Okay – This is meant to be a tutorial-on-wheels….
As I think of new techniques to share, I’ll post them here when I’ve got the spare time…Tonight, I’ve got a little time for one such
Squeezing the Most Out Of Each Photo
This is a great tutorial to follow along with step-by-step…So feel free to download my sample image or try it out on your own
I’d like to credit Dallas_TX at Worth1000 for the underlying structure of this method he provided in a tutorial on said website…
Any digital photo junkie can do this, and it will turn most ordinary images into great images…All extraordinary images into sublime images
Don’t forget….Variety is the spice of life, so play around with these settings and find out what you like best…Each image calls for its own fine
So let’s get this thing going….
Let’s get a few basic setting out of the way first….Make sure your camera is set to store images in AdobeRGB color format –
Otherwise, you’re eliminating about 25% of your potential color range…
This should be easy enough – It’s probably somewhere in your camera menu – Google it if you can’t find it…
In Photoshop, go to EDIT --> COLOR SETTINGS….Again, make sure RGB is set to AdobeRGB
Can you save your photos in RAW? If so, DO IT!! (RAW is a whole other tutorial)
Okay – Now we’ve got our photo we won’t to enhance…It’s been either pulled straight out of your camera as a TIFF or JPEG, or
you’ve already done some work to it as a RAW:
With original file in hand, open in Photoshop…
Make sure you can see the full image - Ctrl+0 is “fit-on-screen” view
No we’re going to define what areas are true black and true white in the photo - IMAGE --> ADJUSTMENTS --> LEVELS (Ctrl+L)
Set your options they way I have them here:
You’ll also want to click on the black square and change each of the RGB values from 0,0,0 to 12,12,12 – Change the white levels from 250,250,250
to 245,245,245 – Save as defaults – OK
While holding the ALT key, move the far left slider slowly to the right – You’ll begin to see areas of black crop up….The first splotch of black
you see is the darkest spot on your image….We want to tell Photoshop where that is, so select the all black eye-dropper to the far left in that
Levels window and click on time on that dark splotch…
Do the same thing to the far right slider to define the brightest spot on your image and this time, click that brightest spot with the all white
eye-dropper on the far right…
Now just move your sliders on both sides down until they match the respective ends of the histogram, as seen below
: Now let’s add a little more saturation
IMAGE --> ADJUSTMENTS --> HUE/SATURATION (Ctrl+U)
Bump up the saturation until you’re happy…I wouldn’t go over 12-15….
Also, try going to the drop down menu and select any color….doesn’t matter which one for this example….Then, with your default eye-dropper tool
that comes up with the hue/saturation slider menu, click on anything in the image…
I click on green the tractor….But I don’t like green tractors….Do you? I like purple tractors….
So slide that hue bar all the way to left….Voila! Of course, this turns everything else green in the image to purple, but for fine-tuning colors
and/or completely removing them (such as those annoying magenta or cyan tones that can dominate a poorly exposed image) it works wonders…
Actually changing the color of the tractor to purple without affecting anything else…is…well….You guessed it – Another tutorial….
: Save the large file as a TIFF and resize to something you can view in full screen at actual pixels….About 900 wide is a good
marker…or 800 tall
Make sure all your cropping has been done at this point
To get the maximum results out of the next step though, you really need to resize
: I want to see more detail – I want a sharper image without all the grainy noise that comes with it!
FILTER --> SHARPEN --> UNSHARP MASK
Set the Amount to 100 – Radius anywhere between 1.0 to 1.5 – Threshold stays at 0 – OK
Conversely, if you want less detail and more contrast…
Set the Amount to 20 – Radius to 80 – Threshold stays at 0 again – OK
I’m sticking with the sharper image though from our first unsharp mask…It doesn’t hurt sometimes to do both….
If you think the results are too eye-popping and don’t work well, you can still keep that sharpness and simply tone done the harsh lines by going to
EDIT --> FADE UNSHARP MASK
Select “Darken” from the drop-down menu and you’ll see the results immediately
[STEP 7: Now lets add play with the tonality a bit…Go to IMAGE --> ADJUSTMENTS --> CURVES
We’re going to adjust the dark, light and middle tones in an s-curve here….
Your image will not need the same s-curve though – It’s a personal touch….Play with to you get it the way you like it…
That’s about it! Quite a difference!
If you’re going to post an image you manipulate in Photoshop on the web, or send it to someone else who does not use Photoshop, you’ll want to
convert the color profile to sRGB so your image doesn’t lose saturation…
EDIT --> CONVERT TO PROFILE – Then select SRG and OK – Then you can “save for web” with confidence knowing other people will see your image
with the right colors…
Maybe you want to add a border around the image?
IMAGE --> CANVAS SIZE….Select pixels as your unit of measurement, then add 20 to each side and select a color by clicking the square at the bottom
and select OK…Add another if you like…
Let me know how this tutorial works for you, or if you have any questions…
Contrary to popular belief, I do enjoy comments