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Enhance Color in Adobe Camera Raw

Lesson 5 from: Beginner RAW Processing

Chris Orwig

Enhance Color in Adobe Camera Raw

Lesson 5 from: Beginner RAW Processing

Chris Orwig

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Lesson Info

5. Enhance Color in Adobe Camera Raw

Lesson Info

Enhance Color in Adobe Camera Raw

for color. I want to talk a touch about White Mallon's first. We all know that they're different color temperatures like their lights in this room, some of them more daylight there. White. This this light wall over here is more yellow. And we know that from candle lights really yellow in the mornings, it's that blew cool, you know, light. And so we have this range of different colors. So one things I think about is there isn't necessarily correct color unless you're shooting a product and it needs to match sometimes correct color, maybe about the subjective mood, right? And other times it maybe I need to have accurate representation. So I'm gonna go to just fun with color for a moment. This is a chalk drawing that a friend. It's huge. It's probably, I don't know, six feet tall. We have this chalk festival, Santa Barbara called Modern Art, and this is her big drawing, and it was overcast. So there's a blue cast on this, and I I know she was using a white type of chalk here so we can use...

a tool which is called the eyedropper at here. White balance tool. The shortcut keys, the I key And I can say, Well, I knew that this used to be white. So I'm clicking on that, making that point white, which obviously, if it's I'll show you in a second if the wedding dress, that's gonna be important. But here it also just sort of got my colors to a better place. Right then what? We also know about colors we can use sliders up here to find Tunis. So I can say what? Maybe I want a little bit more yellow than it gave me. So I'm even gonna go past White. I'm gonna warm it up. Here's my peaky before and then after. And so part of this is starting to learn to see color, right? And then I say, remember, contrast that boost my colors. I'm gonna go in there and add a ton of contrast and maybe deep in the blacks. And I'm just modifying this. Made my exposure, comes up a little bit there, doing some of my normal workflow. Here's up before, here's the after. Let me zoom in on this because I know these things are hard to see when you were back there, but you kind of see right all of a sudden colors air that you didn't know where they're coming. There's more variety, more interest. Then down below, we have a couple sliders, one called vibrance and other saturation vibrance. What it does is it really works with color and unique way where if there are weak colors and I dragged this up, it boosts the week colors, but it leaves the saturated colors alone. Saturation, on the other hand, says, Color is here. It either goes up or down, so if I saturate the image and go up, it all goes up or it all goes down. Vibrance, on the other hand, is a little different. You can see how it's created, a different color characteristic. It's kind of confusing, but I'll make sense in a few minutes. So just stick with me. But vibrant. Think of adding nice color variety saturation. Think of adding color intensity, so let's hit the peaky. Here's before and then here's after kind of amazing right? So let's look at a photograph so kind of translate this to something more photographic. This is a dandy line. Had this yellow light, it was just on my kitchen stove so it's really yellow. So I'm gonna grab that that white balance tool, and I'm gonna click on something that I think should be white. Which is this? OK, that's much more pleasing to the eye. Remove that color cast. It's almost like a sheet of yellow Saran wrap over it and just lifted that off the image, you know? And then here I know. Yeah, I'm gonna need a little exposure. I love contrast. When it comes to color, I'm not going for realism. I'm going for expression and then maybe maybe I do a couple other things here is well and kind of do that. And again, here's my before and here's my after. So we're starting to have fun with color, Not just correct. Now let's look at a couple of correction scenarios, buddy. Jeff and I know this camera has to be black so you can click on things that are neutral Black grays, whites. You want to stay away from really bright whites and really dark blacks. You want to get something that's Maurin there. So this camera has good detail. Click on that and that just made that neutral. And also it affected the rest of the colors you can see. So that tool could be a really good starting point for your work with color. Obviously, you could find tune it if it's a little bit too yellow and warm for you. Maybe I cool that off a little bit. Or maybe I wanna have kind of, Ah, I don't know, sort of Ah, different aesthetic or look where it's a little bit grittier, vintage kind of Look, I did that by dropping my colors back a little bit, but still, it's correct color that was then modified. Does that make sense? How we're doing this one right now cancels my bottom button down there. If I hold down the option, can Mac Altan Windows option are all keys? The key that says do something different, you know, be give me another option to give me an alternative path when I press that cancel turns to reset. So I'm just resetting, um, this and I'm gonna say, Yeah, I just reset all my changes. And so now that I'm back to normal, I think a common mistake with this is people click in one spot and it's wrong, and they don't realize they can keep clicking. And so you think? Well, yeah, that's that's, you know I hit it and they hit the red dot But just keep keep working it until you find the other thing is we all love warm and saturated images because there's just something like the way our we're wired hardwired that warmth and color is appealing to us. And so what my students often do is take ot warm and they go to contrast and they get they go, they go too heavy handed with things. Obviously, I just totally kill the image. But but But the point being is, what can happen with color is that you adapt to the color change, meaning we go snowboarding. We put on goggles that are yellow. The snow doesn't look yellow after 10 seconds because their mind has adapted to that color shift. That happens when we're processing as well. So even though I have gone here, I don't actually know after 10 or 15 seconds that I'm too yellow. So the biggest thing what I found is help for beginners with color is do it, look away or walk away and then come back. And it's that glance off, and also it's the swing to where you say, Well, what if I do that? You know? Okay, right there. So really doing that comparative thing. It's the ski goggles on and off and you say, Got it, My colors going in a better place going back. There's a question about clarity as it pertains the macro stuff. And you just have that macro shot. Yeah, I like to use clarity quite a bit. A usually use 20 to 45%. What are the pros and cons of clarity? It's especially helpful in macro for me. So clarity is hands down one of these amazing kind of kind of tools. Let me exaggerate for a moment and show Zoom in to show kind of give a sense on what's happening with clarity. So contrast is pretty big, you know it does. Does this clarity is called mid tone contrast, so it's targeting a different range. And so if you think of the gray scale, contrast is really whites and blacks. It's like this side of it. Clarity's in here sweet swatting there. Remember how contrast affected color. So does clarity. So what's interesting is if we look at this image get in the area where you can see the color if I drop clarity down. What you can see is that when I bring it up, notice how my color palette actually went muted. So it's really good for Let's say what This guy here. I want to create kind of this, this sort of edgy type of a look. Let me zoom in so you guys can see this photograph a little bit. This is sort of a contemporary look. You'll see a lot that clarity. It takes color out and adds this kind of gritty, nice, strong feel to it. For a guy, this guy's a climber and a surfer. That kind of works. But if it were a beauty shot, it would just would ruin the image, like, literally destroyed. So that's where the person who said for macro stuff, it's amazing the one thing to think about if you want to maintain a more natural color look with clarity. The reason these two are together as you bring clarity up and you actually gonna lose some color. So then their vibrant cider kind of trails along, so those two sliders tend to travel together when you want to try to maintain your color when you just want clarity to do its thing and get rid of color and kind of give it that look than go with it, you know, so that, you know, as far as common mistake, that's another one where clarity gets overused. I think that sweet spot is probably somewhere in this range minus Mac rose or black and whites. You can go higher, you know, Or if it's like details and texture. I'll show an example in a second with that, Yeah, I keep going. Yeah, Yeah. Okay. Um, white balance again. This one we know the wedding dress should be should be white. There was cool cause of shadows. Shadows were always cooler than the rest. And that's just that's just removing it for me and making a much more pleasing picture. So I'm gonna exit out of this because I think we've covered some good territory there, man. I want to go to, um Well, because we talked about kind of this will not just go to these files. A couple of these dio select him. Command are opens a mop. You guys know that No big deal here. We're on camera. I want to do more realistic workflow. A portrait of a body lay on Big Sarah here. My exposure. What is it? It's a little bit underwrite accuse a little bit down, so I want to give him something. So in this case, what I'm gonna do then, is just with my exposure slider. I'm gonna lift the image up a little bit and I'm looking for that sweet spot. With that contrast, I'm going to bring some of that back in highlights. We know what those are. I could bring those down if need be, but it's kind of nice with that brighter background again, This is subjective. At this point, shadows bring a little bit of life into that. Blacks maybe darken them up clarity. He's gonna benefit from some clarity. It's going to create a nice look for the guy you can see it falls apart up here, but this kind of photograph I can get away with somewhere in there. And then also, let's add a little bit of warmth just to nudge that up. One of the ways that you can you could nudge things is if you hover over the slider. Grab it. You can see activates that you can Then use your arrow keys up and down. And that can sometimes help you find that spot for processing. You know, getting it to the right deal. Cuchi gives me my side by side. Normal workflow, Um, in this particular case of fixing that exposure and then adding that color element. And you can you see how that once I got my exposure right now I do the color. It's like, Yes, that's an image that has something for me and the great thing about it. I think what's great about camera is in this case. If you were to see that image, you would never think, Oh, Chris is good at camera. You would think the person or the moment or the image. And that's really the goal. With all of this, processing isn't to draw attention to it, but to bring the person into the image. This one we saw before. Actually that worked magically well on the auto. You just go back to that view, and what I would say is he needs even more work on his shadows. He's really he's backlit that the skies brighter behind him. So I'm gonna do some of that and then a touch of that yellow to just warm it up. It was in the morning. Morning. Cloudy means a cooler color temperature, so I'm just bringing that up there a little bit. So again you're seeing what I'm trying to show you. A little bit of workflow. Here's how we did the mechanics. Now here's putting it together. And also I'm getting back to that point is, it's not rocket science like this image. If I look a before and then after, it's a ton better and I barely did anything so anyone can do this stuff, and that's that's really the fun part of it. Getting to more fun, you know, other kinds of imagery, which is I was shooting these rusty doors in Atlanta, and I did a close up detail of one knowing that this is just going to be a fun palette toe work with exposure contrast and then down here with my vibrance. This is where saying color variety. Do you see how it just brought out these colors, that weaker ones? That said, Come on, guys come up a little bit, that's a little too heavy handed, but you can see how I could create almost almost like this abstract painting type of a look here. So there are times where you can get really playful when you're shooting different types of things. Another way to get playful is you know, this image and you saw another one was my idea was this idea of we have all these hats. So I went to the store and bought 20 hats. They thought I was crazy, but I have these hats. I want this to kind of have this warm glow to it. It just feels raw, feels normal. And when you get used to that, it's OK. When you're new to shooting and raw, you're like, Oh, the moment was so much better. But then you say, No, I'm gonna get it there without a lot of effort and my efforts going to be this one. I want to be brighter already, you know, right there. I want it to be warmer. This is just subjective. And sometimes when you go really warm, it's also nice to counterbalance with dropping down some of these other controls. And I'm crafting a look here with this image and you're going to see how I've I've done that. And again, this is for my own aesthetic. It kind of has this. What I feel like is a little bit of this natural nice aesthetic to it. If I create something like that, and I like it cause you'll get to these points were like, Ooh, that's what I've been looking for That's a little recipe. Saving is a preset right and you go over to the preset panel, and sometimes it's fun to give it a look like this one kind of feels Italian to me for some reason. So I'm gonna call this one Italian one, and then I have this look, which I can go back to naming conventions for presets. I think it's It's it's You can use it like a since you have some for landscapes or whatnot. But it's you want to use something that's catching that you enjoy and you endear, and you also don't want over stack your presets and some people have, like 600 presets in there, scrolling through a booking form, and it becomes useless, right? Just you get to the essentials and the ones that you like to use. Delete the other ones or what? Ok, keep going. Another. The workflow. This image, another body was trying to create this concept of just messing with this globe and whatnot. So with this one, it needs the brightness needs to come up. So again, it's this normal workflow on bringing my sliders up, walking through them. My highlights now need to come back a little bit, so that might even be good. And then again, I'm warming this one up just because I like looking at to the I not using my eye dropper, right? It's not correct color. It's expressive color. So there's there's both Some people will say it has to be correct. Or, you know, and I always like to say there's lots of ways to get their most important match your vision and experiment. Do that. Look away. Look back at the peaky, see if you like where it's going and then find the sweet spot with it. All right, um, I'm gonna hit done to apply those settings and also give you a second catch. Your breath you need to do is roll your shoulders, talk to your neighbor just say, Neighbor, How are you doing? Also, have you learned anything? And if so what was it, Drew? Did you learn anything? You guys talk. We'll talk. I did okay. Yeah, I did. I'm just reading all these questions we have. Okay, We have some good questions. We'll do some of It's a good time. Yeah, we talk over this people. Were you guys talking? Don't have microphones. Should I use both clarity and sharpening or one or the other? Yeah. Great question. So it's kind of the trifecta, OK? Contrast. Ad sharpness. Clarity. I sharpness. So does the sharp. So sharp it controls. Okay, So typically it's about starting in the basic panel. Get your contrast and clarity. Start with those two. Yeah, because if I go negative, the image becomes soft and dull and it's Fennimore Scharping. If I go positive, it might not need quite so much. So that's where that final kind of sweet ended up comes into play. That's a great question. And most people mentally haven't made the connection of its the three that get us get you there. OK? Yeah. There's another question. Why do images look so soft in raw? How do you sharpen them back up, and I think that's right. Yes, and you begin once you should shoot more in raw. You begin to kind of embrace that because it's it's giving you so much flexibility with the processing versus, like, J pegs look amazing. But then they fall apart really quickly versus raw. Okay, Any other questions? One more. So this is more of a shooting question on a rock. A part of it bringing it in. What white balance. You shoot in camera. Do you always shoot neutral to use custom white balance? Yeah, great question. So I'm a pretty freeform shooter, so wandering out about lights, always changing. So there's in those situations. I use auto white balance, Okay. And obviously the raw gives me that flexibility afterwards in a situation bit more control that use a little thing called the color Checker passport, which you can hold in frame. And then you can click on a point and it color correx the image. You can apply that to other photographs. There's lots of information about their out. How to do that. I have some tutorials and other places, too, so I go back and forth between that. And then there are times when I'll do a custom. White balances well with all of that. What I tend to find is what's more important. The color is really, really important, right? You know, like your socks air so colorful. I love those colors. So fun, you know, brings life to us with all of that in the custom side and the accurate side of color. What I try to tell people is work your way towards that versus sometimes people work on that too soon, and they're not getting any images. Get the images, then refine and go that way, if that makes sense, you know? Yeah. All right. But there is something to be said for you gotta tune the guitar before you can play it to whether it's a back and forth. Yeah. Question. You were using the temp slider at all? Yes, it do you not use it? That's the one that gets me into trouble. Yeah, the tint cider is a little bit more funky, and I guess just because it's a bit more of a beginning class, I'm not hitting it too much. But obviously what I can do is is in this case go a little bit more magenta ago, a little bit more green with this one. If there are movements, I find it's one of the situations where I'm just kind of doing little things to it because those color swings, you know, like I can swing this and that still looks okay. If I did that same movement here, it doesn't like Okay, so I just for my advice to people with it is stay away from it initially or just do small movements, more temperature. Maybe that's yeah. You get into trouble with that one. And again, I'm talking from, like, more of a beginning perspective and advanced. We could get into that, but yeah, alright. Fun with cameras stuffed. Awesome. And what's great about this, too, is if you're watching us and thinking about light room, a lot of these skills translate right into light room. And again, it's that whole suite that we want to learn or maybe use light room and you go to photo shop in the running cameras, a filter. You still need to know everything we've covered right, cause that's all applicable right inside of Photoshopped as well

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Essential ACR Tips and Shortcuts

Ratings and Reviews

Pamela Richardson
 

Highly recommended!! I have watched some classes taught by Chris Orwig before, and really appreciate his excellent teaching style. He truly is a master of his craft in both photography and in teaching. He taught at a pace that allowed me to take notes and absorb what he was saying, which I really appreciated. He was well organized, and thoroughly explained each step that he was taking. I have been editing photos since early 2002, but always worked with jpeg files. Even just nine months ago, I had no idea what to do with raw files. However, with the classes on raw processing taught by Chris Orwig, I have realized that shooting in raw and then processing in raw is vastly superior to working just with jpegs. I have even been strongly advising my friends to shoot in raw!!

Camerosity
 

I watched several of Chris’ tutorials elsewhere, before I discovered CreativeLive. Chris is a very student-friendly teacher, and he always seems to teach more than he intends to. For example, when he’s talking about software and retouching, you can get new ideas from his creative eye and unique view of the world and just seeing some of the creative concepts in the photos that he uses. That’s the main reason why I watched this video. However, although I’ve been using Adobe Camera Raw for about six years, I learned several “new” (to me) things about the software. As an introduction to ACR, this video will teach you more, in less than an hour and a half, than I learned in the first 6-7 weeks, when I first began using the software. It’s a very simple, logical and orderly presentation that’s easy to follow.

user-9f5c01
 

Chris Orwig is a great teacher for Photoshop. He is very engaging, very well-paced and gives you the information you need without being boring. :)

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