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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Okay, here we are in the Camera Raw Interface, the Camera Raw editor dialog. And let's take a brief tour of the elements that make up this editing piece of software. Again, you get to it by double- clicking on a raw file from Adobe Bridge or by clicking on a JPEG file and doing Command or Ctrl+R to edit that in Raw or Camera Raw. So pretty basic at the top. You've got your toolbar. Instead of a vertical toolbar like you see in say, Photoshop, these are arranged along horizontally, and some pretty common tools. They all have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them as well.
So if I want the Hand tool, I can just press the letter H. If I want the Eye Dropper tool, I can press I. If I want the Zoom tool, I can press Z. C for the Crop tool, etcetera. If you don't know what a particular tool is, you can just again hover over the tool. It will tell the name of it, and also tells you the shortcut that you can press to switch to that tool. One of the first things I do when I open up Camera Raw for the first time is I switch it into Full Screen mode, because I find it confusing, especially for new users. This menu that you see at the top of your screen here, that's not the Camera Raw menu; that's the menu for Adobe Bridge.
Camera Raw itself doesn't actually have any file menus. So I like to hide that by putting Camera Raw in the Full Screen mode. Now there's a button here, in the upper strip here, Toggle Full Screen Mode, and just like in Photoshop, to go to Full Screen mode, you can press the letter F as well. F for Full Screen. And I just find that that maximizes the screen real estate for you. Now, I'm recording another particularly low resolution here. So if you had a 30-inch Cinema Display let's say, hitting that full screen would make the Camera Raw dialog take up the entire monitor. So again you've got lot of flexibility there to work at it in a small dialog and resize it manually, or switch it over to Full Screen mode.
This is your editing area. It's also your preview area, one and the same. You have got a Zoom switcher down here in the bottom left-hand corner. Over on the right, all your controls are laid out in panels. The default panel is the Basic panel. And what I love about the Basic panel is that the controls are laid out into a workflow. Basically, what I mean by that is they're laid out in the order that you're supposed to use them. Now, you can certainly go out of order and use them in any order you want. But when you're just starting out, it's actually comforting to know that the very first thing that you should do is set the White Balance right. So that's why that's listed first.
After you set the White Balance, then you want to get your exposure right. Is it too dark or too light overall? So you can dial that in. From there, you want to recover your highlight details. So if there are no details in the highlight. So here's a good example. The olive here has a little bit of a hotspot. There's probably more detail there that we can take advantage of. So let's begin by just lowering the Exposure slightly to bring back the overall brightness down of the image. Then we'll take the Recovery slider, and drag it to the right, and you'll start seeing some details coming in those highlight areas, which is kind of nice. If I want to open up the shadows a little bit, that's the next slider down there, Fill Light.
The Blacks slider next is where you establish the darkest point in your image. The Brightness slider is where you adjust the brightest part of your image. And again, they are just kind of laid out in the order you are supposed to do them. If you want to do an overall contrast adjustment, you have a Contrast slider there. Clarity is a slider for doing the mid-tone tonal adjustments. So you can do mid-tone contrast. What's nice about Clarity is that it doesn't change the darkest or lightest part of the image. It's only focusing on the mid-tones. Vibrance is a way to boost saturation or decrease saturation of colors that are already saturated.
So if I go down, it's only affecting the most saturated colors. If I go to the right, it's only increasing colors that need additional saturation. And then, the last slider here is an overall Saturation slider for increasing global saturation or actually making a really quick grayscale conversion. A nice little technique there as well. One little tip here, if you double-click on any slider, it will reset back to its default value. So it's just a bit quicker than actually manually dragging that over. Down along the bottom are what we call the Workflow Options.
So when I'm done editing this, I have some options here to either change my mind and cancel, hit Done, be taken back to Bridge and update the thumbnail, pass that image on to Photoshop by clicking the Open Image button, or even saving this out as a separate file, skipping a trip to Photoshop altogether. In addition to the basic set of controls in the Basic panel, we've also got a Tone Curve panel, and I can use this to do fine-tune adjustments to highlights, lights, darks, and shadows. We have a Detail panel to the right of that. I'll go ahead and click on Detail.
And this is where we can do things like sharpening and noise reduction. The next panel over is Hue/Saturation where I can adjust the hue/saturation and luminosity detail of each color individually in the image, which is kind of nice. It gives you lot of control. You can also do custom grayscale conversions in this panel, by clicking the Convert to Grayscale button and then controlling each color independently on how it gets translated to black and white. The next panel over is called Split Toning. This is what you would use in conjunction with that Convert to Grayscale option in the previous panel and do things like create sepia tones or platinum tones and so forth.
The next panel over is called Lens Corrections. And you can use this to fix vignetting effects. So if you have dark corners, you can eliminate those. Or if you have got some fringing along edges you see like a cyan halo or a red halo, you can use this panel to quickly fix those issues. One more over to the right is the Effects panel. Go ahead and click on that. This is where you can add things like digital film grain and do something vignetting so you can add a black effect on the corners or a light effect on the corners to really frame the image a little bit. That's kind of cool. The next panel over is the Camera Calibration panel.
Now this is something that's a little bit more advanced. We may not cover it in the Essentials Title. But I encourage you to check out Chris Orwig's Camera Raw title when you're ready to go really deep on Camera Raw, especially for a professional photographer. What this lets you do is build a profile for your camera. So you find yourself doing the same adjustment over and over and over again, what you can do is you can teach the Camera Raw plug-in to have a profile for your camera so that when you first bring your images in, it's more appropriate for the specific camera that you're using. And then lastly, there are two other panels for getting Camera Raw to be faster as a workflow for you.
There's a Presets panel. Right now, it's currently empty. But you can actually save all these choices that you might make as individual presets that you can then apply to other images. And then lastly, on the right is something called Snapshots. Snapshots are really cool. Again it'll be blank here to begin with. But what snapshots let you do is create multiple versions of a Raw file within the file itself, and then you can quickly go back and forth between them to view them. So lots of different options here. There is your quick tour. Of course, when you're done, you just click the Done button and that takes you back to Bridge and there you go.
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