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Working with the Exposure controls

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Working with the Exposure controls

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the Exposure Controls, which is the next group of numerical settings and slider bars there inside the basic panel in the Camera Raw plug-in. I have selected Checkers.dng, which is a classically overexposed photo from Chris Orwig of our very own Megan Anderson, one of the many beautiful employees here at Lynda.com where everybody is gorgeous, I tell you. And we do need to correct this image however because it is just blown through the roof in terms of Luminance levels. But the amazing thing is if this were a JPEG or a TIFF image, something along those lines, then we would be out of luck. We can mitigate the highlights, we might go at it with the Shadow/ Highlights command or Curves might prove helpful that kind of thing but we bringing back what's lost. Whereas when you are working with an image that's shot in your digital camera's Raw file format and then open inside Camera Raw, you can bring back blown highlights sometimes, if there is Luminance data there. In other words you are not always seeing all of the Luminance data inside the image, it exceeds our current visible space. So let me show you what's going on there.

Working with the Exposure controls

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the Exposure Controls, which is the next group of numerical settings and slider bars there inside the basic panel in the Camera Raw plug-in. I have selected Checkers.dng, which is a classically overexposed photo from Chris Orwig of our very own Megan Anderson, one of the many beautiful employees here at Lynda.com where everybody is gorgeous, I tell you. And we do need to correct this image however because it is just blown through the roof in terms of Luminance levels. But the amazing thing is if this were a JPEG or a TIFF image, something along those lines, then we would be out of luck. We can mitigate the highlights, we might go at it with the Shadow/ Highlights command or Curves might prove helpful that kind of thing but we bringing back what's lost. Whereas when you are working with an image that's shot in your digital camera's Raw file format and then open inside Camera Raw, you can bring back blown highlights sometimes, if there is Luminance data there. In other words you are not always seeing all of the Luminance data inside the image, it exceeds our current visible space. So let me show you what's going on there.

I am going to go ahead and open Chekers. dng inside of Camera Raw. Here is the Histogram. It's very worrisome, very troubling Histogram. Black over here on the left hand side, white on the right hand side just like a standard histogram inside the Levels dialog box or the Histogram palette. And you can see this big spike that just jams into the right wall of the histogram, that shows us we got some major clipping activity and also this little warning right there is troubling because when we have a white triangle like that, that means that the data inside of this image is clipped in red, green and blue channels, all three channels across the board, which is as bad as it gets.

But here is the good news. The channels don't really exist yet. Channels don't exist inside of Camera Raw; they are just proposed channels so far. They become color channels inside of Photoshop and the reason is when your digital camera creates a raw file, it's actually a single channel file. It's just Luminance information and that's it. And then Camera Raw is making up the color based on the instructions that the camera gave it. But it's creating three channels from one on the fly.

So that's probably more than you need to know but still it's important because what it tells us is that there may be stuff that we are not seeing. And we can dig into that stuff that we are not seeing. We can rein in those highlights by reducing the Exposure value. So notice as I reduce the Exposure value, look what I did. I brought back colors from the pit of despair. I just brought them back in, these colors over here, did exists inside of the image. It's just that they weren't shown yet, and so they were recoverable.

Now this Exposure setting right here, it's measured in F-stops just so as you know. It's analogous to the white slider handle inside the Levels dialog box, but the big difference is that you can bring back colors back that didn't exist, you can do that with the White slider bar inside of Levels. So it does control highlights though. I want to make that extremely clear and if we continue to drag over to the left, you will notice that we are starting to compress our shadows but black is locked down. So we are compressing the entire histogram as we move this value over. I don't want to make Megan that dark, that's just too much. So let's go ahead and take this value back up here.

I'm actually going to reduce it let's say to something like -1, just for starters here because that does get us our information back, we have recovered the highlights. Now next we this Recovery value which is analogous to the Highlights function inside of the Shadows/Highlights command. It's going to darken our highlights for us. Not just we just did with the Exposure value but it's doing it by comparing neighboring pixels inside of the image. So it's all about recovering highlights obviously. And notice as I drag this guy over I'm redistributing the Highlight values as I'm increasing the value. I'm going to take it to about 20, seems to me to work pretty well for this image. Then I'm going to skip the Fill White for a second will go to Blacks. Blacks is just like, is not analogous to, it's just like the Black slider triangle in the Levels dialog box.

So if you want to clip some of these shadows away or at least darken up the shadows, so that we have some Blacks, then you increase the Blacks value. Now anything with Luminance level essentially of 10 or darker is going to become black and we end up getting some nice blacks right here at the tail end of the histogram. So things are working out very nicely. Now if we just want to sort of rein things back just a little bit, we want to shine a bit of light into those shadows because after all this dress for example that Megan is wearing it's very, very dark around the arms and the boddess and so forth.

So I'm going to go ahead and increase that Fill Light value and you watch her dress, watch how it brightens up right there as I increase that value. I'll take it to about 10 as well, and that's just coincidence that I'm entering the same value for Fill Light and Blacks. There is nothing special going on there. All right I feel like the image overall is too bright, it's a nicely distributed histogram but that necessarily mean the image is going to look the way it should. I think this image should be much shorter. So I'm going to take this Brightness value down precipitously. I don't normally do this but this image was so over exposed that I'm going to take it pretty far down to -15. Now that's too far in terms of the image now looks way, way dark, but that gives me the opportunity to raise this Exposure value back up, and I'm now going to take it up to +0.2 like so.

So you are going to spend a fair amount of time going back and forth and back and forth with these values because each one upsets another value in turn. We have a little bit of co-dependency don't you know. And now I'm going to decrease that Contrast value to +20 like so. And you can really reduce the Contrast if you want to. Notice if I take the Contrast value down to it's minimum -50, I'm squishing the histogram toward the center of the graph, and if I take it up then I'm spreading the histogram out, and we are getting a valley in the middle sort of. But 20 is what I want.

Now I want to tell you something else, Brightness is analogous to the Gamma value in the Levels dialog box. So it's just changing the midtones and you can see that it's kind of moving the whole histogram back and forth as you are changing the midtones, but you are dragging the midtones in order to make that happen. And what did I have this set? -15. And then actually let's try at negative, not positive and then Contrast of course, I already told you about, but here is the deal. Brightness/ Contrast remember the Brightness/Contrast command as I think I explained way back in the fundamental section of the series that it used to be a terrible command and they made it better in Photoshop CS3, well it got better because they stole these two controls from Camera Raw. This is where they came from. They were always good inside of Camera Raw. So they brought them over and made Brightness/ Contrast a good command. Bless them.

Anyway that's it, now you know how Exposure works, just to give you a sense of what we were able to do here, I'll turn off the Preview checkbox. She is like on the face of the sun or something and then I'll turn Preview back on and you see that we have done some very nice things to this image of Megan. I am going to go ahead and Click the Done button to return to the Bridge and it will update the Preview and everything is hunky dory. In the next exercise something else we need to do to this image, we need to straighten it, it's crooked and we are going to straighten and crop this image inside Camera Raw and you will see how brilliantly it works out.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

218 video lessons · 23898 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 32s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Advanced
      1m 43s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 17s
    3. Resetting the function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 37s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      6m 4s
  2. 2h 43m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      49s
    2. Low contrast, bad meter
      5m 57s
    3. Auto tone, contrast, and color
      8m 1s
    4. Cache levels and the Histogram palette
      7m 16s
    5. How the auto commands work
      10m 15s
    6. A first look at Levels
      6m 11s
    7. Target colors and clipping
      9m 6s
    8. Modifying input levels
      9m 44s
    9. Adjusting the gamma value
      7m 34s
    10. Previewing clipping
      7m 17s
    11. The futility of output levels
      4m 56s
    12. Channel-by-channel edits
      11m 54s
    13. When levels fail
      4m 34s
    14. A first look at Curves
      8m 46s
    15. Static Curves layer tricks
      7m 45s
    16. Dynamic Curves layer tricks
      7m 25s
    17. Correcting the composite image
      8m 30s
    18. Neutralizing a color cast
      6m 52s
    19. The Target Adjustment tool in Curves
      8m 29s
    20. Correcting an image in Lab
      10m 7s
    21. The Shadows/Highlights filter
      4m 18s
    22. Radius and tonal width
      8m 11s
  3. 1h 48m
    1. Edge-enhancement tricks
      1m 13s
    2. How sharpening works
      3m 48s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      4m 29s
    4. The Unsharp Mask filter
      7m 57s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      6m 25s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 47s
    7. Previewing how sharpening will print
      3m 37s
    8. Measuring and setting screen resolution
      6m 56s
    9. Tweaking the screen resolution
      4m 28s
    10. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 23s
    11. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      4m 23s
    12. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      5m 50s
    13. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 16s
    14. When to leave More Accurate off
      3m 48s
    15. When to turn More Accurate on
      4m 23s
    16. The advanced options
      7m 57s
    17. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 23s
    18. Accounting for camera shake
      7m 7s
    19. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      9m 8s
  4. 2h 16m
    1. Why would you blur?
      1m 8s
    2. Fading after an undo
      3m 27s
    3. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      5m 43s
    4. The linear Box Blur
      3m 6s
    5. Add Noise vs. Median
      4m 50s
    6. Despeckle vs. Dust & Scratches
      6m 31s
    7. Smart Blur vs. Surface Blur
      8m 13s
    8. The Motion Blur filter
      4m 33s
    9. Radial Blur's Spin and Zoom variations
      5m 48s
    10. Mixing filtered effects
      3m 56s
    11. The "Captain Kirk in Love" effect
      5m 4s
    12. Diffusing focus with Blur and Overlay
      8m 50s
    13. Simulating Vaseline and film grain
      8m 2s
    14. Filling a layer with a neutral color
      2m 55s
    15. Old-school contrast reduction
      3m 39s
    16. Three steps to diffused focus
      7m 36s
    17. Averaging skin tones
      9m 45s
    18. Addressing the stubborn patches
      5m 26s
    19. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      6m 1s
    20. Blurring surface details
      3m 2s
    21. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      8m 6s
    22. Reducing digital noise
      8m 47s
    23. Striking a smooth/sharpen compromise
      4m 36s
    24. Smoothing over JPEG artifacts
      7m 38s
  5. 2h 31m
    1. Independent layers of color adjustment
      1m 7s
    2. Undersea color channels
      4m 2s
    3. Inventing a Red channel with Lab
      8m 20s
    4. Mixing color channels
      6m 55s
    5. Making shadows with Levels
      7m 5s
    6. Applying small color adjustments
      6m 0s
    7. Further modifying Levels in Lab
      8m 50s
    8. Creating a dynamic fill layer
      4m 38s
    9. Brushing and blending color
      4m 42s
    10. Working with "found masks"
      7m 31s
    11. Saturation, sharpen, and crop
      8m 9s
    12. Mixing a monochromatic image
      7m 2s
    13. Masking an adjustment layer
      4m 45s
    14. Working with Opacity and blend modes
      3m 39s
    15. Adding a black-and-white adjustment
      5m 53s
    16. The Target Adjustment tool in black and white
      6m 12s
    17. Tinting a monochrome photo
      3m 19s
    18. Introducing Gradient Map
      4m 17s
    19. Adjusting both color and luminance
      5m 44s
    20. Infusing elements with different colors
      6m 22s
    21. Adjustment layers as creative tools
      4m 33s
    22. Inverting and brightening the background
      5m 14s
    23. Blurring live, editable type
      5m 43s
    24. Hue, saturation, and darkness
      6m 51s
    25. Filling type with a color adjustment
      3m 24s
    26. Using one adjustment to modify another
      3m 21s
    27. Breathing color into the title
      3m 38s
    28. The Hue/Saturation humanoid
      3m 44s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 23s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 16s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 46s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      6m 4s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 8s
    7. Darken, Multiply, and the Burn modes
      6m 33s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with Fill
      4m 43s
    9. Saving a blended state
      4m 18s
    10. Lighten, Screen, and the Dodge modes
      8m 22s
    11. Linear Burn = Add minus white
      5m 31s
    12. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 52s
    13. Fill Opacity takes priority
      6m 19s
    14. Difference and exclusion
      5m 21s
    15. Using difference for golden highlights
      4m 2s
    16. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 8s
    17. The brush-only modes: Behind and Clear
      10m 31s
    18. Layer groups and the Pass Through mode
      8m 54s
  7. 1h 53m
    1. It's all about the presentation
      58s
    2. Moving a layer a specific number of pixels
      6m 59s
    3. Adding a pixel mask to a layer
      5m 48s
    4. Editing a layer mask
      7m 19s
    5. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      6m 19s
    6. Introducing the Advanced Blending options
      4m 45s
    7. Using the luminance blending sliders
      7m 26s
    8. Forcing through underlying luminance
      4m 32s
    9. Masking with a path outline
      5m 45s
    10. Refining a mask from the Masks palette
      7m 18s
    11. Creating and modifying a layer group
      3m 29s
    12. Establishing a knockout group
      5m 29s
    13. Fixing last-minute problems
      6m 23s
    14. Introducing layer comps
      6m 40s
    15. Exploring layered states
      6m 43s
    16. Deleting layers and updating comps
      6m 18s
    17. Saving a basic composition
      6m 21s
    18. Assigning and saving appearance attributes
      7m 15s
    19. Layer comps dos and don'ts
      7m 27s
  8. 1h 56m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      56s
    2. Establishing default formatting attributes
      4m 5s
    3. Saving formatting attributes as a preset
      8m 5s
    4. Making a point text layer
      6m 18s
    5. Editing size and leading
      6m 44s
    6. Working with vector-based text
      6m 12s
    7. Formatting area text
      4m 16s
    8. Creating a layer of area text
      3m 20s
    9. Resizing the text frame
      4m 34s
    10. Changing the anti-aliasing setting
      3m 58s
    11. Obscure but important formatting options
      6m 31s
    12. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      8m 44s
    13. Creating a cast shadow
      6m 1s
    14. Blurred shadows and beveled text
      7m 16s
    15. Drawing a path outline
      4m 51s
    16. Creating type on a path
      6m 39s
    17. Flipping text across a circle
      3m 18s
    18. Vertical alignment with baseline shift
      4m 16s
    19. Warping text
      4m 57s
    20. Scaling your text to taste
      3m 33s
    21. Applying a custom warp
      6m 24s
    22. Creating an engraved text effect
      5m 11s
  9. 2h 17m
    1. Bending an image to fit your needs
      53s
    2. Creating a canvas texture
      6m 48s
    3. Masking objects against a white background
      5m 42s
    4. Scaling an image to fit a composition
      8m 9s
    5. Aligning one layer to fit another
      3m 51s
    6. Changing the Image Interpolation
      8m 10s
    7. Merging faces
      5m 32s
    8. Rotating the first clock hand
      7m 17s
    9. Adding hands and pasting styles
      6m 40s
    10. Series duplication in Photoshop
      4m 35s
    11. Masking objects against a black background
      6m 34s
    12. Skews and perspective distortions
      7m 57s
    13. Envelope-style warps
      9m 2s
    14. Old-school distortion filters
      8m 50s
    15. Introducing the Liquify filter
      4m 9s
    16. Reconstructing an image
      6m 55s
    17. Using the Warp tool
      5m 16s
    18. The Pucker and Bloat tools
      5m 53s
    19. Push, Turbulence, and Twirl
      6m 41s
    20. The Freeze and Thaw mask tools
      5m 45s
    21. Saving and loading a mesh file
      3m 59s
    22. Creating and applying a texture layer
      8m 30s
  10. 1h 28m
    1. Effects vs. styles
      1m 11s
    2. Of layer styles and masks
      4m 37s
    3. Everything about drop shadow
      8m 2s
    4. Adding a directional glow
      4m 39s
    5. Colorizing with Color Overlay
      5m 18s
    6. Stroke and fill opacity
      5m 48s
    7. Creating a multicolor Outer Glow
      9m 22s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 48s
    9. Contour and Texture
      4m 35s
    10. Simulating liquid reflections
      6m 28s
    11. Saving layer styles
      6m 18s
    12. Applying and appending styles
      4m 36s
    13. Saving and swapping style presets
      3m 16s
    14. The five effect helpers
      3m 47s
    15. Blending the effect before the layer
      5m 1s
    16. Colorizing a signature
      3m 30s
    17. Clipping an effect with a mask
      4m 5s
  11. 1h 50m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw in the Bridge
      5m 44s
    3. The Camera Raw 5 interface
      4m 39s
    4. Adjusting the white balance
      5m 0s
    5. Finessing and saving changes
      7m 55s
    6. Using the White Balance tool
      2m 43s
    7. Working with the Exposure controls
      7m 34s
    8. Straightening and cropping a raw image
      5m 53s
    9. Applying automatic exposure adjustments
      6m 6s
    10. Exposure warnings
      5m 44s
    11. Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation
      4m 47s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 33s
    13. Dodging with the Adjustment brush
      9m 24s
    14. Tone Curve adjustments
      6m 54s
    15. Using the Spot Removal tool
      2m 48s
    16. Removing noise and sharpening detail
      4m 5s
    17. Adjusting HSL values
      4m 18s
    18. Adjusting luminance, color by color
      4m 14s
    19. Black and white and split toning
      5m 16s
    20. Camera Raw tips and tricks
      7m 32s
    21. Correcting JPEG and TIFF images
      4m 42s
  12. 57s
    1. Until next time
      57s

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