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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie, we are going to talk about one of the most important aspects of setting up Photoshop and that's setting up your color settings. Color a lot of times can be pretty dizzying, and here we have a photograph that I captured in Times Square. I created this affect on camera; just used a slow shutter speed and then twisted the camera or spun the camera. It's a really fun photographic effect because what's in the middle is in focus, and then as it extends further out to the edges it becomes more and more blurry. Well anyway, what we are going to do is deconstruct the color settings a little bit so that this isn't such a dizzying process.
Well, first of all, where can we find our Color Settings? Well, you can navigate to the Edit menu and choose Color Settings, or in a Mac you can press Shift+Command+K. On a PC that's Shift+Ctrl+K. And that will open up the Color Settings dialog. How can we start to think about colors? Well, you may have heard this described this way. It's my favorite way to talk about color and about color space. Now, Adobe sRGB, you can think of it like a small box of crayons. You have a limited number of colors. There isn't a wide gamut of colors. What's the difference then? Well, another color space is Adobe RGB (1998). Well, you can think of this as a crayon box with that built-in sharpener that never really works, but you have all of these colors at your disposal. Then there is one more color space. It's the ProPhoto color space. And that is the color space where you have the whole bucket of crayons; there are just so many colors there, and therefore you can then work with those colors and reproduce those colors in really interesting ways.
All right. Well, let's go ahead and navigate to Photoshop and here we have this photograph of all these beautiful colors. One of the most amazing things to me about photography is just being able to capture and appreciate color and tone. All right. Well, in order to be able to reproduce this color and tone that we have captured, we need to go to our Color Settings. We can navigate to the Edit pulldown menu and then choose Color Settings, or use that shortcut Shift+Command+K on a Mac/ Shift+Ctrl+K on a good old PC. This will then open up our Color Settings dialog window. Now, by default the Colors Settings are not very good. Check this out, North American General Purpose, sRBG. Do we really want to work on that small color space if we are going to print our images? Well, if we are going to print our images anywhere else besides a lab, which uses that sRBG color space, yeah, we want a wider color space. This color space will work well if we are just going to view our images on a monitor, but we want to take advantage of having more colors.
What's a better option? Well, we are going to go to North American Prepress 2. Now, this is a pretty good color space, Adobe RBG (1998). Preserve the profile, Ask When Opening for a Mismatch or Missing Profiles, Ask When Opening. Great! The one thing we want to change is our GrayGamma. We want to take the GrayGamma to 2.2 for a Mac or a PC. Trust me on that one; it's going to help render the tones and the tonality much better. So now that we have that, now that we have customized this, let's save this one out. I'll go ahead and Save this one out as Orwig - Adobe (1998), because it's my customization there, click Save. Then I can add a little description. What I'm going to do is say, 1998 - rocks! Because it's rocks solid and click OK.
Now, here we can see that I have this particular color space and there is my little description down below when I hover over it. So again, I can choose that from the list here. Well, so far so good, we have that Adobe RGB (1998) color space. Well, there is a color space that I think, in my opinion, is even better. Now, this is much debated. There are people who definitely disagree with me on this one, yet I'm going to go ahead and show you. I'm going to go to ProPhoto RGB. Now, what that color space will do is provide this large color gamut. Now, this color space works really well if you are working with Lightroom, and I'm working with Lightroom a ton, remember, I'm a photographer and I'm all about the image, I'm all about creating amazing photographs. So I want to take advantage of the full wide gamut.
Now, the people who don't like this color space say, you know what happens when you go to print, your image is going to be converted to CMYK, you are not going to be able to print that full wide gamut of colors anyway, so it's not worth it. Yet in my opinion, it is worth it, because that way you when you are processing the image or working on the image, you can take full advantage of that wide gamut, that bucket of crayons, so to speak. So I'll go ahead and save this one out, and I'm going to call this one Orwig - Pro Photo and click Save, and then say some comments here, which I'm going to say Pro Photo - a good friend with Lightroom!!! Basically it works well with Lightroom and just a little description. I have got to have a little bit of fun with it, its fun to have your own words show up in Photoshop, right? Again, as you can see my Color Setting preferences, I'm going to go for that ProPhoto color space, and then make sure you change that GrayGamma to 2.2, and then leave all of these other options as is.
Yet throughout this training I'm actually going to switch back to that Adobe (1998) color space, because in order to make the file size smaller I'm going to use JPEG sometimes, in order to speed up the whole learning process, because I'm not going to be printing these files that we are actually working on in Photoshop. I'm going to take it back to that color space. So my recommendation for this training is to take your color space to the Adobe (1998) GrayGamma 2.2, and that color space is a really good color space. It's solid. So we will go ahead and choose that and we will progress through the rest of our training.
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