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Exposure & Color Corrections, Part 2

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • Comparing Camera RAW Results with Editor's Manual Exposure and Color 1:01
    • Comparing Camera RAW Results with Editor's Manual Exposure and Color
  • Removing a Color Cast 4:45
    • Removing a Color Cast
    • Color Variations
  • Correcting Skin Tones 10:49
    • Correcting Skin Tones
  • Converting to Black & White 13:59
    • Converting to Black & White
  • Creating a Sepia Tone Image 18:14
    • Creating a Sepia Tone Image

Transcription: Exposure & Color Corrections, Part 2

Hi, everyone--Mike Brown back again with another lesson for you in Adobe Photoshop Elements from!0000

In our last lesson, Exposure and Color Corrections: Part 1, I showed you the auto and manual exposure and color adjustment correction tools inside of the Editor, both in Expert, Quick, and Guided.0008

We took this image, starting from here, and, by utilizing...first checking auto to see if that would help the image, and then moving on to Shadows and Highlights and Levels, and then using Hue Saturation, we got the image to here.0031

Without having to make any specific adjustments, just overall corrections, the image looks fabulous.0053

What I wanted to do to start Part 2 is fill in a blank that I left.0061

You could (and, as I always talk in the workflow, the first thing to try to do is) open your image into Camera Raw and make adjustments--preliminary adjustments--there, and bring it into Editor.0068

So, let's go ahead quickly and do that with this image that we worked in the last lesson.0079

I'm going to open up that raw file into Camera Raw, and I'm going to make sure that everything is set at the default 0.0085

There is the same image, and what we're going to do is just the simple stuff, right down the basic panel here.0093

We're going to hit some clarity, which is slightly snapping things; we're going to pull the highlights down (obviously, we need to do that--we still need to go more with that); shadows--we can open up just slightly; increase the contrast a tiny bit, and drop the exposure a little bit, and pull up Vibrance and Hue Saturation.0100

There we have a start, but we still have a lot to go in terms of the foreground, and that is pretty much it--maybe a little in the water.0121

So, we're going to go ahead and open the image...and here is where we have it; we'll duplicate the layer, and what we need to do now is exposure and color.0131

Color looks pretty good, but we need exposure changed, so we're going to do Enhance, Lighting, starting with the Shadows and Highlights is the way I like to do it, set it at 0, and we can see that we need to bring the highlights down in that shoreline--and there it comes, right there.0140

We have good detail in there; open up the shadows just a little bit and snap the mid-tone contrast; that looks pretty good.0157

Let's just see what we have done with the History panel: we went from there--that is what we got out of Camera Raw; that was the manual controls; and it looks pretty good right now.0167

Let's compare it to what we did before: there is that one, and there is the one we just did.0177

I see that perhaps the Hue Saturation and exposure could be improved, even a little bit more, over here; so, we're going to go ahead and go hit Levels and see what happens if we snap the contrast just a little bit more.0185

There it is; open up the black point just a tiny bit, click OK, and I still think we need hue saturation on the reds, so we're going to go to Enhance, Color, Hue Saturation, take our red channel, and bring up that earth by increasing that saturation--that looks pretty good, right there.0206

Let's go ahead with the blues and pop that just a little bit more.0228

Let's see how that compares, now, with what we did.0232

There was that one; and there is the one we just did--pretty close, but the whole point here is that you can do it either way; but I would suggest that putting Camera Raw into your workflow will give you a slight advantage and cut down on the amount of time that it actually takes to do it.0235

You can do it either way, but you can see that Camera Raw helped us out just a little bit here.0257

OK, that demonstration is just to show you that you can get the same thing without or with Camera Raw; it just helps you along by giving you some preliminary start.0262

That takes care of Camera Raw--comparing that with the manual exposure and color in Editor.0276

Let's move on to removing a color cast.0285

Once again, we go to Camera Raw; let me open up an image in Camera Raw.0290

Again, we're comparing Camera Raw with the Editor Expert workspace.0300

Here is that image that you have seen before in my white balance example; this was shot in daylight with a tungsten white balance, so it has this severe blue cast.0304

To correct the color is so simple: you just take the temperature slider and move it until it looks right, which should be somewhere around 5000 degrees Kelvin, and it's done; all the colors are accurate; we just corrected the color temperature, and it's completely done.0314

That is how easy it is.0333

Now, we're going to go ahead and set that back to 0 and open it up in Photoshop.0334

There are color cast correction options in Photoshop, but it's a lot better to work it in Camera Raw: as you can see, that was easy--just move the temperature slider.0340

To correct it here (we're going to duplicate our layer), go to the Enhance menu, Color, Remove Color Cast.0352

This tool--I'm just going to show it to you; I don't really like it that much (oops, I opened the wrong tool).0361

Color, Remove Color Cast--it leaves it mostly up to you: this is a little eyedropper, and you click the eyedropper on a part of the image that you think should be either neutral gray, pure white, or pure black, and the computer will correct accordingly.0367

The street should be neutral gray; I click that, and it doesn't look too bad, but it has this odd yellow cast to it--too much yellow.0387

So, we'll come back up here--let's try the house over here.0397

Still, too yellow; let's try the fence.0403

Not too bad, but it's still too yellow, and this odd color in the, let's just hit the fence on pure white; it didn't do much.0407

Reset; let's try another shot in there; in other words, what you are getting here is, this is not an easy tool.0416

You have to be lucky and actually hit a spot in your image that would be purely neutral gray, and have it fix it.0425

I don't like this tool particularly; it's much better to use color temperature sliders in Photoshop Elements.0434

OK, so that talks about the color cast, but there is another way to remove a color cast, and that is with color variations.0442

Basically, what has happened here is we have blue all over the image; that affects the greens; it affects the whites; it affects the blues; it affects the reds; it affects the yellows.0455

So, what we want to do is remove the blue.0466

The only problem is that, when you put a filter, if you will (which is what you have here), over an image--let's say it's blue like this--blue affects red differently than it affects yellow and differently than it affects green, so the intensity levels are changed differently for each individual color.0469

In reality, the color temperature is the only way to correct it perfectly, but we're going to try to remove blue.0492

What we have here is before and after; you can work on mid-tones, shadows, highlights, saturation, and adjust the amount of intensity that you're removing.0499

We're going to set it right here so we do it a little bit at a time.0510

We're going to start with the mid-tones; this is before; this is after; and the only reason I don't like this tool so much is that I can't see the actual results up close.0514

We can increase red or decrease red, same with green, same with blue, or lighten it and darken it.0526

Exposure is fine; we want to decrease blue, so we hit that, and every time you do, it affects the right-hand one (let's up it a little bit here); notice, you see that it's getting less blue.0532

It's hard to see, though; right now, it looks pretty decent, right about there, but you don't get a preview, and you have to deal with the small image.0546

I'm going to go ahead and click OK and see what we've done.0556

We got it this far, and I can see that it's a little too green, so we'll go back, Color, Color Variations, and now we'll decrease the green.0560

Let's increase it, looks a little bit better; let's work in the shadow areas and take the green out of the shadows, and click OK, and see what we have now.0573

That is not bad, actually, after we played with it; it still has a little green in the street, so I'm going to go back: Enhance, Color, Color Variations; decrease the green another shot; click OK, and it's getting fairly close.0590

One more time: Color Variations; let's decrease the green in the shadows, and let's hit it in the mid-tones, and see what that does.0608

There we go--that did a pretty decent job, but it took a few tries, and it's not as easy and quick and accurate as the color temperature slider.0618

Enhance, Color, Remove Color Cast--difficult at best; Color Variations--takes a little time; it's better to open your image into Camera Raw and adjust the Color Temperature slider.0628

There is how we remove a color cast in Adobe Photoshop Elements.0644

Correcting skin tones: here is a shot that was taken--this is a friend of mine and her daughter and her grandson, and you can see that--they're Latino, so the skin has a little bit of a yellow cast to them, but not a lot like this, so the skin is way over yellow, and you can see that there is blue on the wall and in their eyes.0650

Other than that, the exposure is pretty good.0675

So what we'll do is duplicate the layer, go to the Enhance menu, Adjust Color, Adjust Color for Skin Tone; and we get this box; click on any person's skin--it will adjust the entire photo.0677

If you're not satisfied, again, reset and do like the color cast removal; it's kind of like that, but this one works pretty well.0692

Let's just try a spot and see how that works; that wasn't good enough--let's use it right here; that looks pretty good, but I can see that now we have a little blue cast to it, so we can play with the tan and the blush.0700

If we take out yellow, you can see that went out; we take out the blush (we removed too much there).0714

You can do the color temperature shift here, as well--warmer and cooler--but I think we want to leave that pretty much...that looks like very natural skin tones on the three of them, but it's colored by this excess blue.0720

What we're going to do is accept OK on that; in other words, it went from here to here, which is an improvement, but now we need to get the blue out, so we'll do a second pass and we'll use another tool.0738

Enhance, Color, Hue Saturation--and we'll use an individual channel of cyans and blues to take that blue out of there.0751

Let's just pop it up; you can see the blue in the teeth and in the eyes and on the wall; so let's start with cyan and just remove it.0761

It took a little bit out; let's go to the blue and remove that; and you can see right away--look--the teeth--watch the eyes and the teeth; snap them up; click OK; zoom it out, and we started from here; with the color correction for skin tone, we got it to there; and with the hue saturation, we got it to there, and it looks very, very natural.0769

The key here is that you're going to actually use the skin tone, but you're going to also use it in conjunction with another tool, hue saturation.0793

That is the way everything usually works: there is no magic button that is going to make everything right; one thing will help you--another thing will take you further.0804

Like the Shadows and Highlights was good on the picture, and we added the Levels to it, and it snapped it a little more, then used Hue Saturation to pop it, so there were three items--in this case, we used the skin tone and hue saturation to get it there.0815

This is the way things work, all right?0831

Let's get this one red again...0834

Correcting skin tones; converting an image to black and white--all right, let's take a look at this image right here, which has been corrected nicely in color; it looks beautiful.0837

We're going to make a black-and-white out of it.0848

We're going to make two layers here and do this two different ways.0850

We're just going to desaturate first, which is what most people would do: we'll go to the Enhance menu, go to the Adjust Color, and over to Hue Saturation or Remove Color--either one (Remove Color simply will desaturate all of the color out of the image).0855

If you--just to show you a comparison, we'll undo that and go to Enhance, Color, Hue Saturation, and Desaturate; same thing.0874

Now it's black and white; you think, "OK, we have a black-and-white image"; not yet, because look--it's kind of flat and doesn't have a lot of snap to it.0885

We could go in with an exposure control--let's say Shadows and Highlights--we'll leave the shadows where they were, pull the highlights down a little bit, and snap the contrast, and that helps, but it's still just OK.0894

I'm going to turn that layer off and go to this layer: we'll go to the Enhance menu, to Convert to Black and White.0909

What that is going to do is give us this box with before and after, and the preview will show over here, so we can move this down.0917

You have presets we'll start with; there is an infrared effect--kind of cool--actually, that is really cool; newspaper effect--blown out; portraits--pretty much desaturated, like we had before; scenic landscape--a little flat, but it enhanced that--that's pretty good; urban snapshots; and vivid landscapes--I kind of like that, but it needs a little help.0924

But what you see is, with each one of these, notice, the slider has changed; what we have in the sliders here are red, green, and blue channels of the RGB, as well as the contrast.0948

What we're going to do is, let's play with them a little bit and see what else we can improve on.0961

Let's go with the blues, darken the blues a little bit--let's bring them down just a little--yes, I like that (oops, it went crazy on me).0966

There are the blues darkened, the greens up, reds up--let's open that blue just a tiny bit--and there is a pretty good-looking image.0981

I think that red has to come down--just a little too bright; there--we'll click OK, and now, there is a very dramatic black-and-white image, as compared with purely desaturated.0993

Now, we can do one more thing here; let's go to the Enhance, Lighting, and let's go to...I would say...let's try Shadows and Highlights and see what happens.1009

Bring highlights up a little bit, open the shadows up a taste (whoa, stop--it's going nuts--my brush is catching on it--there we go), and let's snap that contrast just a little bit--there we go--a little bit more, and click OK, and there is our final result.1023

Desaturated--that is the best we could do; but using the Enhance, Convert to Black and White, adjusting the various channels, and then using Levels or Shadows and Highlights, this is what we came up with--a very dramatic black-and-white image.1045

The bottom line is, desaturation isn't going to give you the best result, using the kind (and again, it was a combination; you noticed we used Convert to Black and White, and we also used Shadows and Highlights and/or Levels to come up with this final, balanced image, where we popped the foliage, darkened the sky and the water, and just snapped the overall and gave it some depth).1063

Now, we can go one step further.1089

That was converting to a black-and-white; now, let's make a sepia tone image.1092

You can do this directly from either a color or converted to a black-and-white.1096

I like to convert it to the black-and-white first, because, if you remember the one we were just on, this is what you're going to get with desaturation, which is basically what would happen when you convert directly from a color.1101

It's not adjusting the channels--it just takes the color out.1117

So, we're going to take this layer that we have made black-and-white, and we'll convert it to a sepia tone by going to the Enhance menu, Color, to Adjust Hue and Saturation.1120

There is our Hue Saturation box, and nothing is going to happen, plus or minus, because it's now black-and-white; but over here, on the right-hand corner, notice a check box that is unchecked, called Colorize.1135

We just check that box, and it instantly adds a tonality and a saturation; so now, we can adjust the hue to anything we want.1148

Here is that kind of an old-time sepia-tone color (right about there--just a little bit more).1158

I like that; and we can up the saturation or drop it down, as you wish, and click OK, and instantly, we went from the black-and-white to a sepia-tone, old-fashioned look.1168

Very simple, but again, the best way is not to do this directly with a color; it's to take your color image (let's do it with this one right here--we'll do one more copy; this will be the last one I'll deal with on this); we're going to copy it; we're going to go to Enhance, Convert to Black and White, and (let's see...I think we were using) let's try the best ones in here and see what works the best.1183

Vivid, Vivid Landscape, Scenic Landscape...Vivid Landscape; let's bring our blues down, and you can see the sky came down; open up the greens a little bit; reds down; snap the contrast; blue should come down just a hair more.1213

There we go: that is probably about the best we can do with this one.1242

There is our black-and-white conversion; actually, I should have done this from the best one; let's duplicate that--that was the problem.1250

Now, I'll do this (sorry about that): go back to Convert to Black and White very quickly; Scenic Landscape looks pretty good; snap the contrast, and that looks pretty nice.1262

Now, we have that versus the desaturation; now, we go to Enhance, Color, Hue Saturation (I was working on the original image; that is why it didn't look so good; let me cancel and show you).1274

That is what I got, because I had forgotten that this was the image we had worked on.1289

So, you go to the Enhance, Color, Hue Saturation, Colorize, adjust your hue, adjust the saturation accordingly, and there you have a black-and-white version of that image.1293

Personally, I think the color, in this case, looks a lot better.1309

OK, there you have it: how to create a sepia tone image from either a color or a black-and-white.1314

That wraps up how to deal with exposure and color: auto, manual, color, black-and-white, removing color casts, and (let's go back to that) skin tones and color variations in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11.1323

I'll see you back in the next lesson!1343