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Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2

Lesson 4 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2

Lesson 4 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Adobe Bridge Basics


Sorting Images in Adobe Bridge


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 1


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2


Image Processing Q&A


Contrast and Color


Adjustment Brush and Auto Mask


Lesson Info

Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2

First thing from syria on one of the person voted for this at the end, we're talking about noise. How do you know that? I know that your noise level in an image is too bad for a particular picture and how much do we have to fix the noise level to say the picture is good? Well, in some ways it's a personal choice and that it's two things first, it depends on how you going to use the image if you're going to use it on the internet, and therefore they're never going to see it so big that they could zoom up and see the little bitty details. It's not that big of a problem, because when you reproduce it small, they're not going to see it. But as we start enlarging our images, printing them bigger and bigger, it's much easier to walk up to the print and inspected. And when you do, you might notice the noise it's in there. So I have to think about how big is this image going to be used and that's? One thing bigger it is, the more critical it is. Uh then the other thing is certain times. Noise ...

can look like it's good in the picture like if it's ah dark scene that's just feels moody in the scene, sometimes the noise khun khun feel ok to just be there in the first place it's a candlelit scene or something like that? It actually khun somewhat add to the look of the the feel of the image because people are used to historically those kinds of images having a certain feeling. S oh it's a combination, but in general, if you wanted to be the more versatile you want to view it out one hundred percent view and thinking your head, when would I be distracted by the noise where my brain would think first about the noise before the content of the picture? You know, I'd be distracted by when I walked up and said not, this is a good picture, said what's this noise, and then you start looking at what is the picture about? You know, the law sometimes that could be the case when you have way too much noise. I can't even think about the picture because I'm like, why didn't they fix this part? So I don't know that there's a definitive answer there that's part of what to think about that is a great, uh, great guideline to think about. Wonderful from one from wonderful sita and five other people want to know this what's the benefit of cropping in camera over in photo shop ones who opened the image there's not necessarily a great benefit depending on how you're performing it but in general with many images I never opened them in photo shop I have hundreds upon hundreds of washington and say hundreds of thousands of pictures that have never been fully opened all the way in the photo shop I can finish them and camera and if that's the case why go into camera why going to photo shop to do it also once you open an image into photo shop if it's a raw file photoshopped can't save information back into the raw file a raw file is the raw data that came from the camera if you change that data it's no longer the raw data that came from the camera right it's no longer raw file so the reason why the settings that we make in camera are saved justice text on your picture is if they change the actual data that makes up that picture it would no longer be a raw file because raw means raw data unaltered from your camera when I open it in photo shop now if I crop it I have to save it in a different file format j peg tiff photoshopped whatever and now I have two files so if all I'm doing is cropping then I'd much rather do it on camera the time I might do it in photo shop, and I frequently dio is when if I'm going to set up this image, I know I'm you know, putting photo shop because I need to do certain kind of retouching or other kinds of enhancements like creative techniques, and I'm not certain how it's going to be used in the end, I don't know if it's going to be printed on a particular kind of paper format or in a magazine format or some other thing, and so what I want to do is I want to work on it in camp, in photo shop and be able to see it in my crop form, but also go back and forth between the cropped version and the full version. Uh, and I need to do those changes in photo shop is well, yeah, so what I would say is if you think you can finish the image and camera there's obviously no reason to get it into photoshopped knew the cropping you'd end up with two files then because it can't save what you do in photo shop back into the raw file on lee camera can, uh, and that otherwise it's just a mindset of when do you most like it, uh, not a technical advantage. One more and this is something that I know a lot of people were bringing up uh is the difference between photo shop and then photoshopped elements so as we're going through this class, is it useful at all for people with photoshopped elements or is that something different? What photo shop elements will have the layout of the program a little bit different, but overall the general functionality of both program this is very similar so that you'll probably find a percent is my guest so as far as what is applicable to that version and so I think it'll still be quite useful perfect then let's go ahead and get started okay? So we've been talking about adjusting images in camera and remember if you viewed her images and bridge that if you see any of these little round icons next to your thumb now they will indicate has this image been adjusted with camera or not hasn't been cropped and the crop icon is very useful to see because it just means if somebody comes up and asked me if I need something for a magazine cover, you know, magazine covers always vertical and if you see a horizontal image in there with that little icon up there the crop icon you think, oh, there might be more to that it might be easier to turn this image into a vertical because there's more data might be ableto just make some of the stuff that's currently being hidden back into view and it could be usable so anyway those icons air useful now with you're looking at a raw file then it can actually change the raw file because changing the raw file would make it so it's no longer raphael raphael means that it is the raw data from your camera unaltered so what actually happens is when you see this little ikon up here it actually creates an extra file on your hard drive in the same folder as that original raw file what hamza's it's got the exact same file name is there off ill except for the ending on it the file extension says dot ex mp and I can go and look I'm are hard drive and if I look in here you see here's the raw image that's what came from my camera unaltered photo shop will never change that rafael this ex mp file contains the camera studies if you actually looked at it in a word processor which you can't open it in there it's just a text file it would tell you things like the exposure slider was moved to plus sixteen or whatever it is that kind of stuff it's not quite a straightforward is it what I just described it has some other gobbledygook in there's forest technical stuff but it doesn't look too similar to looking at the source code for a web page where it's you know relatively straightforward information it's a tiny file if I look at see if I can even get the file size to show up here that is eight k kilobytes that means it's like the size of a word processing file that contains a paragraph you know kind of thing if you ever need to move that raw file move the ex mp file too because if you don't you just threw away or didn't copy the camera changes that you've made so in this case if I actually take that and physically move it to the trash can and then I go back to bridge look at what happened my picture remember this picture we adjusted well it's no longer adjusted it no longer has that icon it looks like the I'll go to the finder and I hope I can type command z that's the shortcut for undo yes I was able to undo that deleting so the files back now it's just it again and it's got that icon now there's another file over here see this guy it's too dark as well notice the file name difference finally number three file name number five I could go over here and all I would have to do he has changed the name of that ex mp file if I come in here maybe I'll delete the one that's there for number five I'll take the one for number three and change it to a five. Now look at this file. First off, it's been rotated to vertical because that's what did in the camera and you see how it's bright didn't used to be and that's because we just made those files be associated with a different file on my hard drive. So that's the on ly way they're associating exact same file name, it ends with ex mp. So be careful of those little files that you see that have ex mp on the end of them because they're all the changes you made in camera. I'm not sure if I can undo the naming. Oh, I can undo rename good I just chose undoing my operating system, so it changed them back to the original. And now it's associated with this file again. So ex mp ex mp files tiny text files they contain the raw settings that you've applied in. Inside them is just simple tax that'll say, like where the cropping rectangle wass or what a slider was moved to, and all it does is so that the next time I double click on that file in camera rock comes up it presets all the sliders to where they were before that's all it does. We could copy that file ten times, change its name, so they match ten different files and suddenly those ten files would have those same settings applied because all it is is text so let's works more images, the last image we worked on and it was way too dark. This one is a bit too bright, so remember, exposure controls the brightness of the entire picture, so if you think the vast majority of the picture is too bright, then I would go for exposure, but if you don't think it's the mass fast majority, then you might leave exposure alone instead, if you notice that the area that you don't like is primarily the bright portion of the image, then that's the highlight slider, so in this case I'm going to move the highlights slider to the left remember with all these sliders that affect brightness, moving them to the left darkened, moving them to the right will brighten and I can get a lot of that detail back now. If this was a jpeg file there's only so much I could get there if something in the jpeg file was truly white on screen there's no detail that this could bring back, but if it's a raw file, even if it looks truly white on screen there's a little bit extra data that might be able to bring brought back there is a limit to it it's not like you can take the noonday sun and move the highlights slider down and see sunspots see no show up on the sun that's you know too far out of the range but there is a certain amount of data that you can get back that you can't get from a j peg remember the trick if you move highlights or shadows either one of him and you max it out and you want to move it even further what's the trick? No if I moved hi lines, it was that you go up here to exposure and what you do with exposure is moving in the same direction you wish you could move the slider that's maxed out when we do that it's going to darken, which is going to affect those highlights is if we got the highlights to go further, but since it darkened everything and we didn't, I want it to affect the shadows we need now to compensate by moving the shadows slider in the opposite direction and then we can bring the shadows back up to where they used to be. Now there are some finishing adjustments that I think about these are things that I adjust after I'm done getting the overall brightness to be okay and those air called the whites and the blacks, whites and blacks what they mean is how bright is the absolute brightest party? Your picture that's what the white slider determines it means is the brightest party picture truly white? Or is it? I don't know eighty percent white, you know, not quite all the way in blacks means is the absolute darkest part of your picture truly black? Or is it brighter than that when you can find out if you have that or not? By looking at the bar chart this in the upper right, it's called a hist aground with the history ram black is represented in the left side, white is represented on the right side and everything else is in between. So all you have to remember his left side is dark stuff, just like with the sliders we talk about when it comes to brightness, moving it to the left makes it darker well in the history ram looking to the left, you're thinking about darker things, looking to the right you're thinking about brighter things, so look on the right side and notice there's a gap on the end he doesn't go all the way to the right. That means it doesn't go all the way to his bright as it could be the brightest would be white can't get any brighter than white, right? So this image has no white, innit? It has something a little darker than white but look on the opposite side, that's where black is, it does have the tiniest bit of black because the height to the bar's tells you how much you have. So if this on the end was really tall, it means we have a huge blob, a black, but if it's a spec, it means it's, a tiny area. So what happens is when I'm done getting the image somewhat corrected, I'll glance at that bar chart, and I'll just look at the ends and say, are there gaps? If there are gaps, it means we don't have black or white in the picture, and it might look better if we get black or white in the picture, because what happens is if you think about your computer screen, if you turn your computer screen on and turn all the lights and a room off, you can still see your computer screen there, even if it's full of black. If you tell open up photo shop, open a solid black document, make it for fill the screen and you have your computer sitting there any otherwise pitch black room, you can point your laptop in a millisecond because the black on your screen is not truly black there's light coming out of its still, you know, I'm talking about some of your tv set at home and the same is true for white if you think about the brightest white you can see on your screen it's nowhere near as bright as the brightest I see with my eyes even in this room the lighting in this room and everything else much brighter than my screen and so most of the time for most general pictures it's useful to have the full brightness range because then we have the full range of the limited device were using when it comes to print out a sheet of paper the sheet of paper you're pretty non is nowhere near as bright as other things you see in the room like a lightbulb or anything the black of the sheet of paper is nowhere near as dark as the black of a pitch black room and so the same thing is true it is often useful tohave the full brightness range just to get the most out of the limited range we have available so I glance up here when I've done my overall correction I look at the history graham I'm on lee looking at the ends I don't care about the middle and I'm looking to see doesn't go all the way across if it doesn't then I go to the blacks or whites sliders now watch what happens to not the picture but the bar chart look at the right side of the bar chart and I'm going to move the whites slider let's see what it does first, I'll move it to left remember moving the slider shell left usually darkens, so you see the brightest part of the picture as faras the bar chart is concerned is moving further and further away from, uh, white you could think of the bar chart as this means no light whatsoever this means is that much light as we could possibly use? And this is what we're actually using. We're getting nowhere near white if I move in the opposite direction instead of darkening the brightest part my picture, I'm going to keep bringing it, keep bringing it it's going to eventually hit the end when it hits the end, we have white if I keep pushing it, then it means the rest of the history and that's out here that's not quite at the end is going to get pushed beyond the end and it's gonna pile up on top of each other. You see a spike happen e that means we're getting larger and larger and larger area solid white like the middle of the waterfall. Huge area. Ok, so then let's do blacks with blacks for some of it to the right because we're or anything you move towards the right usually brightens and you see what's happening to the left side of that bar chart you see, moving a little bit away from the end means we don't quite have black move in the opposite direction it's going to move the whole thing towards black eventually, do you see the spike building up that means that we're getting a big area of black, like the entire shadow by this rock is turning black? So when I'm done doing an overall correction on a picture, I fixed the stuff that I didn't like. I will often kind of finish off the image with whites and blacks, so what I'll do is if I glance on the right side and I see a gap, what I'll do is I'll move the white slider towards towards the right until the gap goes away but does not develop a spike and then I'll glance at my picture and seeded it help it's not always going to help if you have a picture of fog making the brightest part, white might make it have too much contrast. You wanted to look dark and kind of grayish, but here's, how you contested out when you go to any slider in camera and I wish this was true and all adobe products and especially photo shop, but right now, it's only cameron in light room, and that is if you double click on any slider, it resets it to its default setting. Any one of these sliders so watch what happens when I reset the white slider I'll just double click on it you see just pulled it to the middle and then if I leave my mouse where it was a moment ago where the slider was located high just click once more it'll pull it back over here so as long as I don't move my mouse instead I have it right on that slider I double click to reset it and click once more to pull it back double click pull it back and therefore I could look at my picture and I can double click to see what it looked like before I made that adjustment and click again to see after this he did it help that help brighten up things now doesn't mean I have to end up with white if it's too much if you think that's a little too bright back off on the white slider just a little bit but moving until you get to the extreme of how far you'd want to go because you're never going to know if it's going to keep improving the image unless you go beyond where improves and in some cases and in this case if you get a spike we'd end up losing the detail now with black signal the same thing we could bring it to the left before we get a big spike but I find that the vast majority of images like eighty plus percent always could use black it's rare for an image to not look better with black with white to depends but with blacks uh almost always I'm going to look down on this image we gotta work out more so we seen that we can get a lot more out of our images when comes to really dark images really bright images and there isn't a problem darkening an image noise is not going to be more noticeable because what we're doing is pushing things deeper into the dark part of the image when we were darkening the dark parts is we're doing that we're making it harder to see the noise because the noise is only in the dark part of your image that's where noise shows up you don't have to worry about that so much but now let's look at a sequence of images here are in extreme we have an image that to me looks like it's almost non existent right? Can we get anything out of it? Well let's open it exposure we know is for the entire image I think the whole thing needs it so we're going to bring that up bring it up okay now after doing that we move it exposure as far as it could go if I look at the image and I still don't like something about the brightness I would say there are two things that I don't like first the brightest part of the image might not be near white because the waterfall looks kind of gray to me the second thing is that the detail of the dark part of the picture is hard to see so that would mean going to the shadow slider for the dark part of the picture glued to the right to brighten it and then if the brightest part of the image needs to be brighter we have two choices actually we have either highlights or whites either one would push things that direction you could try highlights first but if overall the relationship between the brightest part of the image and the rest looks okay you don't want the brightest parts to necessarily stand out dramatically from everything else it's just overall the image feels kind of dull that it would usually be whites that night but the problem is any time you brighten a dark picture the noise is hidden in the dark part and if the vast majority of the image was overly dark that means now the vast majority the image is going to be overly noisy so I'm going to double click on the hand tool that's how you get one hundred percent view I'm sorry there's um tool and then grab the handle and look at that content you see the noise if you can't uh get some new glasses so that's problem we can reduce noise but we can't magically make when there's there's something known as the signal to noise ratio it means how much noises there compared to how much images they're the image being the signal coming through in if that noise the ratio of noise toe image the noise is so high by the time we get rid of the noise there's not going to much image left it's going to look blurry, so this is less than ideal, but considering, uh what? We started with that's pretty wild like that if that was a j peg files, good luck, because you would have had about six brightness levels in that dark range, whereas here we probably had a hundred or more in that dark range j peg filed no way you're gonna be able to do that so let's talk a little bit about when it comes to shooting in your camera and how you might want to think about that history ram that's built into your camera because when you play back an image, you know I can get the little bar chart if you go through the menus to summon your camera and get it to show up well, first I'm going to get it so we no longer have this adjustment on this picture I could do that in a couple different ways. First I can go on camera and there's a setting and they're called defaults and I could apply that I could delete that ex mp file that would get that to go away and it wouldn't have the settings applied anymore or there's a way to get photoshopped to manually go and delete that accent p file what that is is he pressed the right mouse button when you're on top of one of these images and bridge and if you only have one mouse button because you're on mac uh control clicking is equal into right mass but there's a choice here called develop settings and develops at his means camera settings down here this list those were pre sets you probably don't have those because I created him but at the top you will have camera defaults you will have previous conversion that means the last image I adjusted grab the sightings apply it to the image I'm currently clicking on or hear clear settings that'll get rid of him now you can open more than one image in camera at a time to open more than one image just select more than one image here I have one on hold shift click on another so I get all the ones in between and then I go over here and she's opening camera raw and it's going to open all of those images just had more than one selected when you have more than one selected they show up down the left side of camera his little thumbnails then you click between so look at these and look at the history graham the history graham tells you what brightness levels you having your picture and as you get to the left it means you have left less light in areas as you get to the right you have more light so in this particular case if we have this range we're in the really dark very little light range well that's where all the noises so this image less than ideal so on my camera if I ever saw that show up in a history ram I'd say that's the noise it's down there so then in my camera I can change the exposure compensation setting I can do plus one if that happened to be what what I need to choose and I get this see how it started moving to the right then my camera it's a plus to them go to here plus three koda here if my meter was that far huh um less forgot to here but you see it moving towards the right on time then I get to hear that's the most ideal version you could say because look at the dark part of the instagram you noticed that there's not very much there meaning it's not very tall where's than all the others see how tall it is in the dark part tall means takes up a lot of space in my picture so if I call it between these this would be the most ideal one to adjust and if there was more available let's say took another six shots going even brighter, even brighter, even brighter. What I would notice is that eventually there'll be a big spike showing up in the right side, meaning white takes up a good amount of space now if there's just a little bitty spike on the end in your camera it's okay most of the time because you could get a little bit of extra detail back in camera by moving the highlights slider but if that spike starts getting rather tall or what's in your highlights is critical information you expect a particular color in the very brightest party or image there's going to be a little bit less captured and so it would be most ideal if you don't have a big spike but we can take something this dark and get something out of it it's just the brighter it isthe the less noise there's going to be because the mohr imagine the noises in this region where do you see this little kind of imagine this line right here? This isn't technically right but just use it as a mindset. This line whatever's over there is full of noise and if most your images over there it's going to need a lot of help after you brighten it up with noise reduction but as you get brighter and brighter more and more of your image is starting to move out of that zone and it's going to be a much easier to correct so if we correct an image like this one you're not gonna have to deal with the noise now why would I want to open more than one image in camera like that? Well look here's some images that I captured its a nice land of course he'll like what's he doing well here's what he's doing? I can actually show you how to turn that into an animation for your website let's go back and forth but those images pretty much need the exact same adjustment overall for the whole thing same would be true if we had a pan around so if I click on one image cold shift and get the other end of the range and then I come over here and say opening camera now we got all those images and all I have to do is click through him decide which picture did I want to look at at the time that I'm moving the sliders around sally can look at one at a time and what happens is any change that I make with these sliders on ly effects the image that selected on the left side so watch if I do something like I moved my exposure to an extreme you know said only one of the images on the left changed double click on that slider to reset it, but in the upper left you see a select all button. I could click that now they're all selected, and so I'll do the same adjustment to my exposure. Now see, they all change when I did that. Did you notice a yellow triangle in the upper right corner of the thumbnails? In case you didn't watch him again? See the yellow triangle yellow triangle means I haven't updated that yet. I'm in the process of updating this, so don't judge what's there until this triangle goes away. So if you ever doing something and you see the triangles, that means hey, wait, tom done updating. So now, if we had a panorama, we could click through the panorama to choose whatever the most difficult part of it is to adjust, like maybe where the sun is showing up within it, and click on that image to make it visible on the big part of the screen and then hit the select all button before we start moving these slaughters because with a panorama, we need the same sightings applied to the whole thing. Each shot within it otherwise it's not going to be stitched herbal one part will be too dark to match the next. And so that's, what weakened e o that's also what we could do if we were to go back to that serious of images where we're editing things down, and you remember where I put things into, um, stacks and everything in that stack, those images were about the same brightness, why not just a moment together, but let's just say, with these adjusted one, the first one in rock, as I was thinking, I'm not going to need those others, and I came in here and I said, well, let's, bring out the shattered detail, I wish I could move that little further and I'll move some sliders we haven't talked about yet, and I did something this image and let's say, when I was done with it, I liked it, I had done, but then the client said, I don't like that one because that person's face their got their eyes closed or something and you're like, okay? And now I'd like to get those same settings on the other pictures that were similar because we need to use one of those instead, but I didn't adjust them all together I wish I would have here's what you do is you click on the one image that has been adjusted you select the others that need the same adjustment there's a couple different ways of doing it but one is to open it in camera and find the one that actually has been adjusted make it so it's the one you're viewing you hit select all and then instead of moving the sliders and the right to change the look of those pictures there's a button up here it's called synchronized it means copy the settings from the image we're currently looking at the big image here in the middle and applying to all the others that are selected but if you look at the button called synchronized do you notice anything about it? I got three periods right? And those three periods means is going to ask you something, so if I click it it's gonna ask me which settings should be applied because if I did some retouching where I did some something that would apply to on ly a specific area might not want everything applied, but in this particular case like cropping might need to be different, but in this case I'll leave all those check boxes turned on. I'll click okay and watch the other thumbnails on the left side when I click okay, you see the triangle show up for a second, which means they haven't updated this yet triangle goes away and now we got applied after doing that, I might click through these individually now just to double check that they all needed the same adjustment because who knows the brightness could be different in some of them like this one needs more writing so I can come over here since my shadow's already maxed out, I could bring up exposure just for that and I don't have the other selected, so the, uh they're not being affected on lee that was their selected are affected when I'm gonna hit done so does that make sense then that we could process just the top images from all those stacks? And on ly if later on we decide for some reason that the top image didn't work out for us? We need to use one of the others that we could somehow get that setting from one image to the others. Now there is another way of doing that here's an image that has settings applied and in others that don't we don't have to open it in camera just right click on it. That's control clicking if you have one button mouse in developed settings means photo camera settings there's a choice copy settings it just copied the ross sightings from that, then select the others right click fell, upsetting pace settings and, gee, I wonder if it's going to ask me for settings, what do you think see the three dots. It'll ask me which ones you want to apply, everything but crop click, okay, and now it just did it to those. So we have a couple different methods. It just happens to be. If you're in camera, that's at the time, knew notice that you didn't get it on the other images. We have the synchronized button, which means grab the settings from the image, reviewing, applying to all the other ones that are selected. If we're not in camera, we're just sitting here in bridge, and we can remember that the feature exists. We could right click on the image, uh, to do that. So that's, what I do with panoramas, ah, and that's, what I do with time lapse images. If I took three hundred pictures, you know, the cameras taking a picture every three seconds or something, they all need the same adjustment.

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a Creativelive Student

Ben, thanks again for this course. I have taken and purchased quite a few of your courses to date. I keep thinking I will only watch to make sure I am on the right track and you always bring more to the table than the last course. Your teaching methods are the best, sorry to all the other instructors from Creative Live, but you are very easy to understand and you speak in layman's terms so we all can understand. I am following your instructions and working along with your files and it is the best! It is hard to keep up with you even when I watch you on one computer and work with the same files on another computer, to do what you are doing...impossible but I gain so much by trying. You provide so much info on each topic, it is amazing. Thanks to Karen for the PDFs, she does a fantastic job and also, for her templates/layout documents. Thanks again and to anyone who thinks this is too much money for all the videos, the exercise files and the instruction PDF, I am sorry to say but you are mistaken.

John Taylor

Like all of the Creative Live courses, excellent training. Ben does a great job of explaining the entry part of Photoshop. A lot of things cleared up in my head and i like his easy pace into this complex program. Thanks Ben.

Dawn Butler

Ben, A note of thanks for a fabulous 3 day tutorial on Photoshop. I am new to CreativeLive site and just happen to stumble across your Photoshop 101 class online, wow I'm I glad I did. I've wanted to learn to navigate Photoshop for sometime but found myself becoming more and more confused and frustrated watching video instruction and reading various articles online. You have simplified the learning process by making the class material clear and concise; after 3 days I came away with a great foundation to build on in the future. Thank you!

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