Intermediate Digital Photography, Week Two
Advanced depth of field, filters, color theory, pre-visualization and digital book layouts
Conejo Valley Adult School


  • Planning an image before shooting
  • Knowing what you camera and print materials will do

Filters in Digital Photography

  • Most digital photographers adjust small color changes in Photoshop Elements rather than with filters
  • Automatic White Balance will correct and remove minor color filter effects
  • Filters such as gradual grays, neutral density and polarizers are difficult to impossible to re-create digitally
  • Some pocketable cameras without filter threads offer an add-on accessory for filters

Advanced Depth of Field:

  • As explained in Beginning Digital class, more useful with large sensor camera
  • New info: DOF decreases with close focusing and increases as you approach infinity
  • Macro or closeup DOF can be adjusted by focusing ½ way between "subject close" and "subject far" points
  • Nearer to infinity DOF can be adjusted by focusing 1/3 from closest subject point
  • Apparent DOF can be decreased by using a telephoto lens setting and increased by using a wide angle lens setting

Color Theory

  • Scenes with analogous colors are typically soft and calming
  • Scenes with split complimentary colors hold moderate excitement
  • Scenes with complimentary colors are typically exciting and even "jarring"


color wheels

Photoshop Elements Digital Books

Alternative (probably better) options to PSE 8 for digital books are My Publisher and Apple's iPhoto
  1. Launch Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
  2. Select "Organize" mode in first screen
  3. If your catalog is empty, skip to step 4. If there are images in the default catalog: Go to Edit > Select All and then Edit > Delete Selected Items from Catalog. You should now have an empty catalog.
  4. Load your project images. Go to File > Get Photos and Videos > From Files and Folders. Navigate to the 6-vacation folder in Tom's file. Select all images in that folder. Make sure "Fix Red Eye" and "Suggest Photo Stack" are both un-checked. Hit "Get Media".
  5. Select all of the images in your catalog Edit > Select All
  6. Select "Create" (below the "Windows" menu), then select "Photo Book". In the next screen, you will have different choices depending on the setup of your copy of Elements. Select "Print with Local Printer" for classwork.
  7. In the next screen you should have your images across the bottom (project bin) and a dialog pallet on the right. In the dialog select "Chose Photo Layout" and then "1 Landscape" for both left and right pages. Hit "Next".
  8. In the next dialog choose "No Theme" and make sure both "Auto-Fill" and "Include Captions" are un-checked. Enter 8 for the number of pages. Hit "Create"
  9. After pages are setup by PSE, you will be looking at a black page 1 with the words "Click here to add Photo". Drag your choice of image from the lower "Project Bin" onto the "Click Here" words.
  10. Notice the size/crop slider above your image. This allows you to resize the image "within" the existing frame. Hit the "check mark" when you are done or the "X" to cancel what you've done. You can return to this tool at any point by "right clicking" on an image and selecting "Position Photo In Frame".
  11. Use the forward arrow (just above the "Project Bin") to navigate to the next. We are going to put 2 images on this page.
  12. Add an image to the second page (see steps 9 and 10)
  13. Drag the image you want as your second image from the project bin onto a BLANK part of the current page (NOT onto the picture, onto a black area). This second image will be "on top" of the original image.
  14. Arrange and size the two images as you wish.
  15. Select next page using the forward arrow (just above the "Project Bin"). We are going to put 2 more images on this page plus some text, making sure to leave some white/blank space under each image for text.
  16. Add the two new images, as you did above, remembering to leave room below them for text.
  17. Hit the "default" black and white overlapping squares at the bottom of the tools panel (this will set your text color to black).
  18. Select the Type tool (T shape in the tools panel). Make sure the tool is set to "Horizontal" in the tools option (with the triangle on the lower right of the tool).
  19. Click on your page and enter your text.
  20. To adjust the size or font, click once within the text with your type tool. Then click twice quickly to select an entire word, or click 3 times quickly to select the entire sentence. Once the text is selected you can adjust the size. Weight and font face with the Tool options near the top of the screen.
  21. To adjust the placement of the text, switch to the "Move Tool" (4 way arrows at the top of the tools panel). Make sure the text thumbnail is selected. Make sure "Auto Select Layer" is turned OFF in the tools options (under "Full Edit"), you can now click and drag your text.
  22. Repeat above to add text under your second image

Photoshop Elements Lasso Tools for Selection

  1. Choose one layer in your book with person or item you would like to isolate from background
  2. Select that layer (make sure it is blue in the layers panel)
  3. Select the "Magnifying Tool" from the tool panel, second tool from top. Drag over the image area you want to work on (to make it view larger on your screen)
  4. Select the "Lasso Tool" from the tool panel, sixth tool from top. Hold the triangle in the lower right of the tool and you can chose any of 3 options. The plain "lasso" (free hand selection), the "magnetic" (tries to guess the edges) or the "polygonal" (straight line - connect the dots)
  5. Using the lasso tool and your mouse, draw around the edge of the area you want to keep
  6. Optional: Use Select > Feather to soften line. As a starting point, 1 or 2 pixels of feathering often makes a more natural looking cut, 16 pixels makes a soft/artificial selection
  7. Invert the selection (Selection > Invert), You have now "selected" everything except the area you outlined
  8. Cut the unwanted background off your layer with Edit > Cut



  • One or more prints deliberately using a large or small DOF
  • One or more prints deliberately using color theory
  • One or more more pages setup for book (printed on inkjet is fine, no need to have book printed!)


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