Friday, October 7, 2011

Creative Live - David Nightingale Post Process Techniques

After image using David Nightingale techinques I learned today.

Before image


Right now Creative Live is having David Nightingale as their featured guest/teacher.  Instead of having to write things down on a notepad and loosing it...I thought I would just put my notes straight up on my blog.  Hopefully others can benefit from my notes too!

  • shooting a reflection, get lens right up against glass to make it look like a mirrored image instead of just a reflection
  • LAB Color Mode
  • get a back up via net
  • calibration -spy 3 - calibrate every month or 2 and do it in a group
Optimizing Raw Files
  • Avoid overexposure (lost data of highlights)
  • Expose to the right a tad, especially in landscape pictures.
  • sensor records more data in the highlights, so that is why you want to expose to the right a bit and not underexpose.
  • watch histogram in RGB
Working in Camera Raw
  • Srgb/16 bit/blah blah    research according to my lab, I thought they wanted it in 8bit.
  • Open from Camera Raw as a Smart Object by holding "Shift" and "Open Image" in Photoshop.  Can set it as a default to the way you change bit size.
Working with Levels

  • can use levels to bring more contrast, brightness to picture.  Set the black and whites to end of the histogram.  Can use the middle slider to control the mid-tones.
  • can also get more contrast in levels by doing this step again, however might clip the highlights and/or shadows. 
  • might need to use info dropper to see if you clip off
Working with Curves

  • can also do the same step as levels first, then continue
  • to see if data has clipped in curves, hold alt and which slider you want to check for clipping, gives you a black screen hopefully.  right and left arrows
  • to add contrast make an s curve on the same curves box that the blacks and whites were re set at again .... much better to work with then contrast button in adjustments, can see no data is lost
  • decide what data is okay to leave, creative....but be careful
  • to delete points on the curve, click on point and hit delete.  Or go to menu of curves box and click reset curve
  • curves to use  b/w
  • how decide where to put your points,  see hand tool in upper right of the curve box.  Take the dropper and select a bright place and dark place in image where you would like more contrast.  Click on each spot and now you have the points.  Then pull the points into another s-curve
  • to fill a mask black alt plus delete.  ever want to see the mask you created, click on mask thumbnail and click alt.
  • command click on mask and it makes the selection, then if you want you can load up another adjustment layer.  If you want the inverse before you do another adj layer, go and select the inverse
  • can have an underexposed image and then create another image from that pictures to get the correct exposure for say the foreground.  then put a mask on one and adjust from there.  ocean/sky exp
  • when you increase the contrast, saturation increases also.  If you do not want that saturation for say the sky, can click on Luminosity blend mode.
  • create a vignette, draw a square selection in cneter of image, inverse, refine edge, feather at 250, create the curves adj layer,grab center point and pull down or up to from center to make dark or light
Fixing minor flaws

  • select a new layer one layer above the background layer
  • say you  wanted clone tool, then go to top of its menu bar and click under and below instead of current layer
Converting to B/W with channel mixer

  • hue sat adj layer
  • channel mixer
  • click to monochrome
  • check out the filters in this adj layer, then can drag sliders on each out for clipping over value of 100, it will show a warning sign too.  Check histogram for blowouts
  • your checking to see what filter will look best for each channel, then can adjust sliders to make it ideal
  • can turn off the hue sat adj layer to see what is going on
  • can stack up bw techniques, by putting the other filter under the original conversion
  • can change things up with blending modes, exp luminosity
  • red filter will help create a high key portrait will help with skin tones

converting bw with bw tool - use this method

  • click bw tool
  • play with sliders
  • watch histogram for each color that it doesn't spike up
  • can use different bmodes too

Converting bw in ACR

  • hsl/gray conversion
  • mess with the sliders, much more control...more sliders to choose from
  • he doesn't usually use camera raw, nearly always starts with color and if color is a distraction, then conversion to bw.  More flexibility in channel mixer
High Key Portrait BW for women and girls,children

  • red filter in either channel mixer or bw tool, then do a curves adjustment to brighten/contrast
  • can use blues to bring out freckles and lighten eyes, red evens skin
  • still play with sliders
High Key Portrait BW for men

  • use the blue filter
To lighten and brighten the eyes

  • use curves to lighten eyes to what you want eyes brightness to be, then mask in at 100%.  If you have darkness around the eyes, then using that same mask used to brighten/lighten the eyes just drop opacity and paint around the eyes.  You won't effect the brightness of the eyes since you already did it at 100%.


  • use the color channel to change the colors by using the different channels
  • u can mix channels one at a time or two at a time
  • color balance tool works too: set to mid tones and just move sliders, then if you want highlights to change you can do, same with channels.  color balance is more smart, since it can change the highlights, mid tones, shadows
  • selective color tool:  can select neutral color square and then play with sliders.  blacks will be darker color, etc.  can add highlights, etc with this method too.  Neutrals are the mid tones
  • relative should be used most of the time, absolute is not paying attention to brightness, ?
  • if I have a bright white spot (sun) and want to add a little yellow just ot it: go to curves then go to the highlight point on the right and turn the channel to blue and drag down a bit.
  • really need to understand the color wheel to manipulate
  • in curves you can play with cross process, and other in the drop down menu

LAB Color

  • image>mode>lab
  • use curves in lab mode, doesn't effect color, just brightness...neat effect
  • center point in the curves mode is 0,0
  • can rotate the curves to horizontalish line
  • canyon conundrum using lab color a book that has good info
  • if you want to saturate an image, this is a great way to do so.  U get really good separation between the colors, no color bleed.
  • can rotate curves counter clockwise to saturate
  • can rotate other way to desaturated
  • can color correct with lab each curve a and b.  select part of image that should be white for example and then click with eye dropper on the white.  it should be correct at center, but you have to move new dot just created and move to center.  do both curves a and b
  • can lock the curve by making new dots on the curve, then you can move just the top or whichever dot you want to change.

  • might need to use luminosity bm.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Did you buy this course? I bought a couple.. Would you trade this one to one of the courses I have?