4.2 Basic Adjustments
In this lesson you will learn how to make some basic adjustments in contrast, sharpness, and touch-ups.
1.Introduction2 lessons, 11:33
2.Create Your Rig3 lessons, 20:42
3.Let There Be Light3 lessons, 15:25
4.Adjustments in Post-Processing3 lessons, 27:30
5.Conclusion1 lesson, 08:42
4.2 Basic Adjustments
In this lesson, you're gonna see how to do some basic adjustments to these photos, to make them look their best. So, as you can see, I have the few kind of calibration photos that I took here. This is the white photo. I just wanted to show you how even the exposure is. So you can see I have a variety of photos here. I'm gonna get rid of a few of these that I don't really need to work on. I have this old photo here that's taken in the 60s. I shot this little drawing and watercolor painting. But I have a bunch of photos here, that I also use this kind of a photo shroud or mat to go around my vacuum photocopy stand, to basically provide more suction to pull these photos flat. Because my vacuum photocopy stand is 12 inches by 12 inches, and these are four by six photos. And so, if I just set these on my vacuum photo copy stand, they don't really get sucked flat, but if I put this shroud around them that just leaves these holes open just around these four by six photos. It increases the suction quite a bit, and sucks these photos nice and flat. I also have a few other photos in here you can see. This one is a little bit different shape, and this one is a large photo. It's probably an eight by ten. And that's me by the way, about 15, 14 years ago. Looking pretty good there with my beautiful wife, Rachel. So what are we gonna do to these photos? Right now, we have color calibration if I look down here. The profile that I've created is set up on all of these and the white balance. However, the white balance is not correct on all of them. That's something that we're gonna have to look at on each individual photo. The only ones that are going to be perhaps more correct, are artwork. If you get the white balance of the light correct, then the artwork will look correct. When you're taking photos of photos, that's something that you're going to have to tweek again. But I like to get things kind of set to a neutral state where the white balance is corrected for the lighting and then go from there. But, let's look at a few of these, cuz there are some kind of general things that we can apply to all of these photos. So first, I'm gonna come down here to this photo here, and come under Lens Corrections, gonna hop over to Basic. And I'm going to click Enable Profile Corrections. And I want to do it to this one, so you can see it's kind of drastic what its doing here. But, it's flattening out the lens distortion here. And I want to apply this to all of the photos, but I wanted to show you on this one, because you can really see it here with the perforated aluminum. I'm gonna put this to one to one. I also want to click on Remove Chromatic Aberration, because there is a little chromatic aberration and it's gonna be hard to tell in the video, but there is just a hair chromatic aberration in fringing. So, I'm just gonna click that on and leave it at its default value. You can jump over here and kind of mess with the colors, and how much you want it to pull out of what kind of colors. But I think the default is fine for now, I don't wanna get too aggressive with it. If I jump under profile here, you can see that it's using the proper lens, it's a Sigma 17-52.8 EX DC OS HSM. [LAUGH] Crazy lens name. Lightroom has pretty much all of the external lenses, you can imagine, in here. Especially if you shoot RAW, which is what I recommend. In addition to the lens distortion, it also corrects for vignetting that is present in these lenses. And that will help to make your photos look their best, as well. So, once that's done we can apply that to all of the photos, because I know I want just those things done to all these photos. So, I can select all of them, choose Sync, and make sure that I have the Lens Correction on. And I'm just gonna choose Synchronize. The next thing that I wanna look at is what I can do to crop, because what I wanna do is crop these photos. So I'm gonna grab the crop tool here. What I might do is hold down control, which brings up the straighten tool, or alignment tool, I'm not sure what it's called in Lightroom. And just kind of align the bottom edge, in that way when I try and crop this, the rotation will be pretty much sorted out. But you'll see, I won't have this perfectly kind of transformed, but for this photo, I think it's okay. So I just want to basically just crop out all the white stuff, and there you go. It looks totally fine. So like I said before, when you take a photo of a photo, getting the white balance kind of neutralized for the lighting is good, but that's not going to fix everything. Because as you can see this photo, at least to my eye, it looks too red to me. So, you can try and use the eye dropper tool, the White Balance Selector here, and try and grab something in here. That right there makes it look quite a bit better, so that's a good starting place, you can come in here and try and tweak these sliders up a little bit more, maybe push it a little bit more blue. I actually think that was pretty close, I'm gonna leave it right there, set to 3500 Kelvin, and I think I can believe that. And the rest of the kind of adjustments here are really up to you. I think I would probably come down here to Effects, and Dehaze this a little bit. Now I know this isn't technically hazy, but it looks hazy. So, I would probably apply a little bit of this Dehaze magic, cuz I think that looks pretty cool. I think the photo is lens flaring, it looks like there's a light right here, which is causing some flaring, and so this can kind of neutralize that. And then under the basic controls, it's really up to you. You might want to just kinda tweek these things, however you see fit. I'd probably add a little bit of Clarity. And the reds just look crazy oversaturated, so I might come down here to HSL which is Hue, Saturation and Luminance, and just desaturate the reds just a little bit, maybe the oranges just a tiny bit. I might come down here to Split Toning, and maybe just push the shadows to this kind of teal color here, or blue. Not purple. If we push the Shadows the opposite of red, it's kind of this bluish color here. It's actually more orange I think, so this tealish blue color or basically just tweak it til it looks right. It just helps to make those shadows look a little bit better. In terms of sharpening, you're not really gonna get too much extra sharpening on these photos, because this photo to begin with was kind of a mess. This was from the 60s, and so it was already blurry to begin with. It's super scratchy. Personally I would not try and fix all of these dust marks and scratches. And those are actually all scratches in the photo. I blew all the dust off and then I wiped the dust off with a very delicate lenspen. So the photos actually pretty clean, but because its fifty some odd years old, there are quite a few scratches in it. So, you could use the Spot Removal tool, and that will work in Lightroom. However, I have found that to be colossally slow. So, I prefer to just pull this over to Photoshop, and use the healing brushes in Photoshop, because it's way faster. If I were gonna do something like artwork. I was gonna work on this piece of art here, I would try and straighten this first, as best that I could. Now, this is a real piece of art. It's not even a square piece of paper so, getting this square is kind of impossible. I guess the best thing I could do is try and square up this quote here, as much as humanly possible, and then just kind of crop it in a little bit like this. Nice. I would try and make it look as much like it does in real life. And, because the colors are calibrated and the white balance is calibrated, this is actually almost exactly like it looks in real life, so I wouldn't mess with it too much from here. Let we jump over here to this old photo here, and pretty much the same thing. I would come in here and crop this guy up. Straighten it, I find that easier to start with. And then crop it up. For this kind of thing, this is white balanced, so this is actually what the photo looks like. But, it's probably supposed to look like this. I think it's yellowed over time. And unfortunately this photo, although it looks like I shot this and overexposed it, this is actually the way the photo was taken. So, it's gonna be pretty tricky to try and fix this. There may be a little bit of detail there, you can see if we jam down the highlights. We can kind of correct this a little bit. Just basic adjustments to try and get these straightened out for these kind of old photos. And then probably take it into Photoshop and mess with it from there. Same thing for this picture of my wife and I with the Ghostbusters. I like to say that the Ghostbusters were taking a photo with us, but we were actually taking a photo with the Ghostbusters. There we go. Same thing here, the white balance is probably not correct. I mean, this is what the actual photo looks like. And just get it to look as good as you can. So, that's pretty much it in terms of basic adjustments. You wanna make sure you have the Lens Correction dialed in to remove any of that crazy distortion. Chromatic Aberration, that's good to get checked. Cropping it in, and then the basic kind of tone adjustments here, making sure you get your white balance dialed in properly. And then, basic exposure adjustments. In the next lesson, you're gonna learn some techniques for exporting these photos and keeping them organized.