Conquering Crappy Light

Lesson 32/32 - Post Production: Smart Objects and Color Processing


Conquering Crappy Light


Lesson Info

Post Production: Smart Objects and Color Processing

I am completely fine with the fact that there's mixed color temperatures in this photo I don't care it looks cool it adds to atmosphere yes you did a great job I like it but let's say however that there's a photo I'm working with and I really didn't want that mixed color temperature I'm going to show you a way to do it in photo shop using something called smart objects multiple processing smart objects so I'll break this down grab that file and open it up in photo shop and uh this doesn't mean if it's I think tomorrow at three yeah, smart objects have been around for a while we conducted this a smart filter and cc which saves some steps okay sounds good. Um there is a short there we go. Okay. Um uh there's a couple ways that you can open this as a smart object what a smart object is even once you open this raw file in photo shop there is a connection back to the raw files if you double click on an icon on that layer it'll bring up adobe camera raw again so you can make adjustments. So ...

even once it's opened up in photoshopped you can change the white balance or you could change the exposure or the black point or whatever you want couple ways to do this one ways if you hold shift it will switch over to say open object and so that say if you wanted to open an object once our open a photo once as an object there's also if you click on this information down here this one there you go like horses dobie rgb nineteen ninety eight bit blah blah blah all that information um there's a but in here it's open in photos ofthis smart objects and that will stay clicked now whenever you're opening raw images so for some reason you want to open everything as an object also in light room when you open something there's an option to open it as a smart object so it would talk right backto light room and so on and so forth selves that keeps the link open rather than just commit into your changes exactly. So now when you say ok, this is, uh this is what I'm interested in it doesn't just bake it in like I said before you still have a link back to that raw file so let's just select this one I'm going to hold my shift key and opened the object all right, great. So I've got a smart object hyeon orders it's a smart object is that icon um that you see in the lair there I only know what it's actually it'll look like it looks like a piece of paper in a square in the corner okay you remember these icons were made back in the eight bit day like adobe wonder something probably so they were tiny yeah I'm like looking at but that's I mean that's what I'll look like all right so if this is the white balance over all that I want for my face right what about my face is okay so now I want a process another file four let's say that green in the background maybe I want to correct it if you right click on that layer you want to click on new smart object via copy you don't want to duplicate the layer because if you duplicate the layer and you make a change that layer it makes a change the lair before below because it's they're both the same smart object essentially this is actually a new smart object in another layer okay let's do a new smart object so this is separate so I come in here I'm gonna call this bass face better and I'm gonna call this one um green removal I would make sense to me. Okay. So now if I double click on that icon it's going to bring it back up and over kamerad which is great so what I would probably do here is I would try to set my white balance by selecting a neutral point I don't have a great card all the way back there against that wall to select so I don't really have a reference point, but maybe that building is neutral colored like I have a feeling that building might have originally been neutral color because if I'm looking it's really picking up any of the tones from different light sources around so I'm guessing that it probably was neutral and its just sucking up those colors so what I want to do is I want to select on the eyedropper here this is my white balance tool and so if I click somewhere on this wall, I'm hoping it will neutralize it perfectly we walked out yeah and it's a very funny I've only briefly test this earlier and it's a great example so that neutralized it really, really well there, so I'm going to hit okay? And so that layer is going to be corrected for the green the bottom layer is corrected for my face well, I could do one more time to correct for that yellow if I want let's try that I would turn off the top layer try this one more time create one more layer so I'm going to new smart object via copy double click on this one and do the exact same thing as before but I'm gonna grab my eye dropper in up cement pretty down on my white line try the white line to be honest just so I would just klick around a bunch of place is right because it's all like kind of kind of neutral sidewalk and that's pretty neutral on the blue that you're seeing here is because it's the tungsten overhead we've just neutralized that tongue stone so it made our daylight flash look blue just what we've been talking about before so I'm ahead ok on that so now I have three different pictures each correctly white balance for something else um I think that this is a perfect example of what I would probably do if I'm sure you've had this photographing in a wedding and the bride is getting ready in a room where there's a window on one side and there's a tungsten light on the other and the girls are fixing their makeup under that tungsten lights I couldn't turn it off, but I wanted her over next the window looking out and I wanted them looking in the mirror but the color bounces all often I don't want to turn its black and white and uh and so I wanted to be able to paint that and something to that effect so what I can do now is I'm going to do what we did before why hold held hold the bulky and click on my mask so we get a black mask is going to hide these things turned back on my green click and oh sorry the mask is the rectangle with the circle in it so it's basically like I said before erasing but nondestructive wherever I paint black will hide that change so do it one more time so now what I can do is going to each of these layers this was the green removal air this one was yellow removal lair perfect I'm going to each one of these in paint that area on selectively so let's grab my white brush good pretty high passing we zoom in a little bit so you guys and see better it's one um but decent opacity and so no selected on that mask wherever I paint white should let that area shone through it I'm just going to do a hundred percent so you can see it okay kind of neutralizing this area a little bit all right, so it looks all right so neutralize that back wall not so bad um for yellow I could paint that on the areas that air yellow okay, now obviously this is a little bit of a pain, you know, kind of painting around and trying to select things well, I have a couple of short cuts um for making this election's one thing thatyou might dio, for example, slept the back lor I'm going to go up to select color range so I'm going to make a selection based on a color I click on so I can select that yellow make a selection and then just pain in that selection area so let's do call arrange and I'm gonna click on the yellow selection there that's why I want to see ok, make sure clicked on selection and not image so it's going to give you a preview of the pictures that you've selected, so if I hold shift seal, the plus sign pops up next, the eyedropper, anything that I click on any color will be added to that selection. So I'm gonna click around the yellow area because that's, what I want to get rid of first, all right over here, fuzziness means how far like based on the colors that I've selected, how far into other tones do you want to expand? And so let's see if I drag fuzziness what happens now? At some point it expands into everything because it's, saying ok, originally made a selection of this yellow in its search, creeping out and eventually kind of overlaps with that green in the background because it's kind of a yellow so it's just more or less, I guess, and I would click around that's something bad? I think I think something right there may be no way to hit, okay, perfect and you can see roughly words made a selection based on that yellow and go back to my lair that's called remove yellow, grab a big weight brush and paint and of course you could go ahead and make different selections and maybe paying up in here a little bit and do another selection I don't think it's necessarily instant but it's pretty fast and get rid of all my yellow got rid of most my green and I'd probably just paint a little bit up in the air but you see more or less I can get everything neutralizing a sane and there's definitely a halo around may I go back in there um and do that same color range and just select those areas right around me so I could get the contrast between the two normally one of the tools that I like will be the quick selection tool but the quick selection tool is best when there's a defined areas of contrast whereas here it's based more on color I mean that's black on black and gray like tone ality so it would be better off using the color range to make that selection and then paint that effect out so instead of dwelling on it too long I think everybody has the concept for how you would do this we'll kick maim anyone has a question over here okay all right so I have a couple more things I'm going to keep powering through alright so that to reiterate so everyone knows I opened up in images a smart object when you open up an image in camera roth you hold the shift key it will give you the option to open as object it will open up in photoshopped you then have that little icon, so when you double click, it'll take you back into adobe camera raw. What you want to do is you want a new layer for each different white balance adjustment that you want to make, but you don't want to just duplicate because then they'll be linked, so you need to make sure that you right click and it will allow you to create a new smart object via lair and so each one of those will now be separate. Make sure you name them so you can remember what is what, and then you use your layer masks, which is the rectangle of the circle inside. Teo carefully pay on and off the effects, and I personally will use color range to help me make that selection. They're certainly other ways to do this, but this is my approach from I have a situation where the white balance was all over the place. It didn't mean to do that, and I want to fix it in post. Okay, perfect. Take a look at something else here just wanna let you know a couple other ways correct white balance first thing I hope sinise minimize ok, the next thing that I do want to show you is remember how we said shoot raw not j peg ok, normally one of the things that I would do over of this j peg normally, one of the ways that I try to get white balance is to go to your adjustment layers down here to the half moon cookie when you click on levels which is usually what people know for adjusting their overall exposure or dragging black plain white point into the same you actually get little eye droppers two on the left hand side so if I know something is supposed to be a true black I can click on this sample and image to set a black point so I know something's got to be black and click on it it should make that point black so it'll shift exposure if it needs to make it black and if there's any detail or, uh information in there it'll neutralize it so it'll go ahead and make it not have a color caste well similarly here's a mid tone great point and highlight so remember what we kind of clicked on the sidewalk and clicking on a white point but anywhere around it was pretty close. So ideally this should any kind of neutralized my image. Okay, this is what I got and like it is still green but you want to click on there I mean, that should not maybe I mean this is that's not supposed to happen okay this is what happens when you have a jpeg image so let me show you what I might d'oh I had a raw image and there actually is a way to say this but it took me about twenty minutes took awhile for coffee um let's go and I'm gonna grab that the raw file of this uh the changes applied collect animal it was my reset button kind elite hold on how don't countries can you reset it for me transit quick reset so what's a quick reset for default where's the felt next tato yeah there there there we go thank you okay so this is why we've got you accept for this I know it was okay let's just say it was over here because I'm trying teo reset it and it didn't reset that you could use a shot you just dropped down tio okay okay oh I was a pretty good guess yes alright so thank you in house audience like hi mrs in the last ten minutes came through rescue we can mess things up you fix them there you go teo so I got him back to his messed up all right, so let's do the exact same thing I just did too that j peg files and that was not a small rough day pack that was a large fine j peg out of the hundred that massive thing the same time the same exact file shot robert let's, take a look with this eyedropper, and if I try to click around but what it doesn't do to the shadows, but I minimize this thing like that that's the difference between having a j peg there and the rather there's so much more color information available, this isn't perfect, but I mean, trying to fix that is gonna be just such a mess, which I was able to finally kind of do, but so start with something like this when you're shooting and crappy light, and I promise it makes your job easier. Yeah, you're not really you're not really reassigning the color temperature like we are here, you're just shifting it. So if this is all the color temperature available, the j peg gives you this, so if you're off by more than this, like you're here and you need to shift over, it doesn't have the data to get you where you need to go. So I'm gonna lighten this up while I'm at it, and I'm just going to leave it there if we're gonna do some other tweaks. So we'll say that this is closest I could get. And again, um, if you don't have a great card in the scene, you're just looking for something that's neutral, something that you would believe to be neutral a little better. Well, this we'll pick that is whatever's closest if I had a color checker and click and done no more guessing for a great card so what I did okay open and I'm just going to show you a couple tips unharmed and deal with color casts and images all right? So there's uh something that's new and I'm not sure which photo shop it's new and I think it's it's definitely around and see a six and photoshopped cc and it's something called selective color and a lot of people think selective color and gas because you're thinking what you're told not to do where you do like you you pick one thing in the photo and leave it red and everything else is in black and white tips right here right grows right like that people think a selective color well photoshopped decided to name a tool selective color and so we were yeah so it's a little confusing but you'll see all right? So where you confined selective color is again in your adjustment layers the half moon cookie and click on it it's a new it's the first thing that pops up on the button of the bottom I'm gonna click on it and I'm going to try to break down exactly what it means it lets you select one of these things reds, yellows, green science blew it lets you select not only different colors but also highlights vs mid tones versus blacks or shadows I can go in and instead of a few guys have done color balance you know how you just shift the color balance I can go in and shift the color balance in each and every one of these. So if there is a color cash just in my shadows if I click on blacks, I can shift just the color in the black. Or maybe for some reason I know that I shot that shirt. It was green and it's not looking green. I can actually go into the greens and just shift color in the green. So let's, take a look. For example, if I go into blacks so blacks is more of a tone ality here um and you have each colors have cyan, magenta yellow, like sam. Okay, um the k's black and so if I drag to the right where it says sayin it will add san for dragged to the right it will do the opposite on the color wheel. So for example, I know the opposite of yellow is lou exactly know the opposite of yellow is blue, so I think my shadows are blue, I can add yellow and all kind of shifted a little bit notice how it's still affecting some areas I didn't want it to well, it's an adjustment layer with a leather mask so I can paint it off of the areas I didn't want it to, but it fixed the blue cast I had in the shadows. Or if there's a weird color, um, in the whites or something. Or maybe I want to warm up the whites. You can do that, maybe want to warm up my white point or if they're wass, um, green and you wanted the green to be less green, you would add exactly magenta, so maybe would slide that a little bit. And so this is one way that if you can tell what the color caste is in your photo, you khun, target it and adjust it this way. Uh, the fashion photographer and me wants you to know that I used is in fashion shoots all the time to add blue to the shadows on purpose because it tends to make it look kind of rich. It looks really nice if you do this, go to the blacks, add blue goto highlights and yellow it's, like really rich and beautiful. But this is one tool that you have for trying to work around and correct some of this color, and then you can always paint off different areas um, is there a question? So is this the technique that you would use if you had your model laying in the grass and you get a green color cast on the model and you want to remove that would you do that a different way so you could um so if you have a green color cast you could go into the greens and try to shift it so that those tones um are the opposite of green are going to be a little bit uh more red kind of cancel it out um another way that you could do it is you could go into the green channel itself and shift that channel and then just painted off of the grass and that's how I do it there might be a faster way but I would do one of those two things so that actually brings up a good point since I know they don't have any time I want to get this last point um this one is this what it really is useful if you can tell that there's a color caste and the shadows or the highlights or whatever you can just make that little a little switch and then to supply it selectively but is also good color um creative color tool the last one that I wanted to show you um is changing color and curves and correcting color that way and so we all probably know color balance I mean and this is, you know, shows opposite of diana's friend okay that's that's a normal that we know but it's not really selective you can tell it to shift in the shadows highlights and mid tones to have a little bit of flexibility but this isn't what I usually use if you select your adjustment layers that's what I'm gonna do exactly suffuse your adjustment layers and grab curves normally how we think of curves is for exposure so if I grab in the middle of a curb and drag it up makes everything later I drag it down makes everything darker I'm not gonna go into everything about curves, but basically how it works and you've heard and ask her for nice exposure and good contrast, but what most people don't notice is up here you can go into individual color channels and adjust those so my brain was thinking if I go into red and adjust the curve it would make reds lighter if I like and that's not what it does okay it's for me it wasn't intuitive so let's let's jump into red and take a look here it's giving me a history gram for the red tones which, by the way, it's telling me that most of my red tones over here are darker and you can see that again I would guess that my greens would be later than everything else ah little bit let's go back and of course everything's hugging the left hand side so the spectrum's meet in black over here well this is a dark picture so everything would be shifted more towards the blacks instead of over on the white side alright so I'm going to for example grand blue here's how it works if you drag curves up it adds more of that color if you drag curves down you add less or the opposite of that color and there are ways to selectively target different areas of the photo until let's say for example what I just grabbed eyes this this finger that you see there with little slider wherever I click which I did right here it added a point on that curve so if I know that this tone right there is a part of my picture that's two blue and I don't want it to be when I click it adds a point there so if I drag up it'll add more blue but on that point if I drag down it'll reduce the blue so I can click on specific areas of my photo and say here's a blue that I don't want drag it down and we'll do the opposite so you can drag and I put too many points on this and dragged I'm gonna drag these awful quick they drag too many points there we go all right so we've got one more time let's select maybe this tone for blue and so if I grab on that point right there, I'm pulling blue out of that area. Their entire rest of the curve will be affected unless you put an anchor points could see how when you curve it's gonna pull everything so I'd have to add points to anchored in and pull it back to that line and anchor the whole thing back in, but then it would just reduce the blues is in a certain way and a certain tonal areas, so this is one way that I will remove color casts in photos, and so I can do blues, greens and reds because it's an rgb file and select the opposite of that. So just remember, you usually think of curves as being for exposure it's not when you go into individual color channels it's actually, for how much of that color is represented in a specific tone, you can add more or add less so my color correcting tips to you is personally, if I can do it. Um, right in light room, that's actually where I would do it, I wouldn't start in photo shop because when I'm in light room, I have a raw file with access, all of that data, so I would do kind of what he did with one of the selective adjustments, maybe an adjustment brush to change that, or maybe I would use grating and dejection, some new tools and sey sey that you can use to do that. So I would do it right there, because I have all that information available to me. But if, for some reason, I'm not doing it light room, or maybe I don't have that raw file anymore, I would break it down. Um, and I would start by see if I could do it was selective color. If not that, I would come over into curves and start pulling things out that way.

Class Description

Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common crappy lighting scenarios. With the aid of these simple techniques and minimal equipment, you'll be empowered to walk into any setting and emerge with beautiful imagery.


Julie Addison

I thought I understood about light before I took this course. How wrong could I be? I have re-watched this course over and over and I just love it. Quality of light, direction of light - so many crappy light situations. Learning how to actually set a white balance instead of purely relying on the camera presets and learning colour correction by the color checker was also invaluable to me. This course is so affordable. I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as you will get more out of it than you think. I love the way Lindsay and Erik work together. No right or wrong way - just showing the differences in their styles to accomplish the same end result. Well done guys. Now to have more courses by Erik would be great. Again, can't' thank creative live enough and Erik and Lindsay for this course. Love, Love, Love It!!!!