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Deke’s Techniques

Your weekly quick-fix of Deke, with ideas you may inspire or inform your own projects.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #6: RGB, CMYK, and Lab

Photoshop more than supports many color spaces; it supports infinite variations on the device-dependent ones. You can open an RGB photo, process it in Lab, and output it to CMYK, with certainty that each conversion will work.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #8: The Eyedropper

The ubiquitous eyedropper is simple in purpose and easy to use. But imagine a world without it, where you had to dial in every one of the 16.8 million+ colors manually. The eyedropper is Photoshop


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #9: Levels

The Levels command, and its cohort the histogram, let you adjust luminance levels on a channel-by-channel basis. The upshot is that you can increase contrast, correct for color cast, and make a bad image good.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #10: Color Settings

The Color Settings command is your way of establishing reliable color management policies across the entire Creative Suite. While admittedly techy, it ensures that what you see is what everyone else sees as well.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #11: Opacity and Blend Modes

Changing the Opacity is like mixing a cocktail with, say, 25% active layer and 75% all layers below. Assigning a blend mode is like shining a light or casting a shadow: The active layer infuses those behind it with life.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #13: File Info

Want to let the world know who made your photo? Then choose File Info. Here you can assign a title, an author (you!), a copyright, and a Web site. No image should go out without a visit to File Info.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #14: Gaussian Blur

Gaussian Blur is a filter that blurs an image. But it's also the math behind the Feather command, drop shadows, and everything that is soft in Photoshop. Watch this video and learn why GB is so important.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #15: Alpha Channels

Much can be said of masking. Masking is the art of using the image to select itself. Masking lets you apply the entire weight of Photoshop to the task of editing a selection. And masking, thy name is alpha channel.


Photoshop Top 40, Feature #16: Adjustment Layers

An adjustment layer is an independent layer of color adjustment that you can edit any time you like. Plus it affects all layers below it, consumes very little space in memory, and affords the opportunity for selective edits.