This tutorial will be help the user understand how to color correct using the info panel and curves adjustment. This is highly useful when you can’t rely on your display for color accuracy.
I’m illustrating this process by choosing an image that is used to portray texture, sharpness and color rendering of a camera. It has a full range of textures, tones, colors and saturation.
The image is very warm, and will need the color cast removed. It is effecting the white point, the gray point and the black point.
Our first step is to identify where the eye dropper should set a point sampler. We can create 4 point samplers at a time.
First lets examine the info panel:
In order to identify which point on the image could represent a nice clean printable white point, (that is not a spectral highlight) you may use the threshold adjustment layer, or use curves, and drag the white point slider while holding option toward the center of the curves panel. My illustration must use threshold because I can not take a screenshot of the curves panel preview while holding option.
Drag the slider all the way to the right to see any pixels that have a reading of 255, then start sliding it toward the left until you see pixels appear in mass over an area that you know should read as a clean white. We will choose the white of the background of the woman.
Use the eye dropper tool (i) and hold shift while clicking on the image. That will create the first point sampler.
Observe the image zoomed in where I have chosen the white point.
Now Let us choose the black point.
Note the RGB values for our black point.
Now let us pick our gray point. Normally this can be quite difficult, but for this image our gray point is known to be a perfect gray,
Note that the R and G values are 30 points higher than the B value.
Our next step is to adjust the white point.
We are somewhat constrained by the white point value of the Red channel. Note that it reads 234. We can push it as far as 245 to maintain printable detail, but for illustration sake, lets make the Red White point our baseline, and raise the Green and Blue white points to match.
Lets choose our green channel in curves, and slide the white point over toward the left until the white value is equal to the Red white value. Please note that the RGB values on the left of the slash show you what the color values WHERE, and to the right of the slash, what the color values are NOW. We raised the Green white point from 230 to 234.
Now lets repeat the process with the Blue Channel; from 205 up to 234.
Lets repeat the process now, but we will adjust the black point. We don’t want our black swatch to read as 0,0,0, because it would crunch the blacks down too far, and we would loose detail, so lets aim for R12,G12,B12.
Note that our black values are reading as 12, 12, 12. Also note that after shifting the black point, we have also altered the Green white point a tad. We will notice a greater shift after we adjust our gray points.
Move the Blue gray point up to 115
Move Green gray point down to 115.
Note that our Black point and White points shifted a bit.
Please shift the white and black points back to where we aimed them to be before.
Our white points, gray points and black points are all equal now. The image is a tad dim, and could use with a white point pop, so lets push our white point up to 244.
Lets zoom in and examine the actual point sampled spots.
And finally, the Before and After.
Alpha Channels and Saving Selections:
Recently met and started doing some work with Scott Mcdermott. Really talented photographer and a great fun person to converse with. Please check out his work.
Soft Proofing: Non-contact, non-hard copy, sample of a job to be printed, displayed on a precisely calibrated and high resolution computer monitor. Soft proofs require an accurate color management software to show the exact hues and brightness of the image to be printed.* OR in other words… A way for you to see on your monitor what your image will look like when it is printed on your media of choice.
This is a great way for you to see what your image might look like before it goes to print in a magazine, newspaper, or even a nice archival print.
Soft proof can be found in the tool bar under View>Proof Setup>Custom
You will then see this box pop up.
You want to choose whatever profile that your printer is going to print on from the drop down menu and click OK.
If you are within the gamut of your chosen profile then you should not see a big difference from your file to the soft proof. If you want to go from the original to the soft proof press Command + Y to toggle between the views.
You can see here that on the right is the original file and the left the soft proof. And clearly it is not in the gamut of the profile (GRACoL2006- this is the widest CMYK profile you can print on) The blues are not reaching the saturation and glow that it is in RGB. This happens when the gamut of the RGB profile that you are working in is larger that the CMYK profile that you are printing. The diagram below will make it a bit more clear. Know that ALL profiles have different gamuts.
So remember when editing your images to always soft proof before going to print, especially when the colors in your image are saturated. It’s most likely in that case that a CMYK profile will not print those colors. Your best bet is to re-work your file to get the color that will print and compliment your image, instead of the dull washed out color that it will default to when printing.
The Expand Selection Tool is a tool that I often use. When filling in a mask that I created with Quick Mask, I use a short cut to expand my selection (option+command+ ]) then fill it to complete the selection. I also use it to contract my selection (option+command+ [) when I need to make my selection overall smaller. This tool can be found under Select > Modify.
I find it really useful to assign the lower button to the Option-Key, and the upper button to the Space Bar. By assigning option to the pen, it allows you to easily change the brush size with your other hand by keeping your fingers above the left and right bracket keys. Use your thumb to swap between the lower button (option) and the upper button (space bar / hand tool) to sample pixels, and pan across your image.
I’m an intermediate photoshop user. How do some people edit photos and make the colors look so amazing? Anyone willing to share or guide me? - MAIKOU
Find images you like, open those images up side by side with the image your working on. Start by understanding what you see in the images you like. I look at shadows, midtones, and highlights. I looks to see what color casts and tones are in those sections of the image. Then on your file open adjustment layer “color balance” and go through each zone ,shadows ,midtones and highlights, shift colors in each section till its close with the inspiration image. Also play with your levels/curves which ever your comfortable. Sliders can help cause you can scrub till you find what works. You’ll start to notice that your shadows will change when you start changing the other areas vice versa. Also play with selective colors with your image. And if you want further tweaking start masking areas and do local adjustments
The quality of light like some have already mentioned is a factor as well. How the image was lit how it was photographed all contribute to the mood of the image as well as where the image naturally wants to go.
Copying is a great way of learning and being hands on in teaching your self how to achieve something.
What is it? Smart Objects is a way to preserve the full resolution quality of your image and resize it in your document. This way you don’t destroy any information that you originally had with your image.
How do you use it? You can find this option in your tool bar: Layers>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object OR right click the layer that you want to convert and select Convert to Smart Object. When it is converted you will see a little symbol appear at the bottom right corner.
Where do we use it? This is a great way for us to make our website layouts. It gives us a way to resize images on a page to make the best possible arrangement without having to depreciate our image resolution. Furthermore, we can change our layout in the future if we want to pair it with another image or make it larger on our canvas.
Just a reminder that your image file size stays the same because it stores the original image file.
Image credit: Glen Luchford
I’d have to say my favorite tool is the clone stamp. I often use it either on normal, lighten or darken. Its great for creating new texture and blending pixels without destroying texture. It works well with both a hard brush and a soft brush.