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Measuring an adjustment

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Measuring an adjustment

In this movie, we'll use the histogram to gauge the quality of our Brightness/Contrast correction so far and to make further adjustments. I've saved my progress inside the dark butterfly image as Masked adjustment.psd. And I'm going to bring up my Histogram panel by clicking on that little histogram icon right there in the icon column. And notice here inside this Luminosity histogram, I can see that I've got lots of midtones. However, my shadows are pretty weak actually and I don't have a lot going in the way of highlights either.

Measuring an adjustment

In this movie, we'll use the histogram to gauge the quality of our Brightness/Contrast correction so far and to make further adjustments. I've saved my progress inside the dark butterfly image as Masked adjustment.psd. And I'm going to bring up my Histogram panel by clicking on that little histogram icon right there in the icon column. And notice here inside this Luminosity histogram, I can see that I've got lots of midtones. However, my shadows are pretty weak actually and I don't have a lot going in the way of highlights either.

Now if you see this little warning, this little caution icon, that's telling you that the histogram isn't fully cached, which means that it's not quite accurate. And what you do to increase the accuracy of the histogram, is you just click on the caution icon or on that little update icon directly above it. Either one will address the problem. And in most cases, it's not going to change very much. Now as soon as I edit this Adjustment layer, that's going to bring up the Properties panel and hide the Histogram panel, so I want to move the histogram to a new location by dragging inside this empty area here, that'll move all the panels in a group, and I'm going to drag it over until I see a horizontal blue line directly above the Layers panel and I'll drop it.

And that way the histogram will stay on screen. Now I'm going to drop down to the Layers panel and double-click on the thumbnail for my Adjustment layer to bring up the Properties panel. Now what's going to happen here is if I increase the brightness of the image, the histogram is going to shift over to the right, because the entire image is growing brighter. If I reduce the Brightness value, then histogram is going to shift all the way over to the left, because we're darkening the image. I'm going to go ahead and return that brightness value to 110. Meanwhile, if you reduce the Contrast value, you'll bunch up the histogram toward the center and you'll lose shadows and highlights.

Whereas, if you increase the Contrast value, then you're going to spread the histogram outward and you're going to fill in those shadows and highlights. And in fact, I can go ahead and take this Contrast value all the way up to 100 and I'm not getting any clipping. Once again the big thing you're looking for is to make sure that you're not clipping any shadow or highlight details inside the image. If you were clipping shadows, you'd see a big spike over here on the left-hand side. If you were clipping highlights, you'd see a spike over on the right-hand side. But we're okay.

And if you want to confirm that you've got the accurate histogram, go ahead and click on that caution icon again, and you can see that everything is looking good. Just so that you can see how far we've come with this image, I'm going to click on the background layer to make it active. Now you might think that Photoshop would naturally pick up the histogram from the active layer, but instead it's sourcing the entire composite image, meaning, both the original photograph and the Adjustment layer. To look at the selected layer by itself, go ahead and switch to Selected Layer and now you can see what an unmitigated disaster this original image was.

We had a bunch of shadow detail going on here and nothing in the way of upper midtowns and highlights. But now that I have applied that Adjustment layer, the effects of which I can see by switching back to entire image and updating the histogram, you can see that we have a much more balanced range of luminance levels inside the final version of our correction. And that's how you use a histogram to gauge the quality of your adjustments and see just how far you can go.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

100 video lessons · 60075 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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