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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
In this movie, I'll show you how to apply the Brightness/Contrast command as a static adjustment and then in the next movie we'll apply the exact same function, Brightness/Contrast as a dynamic Adjustment Layer. And I'll demonstrate these two different approaches using a couple of butterfly photographs that I captured on the same day. So we've got this overly dark butterfly, and we have this overly light butterfly. Both images look terrible right now, but they're altogether correctable as we'll see.
All right let's start off on Dark butterfly.jpg. I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Adjustments command and then choose Brightness/Contrast. Let's start things off by clicking on the Auto Button just to see what Photoshop comes up with. And after a moment, it does a halfway decent job. I'm thinking we can do better however. So the great thing is after trying that Auto Button, instead of having to just Undo, if you don't like it, as with the Auto commands, you can tweak the results using sliders.
So I'm going to crank the Brightness value up to something like 100, and then I'll take the Contrast value down to let's say around 50. And there's no reason you have to use round numbers like these, I'm just trying to come up with some values that are easy to replicate. Now one of the great things about Brightness/Contrast, it's incapable of clipping luminance levels. Now by clipping, I mean it can't take big shadow regions and make them black or big highlight regions and make them white.
And I want to demonstrate what I'm talking about here. So, I'll turn on the Use Legacy check box, this is not a check box you ever want to turn on when correcting continuous tone photographs, but it is helpful for purposes of demonstration. I'm going to go ahead and crank up the Brightness value and then I'll take the Contrast, rather through the roof, and you can see that we have these large swaths of highlights that are now clipped to white, which is of course nothing that we need. And if I reduce the Brightness value, then we have huge areas of shadows that are now clipped to black.
Now as you might expect, Use Legacy implies that this is exactly how the Brightness/Contrast command used to work, which is why a lot of people still avoid it like the plague. However, if you turn Use Legacy off, then you end up getting fantastic results out of this command. All right, so I'll go ahead and dial in 100 for Brightness, 50 for Contrast, once again, Click OK in order to accept that effect. And just for the sake of comparison here, I'll press Ctrl+Z so we can see the original murky, dark version of the image and then I'll press Ctrl or Command+Z again so that we can see the corrected version.
Thanks to a static application of the simple, but deceptively powerful Brightness/Contrast.
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