Learn how to set the black point to match a target in this Adobe Photoshop CS2 Advanced training video.
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Now that we've sat these two sample points in place here and I'll go ahead and zoom out for my image so that we can see both sample points. So there is the highlight sample, sample one and there is the shadow sample, sample two.
Now that we've got these two guys in place here, I am going to move the Info Palette out on screen so that we can see the Info Palette. very important that we're able to track the values in the Info Palette while we're working inside the Levels dialog box. I am going to press Ctrl+L or Command+L here on the Mac to bring the Levels dialog box on screen. Keep an eye on the RGB values here, here and here. Notice as I move my cursor around by the way I have the Caps Lock down, but if I let it off, you'll see that it's the Eyedropper cursor and this Eyedropper cursor doesn't actually do anything. Sometimes when you're working inside of a dialog box like the Color Range dialog box or even the Curves dialog box, you can have this Eyedropper cursor do something for you.
But for us it's not really doing anything, it's not modifying any of the values, not modifying any of the colors on screen, even if we were to click on screen inside the image, it would just lift the foreground color, but it wouldn't do anything to the foreground color. What's really happening is as I move the cursor, notice that the top RGB values are updating on the fly inside the Info Palette, whereas the number one and number two RGB values are remaining fixed. So they are just doggedly keeping track of the number one and the number two targets for us. That's really great, and that's going to permit us to change the darkest colors and the lightest colors in this image automatically.
So instead of fussing around with Black Slider Triangle or the White Slider Triangle over just taking advantage of the Auto button which just applies the Auto Levels function and lets Photograph perhaps do some changes that we don't want it to do, we can very strictly evaluate the darkest color and the lightest colors inside the image using the white and black eyedroppers here in the lower right-and corner of the Levels dialog box. So here's what I am going to do. I am going to first reset these values, just Option+Click on Reset or Alt+Click on Reset on the PC in order to restore the original colors inside this image. Then I am going to get my black Eyedropper.
Now normally when you click with the black eyedropper, it's sort of a chancy operation. If I click, for example, in this green area here, I am saying that that pixel and any pixel that's darker than that pixel will go to black, and you can see that reflected in the upper right-hand values in the Info Palette. I am not going to move my cursor, I just want you to notice in the Info Palette, now it says 163, 177, 100 for the values before the slashes and then the values after the slashes change to 0, 0, 0. In other words, it's changing from a pretty dark color, not all that dark actually to absolute black.
So we're really, really harming the colors inside this image using this black Eyedropper. So normally I don't really like this tool all that much, because it does have a tendency to do a lot of damage to the image. But if you've identified exactly where the darkest pixel is inside the image with this color sample as I have, then, you can zoom in on that sample that's here inside the teeth, just to make sure that I absolutely align things properly I am going to press the Caps Lock key once again so I get my little target cursor, you can see it inside the nostril there.
Now notice as I move that target cursor over the target, one cancels out the other, so when I don't see the target anymore I know I have the cursor exactly aligned, and I'll click again. Notice now that I bring back all the good colors inside my image but I change this darkest color right here from 36, 33, 24 in terms of the RGB values to 0, 0, 0. So in other words to absolute black. So, just so we can see the difference here, this is before, I reset it, the image is slightly washed out, notice that. I'll bring this over so we can see a little bit of her eyes here. This is after when I click on this spot and because I've identified that black spot with this target, I know exactly where it is, I can match it over-and-over again, I'll click again, darkens up those shadows, gives us a much richer image, looks a lot better, thanks to clicking on it with the black Eyedropper Tool.
So we can take advantage of that automation. So it's a little bit of a pain in the neck to set up those color samples in the first place. But they really are rewarding later on down the line.