Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
This type of scenario happens every now and again where you have a real bright sky over here. We have this nice overcast day, lots of bright soft light. One of the problems is the light source is primarily over here, and the light is bouncing off with the ocean, yet the image is a little bit too dark over here. So, what I'm interested in doing is correcting the exposure. So go ahead and increase Exposure, add some Fill Light, decrease my Blacks. So, I just basically want more detail here on the surfer. And as I do that, and as I modify my controls to find the sweet spot for this, I decide it'd be also nice to warm this image up just a touch as well.
This is a subjective edit, and I am subjectively trying to improve the photograph. You know a lot times what happens when I do this is because I'm making these adjustments to the entirety of the photograph, I realize that I've lost a little bit and that this has become perhaps too bright here on this side, up top, and also in the foreground. Well what we can do is we can use the Graduated Filter to work on specific areas of our photograph and kind of combine these adjustments together, in order to improve our photograph. I'm going to press the M key to activate the Graduated Filter.
I'll go ahead and decrease my Exposure. What I want to do is darken up the sky over here. So, I'm going to click and drag to darken that up. Now, currently it's becoming a little gray. Well we know what to do here, right. I want to saturate the colors that are already there, and then go ahead and add some color. Let's add some nice blue here and then lower the Saturation till we can find the sweet spot for that. Just a subtle hint of blue there in order to make that a little bit better. All right, close that. Now my adjustment pin here is on Auto, so what I want to do is I'm going to press the H key to hide it, and then press the H key again so that's turned on so that we can see where that is, and I'll click and drag to expand that out a bit.
All right, so far so good. We want to create a new adjustment. The easiest way to do that is to press the M key twice. I'll press it once to deactivate the tool, press it one more time, and now here what I can do is simply click and drag down. And again, what I'm interested in doing is trying to darken this portion of the image up top, and I will just try to find a nice way to do that, and bring this around here, and I have a little bit lowered Exposure over there. And I can also add a touch of color.
Again, we're just looking for a little bit of the subtle tone and then click the X to close that. Okay, well I've worked on the sky a bit. What about the foreground? Well, same thing. We can either press the M key twice, or we can also just simply click and drag, and as long as there isn't another adjustment in that area, we can define this area with a new adjustment by simply clicking. Now, here what we're doing is lowering Exposure, add a little Clarity and Contrast to that area, and perhaps little bit of warmth, right. So we can click on a nice yellow color and then lower the Saturation, either by clicking and dragging down and finding a nice spot for that or by simply using the slider here.
All right, we'll click the Close icon there. Now, with this adjustment that I've just made, I would really like to apply a similar adjustment over here. Well here is what you can do. You can go to your Effect. Currently, it says Custom. We can say Save Current Settings as a New Preset, and I'll save this as a new preset. I'll just call this foreground-warm. I'll click Create, and we can see that we have that preset accessible here. We can choose different presets as well, and it's going to change our adjustment as we make those selections.
And then if we decide to make a new adjustment, all that we need to do to apply that is we'll select that from this menu here. There's that foreground adjustment, and it's with those same settings that we saw before. And what's happening is is the settings are being stacked up on top of each other here a little bit. That was a mistake, so let me delete that one, go back to this adjustment here and then click to reposition that. Because they're stacking up, I want to decrease the overall adjustment. Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, hover over the pin and then click and drag to the left or to the right, and again, we're just trying to find the sweet spot here.
And we can go to our another pins as well. Option+Click on a Mac, Alt+Click on a PC. Click and drag to the left or the right. And a lot of times we need to go back and diminish these adjustments just a little bit, because what we'll realize is we're building up density in the photograph, and as we do that, the image can become a little bit too dense. So the collective set of adjustments were too strong, so I went back and diminished those just a bit. All right, at this juncture, I really want to hide all of these pins. So, I press the H key.
Next, I want to see my before and after. Here's before, and then here's after. Okay, some interesting adjustments, yet it's a little bit too dark for me, so I'll go back down to my Settings here in the Basic panel. I'm going to increase the Fill Light a little bit, increase my Exposure just a bit, and then also increase the Recovery, so that my highlights aren't quite so bright. And now here, we have again a very different interpretation of this particular photograph. If we press the Backslash key, we'll see our overall before and after. Here's before and then here's after.
So the whole point here is to begin to think about how you can use multiple Graduated Filter adjustments, in order to enhance and improve your photographs.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 77062 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 94871 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 62247 Viewers
103 Video lessons · 31687 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.