Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating two exposures with Adobe Camera Raw, part of Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects.
With retouching, I've always found it to be helpful to watch other people work on projects from start to finish, and that's exactly what we're going to do here. We'll take a pretty simple approach, and we'll be working on this photograph of world-class Ironman champion, Chris Lieto. This is a RAW file. It was captured with the Canon 5D Mark II. So let's go ahead and start off by opening this image up in Adobe Camera RAW. Press Command+R or Ctrl+R to open the file up. Now here you'll notice that I've modified this image just slightly, added a little bit of exposure, worked on fill light, and made a few other really simple adjustments.
Well, we want to do all of our RAW work as needed, and then we want to go down our Workflow Options. Here, we're going to decide how big of a file we actually want to work on. Now let's say that we know this image will be printed pretty small, or in my case, I know this is a demo. So to speed up my demo, I'm going to go ahead and choose a smaller size here. Now you don't have to do this step, but again, just for demo purposes, it will help things to run a little bit more quickly. Next, we'll click OK, and then from there, click Open image.
This will then open up this RAW file inside of Photoshop. Once this image is open in Photoshop, we want to start to analyze things. One of the things that I notice is I like the overall image, but I wish I had more light here in the eyes, and whenever we see something like that, we always want to ask ourselves this question: is there something that we could do in Camera RAW in order to bring out more of that detail? Well, from a real simple perspective, we could go back to Adobe Bridge.
We could reopen this image in Camera RAW, press Command+R or Ctrl+R. We could then change the exposure or change the fill light or change the contrast - whatever it is that we need to do - we could do this really focusing in on the problem area, or the area that we want to enhance. Next, if you hold down Option or Alt, it changes Open to Open Copy. Now when you click on Open Copy what will happen is it'll open another version of this file, so that in Photoshop we'll have two documents open side-by-side.
Well, what about Adobe Bridge? Well, if we go back there, we just have that original RAW file. Nothing is changed at all. And this concept is actually really quite important, and what the concept is is that when you're processing your images in Adobe Camera RAW, keep in mind that what you can do is process a couple of different ways, and then you can open up different versions of your file and then combine those together in Photoshop. We let's jump over to Photoshop. Press Command+Option+O on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+O on Windows.
First thing we need to do is to hold down the Shift key and click and drag one image into another. Next, press F to go to full screen view mode, and then press the Spacebar key and position the image near the top of the screen. That way you'll have good posture. You won't be looking down - rather, up or straightforward. Now let's save this file. We'll do that by going in to File and choosing Save As. What we want to do is save this as a TIFF, save all the layers of course, and embed our color profile. Click Save.
We'll go ahead and click OK there as well. Well, now that we have this image here, before we actually begin to work on an issue or make enhancements, I like to look at the file. I'll do that without this top layer. And I like to look at it at 100%. To do that, double-click to Zoom tool. Then press the Spacebar key and click and drag to reposition. All I want to do here is get familiar with the detail that I have. Is the image sharp? Do I have enough good detail? Yeah, I think we have sharpness where we need it.
We have some good detail. This gives us a feel for some of the things that we might want to do when retouching. Then we start to zoom out. When we zoom out, we'll see more global problems. In this case, I notice, I wish I had some more light in the eyes here. I also wish the forehead was a bit darker. Well, first, let's work on the light in the eyes. In order to do that, we'll turn on this top layer. We'll go ahead and name this top layer brighten. Next, we'll hold down Option or Alt and click on the Add Layer Mask icon, which creates a layer mask filled with black.
Well here, what I'm going to do that is grab my brush, and I'll paint with white with a real low opacity, 10% or 15% or so, and I'll zoom back in. I will make my brush nice and small, really small here. I'm going to go ahead just to start to paint really subtly over some of these shadow areas. Now as we start to do this, we're not going to see anything dramatic,, initially. So it's going to be some little tiny adjustments here. We'll go ahead and just start to bring in some light into this area.
The nice thing about using Camera RAW is that Camera RAW just taps into the full power of the image. I mean, there is so much information there, and the way that Camera RAW processes images is so strong that this can really help out. Well, we are bringing in some nice brightness here, but we're also introducing a little issue. No big deal. We'll fix that in just a second. I will zoom out a bit, and then I'm going to go ahead and work on a couple of these other little shadows here, just diminishing some of the shadows that I'm noticing that I think it'll be nice to take back a little bit.
Then what I want to do is look at my before and after. Here we have before and then after. One of the issues I'm noticing is a bit of a color shift. We can change this layer blending mode to Luminosity, and sometimes that will give us just what we need before and then after. It gives us that brightening effect without all of the color shift. With a little bit bigger brush, I'm just going to go ahead and add in even more light to this area. I am just looking to brighten up the eyes a bit. I don't want to go overboard, but just add a nice little effect.
I feather out my brush strokes there too, just to soften things up a bit. Before and after. Now that we've worked on the eyes there a little bit, what else could use some brightening? Well, how about the jacket. Make the brush a little bit bigger. Press 5 to get 50% Opacity. I'm just going to go ahead and paint around on hi jacket to bring in a little bit more detail, also the neck there, because the lower portion of the image is just a bit too dark for me. So again, I'm just painting in some of these adjustments here.
I'm going pretty quickly. You don't need to be too particular about this. And as we paint this in, we can bring in more of the effect into certain areas. I think that's looking just fine. Make my brush a little bit bigger. Press 8 to go to 80%, just bring in a touch more over here, and I think that's good. Here we've our first step, before and then after. Just taking advantage of Camera RAW, and looking at how we can use Camera RAW to output two different versions of our photograph, so that we can then combine those together inside a Photoshop.
Stage one is complete. Let's go ahead and save this file. Press Command+S or Ctrl+S to save, and then I'll catch up with you in the next movie.
- Creating and combining multiple exposures
- Repositioning subjects
- Enhancing color and tone
- Removing unwanted background elements
- Simplifying with selections
- Improving composition with cropping
- Toning with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro toolset
- Enhancing eyes
- Changing shape and sculpting muscles with Liquify
- Increasing height
- Sharpening and creating final layer comps