Camera Tips and Essential Concepts

 

Adobe® Photoshop® for Photographers: Beyond the Basics

 

Lesson Info

Camera Tips and Essential Concepts

Sometimes I end up being in bridge, I find an image and when I double click on it, it does not open in the program. I expect a pdf file might open an acrobat and I wanted to open the program called preview uh or any particular file format when you double click on it, it might open in some other program. I just want to make sure you know what controls the program that things open in when you double click on enbridge, you go to the bridge menu, choose preferences in preference is there is a choice called file type associations, and it will list all the file formats that photo shop is capable of dealing with. Her bridge is capable of dealing with actually on the left side is the name of the file format. You get its file extension and on the right side it shows you where is it going to open in? And so if I come in here and find something like let's, say tiff files, I want them to be opening a different program. This will list the programs that would usually be ableto handle that file for m...

atter at least the ones that thinks it can and I could force it to be opened with another program. Sometimes you might want to do that is some people end up, um, merging hdr images and photoshopped but then they use something else to process them and you might save it in a file format I can't even think of the file from out at the moment called I'll find it in this list if I look it's got a file extension of hdr but my brain is not thinking specifically about hdr at the moment, so I won't think of what it actually is uh but you could set it so when I double click on that file instead of opening it within photoshopped it would open it within a program designed for processing hdr images like one called photo matics in you would do it right here so the only thing is I find on occasion yet ends up opening things and for him I don't like pdf files like opening in preview instead of an acrobat, that kind of thing all right now let's talk a little bit about capturing images in general because mainly we've been talking about working in bridge and in the previous class that we had we talked about working in photo shop all the time, but we didn't really talk about working in your camera. Uh what do I think about when I'm capturing an image in camera in how might I changed the way I capture an image knowing I'm gonna end up in photo shop because sometimes I end up with an image that doesn't look good on the back of the camera and it's that way on purpose. So why the heck would you do that? Well, what happens is in your camera it's a little bit odd, but it captures the most information in the brightest part of the brightest part of the file. If let's just say it can capture a thousand brightness levels and that's all it's limited to it's really more than that. But I gotta just pick a number uh, half of those brightness levels are captured in the brightest area of your picture. This sick woman to this little bar right here or about a bar and a half on this example then half of that amount is captured in the next area is to get towards the darker and then half this much in that area. So if you have a total of a thousand brightness levels, that means five hundred twelve them is captured in the bright part and then two hundred fifty six or captured in the next part. And then one hundred twenty eight is captured in the next part and then only sixty four the next part and then only thirty two in the next part and as you get into the dark part of your image less and less information is being captured. What that means is you want to be careful not to under expose your images too much because if they start off overly dark, you're pushing the image into this dark range in that's where you get less and less information showing up. If you just make sure that you have here image to its utilizing some of that brighter information, you're going to be getting mohr information out of it. So how can we tell when this is happening? Well, usually we end up looking at a history, graham, and so I'm going to take a few images here, and I'll open them and camera wrong because we haven't easy access, hissed a gram appear on your camera. You can also get a history, graham to show up. And if I look at the difference between these images, just watch this history. Graham, imagine it below the history. Graham. You had something that looked much like this, except for it was smooth. It wasn't broken up into into, uh, flat shades like this. It was instead of smooth, radiant, but remember, black is always on the left. White is always on the right. So then in camera, if you get a history ram to display this is telling you how much of that brightness ranger you using imagine that little finally showed you a second go was right below this where black is on the left, white is on the right and this would show me that I have things that are black in my picture, I have things that are a bit brighter in that quite a bit brighter than that, but I have nothing close to a white. Do you see this big gap right here? Nothing close to a white. Well, this is where the majority of the brightness levels air captured within my picture, and this is saying, I'm not really utilizing that area. Well, look at how dark the picture is, so I try not to under expose too much instead, if I get brighter watched the instagram, you see, you got pushed to the right, and now I'm utilizing that whole area over on the right side that's where we capture the most information, the most brightness levels within my picture and it's down here where I capture the least and notice that I'm barely using that all the height of the history. Graham tells you how prevalent are those shades? Meaning does black take up very much space at all? Whatever is tall in here takes up a lot of space, and so we barely have anything in the really dark range of my picture, so all that means is when I am shooting, I have a tendency of making my image is a little bit brighter than they might need to be. I do need to be careful though if I go too far if there's ever a spike on the end of the history graham like here there is you see on the far right that indicates we have a large area of white in my camera I have it set up so whenever I force an area the white it blinks on the screen usually in your camera is called the highlight warning or I call the blink ease but just the bright party in which will blink I never want to make it so bright that an important part of my image will be blinking something like the noonday sun I don't expect to get detail in it so would be fine if that was blinking where where the noonday sun reflected ofsome chrome or some water or something else would be fine to have small areas but I'm going to try to make it so it's not a huge spike on the end and there's not huge areas blinking in this case the sky would be blinking quite a bit so in general if I have the choice I'm going to make my image a little bit brighter than I might think it needs to be but not so bright that the brightest areas go solid white having said that when your camera tells you your highlights are blown out and it starts blinking on the camera screen to say there's nothing here it's white if you're shooting in raw file format, you have a little bit more information in there than you might think if on the other hand you're shooting j peg if it's white in blinking on your screen there's no way to get back that detail let me just see if I could get back the detail in this particular image I'm not sure if it's been pushed too far or not what I would usually need to do is two things I would take the highlights slider and bring it all the way down in any time. The highlights slider is something you wish you could move further then you need to take the exposure slider and move in the same direction that's one of the things we covered in the earlier class let's just try it out here and see if we can get anything in the sky there's something on the left side, but the rest this guy doesn't really look like it has details, right? So this one was pushed a little too far over here, so I don't see any detail showing up and that's my camera when the sky be blinking and I'd see a huge spike on the right side of history, ma'am this other image here though I can't really see detail in here visually, but if I look at a history graham, look at the very, very end do you see it's only like two pixels tall right there? That means it doesn't take up very much space that be solid white, and that means we still have detail everywhere, and if I brought the highlights down on this image and then I brought exposure, if any time highlights gets maxed out, you want to go to exposure and move in the same direction, you'd actually see the detail coming in, then I'd have to move the other sliders to get things like shattered detail, and I might do other things to make it more colorful and such, but those are things we talked about on the other class. I'm just going to fine tune this one a little bit, all right, but notice that I could get that detail, even though it might have looked too bright to begin with. So when I'm shooting, I often look at the history ram and I just mainly make sure that there's not a huge gap on the right side of history, ram a huge gap on the right side of the history. Ram in camera means that I only have dark stuff in this picture in since this is where actually half of the brightness information is captured in this. Area right in here, I'm getting a lot less information in that file that I could have, and so I'm just going to make sure it's not a huge gap over here when I shoot, if at all possible, if I have the time, I will brighten the picture up with exposure compensation and get that over a little a bit, but not so far that there's a big spike where there's blinky things on my screen. So when I'm in the field, there's a couple other things that I do when I'm shooting to make sure that I have good material for photo shop uh, if I'm shooting on a tripod, which is great hitting the camera button is going to shake the camera a little bit it's not going to be a sharper's it could, so I usually used to second self timer most cameras have either a ten second self timer or a two second one ten second one is if you need to be able to run in front the camera, get in the scene. The two second one is just so that when you press the button, it has two seconds to stop any vibration that was happening and that it will take the shot I often use to second self timer also, when I'm not on a tripod, I might instead set my camera on something set it on a ledge or whatever I confined and then use that to make it so I'm not shaking the camera when I hit the shutter. If you use the lowest eso setting that you can get to without going to special features on your camera, it'll be thie setting that gives you the least noise. So on a canon camera that's usually I s o one hundred on some night constance s o two hundred whatever the lowest you can get to without train on special features, special features would be something known as eso expansion, which allows you to have numbers that don't usually show up in the menu to show up. But if I'm on a tripod or if it's a time when I'm handheld and it's nice and bright out, I'll make sure that I s oh one hundred to have the least noise. Other things that I do is if the subject is flat like a wall when I'm shooting let's let's a mural or the subject is so far away that when I focus on it and I look at my lens, the lens is distance meter that where tells me how far away I'm focused is that infinity? Then I'll usually shoot it f ate why? Because if it's a flat surface in front ofyou, depth of field is not important. It's all one distance from the camera, or if when I focus on it, whatever it is, the closest object in the scene. If I looked on my lens and it's sitting there at the infinity symbol, it means that from that point on everything's in focus already, because infinity means anything beyond that as well, then usually your camera looks softer as you get to the extremes of your f stops. So after two point eight is going to be softer than f ate f thirty two or twenty two, whatever the highest years can go to is going to be softer and it's when you've stopped down your lens a little bit that it gets sharper and usually somewhere between f ate half eleven is kind of a sweet spot that's going to give you the sharpest looking image, so I end up using that setting any time depth of field is unimportant, and that means if whatever I'm shootings flat so it's that one depth away from the camera or when I focus on the nearest object that's important in my scene, I look down on my lens and it's at infinity already, then if I shoot a deaf aid or eleven that general range, usually I'm gonna end up with a sharper image, then I would otherwise get make sense all right, then. Let's look at a few essential concepts and photoshopped some things that some people end up getting confused about, and I want to make sure that you have a general knowledge about its things where you don't often get a chance to talk about him, but I think they're useful, so I'm gonna open any image doesn't matter which one and I want to show you a few things that I find to be overly useful. So first off with brushes, we end up painting a lot with brushes will end up painting where I'm penny on masks to limit where an adjustment shows up or the limit where picture shows up. Um, or I'm just painting on the image, but I want to darken the edges. I'm painting with black and have a really low opacity, whatever it happens to be. But there are some things that make it easier when choosing brush sizes in when choosing colors to paint with that are not very obvious, not easy to discover on your own. Some of these features require the newer versions of federal shop not usually the newest, but just not too many versions old. Also, some of these features require a video card that supports it. So that on some of your machines when you try this it might not work, and if it does, he either don't have the newest version of photo shop or the video card that happens to be in your computer doesn't support this feature, so just say now there'll be a some things where it won't work, so first I want to change the size of my brush when I change the size of my brush there many different methods of doing it a lot of people go to the upper left of their screen, we're right here you can see a preview of your brush if you click on the down pointing arrow, you could change the size in the hardness setting I absolutely never come here, it's just the least efficient way of changing your breast size here's a method that you might not be familiar with if I hold down two special keys on my keyboard, I'm holding him down right now, then I'm going to be able to drag horizontally to change my brush size in drag vertically to change how soft the edges and so I can very quickly change the size and how soft the edges would you like to know what keys emily now the keys I'm holding down our control an option on a macintosh control in option on windows? I believe that would be control in olt if for some reason it's not on windows, then what it would be instead would be ault in the right mouse button holed on the all key impressed the right mass, but I don't have a windows machine to test it on, but doesn't that easier to change your brush size where you just drag and you can visually see it? Because when you change that, using the control at the top of your screen, your first thinking numbers don't want twelve picks a wide brush, or do I want a thirty picks on? I can't visually tell how that relates to my picture, but this way I can see exactly how biggest the brush and I can visually see exactly how soft is the edge of my brush as well and it's rather nice, I think then you need to choose what color you gonna paint with? Usually you're gonna end up painting with your foreground color and the lower left of your screen, right? There is your foreground color. A lot of people will end up clicking on your foreground color to choose something I almost never dio. Instead, I do one of two things when I'm in a paintbrush tool. If I want to choose a color out of this picture to paint with, then I could hold down the option key that's all time windows. And for the length of time I have the option key held down, I get it, I drop her if I click on the yellow that's sitting here. I don't know if you noticed, but my foreground color just changed to yellow or if I click on the green of the building, it just changed to green, so option clicking when you're in one of your painting tools is going to allow you to pick a color out of your image. The other way that I can pick colors very quickly is to hold down the same two keys I used a moment ago to change my breast size and just add one more, which would be the command key. I'll tell you what they're they're all they all are together in a moment, but when I click, then look at what I get it's a color picture right in front of my mouse, we're on the right side, I can choose the general color that I want, and then I could slide over here and she was a shade of that color and it's, right? Where my mouse's I don't have to go to the left side of my screen all the time. So what keys my holding down? Well, ana mcintosh, I'm holding down three keys there, right next to each other it's control option in command and I click I got a color picture I can choose the basic color from the thing on the right side slide over to this area to choose a shade of it on windows. What would that be? Well, I haven't tested on windows, so I'm assuming it's going to be this cult control and then press the right mouse button all control, right? Basmati but is that something that's very discoverable? Where if you're just working in photo shop, you'd ever know it's hiding there? I don't think so well, there's another trick not related to painting, but just working in photo shop in general that if you don't know about it, you're probably gonna waste too much time. I'm gonna zoom up somewhere let's saying, we're doing retouching and I'm retouching over here some little area or maybe I'm inspecting the image to see if people's isar and focus and I'm zoomed up to one hundred percent view, which is what I'm in right now. Here's a little trick. Let me first show you what it does, then I'll show you the keys and how I'm using it there's a way to zoom out to fit in window, and then you see sort of rectangle that I have when I move my mouth around that represents how much of the image I was seeing a moment ago. And I could move it somewhere else and then when I let go it zooms up to the exact same zoom amount I was in a moment ago but in that part of the picture so if I have a picture let's say of a group portrait I want to see is everybody's eyes open are there they sharp whatever I consume up to one hundred percent view and I'm only going to see a very small portion of the image and then if I use a special technique I can zoom out to fit in window view and quickly go somewhere else let go and I'm zoomed backup so how the heck was I doing it? Well what I was doing is I pressed and hold the letter h the letter age usually stands for the hand tool is long as I have the letter h held down then I click the mouse button that's it I'm holding the letter h and I click it zooms out then I go to a different area let go for the mouse button and I'm zoom back in and so I find that to be really nice when performing retouching every touch one person's face get rid of all the shiny spots and other things I hold h click move over to somebody else's head let go and now I can retouch them well down the letter h click go somewhere else and say was that and focus whatever you need, but I'm just holding down the letter h and clicking, and it zooms out until I can see the entire picture so I can move my mouse to a different area that I'd like to inspect and let's see what the lunch special wass all right, gourmet sausages, alright, thiss happens to be the oldest bar in sydney, so that's holding on the letter h and click. So right now we're looking at somewhat things that I considered to be overly useful, somewhat essential if you really want to be efficient and photo shop, but we rarely have time to cover them, so we have a little bit of time right now. I figured, why not throw in some little tips like this couple of other things that I think you should know about is how do we get multiple induce and photoshopped? Most people I find eventually figure out that photo shop keeps track of the last about twenty things that you do and the way they end up going back in there image is they end up using a panel called the history panel because it will list everything you've done the last twenty steps, and you can click on a previous step to get back to it. I personally never used the history panel ever because there are other things that I find to be muchmore quick and efficient than having it open. So I'm going to change this image a little bit. I'm going to retouch out a little piece up here. I might see if I can retouch out something else over here just so I've done something to the picture. I'm not going to try to make it look perfect. All I need is stuff to undo let's see if it's able to get rid of this lamp. I like the lamp, but we need something to be able to undo. Cross your fingers. Come on. Yeah, well, it messed up in one spot given a second chance, alright, there and let's see, what else might I do? Get that little camera on the edge? Feels like big brother's watching us, although that this particular tool doesn't do great with things on the edges of photos. All right, so I've done some things to this image multiple steps, and now I want to be able to undo them because I messed up, the client said, what did you do? I didn't mean that would remove all that stuff. So a lot of people go to the window menu in choose history and what history would do in case you're not aware of it would list what you've done to your picture from the time you opened it. And then in this case, I used one tool multiple times I think clicked back to a previous step and it would undo whatever I did last, and I could click back multiple steps until I get all the way back to what the original looked like when I opened it. If I want to re apply those, I could click down each step, even multiple steps at a time to get back to where I wass but as I mentioned, I never have that open just cause it takes up screen real estate and there's something that I find it much easier. I find most people know what the undue keyboard shortcut is because you script so much you get used to it and every program use, but just in case you're not used to it, you go to the edit menu there's, a choice called undo and the keyboard shortcut is command ziana mac controls in windows, but let me use that and see what it does. I'll type command z, and it doesn't seem to do much right now because the last thing I did was something in the history panel let me actually retouch a little more and so we have something to undo all right now choose undue can you see that little part that I retouched out coming back if I type it a second time, it's simply re applies it how can I go back? Multiple steps? All you know is take the normal undo keyboard shortcut, which is commands the an imac controls in windows and you add one additional key. That additional key on a mac is the option key on windows and salt. So what am I typing on a mac it's option command z on windows that would be all control z and watch each time I press it, we go back another step so you see how I can get all that stuff let's say I went back one step too far. I wanted to get undo most of that, but that very first thing I knew I wanted to keep it. Well, then instead of adding the option key to you what usually type for undue instead add shift. So does that mean shift command z shift command z means reapply what I've just undid, but do it one step at a time, so watch now there and so I could go the other direction so it's option commands eat to get multiple in news and then shift command z if you go too far, then you wantto re apply a few of them, so I find that to be essential knowledge question if you wantto replace something in the middle of something you he raised, but you just wanted to apply the thinking that that was in the middle, the project do you have to go all the way back? Or could you just I like that you can somewhat cheat. Okay, so it here's how you somewhat cheat. There is a tool over here called the history brush with the history by brush does is with default settings. It paints with whatever your picture looked like when you first opened it. So that means if I didn't like what I did right here, I can take the history brush and just paint, and it should bring back whatever it looked like when you first opened it when I paint there. So if there was just one part you wanted undo, you could grab the history bosch and paint over that part to say, I want this part to go backto what this image originally looked like, so make any sense so that's the history books, but just so you know, there's a setting related to it, and to get to that setting, you actually have to go to the history panel if you look in the history panel on the left side there's an icon right there that is the same as the icon for the tool that I'm using see that that's that icon and it's just the default setting that's at the top that always looks. It'll be your file name, and that always means whatever it looked like when I opened it. If I wanted to paint with what it looked like at a previous state, I could just click right there. And now it means paint with what the image looked like after I had applied this spot healing brush five times and they would paint with that, but just so you know, there is a setting related to it don't usually need to change it, though if all you want to do is get back to what you had previously does that answer your question? Question? Yes, uh, when you're zooming in with the letter h yeah, on that segment that you that that's covered, what adjustments can you make that that are limited only to that? Well, it's not a matter of zooming that limits your adjustment toe one area if you want to limit your adjustment toe one area you need to make a selection selection is when you see on your screen something that looks like this. You see this little rectangle, if you ever have that, then whatever you do, an adjustment of filter painting, anything it could only affect that part, and we'll talk about making selections I think it's going to be at the end of the day today and you'll see how to make some of those that are more complex in the first class we had we did more basic ones but that's what you need to do it doesn't matter if you're zoomed in or not all right any other questions we're good all right well these air just essential things that I think are good unknown photo shop we need to get him at some point and this first session is a good time to do it so we can use them throughout the rest of the three days and it's in general what I wanted to come on this first session we just had one thatjust came in it was that great this is from louise are can you also save a snapshot and use it to go back from the history you can if you go to the history of the bottom of the history panel is an icon that looks like a camera and that creates a snapshot a snapshot means remember what the image looks like right now because what happens is this list of what you've done is limited it usually will capture the last I believe it's twenty things you did if you do twenty three things to your image it forgets how to get back to what the first three of them looked like because it's off the top of the list it can't be there anymore, tim, force it to remember what the image looks like right now, at this particular stage, you could click on this little camera icon, and when you do, it creates what's known as a snapshot, a snapshot is just remembering the current state of this document. What it looks like it'll be at the very top you can even double click on it, given a name won't just say after retouch, you needed to and then at any time, even if you do two hundred things to your image, where this list would no longer have the choice of open and spot healing brush, because you've dunmore in this will on ly list last twenty things you did, you could always get back to what you're in this looked like bye, either clicking on this snapshot this up here, and that would get you back to it, or you could turn the little brush so that it paints from that snapshot, meaning it will paint with whatever the image looked like when that snapshot was taken. So, yes, you could do that, and you can create that snapshot at the bottom of the history panel there's simply a camera icon that allows you to do it, so if you really doing a lot of detailed retouching, work on your image, and you're not sure if you're really going I need to get back or not you could do that, but to be honest, I rarely used the history brush I'm on. Lee brought it out because he had a question. What I usually do instead is anything I do to my image would not usually be done directly to the layer that contains the picture. Instead, it would be done to an empty layer that's above it so that if I ever wanted to undo something, I could just erase part of that layer and reveal the original image that's underneath. So most the time when I work an image, the bottom most layer is the original picture. In general. I never touched the bottom layer, and therefore anything I've done in my picture is a piece that sitting above it on a layer above. And if I ever wanted to undo it, I could throw away that layer to reveal what's underneath, which is the original picture. And so the history brush is something that I honestly almost never use. I mean, but you had a question about it, so I wanted to show you howto get there.

Class Description


Ready to take your Adobe® Photoshop® skills to the next level? Join Photoshop expert Ben Willmore for a three-day introduction to the techniques that separate the novices from the pros.

Ben will take the guesswork out of using the more advanced tools, techniques, and menus of Adobe® Photoshop®. You’ll learn about which Adobe® Photoshop® tools are essential, and which you can ignore altogether. You’ll also learn about about compositing, texturing, and retouching skills, like removing shine from foreheads in portraits and seamlessly joining images together. Ben will also cover hidden and hard-to-find features and shortcuts that will help you produce higher-quality work in a fraction of the time.

By the end of this course, you’ll have professional-level Adobe® Photoshop® skills that will set your work apart from the competition.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2

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