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Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments

From: Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments

Images that are backlit usually results in a forefront object being engulf in shadow, while images shot with the flash or exposure setting too high can have the opposite effect making the subject to appear washed out. With this movie I will like to show you how to repair these types of images using the Shadow Highlight feature available in Elements. Well I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files here in our Content panel. I'm going to scroll down a bit to our Chapter 10 folder and double-click that. What we're going to do is choose the Shadow Highlight folder, double-click that and we're going to open up this image, Enzo beach day 2.JPG. Double-click that. And we now have it open here in the Element's Editing workspace.

Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments

Images that are backlit usually results in a forefront object being engulf in shadow, while images shot with the flash or exposure setting too high can have the opposite effect making the subject to appear washed out. With this movie I will like to show you how to repair these types of images using the Shadow Highlight feature available in Elements. Well I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing the exercise files here in our Content panel. I'm going to scroll down a bit to our Chapter 10 folder and double-click that. What we're going to do is choose the Shadow Highlight folder, double-click that and we're going to open up this image, Enzo beach day 2.JPG. Double-click that. And we now have it open here in the Element's Editing workspace.

So we have a problem here with this image. This image is slightly backlit and it's also slightly washed out. This was a very, very sunny day and when I took this image I didn't use a flash or anything but because of it so sunny and I had a beach umbrella behind me when my son Enzo decided to crouch down, he wound up being covered somewhat by the umbrella and so the whole front of his body here is engulfed in shadow and we're losing some detail in his skin. So I would like to reveal that detail now by applying a Shadow Highlight adjustment. By the same token because the summer is so bright in the background here, we're not seeing a lot of the detail in the sand. And I think we could see that, a little bit better as well. So let's go ahead and make this adjustment.

I think I'm going to zoom in just a little bit, Command+Plus and maybe just move this over a little bit, so at we're at 25%, that's a much better preview here in our document window. So what I would like to do is go under the Enhance menu and I'm going to go under Adjust Lighting and choose Shadows Highlights, that's going to bring up this dialog box. So right away we're already seeing a change in the background that's because by default the preview option is already checked force and also by default field Lighten Shadow setting is set to 25%. So generally what I do when I first open this up is I just turn this over to the left because I like to start from zero.

I don't necessarily like to start it 25%. Sometimes this 25% is too much. So before I make any judgment calls on the way things are looking as soon as I bring up this dialog box I start fresh, I bring that slider all the way to the left. So now we're looking at our original image. These sliders here work exactly the same as the lighting sliders in the quick fix note. We have a Lighting Shadow slider, a Darken Highlight slider, and a Midtone Contrast slider. So let's start with Lighten Shadows. We know that there is much shadow area here over Enzo's little body and we need to reveal the detail inside it there so let's go ahead and just gradually drag this to the right and referring to our preview here in the background to see if it's making the adjustment that we like.

Remember if you start to drag too far, things are going to start to look unnatural. Yes, you're revealing more information but if you go too far it's just not going to look right, it's going to start to look very, very strange. In case you're going to use this with discretion. I'm going to go ahead and just keep this right around this area, around 17/18 somewhere around in there, that's looking better. I don't mind that he had some shadow area in front of him. I just don't want his whole front body to be engulfed in shadow, now it's looking much better to me.

But the same token I'm going to look back here at the sand area and I'm going to increase the Darken Highlights amount. As we do we can see more detail being revealed in the sand. Again if I drag this too far things are going to get too dark and that's not we want. We don't this to look unnatural. So again use with discretion, bring it down to about 9/8 somewhere around there, that's certainly look pretty good. We also have the Midtone Contrast slider. If I drag this to the left, it's going to decrease contrast in the midtone areas. If I drag it to the right, it's going to increase contrast, make things darker. So I'm going to drag to the left that actually going to help out, the Lighten Shadows adjustment, if I drag this way. It's actually going to do us a favor here. If I drag it to the right it's going to undo what we just did Lighten Shadow slider and make things dark again, you can see how it's getting darker and darker, front of his body. We don't want that.

So let's go ahead and drag this to the left just a little bit in order to help out the Lighten Shadow slider. That's starting look good. So the next thing we can do is use our Preview option here to view the before and the after, we will turn it off, there is the before and turn it on and there is the after. And that's quite an adjustment. We can see a lot more detail on the sand, all around him, all back here and we can see that the front of his body is no longer completely engulfed in shadow, which is nice.

This looks natural to me, it looks like an improvement; there is the before, there is the after. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK. We can zoom out to see the whole picture and that's looking pretty good to me. So that's how you can use the Shadow Highlight feature in order to reveal detail in both your shadow areas and your highlight areas.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

84 video lessons · 5402 viewers

Ted LoCascio
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 20s
  2. 12m 1s
    1. Understanding Photoshop Elements
      2m 10s
    2. Using the Welcome screen
      2m 33s
    3. Importing photos from a digital camera
      7m 18s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Viewing and selecting images
      2m 1s
    2. Creating and saving a custom workspace
      5m 29s
    3. Rotating images in Bridge
      3m 20s
    4. Renaming images in Bridge
      5m 34s
    5. Adding keywords to images
      7m 38s
    6. Applying ratings to images
      5m 17s
    7. Labeling images
      5m 17s
    8. Searching for images
      6m 38s
    9. Creating Collections
      2m 50s
    10. Sorting images with the Filter panel
      6m 36s
    11. Using image stacks
      7m 2s
    12. Hiding images
      4m 6s
  4. 31m 55s
    1. Opening images from Bridge
      2m 24s
    2. Working with palettes and the Palette Bin
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Project Bin
      6m 44s
    4. Zooming and scrolling
      8m 1s
    5. Fixing mistakes with Undo and Redo
      5m 3s
    6. Saving versions
      4m 50s
  5. 49m 38s
    1. Opening and viewing images in the Quick Fix mode
      6m 8s
    2. Understanding Auto Color and making tonal adjustments
      8m 50s
    3. Using the Lighting sliders
      5m 19s
    4. Using the Color sliders
      7m 1s
    5. Applying Auto Red Eye Fix
      3m 31s
    6. Applying Auto Sharpen
      4m 25s
    7. Using the Guided Edit mode
      6m 19s
    8. Processing multiple files
      8m 5s
  6. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding image resolution
      3m 23s
    2. Resizing images
      6m 59s
  7. 17m 8s
    1. Applying Auto Crop and Auto Straighten
      6m 22s
    2. Using the Straighten and Crop tools
      4m 10s
    3. Changing the canvas size
      6m 36s
  8. 30m 32s
    1. Why make selections?
      6m 3s
    2. Using the Quick Selection tool
      8m 37s
    3. Using Refine Edge
      7m 15s
    4. Saving and loading selections
      8m 37s
  9. 25m 58s
    1. Working with the Layers palette
      9m 45s
    2. Using adjustment layers and masks
      8m 37s
    3. Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments
      7m 36s
  10. 40m 56s
    1. Removing a color cast
      5m 53s
    2. Correcting skin tone
      3m 38s
    3. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      6m 37s
    4. Balancing contrast and color with Levels adjustments
      7m 10s
    5. Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments
      5m 17s
    6. Improving images with Color Curves adjustments
      5m 55s
    7. Converting color images to black and white
      6m 26s
  11. 54m 14s
    1. Using the Red-Eye Removal tool
      8m 1s
    2. Using the healing tools
      7m 42s
    3. Whitening teeth and eyes
      6m 20s
    4. Cloning to remove contents
      8m 14s
    5. Adjusting perspective and correcting camera distortion
      6m 10s
    6. Using Photomerge Group Shot
      6m 17s
    7. Using Photomerge Faces
      6m 4s
    8. Using Photomerge Panorama
      5m 26s
  12. 16m 1s
    1. Creating a clipping mask
      7m 25s
    2. Creating collages with gradient blending
      8m 36s
  13. 22m 15s
    1. Reducing noise
      8m 7s
    2. Sharpening with Unsharp Mask
      7m 16s
    3. Sharpening with Adjust Sharpness
      6m 52s
  14. 17m 54s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw images from Bridge
      6m 37s
    3. Applying tonal and color adjustments in Camera Raw
      6m 23s
    4. Saving raw images
      3m 8s
  15. 40m 41s
    1. Painting with the Filter Gallery
      8m 7s
    2. Creating a pencil sketch
      7m 40s
    3. Customizing images
      7m 59s
    4. Adding artwork with the Content palette
      9m 39s
    5. Building and saving a multi-page photo creation
      7m 16s
  16. 37m 5s
    1. Creating a slideshow
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a photo book
      9m 1s
    3. Creating a photo collage
      6m 58s
    4. Creating a greeting card
      6m 31s
    5. Creating a web photo gallery
      7m 37s
  17. 31m 6s
    1. Choosing color settings
      7m 1s
    2. Printing to an inkjet printer
      8m 13s
    3. Using Picture Package
      4m 33s
    4. Saving for the web
      5m 55s
    5. Attaching images to emails
      3m 6s
    6. Burning to CDs and DVDs
      2m 18s
  18. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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