Skip to main content

Adobe Photoshop 101

Lesson 36 of 48

Selective Clarity

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

36. Selective Clarity


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Adobe Bridge Basics Duration:27:08
5 Image Processing Q&A Duration:08:13
6 Contrast and Color Duration:18:15
9 Lens Profile Corrections Duration:20:36
10 HDR Pro Part 1 Duration:23:05
11 HDR Pro Part 2 Duration:20:49
12 Panoramas Part 1 Duration:28:37
13 Panoramas Part 2 Duration:22:02
14 Intro to Photoshop Duration:13:23
15 Interface Overview Duration:11:37
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Flat vs Layers Duration:34:49
3 Stack of Prints Panorama Duration:15:42
5 Layer Mask Composite Duration:23:51
8 Adjustment Layers Part 1 Duration:18:51
9 Adjustment Layer Part 2 Duration:23:20
10 Creating a Postcard Layout Duration:26:52
11 Hand Drawn Photo Layouts Duration:17:39
15 Saving for the Web Duration:11:02
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Correcting for Noise Duration:17:48
3 B&W Toning Duration:25:24
4 Post Crop Vignetting Duration:11:05
5 Selective Clarity Duration:14:49
6 Dust Spot Removal Duration:29:57
7 Content Aware Fill Part 1 Duration:22:46
8 Content Aware Fill Part 2 Duration:21:59
10 Retouching: Removing People Duration:11:40
12 Other Retouching Techniques Duration:22:00
13 GIF Animations Duration:14:51
14 Creative Masking Duration:15:24
15 Displacement Mapping Duration:16:44
17 Finishing Techniques Duration:10:56

Lesson Info

Selective Clarity

Camera has so many settings in it it's like its own program ci there's another perm called light room where it is a full programme that has all those sliders in it and it's enough to sell is a product where people aren't dissatisfied with it so that's why we spent so much time in camera because ideally I'll finish I might finish seventy percent of all my images just in camera because we've got so much available in one dialogue and everything that's here is being stored on this picture his text so that picture went up about eight k in file size eight k is if I was if I took an email and saved it is a text file with no pictures in it whatsoever that might be eight k you know, just a text email that's how much and file size it went up. If we did that in photo shop, we would have the raw file and since we can't save back into a raw file, we'd have a tip for a photo shop file which is going to be larger than the original raw so we haven't least doubled our file size if not more start adding...

layers in there to make changes in photo shop were adding layers so we can easily undo things and fix problems well in camera everything's undoable double click on any slider it snaps to its default setting in working in came a raw is just that's where I want to be in its only photo shop only go there when there's something camera can't do or would be too inconvenient to do there and there's a lot of stuff that's what we'll be doing after this session but I just want to stress that because a lot of people I find if they don't shoot raw they skipped camera I'm like no do it in there do with a camera all right? I want to show you some things in here that you might somewhat be considered retouching but that's not true retouching is really adjustment, but it could be somewhat it's in the same category when you adjust in image there's a slider called clarity in clarity emphasizes the detail in your image makes it kind of pop a bit more it's somewhat similar to sharpening but not really cause sharpening ends up you looked really close in an image if you over sharpen it, you'll see halos that are really, really small like little lines around the edges of things and this doesn't produce really small halos uh it can produce if it ever produces anything it looks like a huge glow uh but uh this is something somewhat similar to, um sharpening and the problem with it is if you apply to people's faces they look older because every little detail in their face is emphasized, and if you do that to anybody, you look older and socially how to get it off their face and do a few other things to your face you might want to. But before I do that, this picture, the last time it was adjusted, was adjusted with an old version of camera, and I can tell that by one thing, look in the lower right corner. Do you see an exclamation point there? Well, if you ever see something like that and it's an icon, you don't know what it means. Hover over it. This says update to current process what that means is processed this picture using this version a camera right now, this was was adjusted previously with an old version of camera raw. They've updated the sliders to make them better, and they are not applying that because they think you want to maintain the look, because if you open it an old file, you might just be wanting to make a print, and you need the print to match what the previous ones who've made look like. So if I click on that, you'll see the sliders on the right actually change, because those are the old type of sliders in the look of the picture will change because we can't reproduce the exact same look, uh, with the new kind of sliders you'd have to find tune it again. So remember here that we have a clarity setting being applied to this that right now is that plus twenty five I'm gonna go to the adjustment brush at the top of my screen, and with the adjustment brush, I'm going zero out everything that's here and I'm going to take the clarity setting and set it to negative twenty five, so if we have positive twenty five being applied to the entire picture and now we're going to paint negative twenty five it's not that where I paint will get the equipment to negative twenty five we're just going to bring it back down to zero, where I painted there's plus twenty five everywhere were saying, take that plus twenty five and bring it down this amount. So if it's already at plus twenty five when we bring it down by this amount, we're bringing it down to zero. Does that make sense? We're just compensating, and I'm gonna come over here in paint on her face, for my feathering is up and that's going to be wiping away the clarity that's being applied to the entire picture is being nice to her because clarity being applied to a face makes all the tiny little wrinkles and imperfections in the skin become emphasized. Now I want the clarity on her eyes, so I want her eyes to pop and it doesn't make somebody look older by making their eyes pop, but it does make making all their wrinkles and that kind of stuff pop does, so we just got the clarity down to the queen to zero. Now, if I click on that icon a lower right, remember, that ends up changing the preview. It might be somewhat subtle, but you should see her skin chain when it comes to faces. The clarity slider when we're adjusting the main part of the image, you know we're not in this brush. Instead, we're adjusting the picture as a whole could go either into the positive side, where exaggerates detail or you can actually put it in a negative direction, and if you do negative, it softens. Your picture is not that common that I would apply negative clarity to my entire picture because it may quiet, which looks rather soft, but for faces, if we have any little wrinkles and imperfections in the face, a little negative clarity, that's what a lot of people like because they want their face to look smoother than it really is, because when you look at somebody you know what? I'm standing in the room here and I look over at someone I'm not going to stare at him and like, inspect every little detail in their face but take a photo of them and they're not looking back at you their eyes aren't going to move and if you stare at their forehead they're not going to say what's up but you know what? You look at my forehead for and so it's a little different looking at a photo compared to just looking at a person and bring it down clarity so you go even further than just getting rid of the amount that's being applied to the whole thing can be a nice thing to do we bring it down too far it's gonna look artificial though so it's a matter of finding a nice balance between softening of the skin in realistic rendering. So anyway, if I got the said negative twenty five and that's to compensate for what's being applied to the whole image, then I might push it a little bit further bring it up to negative thirty five more somewhere around there and it's actually softening the skin at this point so therefore it's going to be harder to see the detail that was there it's just a little bit softer I don't want it to be dramatic because I don't want it to look like I did it some other things we khun dio us that people often drink way too much coffee or smoke or do other things that are not good for their teeth. If you have a lot of lot of coffee or smoke a lot, so if your teeth are going to slowly get darker and, uh, if we want to compensate for that, what I would d'oh is up here where it says adjustment brush if we were working on one of these sliders, in fact, I never got that too negative thirty five years ago because that dot wasn't active. Um, okay, the, um, if I want to do something with your teeth up here with the adjustment brush, if the last thing you did was click on your image in drag too, apply something and then play with the sliders. This will be sent to ad, which means if I click on my image again, just work on a larger area of my pictures. I'm just fine tuning how much of the image I want you to apply this to. So each time you click your adding a larger and larger area to make the change in, uh, but I'm gonna go over here and choose new to say, I'm done with that particular adjustment. Before there was a black dot in the middle of that pin that's on her face meaning that it was active once I chose knew the black dot went away to say I'm no longer working on that adjustment I'm going to create a new adjustment now aiken zero out these sliders and decide what would I like to do to her teeth well for a teeth I might want to bring the saturation down just a little careful though if you bring the saturation down too much their teeth will look gray I mean on undesirable gray but bringing down the saturation a little bit uh is not a bad thing the other thing that I might do is take the highlights the bright parts of the image in brighton them now right now I'm only guessing at what it needs because the picture doesn't change when I just moved these sliders because I haven't painted anywhere yet it doesn't know where I want that change so right now I'm just guesstimating what kind of change I want so I'm guessing a little bit less saturation in my highlights a bit brighter now I've got a painted in so I'm going to come down here and make sure that the checkbox called auto mask is turned on auto mask is the one that tries to make it so I don't get over spray under the surrounding areas and then I can zoom up on this image and like in a brush with a little less er fade out on it like that, you know, I'm gonna click down on our tooth greg across and try to get it so that cross hair on my brush never goes beyond her tooth I let go on this tooth go to the next one, let go go the next one the reason I'm letting go between teeth is I don't want the cross here to touch the gap between the teeth because when it when you have auto mask turned on, it means don't get over spray on things that look different than what's under that cross here, and if you get to the gap between the teeth, the gap between the teeth might look like the gums and I don't want stuff on the gums, so I let go when I'm in between the teeth, click again on the next tooth, keep the cross are only on the tooth leko next tooth let go next tooth let go that kind of thing now that I've painted on the image I confined to in the adjustment because before I was just guessing at what it needs, I couldn't see the effect of the change now that I've painted on the image, if I move the sliders, I'm actually going to see a change and I could come in here now and dial up exactly how brighter teeth are and I can see if that saturation if it goes too far you see her great teeth uh see if I could bring that down just a little uh that type of thing and if you want to cbc before and after I can click on that icon to get both her skin softening and her teeth whitening tio go away the other thing you could do in this image or in images in general are lit you could make a little bit darker in a little bit more saturated not a lot of the western looked like a cartoon but oftentimes people like it you know it's why people put lipstick on, you know, stuff darken a little bit more colorful and then the eyes you could paint on the eyes and you could bring up the clarity to make their eyes kind of sparkle a little bit you in this case I might bring up the shadows slider to brighten them up a little bit but it's just some ideas that you might think of that some people would consider retouching but I think of retouching is removing and moving material around this isjust adjustment um so that's why I'm not doing it in the retouching session and when we're done of course we had done so questions comments one one two part question from gina if sharpening an adobe kamerad you ever need to add additional sharpening in photo shop yes, we'll talk about that in the last session of the day, you often will sharpen an image twice and just to briefly mention it in camera, we're tryingto only compensate for the camera if it delivered the image being slightly soft. We're compensating if we do it in a photo shop, we're going to try to compensate for whatever printing device we use. If it doesn't make your images look nice and sharp, we're going to try to compensate for it by sharpen it a second time and that's more after we're done making any changes in photo shop, we would sharpen again that awesome. The second half is if you're sharpening and photoshopped, does it matter where the sharpening layers actually located? Does it always need to be on top? Yeah, well, in what happens is when you apply a filter and photoshopped, the filter can only affect one layer unless you have something called a smart object. And so if we have an image made out of multiple layers, you're going to combine those layers together. You can flatten your image, it's called, and then you can sharpen it what I'll often do because I don't want to permanently sharpen anything it is, I'll just, er open the image to make a duplicate, flattened the duplicate, sharpen it, send it off to somebody and then throw it away meaning I have the original layered file I can always go back to. If somebody else needs the damage, I can always open it again. I can duplicate it flattened all that, because you also want to do your second sharpening after you've resized it to the final size because of you, sharpen something that when it's really big and later on, scale it down for business card use. You're not going to notice the sharpening, because you just reduced its so much by reducing the picture and that's. Why I would do it after.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® lets you bring out the best in your photographs – learn how to navigate the powerful software in Adobe Photoshop 101 with Ben Willmore.

Ben will show you how to use the most important features of Adobe Photoshop by working through common, real-world projects and explaining the process. You’ll get to know the Adobe Photoshop interface and learn about the features you’ll use the most. 

Ben will teach you how to:

  • Enhance hair, eyes, and lips in portraits
  • Merge multiple images into a panorama
  • Fix bright reflections on glasses and closed eyes in a group shot
  • Correct photos that are under or overexposed
  • Create a collage of multiple images

You’ll learn how layers, selections, masks, and filters help you make a great image and find out why resolution, file formats, and color profiles matter. Ben will break down commonly-heard technical jargon so you know what others are saying and you’ll learn keyboard commands that will make your work easier.

By the end this class you’ll be confident and comfortable working in Adobe Photoshop and know how to troubleshoot when problems arise. 

This course is part of the Photoshop Tutorials series

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014


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.


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!