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In Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6, Chris Orwig provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 6, the CS5 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate images in non-destructive and now even more efficient ways. This course covers the benefits of the raw processing, which makes it possible to more precisely control an image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, sharpness, and more—including new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues. Learn the entire Camera Raw workflow, from opening and resizing, toning and cropping, to sharpening and saving. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here we're going to take a look at how we can begin to Color Correct and White Balance our photographs. We'll be working on this portrait here of Jeff Johnson. Jeff's an amazing photographer, surfer, climber, writer, just all-around fascinating person, and so what I want to do here is I want to get this image right. So I'm going to use these two tools: the White Balance tool and the Color Sampler tool. Press the S key first to select the Color Sampler. We're going to set down two points: one on the camera and also one on the garment over here.
Now we don't exactly know for sure if these two items should be neutral, but yet I'm guessing they probably were. For example, I know that Leica cameras are black so what I should see on this first point is that these RGB values should be really close. In this case, they're not. The Blue channel is really high there or the Blue value. That's showing me there's some kind of a color shift. Now that makes sense with what I see. This image feels really cool. Now this other point has that same shift as well. Again, I don't know for certain that this should be neutral, but that's what I'm going to guess.
So next what I'll do is press the I key in order to select the White Balance tool. What I'm going to do is simply click on this area of the camera in order to color correct the photograph. Now when I do that I'm also going to valuate my numbers. These numbers are showing me that yes, these are really close to neutral. If we have equal amounts of red, green and blue, that means neutrality. So in this case, both points, one and two are now much better. Well let's take a look at our overall before and after. We can do so by pressing the P key. Here is before our color correction, and then here's our after.
Now the only thing that you might want to do after you've color corrected your files is you make your way over to the Temperature and Tint sliders. I find that for the most part while this tool works really well, there will occasion where I may want to modify this a bit. Let's say that I like this image perhaps just a touch cooler, felt a little bit too warm. Sure I have a little bit of a color shift, but subjectively, I'm liking that color. Now of course, if objective color is most important you for whatever the task is at hand you can always simply use that White Balance tool, but keep in mind, even with using this tool, sometimes you need to modify it or sweeten it up a bit by using these two sliders in combination with the White Balance tool.
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