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Improving details in an outdoor photograph

From: Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

Video: Improving details in an outdoor photograph

I think that learning how to work with the Details panel

Improving details in an outdoor photograph

I think that learning how to work with the Details panel is so important that I want to look at a few other images, so that we can start to see how we can apply what we know about these controls to a few different scenarios. And in this movie, I want to look at a more realistic scenario. And I think it's more realistic because with this photograph, which I captured in a place called Rockport, Massachusetts, I was just walking by and I notice this old fisherman dragging his boat and I quickly captured the frame and the exposure isn't as good.

And even more, I want to get creative with how I process the photograph. Often we do that in the basic panel. So with this image. Let's just have some fun. There isn't right or wrong here, but I'm going to drag my temperature slider to the right, in order to increase the overall color temperature. Maybe we'll drag over the tint slider as well. This creates a, a bit of a warmer look here. Then let's drop down to our other sliders. I'm a huge fan of contrast. I'm going to increase the contrast. I like the snap or the punch that it adds to my pictures.

I also want to drop down the brightness of my highlights. Then I want to bring up the shadows. When I bring up the shadows in this image, take a look at how it can brighten or darken just certain areas. One area in particular is the boat, this part of the picture. Because I brighten that up a lot, it's a big adjustment plus 50 for the shadows. I need to remember to double check the noise in this area. Then I'll go down to clarity, add a little bit of clarity, maybe some vibrance and saturation.

And getting to the end here in the basic panel. I also want to brighten it up overall. So I'll increase my overall exposure a touch, as well. Which will mean I need to drop my highlights down there a little bit more. Okay, well in this case, we've changed the image in the Basic panel. We had some fun. You know, photography is about expression and having fun, and coming up with new ways to process our photograph. Here is the before and then the after. Yet photography is also about making sure we have good technique.

We want it to look good, but we also need this image to reproduce well. That's where the Detail panel comes into play. Let's click on the tab for it, right here. Then, what I like to do is to double click the zoom tool to go into 100%. Next, press the spacebar key. And click and pan around the photograph. Take a look at the detail and the shadows on the subject, in the background, and really travel around the picture and look at the areas that might need to be focused in on in order to make some improvements here.

Well now that I've seen some of those areas, next I'm going to ask myself, well, what do I want to tackle first? I know the image will need to be sharpened, but perhaps even more, I see some noise issues. So, we'll go down to our Sharpening control for Detail, and we'll just get rid of the Detail amount. I'm going to get rid of that right from the get-go. I'm also going to get rid of the brightness, or the Luminance noise, by dragging this to the right. Again we have to be cautious, though. We go too far, it's going to look like a really bad sort of painting or this strange painterly look.

It's almost like the pixels have melted a little bit or something along those lines. So I want to bring it up to where it still looks nice and natural. Bring up the Contrast slider as well to have good shape in that area. Regards to our luminance detail, I want a little bit less there. Yet I'm not going to drop this all the way down to zero because we still need to have a bit of shape, or dimension, or texture throughout the photograph. Our color noise reduction, the default setting here looks fine. Maybe a little bit more. I'll drop down my color details.

As you start to work with these sliders, because you know what they do, what you can do is make these subjective decisions and kind of jump from one to another until the photograph looks good. Yet don't forget, press the spacebar key. And click and drag and look up here, look at this shadow detail and this wall, and the water in the background. I think it's all looking pretty good. Now for some sharpening. For the sharpening amount we want to crank this up. We want this image to look bright and crisp and sharp, and so here we'll bring this up. With a photograph like this, what I'm looking to do is to bring it up to a nice, just kind of a nice happy place.

This isn't a really edgy high key, high energy picture. Rather it's a little bit more thoughtful, it's a fisherman on his boat. So the actual amount of the input sharpening that we apply, does have to do with your vision for the type of photograph you want to create. For this image, I just want to bring it to a better place. So it's going to be a little bit lower. In regards to my masking, this is going to be a little bit lower as well. Hold down option or alt, and then click and drag that.

You can see what we can mask away. It isn't essential that I have a super high amount of masking and perform detailed edged sharpening. Rather, it's a bit more of a general sharpening throughout the picture. So again it's going to be a touch lower there. Alright. Let's click on the Preview checkbox. That will show us our before. And then click again and we can see the after. In seeing the before and after, I do like how the image seems to have good edges. I don't like how much detail I lost.

I think I need to bring back a little bit of that. You know grain or detail sometimes can add a bit of character, or depth, or soul to a picture. So, I'm going to bring back a little bit of that here in this image. I think this fisherman should look a little bit more rugged. I don't want him to look too soft and smoothed out. And I think that's pretty good right there. Alright, well once you've dialed in the settings for your sharpening and noise reduction, the last thing you want to do is press the spacebar key and just click and drag around. Make sure the different areas of the picture look good.

Do one final preview click before eh, and then after. I think this photograph looks a lot better. And that's a wrap.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening
Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

67 video lessons · 4233 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Raw sharpening in Lightroom or Camera Raw?
      3m 56s
    3. Using the exercise files
      40s
  2. 44m 15s
    1. Lighroom sharpening workflow first steps
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding how the Lightroom Detail controls work
      5m 36s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      5m 47s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      9m 13s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      7m 12s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 49s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      7m 3s
  3. 53m 3s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      10m 19s
    2. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      4m 15s
    3. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      7m 36s
    4. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      6m 44s
    5. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      6m 50s
    6. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      7m 35s
    7. Creating custom presets
      6m 2s
    8. Sharing and installing presets
      3m 42s
  4. 40m 40s
    1. Camera Raw sharpening workflow: First steps
      3m 28s
    2. Understanding how the Camera Raw Detail controls work
      5m 46s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      4m 40s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      7m 28s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      6m 6s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 48s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      9m 24s
  5. 53m 40s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 16s
    2. Working with the Auto Mask option in the Adjustment Brush
      5m 6s
    3. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      8m 30s
    4. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      5m 45s
    5. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      5m 15s
    6. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      7m 4s
    7. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      4m 34s
    8. Further refinements with the Graduated filter
      4m 30s
    9. Creating custom presets
      5m 40s
  6. 49m 5s
    1. Resizing before you sharpen
      4m 37s
    2. Using Unsharp Mask
      8m 21s
    3. Using Smart Sharpen
      6m 5s
    4. Demonstrating how Smart Sharpen works
      4m 23s
    5. Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls
      5m 39s
    6. Applying blending modes to avoid color problems
      5m 9s
    7. Putting it all together: Workflow part one
      5m 57s
    8. Putting it all together: Workflow part two
      6m 42s
    9. A conversation about sharpening controls
      2m 12s
  7. 49m 34s
    1. Applying Camera Raw sharpening as a filter
      4m 41s
    2. Using smart filtering for increased flexibility
      5m 50s
    3. Smart filtering and masking
      4m 54s
    4. Selective sharpening with a hand-painted mask
      6m 0s
    5. Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips
      6m 31s
    6. Using Quick Select and masking to sharpen selectively
      8m 20s
    7. How to sharpen a layered document
      3m 41s
    8. Fixing a blurry photograph with Shake Reduction
      4m 40s
    9. Shake Reduction: Advanced controls
      4m 57s
  8. 32m 47s
    1. High-pass sharpening essentials
      5m 55s
    2. Smart filter high-pass sharpening
      4m 2s
    3. Smart filter high-pass sharpening continued
      5m 50s
    4. Edge sharpening: Building an alpha channel
      4m 52s
    5. Edge sharpening: Creating the mask
      5m 3s
    6. Using Smart Sharpen in an unlikely way for midtone contrast
      7m 5s
  9. 10m 59s
    1. Recording a sharpening action
      6m 11s
    2. Playing the action for a single file
      2m 18s
    3. Batch sharpening multiple files
      2m 30s
  10. 28m 48s
    1. Sharpening and saving from Camera Raw
      6m 51s
    2. Sharpening and exporting from Camera Raw
      3m 44s
    3. Output sharpening from Lightroom
      5m 26s
    4. Final output sharpening from Photoshop for print
      7m 17s
    5. Photoshop sharpening for web, mobile, and displays
      5m 30s
  11. 31s
    1. Next steps
      31s

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