Five Step Tango Part 1
Hello internet and welcome back to creative live we're here with adobe camera raw optimizing, enhancing and retouching with jack davis we've got a lot to cover so jack I'm just gonna throw it back to you sir thank you. I appreciate it and we've spent the morning doing what I consider to be dry stuff not very sexy we have been working on images but it's so practical to spend some time on the bridge a lot of people do not take advantage of it don't know some of the shortcuts or the tools that are available in it so that's why we spend the time there um some of the features even within the interface within a dopey camera are a little bit nebulous and some people don't I ran into him and don't realize how much they can do actually within it as an example that saved dialog box which just gets more and more powerful every day but this is where we get into the fun stuff. This is where we're going to start tweaking or images and this is where we'll be ableto see why we won't be needing as much...
of photo shop as we have in the past is just because of this so I'm gonna start off with what I call my five step tango for instantly optimizing your image and once you get used to it, I'd say in about ten seconds or less so this is what we have right now so these are the steps first white balancing crop um white balance because it if it's an issue if you've been shooting under artificial light and you came out wasn't doing it most of your cameras probably set to auto white balance most of them do have quite a good job by the way the new iphone five s does an amazing job of white balance with and without this new flash just had to throw that in there um but it also affects your tone range so you also will want to fix a white balance issue because it will also set your hissed a gram and effect to your tonal range in general so um that will be first second thing is crop and I put these in kind of sets because they somewhat relate to each other and also just simplifies the process so white balance and crop crop is not to, um really cropped out your image for your aspect ratio of your print it's more concerned with the tonal range within that crop meaning if we look at our history graham right here this is the image taken in chicago if my main concern was the clock and I come up here and crop into the clock watch what happens to my history graham it's radically different history graham it's on ly what's inside the crop is what's being registered in your instagram and since we're goingto ask adobe camera, would you please set the tonal range for my image? I first have to crop it for the tonal range that I'm interested in, and it will then set the highlights and shadows forming if there is nothing if excuse me if it was just a different say between this cropping of the image and say this one you can see there's not a huge shift into the history graham though everything changes the distribution of tone in the file as you change the crop. So again, I'm not concerned about the aspect ratio of my going printing out eight by ten or eleven by fourteen I'm interested in making sure that whatever I'm going to keep in the file in terms of the story is inside the crop meaning if I was going to do something where again, it was that that clock and that was going to be the distribution of it, I would want to crop into it so as to get an accurate reading, yes, okay, that doesn't ah ha moment I feel bad because I spent three days with you on a similar type of subject here, and the cropping didn't make any sense to me doing it in the beginning because I'm thinking, well, why would you crop your image? You know, until you've got it all done so now that they cropping it to kind of focus on on the focal point that makes a lot more sense do you have to hit the return button or can you get can you move can you have it like you have it right now and then move on with your you don't have to hit the return key for any of the things if you just do it and then you move on to another parameter hit auto right now it would be just doing focusing on what that's right cropped exactly so if we come up here and we do just the clock now when I hit auto which is you're jumping ahead if I had auto and then it's doing it for that there's the history ram for auto if I come up here and hit default and then auto it's a totally different history graham and it's a totally different you look at these sliders right here and what is it what it's going to do those are different slider locations so this one in terms of what it's going to do at a plus fifty shadows okay actually he says this is he's doing a mathematical thing plus sixty you know what we're doing our little minus twenty two minus twenty two that is changing the history graham but it looks like now this I don't believe this how it used to be if I'm correct twenty six twenty six blacks and whites it's doing the exact same auto adjustment regardless of the crop the his diagram is accurate but it's not actually setting the parameters the auto now this is a very good point is this a bug or a feature as we say because in this current version of uh um no became a raw version a point to um that is not how it has worked in the past because it doesn't really make sense the auto is trying to set a parameter and as you can see that auto is not set in the dynamic range for the entire image um let's do this just for fun you see that is doing something different for each one of those so if we do auto for that we're just going to be a plus nine we said again even in that one is doing the same parameter even using the old processing engine so very, very interesting, very interesting I'll have to check with the gang and adobe to see what is um what is up with that? It still means you could still crop it but it's not the one of the things that were going to dio our next step after we white balancing crop is to hit this auto button and is for it to automatically set this tonal range based upon what's inside the crop as we just saw surprise uh is that that crop is not changing this auto settings, it is changing the history graham so since you're using your history graham to set the parameters it's still totally accurate it's still want to do this crop as your first step in the tango, even if you're not using auto because it's the only way you're going to see an accurate history gram of what you're interested in. So if you're setting that tonal range within those images, you will see it, but it does not seem to be automatically setting that black white point based upon the crop it's the entire image very good, very interesting, okay, but auto, regardless of the fact of whether it is doing it with in the crop or without the crop, it is going to set the tonal range on the image. So here as an example, the reason for hitting auto is with this new version of photoshopped it is zeroing everything out in the dead center, so these six parameters of exposure contrast, highlight shadows whites and blacks, which I'll explain in a minute what each one does is now zero and can go up or down in the past the old version of the engine going back to our little option here of two thousand ten, you'll notice that it starts off at zero here all the way zero on the left hand side here blacks it takes out five points brightness fifty and contrast plus twenty five it's just a random little set of numbers and some of them like recovery and fill it you can't go both always up and down on that highlight all you can do is take what's light and make it darker can't make what's light and make it lighter which is actually really cool that you can do that as you will see so anyway back to our two thousand twelve process I'm going to hit auto and you can see what it's doing to the dynamic range of the file it's going through each one of these and sending exposure contrast highlight shadows whites and blacks from all of those six parameters it's going to do now you'll notice you may go well it looks great that the horse and the rider looks great but it's looking a little bit light I want mohr information in it that's fine the main thing that you want to do with this step of hitting auto as the second step in the tango is you're looking for the overall mid tone values on the file it's going to do some subtleties in terms of contrast and highlights and shadows and all this other stuff but overall it it does a basic improvement to the file great if not you can't undo it in other words, it it's a silly computer it does not know exactly what you're going for is it high key images that loki was at sunset? Is it foggy? Is it underwater? Has no idea so it takes a stab at it for me for it to take a stab at thes where it took on this shot right here exposure up contrast down that's a very complex adjustment to no wind to reduce contrast within the file since we all love punchy images to take the highlights up, take the shadows up lightning those the whites up blacks up for it to do all of that work to get from this to this okay leaving all that highlight you can see what it's doing to the shadow is very cool it's a great starting point and that's all it is is a starting point ok, some of these other ones will do down in the bahamas we're going to hit auto and again a great starting point and sometimes it's going to be taking down highlights sometimes it will be taking up highlights so again before after that is our starting point. Okay, next auto and you notice here that I have undue with a smiley face in case you don't like it totally fine if you go dude that's over the top I don't like it undo it and move on you do not need it is part of the tango step three exposure clarity shadow on highlight I put these four together because these are going to be dealing with exposure, which are your mid tone values. Clarity is not part of these six parameters. It's actually part of an edge contrast it's the popping of the image it's that it's almost three d ability to make some element of an image of stand off from another one. So it's finding where there are inherent edges and exaggerating that they call it mid tone contrast, really contrast is mid tone contrast. Clarity is ej contrast. If there were no edges in the file, it wouldn't do anything it's just looking for inherent edges, and I put that into this little section of the tango because it is so powerful, increasing contrast on edges it can actually you can get carried away. Khun ad. Too much contrast, too bright on the highlights or to darhk in the shadows. So that's why I always do clarity before shadow, because that shadow slider so ridiculously powerful that if you do get a little greedy, that shadow slider, we'll pull back out the shadows that you maybe got a little bit carried away with with clarity. So if you do like that look of clarity is useful for you than doing it prior to shadow, I mean, you don't have to backtrack that's the whole purpose on these stages here is if you do these in this order, then you won't find yourself going back and that's the problem with most people doing these sliders, they start yanking sliders, and you're constantly going back and forth and they're fighting each other, and this way you go one step down, you can go back and find tune it, but this should get you most of the way there, so exposure is your mid tone values, your skin tones, clarity, your edge contrast or popping shadow and highlight detail is just that pulling out the information in the file that may or may not want to come. So let's, go back to our little horse friend here, and I'm just going to come up here and hit auto. This is also was part of the california photo festival, a shoot they're in morro bay, that part of light workshops dot com that's going on right now as we speak, they're probably shooting horses as we speak, so I hit auto next, we're going to do exposure. And exposure again, as a mainly concerned with the mid tone values in this file, in the mid tone values they're going to be basically the horse and the rider it is back lit, this is actually a sunset. The fog had come in, so I don't I need to make it look like it's midday, but I do want more detail in there, so I'm gonna come up here and do just a little bit mawr in the exposure, even though that's making my highlights already to light, I've got something for that next is going to be clarity, so clarity is going to allow me to pull in that detail that popping of the whitewater and the subtleties on the file. Now, in this case, since I've got fog fog, by definition, is this muted, low contrast, low key kind of situation, and there are times when you want muted, okay. So even with the landscape, there are times when clarity is the opposite of what you're going for. You'll also notice that clarity, just like the other sliders above, it starts dead center. Okay, it starts here at zero, which means you can remove clarity as well as increased clarity, since this is ej contrast, another word for edges is wrinkles this is a wrinkle enhancement as well as a wrinkle reduction. Slider as well were primarily going to use this to soften up some portrait when we get into targeted adjustments and we'll put it into a brush to paint on to soften skin tone but just as a parameter so I'm gonna take this up a little bit, not get too carried away with it because I liked the subtlety of it so exposure mid tones, clarity, edge highlight and shadow or shadow on highlight so now this is where you're going to see got the ability to pull out a huge amount of information from what is basically, you know, a black horse, so I'm gonna come up here and we're starting to see some noise but that's where our post tango comes in, I'm gonna take that shadow up antimatter take these highlights way down and the highlights down here going toe where I'm gonna be ableto pull in some subtleties in terms of the color of my background this also is where I may want to balance out that mid tone value if I can't get enough of my highlight there's nothing stopping me from coming up here, taking my exposure down a little bit, not being so greedy with those milk tones and yet being a little bit more greedy with my shadows okay, so you can go back and balance out some of these things later so again, this is giving me right now my subtleties of my highlights as well as my shadow detail the um highlights down so shadows almost all the way up I could get a little carried away with it but again this is moving low light um hi I s oh um no strobe situation so I'm already being a little bit greedy with how this is being shot okay, so those are those four steps for this third part of the state of the tango exposure clarity shadow on highlight let's go ahead and do this for this gentleman here so again all we've done is hit auto let's do the same things the exposure will say that exposure is going to be um I'm thinking looking at a skin tone here so I'm going to take that up I like that clarity is going to be that pop again try not to get too greedy with it you can see I can add quite a bit to it if I take it down you're getting that softening we'll take it up we'll add definitely some pop to it shadow gonna pull out some detail in the shadow areas and then the highlights it looks to me like I'm getting looking at this hissed a gram it's looking pretty good overall but I can take it then that down if I want a bit more detail in his pith helmet again if I am working with a high contrast seen aiken turn on those different warnings up here remember that is telling me that there is, um some clipping taking place in this file it doesn't tell me if it's in one or more of the channels so now that this is giving me some warning uh well let's go ahead we'll finish off this four steps so we have exposure, clarity, highlights and shadows I can use this highlight if I want to to pull in a little bit more detail there and I can even take if that's if I want to make sure that there's no shadows there I can come up here and had a little bit mohr of shadow brightness to it but that takes us to our next step, which is really a fine tuning step as you can see here that's pure white and that is whites and blacks so fine tune it. We've pulled out our mid tones we've gotten tour quarter what are known as quarter and three quarter tones with our highlights and shadows we've gone into the edge contrast, we've actually brought out a huge amount of range and now we're going to find two in those ages those edges of our are the edges of the history of the parameter of the history graham to set our black and white point so often times you'll find that you won't need it, but in this case we're going to do that let's turn back on and now we're just going to come up, take our whites then see how high it took the whites up because it was such a dark underexposed file as I was trying to not get shot by taking his picture so just a little couple clicks down is going to allow me to bring that back into a range of may be more comfortable with or I can hold down that option or all key and now I can see if I don't want any clipping I can take it all the way down there or if I don't mind it clipping justin the red channel just in his shiny ah badge on his helmet it's fine with me okay that is the difference between here where there's clipping I don't know where but if we again hold down that option are all key you can see in the pith helmet it's just being clipped in the green so there would be a dot pattern when I printed there if I don't want any clipping on it well I'm holding down that option or outplayed key I can click until it's where I want it same thing with the blacks right here I can come over here and, um bring them up okay which can this point that is just pure black no matter what I do it's just black the sensor recorded black this is probably was a jpeg image again, shot very quickly, moving, probably out of a moving car for some reason. I don't like people staring at me like that, and he obviously didn't like somebody staring at him like that. Though police officers are awfully, very good at that, here it is what I can change. I'm holding down that option or all key. So really, I don't I'm not too concerned with just a little bit of that black fringing on the eyes. Okay, so here is you see how far that's being pushed. You also see here that the transition between highlight a mid tone and a shadow for you to have done a curves adjustment that would have taken the shadows up that much without affecting the mid tones and the highlights with no banding or transition, no muddying as you get a transition between one portion of your total range going up and the other one's, staying at an angle is ridiculous. That is just a ridiculous request to put forward, and it does it amazingly well. Okay, so whites and blacks to taste again, keeping an eye on your history next last step of the tango vibrance and been yet vibrance is a color adjustment it's also not part of this six that would be done with the auto button it's an intelligence saturation you can actually add vibrant saturation to it because there are times when you might want to use saturation instead of vibrance, but we'll use vibrance. Here we'll go backto this gentleman right here and the thing with vibrant versus saturation is that vibrance is you could say intelligence saturation or what's known as the non linear saturation regular saturation ifyou've got red, green, blue and all your colors in here and you take your saturation up they will all go up equally all your colors, whether they're saturated or not. Which means that if you already had read in here that was saturated or skin tone that was already saturated but you were trying to get the green grass to come up a little bit. If you take the green grass it's also going to take what was already saturated the red badge up to the point where now this could possibly be going over the cliff. In other words, they were at this level when you take saturation and now they both go up at the same rate and this khun go screaming to its death out of gamut. Okay, uh, what vibrance does if this is your starting point, vibrance takes what's unsaturated and balances it out with what's already saturated, it knows where there is already saturated colors. It also knows skin tone so all skin tone no matter what ethnicity fits into this orange range so it's also very judicious in terms of oranges so as an example, if I take saturation up, I'm going to be getting a muchmore fluorescent skin tone and fluorescent background then if I do the same sort of thing where the vibrance where I can bring up a lot of punch, you'll notice things like the subtleties in the helmet are increasing saturation but the skin tones not going radioactive so vibrance is intelligence saturation it's excellent there's only a few times when saturation is a better a job than that let's actually take this landscape here and go back to our default setting and do that same tango so we'll do auto here, which is great you can see that auto did a great first step in terms of fixing the image exposure looks good middle value looks great clarity you can see actually the clarity and vibrance when you hit the default it's just those first six so let's actually we set that image all the way let's reset it all the way so auto that's a good tonal range you look at the history graham before and after you can see that there wasn't any highlights in here so auto sets my dynamic range for the image now that we know it does that whether you cropping it or not good to know and but the middle tone exposure looks great, so I'm going to jump right down to clarity. It is a landscape, which means I get away with murder. I'm going to take that up, increase that edge contrast. I liked that shadows looked pretty good. I don't want to pull in a lot of shadow. I could take my highlights down. We're going through the chang go now, so that is giving me more detail in the clouds. I like that. Um whites and blacks looking at my history, grandma, get the full tonal range there. I don't need to peg that down or lighten up that so that looks fine. Oftentimes with this five step tango, you don't need the five steps, usually it's a two step kind of fixing. I am going to come up over here to vibrance and you can see that vibrance aiken, take that way up depending upon your stamina, how much you can stand of that. But there is my vibrance. Okay, so there's my before after before after okay for that and we've already sent scene that gentleman here let's, go ahead. These were these grand tetons last week. So auto it's doing a lot with the highlights, but I don't mind that my middle tone values look overall good find with that it did set that tonal range looking at the history graham it did make my lights a lot lighter so use that as a starting point knowing that I'll probably going to come up here after I've done my clarity and the landscape so I can get away with murder and I'm gonna take that highlight way down to make sure that looking at the's the main part of my story is going to be these peaks right? So I need to make sure that there is no clipping on those sun kissed peaks on the grand tetons and shadow could I come up here yeah if I do get a little greedy let's say that I do want to pull out a lot of detail in that foreground here where I'm starting now to flatten out that image a little bit right that third step of the tango okay some exposure my mid tones ej contrast highlight I just took that down to get that and shadow now I'm getting a little bit greedy I'm doing these all in this order and then the next step whites and blacks because if I do get greedy and I start flattening it out because I've brought in so much shattered detail now I can come over here bring down the blacks and I've reset that dynamic range leaving those three quarter tones light that's really amazing that I can go down into this shadow detail pull it up right here and yet take my blacks back down to extend the full dynamic range. That again, is if you were to do that occurs, we say, yeah, I want the blacks nice and black, but I want these three quarter tones really light in the middle tone values. I wantto believe where they are. But by the way, could you darken the highlights down and leave my wife's where they were? Okay, that's just so ridiculously greedy and the fact that you can pull it off and then even with this white so I could come up here and take my whites if I wanted just dark and those a little bit, and and pull that much information out of the shadow detail his tremendous, especially since now I go into this last step where I'm gonna come in to things like vibrance. Okay, now this is where it gets interesting. You'll notice that vibrance is can be a little heavy handed with blues and purples. And, as I mentioned, it's also always light on oranges because that's where skin tone is the problem is, if you're working on sunrises and sunsets, you have yellows through oranges into reds it's gonna work with the orange is different than it will with the yellows and reds. That non linear aspect, which is really nice in a portrait, is a little funky when it says words and it's a sunset I want everything I want yellows, oranges, reds toe to do a little pop. So this is where you may do some vibrance, but it may be a benefit to bring in some saturation as well, because that's going to affect the oranges, the full spectrum of it so that's up to you of what, whether you want to use saturation but that's a great use for saturation is when you have a sunrise or a sunset, because it will allow it to be a linear adjustment. So here on the tango for this one is this shot, and I'm a because this is a sunrise I may even take this um, the exposure down a little bit, I want a little bit darker now this one all these ones that have been outdoors. I haven't done a white balance on the file yet their outdoor, they're not under artificial light either. A cloudy white balance in your camera or an auto white balance usually does a good job. If you want a consistent white balance throughout, a lot of people set their camera cloudy and it's consistent that way when they do a fix, they know that it's set starting point and it doesn't change so whether you're using an auto white balance or a static won like cloudy setting um usually not an issue I could play around with it but in this case if I were to try and get rid of a color cast, the problem is is that that's the ambient light that's what I'm going for in the sunset probably be more like this if I wanted to take that great turkey baster and click on the pith helmet you can see right there what that's doing there's an ambient I hope you can see that in the studio audience can you can see that here yeah it's doing a perfect neutralizing of a cool greenish cast that's going on probably there's green on the walls and stuff like that so that and you'll notice it's also changing my history graham as well, so white balance is really pertinent and you can use it for something like this. You can also use it in a creator fashion where I may want to add or subtract a portion of color for storytelling purposes, warm it up or cool it down a little bit we're going to use this in a bit to do an antique ing effect here right within the develop portion the basic panel within adobe camera so there's nothing stopping you from being a little creative um when I'm done with this image, my final image when I've done this, one would see if we've got it here. Is this is kind of where I went with it even more dramatic, where I son, this was all in shadow, so you can see that I exaggerated a little bit more and pulled out a little bit more the trees. So this one is kind of a light version, and we're going to maybe end up with a theme or heavy version.