How To Fix Color Casts In Photographs With Photoshop’s New Point Color

Colin Smith shows you how to eliminate ugly color casts and weird shadows with effortless ease in Photoshop, using the new point color tool in Camera RAW.

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Halos & Lines In Your Photographs – How To Avoid Or Quickly Fix Them

halo and line on horizon

Nothing screams digital artifacts more than halos and lines. Bright and dark lines around the edges of objects make straight photographs look altered, and altered photographs look poorly crafted. Rarely, if ever, a good thing, their insensitivity to both contours and textures within images is supremely distracting. It's easy to eliminate these dealbreakers if you know what to look for, how to avoid them, and, when necessary, eradicate them.

Know What To Look For

First, know what to look for. If halos and lines exist, you'll find them along the edges of shapes and, sometimes, the spaces objects surround. They're most pronounced when the inside and the outside exhibit more contrast. Halos, the bright lines, are obvious; the brighter, thicker, harder halos are the more obvious, while darker, thinner, softer halos are less obvious. Lines, the dark lines, are less obvious. As they get darker, thicker, and harder, they become more obvious. 

Know How To Look For It

Halos are harder to spot in higher-resolution images that must be zoomed in (100% screen magnification) to be seen accurately. The worst is seeing them after an image is printed on a large scale. This time-consuming and expensive mistake can easily be avoided by looking closely at images before processing is finished.

Don't Produce Them

Second, know how they're produced. The quickest way to produce halos and lines is with digital sharpening, whether that's the Detail panel in Lightroom or Camera Raw, filters in Photoshop like Unsharp Mask and High Pass, or third-party plug-ins like Nik. The point here is not to avoid these tools but rather to apply them in ways that don't or minimally produce these artifacts. The next quickest way is to use any contrast tool that accentuates them; sliders in the Light panel, Curves, Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze should be monitored too. These tools won't produce halos, and if you don't have halos and lines, these tools won't accentuate them. (Careful, at high settings, Clarity and Dehaze may produce very thick, feathered halos and lines, and when they've gone too far, these artifacts look more like sloppy masking than over-sharpening. These are much harder to fix than hard lines around contours, so try not to produce them.)

See my articles on High Pass, Clarity, and Dehaze for more.

If any tool produces halos while you're processing, reduce the settings until they don't (Remember to zoom in to check this before moving on.) It's easier not to produce them than to cure them. If you discover halos and lines long after they were produced, find the slider or layer that produced them and change those settings. (In Photoshop, it's critical to adopt a flexible workflow using smart filters, adjustment layers, and layers so that you can do this quickly and easily. If you start building too many effects into flattened layers, you'll have to redo the whole thing.)

adjustment in Camera Raw masked

Mask Them

Sometimes, the artifacts produced by sharpening and contrast enhance images positively inside contours, but along contours, they look terrible. Consider applying the effect and masking it away from the contours in this case. Horizon lines are one of the most important image elements to monitor. This contour typically has more contrast than any other, not only in luminosity but also in texture, which means halos are more easily seen in the lighter, smoother sky. 


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How To Use The Future Of Photoshop Filters Now

New in Photoshop 2024 Beta, Parametric filters, the ultimate guide. Colin Smith shows you all the different new filters in Photoshop and provides tips on how to make them the most useful.

00:00 Introduction
00:06 How to Get Photoshop beta
00:14 How to Use the Parametric Filters
00:36 Tip for better setup and resolution
02:17 Substance Designer
02:45 Changing and combining filters
03:24 Using Parametric Filters with Layer Masks
05:32 Lightning Round of all Filters
05:36 Black and White Vintage
05:52 Chromatic Aberration
06:12 Color
06:33 Distortion Filter
06:45 Duotone
07:06 Emboss
07:12 Glass Filter
07:44 Filter Glitch
07:56 Halftone
08:12 Hologram
08:29 Hologram 2
08:40 Oil Paint
09:11 Pattern Generator
09:45 Pixelate
09:50 Rain Filter
10:12 Scratch Photo
10:55 Snow Filter
11:13 Spherify
11:46 Sticker
12:00 Symmetry
12:33 Vintage Photo

View more from Colin Smith here.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

How To Get Perfect Results With Adobe Lightroom & ACR’s Lens Blur

Colin Smith shows how to use the new Lens Blur in Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW, including refining the blur and adding bokeh.

00:00 Intro
00:15 How to apply Lens Blur in Lightroom and Camera RAW
00:50 Lens Blur Settings
01:16 Focal Range, change the focus distance
02:06 Visualize Depth
02:46 Changing Blur area
03:43 Refining the selection, manually fixing the blur area
07:03 Multiple blur planes. matching the background
07:46 Final Settings for the most realism
08:17 Setting the Bokeh
08:58 The Different types of Bokeh

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Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

How To Create The Best Color To Black And White Conversion Previews

The fully saturated image

light on dark pieces of paper - a combination that can only be made by localizing different conversions

dark on light pieces of paper - a combination that can only be made by localizing different conversions

To find the best color to black-and-white solution an image contains, it’s important to explore all of your options. One technique will quickly show you more options than any other – Photoshop’s dual adjustment layers (a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer below a Channel Mixer adjustment layer).

To preview all possibilities dynamically, move the Hue slider all the way to the left and all the way to the right.

But wait, there’s more.

As you’re previewing the many options available to you, remember you can localize the effects with masks. You can go beyond what you see in one mix by combining any of the tones you see in all of the mixes.

Few people can remember all of the possible combinations. So, save multiple copies with different settings and compare them. There’s nothing like seeing many options, side-by-side, to confirm you’re committing to the best solution.

You can read about this technique in more detail here.

The two solutions above can only be achieved by converting separate areas of the image differently using masks.

The solutions below show the different global conversions which can be combined.

Note no dodging and burning was used to create these solutions. Dodging and burning can’t produce these extreme effects, but it can be used to further enhance them.

Also, note this technique is not useful for semi-neutral images; an image has to have significant saturation in at least one color to benefit from this technique.

 


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The Best Way To Convert Your Images From Color To B&W Using Photoshop

Full-color image

Global B&W conversion

B&W conversion locally optimized for foreground

The color transformation necessary to produce the results

 

With so much power available during Raw processing (with Lightroom or Camera Raw) when converting color to black-and-white, you’re right to ask, “Why use Photoshop?” It’s a question worth asking every time you make a black-and-white conversion. And there’s a simple answer – when you want to convert the same color in two separate areas of an image differently. (Note: this technique is not useful for semi-neutral images; an image has to have significant saturation in at least one color to benefit from this technique.)

Photoshop can localize black-and-white conversions with masks. Often, the masks you need to do this will be extremely simple. But, for the rare occasions when you need to make a more complex selection, Photoshops’s robust masking capabilities are there for you.

Here's how to do it.


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10 Tips To Help You Master Layer Masks In Adobe Photoshop

“In this video, Julieanne demonstrates ten essential shortcuts for working with Layer Masks, including how to add, delete, invert, move, reposition, copy, target, disable, change the density, and add a non-destructive feather to soften the edges of a mask.”

Follow up with her fundamentals of working with layers.

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5 Reasons to use Smart Filters in Adobe Photoshop

“In this video, Julieanne demonstrates five reasons to use Smart Filters in Photoshop, including how to edit, mask, stack, move, duplicate, and change blend mode and opacity of Smart Filters in Photoshop.”

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6 Benefits Of Using Smart Objects In Adobe Photoshop

In this video, Julieanne will walk through six benefits of working with Smart Objects in Photoshop, including transforming and distorting Smart Objects, editing and replacing the contents of Smart Objects, creating duplicated instances, and more!”

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How To Add Rim Light Using AI Masks in Adobe Lightroom & Camera Raw

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Colin Smith shows you how to add rim lights using ai masks in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw.

Find out more from Colin Smith at Photoshop Cafe.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.