Simple Retouching Techniques

 

Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

 

Lesson Info

Simple Retouching Techniques

when it comes to retouching there are some things we could do in light room and it's overly simple retouching I'd rather do it in light room because something where I can easily undo it later whereas things we do in photo shop are a bit more permanent not as easy to change so in this case if all I have is a little dirt on a wall or something the main thing to remember is that same tool that we used for on the first day for removing sensor dust specks which is this tool up here can be used for getting rid of simple things usually get a circle just little bit bigger than the problem click and let go and it will figure out where to copy from if you don't like the area that it copied from either click on the circle that represents where it copied from and drag it somewhere else or press the slash key the forward slash key which will force light room he just picked from a different area each time the one thing I didn't have a chance to mention when we were using this tool was that you can a...

lso click and drag so if the area you're trying to fix isn't just a little speck like this one where you can click and let go you could click on something and just drag straight down like that and then it'll copy from it from an area just hit backslash if you are forward slash if you needed to pick a different spot so for very simple things I'm not going to send you a photo shop and do him it's so nice that it's in here because then if you ever mess up what's great is I could still adjust this picture I can brighten it I could make it more colorful and all that in the retouching will automatically blend in whereas if I do it in photo shop and then I try to make further changes in later on decide I shouldn't have retouched something out three takina will be much more built into the picture and it's just not as easy to change so let's talk about some of the things we can do in photo shop though for retouching first off we can recompose someone for photographs uh and so let's look at an example of that I'm gonna take this image into editing and photoshopped remember you can choose photo at it in the edit and photo shop but it has a keyboard shortcut of command e for edit so I'm just going to type command e if it's a raw file it should just be able to open it up in photo shop without having to ask any questions and let's say want to recompose this picture a little bit well I could go over here on the left side of my screen and grab the lasso tool if I grab a lasso tool I can circle around one of these balloons and then there are a couple different ways that I can move it we can try to just move it around with the move tool but that's not going to be the most effective instead we have a list of some retouching tools in here and if you click and hold don on you'll find that there's more than one one of them if you go to the one that looks like a band aid you're going to find the contents aware move toe interesting the content where moved tool will allow me to click on an object drag it somewhere else and when I let go it will first patch the hole where the old one was to remove it and then it will move it over here and try to get it to blend them with a new location see how I just did that for me now let's see how much you can do it I'm going to move it up here where to darker sky do you see how it the background on the balloon doesn't look right there's a limit to how much you khun dio you see if there was a bit much for it there are some other controls about the top move versus extend and some stuff in here but most of it we don't need to mess with as long as you're moving something to a relatively similar background you should be able to come in here and if you needed to rearrange I'm not suggesting you do this for most of your images but on occasion there's something where you'll find this will be useful but leisha you here because I didn't do a very goodjob pick one that has a complex background I just typed a keyboard truck and I didn't want it type taking a moment okay in this image let's say I want to just move this guy over a little bit sometimes you need to do it but it all depends what your image is going to be used for you know if you're using it for a news story don't do this but if you're doing it for a fine art image and I find it done all the time it's up to you as faras uh what you choose how you choose to think about it but sometimes it's just moving something the tiniest amount we have a couple choices one is to try to do it this way you see how it filled in the old area moved him over and tried to get him to blend in or the other thing that is uses a similar technology to that is if I choose on do d select I can try to come up here and I first need to choose select also knows I need to work on the entire image I can go at it and there should be a content aware scale if I ever need to make an image a slightly different size sometimes a magazine will ask for a new image but I don't have a vertical enough pictures to get their masthead and other things to be in but with this content aware scale lycan sometimes extend things up and what happens is it's on ly scales it where it thinks it's unimportant information do you notice how it's scaling the water it's not scaling the zebras can you see that and if I bring it this way you see that place in between the zebras are being scaled very little of them are you've got to be careful though if you go too far they will get skinny zebras but on occasion I need a slight change to my image where that's done but most of the time instead what I'm doing is mainly getting rid of droppings uh that there aren't all that fun to deal with a type of keyboard shortcut again so used to teach in photo shop classes where I have to use bridge a hate bridge but the people are shortcut for going back to an image to open it I'm so programmed to hit that I do it automatically ben would you mind a request from the chat rooms yes awesome so j v h said then and let me know if you've already covered this okay ben mentioned the first day that he will explain how to share the catalogue and light room with multiple users in the studio share the catalog with multiple users in the studio wouldn't mind enough dough to means in light room can you share your catalogue with multiple users in you're like a studio with multiple people you can copy the catalogue so that someone else could be working on it but then if two people work on the same photograph will be a conflict in that you have two versions of it so what you could do is if you want someone to work on a particular set of images you can click on a uh a folder of images let's say in choose export is catalogue where you can click on a collection same way and say make this a separate library a catalog file that contains just these images then they could go take it off with them to do some editing and when they're done they could bring the catalog back to me and I could come in and import from that catalog that's everything but light room really isn't designed for aa lot of extreme sharing like you can't put your light room catalog on a central hard drive where I have four different people accessing it it's just not set up for that okay great and that sea welsh photo wanted to know would there be any notice ability of content aware at this scale if the image was printed very very large it all depends on the image it's its content aware scaling if you're scaling it down not usually if you're scaling it up with anything any method you ever used for scaling up there's not enough information in the file something's gotta give it'll get softer so what you need to do is if you end up um if you end up scaling up an image for any reason you'll probably need to sharpen it to compensate for the fact that you scale it up in that it has less ah sharpness to it due to that process and so I would just be fine with that and say I have to use it for this other purpose and therefore I know I'm going to just have to sharpen it a bit more um but anytime any method for increasing the size of your picture regardless of who is talking about it always makes you much softer great thank you sure all right then here's another one where depends on what you're using the image for if you'll be able to get away with this or not in that is sometimes I have a shot like this one were in the shot I like what's going on on half of the picture let's say the right side here I like least the way he's looking the way he's looking but I really not into that but if I stand there long enough and take another shot and take another shot take another shot I might be able to get one where I like the look of other areas of it but I'm never going to be able to get exactly what I want necessarily so if I want teo I could try to combine those two get the head off of this one and the bodies off the other but the problem here because I wasn't on a tripod my camera was moving around so let's see if we could do something like that well first off we need to get the exposure to be more consistent because I wasn't thinking about combining these together I was just shooting hoping I'll get something good in the end I might not have gotten exactly what I wanted but I think I can make it so if that's the case I'm gonna select all these images and if there's one in particular that has the right brightness let's say it's this one here I can go to believe it's the photo menu in under developed sightings there was a choice called match total exposures and that's going to try to match the brightness across all those images based on the picture that I have most selected so I can try use that to see if it can even them out and if I choose undo can you see that it took two of them that were quite dark and my reapply it it even them out then I could come over here and choose photo head it in open is layers and photo shop and that should stack these one on top of the other so I could have spent more time optimizing them I just moved a few sliders to make it so wasn't overly dark but let's look at what we might be able to do to try to align some pictures that don't already aligned and then possibly mask them and again it depends what you used the pictures for don't do this for news stories um because you're trying to show exactly what you saw I've never worked with these images before so I don't know what it's going to be like but that's what I like this one I get an idea and just tried out most of it works okay now it's stacked the images the next thing I wanted to do is align them I wanted to align them for me I don't want to spend the time to sit there and move them around try to get him to line up just right so what I'm going to do is select all the layers right now the top most layers selected I'll hold the shift key and I'll click on the bottom most layer so I get them all then I could go to the edit menu and under the edit menu there's a choice called otto a line layers otto align layers uses the same technology that's used to stitch panoramas and I usually try out auto to begin with it will try to figure out the best setting to use click okay and now it's comparing all those layers and if you khun if it thinks that things look similar between the layers it will try to line them up might take a little bit of time because how many images do we have quite a few but let's see if it was able to do it I'm gonna just turn off the eyeball in the top most layer watched the trees and part of the grass that looks pretty close to being aligned now it had to move it over quite a bit I concede some issues on the edge here but that's just because we have multiple pictures stacked up and I think the camera was moving like to the writer left and you're seeing like that edges of multiple pictures turn off the next one looks pretty darn close next one look at those guys that could be a fun little gift animation if they just did that now that one didn't work out that either moves that means I moved too much I probably out looks like I lowered myself so that their perspective was different let's see if it's the same with the images that are underneath so I think we have two sequences that image is here doesn't mean we can't use the other one's necessarily just means we can't use the background because it doesn't line up let's see if we can get away with it with just the top three images if we could come up with something that's good or not one two three okay so what I'm going to do is decide to start on one side of the image or the other I'll use only the top three images because the other ones don't line up right now they're a different composition I moved a little bit lower so I'll turn off those layers for now and I'm going to turn off everything to suffer the bottom most image and I'm just going to turn on the layer above and say is there anything about it that I liked better than this layer and actually don't think that sea not much let's turn the layer above that and that when I like the lion that's in the middle you see how he looks over towards us and I might like the line on the far left because he just starts toe almost separate there but I don't like on the top one this guy's eyes closing so what I do is I click on the top most layer and I add a layer mask laywer mask has found at the bottom here we've used later mass on the other days and I mentioned before that if you hold on the option key alton windows it would fill the mask with black that means hide everything that sound this layer and so I'm going to do that option click to create a black mask and then I'll come in with my paintbrush tool pain with white and now I'm gonna paint wherever I want to use the other photo the photo that's on top if I want to remember what that photo looks like you can hold down the shift key in clique within the mask if you hold down the shift key and click it disables the mask and so if I look at that and say ok that's where I wanted the line in the middle and I also like the line on the left better so I'll come in here with a soft edge brush and this is where I should be zoomed up because I gotta be real careful if I print this big I'm gonna make sure that there's not like a double edge or anything and let's see what happens when I go to where his head is it's a matter of deciding where is the most visually unnoticeable transition of toe where to stop painting if you can't tell how much of that image you used there's a trick if you press the back slash key the one that leans towards the left it will show you a red overlay and where is not covered with red that's where you're using that layer all it's doing this is taking the mask that you see here it's over laying it on the picture is red so wherever the mask is is where it's not using that layer and I can see exactly where it is so that's where I need to analyze the picture I see a tiny hint of red right there which means part of that's not being used I can paint while this mask is visible make sure I got that we got those then I think I wanted to use the guy over here is well so I could come up paint their exit get a little bit more separation and it's right there where I needed to bump into the other that I need to be very careful where I paint and it's up to me and where I think I could get away with stopping or I could paint its entire body to get it in I think I could get away with going right there just to be sure I painted across the whole thing I'll hit backslash again you see that little red spot in the middle well I didn't realize I hadn't painted that's why it's always good to press that backslash key and I can also see if I need to get a little closer in there then let's see what that's doing I'll hide the top layer before after you see how we get a little bit of an adjustment I can hide the mask by holding downshift disabling it to see if there's any other part it might want to use from that layer maybe I like the the line on the right so I can come over here where he is and just got to be very careful where I stopped painting it's gotta look natural wherever the leaves are weird bumps into the nose of the other one so that you don't see any double leafs or other similar issues and you can either get the whole body or just that it all depends on how much he moved when I'm done the press backslash again look for any red spots where I don't realize it uh what's going on there and then the final thing I would do is if I'm only going to use to layers but ended up loading in a bunch I don't want to file to be this big so I could go to the side menu of the layers panel and there is a choice within there that's called discard hidden layers I think no delete hidden layers and that means throw away the layers I didn't use the ones that have the eyeballs turned off so if I choose that it should bring me down to just the two layers I had in the final thing I'd need to do is to crop the image if the image is looking like a rectangle there is a choice under the image menu called trim which would trim away the empty parts but I don't think it's a perfect rectangle so it means off to use the crop tool I need to clear out the numbers I had in there before and one thing about using the crop tool is if you get really close to the edge of your picture you'll find it snaps to the edge and it seems to be impossible to crop out a small portion hold on the control key the control key temporally turns off snapping the control key only works after you've pressed the mouse button so don't control click click and then control don't click control um so I might do that and then I'm just going to save this image home by the way yesterday when I think it was yesterday when I attempted to save an image into a uh the folder I think my hard drive was full and I did save as and saved it in a different location I don't do that now save as most of the time when you get a picture that opens from the photo shop you end up just typing command us to have it safe back in the same original location well light room has been updated it actually did import the picture so the reason what happened was I had saved to picture I tried to import it and it was great out and it just didn't allow me to do anything and that's because it was already in my light room catalogue so it looks to me like if I come in here and put this image in the same location that it automatically loaded it into light room for me whereas I in the past you had to save it and where light room wanted to save it and now it looks like you can say that wherever you'd like so that's just a simple process of using the um masks you do need to make sure the exposure is real close and that's why we use that thing that matched the exposure's it was under the photo menu in light room on your photo and then I think developed settings and near the bottom of that sub menu which allowed us to match the exposures any questions about the simple masking kind of exercise yes ben would you use this if you wanted teo like get rid of a tourist out of a photo you can use something like this to get rid of a tourist but often times getting rid of a tourist it all depends on what kind of background it is if the background is something complex something easily recognizable like a bicycle then I'll probably need to do something like this where I find a picture of the same bicycle where it's only obstructed in a different way and put it in but oftentimes when it comes to pedestrians there just simple if they're in a simple background it's similar tio getting rid of one of these stubs on a tree or something else and usually I can just uh either use the spot healing brush which is similar to the brush we were using in light room just paint over something in this case that I'm working on multiple layers so becomes more complex I would usually create a brand new empty layer in them when I use this tool there's an icon up here that I'd have to click on this one here which means be able to copy from the other layers and I could just paint over it was it not doing it out of you I didn't click on that idea I described it but I guess I didn't click it there and so I could try to go in there and retouch it with that and so it really depends on what is behind the pedestrian the more complex it is and the more recognizable it is the more I'm going to have to rely on pieces of other photos on the simpler what it is is behind them the more organic it is like brush and trees and dirt the more I can rely on the simple retouching tools yeah and just so you know with the simple retouching tools see if I have a picture for this e don't necessarily but with the simple retouching tools uh if you end up taking an image and a light room I should describe this a little bit about the difference in the tools okay um there are quite a few tools for retouching but the one called the spot healing brush is the one that works similarly to the one that is in light room for getting rid of dust specks if you have just small little imperfections in your image like this little bright spot all you need to do is get a brush just a little bit larger than it just so the brush touches the not the problem area but its surroundings and click and it will figure out what the copy from and so you can come around if you wanted to repair any of these like cracks or things you could paint on them like this it would figure out what part of the surrounding would be the best part to construct the replacement from but that is the spot healing brush the spot healing brush will usually fail you though if whatever you're trying to retouch out touches the edge of your document I'm not sure how bad it will fail here but there's a good chance it will because the spot healing brush anything with the word healing attached tries to blend them with its surroundings and right here on the very edge of the photograph there's nothing beyond the cloud that was there so it's going to try to blend in with the color of the cloud and sometimes it's rather noticeable here you see a hint of white there it wasn't too bad but if what that was was a telephone pole or something you it's blatantly see the color of the telephone poles still on the edge of the photograph and if that ever happens to you I would switch to this technique instead make a selection with the lasso tool over whatever it is you want to remove and then go to the edit menu choose phil and use that choice called content aware that's the same choice we used to filling the empty parts of a panorama it does a much better job on the edge of the photograph where it's not going to try to blend in with what used to be on the edge if it messes up in any area just select this small area might have messed up on and just applied a second time I pretty much to three strikes and you're out meaning give it three tries if it messes up each time selecting the just the area where it's messed up and it will often do a great job I mentioned the spot healing brush where it figures out where you want to copy from you also have the normal healing brush where with the normal healing brush you tell it where to copy from and when you use that tool you should be aware that the only thing that it's copying is the texture it's not usually coppery copying the brightness or the color it's just the texture the variation in there and to show you that anything with the word healing will try to blend in with its surroundings let me copy from this area of wood grain right here and let me use it up here now it's too dark to be used up here but when I put it in since anything with the word healing attached always tries to blend in with its surroundings it still could be used but you see what was put in not the brightness not the color it's the detail the texture that's there so any time you use the healing brush just think about texture what kind of texture would be appropriate for the area that I'm applying and it doesn't matter how bright it is doesn't matter what color it is a ce faras your source goes it just matters that is the proper texture other suggestion I would give you and using the anything with the word healing attached would be always used a hard edged brush the healing features always tries to blend them with its surroundings and if you use a soft edge brush your preventing it from being able to have control over what's happening all the way out to the edge of your brush and therefore it will usually be less effective so when you use any tool that has the word healing attached I would usually use a hard edge brush yeah I did it again try peanuts let's talk about it some adjustments I'm going to take this image in optimized just a little bit light room I might bring down my highlights a little bit just to make it a little darker and bring out a little shattered detail and maybe a little clarity in cem vibrance bring out a little hint of the color but what I'd like to do is a selective black and white on this one but with selective black and white and light room were really limited if I choose black and white right here sure it'll take all the color out of the image but then if I want to control it all I have is down here where it says hs l where we were before if I've chosen black and white this parts available where it's just a serious of sliders where you could brighten and dark and what used to be these colors but there's no choice to say bring color back on ly in one area I could come in here and do something different under the basic tab I could leave it in color and I could go to my adjustment brush in with my adjustment brush I could have it take the saturation all the way down and I could come over here and painted in wherever I would like and it will convert wherever I paint too black and white but this tool isn't the most precise as far as being able to really paint into fine areas so I'm going to actually do this and photo shop because I find that oftentimes adjustment layers will allow me to have more precision so let's give it a try I'm gonna type command e for edit in for a shock and it should open in just a sec all right then in photo shop in my layers panel there's a couple ways of applying an adjustment but my favorite is goingto layers panel at the bottom of the layers panel there's a circle that's half black and half white this one that's on adjustment layer and with the adjustment layer I can come down and click on that icon and choose which type of an adjustment I'd want and for now just to describe adjustment layers because we haven't used them yet I'll do a very simple adjustment all do brightness and contrast and I'm just going to bring the brightness down so it's obvious that has changed the image and then let's look at what we have when we create an adjustment layer we have the original untouched image underneath and above that we have our adjustment it's a ziff we're standing at the top of the layers panel looking down and in order to see the image we have to look through this adjustment and it's affecting our view just like a pair of sunglasses might affect your view but then we have a mask in that mass determines where this adjustment can apply wherever the mask is white it applies and if we can put any black in it it's going to remove the adjustment so I could come in here to my image zoom up on it command plus or command minus on a mac control plus and control minus is one way to zoom up if I grab my paintbrush tool and I paint with black when I paint watch my layers panel do you see a little bit of black paint that showed up it went right in the mask in what black does in a mask is it removes whatever's in this layer it just makes it become hidden doesn't apply so I could come in here now and very precisely pain you can paint when you're in light room but it's just not as convenient as being able to paint really precisely and being able to switch between various tools for doing it I want to show you a few things I might do in an image like this one to make things stand out and I might find some of these to be just a little bit more convenient if I do it in cornershop whenever you're painting in this case I'm always paying with my foreground color which is the color that's on top in the lower left of my screen and in a mask that hides whatever's in this mask since what's in this mask is something that darkens the image it's hiding the darkening effect in essence bringing the image back to the way it used to look but I can come in here and paint if I ever need to bring areas back I just need to switch what color and painting with and right down by my foreground color the color and painting with is a little arrow a double headed arrow if I were to click on it it would switch my foreground and background color so instead of painting with uh black as I am now I would be painting with white and that's something I'll have to frequently dio switching between painting with black and paint with white and if I ever need to create a straight line I click on one spot like here I can hold down the shift key and I'll click over here on the other side and it will draw a straight line between the two is if I painted a perfectly straight line there sock over here and just make sure I've removed this adjustment if you want to see where I've painted I can show you overlay of that mask with backslash key so hit backslash you can see exactly where I've removed the adjustment and what I will often do is just build up these adjustments one on top of the other so let's try another adjustment this one is just darkening the image if I turn off the eyeball here's before here's after and if I turn the mask off by holding shift and clicking on it you see before it also got the statue that's there but after I painted on the mask and it didn't so the next thing I'll do is add another adjustment layer this one I'll use is called black and white hand I'm not even gonna change the settings that aaron and I'll just apply a straight up black and white adjustment and this time I'm going to come on really tight and I'm only good bring the color back in one spot and that is right here and I will frequently do this to all sorts of images because the choices for adjustments that we have in photo shop is much wider than what's found in light room but hit the back slash legacy where a painted and so let's look at a few examples of where I've done this too in general tried to direct the viewer's eye to where I want them to look uh turn off these two and see what I see okay see his legs now which I missed they blended in too much get it off of there another adjustment that I apply very frequently you turn these off saying see where his legs again okay is I bring out contrast in an image using my favorite adjustment which is curves I'm going to go down to the adjustment layer icon again I'm going to choose curves in and current there's little hand icon and if you click on it it allows you to click on your picture to do things related to this adjustment what I'm going to do is click on a dark portion right here and then I'm going to move over to a light portion and click there so then what I'm seeing in curves is two dots the they indicate how much light was being used in those two areas the lower ones uses less light and therefore talks about the dark part of the image the upper one uses more light and it talks about the bright part of the image these air just like dimmer switches if I want to darken the dark area I just grabbed this is if it's a dimmer switch in my hand and I move it down it's affecting the whole image but I'm going to do something that only makes it affect the lizard that's there then I'm going to grab the other one which is for the light portion of the image and I'm gonna push it up in what we're doing is getting additional contrast there to try to make him pop out what's nice is in photo shop remember we already painted on a mask over here tto isolate him that guy well I can actually click on that mask and drag it up here to say use it on this one the only problem is if I drag it like that and let go it would remove it from the one below if I want you instead copy it instead of move it I need to hold on the option key I'm holding that down right now I drag it up there I let go this is eighty one two replacements in there I say yes now that particular adjustment what it was doing that mask was limiting mar adjustments so it could not effect that critter I wanted to do the exact opposite of that I want it so it on ly affects him so with the mask active I'm going to try to get the opposite of what's in there I could do that by choosing image adjustments invert invert means make a negative of whatever it is I'm working on so wherever there's black in the mask it's going to turn white wherever there's white in the mask it'll turn black and now that contrast adjustments only applying right there so now it's kind of hard at least for me to not have my eye look in the one spot where I wanted it teo that make your I kind of go to that one spot so let's build up what have we done here I'll turn off these adjustment layers and let's just turn them on one at a time in the before if I saw this far out I might not have noticed that that little guy was on there but if I darken the image this was just with brightness and contrast to darken the surroundings I think that might have helped to just get thie make this feel a little more even now and make him kind of look more interesting then we do the black and white but we keep the critter and in color and that helped a little bit but then we added contrast to him and that's what really made it jump out and it's a subtle thinks it's so small in the image but it's just kind of nice too nice little element I think here's an image where I've done that in the past and let's see if I can show you how it affected the image I already typed command e so I'm assuming it will open yell at the original yeah but in general your eyes usually drawn to things that are colorful and our seems to be more drawn to things that are bright and so oftentimes I will try to make the subject very colorful and bright and try to make the surroundings less so so this image actually didn't realize I had so much stuff at the bottom but this image is just had a bunch of those adjustment layers built up and let's see what they're doing to the image I'm going to turn off a good number of them and the image just becomes more dull and I've had people even think that see this image and not notice that this guy is there um this is a more complex image than the one I thought I had I have another version of this that has done with a lot fewer layers so this is what close to what the original image looked like if we compare that to what the end result looks like do you see how I cleaned up the area that was up here which I don't think was helping the image and I've got it so this is the more prominent area the main thing that I did is I did a human saturation adjustment where you can lower the saturation make the image less colorful and I applied that all the way the around the iguana then I went to the iguana itself and I made it more colorful I also went into curves and I did the exact same thing we did in the previous image to get the egg wanted a pop a little bit more the sky was changed by copying the left side of the sky flipping it horizontally in putting it over here but as trying to direct your attention a little bit more into that area

Class Description


It’s time to make the images you capture as you travel or explore the great outdoors even more jaw-dropping. Join photographer and image editing expert Ben Willmore to explore the Lightroom and Photoshop tools that will optimize your images to really make them shine while keeping them easy to find and organized.

In this course, you’ll master the post-production process every travel and outdoor photographer needs to know. From panorama stitching to HDR to fixing distortion in architectural images, you’ll dive deep into the editing tasks best performed in Photoshop. You’ll adjust and optimize your images – even if they’re overexposed, underexposed, or have color or contrast issues. You’ll also learn how to organize your images with Lightroom make them easy to find by location taken, subject, or date. Ben will cover specific tips on uploading and organizing while you are still on the road that will save you time and make things easy when it is time to edit. You’ll also develop an editing workflow that helps you retouch quickly and efficiently.

If you’re ready to spend more time outdoors taking stunning photos and less time stuck indoors processing (or finding!) them, this is the course for you.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2

Reviews