easy techniques that enhance image quality Quick Fix Stephen Romaniello is an artist and educator and has taught digital art at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, for over 29 years. He is a certified instructor in Adobe Photoshop and the author of numerous books and articles on the creative use of digital graphics software. Stephen is the founder of GlobalEye Systems, a company that offers training and consulting in digital graphics software and creative imaging. I mages straight out of the scanner or captured with a digi- tal camera usually need a bit of processing to maximize their impact. Raw, unretouched images are frequently deficient in several critical areas of tonality. But with a few easy adjust- ments, a lack-luster image can be transformed into a picture that really pops! Image enhancing techniques are available in all image-edit- ing software packages. Where and when to apply them and to what degree depends mostly on your ability to determine what's good and what's bad about an image. Because each image has its own unique set of problems, you'll need to develop a unique correction strategy for each picture that you capture. Worry not! Image deficiencies are typically related to the removal of unwanted areas, poor contrast, shifts of color, and inadequate focus – problems that can be easily corrected with a few simple techniques. Color Management While an image may look good on screen, its printed output may be disappointing. Before you begin making specific adjust- ments to a picture, manage the color working space so that the adjustments will be consistent with the capabilities of your printer. Color management is a separate topic too large for this article; however, Sign & Digital Graphics published my article on color management in June 2019 (http://sdgmag.ly/3xzjo) that you can use as a reference for setting up your color work- ing space. Content Removal When there are unwanted areas that need to be removed, a variety of techniques are available in Photoshop. If the areas are large, you'll need to drag out the heavy artillery and use the Content Aware Fill command combined with cloning and compositing techniques to remove and replace content. If you're lucky, and the areas are small like the fence posts in Figure 1A, they can be quickly eliminated with the Spot Healing brush. It's simply a matter of choosing the brush size, depressing the mouse button and dragging over the unwanted pixels. The brush should be soft and slightly larger than the area to be removed. An easy technique to remove straight lines, like the barbed wire for example, is to click on one end of the line, press the Shift key, move the cursor to the other end of the line and click again. (Figure 1B) The Digital Eye B Y S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O 1a 1b Small, unwanted areas can be quickly eliminated with the Spot Healing brush.

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