Photo Editing: Cinematic Styles in Adobe Camera Raw | Elizabeth Weinberg | Skillshare

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Photo Editing: Cinematic Styles in Adobe Camera Raw

teacher avatar Elizabeth Weinberg, Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Why Processing Matters


    • 3.

      Color, Style, Mood


    • 4.

      Camera Raw Walkthrough


    • 5.

      Lets Work on a File Together


    • 6.

      Fixing Chromatic Aberration


    • 7.

      Fixing Blown-Out Highlights


    • 8.

      Bringing It All Together


    • 9.



    • 10.

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About This Class

How do you make your digital images look like film?

This insightful one-hour class with celebrity portrait photographer Elizabeth Weinberg will walk you through exactly what goes on behind those Instagram filters and editing programs, so you can understand the fundamentals of light, color, grain, saturation, and – in essence – make your digital photos not suck.

Elizabeth walks through the 4 telltale signs of ugly digital photos:

  • No grain
  • Terrible skin tones and highlights
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Oversaturation

...and how to fix these issues quickly and easily. 

This class is perfect for photographers of all levels – whether you're just starting out, or if you've been shooting for years and want to hone your processing style.

Join Elizabeth in her digital darkroom (Adobe Camera Raw) for a crash course in photo editing, and leave with the skills and confidence to add a signature cinematic style to your own portraits.


What You'll Learn

  • Processing photographs. Elizabeth will walk you through her processing toolkit to show you how to view digital files,  adjust them to look more natural,  create a consistent look for an entire shoot, and  hone your signature style. Whether you are a dipping your toe into beginner photography or expanding your practice, Elizabeth's lessons will help you develop your editorial eye to create more expressive, polished work.
  • Creating your own. You will be invited to adjust your photography files with the help of Elizabeth's tips, and to submit them along with the raw files for constructive feedback and review.
  • Analyzing digital files. Elizabeth maintains that one of the most important parts of a photographer's work is how they process their files. Before you learn how to adjust raw files though, you need to know the drawbacks of shooting with digital cameras – and how to correct for common "ugly digital" mistakes. Elizabeth will explore concepts like color, saturation, and grain to help you train your eyes to see digital files for what they are – groups of adjustable pixels – and how to finesse them into whatever you would like them to express.
  • Honing your toolkit.  You'll learn the ins and outs of Adobe processing programs, including when and where to use Adobe Lightroom, and when Adobe Camera Raw will work better for your creative purposes. Elizabeth will also go over the basics of the Adobe Camera Raw adjustment panel, giving you a guide for how to adjust color, vibrancy, tone, shadow, and exposure to enhance your photography's film-like qualities without the time and expense of film itself.
  • Digital presets. Elizabeth will discuss why she often avoids the filters that are built into social media applications like VSCO and Instagram – and will reveal the only time she believes they help her create exceptional, effective art. She will also show you how to correct batches of photographs at once, and discuss how the right filter can have the wrong consequences if shots are taken with different lenses or on different days.
  • Color correction. You'll review how a photograph's color is affected by setting, time of day, and camera ISO, and how photographers can use basic color theory to set a mood or define their personal style. You'll play with your toolkit along with Elizabeth as she guides you to notice and address skin tone and other common challenges the way that she does. She also reviews how to apply color strategically, enhancing shadow and highlights with different filters to create more evocative, moody work.
  • Create grain and mood. Elizabeth will talk you through what photography "grain" is, and how it can be used to create cinematic photographs with the click of a few buttons.
  • Fixing aberrations and blown-out highlights. You'll learn the step-by-step ways to correct for common digital file challenges like chromatic aberrations and overexposed patches of light. You'll also develop methods for coaxing more texture out of backlight photography, and to adjust your whites and highlights to make more natural, beautiful photographs.

Meet Your Teacher

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Elizabeth Weinberg



Elizabeth Weinberg lives and works in Los Angeles by way of Boston and Brooklyn. With an educational background in photojournalism, she specializes in storytelling and portraiture that mixes a loose, effortless style with measured precision that produces cinematic, timeless work.

Elizabeth has been recognized with awards and features from PDN's 30 Photographers to Watch, the Art Directors Club's Young Guns, American Photography, and Communication Arts.

She has expanded her decade of professional experience in still photography toward a newfound love of directing evocative motion pieces.

Her skills in imaging post-production set her apart. She believes that the finessing of color, saturation, and grain is just as important to a still or moving piece as its content. S... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi. I'm Elizabeth Weinberg. I'm a photographer based in Los Angeles. In this class, we're going to go over to make your digital images not suck. Something that clients and other photographers alike always remark on is my processing style, and that's something that I'm really passionate about, and it's something that I think is consistent throughout my entire body of work. I think it's something that people can learn themselves and create their own unique color style. There's going to be certain characteristics that you may never have noticed before. We're going to talk about how color changes throughout the time of day and with that situation you're in. Then, we're going to actually go dive in and edit raw files from scratch. This class is great for professionals who've been in the game for a long time who want to really nail down this processing or beginners who have just transitioned from an iPhone to a digital SLR. It's really useful for anyone of any skill level to really figure out a way to hone their look to be unique to them. So let's get started. 2. Why Processing Matters: Processing your files is the most important thing you can do to an image. Not retouching, not cropping nothing. The color that you apply and the saturation that you adjust and the grain that you possibly add are all the most important things you can do. Do not insult your work by just putting whatever hits the sensor out into the world. Digital files are not meant to just be put out the way they are. When you shoot a negative, 35 millimeter negative, and you want to print it, you still have to adjust each color channel, you have to adjust the cyan, you have to adjust the magenta, you have to adjust the yellow. You can tweak those things by tiny amounts of points. You still have to do that to your digital files. Just because it's digital and it's fast and easy does not mean that it's a shortcut to the end result. You still have to put in the work to make your images really express what you're trying to say, to really put your unique stamp on each one. You cannot understand this unless you can see it. The image on the left here is completely straight out of the camera and the image on the right I've adjusted and finessed to really fit the mood of the picture. Once you see the two side-by-side you realize wow there's a huge stylistic difference here and that is something that anyone can achieve very easily with just a few minor adjustments to their files. I think for me frustrating things is to see beautiful photos put out into the world that have not been processed properly or just looks like unfinished. It's perhaps like an unfinished painting. Suddenly it doesn't have that final touch to it that really makes it a complete piece of work, and you'll be able to, by the end of this class hopefully, be able to pinpoint the things that you can tell need to be adjusted from within each file. I think when people are first starting out, the first thing that they go to for processing files is Lightroom. Lightroom has a lot of bells and resource when it comes to large groups of files. You can do tagging, you can do key wording, you can do libraries. However, when you're adjusting the color the engine that is running Lightroom, Lightroom is the basically the facade, behind that, behind the curtain is Adobe Camera Raw which is what this is. So, you can actually bypass that if you want and open up your files just in Adobe Camera Raw. It is getting as close as possible to adjusting your files without any middleman. I'm sure many people are familiar with Instagram filters and VSCO Presets. All of those things are exactly the same as what we are going to show you here. This is going to show you what goes on behind those presets, what is being adjusted, how you can make your own if you want. I used to be kind of anti the preset world I thought it was kind of cheating, I thought it was too easy shortcuts, you've got to put in the work and figure out how to do it yourself, and then I realize not everyone knows how to do that and honestly for me because I know how to do this anyway, it actually streamlines my workflow if I use presets. I think that they are okay to use as long as you know how they work and how you can adjust them and not just throw them on blindly. How you can make them your own. I think that they're a great starting point and a great foundation for color adjustment but I still think it's very important now to know what goes on underneath the hood basically of these presets. This is something that may take a while to learn and it's all about practice practice practice and really training your eyes how to see a digital file for what it really is, a bunch of pixels. And how those pixels can be finessed into looking like a film scam. It's all possible, but you need to know what looks like digital in order to make something not look like digital. Couple of the things that drive me insane that you will hopefully by the end of this class be able to spot instantly. By default, all digital files have no grain. Sometimes this is fine it really depends on the job, but when you're looking for something with that physicality of that and texture to it, grain is a great option when you're doing that and we'll get into all of that separately but that's just something to keep in the back of your mind. Skin tones are notoriously bad with digital cameras especially with sunlight and you can really start to see that when you have bright sunlight on someone's face and I will show you an example, but it's something they keep an eye on, is something to work on when you're exposing you want to make sure that you're not blowing out the highlights because with film you want to expose for the shadows, but with digital you want to expose for the highlights because you're not going to be able to bring it back, even in roll where you have exposure adjustments. You always want to expose for the highlights because once they're gone, they're gone in a big way and it's tough to fix. Chromatic aberration, I know it sounds like a weird crazy word but it is something. Every time I see a photo out there with chromatic aberration, I think, "No you could have fixed this." And this is something you'll be able to fix, and it's something to look out for especially with edges in Windows and I have a really great example of this that we're going to fix ourselves. Oversaturation, generally speaking a raw file will just be all of the colors that are out there hitting the sensor and in reality when you're looking around, the world is not as saturated as the sensor picks up. The sensor has so much more information than our eyes can see, and if you're wanting to make something look real you have to finesse that file down into something that has actually less information, to make it more human, to make it more like the human eye is seeing it instead of what is just hitting the sensor cause all of these sensors in these cameras are so insanely powerful that they're just grabbing everything, and sometimes they need to be toned down a little bit. The thing that people ask me the most is, I just can't get that film like feeling from my digital pictures, they just don't feel like film, and honestly the quickest fix I find add a little bit of grain and you really start to see that texture and that physicality to it, it's almost like you have scan a negative, and a negative it's not just going to be one smooth image is you're going to have little bits of the chemicals in there and it's going to be something that almost looks like you can touch it on screen. So, top image here is completely unprocessed with no color adjustments no grain. The bottom one has a fair amount of grain added to it and has color and saturation adjustments as well. But you can see on the right here, that the blacks are not completely black and you do lose detail and you lose detail in a realistic way because again the sensor is picking up every single possible thing that it can get, but it's okay to lose a little bit of that because you're adding a realness to that image by adding grain in and pulling up those shadows. This is a great example of why you should always expose for the highlights because in row you have a lot of latitude when it comes to adjusting the exposure. However, when you overexpose the hair or the face, you're basically going to get this kind of weird, almost white yellowy blob and as much as you can pull it down in row as I've done here, it's still never really going to look good and it's very clearly a digital photo characteristic. Even if you expose for the hair or the highlights and the rest of the image is underexposed, it's so easy to bring that up in camera much easier than it is to fake the highlight situation here, what I've done is basically added green, brought the whites down, which I'll show you later and it's still not great but it's the best I could do under the circumstances and it's just something to always be aware of when you're shooting in terms of what it looks like, when it is over exposed on the skin and what it can look like if you know how to adjust for it in wrong. In this particular example, I did expose for the highlights and they're not overexposed they just look a little funny and that's something to always be on the lookout for. We have not quite mastered the highlights in digital sensors when they hit skin. When you're shooting film, you don't have to worry about that, it just looks better and it's really hard to explain. But once you start looking for examples of strange color artifacts on skin, you can learn how to adjust them. Same thing here with the hair, this was overexposed but I was able to bring out thankfully just enough to make it look decent and not like a big glob of white that's here. I was able to pull that in whatever information I could, add some grain, bring the highlights down, and I was able to make this weird pale pinky mess look more natural and just like a nice highlight on the face. Chromatic Aberration. Is also something to really be on the lookout for and it is the biggest red screaming siren flag for digital file. Film does not do this. This is a limitation of the sensor this is just how it is. When the area of very very light like a window meets an area of shadow or darkness like the windowpane itself or someone's hair up against the window, you're going to get this fringing sometimes, it could be purple, it can be green, it can be blue, but it's not correct and it looks strange and and it is so fixable and so easily adjustable within camera row that if you see it you should be able to get rid of it in like two seconds and I will show you how to do that. Your camera is going to capture every single thing that the sensor knows how to get. Our eyes do not work the same way. So in this image, it's very bright, it's bright sunny day. When you're looking at these two people in reality, the sky is not really going to look like this. The sky is this kind of how it's been captured here without any processing. It's almost like purpley blue, periwinkle not real just looks very very, it looks over enhance and that's just because the camera has such a wide dynamic range that it's able to get the things that we wouldn't normally see. If you're looking at these two on the beach, the sky is not going to look at color, it's going to look a lot lighter because your eyes are exposing for the people. So, what we do when we're adjusting our images is to kind of bring down the things that are a little too crazy looking in the photo to make them match what we see in reality and so what I've done in my post work here, is just bring this guy down a little bit. It's still blue, you still get that it's blue, you still get that she's wearing a bright colored shirt, you still get that it's a bright sunny day and you're basically getting the gist of it but it's not a painful experience, you're not getting, it's not too bright, it's just right. So, once you take a look at this and you think "Oh wow, that looks great" if you go back to the original, you really see how crazy that sky was captured and how fake it looks. To summarize, you most likely know what a film picture looks like. Your goal here is to learn what a digital picture looks like and these are the four signs that I've come up with that I think across the board are the telltale signs of something that is digital file. You have no grain, very, very crisp almost to the point of looking at natural, you have the issue with the highlights on the skin or the hair or anything really where you just have this sort of strange off white blob. Chromatic aberration which is the crazy purple and green or blue edges around really bright objects and oversaturation to the point of it almost being painful to look at and we will fix all of those in our upcoming sections. 3. Color, Style, Mood: The next thing to think about when you're adjusting your images, it's not just the color, it's what time of day you were shooting in, what time of year you're shooting in, what the situation was; were you in snow, were you in the desert. All of these things combined are the characteristics of your image that you can adjust in any way you want. General rule of thumb, I learned this in painting class when I was a freshman college, was warm light equals cool shadows and vice versa. That may not really mean much in words, but you'll see it in an example I'm going to show. The other thing to think about is you do have artistic liberty when it comes to a color. It doesn't need to be exactly what your eyes see. It's really great opportunity, especially with the tools that we have available to us in the software that we have nowadays instead of going into a darkroom and tweaking things with a knob, you're able to just do it with a slider, you can really put your own personal touch on images you can make them any color that you want really depending on what you want to say about them. Something like this is a very warm image. This is, we were in the desert, we're in Joshua Tree. The sun was setting. That this is something that I would say would be most representative of my style, but if someone was shooting perhaps fashion ad campaign and the whole vibe of it was very moody and dark and sophisticated, perhaps they would want to bring things down and make the background a little cooler. Maybe that's not how it looked in reality, but that's how it's looking for the entire scope of the shoot. That's the vibe that they're going for. That's what you want to show, and there's no wrong answer really. It's only personal preference and really what your artistic goal is for each image. This is a really good example of what I mean by that warm light in the cold shadows. If you zoom in, these are not white. It's the snow as it came through in my sensor was registered as blue, and you can see this here. The sunset in wintertime is very orange, especially in New York, it's very very like reddish orange. You can see that here is the white light, here's the sunlight hitting the snow, but these shadows are blue, and that's something you can play with. You can make them any color you want really, but it's a matter of noticing that there are colors to shadows. Shadows just aren't a dark part of something else. There's going to be a color that comes with each thing that you are adjusting. So, you have to start thinking about, not just looking at oh, that's snow, but like what color is that snow? You can make that color anything you want really. This is a good example of a shoot that I never really do blues and cool tones, just my personal style is a little more warm and a lot more sunny feeling. But I did this particular shoot for a clothing brand in New York and we were shooting Greenwood Cemetery and the vibe of the clothes which is very kind of dark and gulf and kind of spooky. So in my processing, I gravitated toward these blues and these magentas and these greens, and you can see that the shadows here are basically blue. The highlights are also kind of blue. There's never anything really yellow or orange going on here. But across the whole shoot you have this uniform cool vibe that was all an intentional choice. It wasn't just the way it came out of the camera. So once you get to the point where you have a uniform style that people can recognize, what happens with me personally is clients will just ask me to process the files myself and give them what I think would look good because that's what they're hiring me for, that's what they've seen. They've seen that I have this body of work that all has a consistent style to it. On the other side of that, if you are working for a client who wants a very specific color or mood, you're going to have the tools to make that happen for them. If they want something to look really blue or really desaturated or maybe even oversaturated, you'll have the tools at your disposal to make those adjustments in a way that also has your input in them as well. You'll be able to give the client what they want by actually doing it and not letting- you don't have to just hand the files off to them. You can put your own personal and touch on an image that you want to adjust yourself. Another thing to do is to go back and to shoot that I did like three or four years ago and look at the files and think oh, in all the things that I've learned over the last couple of years, I want to go in and reprocess one of these images, and it's pretty amazing, the difference even in just maybe my mood or just what I'm feeling lately and feeling oh, I'm doing a lot of stuff with really saturated like tree colors or like the greens or bringing up the greens a lot more recently and why don't I try that or I've been messing with this preset. Like why don't I try this preset that I like a lot on this older image and it's almost like having a whole new shoot because the image looks so different and feels so different that it's kind of a great little discovery you can make if you're feeling a little stagnant in your work, you can open up an old file and work on it and then kind of bring it back to life. It's almost like a whole the new thing. This is basically always going to be a learning process and I'm still learning and I'm only getting better and I think the more you work on things and the more you work on images and shoot and play around, and there's no wrong answer, you will just get better and better at it. We're going to take everything that we've talked about and actually put it into use in a real world situation with a file. Again, this is only going to be one interpretation. It's something that you can save, go back to later. Sometimes it's good to just walk away and come back to it a week later and then readjust. It's a fluid thing, and that's the best part about the raw adjustments. Is there are just adjustments, you're not actually altering the file itself. You're just putting on your interpretation of the color and you can always take it off and you're never going to damage the original file. Now let's open up a file and work on it together. 4. Camera Raw Walkthrough: Before we begin working on a file, I'm just going to go over the basics of the tool set in Adobe Camera Raw. If you've never used it before, I'm going to go over each section and how you can go through each panel and work on your image. I'm going to right click and open in Camera Raw, and each of these buttons works on this particular image. They do things like spot removal. You can level things out. You can get rid of red eye. What I mostly use though are these buttons here under the adjustment panel. I'm basically just going to go over each one of these very briefly to give you where to find different tools that you may need. They may be under each one of these areas. The first thing where basically all of the things you're going to work on when you first open a file is under basic. When you're shooting raw, you don't have to worry about white balance because it's something you can adjust here, but generally I keep it on custom and just do it on my own. You can have your temperature, your tint, exposure obviously is going to be your image exposure. Contrast, highlights which are the light parts, shadows obviously darker parts. The whites are the widest part of the image which may not actually be white, and the blacks are the darkest part of the image which it may not actually be black depending on your curve. Clarity is something that I really only use when I'm doing underwater photos, but it just takes all of the edges and makes them go crazy. So you can really see the difference there, but we're not really going to mess with that right now. Vibrance and saturation are the intensity of the colors. Tone curve is something you're going to be paying attention to a lot, but we'll get into that. But that's where you find it. I usually keep it on point. Detail. Noise reduction. I don't really mess with these too much. This isn't really anything that we're going to be talking about in this class, but that's where they are. Hue, saturation, luminance are all really important and we will go over those as well. There are for each individual color within the image, how you can adjust those colors by themselves. Split toning. This was one of the first things I ever really discovered in making my own style unique. I don't use it as much as I used to, but it's a great way. It's almost a great beginner way of instead of, if you don't want to go into all of these individual things, it's a great way to play around with the different colors and shadows and highlights. Lens corrections is really great and really important and what's good now is all of the lenses that you shoot with embed their data into your image file. So, if you have a lens that particularly makes a crazy vignette or if it makes things really distorted, you can adjust that from within here and you'll be able to remove that chromatic aberration that I mentioned earlier within this panel, and you can really get very very detailed adjustments here. Effects is my favorite because that's where the Green lives, and this is something that you can adjust more so than you would ever have thought possible. You can adjust the amount, the size of each individual green piece and then the roughness of each one. That's something that it's really hard to quantify. You just have to play with it and look and see how it looks. That's just kind of the fun part. Don't really mess with camera calibration too much because it should just be already in here. Then we have the magical world of presets which is something we will go over as well. This may be a lot to take in and it may be a lot of information, but what we're really going to be focusing on here is the basic section, the effects, and grain, mostly grain, and either one of these two things; split toning, or hue, saturation, luminance. 5. Lets Work on a File Together: All right. So, we're going to open up a raw file that has had nothing done to it. Completely straight out of the camera. As I said before, this first panel is really where all of the magic happens. First thing I notice is that this is slightly overexposed. So, what I'm going to do is just bring that down a little bit. Because, again, with Camera Raw, we have all this information, you can see it here. It is overexposed, obviously, see you really have a lot of latitude to play with. Next thing I'm going to notice is that because she was in the car at the time, she's in shadow and her face is in the sun. So, I'm going to bring the shadows up a little bit, just a smudge, and you can see that we're bringing up the darker parts of the image. Next thing I'll probably do is start with a temperature. It's kind of a cold temperature. If you think about the color wheel and everything, the inside of this car was red, this looks almost a little more purple. That means, it's on the cooler side of things. I would probably bring this up to about 5,000. It's completely personal preference. It could be really warm, it could be less. But for me, my personal preferences, a warmer tone, which, again, there's no right or wrong answer. That's just the first thing I see I'd want to do. Then what I notice here is that it's really yellow, and I absolutely hate that. So, what I would do, is bring the saturation down. Already it's better. Gives you that more filmy quality, and again, these are all adjustments that you can change later. I'd probably up the contrast a bit to make it right around there. Highlights. This is a great tool for when you're getting those gross-colored digital highlights. This will always help. It even things out a little bit. You see the difference. There. You always want to pay attention to this here, histogram. It's the blacks the shadows exposure highlights. You, basically, want it to look like a little mountain. It's okay if some of these are clipped. But you don't want it to be too high on one side, too high on the other. But this is okay, because there are a lot more shadows in this image than there are highlights. So, it's okay that there's going to be a higher amount here. It's just something to keep an eye on. It's not the end of the world. So, this is good basic stuff, and what I would do next is, sometimes I like to play with split toning, which is really fun. You have highlights and shadows, obviously these are the highlights and these are the shadows. What you can do, is apply a color to them, which is really fun. You see the difference here. You can change the saturation of it. That's obviously crazy. But if you see, say you make the saturation 100, this is the color that I picked, say it's this one. Those are the shadows. Those are all being adjusted right now. What I would probably do is bring the saturation down, and it's very subtle, obviously, but it just gives you a little kiss of something extra. This is really fun to play with, but right now I'm feeling this kind of blue-green. Then again for highlights, you can really see, right here is where you're going to see the difference. So, here there's 100 percent saturation. See where the highlights are being affected. Green, red, purple, pink, orange. You just add a little kiss of it. I would say, for this one maybe something like this. What's funny is, you think adding blue is strange. Why would someone's face be blue? But you're really not adding- it's not the color blue. It's just a blue tint to the highlights. So, you can see the difference there and there. I like that. Then, maybe, something more like, it's warmer, obviously. I'd say, this one, and again, I'm processing this differently than I originally did, which is completely fine, and allowed. That's kind of nice right there. This is just a basic, first one's over, can always be changed. This is really where you can make some nice film quality adjustments. This is the whites of your image. So, if you drag this, you can see that it's going to be really bright, and these are the blacks. So, you don't want to make anything go too crazy here, but what you can do is just add a little curve, and this is something you can play with, it makes a little more contrasting. But then, this makes it more black, this makes it less black. Just bring this up a little bit and you get this filmy, and I'll bring it up to exaggerate. You get this kind of filmy quality. What that simulates, is when you're scanning a negative- all right, there we go. When you're scanning a negative, it's going to never be fully black because that's just the way the scanning goes, and there's something about it that's just feels, here's the original, a little more cinematic in a way. Then I will do the same with the whites. Then, because it's now a little darker, I will just bring up some more shadows or the exposure. They all play together in different ways, so if you bring up the contrast is going to be more saturated. It's just something that you play around with. Maybe you want it to be pinker, maybe you want it to be greener, it's all up to you. But these are the tools that you have at your disposal to make things look the way you want. Probably brings down. Okay. That's pretty good so far. My next step and how the order of the way that I do things, again you don't have to do anything in this particular way, but I will go to over here and I add some grain. The best way to really pay attention to how the grain is applied is to zoom in to 100 percent, So, here's no grain. Here we need to go in a little more so, we'll do 200 percent. Here's some green. Again add. That's right. You can see it forming here. For these I kind of go a little crazy with it. You can add a lot, size. You can see the difference in size here as you go bigger and roughness. It's all a balancing act. You want what's going to look authentic. That's a little crazy. That's a little much. I wouldn't really never apply that much. But, at the same time, if you're trying to simulate a film that's 1600 feet, that's what it's going to it look like if you scanned it. So, just my personal preference, I'd probably add something like this. Then you get this really nice texture to the image. If you want to see it before and after, you can do camera defaults and see where we were at a little while ago, and then you can go to custom settings and see where we're at right now. Obviously, quite a difference. That was just a couple minutes of finessing. To look like originally, again remember no-grain, even though it was an ISO 1000 still barely any grain because that's the magic of modern-day cameras. Then, this is where we're at right now. From here, say you love this and you have other images within this shoot that are shot in the same kind of cloudy shadowy situation. You can save this. Save settings. I would make sure all of these are selected, and you can save it as the name of the shoot or "Woman in Car". Hit Save. Then later, if you wanted to apply this setting to any other image, you can load it in your presets right here. There it is. If you're doing a whole batch of images in a row, what you can do, let's say you want to open all of them, and you want to apply this particular theme that you've done to these, you can hit option S, and you can synchronize. It's a little tricky because you have to make sure you're selecting the one that you want to synchronize the rest with. So, even if it's at the bottom, you have to make sure it's selected. This one's here got blue around it, and the other ones don't even though they are selected. Synchronize. They may look weird, but this looks like the image down here because it has the same processing applied to it. This one looks a little weird because there's different lens, and, we'll get into that. But different lenses have different characteristics. So, you can't just apply the same preset to photos shot with different lenses and you can't apply the same preset to photos that are shot at different times of day, because the time of day as I mentioned before affects the color of the image and that sort of thing. This was shot with a really long lens and this 70 to 200 is very flat lens. So, it's going to be flatter because it doesn't have that inherent contrasts in it, and you will have to up the contrast significantly. You'll never know when you're done, and sometimes you're not done. It's just a sweet spot that you find. So, when I'm done with an image I will save it at whatever resolution I need to, and hit Done. Make sure that the settings you apply to it stick with your image. It forms an XMP file, which is basically a text file that tells Camera Raw what numbers to put in each little setting area. It's just a settings file that's attached. You would hit Done, and then it's going to change and you'll be able to see it. The settings files hidden, but you'll be able to see that all of these images are adjusted and have their own XMP file that goes with them wherever they are. 6. Fixing Chromatic Aberration: We're going to talk about what I mentioned before that hideous chromatic aberration. You may think, "What you're talking about? What is the chromatic aberration? Here it is. You see these areas of green, blue, purple? You really zoom in there. You can see all sorts of a beautiful rainbow, but we don't like that because it wasn't there originally, and this is just an artifact, and we can get rid of that really easily. So, this is what the image look like shared on that camera. This is what we're going to get rid of, and in order to do that before we do any other adjustments, no temperature, no saturation, no contrast, we are going to go into lens corrections. There's profile, color, manual. Right now, what we're worried about is this color because this is not supposed to be here. First of all, you want to hit Remove Chromatic Aberration. If you go back and forth, you can see a difference, it's not all gone now. There's a difference. There's a significant difference on off on, but it's not all gone. What we can do is select the colors that we see that we don't want. So, for example, we want to get rid of this green. We're going to slide this up. Do you see how it goes away? Now it's gone. See there's a little purple here? You bring the purple amount up, and it goes away. You zoom out and all of that ugliness has disappeared, and then from there you can do all the rest of your adjustments, but you can also add this. Let's go back to camera defaults. So, you want to apply a preset, something like this. The preset is not going to adjust that chromatic aberration for you. Say you really like how this looks, you're still going to have to go in and remove it. See how this is kind of a teal? You want to make sure that this is covering up the teal. There it goes, then it goes away. This again is all just kind of finessing and dragging slides around and seeing what those what. This one is still a little bit over here. There it goes, and there's no damage done to the image. Nothing is removed. It's just that fringing, and then you're done. You can go in and save your settings, and the chromatic aberration fix will be in there included. That way, if you have a bunch of images that have it going on, you can fix them with just your preset. You don't have to worry about this removing this particular color from your image. It's not like a green screen or something like that, where if you're wearing that color, it disappears. It knows. The software knows that the fringing happens at these areas of very light and very dark in comparison. So, it knows how to remove the fringing from those areas. It's not going to affect the color of your image at all. 7. Fixing Blown-Out Highlights: I mentioned before that you can get really ugly highlights in digital files, and this particular image has a few of them. But they're not all the end of the world. I've already done basic color correction in green and contrast and stuff like that to this image, but what I haven't done is adjusted these highlights. We'll zoom in here, and you can see that it's just an area of this peach yellowy white mess and you have no information. You can use the exposure tool to see what information you do have and when I go down, you get a little more here, but really, there's not that much and in comparison, if you make the exposure the way it should be that stuff's just going to go away. So, the rest of the image should be about right there. Thankfully, we have tools like highlights and whites. Highlights are exactly what you'd expect them to be. These, you can bring down and you can see that whatever information is living in those highlights from the raw file, you can bring out. So, say they're gone, awful, terrible, bring them back. They're down here. So you don't want to bring them down all the way because then it just looks a little flat and not realistic. I would say a happy medium, knowing that this is overexposed, but there's only so much you can do about it, I'd bring them down to about here. You may want to bring them the other way, I think that this is fine. There's also whites, which is basically the brightness. So, if you went all the way up, you could see how mushy that is. I would bring this down to about there and then I bring the exposure up a little bit here, maybe a saturation a little bit down here. Now, let's dig in a little deeper and enter the tone curve. Right now, it's about a straight line. Again, what I mentioned is these are the whites and these blacks. Watch what happens when I drag this this way, everything just crunches because you're bringing all of those highlights back into nothing. What I like to do for my files, generally, anything that ins with sunlight, I like to just nudge this down a little bit and you can see the difference. That's basically nothing and this just adds a little something. I'll even zoom in. It just adds a little texture that can make all the difference and it kind of fakes it to look like something is there when nothing is there. Now, when we zoom out, you're not getting that huge blob of white, you're getting what looks like a more realistic looking highlight in the sun. Same with the face, you can see the difference when we bring these highlights up here. I'm going to get this weird white cast but this brings it, you can see more of a skin tone underneath, and again the difference here. It just kind of smooth things out a little bit. Again all personal preference and all easily adjustable. These are things that you can always play with. This file is a couple years old and I may want to change the way I had originally process it in the first place. Honestly, what I would do now, just as a slight side note, is I remove some of the orange in her face. See, I made a slight difference there? But regarding the highlights, this is how I'd probably go about fixing the overexposure in the hair and the face. Generally speaking, unless you're over exposing by three stops, there's going to be some information. For example, there is stuff here if you go all the way down. That's five stops under. So, there will always be information. If you're in a situation where it's just so, so, so overexposed in one part and you want to actually bring the exposure down here in just this one part, you can paint it in. Here, with the adjustment brush, which is right here. You basically have the same controls as you did with your basic adjustment area, but this is a brush, so what you can do is, I'll just go an extreme example, you can brush an exposure on. So if you want to bring the exposure down here, you can do so, and you can adjust the type of brush you have, the feather to make it look more natural, and what's amazing about this is you have these individual points and you can add, erase the adjustment, or make a new one, and you can also see what you've done by doing a mask. I'll just pick this. This is where I adjust it. What's also cool about this particular adjustment is you can change on the fly. So you want to go crazy underexposed or crazy overexposed you can see it all happening. It's a good way of masking without actually having to mask anything. It's pretty cool. Tou can also do the highlights. Any adjustment that you could have done before, you can do with just one section of the image, which is really powerful. 8. Bringing It All Together: So, that's how this holds together in real world applications where you want to have a lot of images to do at once, or you have a lot of images that you're going to need to process later. You can use Presets. Here, we have the original image. Here's some Presets that I had saved in the past. For example, 2015 Open Shade. That means I made it last year. This is an image shot in Open Shade. Meaning, not direct sunlight, but it's not inside with ambient light. It's just outside in the shade and there would be perfect overcast. I was very excited about this one. I just really liked how it came out at the time but for this image, it may not work so much. So, what I like to do is sometimes go through and see, my names sometimes may make no sense, but you are able to make your own Presets based on you're naming convention, any kind. For example, 50 1.2 means that I shot with my 50 millimeter lens, my Canon lens, bright day light inside, and I really liked how it looked. I didn't shoot this with that lens. I shot this with a 70 to 200 lens which is a lot flatter. So, it's not going to look the same. So, each Preset is really dependent on the lens, the time of day, and where you are, let's say, you're inside, or outside, etc. Portra-ish obviously means Kodak Portra, and it actually does kind of work. What I would do is just kind of go through here, and adjust that, or I would do perfect overcast and think, Wow, that's a little dark.", but I can lift it up and it would actually look okay. The skin tones are actually okay. These are all things that you can adjust once you set them. So, Open shade is not too much different here but when you go back and change it. So, these Presets will always overwrite what you're doing. Now, I have these co-presets here as well that every time you want to set a new Preset, you want to just go back to the defaults. Because otherwise, you just become you're layering on top. For example, if you have the exposure all the way up, and then you put a set of Preset, it's not going to look right. You need to just keep it neutral and then, apply the Preset from there. The interesting thing to note with VSCO, see, I really like how this looks. A lot of how they do things is with hue saturation and see all of these colors are adjusted in slight ways. Hue is obviously, oranges, yellows, greens, all the colors. Say, you have an orange, on either side of that orange, you have red and you have yellow, either side of yellow you have green, and you have orange. You can really kind of go crazy with it. Say, you have too much orange in the skin, you can change it to be more yellow. Say, it's too bright, you can change the saturation. If there's so much, I know it's a lot, and there's not much to do, luminance is the lightness. So, say the orange and the skin is too dark, you can make it really bright or you can make it really dark. It's kind of interesting to play with but the VSCO Presets are all built like this. They're not built with split toning. So, you can do it either way. It's really up to you. There's no right answer. It's all a matter of personal preference. For example, the roughness on this grain is really high, and that's just what they had chosen for this particular film stock. Tone curve is not too crazy. It's just a little bit up at the bottom here. You are always free to make it come up even further. You can even go like this. Make it go lose all those darks. You can see the difference here. This almost looks like a Polaroid negative or something like that. But it's all for you to adjust. The thing to remember is you got to save what you've done. Here. Again, the original raw file is not altered in any way, you're just implying basically a text file to the raw image with whatever numbers you want these to be. You're just adjusting slight characteristics. So for example, I'd say, Fuji Superior is going to be really grainy, like how grainy that is. It's crazy. This screen is up to 90. That's just what the Preset had. Say, you really like the color tone but you don't like all that great, you can just bring it down. You can make your own. The key is to know what is happening here. Why does it look like that? Well, Endersby film is going to be grainy especially Fuji which is, that's just the way that it looks. But you can take something and make it your own. You can make this cooler. You can make it more greener. You can do anything. The VSCO filters are a great starting point but they're not the end all be all of adjustments. For example, I'll start over again. Go back to the Camera raw defaults. Then, I'll go to something I did. Say, very bright sunlight. Wow, that's way too orange. What I'll do is adjust and think, "Well, I kind of like how this is but that's too crazy." So, I bring this back down here. So, they're always really good starting points no matter what you do. But I really like how this one looks it's really kind of purplely and blue. You can tell these shadows are really in and deep blue and it's got this really nice almost slide film look to it. Because I have done a couple of adjustments, I would save this as something else. Another great thing you can do is instead of saving it, you can hit done and it'll save it the way it is. In that way, say you open up something else down the road, you can use previous conversions. Then, it's going to use the same one as before. Sometimes, I do that if I don't want to save something. But again, this is my workflow, yours may make way more sense. Here is the differences, image settings is what is now. Previous conversion is what I had just done, which would be the same obviously. Camera defaults is what comes out of a camera. And custom settings is what I'm working on right now, which may be different. If I were to save this particular look, the look that I like, and it is something that wasn't just a Preset that I had adjusted myself, I would probably say, "I want to make sure that I remember that it was a 70 to 200 lens because that lens is really flat and that's just how I've adjusted for that in my processing." I would save this as maybe the lens type and maybe the name of the shoot, the band, or maybe open shade because that's where she was. So, it's going to be a different quality of light. And I hit save and that way I could go back and find it easily. I can apply it to anything. I can always change something els, e and I can always go back to where it was. So, it's a nice way to streamline your workflow. 9. Conclusion: So, thank you for sticking with me this far. I know it's a lot of information but hopefully by now you've figured out how to see digital files differently, how to we adjust them in the way that you want, how to create a consistent look throughout a shoot and then hopefully throughout your entire body of work. I can't wait to see what you submit to the project gallery. I would love to see the before and afters, the original raw file out of your camera and what you were able to create using the tools that you've learned today. 10. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: