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Increasing clarity

From: Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

Video: Increasing clarity

Now that we know a little bit about Clarity, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can use this in order to improve our photographs. All right. Well here we have this really interesting portrait of this professional surfer. What I want to do is double-click the Zoom tool in order to zoom in on the image. Next, I want to really deconstruct what Clarity is doing. I want to compare this to how Contrast works. In order to do that, I am going to go ahead and select this particular tool here, which allows us to set a few sample points. Click on it, and then I want to go ahead and click on the eye because that's a nice bright white area.

Increasing clarity

Now that we know a little bit about Clarity, let's go ahead and take a look at how we can use this in order to improve our photographs. All right. Well here we have this really interesting portrait of this professional surfer. What I want to do is double-click the Zoom tool in order to zoom in on the image. Next, I want to really deconstruct what Clarity is doing. I want to compare this to how Contrast works. In order to do that, I am going to go ahead and select this particular tool here, which allows us to set a few sample points. Click on it, and then I want to go ahead and click on the eye because that's a nice bright white area.

I am also going to click on this area over the hair over here. Here we can see these RGB values of #1 the eye and #2 that hair. Now if I go ahead and increase my Contrast, let's take a note of what's happening here with a really exaggerated amount of Contrast. Well, in this case we can see that these blacks became blacker, the whites became whiter, and there is a huge color shift, a really unnatural and strange color shift. Here we have our before, look at those numbers - #1 and #2, and then after. Again, you can see that there is a big variance when we look at our before and then after.

So it's not only affecting the middle range of the tones, but it's affecting those deeper tones as well, those blacks and those whites. The same thing is going to be the case if we have a negative amount of Contrast. Here you can see I am also affecting those areas, before and then after. With Contrast, we are really seeing that Contrast does indeed affect color saturation pretty closely. All right. Well let's double-click this, and let's take a look at Clarity. Well, Clarity on the other hand, if we crank this all the way up to 100 there, we are going to see that the image actually still looks okay.

If we look at our numbers up top and look at our before and then our after, what we are seeing is it's not even really affecting the hair at all. It's affecting the eye a little bit, the brighter tones, not very much. We can also see that this is being really applied to more on these middle-range tones, and there isn't a huge color problem here at the image as well. Yes, there is a color shift but not as drastic as there was with Contrast. All right. Well what about Negative Clarity? Well, Negative Clarity is going to go a little bit interesting. What's going to happen is as we decrease Clarity it's going to soften everything up.

As we go too far, the image is just going to look horrible. So let's decrease this all the way. But here, again, you can see that what it's doing is it's really working on the midtone contrast areas. And in this case, kind of flattening the image out and mucking up its color. It's kind of horrible. So, Negative Clarity can be used a lot of times in a more shallow result just to soften the image a touch, or sometimes what we'll look at later so we can paint in Negative Clarity to particular areas. All right. Well let's reset that. How then can we realistically work with these two controls? Well, let's clear our Samples.

What we typically want to do is dial in our appropriate amount of Contrast first, because that's kind of the bigger tool, gets the overall contrast on the right spot. Next, we'll go into Clarity. With Clarity, all that we are looking, again, to do is to add a little bit of that mid-tone snap to our image. A lot of times what this will do is will add just a bit more dimension to the file. What we are going to see here isn't going to be huge, at least on the monitor. Here we have our before and then our after. But keep in mind, with Clarity we are not looking for huge results.

Unless, of course you are interested in creating a little bit more of a specialized or distinct look, like we could create by really cranking this up, now we have, again, a much more dominant or prominent aesthetic, or look, based on Clarity. So, do just keep in mind that you can set this amount to what works for you. But typically with most images you are going to find that adding just a little bit of clarity or really add just a bit of snap or bit a pop to your photographs.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6
Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

121 video lessons · 19854 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 8m 57s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Should I use Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 21m 7s
    1. Bridge overview and preferences
      4m 9s
    2. Camera Raw preferences
      3m 17s
    3. Raw vs. JPG or TIFF files
      3m 5s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      6m 13s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      4m 23s
  3. 28m 44s
    1. Project overview: Cover photo shoot
      2m 6s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      3m 3s
    3. Cropping and composing
      2m 35s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 39s
    5. Removing distractions
      2m 46s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 29s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 24s
    8. Adding a vignette
      2m 10s
    9. Making a localized correction
      1m 45s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      3m 11s
    11. Re-editing Camera Raw settings
      57s
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 39s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      5m 5s
    2. Image adjustment tabs and panels
      5m 8s
    3. Using the histogram
      2m 4s
    4. Previewing before and after different adjustments
      2m 4s
    5. Working with multiple files
      1m 52s
  5. 23m 17s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      6m 3s
    2. Opening JPGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      2m 57s
    4. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      3m 35s
    5. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 5s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      1m 41s
    7. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 28s
  6. 13m 56s
    1. Using the Crop and Straighten tools
      2m 23s
    2. Working with the Crop tool
      3m 39s
    3. Cropping with an aspect ratio
      2m 26s
    4. Composing with the Crop tool
      2m 33s
    5. Creative cropping
      2m 55s
  7. 10m 29s
    1. Improving color balance
      2m 23s
    2. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      1m 35s
    3. Color correcting with white balance cards
      2m 31s
    4. White balance vision and creativity
      2m 22s
    5. Color balance resources
      1m 38s
  8. 30m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 59s
    2. Recovering highlights
      2m 29s
    3. Making basic exposure enhancements
      1m 59s
    4. Making basic adjustments more quickly
      2m 18s
    5. The relationship between tone and color
      2m 40s
    6. Enhancing color and tone
      1m 9s
    7. Demystifying clarity
      3m 36s
    8. Increasing clarity
      3m 48s
    9. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 28s
    10. Improving color with Vibrance
      2m 4s
    11. Using Vibrance and Saturation together
      1m 38s
    12. Color creativity
      2m 9s
  9. 8m 55s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point tone curves
      4m 53s
    2. Using the parametric curve
      2m 7s
    3. Using the point curve
      1m 55s
  10. 15m 29s
    1. Removing blemishes on a face
      4m 36s
    2. Cloning away small background distractions
      3m 37s
    3. Removing distracting background elements
      1m 55s
    4. Cleaning up a studio background
      1m 31s
    5. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 25s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 25s
  11. 46m 13s
    1. Demystifying the Adjustment Brush
      3m 37s
    2. Correcting exposure by brightening shadows
      2m 23s
    3. Painting an effect into a photograph
      4m 41s
    4. Increasing visual interest by brightening shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Increasing visual interest by heightening saturation
      5m 0s
    6. Whitening teeth
      3m 33s
    7. Adding color to makeup
      5m 58s
    8. Changing color
      4m 12s
    9. Selective sharpening
      6m 8s
    10. Eye sharpening and skin smoothing workflow
      4m 28s
    11. Creating custom Adjustment Brush presets
      2m 10s
  12. 11m 33s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter
      4m 55s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter
      3m 15s
    3. Creative effects with the Graduated Filter
      3m 23s
  13. 33m 26s
    1. Noise reduction
      6m 33s
    2. Reducing noise and sharpening
      6m 36s
    3. Sharpening more effectively
      7m 18s
    4. Edge sharpening in an architectural photograph
      3m 1s
    5. Sharpening a portrait
      2m 3s
    6. Using the Detail panel to soften skin
      7m 55s
  14. 16m 18s
    1. Introducing HSL
      3m 38s
    2. Modifying color and tone
      3m 52s
    3. Enhancing a fashion photograph
      3m 5s
    4. Enhancing color and tone with HSL
      3m 16s
    5. Getting creative with color
      2m 27s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. The black-and-white controls
      2m 43s
    2. A simple black-and-white conversion
      2m 5s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      3m 52s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      5m 19s
  16. 6m 40s
    1. Traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 26s
    2. Toning a color photo creatively
      3m 14s
  17. 11m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the Lens Correction controls
      3m 48s
    2. Correcting lens vignette
      1m 59s
    3. Correcting lens vignette more quickly
      1m 21s
    4. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      4m 9s
  18. 16m 30s
    1. Understanding the Effects controls
      5m 54s
    2. Using the Post Crop Vignette for creative effects
      3m 23s
    3. Adding film grain to a black-and-white image
      2m 18s
    4. Adding film grain with Camera Raw and Photoshop
      4m 55s
  19. 14m 4s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 39s
    2. Comparing color options with Snapshot
      2m 47s
    3. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      4m 48s
    4. Camera Calibration resources
      2m 50s
  20. 9m 41s
    1. Introducing presets
      2m 27s
    2. Applying presets to multiple images
      3m 9s
    3. Preset resources
      4m 5s
  21. 10m 0s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      4m 38s
    2. Recording an action
      3m 15s
    3. Batch processing multiple images
      2m 7s
  22. 13m 52s
    1. Creative vivid color
      3m 30s
    2. Working with split toning
      2m 14s
    3. Applying soft and warm colors
      1m 25s
    4. Adding warm, muted colors
      2m 28s
    5. Adding and reducing false color
      4m 15s
  23. 7m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 11s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      28s

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