Shadows and Highlights
Let's take a look at a really powerful adjustment called shadows and highlights shadows and highlights is really amazing because it analyzes each pixel ok in your image and it adjust them according to the lightness values, lightness, values, brightness, values level of brightness all those mean the same thing okay, so it adjust the pixels according to the lightness or brightness values of neighboring pixels hey, even the much lauded levels and curves doesn't analyze your image like that it adjusts likeness, values, levels and curves will adjust lightness values among all of your pixels whether they need it or not shadows and high lives looks to see which pixels need the adjustment according to the lightness or brightness values of pixels that are nearby it's really, really powerful? The only problem with the shadow highlight adjustment is it's difficult to run non destructively say you would have to duplicate your image layer and then running on that I don't like duplicating my image l...
ayer I think it's inefficient there are better ways to do things in these later versions newer versions of photo shop so what we're going to do is we're going to run the shadow highlight on a smart object and that is going to make it run as if it were a smart filter where we get in automatically your mask or filter mask rather and we get opacity control for just the shadow highlight adjustment okay, so continuing on with a little bit of smart object matt magic here somebody go ahead and delete the layer that I gave to you but first let me show you the before and after so here's our before image and here's after by using a shadow highlight adjustment okay, so you can see that everything that was in shadow got lighter, but I didn't mess up any of my highlights in the image I didn't adjust the highlights I on ly light in the shadows in the image somebody go ahead and throw that one away so our first step is to either cheese file open a smart object or if you've already got the image open, go ahead and choose filter convert for smart filters now we want to get to the image menu and choose adjustments and you'll see that there's only two of them available down there actually there's really only one because that hdr toning won't actually run on the smart object it'll tell you to rast arise your smart object. So anyway, we're going to go down here and we're going to choose shadows and highlights and in the resulting dialogue what you want to do is turn on show more options and that's where the real power of this dialogue box lies or this adjustment rather lies if you're using cs for the default amount in the shadow section here is fifty percent well, adobe really does listen to their customer feedback and fifty percent was always much too much okay, the magic number for this slider is thirty five, so in c s five they change the default thirty five, which was nice so I'm going to give you a little bit of insight into what each one of these controls do so as you can see there's a section for shadows and there's a section for highlights straight from the factory photo shop assumes you need a light in the shadows because that is the most common problem so the amount for shadows will automatically be turned on hey, so if you're in c s five, it'll say thirty five percent if you're in a previous version of the program it will say fifty percent you don't want to go over thirty five percent with that control in my humble opinion okay the second slider is tonal with this controls are lets you control rather exactly which shadows in your image are adjusted ah lower number world changed on lee the darkest of the darkest shadows hey, so if you if the majority of your shadows look good but but the really really dark areas or just plugged up there too dark then you want tio lower this number greatly okay but if the majority of your shadows need lightning, then you can pump it up to about fifty percent okay, so a higher number changes a wider range of shadows a lower number on ly effects the darkest of the darkest shadows so I usually leave that set somewhere around fifty percent if I'm dealing with a really dark image but again you're going to need to adjust that I'll move this box out of the way so we can see how it changes the preview so as I pump it up it's changing more and more the image more of the shadow areas but as I decrease it it's only lightning the darkest shadows hey slog with him lived at around thirty five the next control is radius so if this adjustment works by analyzing the brightness values looks at the image finds the shadows and highlights and then it analyzes the lightness of the brightness values of neighboring pixels okay then this control lets you determine how big of a neighborhood those neighboring pixels are in. Okay, so do you want it to look at more of your image and determine which ones need lightning or darkening or do you want it to look at on lee a very few pixels near the shadows or the highlights that need adjusting? Ok, so it's a more or less a larger range of pixels or smaller range of pixels so the radius slider you can pump that one all the way up to anywhere between two hundred fifty or three hundred pixels okay, because you really do want it to look at a larger section of your image in a smaller when you think about about it, just like the neighborhood you know, in your hometown is it a big neighborhood or a small neighborhood? Well, in this instance, we want photoshopped to be analyzing a big neighborhood so you can afford to pump up that radius to somewhere between two and three hundred again use your own judgment because the goal is to get the image to look good to you. Ok, so your numbers don't have to match my guidelines there just a starting point for you? The next thing that you can do is if you're watching what's happening to your image while you're changing these settings. If you start to notice any kind of weird color shifts you can alter down here in the adjustment section, you can decrease that color correction slider and a lot of times I will just set it to zero because I really don't want color correction to be happening in here when I'm really just adjusting lighting, okay? We're adjusting shadows and highlights. Now you'll notice in the highlight section here, maya male is zero, but my total with and radius have numbers in them, that doesn't matter as long as the amount is set to zero nothing is happening in my highlights right now. Now if I needed something to happen in my highlights, the same logic to these numbers applies to this section as well hey, so amount how much lightning or darkening or actually lightning in this this section how much lightning do you want to occur in total with will adjust which highlights on lee the lightest, lightest, lightest highlights or all of the highlights you know, wider range that's what total width is controlling here and then radius is how big of an area of pixels do you want photoshopped to be analyzing to determine which ones need lightning since these are kind of a set of magic numbers that can work on most images, I'm not going I'm not saying that you won't have to tweak them, but they are a good baseline to start at thirty five percent perhaps fifty percent for tonal with in anywhere between two fifteen, three hundred for radius. Those magic numbers will work in either one of these sections you could go ahead and click the save as defaults button. That way you don't have to try to memorize those magic numbers. It gives you a baseline set of numbers to start with them that you can then feinting on image by image basis, but at least you'll have your magic members built in so that they're there okay, so you could set this the shadows to thirty five fifty let's say three hundred and then click the save as defaults button and that gives you a good baseline start with that of course you can tweak the's sliders as you want and then click ok and now let's look at our before and after sal toggle the visibility I've all often on see how the shadows highlight adjustment ran like it was a filter underneath our smart object and we got a layer mass so that means that after the fact if there are some areas in the image that I really didn't want if I was lightning shadows so let's say that there's some areas this image that I didn't want to be lightened that I could come back into this mask and hide the shadow highlight adjustment from just those areas very, very easily in just like with our and sharp mask in high pass filter and golf scene blur anytime you run this adjustment or a filter on a smart object you get that little icon that gives you access to capacity and blending options if you wanted so I'm gonna go ahead and double click that here's where we could back off of the strength of that shadow highlight adjustment if we wanted oh maybe a hundred percent is too much we might like the way seventy five looks or fifty okay but let's go back up to one hundred and let's look at painting inside the mask so let's say that this area is looking good to me, but this area is a little bit too light starting to see a little bit of green their noise in that area. So I've been coming here with my brush tool suppressed the to grab the brush tool in this time I'm gonna paint with gray, so I'm gonna click my foreground color chip and I'm gonna choose it's an arbitrary gray click ok, now I'm gonna come back in here and because I'm gonna paint across a large area, I'm going to go up in brush size with the right bracket key and as I paid over this area, you can see it began to darken again and over in my a jet. Now it's kind of like an adjustment masks not that shadows highlight is a filter so it's not really a filter mask anymore. So now you can see my breast strokes updated in the mask, which is on ly masking the effects of the shadow highlight adjustment that I just ran so now let's, look at our before and after by toggle ing the visibility I next two shadows and highlights often on so give a click here's our before here's our after so we just illuminated the shadows in this image, so that's a really, really powerful adjustment. On some of your images, this may be all you need to make them look good to you somebody going close that we're going to meet again on another image this's my girlfriend nikki she's acquisitions uh, person at peach pit press she is so much fun, and that is the famous been will more in the background, who wrote the photo shop studio syriza books for many, many years this fun little shot from photoshopped world so here is our before and here's our after see how it just illuminated the shadows just open that the shadows this a little bit without messing really with my highlights that I've got going on back here, so I'm gonna go ahead and delete that layer. Anna, can you're not going to end up with this background layer and your own images at home? This is just an easy way for you to get back to my original to play with the technique, so we're going to go up to the filter menu, choose convert for smart filters, click ok. Now we're going to go up to the image menu to run that shadow highlight adjustment, someone to go to choose image adjustments, shadows highlights and because I clicked the save as defaults button, my magic numbers are still in the shadow section. Hey so I can adjust them find tune them on image by image basis but I don't have to try to remember what the heck they were too tight for me and every time I use this adjustment so on this one with drop the tonal with a little bit so that it doesn't change quite so many shadows it's only going to operate on dark shadows and I'm going to go ahead and take my radius down oh to about two hundred and it's fine to do this on a visual basis you know just drag these sliders around until they until the image looks good to you that's a perfectly fine way to use this adjustment now if your highlights need dark me you can increase the amount a little bit see how as I increase that amount now the background where my highlights are are darkening a little bit I'm gonna go and leave them light but you can use both sections of this adjustment at the same time if you want you don't have to do it separately that was my arm cracking and again this adjustment is happy to perform a little bit of color correction for you but I like to keep it off that doesn't mean you have to keep it off okay so by default it does give you a twenty a plus twenty on the color correction so that has to be your call whether you approve of that or not and you can always adjust that further and you can toggle your preview but often on here in the dialogue to see a quick before and after and as you can see that really opened up that image and I didn't have to go into levels, I didn't have to go in the curves I could do it all right here if I wanted to, you go ahead and click ok and again just toggle the visibility I often on so there's our before there's are after and if there was any part of the image that you did not want that adjustment to apply, teo and he could click to activate the smart filter mask in them with your brush tool. Black conceals white reveals gray shades of gray will do a little bit of both paint with a color that you need to in order to find team that adjustment any questions on shadow highlights? Because the next thing we're going to do is jump straight until levels and we're going to stay there for just a little bit if you choose to use the color correction slider, what does the positive and negative mean what's it doing more or less color correction? More or less color correction? Yeah, what does that mean? Well it's adjusting colors more or adjusting colors with okay but in what way is it adjusting well that's gonna pop it open again ok, so let's just see here we have the default set for plus twenty so if we increase almost looks like a saturation boost versus de saturation that's what it looks like saturation kind of what it looks like to me good question. Any questions from the great interweb? Of course there are I have a question from little head who asked if you wanted to add a sharpening and also a shadows highlights adjustment on the same image and wanted to mask out different areas for each filter how would you go about it even need to duplicate the smart object, duplicate the smart object or do the nested sport object like we did in the sharpening question from nick ray will lightning the shadows introduced noise into those lightened areas? Yes, absolutely when you light and shadows you do run the risk of introducing noise and green you're just illuminating pixels that were in shadow so that's why you don't want to push it too much still at allen dallas s I figure it lenny darkened highlights recover blown out detail how to do this with dialogue how to do this with dialogue in that dialogue box I'm not sure I understand the question all right? Any questions from the studio audience on shadows highlights okay, so it can be a powerful tool for you as well and using it on a smart object lets you run it, not destructively, without having to duplicate your background layer. So this is an option for correcting lighting for you.