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One of the new features in Lightroom 3 is the ability to work with CMYK images. Now, this is really important, because as photographers, sure, we tend to work in either sRGB, RGB, or ProPhoto color space, yet a lot of times what we have to do is convert our files to CMYK before we go to press. Or for that matter maybe a client sends us a file that's in that CMYK color space. Well, regardless of the specifics, as photographers we need to be able to work on and organize and access CMYK files. So this is now finally available in Lightroom 3 and this is a real welcomed improvement.
Well, here I have this file. It's titled fashion.tif. You can see it's a CMYK file, because I have it open here in Bridge and there's a Metadata down below showing me this is CMYK. Well, what I want to do is I want to import this image into Lightroom and then talk a little bit about how we can begin to work with this file in the Lightroom context. All right. Well, I'll go to Lightroom for a moment, and I want to import this file into this photos folder, and I can do that by Ctrl+clicking or right-clicking on this folder name and choosing Import into this Folder.
You've seen that before, right. A really handy way to speed things up. And I'll go to my Desktop and what I'm interested in doing here is just finding that file and here it is. I am going to bring it into this particular location. File Handling, don't need to back it up. File Renaming, nothing there. Apply During Import. Copyright. Sure. Go ahead and click Import. Once I do that, this image will come into Lightroom. I'll double-click it, so I'm in this Loupe View mode. Now, let's say that I have the CMYK file and all of a sudden the client or myself decide, you know what, I want to make some changes.
I want to do some stuff in Photoshop. Well, what do I need to do? Well, to edit a file in Photoshop, we can either use a shortcut or a long cut. The shortcut, if you're on a Mac, is Command+E, on a PC that's Ctrl+E, or the long cut is to navigate to the Photo pulldown menu, choose Edit In, and then Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS4. So let's go ahead and select that option. Now, when this dialog comes up, we want to edit the original file, the actual image. We will click on Edit.
This will then open up the file in Photoshop. I will press F to go to Full Screen View mode and then I'm going to zoom in a little bit so we can actually see the image. You will notice there are two layers here; there is the original file, and then there is the processed or retouched file. Some nice clean retouching. Well, let's say that I decide I need to do some Photoshop work and what I'm interested in doing is going to my Adjustments panel and clicking on Hue/Saturation. And I going to go ahead and make a little color shift. I want to change the color of the dress, and I want to make a pretty drastic color change. Maybe let's say it goes red or something like that.
Well, currently it's affecting the entirety of the photograph. That's no good. So I head over to my Masks panel and here I'm going to choose Color Range. And the intent here isn't to really teach Photoshop, but to show you a few things that you may do in regards to a workflow when you are processing an image in Photoshop. So currently what you do is you grab your eyedropper and you sample one of those colors, and then you grab the eyedropper with the plus icon and you go ahead and click to add more of the colors, so that you can see where it's actually affecting.
And you just want to make sure you're getting all of the kind of reflective color there, and if you get too much color, you can always clean up your mask later. I have a few little problem areas, but for the most part I think that's working fine. I'll decrease my Fuzziness a little bit there and just make sure. That's pretty good, pretty decent adjustment. Click OK. Now, if I want to change the color of the dress further, I'll go ahead and double-click this icon here for Hue/ Saturation and in this case I could change it to a number of different colors. But let's say I have decided or the client's decided they want to go with this kind of red color and I say, "okay, great." Then what we would do is we would save this file out.
So I will go ahead and press Command+S on a Mac, Ctrl+S on a PC, and then I need to close the file, because I'm done with it. And we can close a file by pressing Command+W on a Mac or Ctrl+W on a PC. And again, if that Photoshop workflow is new to you, don't worry about it too much, but it may be a little sign that it could be nice to watch some of those other Photoshop movies. The intent here is just to say, do something in Photoshop, doesn't matter what it is, save it, go back to Lightroom.
Once we go back to Lightroom, we'll notice that, yes, we now have this new updated CMYK TIFF file. Then let's say inside of Lightroom we all of a sudden decide, gosh, I really would like to make another change. So we go to the Develop module and in the Develop module, we decide to navigate down to HSL. HSL is really interesting, because what we can do is we can modify the hue. Let's say we want to change the blue background. Well, if we grab this Target Adjustment tool, we can click on this background color and then we can make a change, so we could change that to different hue one way or another.
So what's exactly happening when we're making this change? Well, this particular change that we've just made has actually been made in this color space that is very close to RGB, and that's what Lightroom works in. It doesn't work in the CMYK. It can't do CMYK color, because it's all raw processing. So you have to keep that in mind, that if we are going to process a CMYK image, we've done something different. So in that particular case, if we were to reopen this image, we would reopen it with those adjustments done in Lightroom, and then we would want to make sure that in regards our CMYK conversion, we need to go through that process to make sure everything was good to go.
But that being said, it's pretty interesting to see that we can start to work with CMYK files, and we can even combine these two worlds together in order to come up with some pretty interesting and compelling results.
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