Posts Tagged ‘acr’

VSCO Launches Film 04 to Help Photogs Emulate the Look of Slide Film


VSCO is expanding its popular line of film emulation presets/profiles yet again. The company has announced Film 04, a new pack of emulators that help photographers recreate the look of various slide film stocks in digital photos. It’s “the most authentic film emulation available,” the company says.
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“Your Photos Look Better Processed in Lightroom 4. Period.”

Photoshop guru Scott Kelby has high praise for the overhauled Develop Module that’s coming in Lightroom 4. In a recent post titled “Why I Think Lightroom 4 is Going To Sell Like Crazy“, he writes,

Your photos look better processed in Lightroom 4. Period. […] The improvements in Lightroom’s Development module are so significant, and so much better than what we’ve ever had before, that I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find most anyone still using Lightroom 3 in just a few months from now. In fact, if they didn’t add another feature, it would still be worth the upgrade just to get better looking images.

You can watch a walkthrough of new the new module here, or play around with the new engine yourself by downloading the free Lightroom 4 Beta release. This is also great news for Photoshop users: the same engine is coming to Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Camera Raw.

(via Scott Kelby via John Nack)

A Sneak Peek at Adobe Camera Raw 7

Here’s a cool sneak peek at some of the new features coming to the next version of Adobe Camera Raw. The adjustment brushes will have powerful new options for local adjustments, including temperature, tint, and noise. We also get to see the new dark interface that’ll come by default with Photoshop CS6.

Although the new, rewritten processing engine for ACR7 isn’t available to the public, it’s the same engine found in Lightroom 4, which just became available as a free public beta download a couple weeks ago.

(via 1001 Noisy Cameras)

How to Add Dramatic Colors to a Photo Using Adobe Camera Raw

Here’s a helpful tutorial by Tutvid that teaches how to give your photographs dramatic colors using only Adobe Camera Raw. If you’ve started shooting RAW but haven’t played around too much with ACR, this video is also a great primer for becoming familiar with the different panels and sliders.

(via Fotografia)

Post-Processing a Cute Kitten Portrait

My friend recently had two stray kittens randomly walk up to her doorstep. I was called over to see them, and carried my 5D and 24-70mm along. There wasn’t much light to work with, and I didn’t bring a flash, so I had to shoot at 1600 ISO for any chance of capturing a sharp image of the energetic kittens. I haven’t done a walkthrough post for quite some time (opting to post guest posts instead), but here’s a quick walkthrough of how I post-processed one particular image of a kitten. I used Adobe Camera Raw (comes with Photoshop CS4) with my adjustments, but you’ll have the same settings in Lightroom, Aperture, etc…
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Sneak Peek at Lens Correction Feature in Lightroom and Camera Raw

Tom Hogarty, the Lightroom product manager over at Adobe, has posted a sneak peek at the automatic lens correction technology that will be included in Lightroom 3 and Adobe Camera Raw 6 (included in CS5).

Using profiles for lenses that are either included or added by the user, the feature can automatically correct the distortion, chromatic aberration, and vignetting characteristics of particular lenses, helping you to “normalize” how your work looks across your various lenses.

John Ncak, the Photoshop product manager, writes on his blog:

With the introduction of killer new noise reduction, demosaicing algorithms, and sharpening plus sophisticated lens correction, the Lightroom/Camera Raw duo put even more distance between themselves and the competition, and I’d expect them to keep mopping the floor with Aperture among pro photographers.

As you can see from this quote and from recent events, Adobe and Apple absolutely love each other.

Here’s a pretty interesting sneak peek video showing you the lens correction technology in action:

Photoshop CS4 is a Worthy Upgrade

I just purchased Adobe Photoshop CS4 last week for my Macbook after being unable to transfer my CS3 student serial for PCs to a Mac version. Adobe’s phone customer support leaves something to be desired. Spent an hour’s worth of cell phone minutes listening to their elevator music, and finally hung up without talking to anyone. It’s pretty absurd that they put you on hold for so long even when you’re calling to make a purchase. They could learn a thing or two from Zappos.

While I was in the student store, I was thinking about also purchasing Lightroom 2. A lot of my buddies use it for their photography, but I always used Photoshop since I needed Photoshop for web development and thought Lightroom’s functionality with be redundant. However, Lightroom definitely had some features that I wish CS3 had, but was pleasantly surprised to find included in CS4.

One such feature is the new adjustment brush in Adobe Camera Raw:


I actually didn’t know they added this to CS4 before I purchased it. Prior to CS4, Adobe Camera Raw only allowed you to make changes to the image as a whole, while Lightroom had tools that allowed you to do local adjustments just like you would be able to in Photoshop. Now you can do local adjustments right in ACR.


Those of you who got CS4 a while ago have probably been using the adjustment brush for a long time already, but for those of you with a previous version of Photoshop and who shoot Raw, this is a pretty darn good reason to upgrade.

Now, if only Adobe would include better methods for comparing the before and after images in ACR…

Danger: Extremely Hazardous Waves

Went to Bodega bay to do some crabbing for the first time, and took this photo while walking to the beach (it’s the untouched RAW):


Canon 40D + 24-70mm 2.8 at 24mm, f/8.0, 1/250s, and ISO 100.

What was interesting was that though the sign warned people to stay off the structure, most people there were on the rocks fishing and crabbing.

In post-processing this image, I’d like to make it pop, while bringing out the detail in the sky.

Opening up the file in Adobe Camera RAW, I made the following edits:

dangere1White Balance: Upped temperature to 5600 from 5400. Auto while balance set it at 6100, but I felt like it was way too warm, so I brought it down a bit.
Exposure: Increased by half a stop. +.50. This clips the sky, and but we’ll deal with it in recovery.
Recovery: +20 to recover some lost detail in the sky.
Fill Light: +20 to bring out some shadow details and to even out the difference between the sky and the ground. Gives the foreground a pretty unsaturated, pasty look. We’ll deal with the contrast in the next steps.
Blacks: We lost all of our true black in the previous steps, and the darkest color we were left with was a gray. Turn these darkest points into black again by upping blacks to +10 from +5.
Brightness: Unchanged.
Contrast: +70 to make it pop. Usually in photographs with textures and things like rocks, I like having more contrast rather than less.
Clarity: +20 to make the signboard stand out a little more against the bright sky.
Vibrance: +20 to make the colors pop a bit.

Sharpness: +75. What I usually like to set it at.
Luminance: Aquas -50 and Blues -50 to darken the sky a tiny bit (we’ll do the rest in Photoshop).
Lens Vignetting: -30. A little. Not too much.

This is the resulting image after this first RAW to JPEG conversion step (hover your mouse over it to compare it to the original RAW):


While the foreground has more detail and more “pop”, not much happened to the sky. As I explained earlier, I’d like to make the sky a little more dramatic in this particular photograph.

Opening up the file in Photoshop rather than ACR now, I do the following:


  1. Duplicate the layer
  2. Add a layer mask
  3. Mask out the ground, and selectively mask the rest
  4. Adjust curves for this duplicate layer (curve shown to the right):

For the mask, I decided that instead of only adjusting the sky, I also wanted to adjust the water and the hills at the horizon. I didn’t want to adjust these things separately, but I also didn’t want to adjust them as much as the sky.

Thus, I decided to use a mask in which the water and hills are 50% masked. This allows me to adjust curves for the sky, with 50% of the curve being applied to the water and hills as well.

This is what my mask ended up looking like. Notice how the sky is 0% masked, the hills and water are 50% masked, and the rest (whatever I don’t want affected) is 100% masked:


Here’s the final image (hover to compare with previous step):


You can also hover over these links to see the original RAW or layer mask.

That’s it! Hope you found this post-processing walkthrough helpful. If you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, please leave a comment.

Basketball Hoop Walkthrough

Today I’ll be doing a post-processing walkthrough with the following photograph I took about a week ago:


It was taken with a Canon 40D + 16-35mm at 35mm, f/2.8, 1/500s, and ISO 800.

The composition is pretty ordinary. The basketball hoop is placed along one of the rule-of-third lines, while the lines of the ground create interesting angles in the photo.

In terms of exposure, I didn’t want to properly expose the foreground and blow out the sky, nor did I want to properly expose the sky and end up with too dark of a foreground. Thus, I ended up exposing it somewhere in between, causing both the ground and sky to be a little “muddy” in appearance.

hoopedits1Now, opening up the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw, here were my initial adjustments:

White Balance: I upped the temperature a bit, since the original photograph is too cool, or blue. See how the gray backboard looks bluish-gray.
Exposure: We begin tackling the “muddiness” of the photograph by increasing exposure a little. The photo begins to look more properly exposed.
Recovery: Increasing the exposure blew out certain small areas of the photograph. Increased recovery by twenty to recover the detail in these areas.
Fill Light: Added a tiny bit of fill light to brighten some of the darker areas of the foreground without affecting the sky.
Blacks: After the previous steps, we lost a lot of true black and ended up with a whole lot of gray. Increase black a little to turn the darkest of the gray points into black points.
Brightness: Increased brightness by 10 from the default of 50 to brighten the foreground a little more without affecting the sky too much.
Contrast: The photo became pretty “uncontrasty” through the previous steps. Increased contrast to +70 to regain the lost contrast.
Clarity: Increased this to +50 to make the hoop stand out a little more against the bright sky behind it.
Vibrance: Increased by 20 to give the less-saturated colors in the photo a little more color.

After making these changes, this how the resulting photograph looks (hover your mouse over it to compare it to the original version):


See how the photograph became less “muddy” in appearance?

Next, we can deal with sharpness and vignetting. In my opinion, this is a photograph that vignetting benefits a lot, as it can help draw the viewers eye to the subject (the hoop). For this photograph, I made the following changes:

Sharpness: +75.
Lens Vignetting: Amount -60, Midpoint 40.

The following photograph results (hover to compare):


That’s all the changes I made to the photograph in Adobe Camera Raw during the RAW to JPEG conversion step. I could be done with the photo at this point, but notice how there’s a distracting crack in the ground in the bottom left corner of the photograph. I used the clone stamp tool in Photoshop to get rid of this crack.

Here’s the final, post-processed photograph (hover over it to compare it to the original photograph before post-processing):


What I really liked about this photo was how it looks like a film photograph in certain ways. If I had stepped a little further back so that the hoop was smaller, I might have cropped the photograph to look more like a medium format photo.

Using Luminance to Darken Skies

I was over at Lake Tahoe attending my brother’s soccer tournament this past weekend, and took this photograph from behind the opponent’s goal:


I corrected a few things in Adobe Camera RAW, and this is the resulting image (hover over it to compare):


The difference isn’t too big. I just corrected a few things, and addressed a tiny bit of clipping in certain areas.

At this point, I wanted the sky to be a little darker and for the clouds to be more dramatic. This is where the luminance tab comes in. All you need to do to instantly make the sky more interesting is drop the slider for aquas and blues. In this case, I decided to drop them both to -50 (I like simple numbers):


Here is what this simple edit does to the final photograph (hover over it to compare):


Pretty neat, huh? Play around with the luminance slider, and you can do pretty interesting things with skies.