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Adobe Photoshop essentials: How to crop, resize, and edit photos like a pro

JD Sartain | June 16, 2015
Adobe Photoshop's deep trove of features lets you manipulate every aspect of even basic editing tasks, such as cropping and resizing images. For example, you can edit an amateur snapshot of an executive and transform it into a professional-looking image for corporate documents or a website. Just follow these easy, step-by-step instructions. Note: This exercise uses the Move tool, Marquee selection tool, Polygonal Lasso selection tool, Magic Wand selection tool, and Zoom.

5. Stop now and save your file (see Saving Files below). Do not resave altered images as JPGs. JPGs use something called lossy compression, which means this format discards bits of the image information in order to create smaller file sizes. If you edit JPGs, and then resave them — over and over — as JPGs, the image quality suffers. Eventually, you'll begin to notice compression noise and distorted pixels. If you don't want to save in Photoshop's PSD file format, choose a lossless compression format instead, such as PNG, BMP, TIFF, or EPS.

6. Next, crop the image. Perform a general crop first, then zoom in and perform a close, precise crop. Use the rectangular Marquee selection tool to draw a frame around the man and part of the busy background. Select Image > Crop. Zoom in and crop some more. Then zoom in for a final crop. Follow the instructions in Saving Files, below, to save your portrait.

Pro tip: Professional portrait photos for business are usually bust shots; that is, cropping the image between the person's chest and waist. For men, crop just below the suit/shirt pocket, which is straight across the chest. For women, crop a bit lower or just below the chest. Make sure the head is centered. Notice the position of the shoulders and try to match them — that is, if part of the shoulder and arm are missing in the original photo, crop the other shoulder/arm the same way.

7.Now you have a professional, cropped, high-resolution photo that's camera ready for printing or publishing. (Save again before you proceed.) However, this image cannot be used on a website — its dimensions are too big, the resolution is too high, and the file size is too large. The next step in this process is to scale down the image to 72 pixels/inch, then resize it to 2.25 inches wide x 3 inches tall.

Select Image > Image Size. Uncheck the Resample Image box, then type 72 in the Resolution field box. Next, re-check the Resample Image box, and type 2.25 in the Document Size > Width field box, and click OK. Notice the Document (Image) Height automatically readjusts to 3 inches. (See Saving Files below to save this photo.)

8. To save the files, start with your new original, the 4x5-inch photo. Click File > Save As and enter a filename in the File Name field box. Make sure the Format field box says Photoshop (*.PSD; *.PDD), then click the Save button. Use this file for any additional edits or changes.

Now, save the 4x5-inch photo again to a more usable format, such as PNG. Once again, click File > Save As, use the same filename, then click the small arrow beside the Format field box. Scroll down to the PNG format, click once — the filename changes from .PSD to .PNG — then click Save. In the PNG Options dialog box, under Interlace, click None, then click OK, and it's saved.


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