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In some situations we'll use these basic adjustments in order to really save the day when we have dramatic over- or under-exposure. In other situations like with this picture here, we have pretty decent exposure. It's just that I need to make some subtle changes to this photograph in order to improve it. In particular I don't like the brightness level on this side of the face, and also on the sweater. Well how could we start to use these controls to improve say a photograph like this? Well I'm going to start off by simply decreasing my Exposure, just a little bit there.
In doing that, I can see I've just dropped down the brightness of everything. Next, I want to decrease my Contrast because I don't like the difference between the bright whites and here in the darker shadows. So to do that, I'm going to exaggerate first, this won't look good, but hang on for a second. When I remove the contrast altogether, you can see that the image has a much more even tone. If we crank this way up, well the colors become more saturated, and also the tonal variety becomes exaggerated as well, so rather than going that far, what I'm going to do is slightly decrease some of the contrast.
You typically don't want to remove too much because the image can kind of look a little pasty or flat. Next I'm going to decrease my Highlights, and I'm going to really go for it here. By doing this, this will bring back in some nice detail into these brighter whites. Well the image is looking better but it's still kind of lacking a few important elements for me. Let's go all the way down the line with these controls. With our Shadows I'm going to bring some light into my shadows. Again, that will help me even things out a little bit. Next for the Whites I'm going to decrease this here, just a touch, and then for my Blacks, I want to bring back some of those really deep blacks that I lost when I decrease the contrast.
And by dialing in my Density here or my deep blacks with the Blacks slider, I'm just focusing on those tones, whereas Contrast focuses on Highlights and Shadows. Now I'm just working on my Shadows, because my Highlights, well they're already too bright. Well after having kind of walked through these different adjustments and made some adjustments which look interesting to my eye, let's evaluate. Let's take a look at this before-and-after. Press the P Key or we can click on the Preview button, here's before, a nice portrait, good composition, here's after.
The tone is so much better, and after having made this adjustment I may want to just make a few other little slight adjustments. I think I might brighten that up just a little bit more there, and I think that looks great. Again, here it is our before, and then now our after. And so with this image example, we've seen how we can use these various controls, in this case to make some more nuanced or subtle adjustments which have definitely helped us to enhance this photograph.
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