Global Tools Part 2
Let's go ahead and look at noise reduction. Noise reduction is huge, and actually, in the past, noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw was horrible. I would have told you probably about five years ago to buy a plugin for noise reduction, but now, Adobe Camera Raw's noise reduction is beautiful. It's great, especially when you're doing things like this. So, but to understand what's happening over here, we first have to just get all of our sliders down to zero, just take everything down to zero. We don't need to see any of these. Bring this down, in your sharpening, bring your radius down, bring your detail down, bring your color down, and now, we need to zoom into a certain area of the photograph. Noise. Let's talk about noise. I've got three young boys. (audience laughs) Noise is a negative connotation. I don't necessarily like the term noise. In the film days, we would go and grab ISO 1,000 film, because we liked the grain that it produced on our images. When we shot indoors with wedding...
or with events or something like that, there was a beautiful film grain that would happen with ISO 1,000 film. Now, we don't necessarily have film grain that comes with ISO 1,000. We have something called noise that comes with ISO 1,000. And a lot of times, that noise, what I will, what I consider noise and things that I don't like are going to be areas that are magenta, green color noise. Color noise is noise. It's gross. We don't need it in our photograph. But luminance noise and color noise are actually two different things. If we pull them apart and look at them individually, color noise is that noise that we're getting where this just does not exist. This color noise is happening because all of the RGB things that are happening on my sensor in order to record this image, whereas luminance noise is basically what's coming across because of the ISO that I choose. Now, they do work hand in hand. You're gonna get this digital color noise along with any other noise. So, what I'm gonna do is just first start out by bringing up the color noise and assessing that color noise. And color detail, that is the amount of detail that happens within those color noisy areas. So you can either bring that down to, to reduce the amount of detail that's in there, or bring it up to increase the amount of detail that would be in that color noise area. And color smoothness is how, after it's reduced that color noise, how that color transitions throughout the rest of the canvas. Now, color smoothness, this is one of those things that, if you just bring this all the way up and say, just smooth out all that color, if you're looking at this and you can really see it, you can see what's happening, those magentas, those greens, they just kind of fade away into a muddy gray, which, if you've got a lot of color in your image and you also have a lot of noise in your image, those colors will start to fade away to like a moody gray, okay? So don't, don't just think, oh, I can get rid of all my color noise and just throw it out the window. No, there's gonna be some side effects and some drawbacks here. So just, you know, take it a little bit easy on this. So if we drop the color smoothness down, now you see how that color is starting to come back in there. Do I want all of that color? Maybe not necessarily. So let's just go somewhere in between there. Now, the next one that we need to talk about is luminance noise. Luminance noise is that, that fine edge, like, toothy type of noise that you're seeing in this image. So if I bring the luminance up here, you can see it just blurs everything down, to the point that this now looks like a painting rather than a photograph. What I want to, what I really want you to avoid doing is getting into the habit of just slamming up your luminance, 'cause if you slam up that luminance, you're losing a lot of important detail. So, what I do is I tend to be very mild with this. I'll just do a mild treatment of this that just basically brings up that luminance up to about 25 pixels or so. The luminance detail, that's how much detail would exist within that luminance noise. If I bring it up, it's gonna have a lot more of that detail within the noise. If I bring it down, it's going to have a lot less detail within that noise. And then if we have the luminance contrast here, this is the contrast between the lights and darks of the noise in the image, which, unless you have an ISO like 6500 image, you may not even see this thing even doing anything. A lot of times, we don't even touch it, because we don't see. Noise at that level at ISO 6500 tends to come in as dark and light and dark and light and dark and light and dark and light, these really dark and light pixels that are all next to each other. So, if we increase luminance contrast there, we're increasing or decreasing the amount of contrast between that noisy area. So, let's go ahead and bring that color detail down a little bit and color smoothness up, and now, if we look at this image here, if we look at our settings we have right here, if we click this button, this'll toggle between the current settings and the default settings. So that's just toggling, it's not toggling between all the settings in the camera raw. It's just toggling between what I've done with my noise reduction. So if we zoom in here and look at something like the top area here, there's the after, there's the before. After, before. Now, on that note, we also have sharpening, which works hand in hand with noise reduction. It has to, especially on Adobe Camera Raw. So, sharpening is, this is the amount of sharpening. You bring this up, and it's gonna make your image wildly sharper. You bring your radius up, and that's the radius between the pixels that it's grabbing. And the detail, this is where you're gonna start getting a lot of artifacting. It's gonna try and grab those detail areas and increase the contrast between them to make them more visible. So, if we drop that detail down, drop that radius down, and drop that amount down to get a sharp image, that's, that's actually pretty good right there. The masking button, this is really cool, which makes this kind of a hybrid local, hybrid global tool. So, it's globally reducing the noise, but it can hybridly, locally add sharpening. So, the sharpening in this mask, you see this masking slider? If you just move this over, you're not gonna know anything that it's doing. You're just like, oh, that's great. It didn't do anything. Awesome, thank you. But if you press Alt or Option and you click on it, that's showing you that right now, because this is white, when we start getting into talking about masking, that this sharpening is happening to the entire image. If I start to move this over, all the things that are black now are not being affected by the sharpening. Boom. I mean, like, this is mind-boggling, okay? Seriously, because as I move this over, we reduce the in these dark areas. Why would we wanna sharpen the noise that we just reduced, okay? So we have to use sharpening and noise reduction hand in hand, and we can't just globally sharpen the entire image. Sharpening is something that should be fine-tuned and happen to just the areas that it needs to happen to. So, with the photograph like this, I'd be very happy with these settings. Even though I still have noise in there, that's okay. When it prints, it'll actually look really nice. Don't worry about it too much. Don't peak too much at, oh my gosh, it's so noisy. I gotta go ahead and just blow it away with like this. Don't do that. Now you're just taking all that data there that's making all that detail really nice and pretty, and you're smudging it together. You're just smearing it all together, and it's just not good. It kind of reminds me of, back in the day, when I was a drawing, my drawing professor hated it when I would draw something with my pencil on my paper and then I'd take my finger and I'd just smudge it to try and get shading with my finger. It was such a bad habit, 'cause them I'm just smudging all the drawing all over my image, and it just looks like smudge. Instead you go in and you do like, nice, fine-tuned strokes. Same thing here. If I just slam that luminance up, that's like smudging your finger all over your image. So, we'll bring that down to get it back to where I'm happy and comfortable, and that would be good there. But see, just on this Milky Way image alone, look at the overall before and after of this. There's the before. There's the after. We're pushing this raw file to extremes. Now, it is a Sony raw files, and all raw files are not created equally. Some raw files are better than others. If you go to a sensor-based website that will allow you to look at the sensors and the dynamic range within those sensors, you'll see that there's something like the amount of dynamic range that's available within that raw file. That dynamic range is gonna be an identifier to tell you how far you can push and pull those images. If you've got a dynamic range of something like the Sony 7r3 that I think is like 14.9 stops of dynamic range, that is an insane amount of dynamic range, so much so that I used to have a blog called Everyday HDR. I had to rebrand when I bought a new camera. I stopped doing HDR completely because of the amount of dynamic range that's available in those sensors. But that's not gonna be the case with all cameras. So definitely keep that in mind. So, let's go ahead and move on over and go into HSL. So I told you before that I like to make sure that I do my colors in a different area, and I fine-tune those colors not down here. This saturation boost right here on your basic settings is just gonna bump up all the saturation. It's gonna be really sloppy. The HSL adjustment here, it lets me break down all of my colors into the three color qualities that are available inside any given color in my image. The hue of that image. Hue is what color is the color. Saturation, how intense is that color, and luminance, how much black or white exists within that color. In the painter's world, we would call that value. If you are a former painter, value and luminance are pretty much the same thing. So if we go to hue and we look at the reds that are on this image, I can take all the reds in this image, and I can change the hue, but I can only do it, I think it's 30 degrees around the color wheel. So, this says +100, but what's happening is if you could envision the color wheel, which, we'll show the color wheel. I don't have one right now. But if the color red is up here, it's only gonna allow this to go one direction this way or one direction this way on the color wheel, which is completely unlike Photoshop. If you're expecting Photoshop's HSL adjustment in here, you're not gonna get it, 'cause you can take red in Photoshop and say, turn cyan, and go 180 degrees around the color wheel. This has what we call a governor in it, and it won't let you push it too far, just far enough to where you want it. But if we move that red over, you can see that that's going to make our, our, our stairs in this image a little bit more red or a little bit more on the orange side. But what we're doing here is we're taking that red and we're actually mixing it with magenta to get a more intense, intense kind of magenta look in the image. Now, it doesn't necessarily show you exactly where your colors are. I can't see where my oranges are. I just have to assume that Adobe Camera Raw knows what my oranges are, and it knows pretty well. So, if we look at the oranges in this, I don't like how orange these are. I wanna make them a little bit more yellow, so I can bump that over to the right, make it a little bit more yellow. Again, what color is the color? What color am I making the color yellow? I'm not increasing the intensity of the color by using saturation yet. I'm just telling that color to turn something else, to become a different color. If we move on down to the yellows here, we can then tell those yellows maybe to have, become a little bit more on the orange side. Our greens, we might not have any in here. Aquas, aquas are on the wall. Look at that. So, we move this over to the right. I think it looks a little bit better. You notice that I go back and forth like crazy, okay? What I'm doing there is I'm not just, I do like to throw things around, because it's fun, but what I'm doing when I move that back and forth like that, especially at those high speeds, I'm going to the far left, far right, far left, far right, middle left, middle left, far left, far left, until my eyes say, okay, boom, stop. It's like that old game show. No whammy, no whammy, stop, okay. Anybody? No. Yeah, I used to watch that when I was sick at home from school. But so, I like to just move that back and forth until my eye says, you know what? I kind of like that right there. I'm actually not even looking at that slider. I'm clicking on it. I'm just dragging it back and forth until I see something that I like or don't like, and then I just stop. It's a more intuitive way of working with the image rather than saying, okay, so I moved the blues negative nine, and I got this result. It's not gonna be the same way every time, okay? So those numbers are pretty much arbitrary based on what is happening within the image. So just take that for face value. So, if we go to saturation now, this is gonna be how intense is that color. We can really boost up the colors within those reds or drop those colors down to make them more on the gray side. And it's not gonna make it white. It's gonna make it more gray. When you remove saturation from a color, you're making that color more gray. So I can make it more red. Look at my oranges. You can see now, I'm getting that faux kind of black and white look where everything's black and white except for the stairs. Selective color. Don't do it. (Blake laughs) It's like, so 1990. (audience laughs) It's like warping text. (Blake laughs) So we'll just go ahead and bump up the orange a little bit, and then the yellows, we can boost up that a little bit. I do things called selective color, but what I'm doing here, look at this. Blue, perfect example. I don't want blue on those walls. I don't need blue on those walls. So I'm gonna selectively remove the blue from that wall. Just because it looks better as a grayscale type image rather than, you know, blue on the wall. It doesn't look good. Purples, probably don't have any in there, and then luminance. This can also increase the intensity. Here's a trick if you're the type of person who loves saturation, bold, saturated images, that's fine, I'm all on board. I used to be a painter. But when you bring the saturation up, come over to the luminance and make it a little bit darker. That'll make it more intense, get a bit more richness, and not just look like an eyesore of the color red that's just beaming in your face. So if we just drop this down a little bit here, bring it up, eh, probably about there. And that's essentially how that works. There is this thing here called convert to grayscale. So if I were to press convert to grayscale, what it's gonna do now is it converts my image to a grayscale image, and notice how it takes away my other two color properties. It takes away hue. It takes away saturation. It just says grayscale mix. If you notice what these sliders are, these are the luminance values. So, in changing this to grayscale, it's now only going to allow me to change the luminance of the color red, to make the color red deeper in terms of tone because it's a black and white image or make that color red brighter in terms of tone. But I lose two very important qualities, hue and saturation. We're gonna talk about black and white conversions in Photoshop. I tend to stay away from black and white conversions in Adobe Camera Raw, specifically because it doesn't allow me to manipulate the hue and saturation. It just allows me to manipulate the luminance that's in there. And sometimes, you can get some really awesome black and white conversions by also modifying the hue of that color underneath the black and white layer. That's awesome. This, it's kind of like a, okay, if I need to do something really quick with black and white, I'll do it with this. If you turn convert to grayscale off, it's smart enough to know and keep your settings there from before so you're not gonna lose 'em. See, the next one over is gonna be split toning. This is our next global feature. We're still in the global features here. So, with split toning, this allows me to select a color for the image in my highlights and in my shadows and then bump up the saturation of that color and where I apply it. Notice how I go all the way to the extreme with that saturation of that color. This can be where you can color grade your images for kind of like a finishing type of effect. So I can bring this down and then maybe bring the saturation of this down here and the saturation of this down here. So what I've done is I've essentially given this image kind of a, like a movie-type feel to it. I've taken what was just a regular photograph, and I've turned it into something that has a mood and a feeling to it. I tend to use the color wheel for this a lot and look at complementary colors and add complementary colors to it. That's why I'm using a yellow and a blue. But if I wanted to add maybe some magenta to the shadows, then I would probably come in here and add a light green to the highlights, and I would drop the saturation on these too, 'cause they're pretty intense when we go to something like that. So the saturation is how much of that color overlaying on those shadows. The hue is what color are you adding to the shadows. Again, just think of hue, what color is the color? Saturation, how intense is that color? Notice how we don't have luminance values here for those colors. The luminance is kind of the balance here. We move the balance to the left, it's gonna favor how much color is in the shadows over how much color is in the highlights. Change that back to zero, and we don't have any balance there. We're gonna talk about lens corrections later in this course. So I'm gonna kind of skip over that a little bit. Just to kind of give you a rundown on what lens corrections are, this allows you to look at the profile of the lens that you're using from your camera and make informed decisions based on that profile. If we were to just click the button on it, it's gonna make an informed decision on the vignetting that's happening in the image, plus any barrel distortion that might be happening in that image, and it's gonna try to autocorrect it for us. However, there is one thing in here in this lens correction that I want to cover that we will not be covering later, and that's gonna be the manual section here. So, chromatic aberrations are something that I absolutely despise. I critique a lot of images every month on my websites, and one thing that really irritates me so much, 'cause I talk about it all the time, is chromatic aberrations. It's nothing that you did wrong, okay. It's something that happens when light comes into your lens, bounces around that lens, and then that light gets dispersed onto the sensor. There's nothing you can do about it, but it gets recorded. And these are these little cyan and magenta fringes that happen on the edges of buildings. So if we turn chromatic aberrations on and off on here, let's see if we can find some. I know there's some in here, 'cause I selected this image specifically to show you. Here we go. So right here, see that fringe up there? That shouldn't be there. That fringe is not there in that building in Paris. So what we're gonna do is we can turn on remove chromatic aberration on, and sometimes, that just does the trick, right away. But, if you like to do HDR photography, a party will happen in your chromatic aberrations, a big ol' party. Those chromatic aberrations call all their friends, and they throw all their beer cans all over your image. So what you're gonna need to do is you're gonna need to go over the manual settings, and you can't be afraid of this. It's just asking you, how much purple amount do you want me to remove? What color, what hue, what color is that purple? How much green do you want me to remove, and what color is that green? So if we go over the purple here and we look at the purple in this image, we bring this up, it might do a real good job of getting rid of it there, too, but there are some times when that purple comes across as like, a slight color blue. Well, here you'd have to just change that hue. And you drop that hue down to match the hue of the exact chromatic aberration that you're seeing. Now, there is a trick here, where if you press, I believe it's Control and Click, it will find it for you. See that? It doesn't always work. So you can Control + Click on those chromatic aberrations to try and get rid of 'em, but it doesn't always work. Now, I did also say that this is a global tool, right? And any time we do something with color in our image and shift color in our image, it's gonna have to shift it somewhere else. So what I would say is that after you do your chromatic aberration adjustments, zoom out, turn it on and off, and see if that chromatic aberration adjustment is affecting your image negatively anywhere else. 'Cause if you have purple and you have green somewhere else in your image, it might be shifting those greens and those purples. And that's okay if it does, 'cause guess what? You just hop over to HSL and just give it a little bit more saturation in those greens or a little more saturation in those purples, and you get those colors back, because it's gonna have to shift those colors somewhere else in your image. It won't bring back the color that's happening in your fringes, 'cause it already took care of the fringes, but when you shift that color, it might manipulate, it might shift things around a little bit there too.