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First Things First
Before we do anything with our digital camera images in Photoshop, we’ve got to something critically important first, and that is backup our images. Here’s the first step in the digital photo correction workflow: step 1: Eject the memory card from your digital camera, insert it into your card reader, and
plug that card reader into your computer (Tip: buy Firewire card reader, which is at least 10 times faster at transferring images to your computer than a USB card reader).
step 2: Create a new folder on your
desktop and copy all the photos from your card reader directly into that folder (as shown here). Now, before you do anything. Before you even look at one photo in the Adobe Bridge or Photoshop, burn that folder full of images to a CD disc. Those images are your negatives—just like film negatives, and you need to back them up right now. (Tip: most pros make at least two backup CD discs, just in case one goes bad).
step 3: Once the CD(s) is burned, you can eject your CD disc of digital negatives and put it
somewhere safe. You can also eject the memory card, because your original negatives are backed up to that disc. Now, it’s safe to open and edit he photos in that folder on your desktop, because you’ve got a backup. The other huge advantage of working with these images on your desktop, is that it’s dramatically faster than working with the images off your camera’s memory card.
Getting your screen to match your prints
If you’re outputting your own prints (you have a color inkjet printer attached to your computer), you’re definitely want to set things up so that what comes out of your printer matches what you see on your screen. If they don’t match, what’s the point of trying to color correct? So, in class we’re going to show you how to do a simple color management set-up, so what you see on screen matches what will come out of your color inkjet printer. We’re not going to look at soft proofing for CMYK prepress, or delve into the theory of color management, or bring up charts and graphs about the various color spaces, and blah, blah, blah, etc.—we’re just going to look at how to make your screen match your own personal printer. It’s easier than you’d think. step one: shoot in the right space
If you’re going to be shooting JPEGs, there’s something I recommend you do in your camera, before your next shoot, and that’s change your camera’s color mode from sRGB to Adobe RGB 1998. The reason is simple—consistency. When we get into Photoshop, I’m going to recommend that you edit your photos in the Adobe RGB 1998 color space, which is the most popular color space with pro photographers because of the range of colors it supports is better suited to photographs than sRGB. If you want any hope of having consistent color, you shouldn’t shoot in one color mode (sRGB) and then try and edit in another (Adobe RGB 1998). It’s all about consistency.
and to change the Color Mode you go under the Shooting Menu. then click the Calibrate button. and then click on Adobe Gamma to bring up the Adobe Gamma calibrator.notes step two: If you shoot either JPEG or Raw + JPEG. Most DSLR’s these days do. For an example. they do all the work for you. the camera shown here is a Nikon D70. . Macintosh users: you’ll use the calibration system built into Mac OS X. IMPORTANT: If you only shoot in Raw format. it’s going to ask you a series of questions based on examples it shows on scree (as shown here). and we recommend either ColorVision’s Spyder or Greytag Macbeth’s EyeOne (both in the $300 range). so you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that you have to do this first. Click on Appearances and Themes. That’s right. under Displays. it’s impossible to get what you see on screen to match what comes out of your printer.” Windows PC users: you’ll use the Adobe Gamma software. and change it to Adobe RGB 1998 (provided of course. but not all point-andshoots do yet). can you guess which one works better? Of course. find your color mode. click on the Color Tab.” In this case. Now you’ll follow the steps to calibrate your monitor by eye (as shown here). under Custom. It’s the key part of this whole equation (even more important than shooting or editing in the right color space). Like the Mac version. which is found under the System Preferences. Calibrating your monitor Unfortunately. Once again. if your monitor isn’t calibrated. go to your digital camera’s menu. You’re “eyeing’it. under Color Mode. Go to My Computer and then go to the Control Panel. then you don’t have to worry about making this change in the camera at all—you’ll assign the color mode later within Photoshop’s Camera Raw dialog box—you only need to change your camera to shoot in Adobe RGB if you’re shooting either JPEG or Raw + JPEG images. click on the Step-by-Step wizard. it will ask you a series of questions on how things look to you on screen. These both do an excellent job of calibrating your monitor and best of all. the hardware calibrator. or (2) buy a hardware calibrator that reads you monitor. and choose mode II Adobe RGB. at the very least you should use the built-in calibrator that comes with your computer (or with Photoshop). If you don’t have either of these. then click the Next button. That’s it—there’s only one step. There are two main ways to calibrate your monitor: (1) use the built-in calibrator that comes with your computer. you’re “eyeing’ it. and builds a custom profile for you. OK. then click OK. your camera offers this feature.
This is critical. don’t choose just Print. This is crucial. that are perfectly tuned to give you the best possible results when printing on their papers. and look for the link to the free custom printer profiles. Choose Print with Preview instead (as shown here). For Rendering Intent. and it’s easier than it sounds).” Now it’s time to get some high-quality printer profiles that are matched to the EXACT paper you’ll be printing on (this is critical. because almost every major professional color inkjet printer paper manufacturer distributes FREE printer profiles. and from now on you’ll have new choices to choose from at printing time. When you print your document out of Photoshop.” or if you used a hardware calibrator. again. printing to Premium Luster paper at 1440 dpi). you’re shooting in the right mode (if you’re shooting JPEGs anyway). because many feel that this provides smoother gradations between colors. there are also people that have created their own custom profiles for printer/paper combinations and you can buy them directly from them online (just do a Google. because that’s where the color management controls are located. If you use an Epson printer.” Then. if you used the free calibration that comes with your computer’s Operating System. If you use an Epson printer and Epson papers. . Once Print with Preview is open (shown here).notes Getting the proper printer drivers Now. look up your printer. run the installer.com search for “Your Inkjet Printer” + “Custom Profiles” and you’ll get a quick list of people selling custom profiles). you can consider yourself “somewhat calibrated. Managing your Color Now. choose the custom profile that matches the paper and dpi you’ll be outputting to (you can see I’ve chosen my Epson 2200. From the Color Handling pop-up menu choose “Let Photoshop Manage Colors. your monitor is either somewhat or fully calibrated. This is where the magic is—getting the right profile. just go to Epson’s Website. from the Printer Profile pop-up menu. You’ll just download them. I recommend you choose Perceptual. you can consider yourself “fully calibrated. you’re in luck. check the paper manufacturer’s Website for free profiles. if it doesn’t look like the dialog shown here. If you use Canon printers. and now it’s time to put it all to work for you. click the “More Options” button. you’ve downloaded the free paper/printer drivers and installed them (which takes all of a double-click on your part). If your paper company doesn’t provide free paper profiles.
Leaving it set at Point Sample would wind up giving us the reading from just one individual pixel. That turns off the extra color management. Also. The thing you want to do here is turn the color management off. and that’s changing how the Eyedropper tool works (since you’ll be using the Eyedropper to measure color in specific areas of your image). and then when those options are visible. which isn’t much use to us when trying to color correct photos. This will give us more accurate readings for color correction. But before you correct even your first image. because many feel that this intent provides smoother gradations between colors. where it says Color Correction choose None. there’s one little important change we have to make. For Rendering Intent. then go under to the Options Bar and change the Sample Size setting from its default setting of Point Sample to 3 by 3 Average (as shown here). . choose it in this driver (if you’re printing to photo-quality paper. Now hit the Print button. we’ll start there. I recommend you choose Perceptual. one of which is absolutely critical—and that is turning your Operating System’s built-in color management off. and you do that by choose Color Options from the third pop-up menu from the top. (2) Don’t ever convert your images to CMYK mode for printing to your color inkjet printer. Whoo hoo! Correcting JPEG images We’re going to look at correcting images shot in both JPEG and Raw formats. some last tips: (1) If your printer allows you to choose which type of paper you’re printing on. It goes against that consistency thing we talked about earlier. and have your monitor and printer finally match.notes er and dpi you’ll be outputting to. First click on the Eyedropper tool. In short. we do this because you can’t have two color management systems each trying to manage the color in a different way. Here’s the Mac OS X Print Driver that appears when printing to a Canon i950 color inkjet. choose that). That’s instant death for your photos. and you’ll be taken to your printer driver dialog box for some final adjustments. Now you’re ready to print. that would interfere with Photoshop’s color management. but since the vast majority of users shoot in JPEG.
There are fields for the R (Red). That’s it—you’ve set a neutral setting for your shadows (since all three are set the same. . SHADOWS: Start by double-clicking on the Black-filled (Shadow) Eyedropper. we have to set some preferences for the Eyedroppers in Curves. This brings up the Color Picker (shown here). and set your Eyedropper’s Sample Size option to 3 x 3 average. you’re ready to start the correction process for JPEG images. we have a simple answer for the question. what color combination do you want for the darkest areas of your photo. calibrated your monitor. there won’t be too much of any of the three colors). in the method we’re going to show you. which prompts you to Select the Target Shadow Color. in short. enter 10 for all three then click OK. The main tool we use for correcting JPEG images is Curves. and even if you’ve never used Curves before. HIGHLIGHTS: Now double-click on the white (highlights) Eyedropper to bring up the Color Picker again. and B (Blue) settings where you’ll enter your settings: For R type in 10 For G type in 10 For B enter 10 So. you’ll have no trouble. midtones. and it is the tool used for professional level color correction. plus we’re going to teach you some tricks to make it a no-brainer). is actually quite easy. G (Green). This time you’ll enter a different set of numbers: For R type in 244 For G type in 244 For B enter 244 This creates a neutral highlight that will hold detail in your prints. But before we do anything. and highlights (it’s easier than it sounds.notes The correction process Now that you’ve backed up your images. Luckily. then you’re doing to use the three Eyedropper tools that live with Curves to set the black point. Using Curves. Here’s a quick look at what you’ll be doing: You’re going to open Curves (the keyboard shortcut is Command-M on Mac. What that means is. and Control-M on PC).
notes MIDTONES: Now double-click on the gray (midtones) Eyedropper to bring up the Color Picker again. Lastly. When the Threshold dialog appears. That’s it—three clicks and your photo is corrected. or click it on the lightest spot in your image. or click it on the darkest spot in your image. a dialog box will appear (shown here) asking you if you want to save these new target colors as your new defaults for the Curves Eyedroppers. that’s supposed to be black. choose Threshold (as shown here). This time you’ll enter a different set of numbers: For R type in 133 For G type in 133 For B enter 133 This creates a neutral midtone that will go a long way toward removing color casts in your photos. you’ll be able to do this easily by eye. Click OK to close the Threshold dialog. because most photos have something in them. but the Curves dialog itself). . But what if you happen to have a photo where it’s not easy to figure out what’s supposed to be black (or if you just can’t determine where the darkest part of the photo is just by looking it)? Well. you’re going to take the gray midtone Eyedropper and click it on something that you know is supposed to be a neutral gray color. Then you’re going to click the white Highlight Eyedropper on something that you know is supposed to be either the color white. Sound easy? It is. Here’s how it’s done Step One: Go to the Layers palette and from the palette’s Adjustment Layer pop-up menu (the little white/black circle). The first area that appears is the darkest part of your image. Your photo will turn completely white. Slowly drag the Threshold slider back to the right. even just a dark shadow area in the photo. luckily we have a trick for that. Now. color correcting photo from this point is a breeze—it’s just three clicks. Click OK because that’s exactly what you want (clicking OK keeps you from having to reenter these settings each time you launch curves). It’s an easy. you’ll start to see some of your photo reappear. Most of the time. and as you do. and it will tell you exactly where the darkest part of your image is. When you finally click OK in the Curves dialog (not the Color Picker. You’re going to click the black Eyedropper tool on something in your photo that you know is supposed to be either the color black. drag the Threshold Level slider under the histogram all the way to the left.
Step Six: Now get the highlight Eyedropper and click directly on the center of the #2 target to assign that as your highlight. In the example shown here. and move your cursor outside the Curves dialog into your photo and click once directly on the center of the #1 target. we just use this as a mental reminder as to where the darkest part of the photo is located. Go to the Layers palette and double-click on the Threshold Adjustment Layer to bring up the Threshold dialog. Step Four: You’ll use the same Threshold trick to find the highlight area. this can either be a subtle or dramatic difference. it reassigns the shadow areas to your new neutral shadow color.notes Step Two: Now that you’ve determined where the shadow (darkest part) is. and depending on the photo. This is a visual correction. When you click on the #1 target. the first area that appears in white is the lightest part of your image. Doing this corrects the midtones. You’re done with the Threshold Adjustment Layer so you can delete it. Slowly drag the Threshold slider back toward the left. Go to the Toolbar. Step Three: Take that Color Sampler Eyedropper and click it once on that darkest part of your photo. and is totally up to your personal taste as to how far up you drag the mid point (if at all). Step Five: Press Command-M (PC: Control-M) to bring up the Curves dialog. then take the Color Sampler tool and click once on the brightest area to mark it as your highlight point. and as you do. but you’ll never know until you try. Click OK. . click and hold on the Eyedropper tool. since a lot of the detail in photos is held in the midtones. we generally click on the center of the Curve and drag upward to “open up the midtones” a little bit (as shown). and in the flyout menu that appears. which color corrects the shadow areas. I clicked on the wheel well of the car. This will correct the highlight colors. Now you can click OK to apply your correction. It doesn’t do anything to your image. but this time drag the slider all the way to the right. This puts a little sampler target named #1 on your photo (as shown here). Now. choose the Color Sampler Eyedropper (as shown here). Step Seven: Get the midtone Eyedropper and click it in an area that looks medium gray. Get the shadow Eyedropper. let’s mark it for future reference.
and now you now exactly where to click the midtone Eyedropper. . Now. let’s back up a bit to finding the midtone area. That’s it—you’re correcting your JPEG photos like a pro. When the dialog appears. you can apply this exact same correction to other photos that share similar lighting—just click on the Adjustment Layer that appears above your photo in the Layers palette (as shown here). Here’s how it’s done: Step One: Add a new blank layer. Step Two: Go to the Layers palette and change the blend mode of this layer to Difference. Step Two: When the Curves dialog appears. When the Fill dialog appears. it automatically color corrects the image. instead choose Curves from the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. do your correction as outlined in the previous tutorial. in the Contents section. or downward if it appears to light.notes Now. and drag and drop it onto another one of your photos. and it works wonders. under Use. Now. That’s it—that’s where the midtones area. then go under the Edit menu and choose Fill. Now. Step Three: Choose Threshold from the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu. As this dragged layer appears in each image. since you used an Adjustment Layer.” This does a pretty amazing job of finding what’s supposed to be a neutral midtone. want to speed things up when you’re correcting a bunch of images shot in similar light (which is the case most of the time). even if it’s not exactly gray. choose 50% Gray from the pop-up menu (as shown here) and then click OK to fill this layer with 50% Gray. You can now trash the gray Difference layer and the Threshold Adjustment Layer. What if you can’t determine an area that should be gray? Then it’s time for: “Dave Cross’s Patented Never-Miss Find the Midtones Trick. This “drag and drop” correction can really save a awful lot of time when correcting a bunch of images. you can just double-click on the Adjustment Layer and it will open with the exact Midtone point correction you applied still in place. slowly drag the slider back to the right and the first areas that appear in black are the neutral midtones. Here’s what to do: Step One: Instead of choosing Curves by pressing Command-M (PC: Control-M). drag the slider all the way to the left until your photo turns completely white. so you can drag that point upward if the photo appears too dark. If the image correction is a bit to light or two dark.
This brings up the dialog in its default state (shown here) which automatically opens the up the shadow areas in your photo by 50%. Enter a Feather Radius of 3 pixels. and choose Shadow/Highlights. (Hold the Shift key to add other flesh tone areas to the selection. Step Three: Go under the Image menu. You can fix both fairly easily if you have Photoshop CS or CS2. Most people use this tool in just this way. Especially if people are in the photo. but sometimes your shadows will be too dark and plugged up (perhaps the light source was behind the subject when you shot it). When the dialog appears. but if it’s just the fleshtones that are too red. if you experience this. and choose Hue/Saturation. That’s it. Step One: If the entire photo appears too red. which is fairly common. Here’s how: Step One: Go under the Image menu. legs. then do this: Get the Lasso tool and make a selection around all the flesh tone areas in your photo. under Adjustments.) Step Two: Go under the Select menu and choose Feather. etc. You’ll be able to see the effect of removing the red as you lower the Saturation slider. it can tend to look artificial. problem solved. However. Step Four: Drag the Saturation slider to the left (as shown) to reduce the amount of red. and (2) the adjustment tends to look “milky” and obviously adjusted. . CORRECTING EXPOSURE PROBLEMS This is another side of correcting your images—fixing exposure problems. under Adjustments.notes CORRECTING TOO-RED FLESHTONES If you’re going to have a problem with your color correction. it’s easy to deal with. click and hold on the Edit pop-up menu and choose Reds (as shown here) so you’re just adjusting the reds in your photo (or within your selection if you put a selection around just the flesh tones in step one). such as arms. Believe it or not. hands. chances are it’s going to rear its ugly head as a too-red fleshtone problem. many of your exposure problems will be fixed by the Curves adjustments you’ve already done. or the highlights are too hot. but there are two downsides to using the defaults settings: (1) the adjustment is usually too much. then you can skip this step and jump right to step two. and then click OK to soften the edges of your selection and keep you from having a hard visible edge show where you’re going to make your adjustment.
which is still a great way to sharpen your images. the ability to limit sharpening in the highlight areas. click on the Lightness channel. without messing too much with the color in your image? Then try this trick I learned from Photoshop Hall of Famer and color correction genius guy Dan Margulis. . and apply your Shadow/Highlight adjustment to just that Lightness channel (which leaves the color channels untouched). a much larger preview. In the past. Once the adjustment is made. and choose Lab color).notes If you want better results from the Shadow/ Highlight control. and you can save your favorite settings as well. This new filter is called “Smart Sharpen” and it holds a number of advantages of the Unsharp Mask filter. SHARPENING YOUR IMAGES Before you save your JPEG file. We’ve come up with a good starting place that seems to work for many images. Now you can control more than just the Amount. including offering different types of sharpening. the primary tool for sharpening has always been the Unsharp Mask filter. under Mode. just about the last thing you’ll do is adding sharpening to your photo. you can switch back to RGB mode without damaging the photo one bit. or both (which can help reduce the occurrence of color halos). but in Photoshop CS2 they introduced a new sharpening filter which we feel will soon replace the Unsharp Mask filter as the filter of choice for Sharpening. and then go to the Channels palette. you can control the Radius and Threshold to determine how many shades are effected by the Shadow/Highlight adjustment and how intense they’ll be. click the Show More Options checkbox at the bottom left side of the dialog. use your judgement) TIP: Want to get even better results? Results that primarily effect the overall tone. shadow areas. and that’s to convert to Lab color mode first (by going under the Image menu. Here’s what you do: (1) You lower the Amount to around 30% (2) You increase the Radius to anywhere between 60 and 70 (whatever looks good to you) (3) You increase the Threshold to anywhere between 80 and 100 (again.
and Threshold 3. If you want something even better suited to just portraits. so you don’t gain a lot by choosing it. which is Amount 85%. TIP: To avoid the color halos that sometimes appear from over-sharpening. so it works nicely on everything from landscapes to portraits. and Threshold 10 (the high Threshold setting makes the effect more subtle. and Threshold 4. Click OK and the sharpening is applied to the photo. Try this setting out for size: Amount 125%. click on the Lightness channel. but unless you can determine which direction the blur in your photo is coming from. go to the Channels palette. under Sharpen. and (3) the Threshold slider works the opposite of what you might think—the lower the number. (2) the Radius slider determines how many pixels out from the edge the sharpening will affect. Radius 1. and choosing Unsharp Mask. we’ll look at Unsharp Mask. It’s found by going under the Filter menu. most pros pull the same trick that we did earlier when applying the Shadow/Highlight control. . even though the Amount is raised). it does if you use certain settings that release its kick butt mode. There are three controls in the Unsharp Mask: (1) The Amount slider determines the amount of sharpening applied to the photo. we think Smart Sharpen kicks its butt. it’s not a lot of help. if that all sounds a bit confusing. so you can apply more sharpening without getting those nasty color halos. So. the more intense the sharpening effect. It’s a little more subtle. That way you avoid sharpening the color in the photo. try Amount 150%. Here’s another (my personal favorite). Radius 1. Another is Motion Blur. Threshold determines how different a pixel must be from the surrounding area before it’s considered an edge pixel and sharpened by the filter. That’s a nice general purpose sharpening. But as cool as the Unsharp Mask is. and apply the sharpening there.notes But first. and that is to covert to Lab color mode. Radius 1. There are three types of blur this sharpening filter tries to remove: Gaussian Blur (which uses a similar algorithm to Unsharp Mask. Well. how about if we just give you some great starting numbers to start with.
especially on large images.notes But the other choice. Now. Radius at 1. go ahead and apply either the Unsharp Mask filter (if you’re on an earlier version of Photoshop). . duplicate the layer your photo is on. Now. and the More Accurate option offers more accurate sharpening. Turn both on at the same time. if you’re getting halos in the highlights. Cheese). ADVANCED SELECTIVE SHARPENING TECHNIQUES If you really want to take the sharpening of your images to a new level. speed or quality. and increase the Fade Amount. it’s noticeably slower. you’ll want to start using selective sharpening. Not bad. is very pleasing. Remove set to Lens Blur. So. OK. Here’s how it works. Step One: Once you’re done color correcting your image. you have to ask yourself question—what’s most important to you. Same thing with More Accurate—turn it on. Besides the quality issue. you can save them into the pop-up menu that appears in the main Smart Sharpen window by clicking on the little floppy disk icon. if you find some settings you particularly like. can you pull that “convert to Lab mode and only apply it to the Lightness channel trick?” Absolutely. Click on the Highlight tab. it can’t hurt. Better yet. which reduces the sharpening in just the Highlight areas. offers the advantage of using an entirely new sharpening algorithm which lets you apply more sharpening with less color halos. It’s a new style of sharpening. There’s also a checkbox for “More Accurate” which offers (you guessed it) even more accurate sharpening. and More Accurate turned on. but hey. click on the Advanced button which reveals two tabs (as shown here): Highlight and Shadow. what are our favorite Smart Sharpen settings? We like these: Amount 58% (100% just seems to harsh to us). if it were me. In some cases (like photos of your neighbor’s kid’s birthday party at Chuck E. but the payoff is worth it.0. you may choose speed. Lens Blur. why are they both turned off by default? It’s because when you choose Lens Blur. the filter takes longer to apply. or apply the Smart Sharpen filter (our preferred sharpening filter). Step Two: Go to the Layers palette and duplicate the background layer (assuming your image is flattened of course. If not. that to me. which lets you avoid some halos in the highlights while keeping the rest of your sharpening in tact. you might be wondering something along these lines: If Lens Blur offers better sharpening. But if the photos are work for your client. the filter takes longer to apply. It takes a little more work. I’d go with the quality choice. although some argue that the Smart Sharpen filter’s new sharpening algorithm does away with the need to do that.
. you can probably squeak out a 5”x7” or even an 8”x10” if you’ve something like a 12 megapixel Nikon D2. just switch your Foreground color back to black and paint that sharpening away. Think of this as a “Sharpening Brush. you’d paint over the chrome on the car. and maybe the wheels. if the photo was of a car. hiding all the effects of your one or two extra passes of sharpening. if the effect seems too intense. as to whether you can get away with one or two more passes of this filter). If you can live within those parameters. This puts a black mask over your super-sharpened layer. bunky. you can avoid the outside edges of objects. See if that doesn’t work for ya. go immediately under the Edit menu and choose Fade Unsharp Mask (or Fade Smart Sharpen). As you paint.notes Step Three: Now. your photos appears just as it did after your first. and you’ll be seeing a trick the pros use every day to get extraordinary sharpening without visible damage to their images. Step Four: Hold the Option key (PC: Alt-key) and click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (as shown here). you’ll be revealing parts of the super-sharp layer. TIP: Anytime you apply a sharpening filter. just apply the Smart Sharpen filter two times in a row to the blurry photo to snap it back to sharpness. and being painting on this layer.” As you drag the slider to left. For example. The 4”x6” example I mentioned earlier was based on the photo being taken with a 6-megapixel camera. Step Two: Once the resolution has been lowered. This of this as “undo on a slider. but only paint over key areas that you really wanted sharpened. Lower the Resolution to 72 ppi (the higher the megapixel camera the shot was taken with. set your Foreground color to white. Maybe even twice again if you can get away with it. you’ll see how useful this will be. and concentrate the sharpening where you want it. (b) email the photo to a friend. and original application of the sharpening. Since you have total control over where this sharpening appears. or (c) use it in a slide show on screen presentation. If yours is higher in megapixels. without the photo getting little shots or looking way over sharpened (it depends on the photo. you can save often save a photo that was destined for the trash. When you see this in class. you might be able to rescue it to the extent that you can: (a) print a 4”x6” sharp color print. the better. That’s it. Try this: Step One: Go to the Image menu and choose Image Size. and a photo that’s suffering from camera shake. the amount of sharpening is reduced. on this duplicate layer apply the Smart Sharpen (or Unsharp Mask) filter once again. get the brush tool. SHARPENING VISIBLY BLURRY PHOTOS If you have CS2. Basically.” If you make a mistake and paint over something that looks too sharpened. Now.
If you’re new to Camera Raw. so if you want one. and based on which camera the photo was taken with. Instead. Dragging the Tint slider to the right makes the white balance more reddish. etc. you can do that first turning each checkbox off. as you’ll see a list of the same commonly used white balance settings from digital cameras. Shadows. They let you adjust the color of your white balance visually. it applies a set of auto-corrections. Len Vignetting. you’ll probably find these Auto settings very helpful (Honestly. they do a pretty decent job in many cases). to the left more green. White Balance: You have your choice of three different ways to choose a new white balance setting for your photo: (1) Choose it from the pop-up menu. I recommend trying them all—you’ll be amazed at what a difference the right one can make. right under the Histogram) and choose Save New Camera Raw Defaults (as shown here). just in case). Increasing the Temperature (dragging to the right) makes the white balance warmer. dragging to the left makes it cooler. However. but if you want them turned off all the time. Brightness. If the pop-up menu choices don’t get you right where you want (for example. TIP: To turn these Auto settings all off (or back on again). or more of them off. so you just choose the one you want from the list. (3) Use the White Balance Tool. thankfully most photographers will rarely need to use to those controls (but we’ll cover them later. press Command-U (PC: Control-U). These “Auto” settings are all on by default (as shown here). most of us will make the same type of adjustments to our raw images.notes Correction Raw Images In Photoshop CS2 Adobe added some automated correction features to Camera Raw which look at the EXIF data embedded in the Raw image. if Tungsten is too blue. this works differently than you might think—don’t click in a white area—instead click on a light gray area to properly set the white balance. This tool (which looks like Photoshop’s standard eyedropper tool) let’s you click within your image to set the White Balance. and Contrast. and here’s how to use the most essential ones. but Fluorescent is not blue enough) you can try these sliders to adjust the color of your light. . This is the easiest way. just click on the checkboxes.). which take a fairly reasonable shot at setting the proper Exposure. Essential Adjustments Although Camera Raw offers a number of built-in fixes for severe image problems (like Chromatic Aberrations. (2) Use the Temperature and Tint sliders. then go tot he Camera Raw’s pop-down menu (which is found just to the right of the Settings menu.
that lets you know that there’s clipping in just those colors. so I’ll tell you where it is: it’s directly above the ball. you can keep dragging until white areas appear without concern about losing detail in your image. and like the highlight slider. I tried). anything that appears in white will be clipped (it will have no detail). Hey. Camera Raw has two different warnings to help keep you from doing exactly that. (1) Before you move the Exposure slider. You can kind of think of the Exposure slider like you would the Highlight slider in Levels. the “Auto” checkbox goes off. Once you start moving this slider in either direction. Turn on that checkbox. I mean increasing the highlights so much that they lose detail). speaking in basic terms. or red. So. . you have to be careful not to clip the highlights (by clip. of course. it’s hard to see red in a black and white screen capture. (2) The second method (which was added in CS2) is the Highlight Clipping Warning checkbox (shown here) which appears at the top right side of the Preview window. As you drag. so what I do is let go of the Option/Alt key. or green start to appear. in the top window pane. so I mind myself using this one often). the clipping might be happening in an area that doesn’t have any detail anyway. The Exposure is adjusted using a simple slider. That’s surely not me. hold the Option key (PC: Alt-key) and the entire preview area will turn black. to the immediate right of the column. If you see blue. like the sun). you’re one of those photographers who gets their exposure dead-on every time. because now you’re creating a custom exposure setting. Well. and any areas which start to clip are highlighted in Red (I know. Dragging to the right increases the overall exposure. look where the clipping is appearing within my photo.notes Exposure: This one’s a life-saver (unless. and decide if I care (after all. or dragging to the left decreases it.
go under the Image Menu and choose Duplicate to make a duplicate of this photo (you can use the default name the Duplicate dialog puts in). get a white soft edged brush and paint over just the sky area. it perfectly aligns the two images. without any regard for how the sky in the photo looks. This unveils the properly exposed sky. Now close the original one you opened. open the same photo again. it creates a new original (based on the same digital negative). To make sure you don’t clip the shadow areas (make them so dark so that there’s no detail) you’ll use the same techniques I just showed for Exposure. so that they’re pixel-for-pixel right on top of each other. By holding down the Shift key. Moving the Shadows slider to the right increase the shadows. but this time expose for the sky by using the Exposure slider. or turn on the Shadow Clipping Warning that appears just to the left of the Highlight Clipping Warning checkbox just above the Preview area. giving you the best of both worlds—a perfectly exposed main subject. we’re adjust the exposure so the main image looks good. Hold the Shift key down. and anything that appears in black is what is getting clipped). rather than black. Bracketing Using Camera Raw: Since every time you click the Open button. with a perfect sky. and drag your properly exposed sky image onto your properly exposed main subject image. Dragging to the left will open up. Then set your Foreground color to white. .notes Shadows: Here’s another of the most important settings. you can use Camera Raw to do camera bracketing after the fact. then press the Open 1 Photo button to open that photo in Photoshop. step five: Now Option-click (PC: Alt-click) the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette (as shown here) to hide the photo on top (the good sky image). This lets you create images that your camera’s sensors could never capture (you’ll see an example of what I mean in class). Either hold the Option (PC: Alt) key down while you’re dragging the Shadow slider (the preview area will turn white this time [as shown here]. get the Move tool. then when the image opens in Photoshop. step two: Click the Open 1 Image button. step three: Now go back to Camera Raw. or lighten the shadow areas. much like moving the Levels Shadow slider to the right. losing all detail. Here’s a step by step on how to bracket in Camera Raw: step one: Open your Raw image in Camera Raw and then use the Exposure slider to expose the photo for one part of the photo (in our example in class. so basically the sky will get totally clipping.
you can use the Exposure and Shadow sliders to increase the contrast by dragging both sliders to the right (in the example shown here. you’ll probably be dragging to the right most. as it mostly brightens (or darkens) the midtone areas in your image. if not all. turn the Auto checkbox back on). the Exposure looked OK. NOTE: Only the Exposure and Shadow sliders have clipping warnings (since they adjust the highlights and shadows) so be aware that none of the other adjustments have warnings. which removes all the color from your image. you’ll find a version you like). . and Saturation. of the time. but of course try the Contrast slider as well (in our example. Contrast. Here’s how: step one: Start by dragging the Saturation slider all the way to the left (as shown at right). step three: Lastly. step two: Now that the photo is black and white. Needless to say. you’re pretty much eyeing it. and dragging to the left reduces the contrast. so dragging to the right makes the image have more contrast. try changing the White Balance (I know. so for Brightness. much like increasing the Saturation slider in Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation dialog. too. why change the white balance for a black and white image? Try it. it can also be used to create a black & white image from right within Camera Raw. try all the built-in ones from the pop-up menu. to further tone your black and white image. in fact. Contrast: This slider increases (or decreases) the overall contrast. but I increased the Shadows by quite a bit). Drag to the left to darken them. (If you’re uneasy about this adjustment. I increased that quite a bit. Drag it to the right to brighten the midtones. Saturation: This slider lets you control the overall saturation of color in your photo. However.notes Brightness: Think of this slider like the Midtone slider in Levels. and believe me.