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This course 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. This week we're going to take this hum-drum snapshot that I captured of the exterior of the York Minster in England, and we're going to turn it into this much more evocative, dark and stormy photograph using a combination of Photoshop and Camera Raw. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, just so you have a chance to see things on screen, here's the undeveloped version of this unremarkable photograph. Pictured here as a JPEG fire, and here is the more dramatic, dark and stormy effect.
First thing we're going to do, again here inside Photoshop, is go up to the File menu and choose Open In Smart Object, and then, if you're working along with me, go ahead and locate this file York Minster.dng, which is the raw image file that's been converted to the digital negative format, and then I'll go ahead and click in the open button in order to open the image automatically here inside Camera Raw. Now I'm going to start with some basic adjustments. I'm going to leave the temperature and tint values alone where this image is concerned and drop down to the exposure value, and I'm going to take this value down to negative one point O, which I can do by pressing shift down arrow a couple of times, and then I'm going to crank the contrast value up to its absolute maximum of plus 100, and you can see that we now get these very, very dark shadows combined with these fairly bright highlights, but right now I'm going to take this clarity value up to plus 50, like so, and then I'll take the vibrancy value up 77, so we have these very intense colors.
All right, now we want to adjust the blacks and whites, so we don't have too much clipping, so I'll go ahead and press the alt key, or the option key on a mac, and drag the whites value up to plus five, and you can see here inside the preview that we have just a little bit of clipping going on in the upper right hand corner. Can you see that little bit of blue inside the image preview? And now I'll go ahead and alt drag or option drag the black slider triangle up to plus five as well. I could go bright if I didn't want any clipping at all, but I am looking for some pretty intense blacks here, so a little clipping is going to go a long way.
All right, now I want to address any lens distortion inside this image, so I'll go ahead and click on the Lens Corrections tab right there, and here inside the Profile sub-panel, I'll turn on Enable Lens Profile Corrections, and that's going to automatically correct for this wide angle lens that I was using combined, by the way, with this Cannon 5D Mark III, which is a camera that Camera Raw is well aware of, but, as you can see, that not only gets rid of the distortion, I'll go ahead and turn that check box off for a moment. It not only gets rid of the barrel distortion, but it also gets rid of the vignetting, the dark vignette that surrounds the image.
I want to bring that vignette back, and I can do that by reducing the vignetting value all the way to zero, so you have control over how much vignette and how much distortion correction you want to apply, so, for example, if I wanted to go farther with my pin cushioning, I could drag this distortion value all the way up to 200. However, I'm pretty happy with 100 where that value is concerned, so I'll leave it alone. Again, I'm taking vignetting down to zero, and now I'll switch over to color and turn on Remove Chromatic Aberration, which is always a good idea.
We don't have that much aberration going on here, but, ideally, we should have none. All right, now we're going to do some work on the sky by switching over to the HSL Grayscale Panel right there, and then I'm going to click on the Illuminates tab, and I'll go ahead and select the Targeted Adjustment tool up here in the horizontal tool bar, and then you can drag down inside of the blues of the sky in order to darken them up, and I'm going to take this blues value, which you can see over on the far right side of the interface, down to negative 77 in order to produce this effect here.
All right, and I also want to make some hue modifications, so I'll go ahead and click on the Hue tab, which automatically changes the behavior of the Targeted Adjustment tool, and now I'm going to drag up inside those blues just a little bit in order to make them a little bit more purple, and you can see that in the end I get a blues value of plus 20. Now I also want to make the walls of the cathedral look more gold, so I'm going to drag up inside them as well, like so, until I get a yellows value of plus 20, and I'm going to go ahead and take that oranges value up to plus 10 as well.
Now from a distance everything looks pretty great, but if we zoom on in, we're going to see some problems, so I'm going to go ahead and switch to my Zoom tool, and now I'll go ahead and drag on one of these gargoyles at the top of the church in order to zoom in on it, and you can see that we still have what amounts to chromatic aberrations. Now they're not the kind of aberrations that are going to get solved by that check box we turned on a moment ago. We're going to have to correct it manually instead, and they are a function, by the way, of that Luminance Modification that we applied, so if I switch back to Luminance tab, and I bring that blues value back up, you can see that at a point we lose some of those weird edges.
We still have some aberrations, but the edges disappear. Where as if I take that blues value back down, we've got edges galore right there. So what do we do about them? Well, the first thing I am going to do is take some of the color out of these edges by switching back over to Hue, and notice what we're seeing are, essentially, purple edges and aqua edges, so I'm going to take the purple slider right here, and I'm going to drop it down to negative 100 in order to make the purples as bluish as possible, and that gets rid of those purple edges, as you can see, and then I'll take the aquas value right here and crank it up to plus 100 in order to make the aquas as blue as possible as well, and that helps get rid of those chromatic aberrations, but we still got some weird edge details, so I'm going to switch back to Lumanice and I'm going to take this purple value here, and I'm going to take it all the way down to negative 100, so that we're darkening up what were formally purple edges, and then I'll take the aquas value right here, and I'll take it down to negative 40, let's say, in order to darken up those edges as well.
Now we're still going to end up with some halos, which is in part a function of the auto sharpening, so I'll go ahead and switch over to my Detail tab, and notice if I crank up the amount of sharpening, we get some really nasty edges indeed, so this is making our problem much worse, which is why I'm going to, instead, take the amount value down to zero, so that we're applying no sharpening inside Camera Raw whatsoever, and then I'm going to take this Luminance value half way up to 50 like so, and that takes care of it for now, so I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply those changes, and we end up with this new image file complete with a modifiable smart object here inside the Layers Panel.
Now to my way of thinking, the image looks a little too straight. I want it to look nice and crooked and dramatic, so the first thing I'm going to do is crop things down a bit. Not using the Crop tool. You could work that way if you want to, but, instead, I'm going to go up to the Image menu and choose Canvas Size because I already know the values I want to apply. Notice that the Relative check box is turned off, and both Width and Height are set to pixels. I'm going to change that Width value to 5000 pixels, and I'll take the Height value down to 3000 pixels and click OK, at which point you'll get this misleading error message that's telling you that some clipping will occur.
No clipping will occur in actually, so just go ahead and click on the Proceed button, and the reason you know that no clipping will occur is because you're working an independent layer, not to mention, a smart object. All right, right now I'm going to rotate things a little bit by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Free Transform, and I'm going to go ahead and drag outside the transformation boundary until my Heads Up display reads six degrees, as you see above and to the right of my cursor, and now I'll just go ahead and drag this guy around until he snaps into alignment, and I'm looking for a snap like this right here, so that we're seeing more of the left side of the cathedral than the right, and then I'll go ahead and press the alt key, or the return key on a mac, in order to apply that change, and I might as well zoom on in as well.
All right, now let's say I'm looking at this, and I like the degree of contrast, but I'm thinking that the highlights are a little bit too bright and the shadows are a little bit too dark. Well, because I'm working with a Camera Raw smart object, I can always change my settings anytime I like just by double clicking on a smart object's thumbnail here inside the Layers Panel to revisit all of my settings here inside Camera Raw, and now I'm going to go ahead and take my highlights value, not up, but rather down like so, all the way down to negative 50, let's say, and then I can take those shadows up and brighten them considerably if I want to.
Don't want to go that far, though, so I'll take them up to just 20, as we see here, and I'll click OK in order to accept that change. In a moment later, Photoshop will go ahead and update the photograph inside the image window, and now, just so we can see what we've got here, I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode, and I'll zoom on in as well, so just so you have a sense of what we've been able to accomplish, here's that original undeveloped version of the photo saved out as a JPEG file, and here's the dark and stormy version of that Gothic cathedral achieved using a combination of Photoshop and Camera Raw.
All right, so if you're a member of Lynda.com, I have a total of two followup movies. In the first one, I'll show you how to develop this dark and stormy photograph in Light Room, which is a different experience, and then in the second movie, I'll show you how to sharpen the image for print, and we'll also create this depth of field effect at the top of the image, so we don't over sharpen the gargoyles. If you're waiting for next week, I'm going to show you how to combine multiple depths of field. We've got this one where the coins are in focus, and then this one where the placard back here in the background is in focus.
We're going to auto blend them in order to create this more flatly focused image right here. Deke's Techniques each and every week. Keep watching.
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