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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie I'll be working on this photograph Caldwells.dng. You can find it in the Chapter 11_camera_raw folder. Let's press Command+R on a Mac/Ctrl+R on a PC to open up this image in Camera Raw, hosted by Adobe Bridge. Now here we have this fun family portrait, and that's my sister, brother-in-law, and their little guy, Stuart. He is just so cute. All right, what I want to do is I want to make this image look even better. Now one of the things that I know about this image is that this particular image was captured on a cloudy day and I have my camera white balance set into auto white balance. Now that wasn't the best option, right, because you can tell that this image is a little bit cool.
So what I'm going to do is from the white balance option I m going to choose Cloudy. Now what's that going to do? It's going to increase my Temperature and my Tint sliders. Now that looks so much better. So, over all, before and then after, so far so good. A little but too yellow for me, so I'm going to decrease that warmth just a touch there. I don't need to go that far. So again, keep in your mind, you do always need to tweak these things because every image is different, every camera sensor's a little bit different, right? And all the different lenses, all the stuff is working together. What you want to do is, keep your mind, you start somewhere, and then you refine and you refine.
All right, what else do I need to do? Well, I need to add a little bit of Fill Light. I want to add some Contrast, and I decide I want to go real heavy on the contrast, so I increase my Blacks quite a bit. Now I know the image doesn't look good, yet stick with me here. What I m going to do now is look at my histogram. Well, my histogram, when I increase the black, you'll notice that a number of the tones got squashed or chopped off over here. I have some problem areas in my image. Well, I can show those either by clicking on this, or showing that Clipping warning, which is U, and I can also turn on the highlight warning, that one's O, or click on the this option here. Now the clipping warning, what that's doing is it telling me you know what, you have loss of detail in these areas.
If I increase my Exposure-- now this is going to look really crazy, but I can do this because that's my sister. It is showing me I have some problem areas in this portion of the image. So sometimes, when you are making your subjective improvements to your image, you want to turn on those options. Again, U and O will turn them on and off. And then make adjustments. For example, I can increase my Recovery slider and I brought a lot of detail back to the highlights. You can see that that red clipping warning is disappearing. I can also bring my blacks down, and say Okay, you know that was just too hard.
I was hitting that way too hard and then I can go in and dial in contrast, reset my overall exposure here, bring it a little bit of Fill Light, touch of brightness, and I'm watching those values. Now, do I want to have those on all the time? Well, probably not. You know, there is some loss of information I don't really care about. Trap shadow, loss of information, right here on the hand, I don't care. So I'll go ahead and turn that off. Also turn off the highlights. Yet it can be a good idea to have that on. Right, I'll go ahead and a little bit more warmth here, then I want to zoom In on Stuart down here. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom way in on Stuart. Now that we are really close to Stu, one of the things that I'm going to do is look at how the Clarity slider actually works. Now I'm going to exaggerate the slider in order to de-construct what's happening. A ton of clarity.
Interesting,. it added more dimension, more depth, more contrast, or midtone contrast. On the other hand, gosh, almost just loss of definition. It's almost as if I smoothed the skin out in a really bad way, right. So Clarity, what it can do is it can add just a little bit of midtone punch. Now will most people notice that you added clarity? Probably not. Yet they'll experience it, right. So it's like our before and after, before and after. Again, a little bit of warmth, a little bit of clarity, some other adjustments, it's looking good.
Double-click the Hand tool so the image fits in our view. Next I'm going to navigate over to our Lens Corrections, and here I want to darken out my corners a little bit. I want this photograph to be a little bit more about them. Navigate back to the basic adjustments, and I'm just going to brighten the image up. I'll touch here with my exposure and brightness, little more Fill Light, little more Recovery to save some of those tones, I'm going to increase the Vibrance slider. Now, what the Vibrance slider will do for me is it will add a little bit more color variety and then I'm going to decrease the saturation.
I like to do that because what it's doing here is it's saying, hey, you know what? I'm going to add a little bit more color, yet also I'm going to remove a touch of color. So, these two working together won't overdo the color. I'll keep it kind of muted, kind of interesting. Again, our before and after, sutble yet significant improvements. Now how far you push an image, let's say the warmth of it, is really going to be contingent upon your own preference and also with what you are trying to communicate in regards the image. All right, well that wraps up our conversation about this image. I hope you picked up some valuable tips in this movie. See you in the next one.
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