Photoshop Color Management Settings

Before you start work with Photoshop, you will need to set up your personal color management preferences. All Adobe Creative Suite elements use similar methods for making color settings, and the CS2 (and higher) versions allow you to make color settings centrally using Bridge. Photoshop has one of the most sophisticated color management systems currently available, with a wide range of options and parameter set> In Mac OS and CS1 (or earlier) versions, tings. Select Edit r Color Settings to...

Understanding Different Color Models

> Two of the many good books available on the subject of color management are Color Confidence by Tim Grey ( 15 ) and Real World Color Management by Bruce Fraser ( 14 ). * Some formats even allow for 32 bits per primary color - a technique used for producing HDR (high dynamic range) images. > As of the CS2 version, Photoshop also supports 32-bit (per channel) color data. There are various 32-bit file formats, such as PSD, PSB, Radiance, PFM, OpenEXR, and TIFF. Let's start with the various...

Advanced Image Processing Techniques

Color management know-how RAW processing know-how Retouching, dust removal Exposure, contrast, black point, white point, color corrections Local corrections, contrast enhancement, creative sharpening Figure 1-2 Important know-how, i.e., the How There are many techniques that you don't yet know and which you don't yet need. We will address these later as part of the iterative learning process. You should learn the workflow step by step (figure 1-3). Including all currently available image...

Objective and Subjective White Balance

There is a big difference between correct colors and pleasing colors. There are only few situations in which we want to reproduce colors completely faithfully - for example, if we are photographing textiles or products for publication in catalogs. In most other cases, we aim to produce a pleasing color composition. The most frequently discussed (and culturally influenced) aspect of color is skin tone. In Europe and the USA, people generally prefer skin tones that have been shifted slightly...

Printing from a RAW Converter

A powerful print module is an essential part of any all-in-one workflow tool. Whether you use your RAW converter for making anything more complex than a test print depends on the way you work. Most high-end prints that you want to optimize and add a frame or a signature will require you to use Photoshop or some other high-end image processor. With the exception of Lightroom and Aperture, we only make prints in Photoshop or a specialized print application or RIP (RIP, see section 11.7, page...

During and After Shooting

Check your exposure using the camera's histogram. The most critical part of the histogram is the right-hand (highlight) end of the scale, so always activate your camera's highlight warning system if it has one. This feature displays burned-out highlights as blinking white or red areas in the monitor's preview (view finder). If your camera can also display RGB histograms, these are preferable to simple luminance histograms, as they give a more detailed overview of which color channels (if any)...

Interface Differences between Photoshop CS3 and CS4

Most of the Photoshop examples in this book are based on the CS5 version of the program. Although the overall concept hasn't changed, the interface in the CS4 CS5 version is very different from that in CS3. Not only the base colors, but also the general compactness and the ability to work non-mod-ally (or semi-modally) with Layers are new. A Modal program structure means that you have to close one tool before opening another. Non-modal functionality makes it possible to create a new layer...

The Five Phases of the Workflow

The digital photo workflow can be divided into five major phases (figure 2-1). The transitions between phases are often flexible 1. The workflow begins in the camera, before and during shooting. Composition, framing, exposure, lighting and the choice of a single or multiple exposure (for subsequent merging) all influence the type and amount of work you will have to do later. Working methodically at the shooting stage can save you a lot of unnecessary work later on. 2. Once you have shot your...

History

We set up Photoshop to record all processing steps in the image metadata using the Preferences r General dialog. We check the History Log option and select Metadata under Save Log items ( ). General Interface File Handling Performance Cursors Image Interpolation Bicubic (best for smooth gradients)_I Q Auto-Update Open Documents Beep When Done 0Dyn amic Color Sliders 0 Export Clipboard 0 Use Shift Key for Tool Switch Animated Zoom 0Zoom Resizes Windows 0Zoom with Scroll Wheel C Zoom Clicked...

Optimizing Tonal Range

Most images require some optimization of tonal range and contrast. The appropriate Photoshop tool can be found under Image r Adjustments r Levels. (You will be using this dialog a lot, so learn the keystroke -(T (Mac -(T ) now ) This is one of the most important Photoshop functions it allows us to alter the contrast in our images by setting the black point (figure 4-20, slider ), the white point (slider ), and the overall brightness (slider ). The dialog displays the distribution of brightness...

What are the Advantages of RAW Format

In order to understand the advantages of RAW, you need to understand how most modern digital cameras work. All new digital cameras capture color photos, right Well, not exactly. While you ultimately get color images from a digital camera, most modern digital cameras use sensors that record only grayscale (brightness or luminance) values. (The Foveon X3 sensor, some digital scanning backs, and multishot digital backs are exceptions.) Let's take a box of Crayola crayons as an example (figure...

Handling Your Digital Originals

The source image that is now saved on your computer is also sometimes referred to as a digital negative. We recommend that you save a copy of this file in its current, renamed form (be it RAW, TIFF, or JPEG). This file contains all the available image data without any loss due to processing and including all the metadata recorded by the camera. You will often need to refer back to your original file, for example if You have improved your technique and want to have another try at perfecting a...

Image Alignment

The basic rule of thumb when processing images is, Correct major errors first and minor errors later. One of the first major corrections we perform is aligning the dominant vertical or horizontal lines in an image. You should, of course, take care to photograph the horizon so that it appears horizontal, but you will nevertheless need to make corrections every now and again. Make this your first step, as it nearly always involves a subsequent crop. You can rotate your image in one of three ways...

Choosing the Right ISO Sensitivity Setting

Modern digital cameras allow you to select the ISO value for each situation using a dial or a button. This is a great advantage over analog photography, which requires either a film change or special development in order to alter the sensitivity base. Figure 1-22 Detail of the same subject shot at ISO 6400 Figure 1-22 Detail of the same subject shot at ISO 6400 > Always select the lowest possible ISO setting and use a tripod whenever you can. Generally, the lower your ISO value, the less...

Using White Balance Settings to Produce Optimum Color Quality

White balance (WB) settings are the key to correct color reproduction. They have to allow for direct and indirect (reflected) light sources. Analog photographers adjust white balance either by changing the film they use or by attaching colored filters to the camera lens. This compensates for differing lighting conditions (indoors, outdoors, cloudy sky, flash, etc.). If you shoot in RAW format, you can adjust white balance later during processing. Fine art photographers are not necessarily...

Adobe Camera Raw ACR

> ACR 5.x only works with Photoshop CS4 or Photoshop Elements 5 and later. ACR 6 only works with Photoshop CS5. * A list of all supported cameras can be found at www.adobe.com products photoshop cameraraw.html. Adobe Camera Raw (ACR for short) is Adobe's own RAW converter and has been included with Photoshop since CSi was released. It is probably the most widely used RAW converter on today's market. It is fast and effective, and produces great results for a broad range of camera models. The...

Multi Core Processing

> Photoshop has supported some multi-core processors since the release of CS. Lightroom uses separate processes for importing and exporting images, and for generating image previews - an indicator in the main program window then tells you which background processes are currently in progress. We would like to see more multiprocessors support in future. Figure 5-22 ACR includes a number of Auto corrections. Figure 5-22 ACR includes a number of Auto corrections. Since early 2006, nearly all new...

Other Useful Features

Many of the correction tools that used to be the exclusive preserve of Photoshop or image processing plug-ins are now an integral part of today's RAW converters. You will have to decide for yourself whether these are useful to your own personal workflow, but you can always simply ignore them if they are not what you need. If you intend to convert your RAW images to 8-bit JPEG rather than to 16-bit TIFF, editing the RAW version will usually lead to less image quality loss than if you correct...

Fine Tuning an Image Using Photoshop

Here, we perform the image optimization steps that are either not possible using our RAW editor, or that are simpler to perform (or produce better results) using a conventional image processor or specialized plug-ins. Appropriate plug-ins are PTLens 92 for correcting lens distortion, Viveza for performing non-destructive color corrections, and a range of Uwe Stein-mueller's scripts for sharpening (EasyS Plus), for improving local contrast (DOP_EasyD_Plus_DetailResolver) or for reducing the...

What is a Color Management System

A color management system CMS is a set of program modules that mediate color translation between different devices. These modules are often part of a computer's operating system, and they are usually provided by software manufacturers. If an application is used to display, edit, or print a color image, it initiates the appropriate function s , such as displaying an image or generating the correct ICC profile information, and then tells the CMS what function should be performed. The central part...

The Digital Light

Sorting your images is an important and often unpopular task, especially if you are itching to get to work on your latest images. The thumbnails displayed in many file browsers are usually not of high enough quality to be used for judging overall image quality. The fact that we will be working mostly with RAW files means that our digital light box has to have an associated or built-in RAW editor that can display the full, high-resolution image contained in the RAW data. When you are sorting...

Setting your Monitor profile

Photoshop is not particularly intuitive when it comes to finding the current monitor profile. The following methods are the simplest that we know Windows XP Right-click on the desktop and select Properties. Select the Settings tab in the dialog that appears and click the Advanced button. Selecting the Color Management tab then displays a dialog containing all installed monitor profiles. The currently active profile is highlighted see figure 3-29 for the Windows XP version . Here, you can add...

Color Temperature and

You can manipulate color temperature at various stages by using your RAW editor or the camera's white balance settings. The term color temperature defines the composition of the light at a device's white point i.e., the composition of light emitted by an ideal light source at a specific temperature and is stated in Kelvin units K . Contrary to our normal color perception, the higher the color temperature of a light source, the more blue components it will have. Conversely, the lower a light's...

Profiling Your Printer

Most printer profiling packages offer several different print targets. The more color fields a target provides, the more precise your profile will be. However, this also involves more effort. Some profiling devices such as DTP-41, DTP-70, or iliO by X-Rite 52 can read printed targets automatically, but these are usually prohibitively expensive for most photographers. A standard spectrophotometer and ruler like those provided with the ilXTrme kit by X-Rite is usually sufficient for producing...

The CMYK Color Model

The CMYK color model uses four primary colors to define a color cyan C , magenta M , yellow Y , and black K . CMYK was designed for printing, where incoming light is reflected by the print. CMYK is a subtractive color model, as each of the colored inks absorbs subtracts a certain component of the incident light. Figure 3-3 shows that mixing cyan and magenta gives you blue, and when you add magenta to yellow you get red. In theory, the combination of the colors C, M, and Y alone should be...

Visualizing Color Spaces

Profilemaker Creating Monitor Profile

Color spaces are actually three-dimensional. The profile shown in figure 3-7 is sRGB, illustrated using the Color-Sync utility in Mac OS X. Windows XP has a similar utility, called MS Color Control Panel, that is available for free download 97 . In figure 3-7, the gray shape shows the Adobe RGB 1998 gamut as a comparison. The printing industry also uses 2D charts to display color spaces. The color space plot shown in figure 3-8 was generated using the X-Rite ProfileMaker Pro Profile Editor. BC...

Raw Jpeg and TIFF Processing

Compress to mini JPEG and save as RAW file Download image files to computer, rename and tag Interpolate color resample with new white balance Interpolate color resample with new white balance Reduce to 8-bit color depth and convert color space Download image files to computer, renaming tagging Figure 2-6 Comparison of a RAW and a JPEG TIFF workflow. The RAW workflow generally comprises fewer Photoshop optimization steps than the illustration infers, but the borders between the two processing...

Our File and Folder Naming Conventions

Figure 1-24 illustrates the system we use for naming files and folders. This system is chronological and is built on two or three levels. We use one folder for each year, and the folder's name always includes the year. The year folders contain subfolders organized according to shoots. If we use only one camera, all the images from a shoot are stored in a single subfolder. If we use multiple cameras for a shoot, the images from each camera are stored in a separate subfolder. Our system for...

Using Histograms as an Exposure

Correct exposure is the key to great photos. Overexposure should be avoided at all costs, as washed-out highlight detail cannot be recovered at any stage during the workflow. In order to help you judge exposure, digital cameras allow you to check your exposure visually on the monitor immediately after shooting. Nearly all digital cameras - at least all DSLR cameras - have a histogram display that shows the distribution of tonal values within the image from 0 black, on the left to 255 white, on...