Polishing in Post Part 1


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Polishing in Post Part 1

we're going to start talking about what I call polishing it in post meaning post processing your images because what comes out of your camera is just raw material and if you expect your camera to give you you know a finished image there then you'll want to be shooting j pegs because that's when the camera's processes the image instead of you and if you shoot j pegs then in your camera's menu system you will have the choice of how saturated your pictures should be how much contrast they should have how sharp they should be that kind of stuff and sometimes they're called picture styles and other times they have other names depending on your camera but it's on ly if you're shooting in jpeg format that the images processed in the camera it's enhanced in the camera and it might look somewhat okay when it comes out but I don't think you're going to realize the full potential of what you have unless you switch your camera over actually to shooting in raw format raw format captures the raw dat...

a that your camera captured in doesn't manipulated it all it lets you process it here on your computer in tweak it as much as possible using the full amount of data that your camera captured when you instead save a j peg the image has already been processed in the camera and the majority of information in the file has actually been thrown away your camera captures thousands upon thousands upon thousands of brightness levels from a scene and a j peg file saves a total of two hundred fifty six brightness levels but your camera captured thousands and thousands of brightness levels now two hundred fifty six brightness levels is fine it makes your image look just fine all just about any picture look fine with that many brightness almost but you have to make sure the images already optimized and then that's your end result he saved it in if that image needs to be tweaked it all optimized after it's been shot then it be much better to switch your camera over to shooting wrong for men because it's only when you shoot raw format that it captures all of the data that the camera captured and therefore you have those thousands upon thousands of brightness levels to manipulate digitally on your computer when you're completely done doing that you might save the end result of the j peg to give it to a friend but it will have used all those brightness levels from the original in the manipulation of the image to give you a better looking filed then you could get with a jpeg having said that the adjustments that I'm going to show you can be applied j pegs as well you just won't be able to move the sliders as far when you move them to their extremes you'll find the image kind of fall apart when you try to bring back let's say highlight detail you won't be able to when you try to get back extra shatter detail you'll be limited and how much you can and when you try to perform color correction it won't be as easy and the end result won't look as good but if I shoot in raw format in my camera and that's what I adjust then I have the full force of what my camera captured too ah just here I'm going to be able to get much more out of the image so I personally prefer to shoot in raw format I shoot him raw form at about ninety five percent of the time the only time I shoot j peg is if somebody else wants me to take some pictures and I want to give them the card out of my camera and just hand it to him when I'd done and I don't wantto touch those files afterwards or if my card is so full that I can't fit another photo on it and it's the last card I got I still want to take more shots j peg files or smaller so if I switch over to j peg I can probably still fit some more shots on it or I might use j peg win I'm shooting in time lapse if I shoot a time lapse where it takes a picture every three minutes let's say and it does that for five days if I have it do that for raphael is going to end up with quite a few relatively large files he and if I use j pegs instead then I'd have a smaller file size would be easier to deal with all right so let's talk about adjusting our images here some before it after us to give you a sense for it here's before my mouse out of the way here's after the optimized version before which doesn't look too bad are the camera after before mrs iceland after before after before after so the original is just raw material and it's up to you what you want to turn into and as long as we capture a good original then we're going to do pretty good with the optimization here now one of the things I think about when I'm capturing my image is that I wantto most the time make sure that I don't blow up the highlights when I'm shooting in your camera you could often turn on a setting that I call the blink ese but it's officially known is something like the highlight warning or something similar it depends on the brand of camera used as faras what the setting is going to be called but within your menu system if you turn it on if anything within your image gets so bright that it turns solid white it would blink on the back your camera when you're reviewing the file I always have that setting turn on and the only time I really wanted to blink is if there's something that is so bright that would hurt my eyes to look at it the noonday sun headlights of a car of that type of thing little highlights on a stream of water because the sun is reflecting directly off of the you know little areas be fine if those areas blink but most of the time I'm going to try to get an exposure where nothing is blinking unless I did it on purpose by doing it on purpose would be an example of remember that I think that was part of a temple it was just a design and you could see through it to something in the distance I felt that stuff to be a distraction so on purpose I changed my exposure to blow it out toe white sure if I'm doing that where I made that decision on purpose find have lots of stuff blinking but in general if it's a normal shot normal looking image I don't usually want to have the blink ese somewhere now in this particular shot I might have had blinky is over here on the right side here I'm not sure you don't always get the most optimal thing and sometimes you want to ignore rules just to get a good look in shop but most the time I don't want the highlights blown out if I can capture an image without the highlights blown out then I can usually optimize it mold it turned into something much better than it was before so let's look at some images and see how it could improve him the first thing I think about is cropping remember how we talked about um we talked about doing this and camera how if there's something in the image that's not really helping it we're goingto move the camera in such a way that those negative elements are not included well sometimes an image can be improved dramatically simply through cropping and so let's look at a few examples I'm gonna open an image and these are all raw files so if I double click on them I mean bridge right now adobe bridge uh when I double click on him it should open him in photoshopped in camera if you don't own photoshopped you confined the same adjustments that I will apply here in another product that's less expensive that's called adobe light room in light room I really really like in fact had I had these images organized within light room which is what I should've done I'd be in light room right now because it's what I usually adjust by images with but I'm so used to when I come to creative live teaching photo shop that's like the thing I teach here that I didn't set this up in organized it outside of light room and it would just take me some time to get it in there so any of the adjustments you see me apply here in adobe camera raw you could just as easily apply the exact same adjustments in adobe light room in light rooms a great product to work with so first thing I think about is cropping here I was at the albuquerque balloon fiesta if I remember right well actually know this one isn't from this ah this one is actually from southeast asia when I went up in a balloon it just assumed it was the other uh and what I don't like about it is if you look at the corners do you see there's little diagonal elements in the corners that would pull your eye there and it's just not as interesting in those areas and pulling my eyes the corners not helping me so I'm going to go to the crop tool on the upper left you'll find the crop told sitting right here and it's not only a tool that you can click on it's also a menu if you click and hold down you're going to find a a menu here here you could choose different aspect ratios if you know you wanted to square image or anything like that where you can constrain it in different ways that kind of stuff but if you have a set of normal you'll be able to crop it any way you'd like then I click on the image and drag to create a cropping rectangle and decide what part of the s image do I want to keep and what I'm going to do here is get rid of the elements on the right side that are in the corners and you see that shadow that's also there that would be a distraction that might pull my eye over their least pull it into their on the opposite side I'll get rid of what was in the upper left corner and there's a little bit extra detail in the upper left corner like a shadowy area I'll bring it in beyond that and then I'll just look at the image and just decide how much of the image are those categories of things that are neutral things that are negative on that kind of stuff how many of those things can I'm or optimize here and what I notice is on the right side of the frame there's a very bright area that is somewhat distracting for the rest of the image to me my eye goes over here to see what it isthe whereas I think what's more interesting is what's inside so I might come this so bring this over like this and crop out that bright part at the bottom this stuff here is really just neutral stuff that isn't really contributing to the image much so I might bring it up this way and then one thing that I do is if when I'm cropping I'm ever getting anywhere close to being square then I goto perfectly square because being the little a spin off from it feels like an odd shape it's like having a circle that's just a little bit not a circle you know it's almost you just kind of want to pop it back in the you know perfection of a circle so in this case once I brought it in like this I noticed some of this dark stuff on the left I might decide to start bringing out and I'm getting awfully close to a square so I might go up here the crop to a click and hold down on it and I'll choose one to one which means a ratio of with the height where the width and height are the same so I choose that it changes us to a square and now I could just drag it around here and decide what would be the most optimal ah square to use making it so it doesn't hit a brighter area in the lower right it doesn't hit a brighter area in the upper right and then just kind of bringing it around deciding where do I think it would be most optimal and I could bring it in even further if I found sometimes even that but I think having that little curve on the side is kind of fun all right then I just get out of the crop till hit the hand tool and have something that has a little more focus to it lets me come through the image mohr and have a little more interest but click done and we're back to bridge and let's look at other images this image their horizon is cricket and also I have an issue in the upper right where it's really dark often times if you get really dark things in the corners of your images what's happened is your lens hood on your camera got knocked in this thing is at an odd angle it's actually in your frame and I'll show you tomorrow hopefully how to deal with that just to prevent it from happening in the first place depending on what gear you have uh but that's something I want to get rid off and the horizon not being straight so I go up to the tools in the upper left and one of those tools right next to my crop tool is supposed to look like a little level like the kind you'd use the level clock or something and I click on that and then with that tool active I click on the horizon line and I drag to create a line that lines up with the horizon and when I let go it should rotate things to that particular angle it does switch you to the crop tool in if the last time he used the crop tool you had it set to ratio it's going to remember that so I might come in here and set that to normal and then I could come in and crop this manually but now that it's at the right angle see how much of his reflection do I think is useful uh over here get rid of a lot of that neutral sky the sky really isn't doing much to the image so I might come out here something a bit like that after decide if this reflection is really useful to have all the way to his head or if it's okay to maybe cut into it a little bit I find them or horizontal I make the image the more kind of dramatic it becomes the more like a panorama it iss because everybody else's frames what comes out of their camera is a thing it's a four to three ratio the with the height and so many people are so used to that that the more you get to a wide ratio or a very tall one uh usually the more dramatic it starts to look so I'll switch back to the hand tool to signify that I'm done using the crop tool and therefore I'll see my end result if I did this in light room would be nice because I would have actually seen a preview of the end result as I was cropping it meaning that the image itself would have been rotated and I would have seen the cropping rectangle be a straight rectangle on top of that it could be nice so notice he's just a little bit off center I don't like popping too many things directly in the center and again it's nice to put a reflection and things on both sides to keep it looking good now one advantage of working with a camera that is higher resolution than others is that you can do cropping this camera here I don't remember the exact resolution but I think it's either twenty two megapixels or twenty for mega pixels which is relatively high you could make relatively large prints with that compared to a camera that would be let's say sixteen megapixels in size that means you could do a smaller enlargement of that image is when you have an excess of information then you can come in here and crop into this much tighter than otherwise so in this case we're in iceland is a stream going by there's a nice church here and everything and I'm just going to focus muchmore down there in the interesting parts of this image which I think would be the stream and the church and then maybe just not cut into too many clouds decide how would I want to get this focused and I might even bring it in this far on that side about like that on the opposite side I'm looking for any complexities that air out there's a little bridge and some other details actually might want to cut out those trees if I get a really close to the corner then I should probably completely get rid of him I see the edge of the mountain here it's there's like a they're special spots in an image where it seems to be good to cut it right in the middle of a little bit of a tree not so good bring it over so it's clean right where these two are kind of hitting hitting right in these kind of notches where these things combined together usually creates a more clean image like either they're or there and then I'll go back to my hand tool and I think that's a lot better than the old one where we saw a lot more but that's the one main advantage of having ah larger mega mega pixel camera is you can get away with cropping and still be able to print a relatively large image and in fact let me see if I have you here if you're not used to thinking about mega pixels on the left side these air different megapixels just say no megapixel is not a special term it's uh all it means is millions of pixels so an eight megapixel camera delivers eight million pixels total so that means if you were to take the width of the image in pixels in multiplied by the height of the image in pixels you would have approximately eight million pixels total that's all megapixel means so these are the dimensions of these various megapixel cameras in pixels when you print those images you have to decide how big those pixels should be and usually the lowest I would want to go to is about two hundred for most things and this tells you approximately what size print you could do from those various cameras so mine is about a twenty four megapixel camera I could do a twenty by thirty print with that that's pretty big and if I didn't need to make something that big that I can end up cropping that image quite a bit and still make a pretty good sized image it's when you buy something like a sixteen megapixel camera sixteen by twenty four inch prints it all depends how big you need to print these things that determines how many megapixels you want to get in your camera but if this number is higher than you typically print then you condemn or cropping on your end and still be able to um get that size you're thinking of all right then let's start adjusting some images I'm going to find images that are a little too dark a little too bright little too much contrast not enough contrast color issues that kind of stuff to just try to get you a feeling for how the controls work in adobe camera which gives you the same adjustments that you'd find in a toby light room which is what I would have if I didn't own photo shop

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.


Ashleigh L

AMAZING CLASS! I caught bits and pieces of the live stream, but even in those bits and pieces of it, I learned so much! He's a great teacher, easy to understand and great visuals. He "walks around" the subject to give us different POV, tells us the negative/positive/neutral of the photo, and tips. Thank you, Ben!