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Better automatic image adjustments

From: Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

Video: Better automatic image adjustments

Okay. So next thing I want to talk about here is Auto, and we can try it. It's probably a terrible example on this image, but we'll try it anyway. You don't normally want to take a retouched image and run it through Auto. I don't know why I'm doing this, but I am going do it anyway just to stay in context. So if you ask people--I'm not even going to ask you guys, I've been down this road before, and I know what you're not going to say: "Who uses Auto? No one uses Auto." We did more waves of research, as I mentioned, and in all of our research talking to all different users, only one thing did all of them have in common, and that's that no one uses Auto.

Better automatic image adjustments

Okay. So next thing I want to talk about here is Auto, and we can try it. It's probably a terrible example on this image, but we'll try it anyway. You don't normally want to take a retouched image and run it through Auto. I don't know why I'm doing this, but I am going do it anyway just to stay in context. So if you ask people--I'm not even going to ask you guys, I've been down this road before, and I know what you're not going to say: "Who uses Auto? No one uses Auto." We did more waves of research, as I mentioned, and in all of our research talking to all different users, only one thing did all of them have in common, and that's that no one uses Auto.

No one uses Auto Levels and no one uses Auto Curves. Then we look at the Headlights results, and there are hundreds of thousands of people using Auto. So they don't want to share that. That's fine. They're all power users, every single last one of them. I've used it. I don't use it a lot, but I've used it. The way that it used to work is it used to adjust things per channel. So it would introduce a color cast, and it would also discard a bunch of data.

Let's do this. In the interest of this actually being a compelling image. Let's start with an image that needs help instead of one that's been retouched. So here's this image I took years ago, and I am going to come in here to Levels. Now the way that this used to work is if I wanted this to be Auto, I'd get a bunch of I'm doing a couple of things here. I'm choosing a default black, gray, and white point.

That's all it's really looking for just finding a black point, a gray point, and a white point. And it's doing it per channel, and that's fine but because you have different color channels you're going to introduce a color cast to the image. The other thing that happens is all those gaps in the histogram, that's all missing information, that's data that's falling out of there that is lost. So the new way of doing it is called Enhance Brightness and Contrast. This is what does it automatically. Analyze image to do content aware monochromatic adjustments. What on earth does that mean? So by default, we are comparing your image to hundreds of thousands of histograms of perfect photographs.

So we got photographs from all sorts of great photographers, and we match your histogram to the histogram that's most like of those. So Auto is adaptive, it's content aware, it actually analyzes your image, and it applies an auto algorithm based upon comparing it to another histogram. So it's adaptive. It's different. Every single image is going to have a different result. So for instance, if we were to pass this through Brightness/Contrast, which normally those are words of people in Photoshop don't use.

It's the only terms in all of the Photoshop that my mom understands, but most people who know Photoshop well don't use Brightness/ Contrast, but there is nothing wrong with it. There's an Auto button here now. So if I push Auto in here, I'm going to see that I'm going to get positive 66 Brightness, -26 Contrast. I could open twenty images, and I get twenty different results. So it's an adaptive result. It does a great job. It's a really wonderful place to start, and if you guys--if you pull down CS6, we'll have trials of it. Even though the beta is over we're going to have free trials so you can play around, definitely try it out.

It works really, really well. The other place that it exists is in Curves. So if you do Auto here, you'll notice that we've actually plotted points. There's one here, there's one here, and there's another here. So we've plotted points on the curve. It used to be we just did an Auto adjustment and said, okay, you're on your way with your color cast. Have fun with that. But now, no color cast, no dropped data, and we give you points to use yourself.

So that's a really nice way to start with that.

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Image for Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car
Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

12 video lessons · 8595 viewers

Bryan O'Neil Hughes
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