Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Fixing the foundation in Camera Raw, part of Portrait Project: Retouching a Studio Portrait.
All right, are you ready to take a look at how we can work on this image from start to finish? Well, here goes. One of the first things that we need to do, is to make some foundational corrections to our photograph. And often we'll make these corrections using the Camera Raw. Whether that's Camera Raw inside of light room or Camera Raw inside of Adobe Camera Raw. Now because not everyone has access to light room, I'll be working with Camera Raw, and here you can see I've selected the photograph in bridge. This is the original file as it appeared straight out of the camera.
No adjustments have been made yet. Next we'll go down to our File pulldown menu, and then here we'll choose open in Camera Raw. Again, that's File, then open in Camera Raw. Go ahead and click on that menu item to launch this photograph there. Now this is a picture that I captured a couple of weeks ago of my friend Jessica in the studio. I have two lights. One for the background and then one for the subject. It's this big umbrella, which is illuminating the subject. And I like the quality of the light here, but I'm noticing there are a few issues that we're going to need to work on.
One is the color. It looks a little bit too warm and red. So we want to correct that. Also notice it's a little bit too bright on the face and this area. And then we'll make a few slight color adjustments, and work on the details, as well. All right well, let's begin by correcting the white balance. This is going to be easy because we have a black backdrop. This was a black sheet of paper. So let's select the tool which allows us to correct the white balance. So white balance tool right up here up top.
Hover your cursor over an area of the image that you think should be neutral. I know that that black paper should be black, so I'm going to go ahead and click on that. And what that will do is it will remove that color cast so that we now have correct color. Next up, lets zoom in so we can focus in on some of these little brightness issues that we have here. I'll grab the zoom tool, and then just click a few times to zoom in on this photograph. Alright, well as I mentioned the brightness on the face is a little bit too much. Almost like it's too shiny.
Let me zoom in even further so you can see that a little bit better there. One of the ways that we can tackle this issue, is by trying to work with our highlights or our white sliders. These sliders allow us to change the brightness value of the brightest tones in our photograph. In this case the white slider will work better, but let me show you highlights briefly. If I drag the highlights down you can see how its darkening the brighter tones, but it also isn't creating that good of a look, it isn't very flattering. So I'll go ahead and bring that back to its default setting there.
Let's try the whites here, let me exaggerate so you can actually see this. Notice how it's sort of just softening the brightness of the brightest tone as I swing this to the left, and then it's brightening them up as we swing it to the right. So here we're just going to drop it down a little bit. Let me zoom in really close so you can see this. Here we're nice and close with this white sider, you can see how we're taking on the brightness of the certain areas of the picture. Now in order to really correct this part of the image, what we're going to need to do is some work here, some foundational work.
And then some other more specific work in Photoshop, which we'll do later. Alright, well so far so good. Let me zoom back out. To do so I'll press Command+minus a few times on a Mac, or Control+minus a few times on Windows. The reason why I wanted to zoom out was just to see the entire picture and some of the colors that we have in the photograph. I'm going to go for color palette, which is a little bit more desaturated. To remove some of the brighter colors, just drag the vibrance sider just a little bit to the left there.
And again, we're just thinking foundation. We're going to get creative and do more detail work later. But here in Camera Raw, we're going to use some of these sliders to quickly make some simple adjustments. Next, because this is a portrait, it's essential that we navigate over to the detail panel. You can do so by clicking on this icon. It's the third icon up top here. This opens up our sharpening settings. When it comes to sharpening in Raw, whether we're in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, we think of this as input sharpening.
This isn't the final sharpening. This is just getting our Raw file in a good place. This is foundational work. Well here, because it's a portrait I know that I'm going to need to drop my detail slider way down. And let me show you this up close. To do so, I'm going to click with my zoom tool, and I'm going to click way in. So we're going to see this image at 100%. If we have the detail slider up, what this is going to do is sharpen small, little details. Let me increase the amount so you can kind of see how this works.
Details slider's high, doesn't look good. Detail slider's low, it looks much better. So the most portraits you want to bring the detail amount down to somewhere around zero. The amount doesn't need to go that high, because again, keep in mind this is just subtle input sharpening. You'll also notice we have some little issues we may want to clean up and whatnot. We're going to do all of that in Photoshop because we'll be able to work more quickly, because there are a lot of little areas that we're going to want to work on. All right, well here in Camera Raw we are done.
Let's review what we've done so far. Back in the Basic panel, we used the White Balance tool, and we also decreased the Whites, and decreased the Vibrants. Then we came over to the Detail panel. I just made sure that with our input sharpening, we removed any sharpening to the smallest little details. And we want to do that with portraits so that the skin can look really good. All right, well next, we'll open up this image into PhotoShop, and then save it out as the TIFF file. So here I'll go ahead and click Open Image in the lower area of the Camera Raw interface.
So open up this photograph for us here in Photoshop. And then next, we'll go to our File pull down menu, and here let's choose Save As. Again that's File > Save As. And what I'm going to do is save this into my exercise files folder here. We'll name it Jessica 1, and the format that we want to work with is TIFF. It's a better format than the PSD format up here because this will allow us to view and access and work with the file in Lightroom more easily and other applications as well.
So I recommend you use the TIFF file format, embed your color profile, and then click Save. And here we'll use the default settings for those TIFF options, those are fine. And now we have successfully saved this photograph out and done our foundational work. And next what we need to do, is to dig into some of those little details and start to work on those, and we'll do that in the next movie.
- Fixing the foundation in Camera Raw
- Removing blemishes
- Diminishing wrinkles
- Reducing shine
- Improving lighting
- Enhancing color