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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
We've already talked about Camera Raw being nondestructive, and the next feature really emphasizes that point. We're going to talk about snapshots. Snapshots allow you to save different versions of the same file without duplicating it. So I can process this file, maybe once for black and white and once for sepia tone, and keep those separate sets of instructions within this single document. So let's go ahead and give this a try. The first version that I want to create is a very high-contrast version, so I'll use my Clarity slider to move this over to the right to add that Midtone contrast. And I also want to remove the blue color cast up here, so I'm going to select my Targeted Adjustment tool for Saturation, and I'll click in the blue area and drag down.
Let's say that I like to this effect, but I also want to try out some other effects. I can go to the Snapshot panel, click on the New Snapshot icon, and we'll name this one High Contrast. I'll click OK and now I can always return to this version of my image. But for now, let's go back and we'll reset the Clarity by double-clicking on the slider. And now I want to convert this to Grayscale, so we'll go to the HSL/Grayscale panel, and we might also want to add some noise. Kind of doing the opposite of what I just did a minute ago, where I was making it really a strong and contrasting image, now I want to make it a really nice soft subtle image.
So I've removed the color, we'll go ahead and add a significant amount of grain, and maybe even a little post-crop vignette to just darken down those edges. Then I'll go back to the Snapshot panel again, click New Snapshot, and we'll call this soft and grainy. Click OK. Now you can see that I can go back to the High Contrast version or the Soft and Grainy Version. I can even go to my Split Toning panel and add some reds in my shadow areas and maybe some yellows in the highlight areas, see how that looks, and maybe change the balance a little bit.
If I don't like this look with the grain, we can come back to our Effects, just double-click on the Amount slider to remove that grain, and now go back to the Snapshots, click the New Snapshot icon again, and we'll call this one Split Tone and click OK. So now I can quickly go back and forth between these three different kind of processing versions of my image. Now, whichever version you're set on when you click Done is the version that you will see in Bridge.
If I want to change this representation of the file, all we need to do is open it back into Camera Raw, go back to the Snapshots panel, pick the other snapshot that we want to preview in Bridge, and then click Done, and Bridge will update that preview. Of course, you could duplicate your original image and then apply different settings to each version, but that is going to take up twice as much space on your hard drive, although I have to admit, sometimes I will do that, if I think, for example, that I might forget that I have processed a file in more than one way.
But for the most part, I would rather keep the file size down on my computer by just managing a single image and having Camera Raw manage the multiple versions of that image.
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