Tweak Your Colors With Photoshop’s Selective Color Command


In this post, I want to highlight a technique to selectively adjust color in your images. There are many ways to do this. This technique does require using Photoshop CC or an earlier version of the program. Photoshop Elements does not have the command, Selective Color, that this technique uses.

I learned about this technique from a video tutorial by Blake Rudis of F.64 Academy. The link to the video is shown below. He also provides free Actions that automate using the technique on three different style of photos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzdEfrmdMwc

In Photoshop Elements, the closest you can come to the Selective Color command, is using the Hue/Saturation command, and selecting individual color channels, rather than just using the Master Channel. But as Rudis points out in the video, this is not the same as the Selective Color approach.

Additionally, the technique can be used to provide subtle changes, as well as more pronounced changes to a photo, as is illustrated in the comparison below. It is normally applied after the primary adjustments to brightness, contrast, and color have been applied to the image.

Sel Color Before After

So, if you have Photoshop, give this technique a try, let me know what you think, and post a link to your image here.

Until next time…

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Real Easy Technique for Better Sunsets


On a recent cruise, I took dozens of sunsets. Most of them were not what I was looking for. I either ended up with a blown out sun, or the picture was too dark for my liking.

Today, I received an email from Steve Arnold of Post Processing Mastery that should a very easy technique to tone down an over exposed sun. Although he explains how to do it using Photoshop, it is well in the capabilities of Photoshop Elements.

Below shows the results I obtained on one of my sunset images.

Brush Sunset Tech

The Before is on the right, and the After is on the left. Some sunset images will respond better than others to this technique. And remember, you can tweak the result by adjusting the brush layer’s Opacity.

Here is the link to the video that explains the technique.

http://dons.creativetips.ppmastery.com/sunblur

Until next time.

 

Rescaling vs. Re-Sampling Photos and Why it Matters


The subject of resizing your photographs to make a high quality print or to share it online continues to be question that comes up in forums. Part of the confusion stems from the terminology itself. In this post/post, I will discuss the subject from the standpoint of scanning a negative or slide. First, Are a couple of comments about the terminology.

Resolution – Dots Per Inch

Resolution is generally referred to as either dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi). What can lead to confusion is that dpi is used to describe the resolution of a scanner. For example, a scanner that is capable of scanning 35 mm negatives may have a optical resolution of 3200 dpi or greater. The word optical here means there are no mathematics being used to artificially increase the resolution. For the best quality, you should scan at or below the optical resolution of the scanner.

Resolution – Pixels Per Inch

Referring to a scanned image, once you open the image in say, Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, the terminology changes. Now the same resolution is measured in and referred to pixels per inch (ppi). The resolution is the same as you scanned, the term just changes. For example, if a negative is scanned at 3200 dpi and then opened in PSE 15 using the Image > Resize > Image Size command, the dialog below is opened. The resolution of 3200 ppi is shown.

3200 ppi ex

Print Resolution – Dots per Inch

When describing the resolution of an inkjet printer, dots per inch or dpi is again used. However, at this point in the process, the term takes on a whole new and more literal meaning. Now it is used to describe how many drops of ink are placed on the paper per inch. It is one of the prime, but not only parameter that is used to describe how well the printer can reproduce the image. And, this number has nothing to do with the resolution of the image file (in pixels per inch) that was sent to the printer.

This tutorial is an exercise that will not only give you a better understanding of rescaling an image versus re-sampling it, but will also demonstrate the loss of quality that is a bi-product of up-sampling an image, or adding to the number of pixels that were not in the image when it was scanned.

To view or download the tutorial, click on the image below. I suggest you actually follow along with the tutorial using one of your own images.

Resampling Comparison

In this post and tutorial I have focused on resolution as it impacts the printing of your digital photographs. In a future post, I will cover the topic of how to properly size your photos for sharing them online.

If you found this tutorial to be helpful and would like to see other tutorials in the future, please give it a suitable star-rating and  share it with your friends.

Until next time..

 

Revisiting Processing Video using Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in Photoshop


Just about two years ago I posted this article on processing a video file using the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) editor in Photoshop CC and how the results compared to the same video processed in Premiere Elements.

My remarks in that post are still valid today. This post is just another example of the comparison. However the videos clips are shown back to back and in slow motion to better focus on the results.

I am not suggesting that the ACR inherently is better at editing video. But for me, it is much easier to get to the final result I am after (video with punch) than is PRE 15 in this latest example. I did not try to duplicate the two results. I was happy with the PRE 15 version until I further processed it in the ACR.

I am sure that not everyone will like the ACR result, but I do. And, since I am far more familiar working with the ACR than PRE 15 in this regards, I find I can get to what I am after much quicker.

Here is the link comparing the two video clips.

pre-15-vs-acr

If you have a video and use Photoshop, try it out. My previous article outlines the steps. It is extremely easy to do if you work already with the ACR.

Let me know what you think. If you liked this post, please Like it, rate it accordingly, and share with your friends. Thanks for dropping by.

Until next time, Happy Holidays!

How to Change an Edited RAW Image Back to Its Original Settings


One of the great advantages of shooting RAW images is that you can always return an edited image to how it was captured by your camera after you have edited it. In this quick video tip, we’ll demonstrate how to do that using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor in Photoshop Elements 14.

However, the steps are the same in earlier versions of Elements, as well as in Photoshop CC.

YouTube Title

 

 

Scratching the Surface of Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to Work


About a week ago Google made its complete Nik Collection suite of plug-ins for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements available as a free download. In an earlier post I explained what was in the collection and where to download it.

In my last post on this subject, I illustrated how the Dfine 2 plug-in can be easily used to reduce the noise that results when an image is captured using an extremely high ISO.

This time, we take a very brief look at what  Nik Color Efex Pro 4 can do. It has so many presets and effects that there is no way to do it justice in one short blog post. So instead, I’ll just illustrate what I did to pretty overexposed image. I chose to use Photoshop Elements 14 for this post, but earlier versions of Elements, and of course Photoshop could be used as well.

  1. First, I added one of the image Border presets in Color Efex Pro 4.
  2. Then I added one of the Color Efex Pro 4 Tonal Contrast presets.
  3. At that point,I added a traditional Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer.
  4. I then merged these layers into a composite layer using Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E.
  5. Finally, I applied the auto profile setting of Dfine 2, since the adjustments I was adding to this small JPEG image were beginning to take its toll.

Shown below is the layer stack I ended up with.

Efex Pro Layer Stack

A couple points are worth noting here. First I had set the Options in Color Efex Pro 4 to apply each effect on its own layer. Among other things, this allowed me to tweak the impact of the effect by adjusting the Opacity of the layer. Also, note that you can intermingle Color EfexPro 4 layers with layers dealing with Photoshop Elements commands. Think of the multitude of presets embedded in Color Efex Pro 4 as starting points for you to adjust to create your own vision of the captured scene.

The figure below compares my before and after for this simple example.

Efex Pro Before After.jpg

I hope you found this post helpful. If so, click on the Like and share it with others using the buttons below. Also, let me know what you think of the Nik Collection in the comments below.

Download Nik Collection Software From Google For Free


You may have seen this announcement elsewhere, but just in case you haven’t, Google is providing the complete Nik Collection of plug-ins as a free download.

For those of you not familiar with the Nik Collection, it is a suite of several plug-ins that integrate with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom that adds a variety of effects and advanced settings for enhancing your images.

These tools include:

  • Color Efex Pro
  • Analog Efex Pro
  • Silver Efex Pro
  •  Viveza
  • HDR Efex Pro
  • Sharpener Pro
  • Dfine

You can find out much more about the plug-ins and download the complete suite from the link below.

https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

You really should take advantage of this opportunity. Up until this announcement, the software package  sold for about $150, and was one of the most popular packages of its kind.

I will have more to say about the Nik Collection in future posts.