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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.
This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week we're going to take a look at how you get rid of a special variety of color distortion that work inside every single photograph you capture, and it's known as Color Fringing. Fringing falls into two broad color ranges; the purples and the greens, which are color complements, that is they are located on opposite sides of the big color wheel, and you can get rid of this fringing inside of Camera Raw 7 and later. Now by way of demonstration I have this unremarkable photograph here that I captured using a Canon 5D Mark III, easily one of the best cameras on the market, 22 megapixels and yet we've got problems.
To demonstrate those problems I'll go ahead and elevate the Exposure and Saturation levels. Then I will zoom in on the lower left corner of the photograph and notice right there indicated by the P is the Purple fringing and indicated by the G is the Green fringing. In Camera Raw 7 and later, as I say you can totally get rid of that fringing. Notice that it's gone and yet the saturation levels are still through the roof, which is why we would then take those Saturation levels down. Now that I know everything is okay, and back out to the photograph and we've got this accurate correction right here.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right! So I'm looking at this Raw photograph that I converted to Adobe's DNG format. That's not necessary; however, you can perform these steps with any Raw photograph as well as a TIFF for JPEG image. We're currently looking at a very large thumbnail view of the image inside Bridge. I'm going to go ahead and click on it, and then right-click inside the image and choose Open in Camera Raw in order to open that image in Camera Raw 7, which ships along with Photoshop 6.
Now obviously this image is too murky. We need to brighten it up. I came up with an Exposure value here of 1 .25, ended up looking pretty good to me. I cranked the Contrast value up, which is oftentimes necessary in ACR 7 to +50, and then I went ahead and took the Highlights value up to 25, and that's about all this image really needs, except for a little boost to the vibrance. However, I want to be able to see the color fringing for all its worth.
So I'm going to blast both the Vibrance and the Saturation values up to their maximums, which are 100 apiece. And obviously I'm not going to leave them there ; I just want to be able to see what's going on. Now I'll switch over to the Lens Correction panel and you want to make sure you're seeing your Profile tab up here. Now the thing is if you go ahead and zoom in on this image to check out things like color fringing for example, and then you turn on Enable Lens Profile Corrections. Camera Raw is going to immediately zoom you back out.
So you might as well take care of this correction in the Fit in Window view. Something else to note here, this is a very wide angle image; I shot it with a focal length of 17 mm. So you can see there is a big difference between no lens correction and the automatic correction that ACR is applying to this image. And just as shooting extreme wide-angles or telephoto shots can distort the photograph. It can distort the colors inside the photograph as well. To see what distortion is up, you want to switch over to the Color tab right here and I'm going to drag around this area with my Zoom tool in order to scroll in on it, and I might want to just go ahead and zoom in a little farther even, and notice this extreme chromatic aberration that's going on here.
We've got the green edge on a dark edge of the sign and this purple edge on the light edge as well. And that's in part, because the light is getting distorted on its way through the lens as it hits the image sensor. We can take care of a lot of this problem just by turning on this checkbox, Remove Chromatic Aberration which is also included in Camera Raw 6, which ships along with Photoshop CS5. However, that doesn't totally take care of things. You can see how our colorful edges largely went away but not entirely.
We still got a purplish edge over here, a lot of aberrant blues and these aberrant cyans as well. And that's the purpose of these options which only exists in Camera Raw 7. So we've got two different sliders, one is Purple Amount and one is Green Amount, and you can think of them as being opposites of each other. Notice, you can also control what constitutes purple and what constitutes Green using these Purple and Green Hue options. They include colors, and so notice here on the far left side of Purple Hue we've got blue, the exact same shade of blue that appears on the far right side of Green Hue.
Likewise Green Hue starts with the shade of orange here that exactly matches the shade of orange at which purple hue ends. So if you were to crank those up all the way, then you would end up including the entire color spectrum. So what I recommend you do is decide of course what colors are looking at, what are the aberrant colors. In our case we obviously have purple, so I'll go ahead and take this Purple Amount value up here, until those purples disappear, which happen somewhere around 10.
Now I'm going to scroll over to this location here. We're so far in, I'll just tell you that we're looking at one of the boulders that the guy in the sign is knocking off, and notice that we've got some very pronounced blue edges here, and we can defeat those edges using this Purple Hue slider. So if I drag this left hand slider triangle all the way over to the left-hand side, then we get rid of those blues, but notice also I'm going to zoom in even farther here. Notice we end up creating these white lumpy edges right there, and that's in large part a function to the fact that we have the Vibrance and Saturation values cranked up so high.
But this does give me the opportunity because those values are so high, to go ahead and back off this setting. So if I were to take it back to 10 for example, I end up getting rid of those weird white edges. Now let's take a look at what's going on with the greens. I'm going to scroll back to that left-hand corner that we were looking at a moment ago, to where the greens are showing up there. But notice if I take my Green Amount value up to 10, not much happens. I am not really seeing any difference, until I go ahead and expand what it means to be green and take that into the blue territory, and you can see as I drag this right hand slider triangle over to the right, I end up getting rid of those bluish greens.
I also once again create those wide gaps. So you want to avoid that if possible, which is why I'm going to take this value back to about 80 like so. And if you're ever interested in reinstating default values, for Purple Hue it's 30 and 70, for Green Hue it's 40 and 60, just FYI. Now then what we don't want to do, we don't want to expand the purple hues or the green hues into the warm territory. So if I take purple hue into the Reds, notice what happens.
I've got gaps around my edges like crazy now, and things become even more grim, notice the background how very yellowish and green it is. If I expand the green hue over to left hand side then I end up losing a lot of that color and you end up creating some very jagged transitions as well. So let's go ahead and reinstate those guys to what they were before. This is 70 by default and this one here is 40 by default and that's where we want to leave both of those. Now at this point, we want to go ahead and restore the normal colors by going back to the Basic panel here, and I'm going to take the Vibrance value down to something like +50, which is still pretty darn high, but works well for this image.
I'm going to take the Saturation value down to 20. By virtue of the fact that I'm zoomed so far in to 200%, I can see that I've got some noise going inside this image. So I'll switch over to the Detail panel and I'll just go ahead and take this Luminance Noise value up to 25, and that ends up tapering the noise pretty nicely. Just one more change I want to make. I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom all the way out, and if I were to switch back to Lens Correction and click on Profile again and turn off Enable Lens Profile Corrections, you can see that not only is Camera Raw getting rid of a lot of barrel distortion, but it's also brightening this dark vignette around the corners.
I'll go ahead and turn it back on, because I want to get rid of that distortion, but I actually want to bring back some of that vignetting, because this is such an ominous sign, don't you know? So I'm going to switch over to the Effects panel and I'm going to take this Post CROP Vignetting value down to -35 like so, and otherwise, I'm going to leave the value set to their defaults, and that's it. Now presuming that I want to open this image as a Smart Object inside of Photoshop so that I can come back and modify my settings later, I'll press and hold the Shift key which changes the Open Image button into an Open Object button in order to open the image inside of Photoshop, and you can see, after the Progress Bar disappears that we have a Smart Object ready and waiting for us here inside the Layers panel.
I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode, and that friends is how you precisely correct for the color fringing associated with chromatic aberrations with the help of Adobe Camera Raw 7. Now that we've corrected the photograph, I think it's high time we had some fun with it. After all, the scenario described by the sign just is not sufficiently dangerous to worn off today's desensitized youth, which is why, next week, I'll show you how to add a credible image element to a photograph of a danger sign in Photoshop, specifically we will add this cheerful creature right here.
At least he is having fun. Deke's Techniques, each and every week, keep watching!
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