Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Here we are going to spend a couple of minutes deconstructing some of the most important controls inside of the Basic panel. And you are going to spend the majority of your time in the Basic panel. This is where a lot of our work in Adobe Camera Raw will take place. And for that matter, it's where all of our work will begin. Over here in the Basic panel, which is the first panel in the set, we have some controls. Now, what I want to do is deconstruct how these works so that we can gain some knowledge, and so that we can then apply that knowledge to work in on your photographs. You can see that we have this demo file here, basically a grayscale.
Let's go ahead and work with these controls on this grayscale demo file in order to learn how they work. Well, the first control we have is Exposure. I like to think of that as a control with a really big reach. For example, click and drag to the left to darken, or click and drag to the right to brighten. And it makes really dramatic effects. So that can be good. It also can be bad. You can have some problems that result from over using this slider. All right. Well, if ever you need to reset any of these sliders, double-click the little triangle icon, and it will take it back to the default setting. All right.
Well, what about this next option down here, Recovery? Well it's helpful to see how Recovery works by turning on what are called the clipping indicators. You can do so by clicking on these icons here. Now what that will do for us, it will show us areas in our image where we have loss of detail, where tones are clipped. For example, if I go ahead and increase my Exposure, you can see that now I have some loss of detail over here. You can also see that I have some Shadow loss of detail over here as well. Well how does Recovery fit into this equation? What Recovery does for us is it primarily works on these brighter tones.
And you can see that as I click and drag this up, it's bringing down just the brightness amount of this area of the grayscale. All right. Well, let's turn off these clipping indicators, and let's take a look at how this works without those turned on. And here we can see it's darkening this upper portion of the photograph. Yet you will also notice it is reaching into some of these other tones as well. So it primarily targets that top 5% or 10% of the brightest tones here in our image, bringing those down. All right. I'll double-click that slider to take it back to normal.
What about Fill Light? Well Fill Light is really going to focus in on these three-quarter tones. It's going to primarily try to bring these up. Now, of course, it's going to have a reach both into our Shadows, our Midtones and brighter. And let's take a look at how this one works. As I click and drag this up, you can see how it's really focusing in on those three-quarter tones. I like to think of Fill Light photographically. In other words, if you have a fill card, what that does is it bounces light into the shadows. And that's exactly what this slider likes to do. Now, one of the things you do have to be careful about with this slider is that if you overexaggerate this amount, your image can look a low but surreal.
And I like to think of Fill Light and Blacks as really working well together. Let me show you what I mean. Well, Blacks if we click and drag that up, we can see we are increasing the density and the amount of our deepest and darkest tones here. Well how then do these two work together? Well a lot of times what you'll do is you'll add Fill Light, but then you will also add some Blacks. And you can see that how as these travel together, I am essentially moving my deepest darkest tones up together so I have a similar kind of range of tonality there.
So just keep in mind that these two kind of like to hold hands. They like to travel together. Not always, but many times that can help out. All right. Well, what about Brightness? Brightness will focus in on these brighter tones here, the quarter tones and the Highlights, also some of the Midtones. And again, as we click and drag this, we can see that this has a reach, but it's not as dramatic of a reach as Exposure. All right. Well, then the next option we have is Contrast. Increase Contrast, we are going to make our White whiter and our Blacks blacker. Decrease Contrast, and we're going to even out the tonal range of our image.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
164 Video lessons · 48029 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 84154 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 54099 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 90994 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.
Your file was successfully uploaded.