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This course explores the newest version of Photoshop from a photographer's perspective—helping users of previous versions of Photoshop make upgrade decisions and get up to speed with CS6. Author Chris Orwig covers the improvements to Camera Raw, including the improved exposure controls, Adjustment Brush tool, and Lens Correction filter. He then addresses the enhancements in Photoshop, such as the new Layer panel behavior, which makes renaming and organizing layers almost effortless, and image-editing features like content-aware retouching, photorealistic blur effects, and redefined nondestructive cropping; plus the brand-new ability to edit video in Photoshop. The final chapter addresses the new Creative Cloud subscription option, detailing features of interest to photographers: the enhanced Blur Gallery and Liquify filters, conditional actions, and improvements to the Crop tool.
Here in this movie we'll be focusing in on some of the great new auto adjustment features that we'll find in Photoshop CS6. We'll be working with three different photographs so that we can really understand how these controls work. Let's start off with this picture here. I like the photograph, the composition, and whatnot. Yet the exposure is a little bit off. It's underexposed. So I might want to change this by using an auto adjustment. One way that you can access some auto adjustment controls are by navigating to your Image pulldown menu and then choosing Adjustments and then say Brightness/Contrast.
The obvious thing here, though, is this is pretty limited. In other words, if I simply click Auto, what's going to happen is it's going to give me some pretty good results. I could then modify these sliders, perhaps, to tweak this a little bit more. Yet the trick is that it's pretty limiting. Once I apply this adjustment, I can't really undo it or modify it after the fact. It's embedded into this layer. A better way to make an adjustment like this is to use the Adjustments panel. In the Adjustments panel we also have access to Brightness and Contrast.
Click on this icon and it will open up this adjustment in the Properties panel. Well, here now we have that same Auto button as you saw previously. This time though, these adjustments will be applied on this layer. The great thing about this is that if I continue to work on the image, and if ever I want to modify those amounts, we'll just double-click the icon, and here I can modify them. In other words, these adjustments are now non-destructive. I also want to point out that auto is doing a really good job, a better job than before.
It's able to tap into the data in the file and pull more out of it. Let me illustrate this with another image. I'll go ahead and navigate to this file. I have it open in another tab. It's titled golden-puppies.jpg. This is our puppy, Daisy, that we got this last year. Well, here in this picture, what I'm going to do is navigate to another control which has auto adjustments. This one is Levels. I'll go ahead and click on Levels. There you can see we have an Auto button. When I click on this, what it will do is it will modify my image. And the great thing about this is that I can then further modify it by using these Levels controls.
I can customize this, and I can continually change how I want this image to be displayed. The other thing that's great here is it the automatic adjustment, well, it's doing something different than previously. If you hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and then click on this Auto button, it'll open up your Auto Color Correction Options. What's happening here is something different. We now have the ability to enhance brightness and contrast and to do this in a different way. For example, when I clicked through these other options, you are going to see kind of a cross processed or a color shift.
Let me move this out of the way so you can see those really cute Golden Retriever puppies. But you can see here there's a little bit of kind of green in the shadows. This one there's a little bit of pink, and you can see that these options aren't quite working as well. That's this new option, which allows me to do this in a way which just works more effectively. Okay. Well, let's take a look at this with one more image. In the next image, let's take a look at how we can use Curves. I'll go ahead and select on this last photograph here. It's pier.jpg.
This time I'll click on my Curves adjustment layer icon, and then again, I'm going to go ahead and click Auto. Remember that if you Option or Alt click Auto, you'll see that you have the other Algorithms for the previous versions. These other versions work a lot like Auto-Contrast, Auto-Tone, and Auto-Color that you can find in your Image pulldown menu. This new option allows us to have a bit more purity in our adjustment, in the sense that we don't have this color shift, which happened previously. Okay. Well, let's click Cancel here, and what we want to do then is further modify this photograph.
The great thing about this auto adjustment is that it actually plotted points on the curve. Now this is incredibly helpful. Rather than simply make an adjustment behind the scenes that we don't really know what's happening, we see these points, and we can further make changes. In other words, I can click and drag on these points, and what I want to do with this image is I want to make it just a little bit darker here. So I'm going to go ahead and modify these points and add another one of my own-- again, just trying to deepen the overall tonality there.
I can get into this, because Auto gave me a really good starting point. And above and beyond that I want to make some color changes. Well, Curves is a great dialog to use when you want to change the color. What I want to do is change the color so that I have a little bit more cyan. To do that I'll click on this pulldown menu, and I'll go to the Red channel. That's a channel which allows me to add red, or cyan. When you click on that, you'll have a new curve line. Here I'll go ahead and click and simply drag down just a little bit to add some cyan to this picture.
Next, I want to add some blue. We'll go back to this dialog, go to the Blue channel, and here we'll go ahead and click and drag up. And by doing this, you can see I'm really customizing the overall look and feel of this photograph. There is a little bit too much cyan. So I'll go back to the Red channel here, and I'll just nudge this up a little bit by clicking and dragging. But I do want to have this nice kind of cool color palette. And by doing this, one of things that you can see here, if we click on our icon--here's our before and now our after--is that these auto controls, while they're incredibly powerful, they give us the ability to modify our photographs.
But then we can tap into the specific controls in these different adjustments. Whether that's Brightness/Contrast or Levels or Curves, and by having the ability to make further specific adjustments after we've applied an automatic adjustment, well that makes these automatic adjustments that much more helpful and useful.
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