Sharpener Pro and Color Efex Plug-ins
I'm going to pick a photo that had a ton of retouching done to it. Just so you all know kind of the depths of retouching. I mean, it could be a massive difference between these two. Every shape, your face, a painted highlights and shadows. I did frequency separation and portraiture reshaped her lips, changed atonality. It pulled out some color. I mean, there's a ton of work you can do. But when I zoom in, if I go to the original, um you know, maybe I want to do a little bit of sharpening on her eye. So I'm gonna turn these layers all back on and do just a bit of sharpening Cliffy like it's it's sharpish. Maybe we could get a little bit more someone flatten it, and I'm going to go to if you don't use your detail, um, the one that I should you guys before underneath the blur tool that looks like a triangle, The sharpened tool. A better way to do this is going to be your sharpener pro. You can actually sharpen a Ron image as it comes in. If you want to try to get the closest to a truly sh...
arp image, like, If you know, you open up and raw and it is not sharp, you can run it as a raw image in sharpener pro, and that'll give you the best results. But if you're trying to sharpen after the fact, they have their output sharper. So click on that later, okay? And I'm going to zoom in and hope's gonna sit way in back out. Okay, that's to select Try. All right, so in this is this is a nick program. And Nick, if you select the second option over what it does is it gives you a slider so I can grab my hand tool and slide to before and after. And so you have a bunch of different options over here on the right. You have local contrast, structure, output sharpening and focus, and you can create presets for yourself. What I tend to do is if I don't want any extra detail, I just wanted to look a little sharper. I'll usually just drag the local contrast. And so it gives me less artifact ing and then CEO here. It's giving a little bit too much sharpness on the skin. I would go back and I would just paint it on the eyelashes and on the eyes. So if I go back and forth, this is obviously way, way overkill. But you can always pull back on the amount. And here I went to 77%. I would never really do that. I would probably do it around 20%. So to show you kind of a foreign after, you know, it gives me a little bit of sharpness. Maybe I could pump it up a little bit if I know that I'm just going to paint it selectively. I mean, it really can add a lot of detail to the iris and actually bring focus to the eye. Um, if you're starting to get some detail, I start to pull back on structure. Structure is the clarity on steroids. So if I'm seeing too much detail like it, increase the contrast, which was good. But it pulled out too much detail. I back off on structure and output sharpening strength, so you'll see. You know, it is proving improving the focus someone had okay, but I'm gonna show you the creative way that I use this tool. All right. Suit is gonna see real quick kind of what it does come here. It's giving a little bit of focus, more focus on the eye, and I can go in and just paint on her eyelashes. But if you want to get really creative, um, if I go ahead and open up my picture of Mike, let's just open up the original of him here, which ended, turned into green and forgot. Turn off the green. Um, I could go ahead and open up my sharpener output sharpener, and I could zoom in and I could just pull the structure where I want it. So right now it's going to have whatever settings you had last time is what it applies. So if I don't want all this increase contrast, Aiken, back off my contrast but pump up the structure and it just pulls out detail. And so the picture that I showed you guys yesterday, if you recall I showed a sample of that sees the state to, um I showed you a sample of the girls by the truck. Okay. And let me just make it slightly pretty real quick. Remember how I did this? Okay, It's the contrast. Warm it up. Give it a little bit of pink vibrance highlights. Okay, well, just say that's good. Um, all right, so we have the truck here and you're looking at the truck, and I want it to look really old and grungy. I can go ahead to my output sharpener, open up output sharpener, and I could move my viewer down, just the truck, and I'm gonna zoom out just a bit so I can see it a little better. Slept here, and I can pump up my structure and it will start to pull out a lot of details to let me back up a little bit more and watch him before and after on the side of the truck over here, Syria there before and after giving me that grunge feel also in between. So it makes the truck and all the details a lot Grunge year. And so let me show you without structure with structure. And so it's HD are looking without being HDR. So what I'll do is I'll hit okay, and then I'll only apply it to the truck because right now it's going to apply to their faces, which isn't going to be flattering So Adam, ask by hitting option Mass will give me Black Mask. I'll paint the white zoom in, and then it's just going to make my truck look older, grungy or pull out more detail, but also make their skin look softer. And so sure, before and after, you know, pulled out a lot of detail there. I'm gonna flatten it down as well. Remember how they weren't sharp? I don't know if you guys remember that they weren't so sharp. I wouldn't run structure to make their skin look sharper. I would do local contrast because it's going to make the edges pop but not pull out a lot of nasty detail on their skin. So if I go back to my output sharpener and I'm not necessarily an expert on this tool, the everybody over at Nick there's a ton of to Toro is you can watch on what they do. I'm just telling you typically what ideo a public structure when I want detail, I pulled down structure and up local contrast when I'm going for sharpening, but there's a bunch of presets to have as well, so I'm going to zoom in on their faces and I'm going to reset everything. Um, let's do f I didn't mean to click. Enter. Sorry. It's come back clicking. Enter applies it Didn't want that. Okay, so I'm gonna reset everything. Um, it's reset back in here. And if you double click on your triangle, it's at the back to neutral. So no change. You double click on the triangle. All right, So I'm gonna go down to their faces, and this is way out of focus, like it's too out of focus if I wanted a giant photograph. But if I want to use it and try to save it, If I pull up structure, it just pulls out mostly all the noise. So I don't want to do that instead of better off decreasing structure and pumping up local contrast and see how it just tried to pull out the edges. But it doesn't add that much noise. So I'll do something like that. I'm gonna hit, okay. And since I don't want that detail on their skin, I can just trace edges. And that's usually what I do from trying to save a photo that's too out of focus. If I go ahead and I show sharpen the whites of their eyes and all of their skin. You see all of that noise and all of the detail, so I only do its edges, and that's going to make it pop out. So let me show you real quick the difference between these two photos. From here it looks a lot sharper, and it's all about your end intent. This isn't going to look well. Look very good at a 24 by 36. But if it's going to be a pretender loved by 14 it is passable. That's not the right way to do it. But you know how your clients always pick the one that's a little out of focus that you didn't realize because you didn't view it at 100%. You viewed it up on your screen, and then you get I feel like every single one. Like every single session. Somebody picked a shot that was out of focus. So again, if I wanted to, I could go in wherever. It added a little bit too much detail to the skin. I could take my black mask and just painted off, and I'll still have a lot of that contrast, but without adding noise into the skin. OK, any questions on that one? I'm gonna zoom back to show you guys one more time and minimize this before and after using output sharpener to add structure and then also to sharpen the photo and make it a little more acceptably sharp. Janitor Jennifer DeFranco, photography asked. Do you ever sharpen an entire image? Not usually, Um, typically in a photo. I'm just going to pick what's important and pick edges that are important and sharpen it. Um, sometimes in light room when I'm exporting for Web, I have, like a Web sharpened mode so that things look better. But for something like this, I selectively sharpen and especially since you know the background doesn't need sharpening. But maybe I wanted to pull out more detail in the background. That would be structure instead of sharpening. So that's what's nice about the this plug in. Um, if I don't have the plug in, there's a bunch of other tools. Smart sharpen, but I would use you just use the sharpened tool. Just go around edges, not sharpen the entire face. But just around the eyes around the lips in the nostrils of some things sharper around the nostril. You're like, Do they have nice off skin? But at least around the nose or sharper cool a couple of generic questions that I think are relevant? Scott in Tampa asks, How can you make sure that that the printing doesn't pick up any of these touch ups? Is there a good rule of thumb on how large you can go before this happens? And Tweeter second that question. Okay, so viewing at 100% is going to give you much. But if I'm really what amount right now, I'm a 22%. But that's I mean, that's completely unrealistic to what you'd actually seeing a print. So viewing it 100% is going to give you a better idea of what you might actually be able to see. But what I tend to do is well, for my re touches is I showed this yesterday. I usually put a curves level that I don't actually use a top and dark and things down or increase the count, contrast and just kind of flipped through like this and see if any problem areas show up. So maybe it's where like I'll frequently cut in pay something that I didn't quite notice, an edge that I forgot to blend. So before anything goes to print, I put levels or curves and just kind of flipped through this way later and darker and see if there's something I missed. But it's far a sharpening. There's not exactly a rule of thumb try to do is little if you can to get away with it. Um, I've just kind of become familiar with what I could get away with that. 11 by 14 versus 16 by 20. Um, if you want to save yourself money before you print a 16 by 20 you can crop in a four by six size, for example, or whatever the equivalent side would be a 16 by 20. Print a four by six at I don't know, Sam's Club or Walmart uh, that resolution or for however big it would be and see if it's acceptable before you print a four by six Is or what, like 18 cents versus $1720? Yeah, no, I totally would do that. Well, I originally printed all my own stuff. Don't do it. I mean, you can But, um, here's the thing. You are a specialty, is taking pictures, and then maybe now it's retouching and its social media, and so why add extra things to your responsibilities? And I sucked at printing, which is why I love Miller's. They're fantastic company, and it was great. But for them, since it's overnighting, if I didn't wait till last minute, I could print their minimum order, I think is $10 it's free overnight shipping so I could print a bunch of tests of those four by sixes or whatever and have it sent. But originally I printed myself. I had absent 7600 and before I went and ran a huge print which cost me a lot of money. I would put in a tent a scrap piece of paper and run it at the full resolution to see if I could get away with it again, just like in the days of the dark room where we would write exactly exactly Still expensive. It iss hate printing. I haven't printed it. This is Ivan, printed my own picture and, like, I don't know, seven years hate general question, Don't you, Bella images asked. Do you have any tips of suggestions for family photos that you want to look more fashion? Uh, for family photos that I want to look more fashion. It's usually the color palette. Um, so if I'm gonna let me just grab a family photo that somebody sent here, um, and let you know a little bit more about another play in. Okay, So somebody had I'm assuming this is a family photo. I don't really know, but they look like they're happy and like each other. So I don't know if that means they are a family or aren't. Let's see. Okay, So for example, um, this family here looking at it and one of the reasons that it looks less fashion is one the clothes. So if I could go ahead and make her not have a white dress, I try to change the color so they all match. I mean that also, it's too saturated for fashion. There's too much warmth in it and usually wouldn't see that there's a lot of retouching I would do. I'm not going to do the retouching. I'm just gonna open this up in photo shop. And sometimes when I feel uninspired and I'm looking at a picture and saying, Well, I'd like it to be more fashioning, but I have no inspiration. Pull out colors and textures, but that's when something like color effects nick color effects is useful to me because it could give me an idea. Someone open up this plug in. It's processing and thinking Demo, please. And so it has 1,000,000 different plug ins. 1,000, different presets, basically that you can click through and see different interpretations of your photo. And if you click on one of these photos, they have, um, looks like a stack next to them. So let's click on bleach bypass, and that looks awful, right? It's about on the skin. But if you click the button next to it will be different versions of it. As you can take a look. Make modifications to contrast texture, so I'll often flip through one of these just to see if something inspires me. Don't see if faded film. Let's see if there's any of these that look better, something like that. So there's so many I the ones that I used most commonly, for example, um, photographed have we should think it's day three. Okay, so give me an example. I photographed this little girl and she's awesome and her name's Kayla and she's a little model and she's super sweet. And she's my good friend, Lila's daughter. And so I like this photo, but it's just a pretty photo, like it's missing something. So one of the things I could do to make it more fashion friendly, as I could add, check my hue saturation, go into my greens and maybe make the greens and yellows, scrub yellows and maybe make the leaves in the background like orange and make it a fall day Course. It's going to change your skin tone, so I'd have to paint it off of her face. But okay, that's one way to make it more fashion friendly. But I use Nick on this one over in color effects and grabbed a couple of the vintage presets because he was holding a vintage camera and say, Let's go down. I've check one for bleach. Five has no go down to film effects. Vintage. Click on a couple of those, and there's, you know, a lot of different effects that look really nice. I think there's another one that I really like. Let's check Old photo looks cool. Couple old photo effects. So I just click around. Basically, I find it more useful for inspiration than anything else. I don't use it all the time. It's more of like, Oh, I like that as a vintage effect. Contrast on Lee. I use a lot, too, makes a contrast, look better and okay, so basically flipped through presets and change the color. I like it a lot better when, for example, decreased vibrance increase contrast. Look, I just know something's that, like increase the contrast. Add a color eyes like I have certain things that I do over and over again to make pictures, look more fashion feeling, says one, something like that from the beginning and increase contrast in her. So I was had one more photo sample that I wanted to show. I'm happy to answer any other questions, but what? I wanted to reiterate the point about focusing the eye, so I just want to open up somebody else's photo. There was one photo in particular that one works. There's one more. Okay, so for this photo, there's a lot of things that I would do this photo that could make it. I have a lot higher impact, and it's not necessarily retouching. So I just want to open it up real quick and show you a couple of things that would D'oh! All right, So first thing, as I say, if you want to get kind of your levels correctly and your your levels correct and your white balance So for her, I need Thio. Select her face in your area, goes to the other eye, goes the area of highest contrast. So if I select modify feather, I'm going to go into levels or curves and I'm gonna make this brighter and have more contrast to it, All right? And I might clean up the edge a little bit. But if I zoom back and already looks a lot better, I could apply that entire affect the whole picture. So maybe make everything have higher contrast, but then just darken down the edges and I can say Okay, well, this whatever this bag was, Aiken, darken it down. All right, so then let's darken down the edges, going to darken down the whole picture, paint that effect off of her, okay? I can and go back in and say, um, I need to retouch your skin. I could come in and clean up blemishes. Nothing too severe it all. So it clean up blemishes. Spot healing. Smooth out her skin a little bit. Okay, this is where I would then maybe try my output sharpener, maybe bring some detail out in the box that she's sitting on or bring a little more contrast store face. So I'm going to go to my output sharpener. Let's test and see what structure does code on here. Let me zoom out a little, all right? And I could get a preview when I look here. So let's add a little bit of structure. All right, so I do before and after. Let's take a look kind of sliding this around. You know, I've add some crunchiness and some texture to the boots into the box she sitting on. So apply that and then I'm going to mess with the colors and Nick, and that's one way that I just kind of make it look a little more fashion for it. There's a lot of texture that I pull out of the background that I don't want because that my eyes going to go to a lot of texture. I don't want that. I want to look at her. So I'm gonna fill this whole thing with black, go back and just apply the texture to her boots, not to her scan and a wonder skin have more texture, maybe a little bit to the phone and maybe a little bit to her hats. Okay, so, so far, you know, as a lot more impact, I would probably open up in, like, in the picture a little bit more. In general, I still think it's a little dark. Okay, so it's still before and after again. I'm just kind of focus in the I, um I tend to pull out a little bit of color. That wasn't a lot of color in this picture anyway. But I can pull out a little bit of vibrance, so it starts to look kind of more fashiony. I can add a little bit of a warm tone. It's a tiny bit at a little bit. So before and after for this picture, you know, it looks a lot better. Um, and just real quick. Let's see. I can see if I be. I'm inspired by any of the nick, um, presets for this. So let's go to color effects and I'll click through and there might be something I like. The same thing, too, is you don't need to have these effects at 100%. So if I say likes cross processing now, that's kind of cute, but I don't like it a strong I can always back off, and they're all there's all these different. There's 1,000,000 different presets. So maybe I like this one. So okay, and it's given me kind of ah, cross process feel. So here's a before and after for this photo. So I just developed something that I know that my clients like and what they like is it, like, focusing in on their face? And they like something that looks like a shot that they couldn't have taken, which might even be just messing with the color a little bit. And that's why I also for my client's originally, I would always shoot my really, really wide aperture lenses. So one point fours and two points because everybody has a camera nowadays, but everybody has 1.4, and it was a good way for me to say like, Okay, just your eyes and focus. Do that. You know, you can't do that with your camera. That was a good place for me to start, but also in my post processing. Besides just applying, you know something basic that you get online for photo processing. A question from M. Walton to clarify when you use the word blend. Are you always referring to using the brush tool with an effect? OK, so it's one of two things. If I say blend, I might be talking about blend modes. Kate change a blend mode, but usually is. I'm adding a layer mask and then using a brush at a lesser opacity to try to blend in the edges and make it a little softer, or bring back some of the original detail. But usually if I'm blending, it means I've added a mask, and I'm taking the top level and blending it with layer below kind of blending two different layers. Thank you. I had a Charlotte asked, Would you complete skin retouching before using nick effects? Yeah, Usually I tend to save that for the end, because I don't know what I like. And then I also don't know what my client will like. And so if they change their mind, I'm stuck. Um, one of the things that, if you know what they like ahead of time, I have to do less retouching on her skin in this photo than I do in this photo. Because if you're looking here, she has all the detail in her skin and darker, and there's a lot of texture here. It's slightly blown out, but I would have to do less retouching because there's not going to be as much detail in her cheeks. So you may be able to save yourself a little bit of time, right? A question from Kim Hee Hee is what is the difference between the between structure and nick, and the clarity is lighter in light. Rumor camera structure is just much more intense. It's just using a different algorithm. It's the same kind of idea. Where is clarity is just increasing contrast. The structure is looking around for all the details. It's increasing contrast around those details to enhance them versus just taking mid tone contrast, which will make your picture pop a little bit. It actually brings out detail. But if you don't have structure, clarity is the next best thing for sure. And the CS six clarity. You can pump it up much too much, higher strength, and you can in older versions of clarity. They changed the algorithm just a little bit. And it works better with less. Hey, lowing Mike W ass how you keep track of all the adjustments you make in case a client comes back and wants your the same effect. Applied to another photo very carefully, huh? No, it's That's one of those things were ideally, I did it in. Um well, first, all Nick will tell you if you did something and neck it labels it. So say I use cross processing C E p. Four. So it tells me what I did. I always keep a PSD or a tiff with all of my layers. I could break it down. And whenever I'm retouching a photo and I get something I like in light room, I can always say that saved that as a preset and reapply it to another photo. So if there's something I really like to save it as a preset, but as long as I have my light room and I haven't deleted that photo. I actually have track of every change that I made right there. So whether it's layers or whether it's in the preset or write in light room, it's there. That being said, sometimes it's like, Oh, man, I have to make it look just like that again. So we've been talking about a lot of different plug ins, which has been fantastic, and mod photography is asking with all of these ones. If someone is on a budget, isn't it? Isn't able to get all of these are getting isn't able to. Our isn't open to getting all these to try out which one would be good to do more diverse amount of things. And I don't know if or maybe you could talk about maybe just kind of re capping which ones you use for which, and I'll tell you what the different things that exist are real quick in my description. Okay, so the visa visa allows you to really control your photo using control points so I can say, click a control point and say, pull out texture here. So pull out structure and then click on the face and say Increase contrast here. And so it's kind of like, um, using masks in photo shop. But it's easier and you have more control, and it makes better selection. So if you hate masking and you know you want, you need to improve your photography by doing lots of little selections. Kind of like I've shown darkening down the edges and lightening up the center. That might be a good one. HDR effects is great if you do composites for HDR backgrounds or if you shoot landscapes and you want to have something for HDR. Color effects is for lots and lots of different effects. When there's endless and you can watch them, they're tutorials to see if there's anything you want. I what I use it most for. If there's a tool called Contrast on Lee, which I tend to like, it looks really pretty for adding contrast in my photos makes it pop a little bit, and then mostly they're kind of cross processing vintage because you guys know instagram and whatnot. There's really popular right now. I hate to say it so, but Nick makes prettier versions with more control than if you were gonna do take somebody's photo and run it through Instagram. So it's kind of like the Instagram presets, Um, but Nick and there's tons more. Um, if you don't want to do that, there's a lot of free presets out there on the Internet for light room. Um, silver effects Pro makes converting to black and white really easy. If I open up a file, let's just open up even this one. This is the file haven't opened up yet. Going to click OK, open if it opened up in silver effects. The reason I like it is the previews. It gives you a lot of different examples where I could just kind of scroll through and see what I like best. And I can always modify it so I can see which black and white conversion is best. There's vintage. There's, um I've found that I really liked this for doing bridal portrait CE because I could pick maybe this one where adds an edge of in yet and grain and it looks like a really old bridal image. So this again, it kind of saves me from having to tweak in photo shop. Maybe I want something like that. That's a really cool effect on, and that's in Silver effects Pro. So it's anything that's kind of C p a. Black and white, black and white conversions. And you have all those controls you have in all the other Nick programs, Um, and then sharpener Pro. Um, if you shoot really wide open a lot and your pictures that aren't quite so focused, I shoot up 1.82 point. Oh, a lot. And so I find that useful four on one, the ones that I use most if I just summarized your sharpener pro most, Um and I mean, if I'm going to do anything with HDR, I need that plug in cause I get frustrated with any anything else you like. The built in one. So sharper is what I used most to try to improve. My image is I do like silver effects, a swell and then if I had to fix something from on one, that's my favorite perfect mask, for sure, because I hate masking. It's such a pain, and I hate making selections. So perfect mask would be used most frequently. Perfect resize. I used a lot when I was shooting a smaller megapixel camera. And then portraiture is my one must have for me. If I had to choose and you plug in, that would be the one.