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End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great

From: Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

Video: End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great

If you've been following along in this chapter there's been several videos that kind of talk about little pieces of Camera Raw and isolation. Well, it turns out that you very rarely actually use just one single slider here and one single slider there. You'll probably end up using several of them for every single image. So what I'd like to do in this video is actually give you an example of kind of an end-to-end how to take a decent looking photograph and use Camera Raw in all its glory to really end up with something that you're really a lot happier with. So let's go ahead do that. Here's our file straight off the camera. It's called End to End here.

End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great

If you've been following along in this chapter there's been several videos that kind of talk about little pieces of Camera Raw and isolation. Well, it turns out that you very rarely actually use just one single slider here and one single slider there. You'll probably end up using several of them for every single image. So what I'd like to do in this video is actually give you an example of kind of an end-to-end how to take a decent looking photograph and use Camera Raw in all its glory to really end up with something that you're really a lot happier with. So let's go ahead do that. Here's our file straight off the camera. It's called End to End here.

Again this is a pretty decent image to start out with but there are some issues that I think can be improved. So for instance the highlights are very hot. There's not a lot of detail in the highlights. There's some extra information on the sides that are kind distracting, like the dirty windows and we can probably downplay those a little bit. Through the mid-tones it's a bit flat, and then of course as we zoom in and look at the details later, you'll see that it's a little soft and can use some sharpening. So let's begin by kind of doing an end-to-end workflow. So the first thing we would do is actually make sure we get the crop right. So I'm going to press the letter C for the Crop tool, and I want 4x6 ratio, so I'm going to choose the closest thing, which is 2 to 3.

Now we'll go ahead and crop in a little bit tighter on this lovely couple here, and just kind of downplay the doors on either side there. I'm just going to put the focus a little bit more on the two of them. Hit Return to activate that crop, and this is kind of the final composition that we're going to work with. Next, we want to make sure the White Balance is set to our liking. I'm going to try using the Auto Setting. I'll go to White Balance to Auto and it's pretty subtle but I'll show you the before and after by pressing the letter P. There is before, press the letter P again.

It's just a little bit more neutral. You can see it might not show up in the video too well, but the skin tones are a little bit more neutral now. They're not pink or red. Okay so I'm pretty happy with the White Balance now. I'm still seeing a little bit of detail in the highlights that is missing. So I'm going to take the Exposure down just slightly just to make it so it's not so hot, and then I am going to use that Recovery slider, and on this particular image we're going to crank it all the way. It's a good idea to actually preview before and after every adjustment. That's why learning and using that P shortcut is so handy.

So here I just did a recovery change. I'm going to press the letter P; there is before. I can press P again; there is after. You can see that I'm really starting to bring back some detail. Take a look at the Mason jar lemonade glasses here. I'm going to turn the Preview back off. There it is before, turn the Preview back on and I'm seeing a lot more detail coming in the glass. The arms here are not as hot, toggle that on and off again. You can see the detail there is a little bit blown out. By bringing that Recovery slider all the way to the right, now really brought in some of that detail back. Okay, next. Again the controls are kind of laid out in the order that you should use them, so Fill Light.

Let's drag that up and open up some of the shadow detail. Again what we're looking for is making sure we're not introducing or revealing too much color noise in the shadows. When we do that, this image actually looks okay. So we can go onto the next thing and again if I ever want to kind of see an in between stage preview, just press the letter P again. This is where we started. This is where we're now ending up. It's looking pretty good. But it's a little bit too on the flat side and I think we could improve the Contrast a bit You've actually got two different sliders. Contrast here is overall, Contrast for the whole image.

Clarity is a relatively new slider that I really, really love. It's used to increase contrast in the mid-tones. So overall Contrast here is pushing the darks even darker and the lights even lighter. Clarity leaves the absolute dark and absolute lights alone and just does a mid-tone contrast adjustment. I'm going to go ahead and play with the Clarity slider and drag that up quite a bit, and I'll toggle the Preview on and off again. I'm going to take it all the way up to 51, and press the letter P; there is before. Press the P again; there is after. You can really start to see the difference here in the shadows, the mid-tone shadows here or this building in the background.

Actually, take a look at the Mason jar again. I'm going to turn the Preview back off, turn the Preview back on and you can see Clarity just actually adds a little bit of volume. So it's really a way to increase the overall snap or a pop of an image. It tends to take surfaces that have a little bit of flatness to them, and make them really pop off the image there. Okay, so that's Clarity and then the last thing I think I might do is just lower the Brightness just a touch, just to make it so it's not so hot, maybe down to 40. Then a lot of digital images these days have this really rich saturated color.

So you've got two sliders here to adjust the intensity and saturation of color, and more often than not now, I actually don't use the Saturation slider very often, I like to play with Vibrance instead. The reason why is Vibrance actually only increases the saturation of colors that need it, so colors that are already saturated. Let's take a look at that red umbrella that's standing in the middle of the image here, and take Vibrance back to 0. As a reminder you can double-click on any slider to take it back to its default value. If I take the Saturation slider and drag it all the way to the right, you can see that the skin is really getting toxic and that umbrella is getting way too red.

So it's saturating everything globally. Let's take that back to 0 by double-clicking on the slider there. But now if I use Vibrance, and I'm going to take Vibrance up to say 40, you'll see only the colors in the image that are kind of muted are getting enhanced. That umbrella in the center is not getting overly red because it's already pretty saturated, so it's kind of cool. Again, just toggle the Preview on and off just to kind of see where we started from and where we're at now. P there is before. P there is after, and you can see it's a much richer photograph already. A couple of different things we can add to make it even better though.

Let's zoom in into 100%. I'll double-click on the Zoom tool to do so. It takes us to 100% to her face, so we can actually start seeing whether or not this image could use some sharpening, and of course it does. So to do that, we're going to skip on over to the Detail tab. Let's go ahead and click on the Detail tab. Let's quickly add some sharpening to this image. I'm going to take the Amount up to about 80, and if you happen to know the number you want, sometimes it's just quicker to type into that field, and type the number. The Radius, we'll leave at 1. The Detail, I think the skin texture is getting overly sharpened here, so I'm going to take the Detail down to about 20.

I'm going to increase the masking. Now, before I increase the masking take a look at the background foliage here. You can see there's kind of a grain pattern and the sharpening is actually enhancing that grain. So I'm going to press the P key to turn that off. There is before, unsharpened. There's after. You can see I'm getting nice sharpening in the hair and the face but I'm also enhancing that grain, and I don't want that. So I'm going to do two things to adjust that. One I'm going to increase the masking, and if you remember, if you hold down the Option key or the Alt key and slide that mask over, you can actually get a little preview of where the sharpening is being blocked.

So everywhere it's black, there's no sharpening happening. So that's looking good. It's protecting her skin and it's protecting the grain of the foliage in the background, and that's looking a lot better than where we were. Now if I want to undo the last thing I just did, so that masking value went from 0 to 60, I have my Undo. So I can do Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. Preview right now would be turning on and off the entire effect of sharpening. I just want to preview before and after of just that masking value. So Command+Z or Ctrl+Z, there is before I did the mask.

Command+Z or Ctrl+Z again, there's after the mask. So it's a way to actually just preview the last thing you did, that last slider adjustment which kind of nice. Then lastly, I'm going to go ahead and increase the Luminance Reduction as well, just to takeaway a little bit of the grain off the skin and from that foliage in the background. Just a modest adjustment, I'm going to make it match the color noise reduction. So I'll take this up to 25, looking good, and let's turn on the Preview, before and after again. There's before, just by pressing the letter P. There's after. You can see you're getting a lot of nice sharp detail along the edges that matter, and not over-enhancing areas that don't. Last, let's take this back to Fit to Window.

Again, the easy way to do that is to double-click on the Hand tool. I'm going to zoom back out to see the whole image again, and then I'm going to add one more effect just to draw a little bit more focus just on the center of the two of them, and just kind of block out the corners a little bit. To do that, we're going to use the Effects panel. We're going to go ahead and click on the little Effects icon. We're going to come down to here where it says Post Crop Vignetting because I've done a crop that's why I'm going to the Effects. There is a separate vignette control elsewhere on one of these panels but because we've done a crop, we're going to use the Post Crop Vignetting.

I'm going to take the Amount towards the left to darken the corners. If I take it to the right, it'll lighten the corners of course. So I'm going to take the Amount down to say -60 or so, really just kind of framing this image in a little bit. It's a little bit too dark. It's creeping in too much towards the center. So I'm going to take that Midpoint slider. I'm going to drag it to the right, just to open it up from the middle and just really kind of focus on the corners there. So that's looking wonderful. Let's preview the before and after of the Post Crop Vignetting.

Again I press the letter P. There's without the vignette. Press P again. There is with the vignette. So it really draws the viewer in to the two of them. Then last we want to see an overall preview of the before and after of everything we've done. By default when you're doing the preview, toggling it with P, you're only previewing the current panel effects. So in this case it's the Effects panel. If I want to see a preview of everything I've done compared to the original, then I want to go over to the Preset panel. That's this one here, the second to the end here on the right. Click on Presets.

Now that I'm on the Preset panel, if I press the letter P now, that does an entire before and after of all the things that have accumulated up, that came before the Presets panel. So there's the original image without any of the basic adjustments where we lowered the highlights, and made them not so hot and brought detail out, and opened up the shadows and so forth. Press the letter P again, and now it gives you a true before and after preview. Now that I'm done, I can click the Done button and I've got a much better looking image and it's now been updated in Bridge to reflect that that's been resolved and edited.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

154 video lessons · 94340 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. What is Photoshop?
      2m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
  2. 28m 29s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      1m 54s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      3m 39s
    3. A tour of the different workspaces in Adobe Bridge
      4m 58s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 35s
    5. Changing obscure camera file names with the Batch Rename command
      2m 36s
    6. Adding basic metadata to every image with metadata templates
      3m 36s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 6s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      4m 5s
  3. 23m 4s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejects
      5m 27s
    2. Protecting the keepers by saving them in collections
      3m 18s
    3. Rating images
      3m 15s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 43s
    5. Viewing final choices in a slideshow
      2m 12s
    6. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      4m 9s
  4. 30m 50s
    1. Raw vs. JPEG files
      5m 13s
    2. Why you should start in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. A tour of the Camera Raw user interface
      6m 44s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      4m 2s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      2m 37s
    6. Choosing output settings
      2m 45s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      4m 20s
  5. 41m 34s
    1. Eliminating red-eye with the Red Eye Removal tool
      1m 13s
    2. Improving composition with the non-destructive Crop tool
      3m 33s
    3. Correcting a rotated horizon line with the Straighten tool
      3m 5s
    4. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      2m 13s
    5. Fixing blown-out highlights with Recovery
      2m 36s
    6. Revealing hidden shadow detail with Fill Light
      1m 47s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 37s
    8. Removing color fringes with Chromatic Aberration
      2m 36s
    9. Sharpening the details
      8m 59s
    10. End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great
      9m 55s
  6. 39m 5s
    1. Fixing blown-out skies with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 34s
    2. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      5m 41s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      4m 28s
    4. Quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 33s
    5. Converting to black and white
      3m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustments tool
      4m 18s
    7. Easy sepia and split tone effects
      2m 35s
    8. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 46s
    9. Adding vignettes and border effects
      2m 13s
    10. Saving variations within a single file with Snapshots
      4m 21s
  7. 15m 48s
    1. Copying settings from one file and pasting across another in Adobe Bridge
      3m 7s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 33s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      4m 40s
  8. 30m 39s
    1. Opening files from Adobe Bridge
      3m 1s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      2m 57s
    4. Changing Mini Bridge so it auto-collapses
      1m 20s
    5. The Application frame
      2m 16s
    6. The Application bar
      1m 16s
    7. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 23s
    8. Panel management
      5m 31s
    9. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 18s
    10. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      3m 9s
  9. 16m 12s
    1. Tabbed documents
      2m 1s
    2. The Arrange Documents widget
      1m 38s
    3. How to stop Photoshop from tabbing documents
      3m 34s
    4. Pan and zoom
      5m 21s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 38s
  10. 36m 59s
    1. File formats
      13m 6s
    2. What resolution does your image need to be?
      10m 15s
    3. Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      3m 58s
  11. 42m 17s
    1. Crop options
      4m 12s
    2. Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    3. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      1m 34s
    4. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      6m 1s
    5. Making the canvas bigger by a specific amount with Relative Canvas Size
      1m 39s
    6. Correcting perspective with the Crop tool
      3m 5s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      50s
    8. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      4m 12s
    9. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      4m 2s
    10. Warping images
      3m 40s
    11. Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling
      9m 32s
  12. 54m 42s
    1. The Background layer
      5m 14s
    2. Using a layer mask instead of deleting pixels
      4m 12s
    3. Loading multiple images into a single Photoshop document as layers
      1m 30s
    4. Naming, hiding, creating, and deleting layers
      4m 18s
    5. Changing the stacking order of layers
      2m 51s
    6. Selecting layers without using the Layers panel
      6m 28s
    7. Transforming layers
      7m 16s
    8. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 51s
    9. Changing the opacity of layers
      2m 57s
    10. Organizing layers into groups
      2m 55s
    11. Saving variations with layer comps
      5m 3s
    12. When to merge and rasterize layers
      5m 0s
    13. Flatten vs. Save As (a Copy)
      3m 7s
  13. 1h 4m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      7m 23s
    2. Transform selections
      2m 40s
    3. Quick Mask is your friend
      4m 31s
    4. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      6m 33s
    5. Using the Quick Selection tool
      3m 1s
    6. Re-selecting a previous selection
      1m 35s
    7. Improving a selection with Refine Edge
      4m 21s
    8. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      12m 7s
    9. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      2m 59s
    10. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 53s
    11. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      3m 53s
    12. Combining multiple exposures with the Blend If sliders
      6m 26s
    13. Replacing the sky in an image
      4m 19s
  14. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      7m 57s
    2. Starting with a preset
      4m 25s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      10m 28s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 4s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      5m 56s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 55s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      9m 0s
    8. Making washed out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 46s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      5m 49s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an Adjustment Layer
      7m 28s
  15. 11m 32s
    1. Shadow/Highlight
      9m 3s
    2. Matching color across multiple images
      2m 29s
  16. 34m 12s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing brush
      6m 21s
    2. Quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      8m 23s
    3. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 47s
    4. Making teeth bright and white
      1m 43s
    5. De-emphasizing wrinkles
      4m 41s
    6. Removing unwanted details with Content Aware Fill
      4m 26s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      3m 51s
  17. 21m 6s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      7m 20s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      8m 30s
    3. Combining group shots with Auto-Align
      5m 16s
  18. 25m 36s
    1. Overview of filters
      4m 6s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      4m 45s
    3. Giving an image a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 41s
    4. Adding noise to an image with the Add Noise filter
      3m 34s
    5. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      4m 12s
    6. Giving an image more texture with the Texturizer
      1m 17s
    7. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 1s
  19. 30m 44s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      4m 43s
    2. Three blending modes you must know
      6m 41s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      3m 33s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      4m 33s
    5. Creating a diffused contrast glow effect with Overlay
      6m 2s
    6. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      5m 12s
  20. 21m 39s
    1. Character (point) type
      8m 19s
    2. Paragraph (area) type
      4m 42s
    3. Type on a path
      2m 54s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      2m 24s
    5. Warping type
      3m 20s
  21. 20m 35s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      4m 43s
    2. Adding an outer glow effect
      3m 13s
    3. Adding a border around an image
      2m 53s
    4. Copying layer effects and applying them to other layers
      2m 3s
    5. Saving layer styles and applying them in other documents
      2m 42s
    6. How (and when) to scale layer effects
      5m 1s
  22. 16m 6s
    1. Creating PDF contact sheets
      6m 41s
    2. Exporting web photo galleries
      6m 8s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 17s
  23. 1m 19s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 19s

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