Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Performing a triage, part of Photos for OS X: Enhancing Images.
- If you've ever had the unfortunate circumstances to visit an emergency room, you may have experienced first-hand the medical concept called triage. This is where patients are essentially sorted based on their priority of needs. Well, I do a similar technique with my photos. I take a look at my images and try to quickly decide which ones need fixing. Now, the truth is, pretty much every image needs fixing because there's always things you could do better, whether you're compensating for minor imperfections in the camera or shooting conditions, or you just really want to bring the photo to life.
In any case, though, some images need more effort than others. So taking the time to evaluate the images, identifying those that will be able to get fixed quickly as opposed to those that are gonna be really intense fixes, is gonna save you time and effort. Additionally, you want to evaluate images for what looks best. Let me show you a couple of quick techniques to make this easier. When you're inside of Photos, you can take a quick look at all of your images. You see here I'm viewing by date. Now, I'm gonna narrow things down right away by jumping into a particular Album.
I've given you a library with four Albums and let's just start here with these images that were shot on the iPhone. Now, in this case, we have a lot of similar images and you'll also notice that we have some images that are labeled HDR that the iPhone captured. As you view these images here, you'll see that there's a lot of different qualities. Some look about right, some are a bit overexposed, some underexposed. Well, I can choose to enhance these. As you move through the images, you'll notice in the upper left corner, you have the ability to mark an image a favorite.
So, if you're decided that you want to quickly make a fix, that could come in handy. Additionally, I recommend you bump these image sizes up. Now, you could decide to go into a truly full screen mode, or play a slideshow, but I often find that this is enough. You'll notice that when you press the space bar, the image quickly pops up full screen. This is in image that, while I like the idea of it, a flower with a dramatic backdrop, it just doesn't work. The back lighting is a little too harsh and we have a hard lens flare at the top here that just can't be rescued.
On the other hand, this image is looking OK. It's not perfectly composed, but I do like the color in the scene. This next two is looking a lot better. Let's explore them both. In this case, I just moved the camera slightly, and I think I prefer the first image, just to have a little bit more of the rock in the surface, so I've marked it as a favorite. Remember, you also can hide an image, so if you don't want to delete it but you want to get rid of it for now, you can choose to simply right-click and say, Hide Photo.
What this will do is hide the photo from Moments, Collections, or Years. Now, you'll still see it inside the Album itself but it's gonna minimize popping up as you're browsing through the library. Looking at these next few images, this is a tough one. In this case, I love the saturation in this image, but it's a bit clipped. The next image is not as adjusted and after that, it's a bit overexposed. Because these images were all coming from an iPhone, I'm gonna actually favor this one.
It's gonna be easier to dial in the saturation in intensity as I'm going. And you'll see here a wide range of images. Now, the overexposed images did a great job of capturing the rocks, but the sky totally blew out. On the other hand, capturing the sky led to things being a bit muddy in the rocks. Well, let's try this plus the image that I shot that was captured using an HDR app on my iPhone, and we'll mark a couple more here for potential consideration.
You'll notice from the badge here that this was captured with the iPhone's HDR mode, and this might give us a little more information to work with in a moment. It's looking pretty good and I think this is pretty solid, but I'll also favor taking a look at the slightly underexposed HDR one to see if we can't rescue it. And notice here, by just evaluating the images on their merits, both composition-type things and the overall starting exposure, this gives me some good places to start. Now in this case, I'm working with images that were shot on an iPhone, and they're JPEG files.
Some of them were captured in HDR mode or using other apps on the phone to enhance exposure, but they're still pretty limited. Later, we'll explore RAW images, which are the types of images that you can create using mirrorless cameras, DSLRs or Micro Four Thirds cameras. This type of images have more information in them and are significantly larger. Now, you may need to explore if your camera supports this type of mode. Typically, phones and point-and-shoots do not, but many more cameras are adding this and you'll see later that Photos for OS X can do a much better job when you give it more data to enhance.
All right, you've seen the triage approach in action. Let's continue our look at some of the key features.
- Applying and removing effects
- Reading the histogram
- Working nondestructively
- Making primary color and exposure adjustments
- Reusing image adjustments
- Enhancing images with advanced adjustments
- Recovering shadows and highlights
- Creating and manipulating black-and-white images
- Styling photos
- Adding and combining filters