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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey, gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. The purpose of this movie is to show you how to develop a dramatic castle photograph inside of Camera Raw. We are going to start off with this one here that I captured using a Canon Mark III of the Dunguaire Castle in County Clare, Ireland. I like the composition, but it's obviously washed out. So we are going to apply a series of discrete selective nondestructive modifications in Camera Raw in order to achieve this much improved effect here.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. So here I am looking at the final version of the castle as a very large thumbnail inside Adobe Bridge, and that's where we are going to start things off. So I will scroll down to this uncorrected version of the photograph, click on it to select it, and then press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac in order to open this DNG file inside of Camera Raw. Most likely the first thing you're going to want to do with just about any photograph is switch over to the Lens Correction tab.
Then regardless of which version of Camera Raw you are working with, click on the Profile tab here and then turn on Enable Lens Profile Corrections, and that will automatically correct for this 17-40 millimeter lens that I used to capture this photograph. So it ends up brightening the vignette a little bit and it un-distorts the photo as well. Now if you are working in Camera Raw 6 which ships with Photoshop CS5, then you'll find a check box down here that says Remove Chromatic Aberrations. Go ahead and turn it on. If you're working in ACR 7 which ships along with Photoshop CS6, then you want to switch to the Color tab and then turn on this check box right here.
Let me give you a sense of what it does. I am going to zoom in on this flagpole right there and I will go ahead and take it in to 200% and scroll down a little bit, and if you look extremely closely this photo is actually in pretty darn good shape, but we have a little bit of a purple edge in one side of the flagpole and a little bit of a cyan edge on the other side and you can get rid of those aberrant colors just by turning on that check box and notice that they go away. Again, the effect is pretty slight, but it's there. Press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to zoom the image out and then I'll switch back to the Basic Panel.
Your options are going to vary depending on whether you're using ACR 7 as I have here, or ACR 6 which ships with Photoshop CS6. So I will run through the ACR that is Adobe Camera Raw 7 stuff first. I will click inside this Temperature setting here and I want to warm things up. I generally like to warm my photographs up. So it's entirely up to you which direction you go. But I am going to press Shift+Up Arrow in order to take that Temperature value up to 5900 degrees and that will compensate by that cool light source by warming things up ever so slightly.
Then you want to take the Tint value down to +15. At least that's what I came up with, just to give some of the green back to the grass here. Now I'm going to take this Contrast value--and this is just for those of you using Camera Raw 7, by the way. I am going to take the Contrast value up to 70. Then I am going to tab my way down to the Clarity value, take it up to 40 and then increase the Vibrance value to 25. Now that ends up over-brightening the stones here that are turning white, to crank things down just a little bit, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag this Exposure slider triangle ever so slightly to the left until you take that value down to -0.15, and the fact the you have the Alt or Option key down allows you to see the clipped pixels, notice as I increase the Exposure value I am seeing more clipping.
Anyway, I will go ahead and take it down to -0.15. Now if you want a similar effect inside Camera Raw 6, that is the version that ships along with Photoshop CS5, here's what you do. I will go ahead and switch to that version of the software. So again, here's inside the Basic Panel. You want to take the Temperature value up to 5900 if you are working along with me, and then take the Tint value down to +15. And of course by the way, these values just work for this image. Every image that you open inside of Camera Raw is going to need its own special custom treatment.
Now I will go ahead and take the Contrast value up to 75, and I will take the Clarity value up to 75 as well and then take the Vibrance value up to 25. Now that leaves us in need of some exposure adjustments. So I will once again Alt-drag or Option-drag this Exposure slider. This time I'm dragging it slightly to the right until I increase the Exposure value to +0.35 and then to compensate for that overly bright castle I am going to take the Brightness value down to 25 in order to create this effect here.
So it's not identical to the effect that I am achieving inside Camera Raw 7, but it's very, very similar. I am going to switch back to Camera Raw 7 for the rest of this here, because from here on out the instructions are identical regardless which version of Camera Raw you are using. Switch to the Detail tab for starters here, and I'm going to zoom in on this portion of the image right there just because it has a good variety of detail and I want it to appear at 100% zoom size. I am going to take that Amount value up to 100% and I'll leave the Radius value set to 1.0.
I am going to take the Detail value down, however. Notice if you crank up this Detail value what's happening is you are sharpening stuff that doesn't even really exist inside of the actual scene. The result is that you're creating these kind of wormhole patterns inside the image, which I almost never find to be desirable, which is why I am going to just take that Detail value down to 0. Now we do have some noise inside the image. So I will take the Luminance volume up to 50 and then I will take the Luminance Detail down to 25.
I will take the Luminance Contrast value up to 50 and a Color value of 25 and a Color Detail value of 50 are just fine, and we end up with this effect here. If you want to get a sense for what's happened, I will go ahead and zoom in even farther here, and I will press the P key in order to turn off these modifications I've made. So we had more noise inside the image, less sharpness as well, and then if I press the P key to turn the Preview back on we end up with this effect here. The last thing I want to do is switch over to the HSL/Grayscale tab, and I'm going click on Saturation and I will press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac so I can take in the entire image.
Now what I want to do is bring out the saturation of the building itself as well as the sky. Most of the good color inside the building is located here inside the oranges. So notice if I crank up the Oranges value we increase the saturation of the castle. If I take that value down, I am going to decrease the saturation. What I am looking for is an Oranges value of +50. You can also bring out more saturation inside the castle if you crank up the Yellows, but in my opinion that creates a highly undesirable effect. So I will take that back down 0.
Now the sky is live inside the blue range, not surprisingly. So if I were to crank up the blues we end up with this pretty bad effect right there. Notice we are bringing out all kinds of color noise inside of the clouds over here on the right-hand side of the image. So instead, I'll just take that Blues value up to +35 like so. Now we want to bring this corrected image into Photoshop and we want to bring it in as a Smart Object just in case we want to revisit the settings later, as we will in future movies. To do that, go ahead and press the Shift key and that will change the Open Image button right here into an Open Object button and then go ahead and click on Open Object in order to open the image as a Smart Object inside of Photoshop.
Now this is a very large image. So you can expect it to take a little time to open. Now I want to give this image a kind of white border. So the first thing I am going to do is create a new layer by clicking on the little Page icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Now I am going to convert this layer to a background by going up the Layer menu, choosing New, and choosing Background from Layer, and that creates this white background behind the image itself. Now I will go ahead and click on the Smart Object layer which contains the photograph of course. Press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac in order to enter the Free Transform mode so that we can scale this image, and these are just some modifications that I came up with.
Again, this isn't necessary the kind of thing you want to do with every image, but I wanted this thing to have a nice even white border. So I went ahead and clicked on this Link icon between the W and H values. Then I will select the W value. I accidentally increased it just a little bit. That's not what I want. So I will select the value and change it to 90% like so. Now I'm going to change positioning of this image by clicking on the upper left point inside this little Reference Point Matrix and I will change the X value to 133 pixels, by the way, and I will change the Y value to 102 pixels in order to produce this effect here.
It might seem like I'm going in a kind of strange direction here, but it will make sense in just a moment. So press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to apply that change. Then we will crop the image by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Canvas Size command. The great thing about the Canvas Size command is it always ensures a nondestructive crop when you're working with layered images. Now in my case, I am going to turn off the Relative check box. These are just some trial and error values I came up with. I will select this upper left square down here in the Anchor area and I will change the Width value to 5368 and then change the Height value to 3558.
Now click OK in order to accept that change. You will get this alert message telling you that you might end up clipping away some pixels. That's absolutely not true. So just click the Proceed button in order to apply that nondestructive crop. Now, at this point things get a little interesting. We have some manual labor in front of us. The idea is that we want to mimic this little bit of white border up here at the top down here at the bottom, and we want to mimic this white border on the left over on the right-hand side. So what you need to do is press Ctrl+1 or Command+1 on the Mac in order to zoom in to 100%, and then scroll to the upper left corner of the image either manually or just by pressing the Home key.
That's a lot easier way to do it, and then exactly select this area at the top, this white area using the rectangular marquee. And if you're working in CS6, it will tell you that the height of your selection is 102 pixels. You just need to remember that. Now let's find the width of this left hand area by dragging across it and it turns out to be 133 pixels, so fair enough. Now we can we can use that information by pressing the End key to go down to the lower right corner of the image, and when I'm talking about the Home and End keys, those are the keys over there by the numerical keypad on a full-size keyboard.
Now I will go ahead and drag outward from the lower right corner of the image like so and I'm just going to drag all the way up until I scroll to the top right corner of the image. I'll keep an eye on that Heads-Up Display right there, and I will drag outward until I see that the Width value is 133 pixels, which is what I want. I don't care what the Height value is at this point. Now press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click the Black/White circle at the bottom of Layers Panel and then choose Solid Color and by virtue of the fact that I had the Alt or Option key down, that forces the display of the New Layer dialog box.
I will just go ahead and call this layer border and then I will click OK, and now I'll change the color to white by dragging that little circle to the top left corner of the color field and I will click OK in order to dismiss the Color Picker dialog box, and I have gone ahead and filled in this region with white now, because the selection that I had a moment ago has been automatically converted to a layer mask. Now you want to click on the Layer Mask Thumbnail to make it active. Press the End key once again to scroll down to the lower right corner of the image and now drag from that lower right corner using the rectangular marquee once again, and drag all the way over to the left until you see the far left side of the image.
Then you want to make sure that the height of this selection is 102 pixels, and you've got to be zoomed into 100% in order to get these values to work out exactly right. As soon as that happens, in my case you can see that the foreground color is white and if you want to make sure that's the case you can just press the D key in order to switch to the default masking colors in this case, and then press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac in order to fill the selection with white like so. Now I will click off the selection to deselect it and I will press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to zoom out.
And that, friends, is how you develop a dramatic photograph of a castle in Camera Raw as well give it an even white border here inside Photoshop. If you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, then I have a follow-up movie in which I show you how to take our version of the photograph so far and artificially color both the sky and the castle using the Adjustment brush inside Camera Raw. If you're waiting for next week's technique, I will show you how to take this very same photo and turn it into a weathered black and white print, reminiscent of the old days of film photography inside Photoshop.
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