Please refer back to the previous post for an introduction to Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, Photoshop and Lightroom.
This will pick back up from where we left off with a base image as shown during the demonstration and a walk through for taking that from start to completion.
First of all, Lightroom with Camera Raw below:
First stage in the process is to correct the exposure, as can clearly be seen in the histogram view this base image is under exposed. The histogram is distributed in the left side meaning it is concentrated around the black and dark tones.
Sliding the exposure slider up to +3, you'll now see the histogram is more evenly distributed and the image looks much more balanced. This is not always the right approach however as if an image contains mostly black, adjusting so it is evenly balanced will overexpose the dark areas, likewise if an image has mostly light tones, balancing the histogram will underexpose the whites. Please refer to another post that I will put up shortly that contains slides from a club talk on metering and exposure from last season which we will recap again at some point for everyone.
Lightroom, followed by Camera Raw showing things so far:
The deer itself still seems rather dark in places, so we can utilise the Shadows control to bring out further detail. The grass seems quite bright by comparison also, so we can use the highlights slider to reduce the brightness of the light tones.
Here, I have adjusted the shadows to +50 and the highlights to -50:
Zoom in on the image using the "CTRL" key combined with the "+" or "-" key to zoom in and out, if using a Mac, then its the "cmd" key combined with the "+" or "-" key. If using Camera Raw, the CTRL + 0 or CMD + 0 zooms to extents.
Once I have the head of the animal in view, I'm now going to adjust the texture slider which acts to increase the definition between lights and darks whilst controlling noise. This results in the texture detail being brought out more. Comparison with the texture slider increased to +80 showing before and after, before on the top:
This may make things look slightly harsh, so using the clarity control you can make things harsher still by dragging to the right, or by dragging it to the left you apply a softening effect. Dehaze does a similar thing but is focused on green and blue colour channels. I'll drag the Dehaze slider to -20, here is the result, effectively it also helps lighten the fur of the animal:
Finally we are going to add some vibrancy to the image, vibrancy and saturation do very similar things. Crucially though, vibrancy is biased towards the green and blue colour channels which lends itself very well to landscape and nature shots. Saturation applies colour boosting across the whole colour spectrum which can often make images look very fake. Boosting the Vibrancy to +30 results in this, subtle but much more richness in the green:
Next, I am going to jump forward to the "Detail" set of tools so we can manage any noise in the image and add some sharpening.
Zooming in again to the animals eyes, the first operation should always be noise reduction, otherwise you are simply sharpening the noise and making things worse. Noise reduction is split into two sections, luminance noise and colour noise. Luminance noise is differences in brightness of surrounding pixels, colour noise is particularly noticeable in black sections of an image and can often be spotted by magenta pixels. Adjusting the colour noise therefore evens up colours, luminance noise evens up brightness. Play with the sliders to see the effect, in this case I'm going to apply both as follows, +30 on luminance and +30 on colour, before and after:
Next I'm going to add sharpening. As the controls suggest, radius looks at the area around each pixel to control the effect of the sharpening, Detail retains as much detail in the image as it can during the sharpening process. Increasing the sharpening to 80 and the Detail to 80 results in this:
Jumping back to the "Tone Curve" controls now, this allows the user to grab as many control points as they want in order to selectively boost the lows, mid tones, high tones or highlights. I have clicked on the lower part of the straight line and dragged it upwards then clicked on the upper part of the line and dragged it downwards to form a gentle S shape. This has the effect of boosting the shadow tones further still and reducing the highlight tones.:
Finally we are going to move onto the "HSL" controls. This stands for Hue, Saturation and Luminance.
This gives you great control as you can selectively (by colour channel) adjust brightness, saturation and colour hue.
I am going to selectively colour this image, so first of all let's go to the saturation panel and drag all the colour channels down to the left apart from the orange:
Next, I'm going to boost the saturation on the orange channel to +20 before switching to the luminance controls.
Adjust the luminance controls for the orange channel to +50 also and you'll see the coat of the animal lighten.
Next, drag the yellow and green luminance sliders down to -50, you'll see that darkens the grass to keep more focus on the animal:
In Camera Raw, click and hold on the crop icon to bring up the additional box that allows you to choose the aspect ratio. On Lightroom you get the following control panel which allows you to select the ratio in the same way.
Click on Original and select 2x3 as the ratio required.
Adjust the size of the rectangle and reposition the image as required. in Camera Raw, you click on the start corner then draw the box you want, then you can reposition as required.
If using Lightroom, click on "close" within the crop panel to apply the crop. In Camera Raw, click back onto another tool such as the hand icon to apply the crop:
If you want to export from Lightroom at this stage, go to the file menu and click on export to bring up the export tools window. Scrolling down this window you will find "file settings" where you can choose the format such as "JPEG" and the "image sizing" settings where you can size your image to suit competitions for example as 1900 on the long edge. Clicking on export will save the image based on what you specify in the "Export Location" settings.
However, I want to get rid of the distractions in the top left of the image, so I'm going to progress into photoshop to finish the process first. If still in Camera Raw, just click on open at the bottom right to open it into photoshop. If using Lightroom, click back on to the Library module instead of Develop, then right click on the image you have just been editing, in the menu that appears you will see an option titled "edit in", hovering over that will then bring up an additional menu option where you can choose to edit in photoshop.
Go ahead and open the image into photoshop so you see the following, notice the tool bars on the left hand side. Select the third one down which is the lasso tool.
Use the lasso tool to draw a selection around the parts of the image you want to remove. Note it can be done several times so you can do this as one large area or 2 smaller areas. I'm going for one large area:
Once the selection has been made, go to the edit menu, and choose "content aware fill", you'll see the following control panel. Make sure that the bottom option on the right is set to "Output to: Current Layer"
The green area is the image area that Photoshop will scan to look for suitable content to replace the selection chosen. You can click and paint on the green section to remove parts of the image you don't want to be considered for inclusion in the algorithm, most of the time you are fine to leave it as it is. on the Preview, you'll notice that the blemishes are completely gone. Click on "Ok" to apply the replacement. Here is the end result:
All that remains is to go to the File menu and click on export, on the next menu that expands choose "export as". On the export screen, you can resize the image to whatever size you wish including choosing the format from a variety of options such as PNG or JPEG. In this case I have chosen JPEG but left the size as cropped. Click on Export As to complete the export and choose where you wish to save it.
Job Done ! If any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Here is the final result, hopefully this combined with the live walk through and the previous post describing the tools available will give a good reference guide for everyone to benefit from.
Welcome to our photo editing basics guide.
Focus will be on the following workflows, on the club night associated with this we will be covering these two workflows side by side to show the similarity but also the differences.
Other software editing packages are available for RAW processing and more advanced photo editing such as:
This site gives some quick descriptions of some of these:
The package shown in the demonstration and walk through is based on the Adobe Photography Plan, which is a subscription services that can be paid for monthly or annually:
This gives you a control panel on your laptop where you get the option to install various apps including these:
We are going to start with Adobe Bridge and Lightroom side by side to show the differences between the interface and the purpose of the packages.
First of all, with Adobe Bridge, browse to the folder containing the image(s) you wish to look at working on. In Lightroom, you can go to the "Folders" section on the left hand side tools followed by hitting the add button, browse to the same folder and you will have the option to start adding the images into Lightroom's catalogue ready for processing.
With Lightroom, on the right hand side tools, you will see an option to apply develop settings during import. If you always apply lens correction for example, or permanently under expose all images by 1ev stop, you can save default editing options as a template for application during import. With Adobe Bridge, you can select one or more image to edit at the same time and edit them all to the same base settings during the open process.
In Lightroom, let's go ahead and add those images into the catalogue so they are ready for editing in comparison to Adobe RAW and Photoshop. Note the tick box option to "build smart previews", previews can be generated as you edit each image, generating them now will take longer but can speed up the editing process later on.
Once imported, the images should now be sitting waiting to be worked on with a new set of tools available on the right hand side of the screen:
We're now at a common starting point for comparison between the two different workflows being discussed in this post. As mentioned above, this is where Lightroom is useful for its catalogue capability. More on the use of the catalogue capabilities can be covered off in separate short sessions on future evenings or future blog posts specifically on this subject.
Bridge and Lightroom share many commonalities, essentially the core difference is the separation from editing that Bridge allows where Lightroom does everything in the same tool. Organising images is similar in both such as tagging with labels or creating stacks of related images such as several shots designed for panoramic merging, or perhaps 3 or 5 images shot as bracketed images ready for merging. This will be demonstrated including the different panels available such as the keywords panel to aid in organisation and searching and the EXIF information as shown as follows:
Locate the image we are going to be working on in Lightroom or Adobe Bridge and let's get started.
Within Lightroom, you will see a series of options along the top right of the screen. Click on Develop to enter into the develop module, it should look something like the following with all the tools available on the RHS of the screen:
In Adobe Bridge, right click on the image and choose open or click on the icon demonstrated to open into Camera Raw:
You will start to see similarities straight away in the tools now available on the RHS of the Camera RAW application and the Develop module of Lightroom. Hence working from Bridge into Photoshop via Camera RAW is not a large leap in terms of how to edit the image itself.
The available tabs of controls in Camera RAW are described in the following web page available on Adobe's Website
The first tab of controls cover the following which are common with those found in Lightroom under the "Basics" tab:
On the images below, the LHS shows Lightroom where you can see the different control panels are labelled in text form. On the RHS, Camera RAW replaces this with a horizontal tab layout represented by icons. These icons represent the same tools however so the same editing capabilities are available from both. They are in slightly different order, but everything is available.
The adjustment controls shown in Lightroom (top image) are available as a standalone toolbar along the top in Camera RAW (bottom image)
"Tone Curve" is the next control, it allows very accurate adjustment to the complete tonal spectrum of the image. You can select control points to adjust the image until it perfectly achieves what you want. Drawing in a "S" style curve for example has the effect of increasing contrast.
"HSL" is the next control and is probably the most powerful set of controls beyond the "Basics" control panel. HSL stands for "Hue", "Saturation" and "Luminance". The slides allow each of those 3 elements to be individually adjusted for the 8 colour channels. When processing in Black and White, they switch to single sliders for the 8 colour channels which adjust luminance only. The sliders will be demonstrated on the night so the effects can be clearly understood.
"Split Toning" is a very creative option for taking a different approach to what might otherwise be a monochrome image. It allows different colour bases to be applied to the shadow tones vs the highlight tones. This can be used to great effect with images that contain strong tonal differences such as landscapes and some forms of astro photography such as Milky Way images.
"Detail" is a very useful set of controls for increasing sharpness in the image and also controlling visible noise within the image.
"Lens Corrections" is very useful when shooting in RAW, shooting in JPEG don't allow the same options to be available. Lightroom and Camera RAW can fetch lens and camera presets to help correct any edge distortions, or subtle vignetting automatically to save any manual editing being required. This is very subjective as sometimes it helps the image but sometimes it actually detracts from the original capture. Check first to see if your camera is already doing this in camera, otherwise it can over-correct if applied twice.
"Transform" is the control panel for anyone who loves architecture photography and landscape photography in general. It can be used to correct a large variety in perspective distortions such as fixing leaning lighthouses and perspective distortion from shooting a tall building from its base rather than looking flat onto it from its centre. Easiest to show this in action than explaining it in text.
"Effects" are where you can add vignetting to your image to help draw the viewers eye into the centre of the image. An additional control allows the editor to simulate grain from the file era to achieve exactly the look required rather than the default clean look that digital photography often gives.
"Calibration" is the final set of controls and generally shouldn't require to be touched unless specifically calibrating your screen or print settings due to colour differences.
Camera Raw contains two additional control panels which are Presets and Snapshots. These are represent in different sections of the Lightroom layout on the left hand side with different drop down areas respectively. Several presets are directly available and customised ones can be created. The use and creation of presets will be covered later in the season on an additional club night.
The demonstration on the club night will take you through a sample of images and the effect that these controls have on the end result. If time allows, further editing options such as merging images to form a Panoramic may also be covered.
PhotoEntry is the chosen platform for handling all competition entries for the club. It is used to manage both internal and external competition entries and is administered by our Competition Secretary.
Members can access it from the following link: https://photoentry.uk/information/welcome.html
Upon arriving on the welcome page, click on Login to progress to the next screen:
On the login screen, enter your e-mail address and password as organised with our Competition Secretary. If you haven't received the invitation link with user details, contact them to have the details reset and resent. Note you can click the tick box for "Remember UserID on this computer" which will retain your login information for direct access next time.
Once logged in, you will be presented with the summary screen, links should be available for the internal club competitions and external competitions such as the SPF and Grampian Eye:
Clicking into the Club Competitions 2018/19 will take you to the next menu of choices:
For the case of this example, let's look at the Fraserburgh Friendly. Clicking into this competition will bring up the following page, note the highlighted area details how many entries are allowed for this particular competition but most importantly the allowed dimensions for the entries. These are the values that will be used during export from your editing application such as Lightroom or Photoshop. For this example, the longest horizontal edge is 1600px, longest vertical edge is 1200px, therefore in the case of a square crop you would only be allowed 1200px x 1200px due to the restriction on the vertical edge.
Click on Add New Entry to submit an image to the competition:
Enter your desired image title, then click on Add This Entry to progress through to the next page where you can browse to upload your file, once uploaded click on Upload Image to confirm and upload the file
You will now see the entry summary screen, if everything is good you will see the text "OK" shown in green.
If any messages appear in "Orange", these are warnings but not errors. Errors are shown in "Red"
Repeat for your other entries into the competition, you can then adjust the order of your entries by clicking on the up or down arrows to the left of your image previews.
If you have any questions, just reach out to our Competition Secretary or any other experienced member.
Tuesday this week see's a re-cap on Macro and Close-up Photography.
Charlie Bruce will provide a reminder on the different types of equipment available which will be followed by a practical evening to practise, ask questions and get prepared ahead of the closing date for the Macro / Close-up competition approaching.
If you are coming along, remember your camera, tripod, macro gear such as lens, extension tubes, clip on adaptors (don't worry if you don't have any of these) and of course some props. Items with lots of small detail would be best and various scenes will be setup.
Remember flash guns or lights / torches to make sure you can get plenty of light onto your scenes also.
Look forward to seeing everyone and any new members who fancy coming along to see what we are all about!
In part one we covered off the Aperture control and what effect it has on Depth of Field.
In this post we will cover off the effects of the Shutter and ISO adjustment.
In the days of film photography, ISO referred to the speed of the film used. In simple terms, it classified the "sensitivity to light" rating of the film.
With digital photography, it is a common misconception that ISO still refers to sensitivity. Modern sensors are classed as ISO invariant with the ISO control adjusting the level of amplification applied to the electrical signals captured by the camera sensor. The higher the ISO capability of the camera generally means the electronic processing produces less noise which in turn leads to a cleaner image captured during low light photography. Many modern sensors are more than capable of producing excellent images beyond ISO 6400, going back ten years an image above ISO 1600 would almost have been classed as unusable by many.
Most digital cameras start with a base setting of ISO 100 which is designed to emulate the popular ISO 100 film, however modern cameras can sometimes go as low as ISO 50 with mobile devices such as the latest iPhones hitting ISO 20. These are the settings to use when capturing the brightest scenes as it lowers the level of signal amplification of the sensor to its minimum setting. As the amount of available light starts to decrease, increasing the ISO will ramp up the amplification of the signal processing electronics resulting in more of the detail being captured by the sensor becoming visible.
The image below shows the effect of ramping up the ISO, note that to maintain the same exposure the shutter speed has to be doubled with. each doubling of the ISO rating. You can see that by the time you reach ISO 12800, noise is becoming quite visible however the photography will be benefiting from a much higher shutter speed capable of freezing motion much better, hence introducing the important link to understand between ISO and Shutter control.
Put simply, to maintain a controlled depth of field (Aperture fixed in place) in differing lighting conditions you have two choices. Adjust the shutter or adjust the ISO. If you are capturing static objects, you can of course lengthen the shutter time keeping the ISO low, however if you have to photograph fast moving objects you have no choice but to shorten the shutter speed hence increasing the ISO to maintain the same exposure otherwise motion blur will be introduced.
Think of the shutter control as your "amount of motion" control:
From the image above it can clearly be seen that when photographing fast moving subjects, short shutter speeds are essential. Fast moving wildlife will require 1/1000s and greater, whereas landscapes can easily be 1/50 - 1/100.
As a general rule of thumb, if your lens focal length is 30mm, keep the shutter speed quicker than 1/30s to avoid blur due to camera shake. Equally, a 300mm focal length requires 1/300s to avoid blur unless using a tripod or a very steady hand!
The following image ties all 3 controls together into a single chart illustrating the effects of all three controls:
Hopefully now you will have a better understanding of the exposure triangle and which control to adjust to capture the image you are looking for.
Please do not hesitate to ask questions at a club night or drop through a message for further information. Lots of information is available online to help explain things further.
Remember to check out our post on night photography for sample settings and which controls to adjust to get different results.
Following on from the presentation given on Tuesday the 20th of November, the following blog will summarise the content presented including the suggested settings for getting started with the varying types of night photography covered.
As always, if anyone has any questions, please come and see me on a club night or drop me a message and I will be happy to explain further.
Thanks to everyone for coming along and hopefully it will serve as a useful reference ahead of the planned night outs.
The slides as presented are shown below:
The most important lesson for any photographer to learn is mastering the exposure triangle.
Understanding these three elements of control are the building blocks to producing the results you desire and understanding which to adjust to master the conditions you find yourself shooting in.
Aperture (Depth of Field)
Aperture controls the amount of light entering into the camera via the lens. Think of it compared to the Iris and Pupil of the human eye. In low light the iris dilates the pupil to let more more light into the retina, in harsh light it contracts the pupil to a pin hole to restrict the amount of light hitting the retina. The exact same is true of how a lens aperture effects the light hitting the camera sensor.
Aperture is expressed in terms of f-stop, also known as the speed of the lens, f-number or f-ratio. In simple terms, it is the ratio of the systems focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. The lower the value of the f-stop, the wider the diaphragm of the lens can open, hence allowing more light to hit the camera sensor. The higher the value of the f-stop, the narrower the diaphragm of the lens, hence allowing less light to hit the camera sensor.
This of course has a secondary effect on the image captured in regards to the depth of objects that are in clear focus vs those out of focus, known as Depth of Field.
Large apertures (small f-number) cause a narrow depth of field where the background can blur beautifully which is excellent for portraiture and wildlife photographs. Small (large f-number) apertures cause a much greater depth of field where objects near and far are in clear focus ideally suited for landscape photography. Mastering the art of controlling depth of field can lead to a large range of creativity in image capture.
The image below illustrates this, firstly showing the effect of a large aperture (f1.4 for example) and the narrow depth of field, the bottom image showing a small aperture (f8 for example) and the large depth of field it generates.
In the next blog post we will cover off shutter speed and ISO.
Tuesday night saw the club host a critique evening. The premise was simple, members could submit up to three images for critique by the panel before opening up to other members for additional comment.
The quality of the images submitted was truly astounding with some amazing images put forward by our newest members in addition to our experienced members. Genres ranging from "commercial", through "street" to "abstract" all featured and I'd like to thank all members for their contributions to making it a great evening.
Special thanks to Coreen for the organisation as always and our panelists, Eilidh and Caroline. Hopefully the comments have helped inspire new ideas and approaches to photography and post-processing techniques.
Next Tuesday sees a talk on night photography, look forward to seeing you there.