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Part: V Ambitious Image Editing > Creating a Dream Image from a Hopeless Snapsh... - Pg. 473

473 Chapter 15. Creating a Dream Image from a Hopeless Snapshot In this chapter, you'll learn · · · · · · How to decide what you can (and should) correct in an image How to correct color, crop images, and eliminate blemishes How to remove red-eye How to paint over areas in a photograph and add texture to painted areas How to make the most of some image flaws How to work with the Camera RAW plug-in in Photoshop You know the scenario. You decide to get out the camera and take some pictures. You may or may not have talent as a photographer, but if you're like most of us, the latter is closer to the truth. You want a magical camera that can take a perfect picture every time to compensate for your lack of skills. You're hoping against hope that the Auto feature on your new digital camera will be just the ticket to accomplish this magic. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I definitely fall into the category of untalented photographers. Proof of that fact will be evident in the images you'll be working on for this chapter. But there's hope for the flawed pictures that I take; this hope comes packaged within the richness and depth of Photoshop. If you have hopeless images of your own, don't give up on them so quickly. If they have any hint of potential, you can use Photoshop to pull out the best and minimize (or even eliminate) the worst. This chapter will cover retouching and repair techniques that can be useful for most photographs. The exercises will touch on basics such as removing red-eye, removing skin blemishes, correcting color, sharpening, performing a hint of digital plastic surgery (to give the skin a more youthful ap- pearance), and using simple cropping as an effective tool for improving images. The chapter will also touch on the RAW format and Adobe's RAW plug-in because this file format, combined with the plug-in (that ships with Photoshop CS), can be a great way to improve color and quality for the photos you'll want to take in the future. Deciding What's Important to Correct When you are preparing to correct a photographic image with Photoshop, your first task is to decide what you think needs to be corrected. Then you have to decide what things you can correct in the image. Examine the photo closely, and make a mental list of what you like about the photo and what you dislike. Just about every indoor image I take needs some sort of color correction, and that's not unusual; lots of people use Photoshop to correct color in photographic images. So this will be the first item addressed in the exercises to follow. What are some of the other issues? Well, the young man in the first image you'll be working on (see Figure 15.1) is going through that awkward pimply- faced-teenager stage. Underneath all that skin-rebellion can be some very attractive features. So let's pull them out.