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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.
Now that we've been introduced to the Tone Curve panel, let's take a look at how we can use these different types of adjustments in order to improve our photographs, like this photograph here of my daughter in Annika peering into our bedroom. What I want to do is I want to improve the exposure. The problem with this image obviously is that it's really bright in the background, but the subject is a bit too dark. So, I want to go ahead and work on a couple of areas. I want to primarily begin to work on these darker tones, so I'll go ahead and click and drag these up. In order to increase the values here, I'll work on my Lights just a little bit, also the Shadows.
And then for the Highlights I want to bring those down, so I'm going to go ahead and bring these way down. I'm just looking and try to find a sweet spot with these different tones. A lot of times what you'll do is you'll mix these together. You'll make one adjustment and then another, and then go back and forth. Well, now here at this juncture the image is looking much better. Let's click on the Preview icon, here's our Before, and now here's our After. Yet, one of the issues that I'm noticing with this image is that it still feels a little bit flat. Now keep in mind that while working in the Tone Curve, you can always go back to the Basic panel, and back in the Basic panel we could say, add a little bit of Contrast and Clarity, and perhaps even a little bit more Fill Light, just to fill in some of those shadow areas.
And let's take a look at what these Basic adjustments did for us. Here we have our Before and then After. Again, just adding a little bit of snap back to that image, I want to add even a little bit more contrast here. I think that will look really nice. Again, here's our Before and then After in the Basic panel. Let's go to the Tone Curve panel and then click on our Before and then After. And all right, we can see here that the combination of these two panels together has given us some good results. In order to view the overall Before and After, what we're going to do is we're going to click all the way over here into our Presets.
Now once in Presets, we can simply click on our Preview button, and this will give us the overall Before. Click again. This is the after, with all the adjustments we've made inside of the Tone Curve panel, and also inside of the Basic panel.
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