As a starting point PS
6 can't read RAW files, so you're first problem is getting them into a useable format. For now you'll need to use the Canon software to convert RAW images to 16 bit tifs, but it sucks and its slow.
I would strongly recommend an upgrade to PS CS
(use the money you saved on the camera
). The built in file viewer and RAW conversion is worth the price of the upgrade alone, never mind the many other improvments.
Anyway, having got the file into PS
you should first straighten and crop as required.
Next use the levels command to make sure you are using the full brightness range (from black to white).
If the shot seems lacking in contrast, or a bit dark or light overall, use the curves command. If you're not familiar with this, pushing the middle of the curve upwards increases midtone brightness (gamma). Making an "S" shape out of the curve increases or reduces contrast (depending which way round you make the S). Experiment, and you'll soon get the hang of it.
By selecting the appropriate channel, you can also make very precise colour adjustments using curves (though the hue/saturation tool is good too).
Check for dust spots (view at 100% for this) and use the clone tool to get rid of them.
Now resize the image to your target size.
Finally sharpen with USM
- for Canon CMOS and 1024 pixel size, experiment with values around Amount 100-300, radius 0.3 threshold 0. Increase amount until artifacts or jaggies start to show on the screen, then back off a bit.
Convert to 8bit and save as jpg.
Of course there are many other filters you can play with - very few will actually help the image, though they can be fun if you don't want a straight photograph.
Straighten and crop as required.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel