Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic adjustments for printing, part of From Screen to Paper: Improving Your Inkjet Printing Skills.
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- We're going to kick this course off with some very simple edits. These are things you might already know how to do. If you've watched my inkjet printing course, you've seen these tools that I'm going to show you. You've seen them a lot of times in that course. As I mentioned earlier, you don't have to do things the way that I'm doing them. I'm going to work with a lot of levels adjustment layers. If you prefer using curves or another way of making tonal adjustments or color adjustments, that's fine. The real lesson is to learn to recognize what needs to change in an image. How you get that change is up to you.
So open up "1.1 - Basic local edits.tif", and you'll see this image shot in Istanbul. There were all these birds flying over, and I just like the way they were framed within the rooftops, so I shot a bunch until I found a pattern of birds that I liked. As you've probably already figured out, what this image needs is brightening in the foreground. We've got a big differential between the brightness of the sky and the brightness on the buildings. It was an overcast day, but still the sky was very bright, and the camera metered for the sky, which meant the buildings are underexposed.
Let's check out our histogram, because that's what we always do when we get started editing, and here you'll find that we've got a big blob of data here, that's the sky, and we've got a big blob of data here, that's the foreground and the birds. the brightest tone in the foregrounds is not even middle gray, so we need a lot of brightening in the foreground. However, I don't want to do a uniform brightening on these buildings. I want to brighten each building separately for a couple of reasons. They're very different in tone and texture. I've got corrugated metal here. I've got some visible cinder blocks or something here, and then a pretty dark just flat gray building.
I want the control of brightening and toning each of these separately. Finally, I don't like that bird there. It's intersecting with the roof. It's driving me nuts, so we're going to take that out. Now, obviously I did not shoot this image in back and white. I've thrown a black and white adjustment layer on here. We're going to talk about black and white conversion later. I wanted you to start with just some basic tonal correction, so that we can start our discussion of what makes good tonal correction. If you want to see the color image, you can turn the black and white adjustment layer off and see it there, but again, we're going to discuss black and white conversion later.
So go at it now. Make some separate adjustment layers for each building. You can use levels. You can use curves. You could even use brightness and contrast. I don't recommend that as a great tool. Use layer masks to constrain those edits so that you've got independent control of each building. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, check out my inkjet printing workshop, or any number of other movies in the lynda library that cover Photoshop adjustment layers and masks. I'm going to go do the same thing. Well, not the watching other movies in the lynda library.
I'm going to go alter the image, and we'll come back here and see what we've got.
This course, from photographer and educator Ben Long, is designed to help you improve your printing "eye." Ben walks you through a variety of black-and-white and color images, explaining what he likes about them, and sharing insights on how to get the best print from it. Then it's your turn: using Ben's advice and Photoshop, you get to correct the images and print them on your own ink-jet printer. Then tune back in for Ben's solution to each challenge. This is a guided master class in the art of ink-jet printing.
- Making basic adjustments to images
- Practicing printing "by the numbers"
- Managing the black, white, and gray in an image
- Creating a vignette
- Addressing tone in color images
- Using exposure layers to correct highlights and shadows
- Making better masks
- Improving on a boring image