Camera Raw: Adjusting for Exposure


Photoshop for Photographers: The Essentials


Lesson Info

Camera Raw: Adjusting for Exposure

first we're gonna work on cem underexposed images the's a raw files so all I need to do is double click on them to open them if they were j pegs I would go to the file menu and choose opening camera instead because a j peg or a tiff file will not automatically open in camera there is a preference you could change to make that happen I can come over here and it's either is in one of these two preferences I'm assuming it might be in camera down the very bottom I just went to the bridge menu and chose camera preferences if you're in windows it would be under the edit menu that you'd find camera preferences and at the very bottom it says what should I do with j peg and tiff files and this is just gonna automatically open them I can say automatically open all supported j pegs and camera I can change this kind of stuff and therefore it would cause those files to automatically go through camera I don't usually because sometimes a client just wants me to open a picture I need to retouch a litt...

le spot and I don't need to do it in camera so anyway I'm gonna double click on this kid's a raw file now when I look at the image I first say is the entire image screwed up and when I say entire image I mean at least ninety percent sure there might be some tiny part that's not but in general with this image which is a waterfall in iceland ninety percent of its too dark isn't it so if that's the case I goto exposure and first these air not their default setting so let me get them at their defaults they're sort of originally looked like all right let's see if we can improve this a bit using uh camera I'm going to take exposure gonna bring it up I'm going to do that until the majority of the picture I don't care about tiny little areas thinking about the majority let's say ninety percent the image the brightness starts to look closer to what I'd like first you can see how much he could get out of here by just moving all the way up but I would say somewhere maybe around there now when I look at the image and think about problems I think it's mainly the sky the sky got way too bright in the sky is what I would call a bright area right so we have a slider that works on bright stuff that would be the highlight slider and so I'm going to take the highlights slider and with all of these sliders if you move into its the right your brighton moving towards the lefty darkened so I want to move this towards the left and see if I can get bright stuff back now there's a trick and that is if you ever move the highlights of the shadows to their extreme and you can't get it any further right now I'm max this out can't get any further then if you want to get more out of it then go to the exposure slider and move in the same direction so if I'm moving highlights down I'd really like to be able to move it to negative one hundred twenty but it can't go that far go to exposure and move in the same direction so now you see my highlights I'm getting that way and then go to shadows to get back look out to dark shadows only works in the dark part there we go so let's see and I'll talk about that little trick that's I should have gotten into that later with a little more advanced idea there but it would just happen to be applicable here but let's see the difference I'll go over here to the side menu side menu is this little guy and on the side menu one of the choices is camera defaults and that's just going to show you what it looks like with default settings so here's default settings I'll choose undo there's a we've done so far so I think it went from an image that eye would usually throw away toe one that might be usable makes sense now it doesn't mean we're done we have other sliders we could use they're not as essential but we could find to the image more there is clarity clarity is going to take the textures in the image just the fine detail in emphasize them so if I bring up clarity I can get the fine details kind of pop out a little more just be careful a lot of people overdo clarity and it becomes distracting if I think about oh this is a digital image because of how extreme it is processed and it distracts me from what the images itself then you've gone too far uh I'm sure so my images do that for some people everybody's got their own look for it and then I could bring up either vibrance or saturation either one is going to make the image more colorful we'll talk about him in more detail on a different picture they've been yes quick question I've never really been clear on clarity I know right that was is it a sharpening thing is it isn't sharpening or is it working with colors to help it is a form of sharpening but it's not quite normal way of sharpening usually was sharpening you add halos around the edges of where there's detail and usually those halos are tiny one pixel two pixels with clarity it's more like having twenty pixels of it s o it is very similar to sharpening but not in the way most people would apply sharpening okay if you're used to sharpen its like taking the radius setting and trade up to twenty and then leaving the amount real low and from a workflow standpoint do you tend to put a you know a little hint of clarity at the beginning and then do your final sharpening at the end well I don't think of mentally clarity is sharpening because it's not doing the really fine kind of sharpies I'll get into that little bit more later but in general I don't think of clarity a sharpening but technically it is I just think of it as emphasized the details a bit not in a way like normal sharpening where you would get these tiny little halos so you you got a better sense of how I think about sharpening as we progress brilliant thank you did you come up with that or some I feed you that lie man not one of you sorry all right so anyway here is our end result also there's a preview check box at the top of the screen and that's going to preview whatever you've done in the current tab so you see here how we have the tabs the's different tabs if I were clicked between them contained mohr adjustment features in the previous track box on ly previous what you've done in this particular tab not all of the tabs put together I'd have to go to that side menu and choose camera defaults to preview the difference that all of the tabs are applying I choose that and then choose undo so anyway here's previous and you can just press the letter p for preview kind of easy to remember to see before and after so I'm gonna click done in the lower right we do have three buttons just so you know cancel means I screwed up so bad I don't want you to remember it and that means you would not get an ex mp file saved note changes would be applied to the image done means I'm done adjusting the picture I want you to attach these settings to the picture so it's used the next time I open it but I don't need to do any more with that one right now whereas open image is the same as done plus opening the image all the way in the photo shop so it means I attached these settings to the picture but now open it all the way to photo shop so I could do even more to it so usually gonna be hitting done then I and here in photo shop for some reason I don't know why I necessarily need to be in photo shop but one thing I should mention is there's a keyboard shortcut for switching between photo shop and bridge and when you type it if you're in photo shop it sends you to bridge and if you're in bridget sends you a photo shop so it's a nice way to switch between the two because you often can't see both at the same time so what it iss is you probably already know keyboard shortcut for open or you can guess what it is the command he is used for all keyboard shortcuts that air replaced menus so command ofer open control oh and windows just add to that the key that's on a mac right next do the command key so I'm going to do is option command oh that would be all to control oh and windows and that's going to send me over the bridge if I type it a second time it sends me a photo shop time for the third time since major bridge but it just means toggle between the two programs it's a nice keyboard truck had to know it let's grab another picture double click on it another underexposed if the image is a hole is too dark exposure is where I start then if I can get it to a point where most of it's starting to look okay and now it's on ly the darkest parts that I might stop at that point and say let's instead go for shadows his shadow's isolates the dark parts and bring that up to see the rest something like that and then if I want to emphasize the details are in this just get himto pop a little bit more that's usually when I go to clarity so I might bring that up just to get this toe you have a little bit more pop to it now the sky maybe I want to be a little darker it's hard to say it might I find it's fine the way it is but I see a little less hint to blue and I want to see a little more of it so if that's the case the sky would be the brightest area the picture and therefore I would go to highlights because that's what isolates the brightest area and so you can see what's happening the skies I bring that down there is a limit to how much you can do some of these because what you'll find is if you put them to extremes when you have really well defined edges we're a very dark thing touches of very bright thing if you do too extreme oven adjustment it could look like there's a little uh glow along the edge of things so if I bring my highlights down too far it's actually not bad but there might be just the tiniest hint of a glow and if you see really obvious close it's usually because clarity got really high let's see if I can try to create one it just can feel a little bit glowy around the edges of things and if so back off on the ones that will usually create any kind of a glowy look wilby highlight shadows and clarity so one of those three is probably up to high if you're if it's looking like things are going around the edge then if you want to make this image a little more colorful either vibrance or saturation I could boost up a bit and let's see before and after I'll turn preview auf before not very usable shot after much more usable I think and just so you know with all of these pictures we could make them look a lot better but we just don't know all the features yet so I'm only going with the features we talked about this far click done all right so under exposed you should be getting somewhat of a field for underexposed means of the whole thing any time you think the whole thing's messed up exposure is what you want and then once a good portion of the image starts looking okay then start thinking is it only the brighter dark areas that are still messed up and if so then stop to an exposure and go for the things that isolate the bright or the dark areas I don't know if I want to see what's in the shadows in this picture or not I don't know what's there yet but if I bring this up I can try to get the shadows in remember with highlights or shadows if you can't get it to go far enough I wish I could move this to two hundred per cent right now to see what's truly they're the trick is once you've maxed out the slider go up to exposure and move in the same direction so I was moving my highlights I maxed out moving towards the right I go to exposure and moving towards the right and then you'll have to move the opposite slider so if its shadows that you maxed out you'll have to grab the opposite slaughter which is highlights to kind of compensate for that trick you did now I don't know that those shadows air all that enjoyable when I look at the shadow side I think I'm more interested in what's in the distance and I would rather have what's in the shadows be just a shape instead of true detail now with camera raw every single slider that's in there you can reset to their default settings by double clicking on the slider and so if I decide I don't want this I didn't want to do what I did to the highlights I'm just going to double click on the highlights slider and it just reset it to whatever the fall is usually default zero I'm going to double click on the shadow slaughter it just reset it and I'm just going to adjust my brightness until I like the image is a hole and then I can decide what I wanna have happen to the shadow so I want to be even darker so I can hide whatever was there or don't want just a little hint of more detail like that and then I can always make the much more colorful with either one of these two we'll talk more about those later and clarity if I want to get the texture toe detail the kind of pop a little bit so let's look before and after I'll turn off preview before kinda looks dull after a bit better the thing that I might end up doing here is a bit of cropping tto gett the focused more down to where I'd like it to be that kind of thing and there is a crop tool up here on top of my screen it's this guy right here and with it I just click and drag and then I can adjust these little side handles it could be that I really just try to get it so uh to get out of the crop tool just switch out of the crop told of something else usually I switched in the hand tool then the cropping will go away and maybe a little more concentrated there but I'll hit done so you've seen underexposed that's how I deal with a lot of now let's go for the opposite cem overexposed images and some of these images have already been adjusted you can see that because if you look in bridge you see the circles that air there that means there's some adjustment data for them I want to start with nothing so we look att what looked like when it first came out of the camera going to select all these images click on the first one hold shift and get the last one and then if I had a two button mouse and I pressed the right mouse button I'd get a menu that would appear I'm gonna mack with one mouse button so I have to hold on the control key and click control clicking is the same as a right mouse button on a two mouse system and there's a choice called develop settings developed settings really means camera ross settings in here I could just say clear the settings off of these images when I do that it's going to throw away the ex mp files for them so if I looked in the folder they'd be gone and those little circles disappear the thumbnails will go back to whatever it looked like out of the camera so these air over exposed and let's see what we can do with them I'll just grab one double click that's a raw file and the images a hole looks pretty darn bright so again go for exposure intel the majority of the image starts to look more what I want and then sometimes it's all needs but oftentimes then I look at and say do the bright parts of the dark parts need a little tweaking as well in this case I'm not sure if we have any data up here if the camera grabbed anything we're knocks that looks pretty close to a white but I can find out by grinding the highlights because that's the brightest area bring it down I can see a little bit more coming through the leaves at least but with highlights if it's really gone and you bring this down too far you'll actually get bray in there so you gotta be a little careful where you don't just generically move this all the way to the left and expect skied us a major amazingly come back there's only a certain range where it can give him or maybe I want to see a little bit more in here in the shadows if so take my shadows remember moving these sliders towards the right always brightens left darkens so I can just decide how much shattered detail that I want and then if I wanted to pop some or I could get the detail of pop out with clarity just move it back and forth and see what it looks like sometimes you can't predict if it's gonna help or hinder just be careful with clarity if you move it back and forth to see if you like it don't go into the negative range because that blurs your picture and so don't do it unless you gotta do it on purpose so if you find you don't like clarity double click on the slider to zero it out instead of uh you know just moving around and ending up with a negative all right let's look a before and after I'll turn preview ofthe before after I think it's much more usable and then I'll click done and done well of course at an ex mp file which contains my settings if I view the contents of this folder outside of bridge within my operating system you see the little ex mp files those air the settings and bridge does like to create x and p files for just about every things if you've ever opened the images even if you reset but those contain your settings the ones that don't have the circle means they're defaults uhm but if I threw those away I'd be throwing away the settings so if I ever copy one of these files onto another drive there's an ex mp sitting there a better copy it to okay let's look at another one so you can guess if the whole image is too bright or dark exposures where I start because exposure thinks about the entire picture once I get to about here I start thinking that I might want this clouds to be a bit darker but I don't want the entire image to go darker so since the clouds or the bright part of the picture I go for highlights bring it down if this was important up here and I don't think it really is if I see detail there if anything it will be a distraction from this church is a church in hawaii I could if I wanted the detail there go two shadows bring it up you might start seeing detail there or if I want to suppress detail just move the shadow slider to the left darken until you can no longer see the detailer tell us like before or after before after and I might want to adjust clarity to see if I could make that much pop a little bit more done all right then none of these have been adjusted just clearing my settings just like I did in the previous one too uh open another mitch this image is lacking contrast it just looks flat when the bright areas look very similar to the dark areas in brightness it's known as lacking contrast contrast is how big of a difference is there between bright and dark so contrast got a slider for it and if I increase it it's going to make dark areas darker and bright areas brighter at the same time so I can try doing this there's only so much it's able to do those so often times it's not going to do enough but we can try it but instead right now if I look at this image is a hole I think the whole thing's pretty not bright so if the entire thing is pretty darn bright that I go for exposure exposure controls the entire image so let's bring that down when I get to about here I'm starting to think I might want to adjust the highlights separately just to see what's there and so I might grab the highlights slider see what happens if I darken up the highlights get a little more in there or not and this is one image where I'm going to go to what I usually consider to be finishing adjustments things that I don't usually adjust in the main course of adjustment but they're needed for innit image there is this extreme and that is if you look in the upper right of my screen you have a history ram that bar charts called history ram in all the history ram does is it tells you what brightness levels you have in your picture do you have the full brightness range from black to white or not the one thing they don't include in a history graham that I wish they really would I beg adobe to put it in is to put a grady in't below the history graham to indicate which brightness levels it's referring to there should be a grady in't right here I'll show you a different history graham that would actually show you the grady in't that I wish they would have I'm gonna open this image in photo shop if I goto levels you will see history graham but down here do you see this grady in't I so wish that was in camera just imagine that this radiant right here that you copied it and you paste that right below the history ram that's in camera and you have it in your head when you're thinking about it because what the history graham means is which of these brightness levels are actually in your picture so what that means is the left side of the history ram that's the darkest shade and your entire picture if you go straight down from it it means the dark as part of this picture is this bright and if there was anything in this brightness range there'd have to be something up here to tell me that the brightest shade in this entire picture is represented right here goes straight down from it it's exactly that bright if there was anything brighter than that there'd have to be something over here to tell me that because all it is is these are the brightness ranges you could have in your picture and if you go straight up from everyone you can see is it in my picture or not that's what history ram is so why don't they include that stupid little bar in camera because then people that aren't used to history grams or even those that are it wouldn't it be useful to be able to glance there and look down and say all that's how dark the darkest part is instead when we're in camera aw we see this history graham it's got colors in it but you can ignore the color's uh just imagine it had that bar in their black is always in the left white is always on the right and so let's try to adjust it like I did before I think I had contrast cranked up I had brought in exposure down a bit and then I thought I wanted a little bit more out of the sky and so I brought that down I think that's about where I was now I look up here at the history ma'am in general I don't care the shape of the history and what I care about the history ram is how wide is it and does it hit the ends of where it could show up because if black is on the left that's the left edge of the history around the fact that the history and does not extend all the way over means there's no black in this picture if white is on the right and the history and does not extend all the way over there we don't have white in fact we don't have anything close to a white we don't have anything close to black well what the blacks and whites sliders do is they control how bright is the brightest party of richer and how dark is the darkest part of the picture and so if I take the darkest part of my picture which is the blacks don't even look at the picture look at the history ram watch what happens to the history graham I know you're going to stare the picture though and watch what happens in the instagram on the left side when I bring blacks down and when it touches the end like that we now have black in our picture does that make sense technically is where then wash the right side when I grabbed the whites it works on the absolute brightest part of the image controls albright it is if I moved it to the left it would move it to the left to the right and move it to the right and if I get it over here until it touches the right now we should have wider in our picture uh so what blacks and whites does his works at the absolute extremes of brightness and just says how bright should the brightest area b how dark should the darkest b in the time that I usually use it is when I'm done adjusting the image as a whole and I glance at the history ram and it doesn't go all the way across if it automatically if it's already going all the way across then these two are not essential adjustments but if there's ever a huge gaps on the ends then they're most likely going to be useful because those two adjustments affect the absolute ends so I could come in here make this even darker now I could pull out a little shadow detail because now the shadows are a little bit dark and make the um the overall details pop out with clarity they're everybody would interpret this image differently and this is a pretty extreme one because look at what I started with and see what we're getting to here I've moved a lot of sliders looking how many sliders and moving around yeah but the main thing that I do is I usually the way I think about it it is work on the biggest problem first and then reevaluate now what's the biggest problem work on that then reevaluate what's the biggest problem and I keep doing that intel I either run out of um time problems or patients you're going to run out of one than whenever you d'oh you're done there's a lot more I could do to this image too but there are a lot of features we haven't talked about yet and I might need to access some of those features to really do what I wanted yes so how's contrast actually work does it affect the darks and the lights equally like plus and minus equally and what does it effect is it affect highlights and shadows or highlight shadows whites and blacks well let's hit done here and let's go back to this overly simple I simple image which is this and we can see does it affect the whole thing or not and therefore you might be able to get a little bit better sense for it so when I use contrast look at how much of the image changes first off ignore what it's doing just say does the whole image change there is only part of that change so when I move this it looks like on ly the extremes of black and white stay the same does that make sense by looking at it so if we already have black and white in the image not going to change but everything else is going to change and then if I bring it down it makes the bright areas just look at the bright range look at this part here seeking figure out what happens when I bring it down they're the gate and darker and then look at the dark range see what happens when I bring it down we're getting lighter so what's happening is it takes the bright stuff and the dark stuff and it says should I make them more radically different than each other or if they're already different should I make them mohr mohr similar to each other and that's what it's doing its how big of a difference is there between bright and dark takes a little bit of time to get used to that concept when you're adjusting but if you notice there's too great of a difference between bright and dark uh then you wantto head in there uh yes a quick question along that certainly a question and a comment I wanna let you guys know we didn't mention it before earlier but if you do purchase this workshop you will be receiving the majority of all of ben's project files that he's working on that's the photos that's that grayscale image they just popped up so you'll be able to do those adjustments right there on your own so when you're following along with the video just a little added bonus and ben we had a question earlier from spy who said did you mention any reason for not initially converting all your raw images to dmg what's your workflow okay dmg is something you can convert your images into and there couple advantages of it one is your file size often goes down it gets smaller because it can apply compression to the image that it does not affect the quality but it's just more efficient than what's in j not in shape in raw so your file says sometimes goes down the changes you making camera can be integrated right in the file itself so you don't have a deal with ex mp files because all the data is right in the file itself uh and there's a preview attached to it that reflects the changes you've made so few preview it in a different program outside of adobes world you could say you might see the adjusted versions depending on the program compared to the original so it has a lot of advantages the disadvantage of raw is that now you can only open it in programs that support dmg or digital negative format your camera manufacturer might have software uh and if they don't support the digital negative file format now you can't open it in your camera manufacturers software not that many people use that software but if it was important to you on the other thing is it simply takes time meaning that it's just extra processing step that adds time to it so if you don't mind the extra time of the conversion then it's not a bad thing to convert to dmg there's a lot of advantages to it and it could be a very nice way to work so I personally don't convert a lot of my images simply because it takes more time I have to wait for the progress bar to finish the conversion and I'm lazy and want to get either the work or go out shooting but if I didn't find I minded the extra time with conversion it's not a bad thing to do cool and a couple of questions that we had do you do you ever click on the auto button and start from there and do you recommend against using the auto the auto button which if you look is right here the auto can be nice for some images but I find that oftentimes it heads me kind of in the wrong direction meaning that already moved the sliders so much that now going into exposure or something else we've already isolated the shadows or the highlights or something else I find it often sends me a little bit off having said that a lot of people like the autobot s oh it's a personal thing for you if you find that it often gets you to a really good starting point and then you have to do just slight tweaks auto but it could be great for me personally I prefer to craft the image more where I'm really thinking about every aspect of it but now everybody's into that so try out the auto button see if you find that it gets you close to your end result then you just need to find to hurt a little or not for me I find it moves too many sliders that I might not other want otherwise want to sew for me you won't find me using it very often awesome thanks ben and just one last one before we move forward are you going to be showing later about how to adjust the deed the kamerad defaults to make them your own and if we have time yes I will write it depends on time but if we if we don't we'll get into it on the more advanced class great something perfect thank you

Class Description

Overwhelmed by Photoshop? Ready to start editing your photos more efficiently? Join creativeLIVE for a three-day course that will give you an in-depth understanding of the Photoshop skills every photographer should know.

Award-winning photographer Ben Willmore has taught hundreds of thousands of photographers worldwide how to harness the power of Photoshop, and he’s ready to share his unique insights and style with you. You’ll learn about optimizing images, sharpening, retouching, black and white conversion, directing the viewer's eye, and much more. Ben will take the guesswork out of Photoshop by covering which menus and tools are essential -- and which you’re better off ignoring.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the core, everyday Photoshop skills that every photographer needs to produce professional-grade work.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2