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Making automatic adjustments

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features

Video: Making automatic adjustments

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.

Making automatic adjustments

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features

52 video lessons · 17390 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
  2. 12m 23s
    1. Getting familiar with and customizing the interface
      3m 26s
    2. Arranging photos and choosing Screen Mode options
      2m 6s
    3. Selecting a workspace
      2m 47s
    4. Introducing Auto-Save and Background Save
      4m 4s
  3. 8m 23s
    1. Creating a contact sheet in Bridge or Photoshop
      4m 2s
    2. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 21s
  4. 31m 23s
    1. Introducing the new basic tone controls
      3m 18s
    2. Learning about the basic controls
      3m 42s
    3. Enhancing and correcting your images with more power
      3m 35s
    4. Updating the processed version of legacy files
      3m 11s
    5. Adding midtone contrast with a better Clarity control
      4m 20s
    6. Utilizing the new Adjustment Brush features
      4m 59s
    7. Painting away moiré patterns
      2m 40s
    8. Making precise adjustments with the Point Tone Curve panel
      3m 39s
    9. Using lens corrections to remove color fringing
      1m 59s
  5. 28m 49s
    1. Applying layer style effects to a group
      2m 24s
    2. Working with groups and filtering
      7m 50s
    3. Blending and renaming layers
      5m 46s
    4. Free transforming a layer with the Bicubic Automatic interpolation option
      5m 28s
    5. Filtering and finding layers
      4m 15s
    6. Using a shortcut to change the fill and opacity of a layer
      3m 6s
  6. 12m 37s
    1. Adding Field Blur
      3m 24s
    2. Working with Iris Blur
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing photographs with the Tilt-Shift Blur tool
      5m 18s
  7. 21m 24s
    1. Making content-aware corrections with the Patch tool
      4m 33s
    2. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 3s
    3. Making effective selections for Content-Aware Move
      6m 54s
    4. Finishing the project and extending the canvas
      2m 54s
  8. 43m 29s
    1. Using the Properties panel
      3m 4s
    2. Making automatic adjustments
      6m 4s
    3. Cropping redefined
      6m 9s
    4. Using perspective cropping
      2m 48s
    5. Adding a light source with Lighting Effects
      6m 26s
    6. Working with Liquify in real time
      2m 52s
    7. Making adjustments with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      7m 22s
    8. Using Face-Aware Mask Generation
      3m 1s
    9. Sizing images with the Bicubic Automatic interpolation option
      1m 53s
    10. Changing brush characteristics and making paths
      3m 50s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Getting started with video in Photoshop
      5m 45s
    2. Adding typography and audio to a video project
      5m 13s
    3. Working with multiple clips
      4m 41s
    4. Adding audio and transitions and exporting the final project
      6m 21s
    5. Thinking creatively about working with video
      5m 6s
  10. 4m 23s
    1. Working with the new Print dialogue
      4m 23s
  11. 20m 46s
    1. Introducing Creative Cloud
      1m 5s
    2. Modifying still images with the Blur Gallery and Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Adding a creative blur effect to video clips
      4m 56s
    4. Changing image size and resolution with the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    5. Using conditional actions to add watermarks
      4m 47s
  12. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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