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Lecture Comments (12)

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Brown
Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:14 PM

Post by Victoria Scranton on April 20, 2015

I can't view says "network error"!

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Brown
Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:46 PM

Post by Harry Hayes on June 25, 2013

Excellent photography tips Professor Brown.

I did get my question answered about whether is accredited.

Tiffany emailed me and shared that is not accredited, but rather, a supplemental learning service.

So, Adobe was nice enough to allow me to purchase the Student Edition for a period of 14 days at 60% off the regular price.

I plan to take as many classes as possible from you, Professor Brown, and the other instructors teaching Adobe courses in the next 14 days.

Thanks for the terrific lesson on "The Importance of Quality!"


Harry Hayes

7 answers

Last reply by: Robin Heaston
Wed May 15, 2013 4:12 PM

Post by Alex Millman on March 20, 2013

I wish you spent more time using photoshop rather than giving lectures about it

The Importance of Quality

  • Mantra of Quality "Garbage in, Garbage out!" Always do your best at every step of the process!
  • Set up your camera for the highest quality, largest size images to give you maximum technical quality.
  • Review the photography tips - they insure that you get the best quality image from your camera.

The Importance of Quality

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • The Mantra of Quality 2:07
    • The Mantra of Quality
  • Setting Up Your Camera 3:50
    • Setting Up Your Camera For JPEG & RAW
    • Camera Image Quality and Image Size Screenshots
  • Some Tips on Taking Quality Photos 8:28
    • Fill The Frame & Compose your Shot Tightly In The Monitor
    • Example 1: Taking Quality Photos
    • Example 2: Taking Quality Photos
    • Example 3: Taking Quality Photos
    • Check Your Focus
    • Be Careful of Camera Shake
    • Make Sure That You Get The Best Exposure
    • Shoot Multiple Angles and Focal Lengths
    • Shoot Several Shots of a Scene If You Can

Transcription: The Importance of Quality

Hi everybody, Michael Brown here with you, welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

I want to profess this lesson by talking a little bit about what we're going to be doing throughout this entire course.0007

This lesson on quality, and the following lesson on color, as well as the lessons for Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop that will involve talking about the workspace and keyboard shortcuts and Preferences.0015

They're going to run a little techie, it's not necessarily doing all the 'wowee' stuff that you want to do in Photoshop, but it's talking about the basics.0034

Very necessary stuff, because you want to be fluent and understand your workspace, the tools and so on, so that you can utilize things properly and not get confused, and in the case of these first two lessons here; quality and the following lesson on color, this is more a lecture, but it's vitally important to understand quality in the entire creative process.0043

As well as what color is and all about color, so that you know how this applies automatically to what you're doing in Photoshop.0068

OK, so let's get started, and we're going to talk in this lesson about the importance of quality, not necessarily in Photoshop, but in the entire creative process.0077

My mantra for quality and how to always get the best possible quality you can, setting up your camera to get the highest quality images, so that when you start with them in Photoshop you already have the best possible image you can out of the camera, and you're going to make that one even better...0089

And then I'm going to give you some photography tips that will help you capture the best quality images, not necessarily from an artistic point of view, that's your vision, but from a technical point of view so that the image itself, you are ensuring that you get the best image of your vision.0107

OK, let's get started.0126

First we're going to talk about my mantra for quality, and that is (get this thing zoomed up right) garbage in, garbage out.0128

If you begin with poor quality, the best you can hope to achieve is a poor quality product with icing on it, and that's pure logic.0143

If you start with something bad, you can improve it somewhat, but it's never going to get very good because the beginning of the process, whatever the process may be, not just a creative process, you have a poor product.0151

So, when we're talking about starting with the best possible quality and doing your very best at each step of the creative process will result in the best possible finished product.0166

And this is because--especially in our case of the creative process, and what we're talking about here in Photoshop, is taking images and improving them.0179

At every step along the way, not necessarily every step but in most cases, there will be a very slight level of degradation to your image.0190

When you do some retouch, certainly some pixels in that image will get a little muddied out or something no matter how careful you are, so you want to minimize that so that the next step doesn't suffer from what you did.0200

Garbage in, garbage out, the mantra of quality--always start with the best quality you can, and give it your best all along the way to ensure that that finished product is the best you can get--I can't stress this mantra enough.0214

Alright, now we're going to talk about, quality begins with your photograph and how you set your camera to get the highest quality image.0230

Forget taking the picture for a moment, we're just going to talk about the camera itself.0240

Now digital cameras today shoot two types of formats; either a jpeg format or a raw format.0245

Right off the bat we'll talk about raw to start with, raw is exactly what the sensor and your camera capture.0254

This gives you the maximum number of pixels, and no compression loss, as well as no distortion from any corrections.0265

What the camera captures, that is the best quality you can get from that camera, that's what you're going to get with raw...0274

For jpeg...jpeg is what's called a lossy compression, that means when you compress it, it has to throw away some data to make it smaller, and when it open up in Photoshop it restores it to the full size that you captured it, but it has to fill in the gaps, and when it fills in the gaps it does not always create perfect pixels.0282

Sometimes you're going to get pixels that are slightly soft because the computer had to figure out something and fill in the space and you also get what's called artifacts--little pixels that are just...something weird color--they're just nothing, and so you get a little degradation.0305

The more you compress the image, in other words the smaller you make it, when you're shooting it and having it compressed as a jpeg, the more loss you're going to get, so when you're set up for jpeg...0322

Jpeg by the way, in addition to compressing, it also adds a little sharpening, contrast, color correction and exposure correction so that the image you actually get is not the original image 100%.0335

Now this is not bad, as long as you have the highest quality you possibly can, and to do that (I'm going to zoom this up) and these are two screenshots of the back of the monitor of my Nikon D7000, and these are the quality and size controls for your images.0350

Now with raw, in this case Nikon's raw is NEF (Nikon Electronic Format, every manufacturer has their own raw specific format, Canon I think is CR, I'm not sure, but any F here is Nikon, but they're all raw) raw being exactly what the sensor captures, OK?0371

You can shoot raw plus a jpeg--high quality raw plus a medium, raw plus a basic, I would not suggest shooting either of those, or just plain raw.0395

I personally see no reason to shoot raw plus a jpeg because you're shooting an image that you're going to take into Photoshop and you're going to improve it, and then once you improve it, that's when you want to send it out to somebody--either a client or a friend or post it on Facebook or Twitter--whatever you want to do with it, and the jpeg that you shoot along with the raw, unless you correct it like you did the raw file, you got the original file.0405

And you're just taking up more space, and you can always take the original file and turn it into a separate jpeg as well as the original file after you've worked on it, so if you're going to shoot raw, just shoot raw.0432

Jpeg--you have three choices; fine, normal and basic--fine being the highest quality, and to go with our mantra (garbage in, garbage out) set it at the highest quality you possibly can for the jpeg.0445

As far as image size--which you don't get a choice of with raw because you get everything there is, with jpeg, you have large, medium and small.0458

Large here is almost 5000x3200 pixels, it's 16.1 million pixels.0467

Medium is a little smaller at 9 million, obviously you're losing pixels, you're losing resolution, you're losing detail, you're losing quality, and the small is half the size dimension-wise of the large, and 1/4 the number of pixels...0475

So if you're going to shoot jpeg, use the highest quality and the largest image size, so now with this you will have your camera set up to take the highest quality image, so now, let's talk about my tips for taking quality photos.0493

I've been on the road shooting location, advertising photography all around the country for 30 years, and I've developed over that time a whole series of tips on taking images, and how to get the best images and the right time of day and all sorts of things.0511

These 7 tips here are involved with taking quality images, so let's get started very quickly.0527

Fill the frame, maximizing the resolution by capturing the largest possible number of pixels.0535

Now what I mean by fill the frame is the scene that you're taking--don't take extra space, you're not going to need it because you're going to crop in anyway and it's pretty obvious when you look at the shot, and compose the shot tightly, which is just what I'm talking about, leaving just enough extra space for cropping.0543

Let's go to Bridge, I'll give you a couple of examples of's a shot that I took with--I was out helping a friend do a video in Death Valley and I was just taking some shots.0559

Here's a really cool shot I took with this crow, I can't believe that this guy came in and actually sat there--that's not a prop--sat on that dead branch and I got this shot, it's really unusual...0571

But at any rate I filled up and composed within the frame as much as I could--I could have obviously shot this tighter but to get the scene to show the mood, I liked having him there so this is pretty much what I wanted, and if you look at my final shot, it's adjusted but there's very little difference between the two.0583

I'll put them side by side, and you can see that the original--they're both the same width, I just pulled a little down from the top and a little up on the bottom, so that is the maximum resolution and quality that I could possibly get instead of shooting a very large area and cropping in to this finished product.0603

Let's go find one more's a perfect's a shot here that we were taking for another location he was doing.0622

Again, I composed this the best I could from my shot artistically, and the final image, there it is right there--let's put the two side by side, and once again the original is on the right, you can see all I did was pull down a little bit and in just slightly, maintaining almost all of the original pixels.0633

I want to show you one more image to give you an idea of what's not necessarily the right way, what I was talking about--there it is...I did this as an example of precisely what we're talking about.0653

Here's a picture I took of a friend of mine at the beach, and I deliberately did not compose the image properly, you notice it's tilted which means we're going to lose space when we have to rotate it to correct it.0669

We're also going to have to crop in probably, right over about where I'm going up and down and all of this excess on the left side will be thrown away and some on the right, almost half the pixels will be gone, which means the resolution and quality of this image is far less that if I had composed it correctly in the first place.0683

So we'll go back, and that is compose the shot tightly, leave a little extra space but not a ton.0706

Check your focus, with digital cameras, they have all these sophisticated focus mechanisms for ensuring that they will focus on the right point.0713

Well the computer and the camera really doesn't know what you're shooting, how could it?0725

It doesn't have a clue if you're prosing your girlfriend on an overlook in Yosemite looking at the beautiful cliffs and waterfalls, whether you're shooting a waterfall or you're shooting her--they talk about face detection.0730

Nine times out of ten, no matter what camera you use today, it's going to focus on infinity, sometimes they OK, but a lot of times they don't, and the last thing you want to do is go some place beautiful that you're never going to be again, take one shot of that with your girlfriend there, not look at it, and go home.0741

And then you open it up and the computer discovered that the camera focused on infinity, and your girlfriend is blurred out, so that's an absolute waste--you can't go back and re-shoot it, so always check your focus if possible.0762

You can zoom it up, there's buttons or wheels or levers on every camera today to allow you to check your image and zoom it right up to see if it focused in the right spot.0776

Be careful of camera shake...with the digital cameras today, it's not like the old days when cameras had view finders and you would hold them right up close to your face like I'm doing here, that would enable you to steady the camera because you're bracing it against your body, everybody holds them out like this like the iPhones and all the cameras, and even for me being a pro for 30 years, it's really hard to keep it completely steady at two feet out and squeezing the button.0786

And if it gets darker, any shutter speed less than 1/30 of a second, the odds are you cannot get a crisp picture even if it focuses on the individual, camera's going to move, so if you get in that situation use a tripod if possible, or brace the camera on a rock or a tree, and if you can't do that, bring it as close as possible so your elbows are on your body so that you can brace it, breath and squeeze slowly.0818

And that brings me to a point...shoot several shots of a scene if you can...from different angles that we talk about at the bottom here, but especially to make sure that your focus is right, no camera shake, that's another one to do.0846

OK, make sure you get the best exposure which is called bracketing, shoot it, look in the view finder, don't just shoot it and walk away, make sure that it looks like it's exposed correctly, and if it's very important to you, if you're shooting manual this is easy...0863

You shoot the best one, then you over expose a little bit, over expose a little more, under expose a little, under expose a little bit more, and you get a range of exposure.0880

On the auto cameras, there's usually a setting on you menu that allows it to bracket for you.0891

You set bracketing to either three or five exposures, hold the camera, and go click, click, click, click, click and for each one it will change the settings for you, give you a range of exposure so that you have the option in case it missed.0899

OK, and then the final one; shooting multiple angles and focal lengths--that's zoom, in or out.0913

It's human nature, especially with the iPhones and all of the camera phones and all of the digital little pocket cams today, and even the high end ones with the monitor on the back like I have, people are holding them out at arms-length, and human nature means that you're going to hold it at eye level so you can see in the view finder, which means that the height is exactly at your eyes.0923

I had a situation with my friend and his girlfriend the other night, they went to a Halloween party with my camera, and he gave the camera to someone and said "take a picture of us", and human nature again, what they did, you look at a person you want to look at their eyes.0947

They took the camera, held it up, aimed it right at the eyes of my friend and his girlfriend and took the picture, a horizontal shot, and the people are vertical, and the fact that they didn't zoom it in or out, they just held it up and shot it, means that my friend has a picture of himself and his girlfriend from here, to the waist, and cut of the bottom half of the body.0964

All you have to do is think "oh, turn it vertically, make sure you get the people in and that they're full size, not a little tiny image, in a large space" and in that context, find different viewpoints...0987

Make sure that the people are in the frame, and don't necessarily shoot from eye level, come down to waist level, maybe even low or high, or move to the side, or come in for a wide angle, very dramatic, or back out and zoom in to get a different feature, but give yourself different options, and this way if you use fill the frame, compose tightly, check the focus, watch the camera shake, make sure you get the best exposure bracket if possible, shoot several shots.1003

Come on, the cost of digital is absolutely zero, make sure you've got that shot, shoot more than one--at least two, come on, maybe five, maybe more, and then shoot multiple angles to get the best shot you can.1032

If you follow these tips, you will now be maximizing the quality, along with...setting up your camera properly and shooting the best way you can will get you the best images out of your camera, ready for Photoshop CS6.1046

I'll see you back in the next lesson.1064