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Okay so this is one of the images that I shot during the series, I think I went ahead to three different locations over the space of five days and this is one of the better locations; the lighting was so quite nice on this one. The other ones were quite so successful in terms of lightings. So this is one I decided to retouch to show you.
Basically there’s a little bit more to this image than meets the eye but I’m not really going to go in that depth in this tutorial because there’s a lot involved. My original image was actually this which is okay but because of the sunset behind, we also lost the sky detail there so I had to basically build a mask and to mask all these fine details the leaves. Obviously that is quite time consuming process or can be. It actually did not took me that long because of the software I use, but I don’t want to get so much in depth to that at the moment it’s a possibility we can look at on another tutorial. But to this one, I will show that anyway. That’s the sky I used. The dropdown I passed it on a little bit but if I just knock it out we can now have a quick look.
So you can see—by the way this was made up. So that was the sky from another shot, I think that might be a shot in Greece, somewhere like that. And so yes, so that’s the one I decided to put in, it matched in quite nicely and just retained a little bit more color as well in that area.
So anyway onto the retouch in the image, I’m going to show you quite an advance little technique on this one involving the color. It’s quite straightforward but it’s called Lab color space. If you go to image, mode and you’ll see Lab listed there. Now Lab is a very powerful color space, there’s a lot more you could do with it. Now I’m going to show you.
There’s a guy called Dan Margulis, I think his name is Dan Margulis. He’s an American guy, he is a bit of a Photoshop color guru. He’s a specialist in color within Photoshop and he’s written a few books and he has written one on Lab. I must admit I’ve read a couple of times and he’s a little bit hard going. It’s quite deep and quite techy, so I’m still kind of trying to circle that up. Let me show you a technique that I use which is kind of derived from that book. It may not be exactly the way he would advice to do but it’s a way I come in and incorporated that and it works for me and that’s the main thing; if it works it works.
So we’ll take you to it. Okay so here’s our layered image and this is the picture spotted over the new sky and ready to be adjusted. So what I’m going to do is click on the history panel and go to new snapshot, we’re going to make a snapshot for the documents and I’m going to call it “LAB COLOUR ADJ”, and I’m going to pick out not full document, I don’t need the all the documents. I’m going to pick current layer and I’m just going to pick out this layer here that we’ve got open.
Okay so then, that principle snapshot within history palette, you’ll highlight that and in the bottom here and you can create a new document. So basically all we’ve done is taken my rather this old, flatten image and saving it and then opening it up again and all sorts of playing around like that. I basically just, for within a document, I’ve basically just created a new version on there. So with that version active here in Lab color adjustment and I’m going to get to image, mode, Lab color.
Now you’ll notice not a lot has happened which is okay, that’s not a problem. We’re going to go on to the adjustment layers and go to curves. Actually before I do that I will show you the channels palette and normally you got the RGB and you’ll notice here, we’ve got a lightness channel and an a channel and b channel. Note A and B contain all the color information of the image and the lightness channel is basically a black and white channel and these three make up the Lab channel there.
So what we’re going to do now is do a curve adjustment layer. We don’t like—we’re going to pick out the A channel to begin with. I’m going to put a little stopper on there right in the middle and just to help with the adjustments. The trouble—a couple of things I need to point out, Lab adjustments work better on images that are well colored corrected to begin with and a slightly flat. So for instance if you open an image that were shot in bright sunlight in California is very sunny day contrast and you took it into Lab to do what I’m about to do there, you’d end up with some very, very strange effects. I mean give it a go but it’s ideally for what we’re trying to do.
And so anyway, here we go, we’re going to hold our parallel line here and just grab the top of the curve and just, I’ll bring it across. Now you’ll see already the image is going a lot redder and that’s because it’s taken too far. So what I’m trying to do, basically I want to try and basically bring more of the colors in these trees. Basically we’ve got kind of a very autumn color yellowy, brown color and we got some green. So one things Lab does very well which doesn’t really work as well with just using hue and saturation is it enables you to separate the colors that much better and it’s basically these very fun adjustments. You’ll see in a minute it can be a real pain to get it right, but we’ll give it a go.
So what I want to do then, I want to just to pull my cursor over the image and just see where these tones of lay in the image. Now this is going to be quite a pink because it’s right in the middle there but we’ll give it a go. So I want to make these a bit more, bring out the old color in here, so basically I want to bring this curve a little bit to make the whole image go a little bit more red and then just bring that back down again. We don’t want to fit the whole Halloween and we don’t really want to fit the sky area. And by bringing this up here, it’s going to do that. So let’s try and bring that down. Also this is going to be a bit of a fitly one, we’re working a very close with these control points and that’s what makes it a little bit difficult to do.
Okay so we’re just going to keep adjusting this a little bit more to see where that brings us. We don’t really want magenta or warm cast all over the image, just in this parts we’ve already done. So I think that is going to be nearly fit now. Just keep an eye on this area here. I need to bring that down a little bit now and bring the greens up, like so. Don’t worry if you go, if it looks to be OTT you can always drop the opacity back once we’ve opened it up in Photoshop again.
I’m just going to get to the b channel I don’t think we’re going to need to do much here. This controls the, basically the yellow and the blue in the image. We might put a little bit of yellow back in there, just keep it warm, we don’t want this go into blue. So yeah I think that’s going to be about it. So we just kind of—I’m just going to pin that down there. So I think that’s going to be about done.
So that is the before and that is the after. Let me just zoom in a little bit so you can see. Again, we basically want to in this area just separate these colors out a little bit. So that’s the before, that’s the after, not massive amount but I think you’ll see this, there’s a lot difference.
So now what I’m going to do, I’m going to go layer and then we’re going to drag this into a master Photoshop file. Okay so we flatten the Lab file, the adjustment layer and now I’m just going to actually hold down my shift key and pick up my move tool and drag into a master Photoshop folder and there we go. Before doing anything else, I’m just going to rename this LAB COLOUR so we know what it’s all about.
So right, so let’s zoom in again. I’ll show you before and after so far. So that’s what we started off with which quite nice but flat. Now all we’ve done is really just added a robust color. But more important than the color as I’ve mentioned before is that we separated this tones in here a bit better. Now just to show you that I’ve just here I set up a little adjustment layer, a hue and saturation adjustment layer but basically boosting the reds and yellows and the greens to add a bit extra color in there and just to show the difference. So that’s the original file. That’s with a hue and saturation boost, like so. And this is with Lab.
It’s a little bit more subtle and as I said I think you’ll see that, hopefully on the screen, that it separates the colors better. That’s the hue and saturation. That’s Lab. It is a definite effects and than hue saturation. But you know, the best you’re going to do is try it on wherever image you’re working on and see what do you prefer. It certainly on a lot of images I’ve worked on it has made have a lot of difference to the pictures as something I would haven’t achieve with a hue-saturation.
So now we can move on and we can adjust this a little bit. Perhaps knock some of the areas back a bit that were not so in and all. For instance, I’m going to add an adjustment Lab, a layer mask and I want to take away some of the foreground green and I think it’s a little bit over powered. So I’m going to pain the end in black just to take that adjustment away from the area, brings back a bit more of the yellow foreground to the picture, like so. That’s for the—that’s where that’s on so let take that back a bit. The rest of it, I’m no to, I don’t mind too much so I think we adjusted it quite well. And again you can see even in the hedge here, there is little subtle color differences in the hedges which just weren’t visible before, not to that degree so it’s really, really separate them in brightly the color quite well.
And then I think that the other thing I might do is just again, that is like a blue on the top of the sky. I’m just going to just knock that out as well on the top there make sure we don’t go up when coming through. As I said most of the adjustment we wanted with that effect, it’s just in the hill side here. So I think that’s it for the Lab conversion.
So now we just go in and treat the curves on the tree, just basically just put a bit more atmosphere on the shot. Okay so I’m just going to just show you the other adjustments layers I’ve made very quickly and the point got into lots of detail and I’ve done a selective lighting lay out just for the fun of it, which is this one here. You can see that is just adjusting, I’ll show you the layer mask so it’s not, cannot affect in this area or runny edges, it’s just affecting the middle light there and just lighting there.
And then I’ve done another similar one at this time, mainly on the tree and I’ve let in more contrast, choose that there and then finally there I’ve made another adjustment layer which is basically affecting the edges. So I’m just darkening the edges, not so much the sky and I’ve left that pretty much alone. But just at the bottom there, just help keep your attention into middle picture.
That one I’ve set to luminosity. This one I’ve left it normal because I quite like the color it was going, and this one I put on luminosity and I drop the opacity to about 42%, and these other two are 100%. So I’m just going to rename that to adjustments. I like to name all my layers I can just so I know what they are and that keeps them nice and tidy.
So we’re nearly there. What I need to do next is just to resharpen the image up and again I’m not going to sharpen probably the whole image. I’m going to do, well I’m going to do an edge sharpen on the image just to crisp out the leaves and the foliage. And I think we’ll be nearly there.
So how I do that is, you also got a lot of sharp and effects within Photoshop. I use a little bit of software called PhotoKit Creative Sharpener and that just gives me a lot of little preset, different effects, as I said, it’s just ease of use. You don’t need to use them but I can use Edge Sharpen, I’ve got Luminance Sharpen, High Pass Sharpener.
So I’m just going to pick edge sharpener and I can basically sharpen the image up, put edges of the image. I did that at full strength, you don’t have them at full strength but I do and then I can again, I could knock them back a bit while I’m using a mass cord just drop the opacity back on the daylight. So there’s the set he has given me. And I’m just going to show you how sharp that is. You can see on the—this is because of the actual pixels. You can see on the leaves there, what difference we’re making. Now I probably don’t want it quite that harsh so I’m just going to—oh to now actually, it’s quite a bit of a fresh orange set.
Perhaps just drop it back by 10%, down to about 90% and I think we’re going to be far off by then. But again with this, you can add another layer most of this and just allow the shortening on the tree, the foreground, let’s say fairly soft. And that again will help focus the viewers attention on the areas that you want them to focus on and on this picture it still to the foreground. So again, sharpness and color can help you do that, how you directly viewers attention.
Okay, I have the, 5, 10 ten minutes just to go to the image and work out what else we need to do in and I decided to add a little bit more contrast the whole image to just—the way I did that is I created a new blank layer. I went to the layers palette here and I did a most visible but rather than flat and whole image; I held down the alt key and what that does it just merges all the layers into a single layer on top of the layers palette, like so. I then change the mode from normal to overlay which gives us lots and lots of contrast and in fact too much contrast so I decided it should be at about 29%. So it’s 29% and that just usually adds a little bit more contrast just paste the whole image up a bit and just increase the saturation as well. I did a layer mask here and I just took in a little bit of the white in the foreground there.
So that’s it, it’s all done and done with and what we’ll do is I’m going to show you after this, tutorial is finished show you a few other images I’ve used the same technique on of the Lab technique. But, yeah go into a search and check it out. I mean I got a few more tips for you using Lab then I’ll share them with you, but to tell you something I have not really had chance to really delve right into it and there is so much more to it than what I’ve shown you. But it’s incredible work space to work in. But it is a bit fiddly and you know, you go to a little bit restrains especially with the images that I’ve already got in a fabric contrast with them. And but yeah go ahead and play around. Let’s say do a search on Google for Lab color space or Dan Margulis and I’ll put this name spell out properly for you. I’m putting the links I’ve got under the video.
Anyway, thanks for watching again and I’ll catch you next time. Cheers!