Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Correcting color pt. 2: Using curves , part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques.
Now that we have defined our black point and our white point, we are ready to color correct this photo. So here is what we are going to do. Let me go ahead and click on the icon to open up the Curves adjustment. Now, here you can see we have three eyedroppers. Now, these three eyedroppers work pretty well. If I go ahead and hover over one of these eyedroppers, we are going to see a little bit of a Help menu here, which says Sample in image to set the gray point. Now, we can use this Midtone eyedropper in order to color correct our photos. So I'll go ahead and select that eyedropper. Then I'm going to hover over the image and I'm just going to look to click on something that I think should be neutral. I'll go ahead and click on the shirt there.
Now when I do that, it removes the colorcast in a pretty good way. Well, let's undo that. Command+Z on a Mac, Ctrl+Z on a PC. Well, what if I click on the cheek? When I do that I then have quite a bit of a problem. I have more of a color problem than I had before. So when you are using these eyedroppers, one of the things to keep in mind is that we are looking to click on something that should be neutral. Let's go ahead and undo that. Now, we are not always going to use our Midtone eyedropper. Sometimes we will. But what I want to do now is actually go into my White and my Black Point eyedroppers. So I'll go ahead and double click on my Black eyedropper. This will open up the Color Picker window, except this one has a little bit different, and here is how it's different. At the top it says Select target shadow color. It's giving me a little bit of a help here saying, hey, use this dialog in order to select the color for your deepest shadow.
In my case, I'm going to give that a percentage point right here at the Brightness value. We have a Hue and Saturation of 0 and 0. The Brightness for our Black is going to be 5%. Now, this is a default number. Black is at 5% and then our White will be at 95%. Later in this training, we are going to look how we can create a more specific percentage point for this in order to create more accurate detail in our shadows and our highlights, but for now we are going to start off with this default number. So go ahead and click OK to choose that number. Do I want to set that as a default? Yeah, sure. I'll then go with the Black eyedropper and I'll click on this dark shadow area.
Now when I do that, I'm going to see that all of a sudden my image is lifted up a little bit and in addition, there is a little bit of an effect on the color. Okay. Well, next, I'll double click on the White eyedropper. Now, my Brightness value for the White is going to be 95%. I'll go ahead and click OK. I want to set that as my target color as well. I am going to go over here to this button, and this is going to be a little bit tricky, because this button is reflective. Now did that click work for me? No, not at all. So I'll zoom in on the button. Command+ Plus on the Mac, Ctrl+Plus on a PC. Now, I don't want to select one of the deep areas, but I want to select one of the areas that's a little bit of a bit bright white. So I have gone and selected that.
Okay, let's zoom out, Command+Minus on a Mac, Ctrl+Minus on a PC, and look at our before and after. Here is before and then after. So now we have more detail in those shadows. We have also color corrected this photograph. Now, we can of course go back to that Midtone eyedropper and click on the image as well to remove any further color shift that we are seeing. So one of the things that you are discovering here is that you can use these eyedroppers in unison with each other in order to color correct our photos. Let's check our numbers. Well, go ahead and open up the Info palette and here you can see our two points. Here is the before. We had no detail in these shadows at all, now we have quite a bit of detail. That's going to print just fine.
Now, with our highlights, we have pretty high numbers, yet we are seeing quite a bit of a blue shift. There is a bit more of a blue shift that was recognizable there. Now the after, these numbers are much, much closer. Now, there is still a little bit of blue in that, but that's most likely due to the fact that there is a little bit of a reflective nature on that particular button. Let's go ahead and set one more point. How about on the shirt? We will grab the Eyedropper tool by pressing the I key, if you don't have it already, and then we will hold down the Shift key and we will click on the shirt. And there we have yet one more point. In order to have neutral color these three points need to be pretty similar.
I can also hold down the Shift key and click and drag this around and open up the Eyedropper again and we can see what another point looks like. Again, we are pretty close in our numbers. There still is a little bit of a blue shift here. So let's look at our before and after. Here is before, and let's also open up the Info palette so it stays; I'll drag it out for a moment, and then here is our after. Again, we can see how those numbers are changing. What's happening here is that these numbers are much closer together. Now, the closer together these numbers are, the more accurate or neutral the color is, because if we have equal amounts of red, green, and blue, then we have neutral color.
- Implementing a color-managed workflow
- Creating color-correct prints
- Advanced image sharpening techniques
- Using typography with promo materials
- Working with print layouts and montages
- Considering paper and printer choices
- Soft-proofing to ensure stunning results
- Optimizing the print workflow
- Converting to CMYK and going to press