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Basic Editing: Images

Photoshop, Basic Image Manipulation

  • 4 Step Process for Basic Image Manipulation: Photoshop is a very robust program and the Case Learns series of Digital Images workshops offers comprehensive training. Photoshop can be found in the Adobe folder on the desktop. What follows are a few basic steps that one might take for post production.

Rotating Images

  • Note: More precise rotation is possible but is beyond the scope of this tutorial.
  • If the image needs to be rotated select Image > Image Rotation >> 180°90° CW, or 90° CCW.

Cropping Images

  • Cropping helps to create a new composition and eliminates the non-photographic area, which is essential before the next steps.
    • Note: Cropping to a precise /custom aspect ratio is beyond the scope of this tutorial.
  • Select the Crop Tool on the Toolbar.

  • Eight tabs will appear around your image.
  • Click and drag the eight tags to create the cropped image that you want.

  • If you wish to lock the crop tool as a certain shape, then navigate to the upper left and hit the dropdown menu where it says ratio. Then simply select the ratio (height x width) you wish to lock the tool at.

  • Click the Crop tool again > Crop OR hit your Enter key.

Value Correct

  • Value Correct helps to distribute your light & dark values. It is more precise than the Brightness/Contrast tool.
  • Go to Image > Adjustments >> Levels.

  • Adjust the White and Black arrows.

  • Note: If the Input Levels graph shows blank space on either the right or left-hand side, it is typically best to start by adjusting the White and Black Arrows so that they completely enclose the plot, leaving none of this blank space between them. From here, further adjustments can be made depending on the image. An example of this is shown below:
    • Before/After:

  • Adjust the Grey arrow.
  • Click OK to commit Levels.
    • Note: If you are unsure about making any of these adjustments, you may also click the Auto button which then allows Photoshop to determine what it think would be the optimal image settings. From here, if necessary, further adjustments can be easily made.

Color Correct

  • There are many ways of color correcting but Color Balance is the most straight forward tool to demonstrate for this tutorial. A working knowledge of color theory is helpful and can be obtained via the Case Learns series of Digital Images workshops.
  • Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance.

  • Adjust the Cyan – Red balance.
  • Adjust the Magenta – Green balance.
  • Adjust the Yellow – Blue balance.
  • Click OK to commit Color Balance.

Saving your edited image

  • If at this point you are happy with your image, you may save it using File > Save As > Save as Type and select which file type you would like to save as


  • Saving your image
  • A file should be saved in the Storage (D: Drive) with your student ID, unless you have your own flashdrive.


  • File options:
    • JPEG: A file type that allows you to adjust the degree of compression, allowing a tradeoff between file size and image quality.  Saving your image as a JPEG quality 12 is virtually uncompressed. For the web, you might consider reducing resolution and increasing compression.
    • TIFF: A file type that allows you to save using lossless compression making this a good choice to preserve the original image quality. However, this means files can be very large.
    • PDF: A file type that is good for presenting and exchanging images/presentations. Everything essentially becomes locked in place. If you are looking to edit something in the future, it is recommended that you not save your only copy as a pdf.


  • Save for Web
    • ​You can also save your file for web specifically by using File > Export > Save for Web. This allows you to save graphics as a PNG, JPEG, or GIF at a better file size while still retaining a decent looking image.