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Thread: Adobe's graphs. "Adjustments" and what it means

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    Adobe's graphs. "Adjustments" and what it means

    I am still playing with Adobe PS CS5 and my demo time is nearly out/up.

    I have started to get into it a bit and when I load a RAW file I get an initial screen where I see the image and I can adjust the exposure and all that stuff.

    White balance, "Temperature", exposure, recovery and stuff I don't yet understand.

    In the top right of the screen is a graph of the three colours and as I move these sliders below it, the graphs move.

    So, starting with the initial load: Say the graphs are "scattered" and they all peak at different places.

    More luck than knowing, I am seeing that if I fiddle long enough and try to get all three overlapping the picture looks "better". I say "better" because sometimes when they don't line up it also looks nice, but that may fall into an ARTY catagory rather than a true representation of what was really there.

    Now, looking at the sliders: The first one - Temperature - is coloured BLUE/YELLOW.
    Moving this left/right SEEMS to move the BLUE peak in the graph left/right.

    Is this realated or is it just a coinsidence?


    Also I haven't started to play with the other buttons JUST below the graph. I am only playing with the "BASIC" stuff. "Tone curve" and "Detail" etc haven't been looked at yet.
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    What books or training have you done ?
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    I think you need to get either a great book (plenty of them at book stores - except Borders LOL) or look online at tutorials. The basics is what you need to learn and one site I think is great to look at is this one.....

    http://www.photoshopessentials.com/essentials/

    Also, youtube has some great tutorials on the basics (as well as some amazing advanced techniques - great to just look at and go 'wow'), just key in photoshop curves, or photoshop historogram.

    Others here may help further and in more detail as I too am only new....I understand the basics that you are coming to grips with (and it won't take you long to know them either) but I am now learning layers etc!!

    Have fun learning!
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    Books.... training....?

    I am trying to work it out from scratch. I am playing.with layers to apply the changes. It is just getting familiar with how it all works on the bigger picture - excuse the pun.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Felix View Post
    Books.... training....?

    I am trying to work it out from scratch. I am playing.with layers to apply the changes. It is just getting familiar with how it all works on the bigger picture - excuse the pun.
    Yes, Books and training! That is what they do, teach you! Either from scratch or from varying levels of experience. Scott Kelby's Adobe Photoshop CS5 for digital photographers, is a good one.

    Oh and the 'graph' is called a histogram! The idea is not to adjust them to line-up, rather adjust them to get a good range of tones from pure black to pure white in your photo, without going to far one way or the other. Histograms can primarily be used to check/adjust exposure.

    Have a look a these:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...ht-hista.shtml
    Last edited by ricktas; 12-03-2011 at 9:47am.
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    I do software for a living and as far as complexity goes cs5 is well up there, unless you do some proper training or go step by step through say Kelbys book or other similar books such as Photoshop for dummies etc you are in for a world of hurt trying to self learn this tool. Asking fragments of information like this here will be frustrating to you and to us I'm afraid

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Felix View Post
    White balance, "Temperature", exposure, recovery and stuff I don't yet understand.
    First up, before you try to understand photoshop, you need a level of understanding of some of these too.

    White balance (and Temperature - same thing really), is a measurement of how warm or cool your image looks (where warm tends to orange, cool to blue). Primarily this is used to correct for different lighting conditions. On your camera you can set the whitebalance (sometimes labelled as WB) at shoot time (very important if you're shooting JPG, less so for RAW but a good habit none-the-less).
    Different lights display at different colour temperatures, so your standard incandescent bulb (tungsten) is quite orange in hue, and thus the WB setting for tungsten lighting compensates with a lot of blue, to bring the overall colour back to normal levels. Similarly, cloudy days produce a bluer light, so the cloudy WB setting compensates by adding more orange.
    The sliders in CS5's camera raw window let you do that manually. They shift the colour temperature of the whole image.

    The Exposure slider, as the name suggests, adjusts the overall exposure of the image digitally. If you push it too far one way or the other, you will get noise.
    The Recovery slider is for pulling back highlights. If you've shot in RAW, and over-exposed by no more than 2 stops in the highlights, chances are you will be able to recover colour detail in those highlights with this slider.

    As for the histogram (graph), Rick has posted some useful links there so I won't cover that off.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I found trying to 'work out PS from scratch to be a massively frustrating experience' and hence my final switch to using more simple and therefore immediately effective software(Nikon specific) which gave me results I wanted to see instantly, whereas I spent many wasted hours on trying to figure out how to use PS instead, of getting images I wanted to see.

    So my line of reasoning was that I could waste many hours trying to figure out how to use the program I was trying to use, or I could spend many hours using the program to achieve an actual end result, with hundreds of images subsequently processed. The choice was easy for me, and now I won't look back, because that bridge was burned ... buried even "I dressed inappropriately at the funeral" to boot!

    As Rick said, that graph is called the histogram, and there is no reason to mline up the RGB(Red, Green, Blue) graphs for any reason. the mian point of that histogram is to help giude you how far to process, how well, or badly the exposure has been made, and what the limits of the image(in terms of processing) are.

    While the histogram is a great help to guide you as you process an image, it cal also tell you little white lies too.
    As an example, if you have overexposed an image, and use recovery to bring the overexposed areas back into a more appropriate level, the histgram may tell you that the image is now 'better exposed' but there may still be lost highlights in the image. All the histogram is really telling you, is that this image is now gong to print well, if the histogram graph is within a decent range. If it is 'out of range' then these is a good chance of the image not really printing(or even displaying on a screen) very well.
    This is why the RGB histogram is so much more important than the simple luminance histogram(the white graph). While the luminance graph is simply showing you the exposure levels of the image, the histogram really explains what level of RGB there is in the image, so in effect is a counter for the image in the entire digital system to explain to the printer or screen or any other part of the digital system how to display those individual colours.

    If you think you really do want to stick with CS5, or even Lightroom, as an alternative, then getting a good book to help you through it all is only going to speed up your learning process, but with the deeper level of understanding as to why you're doing this or that step, rather than the simple this process does this, and I like it, so I'll just use it again.
    If you use that workflow method, the likelyhood of repeatability in your editing ability is much less, as the understandign of the mechanics behind the system is simply not there.
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    I totally agree with Kiwi here...trying to learn how to use CS5 with no book or any other information to help you will be next to impossible. It is an extremely complicated and extensive program and that is why there are so many courses and books available to teach you how to use it. Scott Kelby's books are excellent.
    Arthur's point about finding software that suits you the best is also very valid.With no experience in post processing, I was unsure of what I needed as a program. I downloaded the free trial of Lightroom 3 to compare it to CS5 and found that it was much easier for me to follow but I still needed to have a book to help me understand what I was trying to do. I bought Scott kelby's book on Lr3 and was very pleased with it.
    But no matter what program you choose to use, if you don't have a good source of information (be it a book,course,etc) you will really struggle to use the software.
    Hope this helps
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    strangely(for me, in my case), I stopped using PS way back when I found it too hard to do simple things(even such as a straighforward crop!), so I went and stayed with Nikon's then Nikon Capture 4.something.

    Using this program instead was a lot more simple and intuitive, not just for the crop you silly!) other things such as normal image editing. This then allowed me to process by experimentation, and because the editing steps were much easier to do, I then concetrated on the what and why of each edit step(as time went by of course.. not immediately).
    That is, editing the images allowed me to understand what each step was doing to the image, and so I learned for myself, with no help from books or tutorials(in a wholesale manner).

    Small tidbits of info here and there scattered all over the net also opended up new doors. So, to say that it's impossible to learn without any structured learning literature is not quite accurate.

    Took me a few years to learn how to use a simple editing program such as Nikon's Capture/CaptureNX programs. And even after many years now of using CaptureNX, I still learned something new in the software only recently! I learned of a better way to apply noise reduction in this software, and that info came from a book. All other info was well known to me, and not much of it was actually important to me. But NR sometimes was, so in finding this alternative method was a bonus, and I use it in preference to the standard NR tools in my software.

    There should be enough info in the Help section of CS5 to help you understand how to use the tools.
    (but these Scott Kelby books seem to get rave reviews).

    it's possible, but I think frustrating when there are many hidden levels in the tools in the software.

    For example: the clone heal tool requires a few presses of the keyboard to achieve whatever it is you want to clone or heal(in PS/CS) whereas in CNX the toolis a simple click of the tool and paint over the area you want to affect/edit.

    The problem with the Nikon software tool, is that 99% of the time it's quite useless, and usually does what it wants too .. whereas the same tool in PS/CS are much more flexible and does what you want them too.
    What did I learn from this? Nope!... I didn't discover that the PS/CS clone/heal tool is better(as you may want to believe!!).
    I learnt that I need to be more disciplined and not put myself in the position that I need to use it at all! Get it right in the camera and eliminate, or minimize, the need to edit.

    What's handy in having a book for reference is that you read and do and learn and see it happening in real time. Using the built in Help files is tiresome and tedious.

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