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In Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6, Chris Orwig provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 6, the CS5 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate images in non-destructive and now even more efficient ways. This course covers the benefits of the raw processing, which makes it possible to more precisely control an image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, sharpness, and more—including new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues. Learn the entire Camera Raw workflow, from opening and resizing, toning and cropping, to sharpening and saving. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the best ways how to learn to work with the HSL controls is to pick an image that's really colorful, like this particular one that I captured in Mexico, and then to modify these different controls in order to see what we can do, in order to change the overall effect. Well, this image currently, to me, looks really, really colorful. Let's see if we can push this even further. Let's go ahead and navigate to our HSL controls here. We can do so by clicking on this icon, or by pressing Command+Option+4 on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+4 on a PC.
Now, one of the first things I want to do here is work on Saturation. So, I'll click on that tab, and then I'm going to go ahead and increase the saturation of my Reds and also my Oranges and then crank up those Yellows. I'm going to go to the Luminance option here, and I want to bring up the Brightness value. There you can see that we can just really light up those Yellows and brighten those up quite a bit. We'll do the same thing with the Oranges there, and then the Reds, we can find a nice spot for those as well. I want to darken those, so I have that nice, deep red there. Well, already just with a couple of simple adjustments, here we have our before and then our after.
Of course, what we can do here is go further. If we want to get into the Greens there, we could change the brightness value of those. We could also go under the Saturation, and we could change the saturation of those tones as well. There's just a touch of blue in the image and aqua, so let's bring those colors out. Then we can kind of have some fun over here with the Hue slider. What the Hue sliders allow us to do is to shift the overall color one way or another. Sometimes, what you can do is find just a nice subtle shift, in this case, perhaps just a little bit more this way to affect that particular area of the image.
Again, we can go through these different areas and change the color one way or another, however we want, in order to create this particular effect. Now, of course, another thing that we could do, if we are playing with this, we can go to our Saturation panel and say, what would happen if I were to de-saturate everything, except for perhaps a couple of colors? Well, again, here what we could come up with is something kind of interesting, where we just have this particular aesthetic, or we could take out all the color together and then bring back in, again, just particular colors in an exaggerated way, in order to come up with, perhaps, something that's completely different that we couldn't have really created any other way.
So, one of the things that I encourage you to do, in order to understand how to work with HSL, is to use this image or to use one of your own images and just start to play with these different controls, so that you can, in a sense, deconstruct how they work and also deconstruct how they work together, because a lot of times what you're going to do is you're going to modify the Hue a little bit, go to Saturation, jump back and jump over to Luminance, kind of make your way back and forth between these different controls until you come to the particular desired effect that you want for an image.
Now, after you've done that, a lot of times what you'll do is simply click Default and take all these settings back to Normal, and then say, okay, well what does this image actually need? Now that I've played with it, what do I actually want to do here? Well, in this particular case, what I think we want to do is go to Luminance. We want to darken up those Reds a little bit. When we darken up the Reds, they become a little bit too muted. There's too much black in them. So we go to Saturation, and then we brighten up the color saturation of the Reds. Once we do that, we lose a little bit of the yellow, so we'll go back and bring back some of the saturation of the Oranges and Yellows.
Then go into that Luminance channel and just brighten those up as well, have nice tones there, as well as the overall image in that sense. At this juncture, I think this image looks much better. It's much more vibrant. We're really controlling the colors in some unique ways. We'll press the P key. Here we have our before, what we originally thought was colorful, and then press the P key again, and now after, the photograph looks that much better.
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