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Author Topic: Best way to color adjust images  (Read 1191 times)
jonathan.lipkin
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« on: September 18, 2012, 08:24:40 AM »
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Ok, bear with me, as this may seem a stupid question. How do you color adjust your images? I'm teaching a photo course where students will be using point and shoot cameras that produce JPEG, not raw, files. When I learned PS way back when, I'd use a curves adjustment layer set to color blend mode, then drag the mid point on the channel I wanted to adjust. Now, I just do my adjustments in ACR. Our lab manager teaches the same course, and she teaches using the color balance adjustment layer, which didn't exist when I started.

Is there a difference in the way the two work? How would you teach the class?
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 09:57:37 AM »
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I guess it depends on the level of your students and what they plan on doing with their images.
If they are shooting JPEG then the chance that they are printing is less then 10%.
If thats the case then they probably do not have any software.
I would then teach them how to set their camera software for the normal JPEG in camera settings.

Just a quick short story.
3 years ago I had 30 photographers in my studio for a one day canvas printing and mounting workshop. (The local photo meetup group.)
I started out with short tutorial on color management. The group leader raises his hand and says Dan I am not sure these folks know what you are talking about.
So I ask them how many print your own images expecting to see 25 hands.
To my surprise only about 5 are printing. Right to the next question. How many shoot raw and process your images?
Mabye 3 or 4.
Basicly the whole group is shooting jpeg with no processing and viewing on the computer.
Facebook and other social media programs.
Quite surprised to say the least.

 For point and shoot JPEG shooters I am guessing anything to do with layers,curves and channels will be over their heads.
Probably as good a time as ever to plant that seed and get them on the right track.


« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 09:59:46 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

jonathan.lipkin
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 10:37:50 AM »
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Thanks, Dan. It's an intro to design course with a bit of photoshop thrown in, so we are going to tackle selections, layers, etc. I'm trying to get them to be able to take decent photos, but the only cameras available are point and shoot canons, so we're working with that.

I'm actually on break at the moment and have just discussed adjustment layers, will have them tone adjust their images when we get back. They seem to be able to understand the basics of it pretty well, I have to say.

Most of the output is going to be web-centered, with one class on printing, I think. A lot of the students are going on to journalism, so I don['t know what kind of output they'll use.
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k bennett
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:42:46 AM »
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They could open the JPEG files in Adobe Camera Raw and use the color adjustment tools there (along with the exposure tools, etc.) It's easy enough to do this from Bridge.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 11:12:25 AM »
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Thanks, Dan. It's an intro to design course with a bit of photoshop thrown in, so we are going to tackle selections, layers, etc. I'm trying to get them to be able to take decent photos, but the only cameras available are point and shoot canons, so we're working with that.

I'm actually on break at the moment and have just discussed adjustment layers, will have them tone adjust their images when we get back. They seem to be able to understand the basics of it pretty well, I have to say.

Most of the output is going to be web-centered, with one class on printing, I think. A lot of the students are going on to journalism, so I don['t know what kind of output they'll use.


 Intro to design so they are not beginners.
Whole different ball game.
Sorry,the point and shoot camera is what threw me off.
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smthopr
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 12:39:45 PM »
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Jonathan,

If I were teaching...I would instruct the students to use a "curves" adjustment layer, in normal mode. All the basic correction tools are included in the curves control.

Start with adjusting the white balance by moving the top of the curve in Red, Green, and Blue individually.

Then adjust the black balance in the same way, only using the bottom of the respective curves.
They should have the "info" window open so that they can see how the numbers change when using the eye dropper.  They should be training their eyes, not using the aids to adjust white or midtones to neutral on gray or white parts of the image.

Next, adjust the white and black levels using RGB mode while holding down the "option" key to show white and black clipping.

Next, adjust the gamma in RGB mode by using just one point in the middle of the curve.

Fine tune color by adjusting the gamma in the individual R, G, and B curves.

And lastly, more points can be added to the RGB curve to adjust shadow and/or highlights to taste.

I think that this is the best approach to insure that the students understand color correction, and not short-cuts that don't involve as much thinking.
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Bruce Alan Greene
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jonathan.lipkin
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 01:41:14 PM »
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Thanks, Bruce. More or less what I've been doing. I start off with levels, because it's a bit simpler. More advanced classes use curves.
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