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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how we go about adjusting which thumbnail we are looking at, that is adjusting which image we are looking at in this group of four. We are going to make some additional compensations because this final image need some more help and then we are going to go ahead and save off our changes as metadata. So we go full circle through the Camera Raw experience here, through microcosm since the only thing we are adjusting is White Balance right now, but that is the most important thing, friends. All right, I'm going to press Ctrl++ or Command++ on the Mac to zoom in so that we can see this delightful image up close and personal and then notice that I can press the Down Arrow key, if I want to advance from one thumbnail to another. I don't want to Click on it because if I do that I would select that image by itself and then from that point on, we would only be modifying that image, we wouldn't be modifying any of the other ones.
So let's go ahead and select all of them there. You can press the Down Arrow key to advance from one image to the next or the Up Arrow key to go to the other direction. See those little warnings up there that little Caution Area icon that keeps popping up. What that's telling you is that Camera Raw is trying to apply your settings to this image. So it's telling you that it's still in the process of updating the image. So we can't trust the image until that goes away. That is you can't trust the image preview. It's just something to note, it doesn't mean anything is wrong. That's why I mentioned it because I get emails all the time from people going, is something wrong? What's this warning all about? Anyway, another thing you can do by the way is you can Alt+Click or Option+Click on one of these thumbnails in order to switch to it because sometimes you might find for example that you have a numerical value active and then if you are pressing the Down Arrow key, you are reducing that value, right, or the Up Arrow key is increasing the value. So you can go right to one of these thumbnails by Alt+Clicking or Option Clicking on it or Alt+Click or Option Click on Heart art_04 and I see you know what, she is far there in the tube on this one than the other photograph, she is right there on the edge of the tube.
So there is plenty of natural light that's shining right on her. But when she is inside the tube like this, my gosh the natural light is gone and she is in the coolest environment possible, you know that outside of the refrigerator here. So we are going to have to adjust that Temperature value independently. So at this point if you decide one of the images needs independent adjustment why then definitely Click on it. In case you don't want to goof up the other ones, you already got them the way you want them. Click on this one independently and then let's warm the heck out of it and notice how much good you can do for these images. I mean it's amazing to me that you have this kind of control inside of Camera Raw and because we are working from that original raw image data, which is I believe in the case of this image is probably 12 bits of data per pixel. Because of that, we have a ton of luminance data to work with here.
And you know what, another interesting thing here if you think about it, there is no control like this in Photoshop proper. There is no White Balance dialog box that allows you to adjust the Temperature and Tint values. The only thing that's analogous to this in Photoshop strictly speaking, I suppose you could say the Variations command will do some of this but if you really want Temperature and Tint control you have to go to the Lab Color mode where A is Tint, the A channel is the Tint channel and the B channel is the Temperature channel and then you have all kinds of control at that point but you have to go to a totally different Color Model in order to accomplish what you can do so very, very easily here.
All right, so I'm going to take this value down a little bit. I have got it up at 29000 degrees kelvin. I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow a few times until I reduce that value to 25000 degrees Kelvin. Still very high but not quite so over the top and you may disagree, you may decide to go your own way and that's up to you. Then I'm going to Tab down the Tint and it seems to me that she is still got too much magenta going on. Now that we have uncovered the magenta, my goodness, before she was just blue and now I'll press Shift+Down arrow to compensate and take that magenta over into the green. I'm really just trying to neutralize the over abundance of magenta, I'm not trying to add green to the image.
All right, so there is that, awesome. Now what in the world do I do with all this stuff? Well, I have made my changes, how do I save that to the original images? You have got a Cancel button down here, if you Click on that, that will cancel you out of the dialog box, cancel you out of the plug-in, you won't make any changes at all, you will just abandon your changes of course. You will also by the way if press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, you notice that Cancel changes to Reset which would likewise abandon everything that you have done thus far and that will, notice that if I Alt+Click and that Reset by an Option+Click on the Mac, notice that even though just one of these thumbnails is selected, it's going to say, hey! You want to reset all changes including changes to non-selected images? No, you don't my friends. So Click on No right there.
You also have the option of opening the image by Clicking on the Open Image button. That will open just the image that's currently selected, if you wanted to open all the images, you would have to do another Select All right there and then notice that button changes to Open Images and they will all open inside of Photoshop. You can save the images. Now the Save Images button, it's not necessary, you don't have to Click on Save Images in order to save your changes. I know that sounds ludicrous but it's the way it works. But you can Click Save Images if you want to save your modified images right here to a different file format.
So for example, you could decide to save all of your images to JPEG files if you wanted to and that will do a mass saving and you have the option of renaming the files as well, if you decide to go that route. This is also the way you can convert your CR2s and your ORFs and your NEFs and your other proprietary raw camera files to the non- proprietary and open source DNG format which is really, really great and that's how I made all of these DNG images. You could also use Adobe's free DNG Converter and you can get that from adobe.com, it's free. Did I say it was free? I did, it's so free, it's free.
All right anyway, I'm going to cancel out of this because I don't want to do this. There is no reason at this point to save out these images just to save the changes, all I need to do is Click on the Done button and I know that doesn't sound right, because we are not going to open the images, we are just going to return right back to the Bridge. We are not going to do anything in Photoshop but when you Click Done, you actually save those changes to each one of these image files. So the DNG information has been updated. It's all stored in Metadata and if you have your Metadata panel open, here inside of the Bridge, you will see some of those Camera Raw settings. Not a single pixel in this image has been altered.
This is all done parametrically. Right now I'm seeing that White Balance, Temperature and Tint, all have Multiple values, that is the Temperature and Tint values are different between these four images and that's because this one right here, bless her, had to get different settings I'm afraid. But if I were to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click to deselect that specific thumbnail then I'll see 6150 degrees Kelvin for these three images for Temperature, Tint is -5 degrees. So that has been saved, the thumbnails have been updated, you may have to wait a moment for the thumbnails to update, if you are doing a lot at once but in my case it happened liquidy split, very, very quickly. And then finally look at this tiny thumbnail right there, these little sliders that are inside of a circle, that shows you that you have applied custom settings to these files and they will be recognized by Camera Raw, they will be recognized by Lightroom, they will be recognized by any application that can accommodate raw image metadata.
Also by the way Camera Raw is the one that's responsible for the connection between this information and Photoshop and the Bridge. Camera Raw is actually used by the Bridge in order to create these thumbnails. So extraordinary what you can do. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you a different way to correct White Balance that involves a single Click of a single tool, join me.
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