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Conrad Tan
Offline
Upload & Sell: Off
An Informal Tutorial II


Hello all! Its been a couple of years since I posted my original TUTORIAL. Some slight modifications have been added since then and I thought I\'d share a fairly detailed tutorial to help those out who are having any trouble with post processing. I hope this helps you get the most of your files. I\'ve always believed in giving back to the forum that\'s given me so much. Many will find these steps old, others might find them brand new! Some will disagree with the logic in a step or two, and to them I happily ask input for a better step in that place. I\'m no Photoshop guru, I\'ve only put this together from contributions from all the wonderful people who have given me a nugget of information here and there!

I found more and more people using Lightroom when I try to help them out. So I started this one using Lightroom to initially process my RAW file. The steps here work with Adobe Camera Raw as well if you don\'t have Lightroom.

1. First open in Lightroom






2. Then crop. I always try to follow as close as I can the rule of thirds, giving the subject room to look or fly into and not center the subject too much if at all possible.






3. Let\'s say you\'ve over exposed your subject. This is probably what it looks like. Ouch... As you can see from the histogram, the right arrow is lit telling you you\'ve got color values above 255 (Blown)






4. Or say you went the other way and underexposed it... Ouch again... This time the left arrow on the histogram is lit saying there are SUPER dark areas below 0.






5. Let\'s start with the overexposed version. Working on the underexposed is just a matter of using the BLACKS slider instead of the EXPOSURE or HIGHLIGHTS slider. If your photograph is only slightly overexposed then the HIGHLIGHTS slider should be sufficient to recover the details in the whites.






6. Again, either the HIGHLIGHTS or EXPOSURE sliders will allow this function to occur. Hold the ALT (Command on MAC) and slide the slider to the left until the whole image goes black.






7. This is what you finally want to see. There are no more color values above 255 which equals zero blown whites.






8. The following are steps if you have an underexposed image such as this exaggerated example.






9. All manner of crazy colors happen at this step if you hold the ALT (Command for MAC) button! What you want when working with underexposed areas now is to use your BLACKS slider and move to the right, causing the whole image to go white.






10. Again use the BLACKS slider until you see the beginnings of this






11. After this step, you\'ll see a completely white screen. This tells you you\'ve got color values below 0 which translates to good exposure in the dark areas.






12. Let go of the ALT (Command in MAC) and POOF! The image should be looking pretty good now. Here I play with the clarity, vibrance, color, white balance, contrast, saturation, all to my personal taste. Don\'t go crazy here, a little goes a long way.






13. This section is an aside. As I was not in the most favorable position when I took this photo (sun to my right) it created a shadow to the left of the bird. The whole warm feeling of the photograph IMHO is ruined by the touch of blue in the shaded area of the bird. Many won\'t see this, or even care, or even like it, but for me, it drives me crazy. So...






14. Poof! Gone!






15. Now this is an area of much debate. Some never do it, some over do it. This is my middle ground take of how it should be used.






16. Moving down to the DETAILS tab... This is to show the SHARPENING effect.






17. This is an exaggerated version to show the RADIUS effect






18. This is the RADIUS properly executed.






19. Now for the DETAIL slider






20. Next is the maximum I like to use for the DETAIL






21. For some reason I love this step visually The MASKING slider, from what I understand, is used to remove noise. Read on.






22. Cool huh?






23. Now you\'re done with Lightroom! Time to right click on the image and open in Photoshop!






24. I don\'t enter my photos in many contests, so I choose to remove and and clone and alter parts in my images that I find distracting. The ones I have that I have entered in contests (and have never won) I don\'t do this step to. If you have the means, get the latest Photoshop, the spot healing tool is super easy to use.






25. Now for Noise Removal. I used to have Noise Ninja for this step, but my computer crashed and I had to buy a new NR software and heard this was a good one.






26. The next few steps are entirely withing Neat Image, again you can use any noise removal plug-in at this level. Just run it with care not to wipe out the fine details in your subject! If you do, you can use a mask layer to reintroduce the detail back onto your subject. Those steps can be found in my OLD tutorial again
HERE

Neat Image does a terrific job of preserving the fine details so I don\'t have to do the old mask step in my old tutorial.






27. The final NR tweak






28. Now for resizing for posting!






29. Many like to post smaller sized for those who still have teeny tiny monitors. For those people I say, GET A BIGGER MONITOR!






30. For the sharpening step to follow, I make sure I\'m working with what everyone else is seeing. I cannot emphasize enough that you must have a color calibrated monitor of the highest resolution you can afford especially if you are eye balling all of this!






31. In my old tutorial, I used a global sharpening at this step using Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. This I learned would often create halos if over used. The following steps I\'ve learned makes for a better way to sharpen without halos.






32. On the right lower area of your screen you\'ll see that you\'re on Layers. Click on Channels and follow the steps below.






33. Now we are ready to sharpen the Lightness area only. Again if there are any Photoshop gurus out there that can explain why this step was necessary please enlighten us! I\'m curious as to the logic.






34. Smartsharpen Window pops up. Use these values (or values you see fit until you get the results you like)






35. Click back the little eyeballs so you can see the different channels again.






36. No need for this step if you are not friends with Chad (72chevelle454), then you probably don\'t have this action he created. Please PM him if you would like to know more about it! Its a tool he calls Chad Action which lets you see blown whites (shaded in red) and underexposed darks (shaded in blue). I run the action at this step just as a check to make sure I\'m on the right path. All I cared about is the whites, the darks didn\'t matter to me in this particular photograph.






37. Now to pretty it up! Fred Miranda sells this borders action I use in every one of my photos. I think it gives photographs on your screen a little pop! Thanks Fred!






38. Don\'t forget this step, otherwise you won\'t be able to save it as a JPG for posting






39. I run my signature copy-write action and presto!






40. The finished product!






For those who are interested, I\'ve taken the liberty of turning this whole thing into a PDF for a download below. I hope you find it useful. Thanks again for being patient and reading through yet another huge post from me!


PDF for Download I

Also I\'ve recently been asked by a magazine, what I do to get the photographs I do. So I wrote a little article about it and it was published in a far away land. (seriously) I am including this link for a download as well just for my FM friends!

PDF for Download II



Feb 15, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Conrad Tan
Offline
Upload & Sell: Off
An Informal Tutorial II


Hello all! Its been a couple of years since I posted my original TUTORIAL. Some slight modifications have been added since then and I thought I\'d share a fairly detailed tutorial to help those out who are having any trouble with post processing. I hope this helps you get the most of your files. I\'ve always believed in giving back to the forum that\'s given me so much. Many will find these steps old, others might find them brand new! Some will disagree with the logic in a step or two, and to them I happily ask input for a better step in that place. I\'m no Photoshop guru, I\'ve only put this together from contributions from all the wonderful people who have given me a nugget of information here and there!

I found more and more people using Lightroom when I try to help them out. So I started this one using Lightroom to initially process my RAW file. The steps here work with Adobe Camera Raw as well if you don\'t have Lightroom.

1. First open in Lightroom






2. Then crop. I always try to follow as close as I can the rule of thirds, giving the subject room to look or fly into and not center the subject too much if at all possible.






3. Let\'s say you\'ve over exposed your subject. This is probably what it looks like. Ouch... As you can see from the histogram, the right arrow is lit telling you you\'ve got color values above 255 (Blown)






4. Or say you went the other way and underexposed it... Ouch again... This time the left arrow on the histogram is lit saying there are SUPER dark areas below 0.






5. Let\'s start with the overexposed version. Working on the underexposed is just a matter of using the BLACKS slider instead of the EXPOSURE or HIGHLIGHTS slider. If your photograph is only slightly overexposed then the HIGHLIGHTS slider should be sufficient to recover the details in the whites.






6. Again, either the HIGHLIGHTS or EXPOSURE sliders will allow this function to occur. Hold the ALT (Command on MAC) and slide the slider to the left until the whole image goes black.






7. This is what you finally want to see. There are no more color values above 255 which equals zero blown whites.






8. The following are steps if you have an underexposed image such as this exaggerated example.






9. All manner of crazy colors happen at this step if you hold the ALT (Command for MAC) button! What you want when working with underexposed areas now is to use your BLACKS slider and move to the right, causing the whole image to go white.






10. Again use the BLACKS slider until you see the beginnings of this






11. After this step, you\'ll see a completely white screen. This tells you you\'ve got color values below 0 which translates to good exposure in the dark areas.






12. Let go of the ALT (Command in MAC) and POOF! The image should be looking pretty good now. Here I play with the clarity, vibrance, color, white balance, contrast, saturation, all to my personal taste. Don\'t go crazy here, a little goes a long way.






13. This section is an aside. As I was not in the most favorable position when I took this photo (sun to my right) it created a shadow to the left of the bird. The whole warm feeling of the photograph IMHO is ruined by the touch of blue in the shaded area of the bird. Many won\'t see this, or even care, or even like it, but for me, it drives me crazy. So...






14. Poof! Gone!






15. Now this is an area of much debate. Some never do it, some over do it. This is my middle ground take of how it should be used.






16. Moving down to the DETAILS tab... This is to show the SHARPENING effect.






17. This is an exaggerated version to show the RADIUS effect






18. This is the RADIUS properly executed.






19. Now for the DETAIL slider






20. Next is the maximum I like to use for the DETAIL






21. For some reason I love this step visually The MASKING slider, from what I understand, is used to remove noise. Read on.






22. Cool huh?






23. Now you\'re done with Lightroom! Time to right click on the image and open in Photoshop!






24. I don\'t enter my photos in many contests, so I choose to remove and and clone and alter parts in my images that I find distracting. The ones I have that I have entered in contests (and have never won) I don\'t do this step to. If you have the means, get the latest Photoshop, the spot healing tool is super easy to use.






25. Now for Noise Removal. I used to have Noise Ninja for this step, but my computer crashed and I had to buy a new NR software and heard this was a good one.






26. The next few steps are entirely withing Neat Image, again you can use any noise removal plug-in at this level. Just run it with care not to wipe out the fine details in your subject! If you do, you can use a mask layer to reintroduce the detail back onto your subject. Those steps can be found in my OLD tutorial again
HERE

Neat Image does a terrific job of preserving the fine details so I don\'t have to do the old mask step in my old tutorial.






27. The final NR tweak






28. Now for resizing for posting!






29. Many like to post smaller sized for those who still have teeny tiny monitors. For those people I say, GET A BIGGER MONITOR!






30. For the sharpening step to follow, I make sure I\'m working with what everyone else is seeing. I cannot emphasize enough that you must have a color calibrated monitor of the highest resolution you can afford especially if you are eye balling all of this!






31. In my old tutorial, I used a global sharpening at this step using Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. This I learned would often create halos if over used. The following steps I\'ve learned makes for a better way to sharpen without halos.






32. On the right lower area of your screen you\'ll see that you\'re on Layers. Click on Channels and follow the steps below.






33. Now we are ready to sharpen the Lightness area only. Again if there are any Photoshop gurus out there that can explain why this step was necessary please enlighten us! I\'m curious as to the logic.






34. Smartsharpen Window pops up. Use these values (or values you see fit until you get the results you like)






35. Click back the little eyeballs so you can see the different channels again.






36. No need for this step if you are not friends with Chad (72chevelle454), then you probably don\'t have this action he created. Please PM him if you would like to know more about it! Its a tool he calls Chad Action which lets you see blown whites (shaded in red) and underexposed darks (shaded in blue). I run the action at this step just as a check to make sure I\'m on the right path. All I cared about is the whites, the darks didn\'t matter to me in this particular photograph.






37. Now to pretty it up! Fred Miranda sells this borders action I use in every one of my photos. I think it gives photographs on your screen a little pop! Thanks Fred!






38. Don\'t forget this step, otherwise you won\'t be able to save it as a JPG for posting






39. I run my signature copy-write action and presto!






40. The finished product!






For those who are interested, I\'ve taken the liberty of turning this whole thing into a PDF for a download below. I hope you find it useful. Thanks again for being patient and reading through yet another huge post from me!


PDF for Download



Feb 15, 2013 at 05:04 AM





  Previous versions of Conrad Tan's message #11350145 « An Informal Tutorial II »

 




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