Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Auto-toning and correcting white balance, part of Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6.
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One of the obvious advantages of capturing images in the Raw format is that when we capture images in this format, we have a lot of information. Therefore we can process the images in a little bit more of an aggressive way. Now, as I mentioned previously, unfortunately I really underexposed this image, but what I want to do is open this image up in Adobe Camera Raw, as we have done so here, and begin to take a look at how I can make some improvements. Now, before I make my make my improvements, I want to analyze the histogram. Now, visually this image looks underexposed, but it also looks underexposed by way of the histogram.
Here you can see that all the data leans over to the left. What we want to have is this data typically equally distributed around the entirety of this histogram. So sometimes we may look at an image and not be sure: Is this off or not? And the histogram helps to start us evaluate that. Now, one of the first things we might want to do with an image like this is simply apply some autoadjustments here to try to get this image at a better starting point. There are a couple of different ways that we can do that. One technique that we can use is to simply click on the Auto button, or we can press a shortcut.
This is one of those shortcuts, I think, you want to write down, because it's a significant one that can really help out. Now, it's not going to make your image perfect, but it can be a good starting point. The shortcut on a Mac is Command+U, on a PC that's Ctrl+U. Now, when you press that, it's equivalent to clicking on Auto. Now, right from the get-go we can see that yes, you know what, this image does have potential. Otherwise, when I first looked at it, it didn't look very good. I might have even have deleted that file had I not really been thinking about how I could tap into Adobe Camera Raw.
Now, of course, I also have to say that not all of your images are going to need to have this adjustment applied, but in certain situations this autoadjustment can really help out. Well, now let's take a look at the histogram. Well, here we can see that the tones are evenly distributed, a much better exposure. All right. Well, the next step is going to be to White Balance this photograph. We can do so by selecting our tool up here in our Tools panel, which allows us to click on a neutral point in the image and then successfully White Balance it. I will go ahead and select this Eyedropper tool.
Then I am going to hover over my image. Now, I know that this jersey should be white, or at least close to white, so what I am going to do is go ahead and click on an area of this jersey and see what happens. Now, when I do that, you may notice that it modified my overall White Balance controls here. I will press Command+Z on the Mac, Ctrl+Z on PC to Undo that. There is the before, and then I will go ahead and click again, watch those controls. There is the after. So, so far the image is already looking much better. Now, a lot of times what you are going to want to do is evaluate your before and after as you make progress with the image.
Let's do that here. This time, we are going to do this by simply clicking on the Preview button up top. Click on that. There we have our before and now our after. All right. Step one is complete. Let's move on to step two, and we will do that in the next movie.
- Comparing Camera Raw and Photoshop
- Understanding the differences between raw and JPEG or TIFF
- Converting to the DNG format
- Opening an image as a Smart Object
- Working with the Crop and Straighten tools
- Color correcting
- Retouching blemishes
- Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter tool
- Reducing noise and sharpening
- Creative editing in Camera Raw