Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Shadows/Highlights command

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Using the Shadows/Highlights command

In this movie I'll show you how to correct an image that suffers from far too much contrast using the Shadows/Highlights command. I have opened an image called High- contrast pachyderm.jpg, and it's fairly low-quality image as you can see here, but it's not beyond hope. I've got the Histogram panel open again. When you're in this Colors display, you're seeing overlapping histograms for each of the channels; red, green, and blue, which for our purposes right now I consider to be a little confusing.

Using the Shadows/Highlights command

In this movie I'll show you how to correct an image that suffers from far too much contrast using the Shadows/Highlights command. I have opened an image called High- contrast pachyderm.jpg, and it's fairly low-quality image as you can see here, but it's not beyond hope. I've got the Histogram panel open again. When you're in this Colors display, you're seeing overlapping histograms for each of the channels; red, green, and blue, which for our purposes right now I consider to be a little confusing.

So I'm going to once again switch to Luminosity so we can just focus on the luminance info. And I'll go ahead and update the graph. Now we do have an awful lot of shadow detail and an incredible amount of highlight detail going on here and some very sunken midtones. However, the image is not beyond hope, because we have no spike at the outset of the graph on the far left side and the graph settles down on the far right-hand side. So we have very little in the way of clipped highlights. That means we can ultimately recover some luminance.

Now you might start by trying out Brightness/Contrast. I'll go ahead and click on the black white icon at the bottom of the panel and choose the Brightness/Contrast command. Well I'll just go ahead and start things off by reducing the Contrast value to its absolute minimum of -50. And that does help. I'll go and update the graph once again. We are pulling some of that information away from the edges toward the center of the graph, but it's not doing nearly enough. The fact of the matter is Brightness/ Contrast can only take you so far where an image like this is concerned.

So I'm going to hide the Properties panel and I'm going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to delete that Brightness/Contrast layer. And then if you're working along with me, go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and choose Shadows/Highlights. Now you might reasonably ask, well, I thought Adjustment layers were so much better, why are we going to apply a static version of this command? And the reason is Shadows/ Highlights is not one of the functions that's available as an Adjustment layer. So we have to apply it as a static command.

So I'm going to go ahead and choose the command and you can see just by way of the default settings, which are to raise the Shadows by 35% and leave the Highlights unchanged, that we're already breathing a lot of life into that shadow detail. So the purpose of these sliders is, in the case of Shadows, to brighten the shadows and in the case of the Highlights, to dim down the highlights which ultimately take some of the heat out of highlights, breathes life into the shadow, contributes more to the midtones of the image, and reduces the contrast.

I'm going to click inside this Highlights value and press Shift+Up arrow a few times in order to darken up those highlights. I'm ultimately going to take that value up to 60%. Then I'm going to press Shift+Tab to go back to the Shadows value and I'll press Shift+Up arrow a few times to take that value up to 65%. This looks pretty darn good with the exception of the fact that we have some meandering colors that are showing up here. We can take care of that problem in a separate step.

So this looks about as good as it's going to get where Shadows/Highlights is concerned. The thing you have to watch for is that this command can end up creating this kind of glowing halos inside the highlight and shadow regions. If that happens, you've got some more controls that you can get access to by turning on the Show More Options check box and we'll explore these options in detail in a future course. But for now, go ahead and turn off the check box and we'll just work with these values here. Now click OK in order to apply that change.

Now whenever you apply a static adjustment, you can go back and modify how that adjustment blends with the original image by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Fade command. But you have to choose this command immediately after applying the static adjustment. So I'll go ahead and choose it now. And the first thing I'm going to do to get rid of those aberrant colors is I'm going to switch the mode from Normal to Luminosity. That way we're modifying the luminance levels inside the image, not the colors.

As soon as I choose that command you can see that the colors settled down dramatically. Then I'm going to back off the effect by reducing the Opacity to let's say 70% looks pretty good, and then click OK. If you think better of what you just did, you can revisit that command by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Fade command again and it will display your last applied settings. So at this point I could to say, you know, I think I want more like an opacity of 75% or what have you, and then click OK once again.

The thing you have to watch out for is performing some other operation, like if I so much as drag inside the image with a Rectangular Marquee tool and then press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image, now when I go up to the Edit menu, the Fade command is dimmed. So again I stress, you have to apply that command immediately after the static adjustment. Now then take a look at this histogram. It's in far better shape. I'm going to click on the little warning icon there in order to update the graph.

We have better distributed highlights, we have better distributed shadows, and we have all kinds of midtone detail in between. And just to see what kind of difference we made, I'll go to the File menu and choose the Revert command or you can press the F12 key. That was the original version of the image with these very dark shadows underneath the animal's body, as well as this complete and utter blackness beyond the door; whereas, if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to reapply the adjustment, you can see that we've opened up the shadows considerably and we can actually see into the background.

And that's the power of the very simple to use Shadows/Highlights command here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

102 video lessons · 20316 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 31m 49s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 51s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      5m 35s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      7m 14s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      3m 52s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      2m 39s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      5m 11s
    7. Closing one image and closing all
      5m 27s
  2. 49m 25s
    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
      6m 20s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      6m 22s
    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. Using Retina and HiDPI displays
      4m 3s
    13. Adjusting a few screen preferences
      7m 38s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      6m 34s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 9s
    4. Common resolution standards
      4m 7s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      7m 59s
    6. Changing the print size
      8m 15s
    7. Downsampling for print
      5m 14s
    8. Downsampling for email
      6m 22s
    9. The interpolation settings
      6m 40s
    10. Downsampling advice
      5m 5s
    11. Upsampling advice
      4m 15s
  4. 53m 20s
    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
      3m 1s
    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 13s
    1. The art of the save
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      5m 59s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 34s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 40s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 32m 16s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      4m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      6m 29s
    4. Cropping to a specific ratio or size
      5m 57s
    5. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 44s
    6. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 44m 51s
    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
      6m 5s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 4s
    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 casts 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. The 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. 50s
    1. Until next time
      50s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.