Great news for those of us that use Lightroom or Photoshop – Adobe has just released the final versions of Lightroom 4.1 and Camera RAW 7.1 that finally add Fuji X-Pro1 support! It took a long time for the X-Pro1 support to become available and I am happy that I can now go back and replace all JPEG images from my Lightroom catalog with RAW files. I am also planning to update my Fuji X-Pro1 Review with some RAW samples sometime this week.
At times we have photographs that are not properly exposed throughout the image. Regardless how smart and sophisticated camera systems have become lately, there seem to always be a way for them to get tricked into metering incorrectly. Or it could just be a simple mistake by a photographer. Either way, there will be photographs that you do not want to discard because of this, especially if there are very simple ways to fix the problem. Today I am going to show you how to fix a partly underexposed image in Photoshop using the Gradient Tool.
I often get asked if there is a certain way of achieving a particular look in a photo. How to make colors and people “pop”? How to properly color correct? How to make the skin blemish free? While there are lots of different ways to post-process photos using tools like Lightroom and Photoshop, the most powerful tool in any visual artist’s arsenal is typically forgotten – your eyes!
We perceive the world around us by looking and observing things, people, lines, etc. Ever wondered why diagonal lines, curves and specific object placement are pleasing to most people, even to those who are not involved in art? That’s because every brain comes pre-equipped with some tools that help us visualize what looks good and what doesn’t. These visual tools are already there, but they might not be fully “activated” by you. How would you do that? With lots of training, learning, patience and interest in your craft, it is just a matter of time. There is no shortcut, no magic bullet.
In my previous Lightroom Dodging and Burning Tutorial I chose a photograph that had multiple issues. I addressed most of them in that tutorial but specifically left out one major issue (which was quickly discovered by one of our readers) to be a subject for fixing selective color in Lightroom and Photoshop. If you take another close look at the photograph I chose in that tutorial, the face of the model is visibly brighter than the color of the rest of her body. While in many cases our facial color tends to differ from the rest of our body, it can look rather awkward in photographs. Especially in this particular photograph, it is obvious that the foundation on model’s face did not match to rest of her skin color.
If you have photographs like these, there are multiple ways of fixing them and these two methods could be used for a variety of other things. So, follow along to find out how I deal with such issues. First, I will show you how to do it in Lightroom, then I will also do the same in Photoshop.
1) Selective Color Correction in Lightroom
Thanks to Lightroom 4′s selective white balance correction, fixing colors in a certain area is a very easy and straightforward process. Start out by using the Adjustment Brush and painting the affected area. In this case, I carefully brushed the model’s face without touching her eyes and mouth. A quick tip: if you accidentally over-brush, do not forget that you can simply press and hold the “Alt” key, and the “+” sign in the adjustment brush will turn to a “-” sign, which indicates that you can erase the over-brushed area. Keep holding the “Alt” key and carefully un-brush the area that you do not want to touch. Here is my selection:
This is a simple tutorial on how you can utilize Lightroom tools to Dodge and Burn selective areas of a photograph to your liking without using Photoshop. During the process I will also go through some simple steps to show how you can enhance an image directly in Lightroom. I chose a sample portrait to show the process, because I often rely on Lightroom to do most of my post-processing work.
So, what is dodge and burn and where did these terms come from? Here is what Wikipedia says about it:
Dodging and burning are terms used in photography for a technique used during the printing process to manipulate the exposure of a selected area(s) on a photographic print, deviating from the rest of the image’s exposure. In a darkroom print from a film negative, dodging decreases the exposure for areas of the print that the photographer wishes to be lighter, while burning increases the exposure to areas of the print that should be darker.
The same technique can be used in digital photography to achieve similar results, although in Lightroom you can take the process even further by opening up shadows delicately and manipulating the exposure of certain parts of a photograph without ruining any details or colors. It goes without saying that working with RAW images gives a lot more opportunities to recover lots of details, as explained by Nasim in his RAW vs JPEG article.
Here is the before and after comparison of what I have done to demonstrate the Dodge and Burn capability of Lightroom:
If you have more than one computer at your home to work on your photos with Lightroom, you might be wondering if there is a way to share your Lightroom catalog, so that you can work on the same images with the same catalog on multiple computers at once. Unfortunately, the database system that Lightroom runs on (SQLite) limits the catalog to be used on a single computer, on a locally attached drive. Hence, simultaneously accessing a single catalog with multiple machines is not supported and will not work. On top of that, Adobe strictly forbids placing catalogs on network volumes, because it can result in all kinds of Lightroom database corruption issues (placing photographs on a network share is supported). In short, Lightroom is a “single-user” application with no support for multi-user access. While some people have been requesting a “multi-user” edition of Lightroom, Adobe currently has no plans to make such Lightroom version due to potential complexities of such software. True multi-user applications require a server and client infrastructure, which can be too complex for most photographers to set up and use.
Adobe has released an update to Lightroom 4 and Camera RAW that fixes some bugs and adds support for some new cameras and lenses. Lightroom has been updated to 4.1 Release Candidate 2, while Camera RAW 6.7 is now final and stable.
It is always a good idea to update to the latest versions of both Lightroom and Camera RAW, so that you work with the latest and greatest software with the fewer bugs, RAW support for more cameras and more lens profiles so that you could fix optical issues such as distortion and chromatic aberration with a single click using the Lightroom “Lens Corrections” module. Every once in a while a beta release might contain bugs, but if it is anything serious, Adobe will typically pull it out quickly and replace it with a better version.
Here is the list of cameras and lenses that are added with the Lightroom 4.1 RC2 release:
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- Canon EOS 60Da
- Fuji FinePix F770EXR
- Fuji FinePix F775EXR
- Nikon D3200
- Olympus OM-D EM-5
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5
- Pentax K-01
- RICOH LENS A16 24-85mm F3.5-5.5
- Samsung NX20
- Samsung NX210
- Samsung NX1000
- Sony Alpha NEX-VG20
- Sony SLT-A57
If you were planning to purchase Adobe Photoshop Elements – a lighter, less feature-packed version of Photoshop, very well suited for photographers not needing advanced image editing and drawing capabilities of its bigger brother – B&H has a special deal for you: for the next 22 hours or so you can get 50% off this great piece of software and purchase it for just $49.95. The price will go back to $94.95 tomorrow, May 24th.
You can order it at B&H for both Windows and Mac for $49.95.
If you’re into both photography and videography, and need a feature-light, yet powerful piece of software for your video and photography work, get the Adobe Photoshop Elements + Adobe Premiere Elements package at B&H for just $69.95. The offer, too, ends tomorrow, don’t miss it!
Today, Adobe has announced its new CS6 software package for both Mac and Windows users, which includes new versions of Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and more – Adobe has updated every piece of software found in the Creative Suite family. There is also a new color-grading application, SpeedGrade CS6, perfect for primary and secondary color correction of your SD, HD, 3D or RAW video footage. As expected, each program is extended with new tools and features, while at the same time offering 64-bit performance boost to make your workflow easier and quicker.
What Does Photoshop CS6 Offer?
While there are many changes (for example, After Effects receives more than 90 new or expanded effects to choose from), most of our readers are likely to be interested in Photoshop CS6. Here is an extended list of what’s new and improved:
In this short tutorial I will show you how to use one of the easiest and most powerful tools found in Lightroom – the Tone Curve. In my previous tutorial about black & white conversions, I briefly showed you how to use the HSL Panel’s Luminance section to control the lightness of separate colors of the image. Using the Tone Curve Panel is very similar as it also allows you to control the lightness and darkness of various parts of a given photograph, however, rather than altering separate colors, the Tone Curve tool controls certain ranges of actual tones in the image.
What Is It?
The Tone Curve represents all the tones of your image. The bottom axis of the Tone Curve is the Tone axis: the line starts with Shadows at the left-most end and ends with Highlights in the right-most end. In the middle you have Midtones, which are then further split into darker Midtones, called Darks in Lightroom, and brighter Midtones, called Lights. In other words, going left to right, the curve starts with Shadows, Darks, Lights and ends with Highlights. You can also see the corresponding range shown to you by Lightroom once you hover over a specific slider under the Tone Curve, in the Region section of the Panel. The Y axis represents lightness of a given tones. The tones get darker as you move lower and brighter as you move up the axis.