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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In these next few exercises, we're going to be discussing issues related to geometric distortions, and this might include straightening an image or cropping it. Now that's all child's play by now I would think. It works a little differently inside of Camera Raw, and I'll explain how that works. But we also have Lens Correction options, because here's the thing. Straightening isn't always a very satisfying process. You may get one of the elements inside of your image exactly plumb, but a bunch of neighboring elements may be out of alignment and then you sort of have to pick and choose who is going to be plumb, who is not going to be plumb, that kind of thing.
This may be a function of the perspective of the scene. It may be a function of lens distortion, which is the way the light comes in through the lens. You may get a barrel effect or a pincushion effect, something along those lines, and you can correct for all of these effects using the Lens Correction options, which are extremely satisfying features as you'll see. So I have opened here San Simeon Pool .dng found inside the 24_camera_raw folder, and this is that exterior pool at the Hearst Castle estate and it's really a wild trippy place.
Now I shot this image basically at noon. So it's very hot light with some very deep shadows. So I went ahead and saved off a snapshot of settings, and I'll apply those settings by clicking on this flyout menu icon right there to the right of the word Basic, and I'll choose Apply Snapshot. This is another way to get to your snapshots instead of going to the Snapshots panel, and then I'll choose Basic adjustments, and that basically tempers the contrast a little bit. So the scene doesn't look quite so hot. It's still obviously a daytime scene. I'm going to zoom in now on the bottom of these steps right there, and I'm going to straighten the scene using the most obvious choice. Not my favorite tool inside of Camera Raw.
It's called the Straighten tool. The reason I don't like it compared with the Ruler tool inside of Photoshop is that with a Ruler tool you draw measurement line that you can then turn around and edit. This tool, the Straighten tool, you draw a line and you apply it immediately. So you basically have to get it right the first time. So anyway, I'm going to select the tool and then you drag with the base of the cursor along the items that you want to make perpendicular like the bottom of the step, for example, and then you release and the deed is done. That automatically switches you over to the Crop tool incidentally, which has a keyboard shortcut of C, just like the Crop tool inside of Photoshop.
I'm going to zoom out so that you can see that we have this Rule of Thirds Grid right there, and if you're not seeing the Rule of Thirds Grid then you can go up to the Crop tool and click and hold on it and then turn on Show Overlay. Now I'm going to choose the command to turn it off for a moment so I can show you that there's another way to get to that exact same menu there, and that's to just right-click inside the image window. There is the same menu we saw a moment ago. Choose Show Overlay to turn the overlay back on. Now I want you to notice how we are seeing the image at its original orientation.
So it hasn't been cropped or straightened yet, and we're also seeing the crop boundary that is drawn exactly inside the confines of the image. So the crop boundary does not move outside the image. That way we don't have any little wedges around the perimeter. You will see this option right here that's new to Camera Raw 6.1, and I don't know if its behavior is going to change in the future. That's why I mentioned this. Right now it says Constrain to Image, and you would think you turn it off and then you could drag the crop boundary outside of the image, and then you would fill in the wedges using Content-Aware Fill inside of Photoshop or you'd heal that area or what have you.
However, that's not the way it works. You're not allowed to take the crop boundary outside the image edges right now, unless you first apply a lens correction. So as I say, that behavior of this command might change later on down the line because that feel half-baked to me. But that's the way it works right now. Anyway, we also have these various crop ratios that we can choose from. For example, I could select a 5:7 ratio. Once I do I lose my side handles. That is left and right side handles, the top and bottom handle as well, and I am left with just corner handles.
I now have a 5:7 constraint and it's a horizontal crop of the moment, but I could change it to vertical, just by dragging one of these corner handles if I so desire. Anyway, I want to make it fairly large again. If you want to switch to a different ratio, then right-click inside of the image once again, choose a different ratio, or dial in your own by choosing the Custom command. Then you also have the option of getting rid of that constraint by choosing the Normal command, which is what I'm going to do here. And I'm going to make my crop boundary a little taller by dragging up on the top handle, down on the bottom handle, and I end up getting this boundary here.
Now to apply it, so you can see what kind of job you've done, you switch back to your default tool, which is the Zoom tool there. My favorite way of doing that is to just press the Z key. I was telling you about that earlier. However, every one of the tools in the toolbar allow you to switch to and from them with a single key. So, for example, if you press the C key to select the Crop tool, then you'll see your crop boundary once again. If you press the C key again, you'll leave the Crop tool and return to the Zoom tool and apply your crop.
And notice that we have straightened the image. So all the steps in the background are nice and straight. However, here inside the pool things are a little different. We are seeing some lines at various angles. Now inside the pool, the angles of lines are due to the fact that the pool is shallow on the left-hand side and deep on the right-hand side. So there's nothing we're going to do about that. That's endemic to the scene. However, what about these horizontal and vertical lines right in the foreground here as well as the various ornamentation in the background here? All these lines should be exactly plumb, and they aren't, and that's something we're going to have the fix using Lens Correction.
Now before I show you how to apply manual Lens Corrections, I want to introduce you to the new automated Lens Correction features here inside Camera Raw 6.1. So I'm going to switch to New York.dng. This file comes to us from Chris Orwig, a fellow presenter here at the lynda.com Online Training Library. And again, this image needs some adjustments. So I will click on the flyout menu to the right of the word Basic. I'll choose Apply Snapshot and I'll choose Basic adjustments. I have a habit of calling my snapshots the same thing over and over again.
Then I want you to switch to the Lens Corrections panel. So a total of six icons in is Lens Corrections. Go ahead and click on it. Then switch to Profile, in case it's not already active, and you should be able to turn on this check box that says Enable Lens Profile Corrections,and it should automatically figure out the lens that was used for this specific image. Because it was shot with a Canon EOS 5D and all the various make and model information for the camera itself and for the profile associated with the camera lens are built in to the metadata for this image and were captured along with the EXIF data.
And so Camera Raw is able to lift that information and apply a Lens Correction automatically. So to see the difference here, I'll turn off the Preview check box. This is the way the image looked originally. So pay attention to the various lines in the bridge here and you can see that there's a little bit of arching, a little bit of distortion associate with the lines. Turn the Preview check box back on and those horizontal lines are now exactly straight. So now if you're fortunate enough that Camera Raw is aware of your camera and your lens and all that good stuff, then you can just turn on this check box and you're done.
However, in the case of my images that were shot with an Olympus E30, ACR has no idea what's going on at this point in time with my make and model and lens, and so on. So I'm going to have to apply manual Lens Correction adjustments, and I'll show you how to do exactly that, and believe or not it's actually fun, in the next exercise.
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