Tuesday, May 13, 2014

21 Day Organization Challenge - Day 3 (and my Photoshop settings)

As I mentioned on Day 2, I am treating this as a 21-step process, rather than a 21-day process. Here is my original post with all of the steps laid out and the catchall infographic.

Day 3 is organizing the area under beds. There is nothing under my bed, and the shoes under the baby's crib are already tidy, so I tackled the troubled area under the guest bed / daybed.

Before...

After...

The Process...
I started with tidying the top of the bed. Then I removed everything that was under the bed and dusted the floor. I organized the contents inside the IKEA Vardo underbed storage box (which you can't see to appreciate). The green-and-white box contained magazine clippings. I was able to take photos of the clippings with my iPhone and upload them to my Pinterest account using the iPhone Pinterest app (available in the iTunes store). I was then able to discard the originals.

Photoshop Photo-Editing Steps...
Speaking of processes, here is how I got these photos online. I took a couple of shots with my iPhone, then I emailed the photos to myself. From there, I downloaded the photos onto my computer and opened them in Photoshop*. I created five layers...

  • The bottom-most layer is the unaltered photo (marked 1 in the Layers palette).
  • The next two layers (marked 2 and 3) were added to minimize the appearance of wrinkles in the after photo. Basically, I used the Eyedropper tool (top circle on left), took a sample of the color of the sheet (by clicking on the sheet), and then "painted" over the sheet using the Paintbrush tool (middle circle on left). I set my paintbrush to a large size (172 pt**), reduced the opacity (to 36% opacity), and chose Overlay mode (instead of Normal mode). I used the Eraser tool (bottom-most circle on left) to blur the edges between my painting and the real edge of the sheet. For blending, I like to set my eraser to a relatively large size (131 pt**) and a reduced opacity (33%). For both painting and erasing, I usually like to reduce the opacity but keep the flow rate at 100%.
  • The next layer (marked 4) is the Curves layer, and you can see what settings I chose by looking at the histogram to the left of the Layers palette. I prefer to customize the Curves rather than use Auto Contrast or Auto Color. You just click create a new Adjustment Layer above your photo layer and toggle away. If you took your photo indoors, this usually means moving the right side of the blue "line" in towards the left a little.
  • Finally, I added my text layer (marked 5 and in a circle). I used black font, which is hex # 000000, and strong MV Boli font (in a circle in the Character palette). For online font, as a matter of personal preference because I think it improves readability, I usually space the characters slightly further apart than the default (the default is 0, but here I have used 175 pt**, which sounds like a lot unless you consider that I am using 200 pt** font).

Photoshop Notes:
*I have Adobe Photoshop CS 5. I am currently avoiding the newest version of Photoshop, CS 6, because it is subscription-based and cloud-only. You own nothing and you would have to pay every year in order to keep using it, which in my opinion is outrageous for the casual user.
*A point (abbreviated "pt") is the unit of text measurement. 72 pts = 1 inch. For my example, my original image as imported from my iPhone was 3264 pixels wide by 2448 pixels high, which is a huge size. I therefore used text, brushes and erasers that were equally huge, but then saved my final image as a JPEG that was much smaller. I prefer to adjust my image's size when I am saving it as a JPEG rather than at the beginning, but you could resize your image first and then use smaller font and brushes during your editing process(es).

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