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In this movie, I'd like to show you how you can adjust shadow details. Shadow details is one of those critical areas that we struggle with in a lot of different images. And in this case I'd like to use this photograph I took from my front porch looking across Kachemak Bay for morning sunrise with the southern Kenai Mountains. It's a great thing to wake up to. And let's say that we wanted to adjust just this portion of the image down here. We like the sky the way it is, we just like to adjust this portion of the image without adjusting the highlights and shadows. Well there is a couple ways to go about doing this.
First tool to take a look at, which is a more generalized tool, is the Gradation tool, and couple of different ways to go about adjusting the Gradation tool. Just to remind you this is the highlight end, this is the shadow end, midtone, quarter tone and three-quarter tone. If we are going to adjust the shadow area we are going to be working in the three-quarter tone area. And that's really what we mean when we say, oh, we are going to adjust the shadow. It doesn't mean we're really adjusting this point right down here, because if we do that it really affects the whole image. We really want to just focus our adjustment on one portion of the image.
Now notice if we just click on this point and drag it we can adjust mainly the three-quarter tone, although you'll notice it has impacts in other areas of the image such as right up in here. If you hold down the Command key and drag, it drags the entire curve which you really don't want to do. Well, here if we go to the Expert dialog box, it has an area for Highlights and Shadows, and what this allows us to do is click on the shadow area and notice what it does is it holds the midpoint steady and allows us to lighten and darken just the shadow area of the image predominantly.
And that's a handy tool all by itself. Now once again I would encourage you to bring up your Picture Settings dialog because what this allows us to do, particularly in this case keep track of what's happening to our Histogram dynamically. So that if we are trying to darken our image we don't start to lose too much detail by piling up too much data on the shadow end here. So I can darken my shadow, lighten my shadow area and it's really the three-quarter tone to shadow that we are working on. So that's one tool that we can use and use quite effectively.
But there is an other tool that's made specifically for working in this; it's called the Auto Adaptive Contrast Optimization. And this is made specifically for focusing on shadow areas and we've got an Expert dialog box here that allows us to adjust Saturation and Radius level, which if we had color in our shadow we would be dealing with, probably not going to have much impact here. But what we can do is adjust this, which we can adjust the Strength of the shadow. Now notice with a default setting of 25 which means from up to 25% of the tonal range from pure black, notice that this bottom portion of the image we are going to be adjusting the shadow right there.
See this is far more specific than working with just the curve. We really have the impact using this tool that we have with using a mask, and if we wanted to adjust more than just this very dark portion down here, on this one we might decrease the darkness. Watch if we take and increase the Shadow width and let's take it up to about 40 and then play with the Strength, notice that we are adjusting a larger portion of the image. It's still in three-quarter tone to shadow. It's mainly just in this portion of the image, and if we bring it up a little bit more, say around 50 and then we make our Shadow adjustment.
See it's just like making a mask. And really what we are doing here is image editing. It's kind of going beyond scanning. We are kind of taking some of the functions of Photoshop and actually doing it during the scan process. But it's nice to have these sophisticated tools because if you can actually do these corrections here you don't have to use that other step of working inside of Photoshop. So the Auto Adaptive Contrast Optimization tool, which I'd like to call the Shadow Adjustment tool is very powerful and really allows you to focus on just that portion of the image by adjusting the Shadow width and then adjusting the Strength.
If you do have color, you can bump up the Color Saturation using this and you can increase the Radius, which is the width of which that will be applied for color, which is not the issue here. We are really just looking at adjusting the tonal range right within the shadow region of the image. Using this Shadow Adjustment tool is really handy to have. It's very sophisticated and it really replaces having to create masks in something like Photoshop and then just adjusting that portion of the image individually. So it can simplify your overall workflow and reduce the amount of work that you actually have to do.
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