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5-7. Enhancing Digital Images

Electronic imaging completely changes the way the finished print is achieved—no more darkroom work—it’s all done at a computer terminal by the image editing system’s software.  You will work with two types of controls: palette tools and menus.  Palette tools are mouse-driven controls, which are used to alter portions of the image by hand. Menus control the more generalized functions, such as file saving, or commands, which are unable to be covered by using the mouse alone.  Exploited by a skilled photojournalist, IES tools can produce products rivaling or surpassing wet photo technology.

Although based on Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Photo Editor, the following explanations are provided only for illustrative purposes.  Be certain to read and heed the documentation for the IES software you are using.

  • Selecting an image.  After acquiring images and while previewing them, select the photo you wish to enhance by clicking on the "Acquire" button.  Then, using the "Save As" command, give it a file name and choose the format in which to save it (TIFF, Tagged Image File Format is commonly used).  It is a good practice to save the image after completing each step in the enhancement process.  Only a few of the many IES tools, functions and commands are discussed below.

  • Cropping the image.  The cropping tool allows you select part of an image and discard the remainder.  Normally, you will crop immediately after acquiring and prior to sizing the image.

  • Sizing the image.  This menu function allows you to size the image to fit the space allotted for it in the publication by entering the desired dimension in a dialog box.

  • Correcting Errors.  To allow you to correct an error, most IES allow you to use Undo, Revert and Escape commands to reverse a previous operation or to de-select the a completed operation which has not been "saved."

  • Adjusting the image.  Unless your final product will be published in color, you will use a Grayscale adjustment to remove the color from your image.  You will use the Brightness control to adjust the image’s lightness or darkness and the Contrast control to adjust the separation of tones.

  • Eliminating imperfections within the image.  The Rubber Stamp or cloning tool lets you take a "sample" of part of an image (some pixels) and place an exact copy (clone) elsewhere in the same or in another image.

  • Altering the contrast of a portion of the image.  Dodge and Burn tools or Smudge and Sharpen brushes are available to selectively lighten or darken portions of the image.

After the image editing process has been completed, the images are imported into a desktop publishing program.  If necessary, the desktop publisher can re-crop or re-size the images before positioning them with the stories they support.

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Publisher: SweetHaven Publishing Services

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