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Learning how to use Adobe Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best way to get the most out of your pixels and create stunning imagery. Master the fundamentals of this program with Julieanne Kost, and discover how to achieve the results you want with Photoshop and its companion programs, Bridge and Camera Raw. This comprehensive course covers nondestructive editing techniques using layers, masking, adjustment layers, blend modes, and Smart Objects. Find out how to perform common editing tasks, including lens correction, cropping and straightening, color and tonal adjustments, noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, sharpening, and retouching. Julieanne also shows how to achieve more creative effects with filters, layer effects, illustrative type, and the Photomerge command for creating panoramas and composites.
If you've been following along in this chapter, you'll notice that we've made specific improvements to a number of images using the controls to simply fix a specific problem. More often than not, though, when we're making an image look better, it's a combination of many of these sliders that will improve the image dramatically. So let's select the bike image and go to Camera Raw, using Cmd+R on Mac, or Ctrl+R on Windows. Now the first thing that I want to do is I want to correct any lens distortion by using the Lens Correction panel and enabling the Lens Profile Correction.
I'll also toggle on the Remove Chromatic Aberration. And if we'd photographed a building or something that we needed to straighten the perspective of, we could do that in the Manual area. For now, I'm going to go ahead and skip that, but I do need to crop the image. So I'll tap C to access my Crop tool, and if I need to crop to a specific aspect ratio, I'll click and hold on the Crop tool and then select that aspect ratio. That way when I click and drag out my crop it's going to constrain it to that aspect ratio. Now I want to make sure that the whole bike is in the image so I'll reposition the crop, and then I'll tap Enter or Return in order to apply that crop. If needed I would want to set the white balance of the image, so we'll return to the Basic panel.
Or I could just tap the I key in order to access the eye dropper and then click somewhere in my image that I know to be neutral. I think that this area right here is probably a neutral gray and I like the result, it made the color temperature a lot warmer. And got rid of the kind of cold blue feel. Then, in order to lighten the image a bit, I'll click the Auto option here and see how Camera Raw lightens it. Obviously I can refine it from here, so if I think the exposure change was too great or too little, we can go ahead and make our changes. I can also add a little bit of contrast if I want to, and if I toggle on both my shadow clipping and my highlight clipping by tapping the U key and then the O key, we can actually see that some of these highlights along the handle bar, these specular highlights, are being clipped.
So I want to pull back on my white slider til I no longer see that clipping warning. If the clipping warning's still there when the whites go all the way to negative 100, then I might also want to bring down my highlight slider. Now once they disappear with the highlight slider I can try edging them back up a little bit with the whites but as soon as I see that red I'm going to back off. When I move the black slider, I can see that I'm starting to clip values here like under the seat and we see the preview of the warning in blue. So I'll just back off a little bit on that.
And then I'm going to increase my shadows, just to see if we can look into the shadow areas a little bit. You can see the difference there, especially underneath the bike seat. If this is set to zero, it's really dark there. If I go ahead and move the slider all the way to maybe plus 90, we start to see some detail in that shadow area. Now before I turn off the clipping warnings, I also want to add a little bit of clarity. And the reason that I'm adding clarity is just to make my image pop a little bit. Adding clarity is kind of like adding a little bit of sharpening in that Camera Raw is going to look for edges in your image, but it's only going to look for edges in the midtones of your images and then it's going to make one side of the edge darker and the other side of the edge lighter.
That's going to fool your eye into thinking that it's sharper. So the nice thing about clarity is it's very specific. It does this only in the midtone regions. And it really can make your image feel like it's kind of popping. It's got more contrast and more dynamic to it. Now you have to be careful, and the reason that I said, that I didn't want to turn off my clipping warnings is if I move the clarity slider over too far, you can see that I'm now clipping my blacks again. I'll back off a little bit on clarity and then I'll just raise my black slider a little bit. And we're not clipping in the highlights so I can go ahead and toggle those both off right now by tapping the U and the O to turn off the clipping warnings in my shadows and my highlights.
Now in order to add just a little bit of color to my image I'm going to use the vibrance slider. You'll notice that the vibrance slider, when I move it all the way to the right makes the image quite saturated but it's still a relative slider so it's still keeping some distinction between those highly saturated values. If I move it all the way to the left you can see that I'm de-saturating it, I'm losing the vibrance, but because it's relative it doesn't go all the way to black and white like the saturation slider would. I'm going to add just a little bit of vibrance here. And then we need to check to make sure that we've got the proper amount of sharpening for this image, so I'll move over to the Detail panel. And we need to zoom into 100%, so we'll use Cmd+Option+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0 on Windows.
I'll hold down the space bar and maybe we'll move up to the handlebar area here, and then I can increase my amount of sharpening. Remember you don't want to go too far. As soon as you see it looking too crunchy or you see too much detail in areas that should be smooth, you know that you've added too much of your amount. So let's back off on that. We can increase the radius a little bit. Remember, when you have a high amount and you increase the radius, you're going to start getting that kind of haloing look around the edges of your image. And we don't want that.
So I'd keep that radius down between one and two. Back off on the sharpening here. And just decrease the amount of detail here. So again, I think that's a little bit too much. I like to tap the P key to preview just the sharpening to make sure that I'm not overdoing it. And then we'll go ahead and navigate to the Presets panel. And this time when I tap the P key, we can preview all of the changes that I've made in all of the different panels. So I'll use Cmd+0 this time or Ctrl+0 to fit in window and then tap the P key again to toggle the before or without the preview and then toggle on the preview again.
And there you have it, within minutes, you can apply a simple, non-destructive adjustment in Camera Raw to help your images stand out.
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