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This course provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 7, the Photoshop CS6 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate raw format images. Raw images are minimally processed in the camera; they're effectively the exact data recorded by the camera's sensor. Author Chris Orwig shows you how to control a raw image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, and sharpness—with far more precision than is possible with JPEG images. The course also introduces the new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues associated with raw content, so that photographers can best leverage this powerful format.
In this chapter, we're going to focus in on the Detail Panel. You can navigate to this panel by clicking on this tab here, and here we'll find some controls for sharpening and noise reduction. And you know almost every digital image will need a certain amount of sharpening and noise reduction applied to it. Now we want to think of this as input sharpening or input noise reduction because this is what you're going to apply initially here in Camera Raw. Well, with this photograph, grab the Zoom Tool and let's click and drag over the face, that will help us to zoom in on this image, we could click a few more times too to get even closer.
As we get closer, what we'll discover is there's a lot of noise in the background. Let's explore how we can remove that. Here you can see there are two different types of noise that we can remove, either Luminance or Color. If you click and drag the Luminance noise slider to the right, you'll see that the brightness values in the background will start to disappear. If we click and drag the Color slider to the right, well then it removes all of that color variation, yet at the same time, the image becomes a little bit more soft.
That's why noise reduction and sharpening controls are located right next to each other. The more we sharpen the more noise we typically introduce, the more noise we reduce, well then, the more sharpening we might need to do. Yet let's look at our noise reduction controls and see how we can make this one even better. If we click on the Preview icon, you can see there is our before, click again, you can see there is the after. Well, you'll notice that you have these sliders here which we haven't talked about; Luminance Detail, Contrast and also Color Detail.
Well, how do these work? Well, if we click and drag this to the right or compare this to the left, what you're going to see is you're going to have either a softer image, in this case, it looks almost like it has a little bit of a Gaussian blur applied to it, or if we drag to the right, we'll have more texture and detail and grit in the image. If you look at your before and after, you can see that this is now bringing back a lot of the original luminance detail that was in the image. So as you increase your Luminance slider, you can also fine-tune this with this Luminance Detail control here.
Now Contrast allows you to bring up some of the contrast in some of these areas where it's minimized contrast. In other words, because luminance is trying to remove highlights and shadows, that may remove a bit of your contrast in your image, You can bring that amount up to bring some of that back. As you use these controls, you're very rarely going to bring these all the way over to the right; rather typically, they are going to sit somewhere around the middle of the frame. Of course, that will depend upon your photograph, how it was captured, etcetera, etcetera.
Well, next with Color and Color Detail, when we remove the color noise from a photograph, we're also removing a little bit of texture. By dragging to the right, we can bring in more texture; drag to the left, those areas become softer. So with a photograph like this, what I think I'm going to do is decrease my Luminance Detail slider here a little bit, bring in a touch of Contrast, and then press the P key to look at my before and then after in order to determine if we have effectively reduced the noise in this image.
This one looks great. Well, after we've reduced the noise, we also need to apply some sharpening. So let's take a look at how we can do that in the next movie.
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