Showing posts with label Photoshop Curves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photoshop Curves. Show all posts

Monday, November 28, 2011

LIGHTROOM - Getting Tone Curve Sliders back

Light most Adobe products, LIGHTROOM works in "strange and wonderous ways."  This best tool we have for organizing photos is sometimes a "challenge" when editing.  Another case in point is using Tone Curve to edit contrast in a photo.  Tone Curve acts somewhat like Curves in Photoshop.  I discovered a feature the other night that I did not know existed.  Nor did Adobe give an informative way out without combing the depths of the Help Jungle.

When editing a photo using Tone Curve, the slider controls look like this. The default mode.

During a session the other night, I was presented with the following view without consciously doing anything to change the view.  The sliders DISAPPEARED.

I was not a happy.  There is NOTHING obvious to suggest a toggle command or "go back."

When I did a mouse-over on the Linear ICON, this informative message shows:  "Click to stop editing Point Curve."   I did not know that I had started! It should say "return to Slider Mode."  Photographers are clearly not used in Adobe testing, just programmers.

The way to get out of this mode is simple but not obvious: Click the icon at the bottom right and you will be toggled back to "Slider" mode.

By the way, using the Point Curve mode is not bad at all.  It is very much like Photoshop in that you can add points to the line and bend the curve to change contrast.  Here I added two points and shifted their positions to adjust the tones to my liking.  See more on curves here.

Click here to see the Great White Sharks and the rest of the underwater galleries.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Photo Rescue Using Photoshop Curves

Sometimes, shooting circumstances are just not ideal.  Case in point, shooting a singing Humpback Whale.  It is not every day that you get to do this.  If you find a singing whale at all, it is likely to be very deep and you will probably be snorkelling, not using SCUBA. There was no option to handoff the camera to free diving champion Tanya Streeter.   Here is the shot and it needs rescue.

The tones are muted because it breaks every rule in the book: 1. far away from the subject, 2. shooting down, 3. not using strobes, but they would be ineffective at that distance anyway.

Here is the multi-step fix.
NOTE: it is helpful to have a good understanding of using the LEVELS command first.  Recommended resource: Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider.

Press Command + M (Mac) / CTRL + M (Win)  in Photoshop (NOTE: Photoshop Elements does not have this tool).  This is the initial Histogram:

Drag the control points to fix the Black Point and White Point at either end.  The result is shown below.

Click OK to "register" this initial correction.  The Photo will look like this and much improved.

Reopen Curves by pressing Command + M (Mac) / CTRL + M (Win).

"Finess" the control line by first adding one control point and SLOWLY experiment by dragging the line up or down and around for the darker tones, on the left until the picture looks better.  Add another control point for the lighter tone on the left and SLOWLY drag up and down and around.  The result is the S-Curve shown.

In the photo at this point, the Suns rays are more visible and the contrast is better, and you can better see the clumps of coral on the bottom over 150 feet away and the white tail flukes are closer to the true white tint.   Click OK to register the changes.

Now for the final touch, reopen Curves.  This time, Click on the Channels dropdown box and select blue since the predominant color is blue.

The BLUE channel shows severe deficiency in the shadows and darker tones.  So slide the black point to the right until the photo is improved. 

This shows Histogram after correction.   Click OK and save your work.  At this point you could work on the RED and GREEN Channels but they are inconsequential in this particular photo as those parts of the spectrum are naturally filtered out by the depth of the water.

The final rescued photo of the singing fifty-five foot whale.  Worth the work!

Catch us at the BENEATH THE SEA conference at the Meadowlands Expo Center.  We are presenting the seminar on the Humpback Whales of the Silver Banks on March 26th at 2pm.

Click here to see more of my underwater favorites.