Editing the Selects
Okay. We're back in the studio. I wanted to give you guys just a quick, this isn't gonna be a full width tutorial of how I edit, but I wanted to show you through the images that we captured on camera and how I quickly edit them. Editing in snow used to be like the bane of my existence. Because snow, the tone of snow is quite difficult to edit the first time you give it a go. So I'll kind of show you my process here and the final images and walk through that. Should be interesting, hopefully, for you guys and fun for me, so let's jump in. I'm gonna start with the, my favorite image of the trip, which is that image I shot of Alex doing that big turn. And we waited for a very long time for the mountain in the background to finally come back out, and it just barely came back out. So we've got a trick to deal with that. There is some clean up here that I wanna do as far as like, I wanna Photoshop out these ski tracks that Tucker and I did through the scene so it looks like it's fresh pow. W...
ith some forethought, we could have gone a different way. And I'm gonna make it look like we had that forethought. I wanna bring the mountain back out. I just wanna brighten the whole scene up a little bit and I might even move Alex down Photoshop so that he turned down here. And the reason he didn't turn down there is 'cause I came down here, showed him where I wanted to turn, and there was so little snow that I wiped all the snow off of the hill there. So then he had to improvise and turn up here. So I might just Photoshop and move him down there. I don't have any problem with that. As long as you're not trying to hide it, I don't have any problem with that type of Photoshop. I'm not trying to make a conceptual image here. I'm just adjusting him a little bit so that the image is just more visually striking. So I guess when I start on this, the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna work through the panel on the right here and start tweaking some knobs here and see what we can do. And then I also like to come over here, I've got some presets from my friends, from Alex, from Forrest Mankins, and some of my own down here. I like to kind of run over those. So first thing I'll do is just kind of tweak the exposure here. Kind of say like, I think that's kind of where I want it, and that's kind of a feel, but there's certain things that I'm, are not popping into my head first. And I'd love to just kind of scroll over the presets here to see if there's a look that I'm like, yeah, I want to work off of that or I just wanna start from scratch and do my own. I find that that helps get my creative juices flowing. So that's mainly what I use presets for, is to just kinda get the creative juices flowing. It'll adjust the exposure to what's saved on the preset like color tone, saturation, things like that. So yeah, just going through here. And a couple of 'em kind of popped out here. A couple of my presets here. But one of Forrest's, I think, is gonna work really well as a base. So I'll click that, and you can already see, I think I had it clicked. There we go. All right. So there's the after. There's the before. Brighten the image up considerably. Add in some more saturation. It's not perfect yet. Like, it's a little bit purple for my taste so I'm just gonna start on the white balance here. Just kind of sweeping it back and forth a little bit to find something a little better. I like my snow scenes a lot bluer, 'cause they feel cold when you're there and it looks cold in real life. So just gonna tweak it a little bit colder. Yeah, like right in there somewhere. Right about there. It's a good starting point. I think everything else is pretty good. This actually, this preset worked pretty good. Normally, they don't work that great. Maybe drop my blacks a little bit, get some of that contrast back in there. You can see that this dropped the highlights. Just double click that to get it to go back to normal. Command + Z to get it to go back where it was. I might come somewhere in the middle. And again, we hardly see this mountain here. The mountain is key. And again, we saw this mountain on the way up the hill in much less snow and I could see it visually and so now that's in my brain and that's what I wanna see. So we will get there. There is a magic tool here that we'll use. Down here, I'm gonna go to the HSL panel. And then I just take that, like I said, there's a lot of purple on the blues. You can see like this turns it even more purple if I go to the right and a little more aqua if I go to the left. Too much, so I'll start back here in a zero. Just a little bit to the left there. I want this to feel kind of icy blue. No purple really in it. And it might have gone a little too far to split the difference. That's kind of the name of the game here is going too far and then pulling back. And we can change all this stuff. This is non-destructive. I think you guys probably know that by now, but this is just adding on top of the JPEG. It's, everything is reversible. Going down here, again, looking at the preset, it looks like some of the highlights are blue, some of the shadows are orange. You know, you can just, usually, most things double click 'em. I'll show you that again. I kind of did a weird triple click there, but you can, on the middle here, just double click. It'll go to zero. And you gotta see the difference there. I do like where that one was so I'm just gonna leave it. Sharpening, I like to zoom in. It looks pretty dang sharp actually. And this was shot at, if you look up here, 114 millimeter, ISO 400, 1/2,500 of a second. So it was quite bright out there and we were able to get, freeze every little chunk of snow here is frozen in the air. Looks awesome. Bottom of the skis are red, so they're popping. Okay, so I think we're getting pretty close for a base edit. It might be kind of fun to throw a little bit of a vignette on there to drive your eye just to Alex a little more. And when I'm looking to vignette, I'm not just looking at this big screen that's huge in front of my face here. I'm also looking at this little panel over here. 'Cause I wanna see what it looks like on a phone versus, you know, just on the big screen here. So I'm looking over here and then you can take that, double click it again, go off. Command + Z to undo, go back on, and then just find that sweet spot in the middle. Now this is a post crop vignette. So if we undo this all the way, we go, okay, well, first if it's post crop, then I should probably crop. So we're gonna go all the way back up here and right at the top of the control panel there. I know that when I post on Instagram, it's four, five. So I'm just gonna look and see what the four, five looks like there. Looks pretty good. Sometimes I will, if I like the long, like in this case, I like the long a little bit. So before I actually crop this and I'll just kick Command + Z to undo. Before I crop it, I wanna save a version here. So I'm gonna right-click and I'm gonna go to create virtual copy here. So that's gonna pop another one right out there. That way, I have two different versions that I can export and they'll live in my Dropbox and I can use whichever one I want. Obviously, this nine by 16 crop that is natural, that I shape, that I shot the photo in, that would be perfect for IG stories. But the four, five is gonna be great for an actual Instagram post. And in much more places, you know, on my website, it might work versus the nine, 16. So then I'd have got that virtual copy of that nine by 16 original crop, then I'll go back into my four, five here. And just kind of play with it until I find something that I'll really like the look of. Keeping in mind that I may move Alex down into the center of the screen. Finding that balance of this going through the middle. And I'm just looking, again, at the big photo here that I'm cropping. And I'm also looking up here at this little preview panel here. I find looking at the image in two different sizes really, really helps. Okay, so it may not be perfect, but for the sake of this editing tutorial, keeping it nice and short, we're gonna go with that crop. And then this is where I might just do a little, maybe just make it a little bluer, just lowering the temperature down a little bit. And then there's kind of like a, right in this area here, there's like almost like a warm highlight that's natural. And I remember that from when I was there, too. So I'm gonna pull open a radial filter and just trying to get it centered a little bit on that highlight. It might include a little bit of Alex. Looks like there was exposure was lowered a little bit. And I'm just gonna actually warm it up on that section there. Let's see what that does. Just get a little bit of visual interest by adding, just accentuating the natural color temperature difference that was on that back mountain versus the blue in the front and the blue in the sky. Just a little, I think even five is too much. Type on that. Go three. Do exposure, bring it up just a little bit. Yeah. It's very subtle. I'll show you what that looks like before and after. Before. After. And we'll see, I might not keep that, but we'll see. All right, so this is that magic piece I was telling you about. I'm gonna take my brush here, my masking brush, and I'm gonna hit the, you know, just click there and then I'm gonna hit the O key on my keyboard. And I'm not doing any effect now. I'm just painting that mountain in the background. And I've got it. My settings are, my flow is 22, my feather's 83. I might actually make it even more feather, and feather is how it falls off on the edges so that it doesn't look like you're writing with a Sharpie, more with a fuzzy brush. And I'm just painting that whole mountain. Really thick where the actual mountain is and just lightly on the edges. And at flow 22, the more you go over it, the more thick it is. And if I just barely go over it on the edges, we'll just barely be there. But on the middle here, I really want it just painted on really thick. For the purposes of what we're gonna do here, use this magic tool that I'm excited to show you. Okay. So we'll just go nice and light around the edges here just to fade it in. Let's see what that looks like when we add the magic tool, which is dehaze. I don't know how this tool does it, but watch the mountain appear out of the mist as I take this slider. And there it is. It's coming in. Yeah. So now you can see the mountain again, which is really fun. And then I'm actually gonna, where I changed the warmth, I think I prematurely did that. I'm just gonna turn that one off for a second. Yeah, I did prematurely do that, add that warmth and that exposure. So block that exposure down, see what it looks like with just the warmth. And I don't like it anymore. That's the cool part about it, is I can just, did I delete it? Yeah, I think it's gone. So now that we've dehazed, you can see there's actually a giant, really cool looking peak there. We can pop that back open, click on that radial filter again if we feel like we want a little more around the edge. and I do, like right up in here. Want just the top of that mountain to be a little more dehazed. There we go. So now Alex is doing this sweet turn in front of this huge mountain. Very cool. All right, so the final thing we can try and do here, we could use this clone stamp tool that's on Lightroom to get rid of that line. And it may work really well. Yeah, it looks, yeah, it looks pretty good. But I wanna see if I can move Alex anyway to get him a little bit lower, and it may not work. I don't like to spend a lot of time Photoshopping on my photos. But what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna right-click here and I'm gonna go to edit in Adobe Photoshop 2021. And this is gonna load it into Adobe Photoshop, which has a much better clone stamp, like just a smarter one, and it also has the ability to move Alex very easily with a couple of really simple tools. So you can see that behind Lightroom here. Okay. So there's our image in Photoshop now. And first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna grab that spot healing brush tool. and make my brush size bigger, even bigger than 130. Like, even bigger. Hardness is very soft. And then I'll just kind of this ski track that Tucker and I made, I'm gonna brush it on. See what happens. At first, it always looks weird to my eye 'cause it just disappeared. But snow is super easy to clone stamp away because it's kind of a repeating pattern. And I'll notice the differences, but I think anybody else who's looking at this is gonna be looking at Alex and that mountain. They're not gonna be noticing that the clone stamp has left some residual marks. And I'm trying to get this photo out to the world. I'm not trying to make fine art right here. There are some photos that I do that, but this is not what I'm attempting to do right here. So I'm not spending a ton of time. Like you can see, there was something there. There is some sort of pattern. But that's not what I'm concerned with here is making this perfect "National Geographic" style image. Because this is not going on "National Geographic" as far as I know. And I can always come back. This is not destructive. I can always come back and do this again. So, okay, so it's, I've kind of wiped away Tucker and I's tracks mostly. Just a couple of clicks. Like I said, this tool, the spot healing brush on Photoshop is much more powerful than the clone stamp tool inside a Lightroom. Now this may not work. And I'm, now that I'm looking at where Alex is, I'm not hating it, so I might not even wanna move him. But just for the sake of a really simple moving, there's a ton of different ways you can do this. You can do layers, you can do all sorts of things. But I'm going to go to, what is this? This, they're called a patch tool. And I'm gonna do a little draw around him and around the slope that he's on. And I'm just gonna move him down just a titch. And this is just grabbing his whole thing here and just moving him down to where I wanted him to turn originally. See that? And then you just hit the Enter button and Command + D to get off that select, that little selection circle. And then I'm gonna go back up here, go to content aware. Grab the old Alex and find out if we can push him up here and just kind of move these pieces. This, you know, still, I'm not sold that it's working yet. But we're trying. I mean, I like that. I think that looks pretty darn good. I don't like this double hump we got going on here. Gotta get rid of that. So then you can just hit Command + D, put it up again. Yeah. Heck yeah. So I mean, that's all I'm gonna do for this little bit. I think that's really cool, you know. Maybe I don't want this little tree in here. I can still use this patch tool. Get rid of it. Maybe I don't want these little guys in here. Just trying to make the scene look a little, kind of missed a little bit of that. Just making the scene look cleaner so that your eye is drawn to the subject. I think that's pretty good. And then you just hit Command + S. That's gonna go ahead and save it back as a TIFF file, and it'll open it right back up in Lightroom here. So we're in Lightroom and you can see up here, it's a TIFF. And that's pretty much it for that guy. I can give her some more tweak, give her a little more color, I think. But you'll notice that over on the right hand side, this is why I do all my edits first. On the right hand side, these, all these sliders are back to normal. It's because we're not editing RAW anymore. This is a whole brand new file, a TIFF. They're not as editable as a RAW. So that's why I did all my edits before I jumped into Photoshop and then I can come back and do some, just a little bit of tweaking. But you'd have a hard time adjusting the color temperature, 'cause it's slightly baked in on a TIFF versus RAW. So that's why you wanna do that first. But for now I think that one is good to go. We've got a pretty good image there. We're gonna jump right back over to another image that you guys saw me take, the one of the cabin. And our producer, Graham, walking over there with his bright red jacket and his super sweet down yellow boots. And I think at this one, I just wanna brighten it up. Again, we'll just run over some of these, some of my presets, see if anything really jumps out at me. Maybe that one. Kind of like that one, but it's just not. I think we can do this one straight from the top, all the way from scratch. Again, I'm trying to, sometimes a camera reads cool as purple in the snow. So, or at least my camera does. I'm trying to get away from that. And I want this cabin to pop a little bit. And I'm just moving these sliders thinking I want a little less whites, a little more exposure. The feeling of being outside here, and that's always what I'm trying to do, is I'm trying to visually match, but also maybe slightly enhance what it felt like to be there. And it was very white. White to the point of even though it was a storm, it felt like we needed sunglasses. So again, maybe bumping up the exposure a little bit, bumping it back down. Just pulling away those panels there. I also like to look at it on a white background. I use my L key for that. And I've set the background to be white, which you can do in preferences. I think stock, it's gray or something like that. I just like to look at it on white 'cause it really helps me see what the true colors are. Yeah. Give it a little more saturation here. And then the cabin was, in my mind, was a little more brown, not so washed out. It might not have been, but that's the way I remember it. So I'm taking this saturation. I'm gonna grab this selective tool here and then find one of the browner areas like here, but not the full brown area. And then just add saturation to that color till it really starts to turn brown. Pull it back down a little bit. And I'll set that there and you guys can see what this looked like. So you see just the, just in this area here on the cabin, just, it pops it a little bit more. Do that again just a little bit so it separates it from the background a little bit. And this image really didn't need much. I kind of, it feels a little weighted towards the right side here. So I might pull it in a little bit, and the crop is a little bit tight. If I shot this again, I would shoot it a little bit wider, but we're gonna work with what we got. Change it to that four, five aspect that I was telling you about. And I don't wanna cut too much of this. I wanna leave some room for the way the mountain is up there. and I'm kind of weighting it towards the top. So it's almost like your chin is up and you're like, "Wow, that's really tall." Basic, basic edit on this. Just grabbing some more oranges out of that. And then I might take this radial filter, drop it up on the top here. Cool it down. Make it look even colder up there. Just with the temperature. Yeah, let's turn it a little purple there. Add some more greens in to counteract that. A little too blue. Go into that dehaze. See if we can pull a little more detail out of that snowstorm. A little less on the blues, on the temperature difference. And then I'm gonna stretch that out so it fades a little better. And if we hit the O key on our keyboard, and you can see how it fades in there. Okay, so that's pretty much all I'm gonna do for that one. Simple image. This is more docu-style. Not a heavy edit. I think that's fine for that one. Final image here, we are looking at this image I shot of Rod tossing his ski pole. I think you guys also saw that, me take that image in the video. Rod was having a good time. Had him put his headlamp on right as it was getting dark. Moon was in the sky. I thought it was a really cool kind of moment. He's having a good time. Had him toss his ski pole to just kinda get that playful attitude. And again, I'm just gonna run through these presets. Run through my presets. Just looking for something that kind of looks a little bit like I did when we were there. And for this one again, I want kind of almost aqua blues, no purple. And yeah, just wanted to kind of feel like it did when I was there. That one's pretty close. It's a little bright. Maybe wanna force presets. Maybe a good base. None of 'em are a perfect match. Let's check this one versus one of mine. Think I'm gonna start with Forrest as a base, but the colors are a bit different than what I need. Turn his tone curve off a little bit. See what that looks like. I like what his tone curve does. But I'm gonna come back down just to the HSL slider here. And you can see that his blues on the hues, I should say, are just centered. So I'm gonna take it towards aqua. And then on the aqua, it looks like he had a little bit towards purple. Break it down. Now I find, sometimes, when I'm looking at subtle shifts like this, that it's difficult to tell if I've gone too far or not far enough. That's where this L key hitting that go to white background looks good. Also, using this Slash key just below the Delete key on my keyboard to go before and after helps refresh my eye into what I'm looking at here. And I kind of like that. I like where we ended up there. I want just a little more of my eye to direct towards Rod here. He is the subject even though he's tossing this and there's a cool moon there. So I'm gonna just take a radial filter and I don't want to, let me show you something really quick here. If I take this radial filter and I want it to be Rod the focus of the image, and I just make it as big as Rod. I put it on there and I say, "Okay, well, I want a little more light on Rod." And I up the exposure on Rod. At first glance, it's gonna look great. But that's where I use this panel here, the little panel. Helps me have a different perspective. You can see there's like some sort of halo around him. Like, it's bright right here underneath his arm, right in this region here, and there's not. And sometimes I use like one eye. Look really stupid. But it helps kind of look at what's going on there. So I do want light on Rod, but this is just far too fake looking. It's like the dramatic difference between the light here and here is not natural. So I'll take this radial filter. I'm gonna spread it out all the way across the image like this and pull it down even further. And now it's almost like a camera vignette versus what it was before was just a weird editing trick that somebody didn't do with subtlety. And then I'm gonna lower that exposure back down 'cause I've gone up a bit too dramatic. And the feather here, I'm gonna feather that in. And the best way to look at your feather again is to hit that zero key or O key on your keyboard. You can see like that's a hard edge and that's not an edge at all. We want it more towards the not an edge. Very soft. Yeah. So I really like that. I think that's really good. I might just pull it down a little bit more, 'cause we are getting some natural vignetting from the camera. And now here's another thing too, is like, I really like how you look at Rod, you look at where he's tossing the pole, you look at the moon, it's a really great seeing skis in the, or it's the mountains in the background, he skied down from up there. I like that. However, I want to post this at four, five, I'm gonna lose that moon. So what I'm gonna do again here is I'm just gonna make a virtual copy and keep that in the nine, 16. But then in my virtual copy, I'm going to use this clone stamp tool. It's just really fast. I'm gonna just click down here and then I'm gonna take this part, and I'm gonna grab the moon. This is just quick and dirty. And you can see I move the moon now. There's two moons. Then I'll go four, five, and the moon is still in there. You can see how it wouldn't have been in there before. So you can do that really quick. I actually want the moon a little bit lower. So I'm gonna just Command + Z till I get back out of there. Grab that spot removal tool again. This one, this one. And then I'm gonna move for the location of where the moon was, and I'm gonna grab that again there. Okay. So we've got two moons again. Going back to the crop tool, going to the four, five, and you can see now we've got the moon right there at the top. And that's if I just wanna use that again, but still have that element of the moon. I'm not trying to hide it. This isn't an artistic inter. Let me start that again. This is not an artistic interpretation so much as it is, I'm just trying to have the components I had, but, you know, I can't control where the moon is, but I still want it in there. I just want this to be able to be something I can post on Instagram. And on nine, 16, the moon would be, it would be automatically cropped out anyway. Don't want that. So that's pretty much it. That's, you know, you can do a couple more tweaking here on Rod. You could warm up his headlamp, if you want. You could, you know, just use a little brush tool or a radial tool like I'm using here. Take the temperature and just raise it like that. Use the H key to hide that so you can see how warm it's going, and just put a little warmth to kind of balance off of that, balance off of the cool blues that we're looking at. And that's it. There's those three photos. So if we've done our job, all these photos should be engaging and fun to look at, and I think it is. So, yeah, that's it. That's all three of those images. So those are the three images that we shot while we were out in the field. Quick edit on all of them. They probably can use a little bit of adjustment, but I'm very happy with how they turned out, and I think that they are more than good enough to share on social media and even be in my portfolio. Yeah. That's how I do it.