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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 this exercising I am going to show you how to preview the clipping of highlights and shadows inside of your images. I am working inside of Camera Raw, and I have opened two images, Lighthouse-1.dng and Lighthouse 2.dng found inside the 24_camera_raw folder. I want you to know something about the thumbnails over here in this vertical filmstrip view. Notice that, in addition to these little settings icons, which show me that I applied some custom Camera Raw Settings to each one of my images in the previous exercise, as you may recall, but I've also got these crop icons. Now, I have applied custom crop settings to these images as well.
I did that in advance of giving you the images. I just want you to know that. So if you end up completely clearing out my settings you'll lose my crop boundaries as well. I'll explain how to work with cropping in Camera Raw in the future exercise. But for now, I've got go ahead and increase the heck out of my Exposure value. And as a result I can see here in the Histogram and by virtue of this white triangle in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, I can see that I have some clipped highlights. Well, where in the world are they? You can see where they are by clicking on this icon. Notice it says Highlight Clipping Warning.
If you click on the triangle you will see the clipping warning there inside the image window. You also have a keyboard shortcut of O for Over Exposure. Incidentally that's where that comes from. Now, you're going to coat the image with red wherever any clipping is occurring. So that clipping might be occurring in all three of the color channels or just one of the color channel. Now by now you know that it's a big concern when you have clipping across all three color channels because then you have no detail whatsoever in that region. However, if you're only clipping in a single channel, for example, let's say you're clipping in the Blue channel, but you are not clipping in Red and Green while then you still have detail in the Red and Green channels to compensate.
So there is a more accurate clipping preview available to you. Now, before we see it I just want you to more or less get a sense of where we're seeing red inside the image. Across this huge area over here on the right-hand side, and then we have a kind of half circle of red on left- hand side of the Lighthouse. All right, I am going to press the O key to turn that preview off and then we'll take advantage of a more old- school technique that also happens to work a lot better, and this comes to us from the Levels dialog box. Remember how you can Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag the white point slider triangle in order to preview the clipping. Well, you can do the same thing with Exposure.
So Alt+Drag or Option+Drag this slider triangle right there, and now you'll see a multicolor preview of the Clipping inside your image. So, wherever we're seeing black no clipping is occurring. Wherever we're seeing white we're clipping all three channels. Otherwise we're seeing the color of the channel in which we're clipping. So in other words, there is a huge area that's only clipping in the Blue channel and has details still in both the Red and Green channel. So it's a little less troubling than the amount of clipping we have. It's certainly a problem, but it's a little less troubling than we were lead to believe a moment ago.
All right, what about black clipping? Well, let's go ahead and create some black clipping by raising this Blacks value, and I'll take it pretty high. I'll take it up to 35. And at this point I am saying anything with a Luminance of 35 or darker is going to clip to black. So this Blacks option works almost identically to the Black slider triangle, inside the Levels dialog box. Now notice that we have a lot of clipping occurring because the triangle is white, indicating that we're clipping in all three channels. Now, if you want to see the shadow clipping preview you can click on this triangle, or you can press the U key for underexposure.
I'll go ahead and click, and every place where I am seeing blue this time around is clipping in one or more color channels. Once again, this could be a multi-channel clip. This could be a single-channel clip. Who knows? So the better way to get a sense of what's going on is to press the U key to turn off that clipping warning. And then press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the Blacks slider triangle. And again, we get a multi- color preview this time around. Wherever we're seeing white, no clipping is occurring. Black indicates clipping in all three color channels, and then otherwise we're seeing the complementary colors.
So in other words wherever we're seeing yellow inside of the image that's Clipping in the Blue channel and so forth. All right, in our case, so we don't want this much clipping at all. That's entirely unacceptable. So I'll go ahead and drag Blacks back and by the way, another really handy thing about this trick is if you release the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and I'm still dragging this slider triangle round, than the clipping warning goes away. If I want to see it again, I'm just pressing hold Alt or Option on the fly, so it a very versatile trick. Anyway I am going to take the Blacks value down to 3, which is pretty darn low.
Incidentally, the default to Blacks value is 5 so you are just clipping those first five luminance levels inside the image, and that's it. Anyway, we're just clipping 3. At least that's what I'm doing. You can work along with me or go your own way. I am going to Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the Exposure option as well, until I see just a little will tiny bit of clipping, just a little sliver of clipping, which occurs at +1.85, and then we end up getting this result here. All right, so that's how you preview the clipping of shadows and highlights inside of Camera Raw. In the next exercise, I'll explain how to use Brightness and Contrast.
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