Batch Processing from PSD to JPG

Question: “Nat, not sure if you have time to answer this but I could use some help. I want to make a JPEG copy of all my RAW files on my hard drive, various folders and subfolders, this would involve changing the files to a smaller file size. Is there a way to do all this in one operation with photoshop CS2 or 3?? I have a lot of photos and have to do it one folder at a time right now. My sense is that PS won’t open multiple folders in one auto operation.”

Answer: You can do this using Photoshop CS2, but it’s not as easy as doing it in Lightroom. I’d recommend you use Lightroom. (more…)

Gradient Masks to Compare Adjustment Strengths

If you want to see how an adjustment layer will look at different opacities, apply a gradient with distinct steps on the layer mask. You can then compare varying percentages of strength, and when you are finished, clear the mask and set the adjustment layer opacity to the strength you liked the best. This also works well for fine-tuning composites.

Use Black Backgrounds for Soft Proofing

When soft proofing an image, it’s best to use a black background to surround both your working file and your reference image. In Photoshop, the only way to do this is to change the color of your desktop to black, and use the standard window mode to position your work and reference images side by side.

Midtone Contrast Adjustment

Here’s a cool Photoshop trick I learned from Jeff Schewe, for increasing contrast only in the midtones of an image. This adjustment really makes images POP!

1. Duplicate your main image layer.
2. Apply a Filter > Other > High Pass. Try starting with a radius of around 40.
3. Double click the layer to open the Layer Styles box. At the bottom of the first screen, look for the “Blend If…” sliders. For “This Layer”, move the black point to around 70, and the white point to around 200. Don’t change the settings for the Underlying Layer. Click OK to apply the layer style.
4. Adjust the opacity of the layer to taste.

You can fine tune this effect by adjusting the High Pass radius, the Blend If points, and the layer opacity.

Perfect Sharpening

Whether you’re using built-in sharpening tools or third-party sharpening solutions, you will get the best quality if you sharpen in several lesser amounts than if you do the full sharpening in one operation.

Try stacking layers of different sharpening effects for different areas of the images and adjusting transparency and layer blending modes to get perfect sharpening.

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