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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.
The first thing that we need to do is familiarize ourselves with the Camera Raw interface. We'll go ahead and select this Lupin.jpg file. Now, I don't want you to double- click on it because that would open it directly into Photoshop; instead, we're going to click on the Open in Camera Raw icon at the top of Bridge. Now in a previous movie, I went into Full Screen mode, but your interface might look a little different. If you click on this icon, it will toggle you in and out of Full Screen mode. So if yours looks like this, you can either click on the icon or tap the F key to get to Full Screen mode.
Now you will notice that all of the tools that you'll need in Camera Raw are across the top. We've got the Zoom tool and the Hand tool, which will help us to navigate our image. We've got two eyedropper tools: one is a White Balance tool and the other is the Color Sampler tool. Then we got to Target Adjustment tool, we've got a Crop tool and a Straighten tool, we've got our Heal and Stamp tool, we've got our Remove Redeye, our Adjustment Brush, our Graduated Filter and our preferences, as well as some rotate tools.
You'll notice that when I hover on top of a tool, we get a tooltip that says the name of the tool as well as the keyboard shortcut. In this case, it's H for the hand tool. So all of the keyboard shortcuts can be accessed by just tapping on the single letter that represents that tool. In the center of course is our large preview area and in the lower-left are different ways to zoom. You can quickly go to 100%, for example, or we can choose Fit in View so that we can see the entire image.
On the right-hand side, we have all of our panels. The Basic panel is the default panel, but you simply can click on any of the other icons to move to the other panels. Let's take a look at some of the features in the Basic panel. Here we can change the temperature or the tint, the color, basically, of the image. We can change exposure as well as contrast. We can change our highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. Let's take a look at what that might look like. I might want the overall exposure down a little bit on this image, to just darken it up, and I might want to add a little bit of contrast.
Now, as you move these sliders, you will want to keep your eye on the histogram up at the top. The histogram is just a visual representation of all of the pixels or all of the values in your image. You want to make sure that as you move the sliders, you aren't pushing the pixels off to either side of the histogram, so you don't want to make your whites too white, so that those values start kind of climbing up the wall here. The same with your blacks. You don't want to move your blacks so dark that those pixels start climbing up the wall on the left-hand side.
If you want to quickly reset a slider, all you need to do is double-click on the slider and it will set it back to zero. If you wanted to reset all of the sliders at one time, you can hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and you'll notice down here that the Cancel button changes to Reset. But you have to be a little careful with that, because if you've made changes to any of the other panels, it will also reset all of those changes. In this image, my basic workflow would be to check the Temperature and Tint slider, and then we could change the exposure if we need to, we could add a little bit of contrast, and then I might skip down to the Whites and Blacks to make sure that I have a white point and a black point in my image, so that I make sure that I'm using the entire dynamic range.
I'll go ahead and scoot the whites up. Again, I don't want to go too far so I'm watching the histogram to make sure that these pixels don't start climbing the wall, and then I'll do the same with the blacks. Then, if I need to, I could use either the Shadows or the Highlights to maybe open up the shadows a little bit if they were getting too dark and I wasn't seeing detail in the shadows, or I could bring down the highlights if the highlights were getting too bright when I move my White slider over to the right. We also have options for Clarity.
Clarity is a great way to make your image look sharper because it adds contrast along edges in the midtones of your image. The nice thing here is that everything I do is nondestructive, so if I added a lot of clarity and then decided my image was looking too contrasty, we could go ahead and lower the contrast. We also have a Vibrance and Saturation slider, so that we could increase the vibrance or increase the saturation.
Now there's a difference between these two sliders, and I think it's best seen if we really move them all the way to the right. You'll notice that the colors really get saturated, but this is a relative slider, so they're not getting it overly saturated, at least not as overly saturated as if I take up the saturation slider to a 100%. The other way that we can see the difference between Vibrance and Saturation is by lowering the Saturation. If I go all the way to -100, you can see I've eliminated all of the color from this image.
I'll double-click to reset that, and then I'll move the Vibrance slider all the way to the left, but you can see that even at -100 with the Vibrance, because it's a relative slider, we're still going to see a little bit of color in our image. Again, to reset it, I'll just double-click right on the slider. So the Basic panel is where you would want to start, but then there are a lot of other panels that also provide great tools for adjusting your images. The second panel is going to be the Tone Curve panel.
It's going to allow us to maybe add an S curve to make more contrast if we want to, or just lighten or darken very specific areas of our image. We've got the Detail panel for adding sharpening and noise reduction. We have HSL and Grayscale for making changes to color ranges, including hue and saturation and luminosity, as well as the ability to convert to grayscale and change the way that colors get remapped into black and white. We have this Split Toning panel where we can add color in to our shadows or highlights and create cross-process affects.
We've got our Lens Corrections, where we can not only enable lens profile corrections, we can also come in and do some perspective corrections. We've got our effects, if we wanted to add grain or a post-crop vignette. We also have a Camera Calibration tab, which is a little bit beyond the scope of the fundamentals, but if you're interested in this, I would highly recommend Chris Orwig's series on Adobe Camera Raw. There is also a Preset area where we can define our own presets and quickly apply them to multiple images.
And we have the snapshot area, where you can take different snapshots at different points in time, in case you wanted to try things out but wanted to make sure that you got back to a certain adjustment that you had made to your image. Finally, we have the options along the bottom, which include the ability to simply save the image. And when I click Save, I would be presented with a dialog box where I could choose the file format and compression and other options. So this is great when you're done in Camera Raw, if there's no need to take your image to Photoshop, you could simply save out your images.
We have workflow settings right here, which will talk about another movie, that enable you to pick your color space, as well as your bit depth and the size of the image that you want to process if you were to open the image up into Photoshop, which is what this button is for. To open your image, we could cancel which would say, you know I don't like these changes, I just want to cancel and back out of here and not apply them, or we can click Done. When we choose Done, we'll return back to Bridge, where you can now see that the thumbnail of this image has been updated with those changes that we've made, and I know that not only because visually it looks different, but because Bridge provides us with a small icon here that tells me that there have been changes made to this image in Camera Raw.
Now one important note: because I'm using JPEG files as my exercise files, you should know that when I click done, I was returned back to Bridge. If you're following along using your own raw files, when you click Done, you are probably in Photoshop, in which case you would just go to the File menu and select Browse in Bridge in order to get back to Bridge and see the changes that you've made. This is actually a feature, because you could simply open Bridge, select your raw files, and then use the icon here to open in Camera Raw, in which case you wouldn't even need to have Photoshop open. You could simply make your changes and when you click Done, you could come back to Bridge.
But other than that, there really isn't a difference. I just didn't want you to be puzzled if you are using your own raw files to follow along.
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