Saturation – Press “Ctrl+U” to bring up the Hue & Saturation dialog. This lets you alter the “freshness” of the image. Click on the slider under “Saturation” and slide away. Big alterations are not recommended unless you want people to look like tomatoes. Usually, +/- 10 works. You can play with the Hue if you want your subjects to appear alien like and display a range of comic book emotions, like jealousy(100) and anger(-30). What it does is, it replaces colours with different ones, as shown in the bar below the sliders. Or you could just click “Colourize”, and see what happens!
Noise is common, and no one likes it, unless it’s blocking horrible music. To get rid of it, Click on “Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise…”. Then, Slide around till you get something you like. But try and stay away from the “Remove JPEG artifact” checkbox. In nearly all the images I’ve used it on, it just interprets all objects as noise, and goes forth blurring them. After you get something you like, click Done and take a look at what’s become of the image.
If you want to do more, like clean up people’s faces, use the lasso tool to select the faces (Press L and then click and drag around the faces). You don’t have to get the lasso around perfectly. A rough shape will do. Then Right-click on the selection and click “Feather”. Enter a value of about 8 for a four mega pixel image. You’ll see what it does in the image below.
Then, copy that face by pressing “Ctrl+C”, and paste it again using “Ctrl+V”. This will make the face appear in its own layer. This means it can be manipulated separately. Imagine it as shapes made of paper, one on top of the other. Copy and paste various other objects you want to edit separately into more layers. You can rename these layers, for ease of use by double clicking on the layer name in the “Layers” palette(Default names are Layer 1,2 and so on).
Now that you have your objects in separate layers, use some of the tools described above on your disembodied faces. For example, you might want to emphasize a certain magazine in the image, and so you can make it more visible. To see if your work has made the image better or not, keep clicking on the little eye icon next to the layer names, to make the layers visible and invisible. Doing so will let you see whether the modifications are beneficial, or if the face still looks like the one it was originally.
Here are some examples of images done up –
Yala-Sloth Bear in Dehiwala-
Just as a note, The end result of the above image can be found at http://lame-duck.com/, and runs a pretty interesting forum.
Well, that’s it for now folks! If I can make myself get round to it, I’ll make another on using the Rubber Stamp tool. “Why would I want to stamp my pictures with purple ink?” you ask? Well, It’s a wee bit different in Photoshop y’see…