Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Performing selective adjustments, part of Photoshop: Nondestructive Exposure and Color Correction.
One of the best things about raw is the ability to make very, targeted selective adjustments. Earlier, I showed you the Adjustment Brush. I'd like you to take a closer look at it so you really understand its true power. In this photo here, I am going to just go ahead and click Auto to get the base default correction out of the way. I'll then immediately switch on over to the Adjustment Brush, and you'll see that we have the ability to adjust the overall photo. For example, I want to pull down the Exposure of this back wall a bit, so I'm going to pull that to the left, take Contrast down a bit, and bring down the Shadows and Highlights.
Scrolling to the Bottom, you'll see I have Auto Mask turned on, and I'll enable the Show Mask Option. This makes it easier to see what I'm painting as I go through, and it does a nice job of detecting edge of the fur there and not affecting it. So I'll just brush over that back wall a bit. That looks nicely. There we go. I'll turn off Show Mask, and if we toggle Preview off and on, you see how I have effectively toned down the background a bit.
I'll pull the Saturation down a bit. Remember that you have full control over the brush after you've painted, so you can continue to refine the Exposure, the Saturation as well as the Highlights, and bring those down. That's looking pretty good! There we go! Let's go ahead and do another small adjustment. With the Adjustment Brush I may choose to make a new brush, and in this case I just want to brighten up the face. I'll click the plus button there to go back to the preset and just paint over the facial details a little bit. It looks good! Let's adjust the Highlights and put a little extra Clarity in there, and I'll zoom in to 100% so you could really see the facial detail. There is the before and after. Let's back off. Just a little too much Clarity, a little Noise Reduction there to clean up some of the noise, and we will zoom back. Looking pretty good! And we'll finish that out by using my Graduated Filter. The Graduated Filter is very much like the Adjustments Brush, except it's going to create an actual linear adjustment.
So as I click and drag, I could set a beginning and an end point. So let's go ahead and pull the Exposure down. And the green is the start point and the red is the end point, and I could use that to create a series of adjustments. I'll make a new one from the top. There we go. That works nicely. And let's switch on back to the basics tab and put a little bit of post-crop vignette in there, just to pull it towards our subject. That looks great! I am satisfied with the results.
I'll go ahead and click to double check my Workflow Options. Let's open that at 16-Bit. I am going to go ahead and bring that to a 3,000 pixel size. I'll sharpen for output to matte paper, with a standard amount, click OK, and we'll open that object into Photoshop as a Smart Object with all of those nondestructive adjustments applied. We can minimize Mini Bridge, and let's view that at full screen. That looks really good! I've selectively darkened the image and really put the focus on my subject.
- Performing an image-correction triage
- Cloning to an empty layer
- Using adjustment layers
- Opening a raw file as a smart object
- Making selective adjustments
- Recovering the detail in skies
- Fixing exposure
- Saving time with Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
- Adjusting hue and saturation
- Controlling adjustment layers with masks
- Adjusting shadows and highlights
- Converting an image to black and white