Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography

Basic tonal correction


From:

Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography

with Ben Long

Video: Basic tonal correction

Tone in photography refers to brightness, and by extension, contrast. Tonal adjustments are some of the most critical adjustments that you'll make to any image, and we perform them next because very often the process of correcting the tone of an image will also fix any color problems that it may have. You've already seen how to recover overexposed highlights. This image does not have that problem. One of the first steps in adjusting tone is to figure out what tonal problems an image has. And as we've discussed before, the histogram can be your key to that diagnosis.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 44s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
  2. 46m 35s
    1. Defining landscape photography
      2m 23s
    2. Considering cameras and gear
      10m 41s
    3. Shooting and composition tips
      6m 39s
    4. Why you should shoot raw instead of JPEG
      4m 25s
    5. Making selects
      10m 42s
    6. Understanding the histogram
      6m 53s
    7. A little color theory
      4m 52s
  3. 1h 14m
    1. Opening an image
      4m 42s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      9m 56s
    3. Nondestructive editing
      6m 23s
    4. Spotting and cleanup
      3m 53s
    5. Cleaning the camera sensor
      11m 17s
    6. Lens correction
      6m 26s
    7. Correcting overexposed highlights
      7m 29s
    8. Basic tonal correction
      5m 45s
    9. Correcting blacks
      11m 54s
    10. Correcting white balance
      6m 35s
  4. 21m 34s
    1. Performing localized edits with the Gradient Filter tool
      7m 24s
    2. Performing localized edits with the Adjustment brush
      7m 54s
    3. Controlling brush and gradient edits
      6m 16s
  5. 16m 34s
    1. Working with noise reduction
      5m 33s
    2. Clarity and sharpening
      5m 23s
    3. Exiting Camera Raw
      5m 38s
  6. 58m 5s
    1. Retouching
      8m 23s
    2. Using Levels adjustment layers
      10m 59s
    3. Saving images with adjustment layers
      4m 18s
    4. Advanced Levels adjustment layers
      9m 36s
    5. Guiding the viewer's eye with Levels
      8m 48s
    6. Using gradient masks for multiple adjustments
      5m 32s
    7. Correcting color in JPEG images
      3m 15s
    8. Adding a vignette
      3m 25s
    9. Knowing when edits have gone too far
      3m 49s
  7. 33m 24s
    1. Preparing to stitch
      5m 59s
    2. Stitching
      7m 39s
    3. Panoramic touchup
      7m 17s
    4. Shooting a panorama
      4m 58s
    5. Stitching a panorama
      7m 31s
  8. 27m 18s
    1. Shooting an HDR Image
      7m 53s
    2. Merging with HDR Pro
      11m 52s
    3. Adjusting and retouching
      7m 33s
  9. 24m 4s
    1. Why use black and white for images?
      2m 26s
    2. Black-and-white conversion
      7m 13s
    3. Correcting tone in black-and-white images
      7m 38s
    4. Adding highlights to black-and-white images
      6m 47s
  10. 49m 32s
    1. Painting light and shadow pt. 1
      11m 22s
    2. Painting light and shadow pt. 2
      12m 42s
    3. Painting light and shadow pt. 3
      9m 19s
    4. HDR + LDR
      5m 7s
    5. Reviewing sample images for inspiration
      11m 2s
  11. 48m 2s
    1. Sizing
      9m 8s
    2. Enlarging and reducing
      5m 3s
    3. Saving
      1m 24s
    4. Sharpening
      8m 23s
    5. Outputting an electronic file
      9m 4s
    6. Making a web gallery
      4m 17s
    7. Printing
      10m 43s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography
6h 43m Intermediate Jul 13, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography, Ben Long outlines a full, shooting-to-output workflow geared specifically toward the needs of landscape photographers, with a special emphasis on composition, exposure enhancement, and retouching. This course also covers converting to black and white, using high-dynamic range (HDR) imaging techniques to capture an image that’s closer to what your eye sees, and preparing images for large-format printing. Learn to bring back the impact of the original scene with some simple post-processing in Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Getting the shot: landscape-specific shooting tips and tricks
  • Choosing the right equipment
  • Cropping and straightening images
  • Making localized color and tonal adjustments
  • Reducing noise
  • Guiding the viewer’s eye with localized adjustments
  • Adding a vignette
  • Using gradient masks to create seamless edits
  • Approaching adjustments like a painter–thinking in light and shadow
  • HDR imaging
  • Creating panoramas: shooting and post-processing techniques
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Ben Long

Basic tonal correction

Tone in photography refers to brightness, and by extension, contrast. Tonal adjustments are some of the most critical adjustments that you'll make to any image, and we perform them next because very often the process of correcting the tone of an image will also fix any color problems that it may have. You've already seen how to recover overexposed highlights. This image does not have that problem. One of the first steps in adjusting tone is to figure out what tonal problems an image has. And as we've discussed before, the histogram can be your key to that diagnosis.

You can see, from this histogram, that this is a slightly low contrast image. And I can see that because there are no blacks in the image, and there are no whites, and the distance between the darkest and lightest point is fairly small, not tiny, but it's not as big as it could be. In other words, there's very little contrast between this point and that point - I shouldn't say very little, but there's not as much contrast between those two points as there could be. I can also tell that this image is little contrast by looking at the image.

And you maybe think why do I need the histogram for? I should just look at the image. Well, sometimes even a contrast problem is difficult to assess simply by looking at it. You may look at it and think, now the whites are too dim or something, which they are. But in this case, what's really going to be more critical, contrast-wise, are the blacks. We've got some pretty bright tones. We don't have a lot of really dark tones. The main you know is that this images needs a contrast adjustment, and we have plenty of tools for dealing with that. Let's look at these sliders. You've seen the Recovery slider. You've seen that the Exposure slider can darken an image.

Watch what happens to the data in the histogram as I move this Exposure slider around. All of it gets shoved to the left when I slide to the left, meaning the image gets darker, because now as you can see, there are lots of dark tones in the image, very few light tones. As you would expect, dragging the other way brightens the image, to the point where I can even blow out highlights. Put that back in its default value. The Blacks slider - which comes in with a default of five - the Blacks slider moves only the lower part of the range. When we're working in tonal adjustments, it's important to think of this whole tonal range here as divided into three different areas.

There are shadows, there are midtones, and there are highlights. With the Blacks slider, I can adjust the shadows independently on the other tones. So there - now I'm looking at the histogram at this point; I'm not even really watching the image. I've managed to fill in a bunch of detail down here without affecting the whites. The whites are still just as white as they were before. In fact, I'm still lacking a little bit of brightness there. Now as you move the slider, you may think, well, no that slider is adjusting the whole image. I mean, this is changing up here. And that's true.

But remember, the histogram is a graph of the distribution of tones. So what's happening when I slide the Blacks slider in is I'm darkening a bunch of tones. Tones that were in the midtone area are now darkening up, and thus showing up in the shadow area. So I'm redistributing these tones. I'm pushing this data down into the dark end. Right away my image looks better. It's got a little more punch. It's got a little more pop because it's got closer to correct contrast. How far should I go with the Blacks slider? What's the measure of when to stop? Well, it's partly personal taste, but you can look for a more objective measure.

As I go too far, I start losing detail in shadow areas. And so how much detail you want to preserve is just up to you. Too much black will start looking a little weird. Now at this point, I could also look at the Histogram and say, whoa, there's no white. Plainly, I must brighten up some of this image to get some tones up there. And that's true. I can do that. I can use the Exposure slider to pull these over here. And technically, I still have the correct image, in terms of highlights. Nothing is overexposed. But in this case, I don't think that adjustment works that well.

The sky is now a little too harsh. It's actually probably a pretty correct sky, given that I was shooting in the middle of the day, but aesthetically, it's now as pleasing. So I'm going to undo that. And you can see that's before, and that's after. So I like it better with the sky a little dark. So you don't always go exactly by the numbers and say, well, I have to have to white, and I have to have black, and I have to have everything in between. There are times when a slightly duller sky is okay. That's said, this area still looks a little dim to me somehow.

The Brightness slider moves the midtones back and forth while trying to maintain minimal adjustment on the shadows and highlights. So that lets me put a little bit more back into the mids without blowing up the sky like we were before. Finally, there is the Contrast slider, which simply, in a way, slides both the white point and the midpoint at the same time. What's nice about it is it will spread out all tones. It will spread midtones into shadows, midtones into highlights. It will spread out the highlights that are there. It'd be a great way to immediately add a little bit of extra contrast when you're finding that adjusting the black and white point is not getting you where you need to be.

One thing to take note of - I'm going to uncheck the Preview button. That's before; that's after. Our contrast is much better, but notice what's happening to the color. Watch this grassy area here. Before, a little bit dull; after, it's very saturated. Same thing with the sky, although not quite as much, lighter blue, more saturated blue. This is what I mean about tonal adjustments will very often take care of color adjustments also. It's good that we did not go in before our tonal adjustments and say, ooh! This isn't saturated enough, and crank the Saturation slider up, because then after we've done our tonal adjustments and picked up a bunch of saturation from that, there is a good chance this would have been overdone.

So we do our tonal adjustments first.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS5: Landscape Photography.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

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.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked

Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.