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TUTORIAL 3

Adobe Photoshop

Overall Color, Contrast and Sharpness Adjustments

TUTORIAL 3 Adobe Photoshop Overall Color, Contrast and Sharpness Adjustments Figure 44 Analyzing the Image: The

Figure 44

Analyzing the Image: The first thing to do when determining how to process an image is to develop a strategy based on the intended use. When you know what you plan to do with the image the next

step is to look at the image and determine how to get the image ready for that intended use.

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COLOR CORRECTION WITH PHOTOSHOP

This tutorial will take you through these steps using the example

photograph, “Barn and Pond,” Figure

indicates that the image is:

.The Evaluation of this image

1- De-saturated (Lacks Purity of Color) 2- Flat (Lacks Contrast) 3- Slightly Magenta (Has a Color Cast) The next tutorials using the Photoshop Color Correction Tools will correct each of these flaws.

Step 1. MAKE A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL FILE

Always make a copy of your original file before making changes. Select File>Save As and rename your file. Save it as a PSD.

Step 2. CREATE ADJUSTMENT LAYER

Making changes on an Adjustment Layer method does not change the data of the file. It preserves the original data and the corrections are done in layers and can be undone easily.

COLOR CORRECTION WITH PHOTOSHOP This tutorial will take you thro ugh these steps using the example

Figure. 45 Creating a new Adjustment Layer.

When making changes, it is possible to evaluate different methods by toggling back and forth between Adjustment Layers. This is done by creating a new Adjustment Layer for each change. The down side is that this method adds data to the file which increases the file size and memory requirements.

To Make and Adjustment Layer:

Figure 45.

Pull Down Layer Menu, Select New Adjustment Layer For this Exercise Choose Levels

NOTE: Be sure the Preview Button is Selected in the Dialogue Box so you can see the changes.

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Step 3. LEVELS AUTO ADJUSTMENT

To the Right is the dialogue box for Levels Adjustments. It contains a

Histogram, which indicates the amount of data related to RGB and Shadows and Highlights.

NOTE: The illustration to the Right indicates the various selections in the Levels Dialogue Box. This exercise starts the correction for

To Apply Auto Levels:

Click Auto Dialogue Box:

The Illustration to the Right indicates the result of Auto Adjustment.

NOTE: The data is distributed differently across the histogram, indicating that adjustments have been made to correct for imbalances.

NOTE: Distribution from Shadow to Highlight has been corrected but the overall tone is a little cold compared to the original.

Step 3. LEVELS AUTO ADJUSTMENT To the Right is the dialogue box fo r Levels Adjustments.

Figure.46. Preview Checked

Step 3. LEVELS AUTO ADJUSTMENT To the Right is the dialogue box fo r Levels Adjustments.

Figure 47

...Levels

Adjustment Dialogue Box

De-saturation to improve the purity of the color and also adjusts the

Contrast.

NOTE: The Levels tool changes color, and contrast together (See Histogram Distribution.) Un-check and Check the Preview Button for Auto and Eyedropper to compare and evaluate the Changes.

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Step 4. LEVELS EYE DROPPER ADJUSTMENT

These adjustments are fine tuned to address distribution of Levels in the Shadow, Highlight and Midpoint.

Note: the Eyedroppers below Options. Right Eyedropper corrects Shadow Tones, The Left sets Highlights and the Middle corrects for Midtones.

Eyedropper Corrections:

Make a New Adjustment Layer and Select Levels

Choose the Left Eyedropper: Position the eyedropper tool on the image over darkest spot on the image. Click to select

Select the Right Eyedropper: Position over the brightest area (White window frames on Cupola) and click

Select the Middle Eyedropper: Position on a neutral Mid-point gray area, (the sign in the water is within this range) Click.

Step 4. LEVELS EYE DROPPER ADJUSTMENT These adjustments are fine tuned to address distribution of Levels

Figure.48.

Levels Eyedropper Adjustment

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Step 5. BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST CORRECTIONS

This exercise will address the Flatness, or lack of Contrast in the image.

This tool allows you to see a quick change in Brightness and Contrast adjustments affecting the ratio from Complete Dark to Full Light. Brightness and Contrast changes are applied Linearly. Experienced Photoshop users prefer to use the Curves Capability because Curves Adjustments can be applied over multiple ranges. The Curves tool is very complex. Instructions for making changes using Curves, can be found in tutorials included in Adobe Classroom in a Book, Peachpit Press Photoshop Visual Quick Start Guide and the PhotoShop Software Manual ..

Brightness and Contrast Corrections:

Make a New Adjustment Layer and Select Brightness and Contrast

Move the Sliders in the Brightness and Contrast Scale and observe the changes to these ratios.

NOTE: The top Illustration to the Right shows the change when the Contrast Slider is set at +10. Move the Sliders and Note the changes to your image when moving the Sliders in each Adjustment Scale.

Step 5. BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST CO RRECTIONS This exercise will address the Flatness, or lack of

Figure 49.

NOTE: The bottom illustration to the Right shows the Brightness and Contrast Adjustment illustrating a Plus 10% change in the Contrast setting only.

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Step 6. HUE SATURATION AND LIGHTNESS CORRECTIONS

These adjustments will also correct for the Purity of Color by changing

the

Hue (Colors) of an image for each of the color spaces represented:

Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta. These Hues can be adjusted individually or adjustments can be applied to all selections in the Master Setting

Saturation adjustments Affect the purity of the color within the image.

Lightness settings change the Value of color as it would be represented on a scale from Black to White.

Step 6 Continued:

Make a New Adjustment Layer and Select Hue/Saturation

Move the Sliders in the Dialogue box and observe the changes. (See Master Edit Dialogue Box. Pull Down this Menu to choose individual Hues.)

NOTE: The Illustrations of the Master Color Space Setting to Plus 10%

Step 7. COLOR BALANCE CORRECTIONS

This adjustment will address the Magenta Color Cast in the Sky. Color Balance adjustments are made to Color in specific Tonal Areas. In the illustration to the right, in the Color Balance Dialogue Box, Midtones was selected because this exercise is to correct the sky color, which is a mid-tone in this image.

Make a New Adjustment Layer and Choose Image, Adjust Color Balance

NOTE: The slider for Magenta was moved toward the Green scale to get rid of the Magenta in the sky. Toggle the Preview on and Off to see

Step 6. HUE SATURATION AND LIGHTNESS CORRECTIONS These adjustments will also correct fo r the Purity

Figure 50. Hue, Saturation, Brightness Adjustments

Step 6. HUE SATURATION AND LIGHTNESS CORRECTIONS These adjustments will also correct fo r the Purity

Figure 51. Color Balance to Adjust for Magenta Color Cast

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the changes to your image.

the changes to your image. Figure 52. Comparison between Original Image and All Changes. Figure 53.

Figure 52. Comparison between Original Image and All Changes.

the changes to your image. Figure 52. Comparison between Original Image and All Changes. Figure 53.

Figure 53. Comparison between Original Image and All Changes.

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Step 8. FINE-TUNING CORRECTIONS

The illustration Below shows the Adjustment Layers in the Layers Dialogue Box. By opening each Adjustment Layer Dialogue Box FINE- TUNING adjustments and making comparisons can be easily achieved simply by opening Adjustment Layer Dialogue Boxes and by Opening and Closing Adjustment Layers in the Layers Menu or Toggling Preview on and off in the Adjustment Dialogue Box.

Step 8. FINE-TUNING CORRECTIONS The illustration Below shows the Adjustment Layer s in the Layers Dialogue

Figure 54. NOTE: In the Illustration Top Right, two of the Layers (Color Balance and Hue Saturation) are toggled OFF showing only the Brightness and Contrast Adjustments.

NOTE: In the Illustration Bottom Right, the Hue/Saturation Dialogue Box has been opened automatically by clicking on this Adjustment Layer. Clicking the Eye on or Off in the Far Left Column of the Adjustment Layer will toggle that layer on or off.

Step 8. FINE-TUNING CORRECTIONS The illustration Below shows the Adjustment Layer s in the Layers Dialogue
Figure 55. Figure 56.
Figure 55.
Figure 56.

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Step 9. Sharpening

The final step in adjusting an image is to apply global

sharpening if the image is in need of it. With photographic images, the Unsharp Mask in Photoshop is the preferred tool to accomplish sharpening.

UnSharp Mask, Applied to the Entire RGB Image

Amount controls how weak or strong the mask image that is blended in will be. This will affect how much edge contrast will be added and how much apparent sharpness will result. If set too low, no changes will be seen, but if set too high, the inverted halos from the mask will be visible in the final image and will look artificial.

Amount Settings:

Start at an Amount setting of100, with a setting of Radius

0.8, and a Threshold setting of 3 for objects.

For faces, portraits and Images with a resolution of 300 ppi, set Amount for 100 with a Radius 1.5 and a Threshold of 6. Experiment with many combinations to learn how not to overdo it.

Radius controls the degree of unsharpness the mask image will have. Thus, it determines the width of the halos the mask will produce. The higher the radius the more evident the sharpening effect will be. Set too low, the effect will be invisible or too subtle to be effective. The

appearance of the halo will also vary with the content of the image since the amount of contrast already present will play a role.

Step 9. Sharpening The final step in adjusting an image is to apply global sharpening if

Figure 57.

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Radius Settings:

Radius = 1.0 is a good setting to start with. A range of 0.6 to

2.0 are the most useful, depending on the resolution, files size and amount of fine detail in the image. Choose a smaller Radius setting for fine detail, small file size or low resolution.

Threshold Settings:

Higher threshold values exclude areas of lower contrast. Human faces or detailed images require values greater than 1 or 2, possibly up to 5 or more. For inanimate objects, 0 or 1 are the most useful. For other types of subjects try 3 or 4. This control has little effect at high values. The effect of Threshold settings on a photographic image is more

apparent between low values of 0 to 5.

Threshold selects how adjacent pixels are considered in determining what is an edge. Proper settings prevent sharpening of unimportant detail, concentrating on detail that should stand out. Set too low, sharpening will be applied to every edge or change of tone throughout the image including such things as film grain. If set too high, no transitions will be viewed as being edges and no sharpening will result.

To Apply an Unsharp Mask to the entire RGB Image:

  • 1. Pull Down the Filters Menu

  • 2. Choose Sharpen>Unsharp Mask

Radius Settings: Radius = 1.0 is a good setting to start with. A range of 0.6

Figure 58.

  • 3. Apply the settings suggested in this tutorial.

  • 4. Check and Uncheck Preview to see the changes compared to the original image.

Note: Applying the Unsharp Mask to the entire RGB images causes changes to affect all RGB Channels. This approach may not provide sufficient control. An alternate method is to apply the Unsharp Mask to only the Lightness Channel. The next Tutorial explains how to do this using the Lab Mode instead of the RGB Mode.

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Tutorial: Applying an Unsharp Mask to Lab Color Channels:

When using the Unsharp Mask Filter on the RGB image, the same effect happens to all of the edges in your photograph and for certain areas of the image, a particular setting may be too much. Another way to control the amount of sharpening is to only affect the lightness or brightness of the image not the entire image. This is the best way to affect the sharpness of the image without causing odd effects or bringing out too much ‘grain’. In order to do this you will use ‘channels’ and will work in a different Color Mode called Lab Color.

Lab color mode is best because it divides it’s the color information of an image, or channels, into Lightness, Plus a, and b channels, which makes it possible to only control the Lightness information that applies to the edges of image areas without effecting color information.

  • 1. The sharpening process should only be applied

after you have completed all the other modifications

you need to do

...

its

the last step.

  • 2. You will need a full color image.

Convert the image to Lab color. Pull down the Image Menu and choose

Image mode Lab color

Tutorial: Applying an Unsharp Mask to Lab Color Channels: When using the Unsharp Mask Filter on

Figure 59.

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3. Selecting the Lightness Channel Click on the ‘Channels’ tab in the layers palette.

Click on the channel labeled ‘Lightness’. You will also notice the image goes to a grayscale. That’s normal.

  • 4. Apply Unsharp Mask

Go to Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask Follow the basic suggestions below:

Amount: 120% to 220% (image varies) Radius: 1.0 to 1.2 pixels Threshold: 0 When you have the results you like click OK.

  • 5. Convert image back to RGB

Pull Down the Image menu and choose:

Image mode RGB

Compare the difference in images sharpened in these two different ways. Compare the images both onscreen and in a printout. Figure 62.

3. Selecting the Lightness Channel Click on the ‘Channels’ tab in the layers palette. Click on

Figure 62.

3. Selecting the Lightness Channel Click on the ‘Channels’ tab in the layers palette. Click on

Figure 60.

3. Selecting the Lightness Channel Click on the ‘Channels’ tab in the layers palette. Click on

Figure 61.

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