Photoshop How-To: Extension Please

Does your picture need an extension? Filling out a composition that's too tight is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Sometimes you get the shot, but you blow the composition. Maybe cropping will fix the problem, but if you need more picture, not less, try extending the background. Then, if you're in the mood, add a couple of extra elements.

Quick Tips:

> To extend a background that has a lot of details you can afford to lose, do a crude job, then blur the heck out of it. No one will know you didn't just opt for a shallow depth of field in the first place.

> When you type in "3" for width and "2" for height in the Crop tool's option bar, Photoshop will change it to 3x2 inches for you. Don't worry: Since you left the Resolution box blank, your image won't really get resized, though you may have to go into Image Size to set the resolution back to 300 before you print.

> To really go to town and make your third flower look different from flowers one and two, go to Filter > Liquify and warp that bud until it looks like it grew out of the ground that way.

Ask Debbie

Q: I have a bunch of RAW files that I want to e-mail as small JPEGs. Normally I'd make an Action and batch process the images, but I can't do that with RAW files. Help!

A: Opening and converting every image would be a big pain in the neck. Lucky for you, Bridge has a great tool that can help: Image Processor. In Bridge, select the pics (RAW or otherwise) that you want to resave. Then go to Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor. Pick the folder where your new files will land, and choose the type or types to save as, resize, and (while you're at it) convert to a web-friendly sRGB color profile. One thing to note: Your RAW files will be converted according to your default settings, or, if you've converted before, to the settings you've applied most recently.

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