NCET explores technology designed to help your business.
By Ron Marston
Whether you are creating a logo for your website, posting images to Facebook, or optimizing real estate pictures for a listing, Photoshop can help you make those images look as good as they can. Virtually all digital images can be enhanced in some way using Photoshop. As well, poor editing techniques can make them look worse.
Here are five essential tips related to working with images in Photoshop:
- Resolution: Your digital camera lists its resolution in Megapixels, but your Photoshop file and your screen resolution is measured in PPI (pixels per inch). Megapixels is used to denote the total number of pixels in the image, in millions. For example, an 8 Megapixel camera captures eight million pixels. On the other hand, PPI denotes the number of pixels in one linear inch of the image. For quality printing, you typically need around 300 PPI, and for screen viewing you must account for the resolution of the device (computer monitor, tablet, phone, etc.) but 100 PPI is a good ballpark resolution to start with.
- File Formats: A file format is like the digital storage container for your pixel-based image. Image quality and file size are determined to a large extent by the file format. The JPEG is the most common image format in the world, and usually is the best choice for photographic images on the web. Other web formats, such as the GIF and the PNG often give better results for logos and type.
- What not to use Photoshop for: Photoshop is for pixel-based images. It is not document software, and it is not word processing software. Using Photoshop for non-image documents such as a resume or a letterhead or a brochure is not recommended.
- Non-Destructive Editing: Photoshop allows for editable image processing. Non-Destructive edits are “best practice” and means you can go back and undo or modify changes you’ve made to your image with no loss of quality.
- Quick Tips: Getting good-looking photos fast is easy if you pay attention to these key components of the image: Values, Hues, Saturation, Sharpness, Resolution, and File Format. Photoshop gives you the ability to easily control all of these elements as separate adjustment.
Ron Marston is a full time Graphic Communications Professor at Truckee Meadows Community College. He teaches graphic design, commercial printing, screen-printing, web design and most of the Adobe Creative Suite, with a focus on Photoshop and Illustrator.
Learn more about Adobe Photoshop and optimizing images at NCET’s Tech Bite luncheon on July 22. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. Register for the event and get more info at NCET.org. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal – RGJ.com