Additional Information and Overviews

Figure 4-82: The CS5 Navigator window
Figure 4-84: Photoshop not only offers an RGB histogram, but can also show individual color channels as well as luminosity.
Figure 4-85: The Histogram panel in Colors mode, showing the different color channels and channel combinations

If you are working on a zoomed portion of a large image, it is easy to lose track of where you are. To get back on track, you can either zoom in or out using (ctrij-Q and (EH)-Q (Mac: (gJ-Q and (SJ-Q) or press the space bar to activate the Hand " 7 tool and shift the detail window. You can also use the combination of the | (or key and the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out (CS3 and higher).

The Navigator window (Window r Navigator) is a useful orientation tool. The navigator displays the current selection in a red frame, and you can shift the detail frame around the main frame using your mouse. The Navigator window also includes a zoom slider L^J •—^--for zooming in and out of the main window. You can enlarge or reduce the Navigator window itself by dragging its corner handles.

We usually keep the Histogram


Channel: Luminosity

Source: Entire Image

Mean: 49.45

Std Deu: 38.83

Median: 3S

Pixels: 113300

window (Window r Histog ra m) open while we are processing images in order to keep an eye on the state of our image or the layer we are working on. We usually place the Histogram and Navigator panels, and the Information panel (see below) on our second, subsidiary monitor to avoid covering important details in the image we are processing. The /i. icon (figure 4-83) indicates that the histogram isn't updated to show your latest changes and needs to be refreshed by clicking on the icon.

The Histogram panel includes a number of different settings. Colors mode is similar to the view we see in our RAW editor (figure 4-85). The red, green, and blue curves are self-explanatory, and the other curves have the following meanings: The yellow curve combines the green and red curves, the magenta ( ) curve combines the blue and red curves, and the cyan ( ) curve combines the green and blue curves. These three colors represent C, M, and Y in the CMYK color space. The other, gray curve is the combined luminance histogram for the active image.

Figure 4-83: Histogram in Luminosity mode

The most comprehensive histogram view is displayed if you select the All Channels View setting in the 21] menu. This view does, however, take up a lot of space on the desktop.

Refreshing the histogram window (by clicking on the _L icon) uses a fair amount of computing power, so it is often a good idea to close the histogram window before you run large or complex actions.

The Info panel (Window r Info or fFsl) is another source of image information and displays the color values at the current cursor position (figure 4-86). Clicking one of the A icons opens a pop-up menu for selecting the color mode of the display. This tab also displays the size of any current selections and the names of currently active tools.

The display options for the Info panel can be set in the drop-down menu ¿s. under Panel Options (figure 4-87).

Figure 4-87: Info panel options
Figure 4-86: Information window showing various types of color values at the current cursor position

We often use the L*a*b* values as our second display value because we find the L (Lightness) value of a color to be useful during processing.

If you click in your image with the normal Eyedropper tool while holding the shift Q key down, the resulting color value will also appear in the Info panel. You can select up to four such color control points, and you can shift the points with a second click on the shift Q key. These control points help you keep your corrections within your own specified range, e.g., to help you avoid over-brightening highlights.

All of the information windows we have described take up space on the desktop, so we only show them if necessary when we are working on single monitor systems. We usually position them on our secondary monitor in our two-monitor setup.

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