More important than technology, judge the direction of retouching and get a complete idea
Hello everyone, I’m Shadow Leaf. Recently, a student asked me a question. The content of the question is: Many people don’t know where to go to edit the picture, and this kind of thinking process is more than pure picture editing technology More importantly, it allows us to improve the quality of our works on a technical level.
First clarify one question: Your editing direction does not start when you go home to check the pictures you took! Rather, I had thought about this before shooting.
Then follow the sequence of the following 5 points to explain the whole thinking process during creation:
1. The idea before shooting is the prototype of the direction of retouching
2 The original scene when shooting is the most fundamental basis
3, one’s own photography consciousness is the basic guarantee
4, familiarity with tools and color principles are important skills
5. Clearly organized retouching ideas are the foundation of the later stage
1. The idea before shooting is the prototype of the retouching direction
We should be right before shooting The subject of creation has a meticulous idea. Sometimes it is based on the shooting scene to think about how to make the best use of the scene, and sometimes the shooting idea is first, and then the suitable scene is found according to the shooting idea.
First give a case of thinking about the shooting effect according to the scene, you can follow my thoughts like reading a story.
This is where I lived in the Strait of Magellan town in April this year Hotel room, when I entered the room, the first thing that attracted me was this frame-like window, so I started to develop my creative ideas around this window.
The idea of is: I want a layered frame composition, using windows as borders to frame the beautiful scenery outside. In fact, at this moment, I have already thought of the title of the work “Picturesque Window”.
Then the indoor windows have been determined that they cannot be changed. Next, I need to think about how to view the outdoor scenes to make them look good. It is sunset time and the windows are facing the sunset. This will be an excellent highlight interest. Point is very helpful to render the atmosphere of the picture, so it is necessary to take the sunset into the picture. Then I looked at the landscape. If I was shooting in front of the window, the landscape was not good-looking, and a tree almost blocked the entire landscape. As shown in the figure below, I chose to change the angle to shoot the exterior scene, and then perform exposure synthesis and perspective synthesis later.
I found the town square on the left, the church and Magellan Statues are more representative of such landscapes, so I photographed outdoor scenes from the side, putting churches, statues, and the sunset together to make the most of the existing scenes. This picture only needs the part outside the window in the later stage, and the indoor scene uses the part of the picture above to be synthesized in the later stage.
The effect of was formed when I was shooting. The overall effect is HDR. The indoor tone is appropriately enhanced on the original scene. The scenery outside the window is only restored without changing the tone, which is more natural. real.
The final result is as follows:
Give another example of determining the shooting scene based on existing ideas
This dark-tuned indoor portrait is like the subject I have always wanted to create, so I first have a general effect in my mind, and then based Find suitable scenes and costumes for this.
darkening not only refers to dark exposure, but also dark tone. Dark exposure is very easy to achieve, but it is not easy to find indoor walls, curtains, and beds in dark tones. I also searched for several days before choosing this homestay with dark green as the main color. Then consider the clothing. Since the main color of the scene has been determined, the color of the clothing must be determined according to the main color of dark green. The dark wine red and dark green are contrasting colors that can highlight the characters from the environment. Before shooting, the rough picture effect is already there.
When shooting , the issue of light consumption is also considered. I want to create a side backlight effect through a little natural light from the window, so that the characters have a stronger sense of three-dimensionality without destroying the dark atmosphere. So I opened the curtain to a gap, which also blocked the unsightly window frame.
The idea of in the later stage has actually been formed during the preliminary preparations, which is the combination of dark green and red, focusing on the characters and the light source, and the other parts are darkened.
Therefore, whether we have the idea of shooting when we see the scene or determine the scene based on the idea of shooting, we have already thought about the effect of the picture before shooting. The result of this thinking is that we have made the picture. The prototype may have better ideas in the later stage, but the general direction has been determined, so thinking before shooting is also critical.
Second, the original scene at the time of shooting is the most fundamental basis
We pay attention to a certain degree when we grade later, there must be a principle or standard, and how large is the range of color changes? This is what we are going to discuss now. I think it can be divided into the following two situations:
1. Truth things that exist objectively in nature, do not change the color too much.
2, artificial, highly subjective things, you can change the color tone according to the situation.
For example, in the picture just discussed, the indoor part is There is no fixed standard for artificial construction, so we can change the color of the room according to the situation. The curtains and walls can be white, black, yellow, etc., as long as the color matching is good. The outdoor part is objective and truthful content. The sky sunset should be this color. If you greatly change the sky tone, it will make everyone feel unreal and violate your visual habits.
Let’s talk about the above two blue ices taken when I was with a photography group in Iceland. The blue ice itself is translucent, so on the basis of its own tone There should be sunlight passing through, making the blue ice more crystal clear. Therefore, the influence of ambient light on the subject should also be considered when editing pictures.
Here is an example of a portrait:
This is an original image of an environmental portrait taken in Beijing. The architecture and the characters are combined. The original image looks flat and dark yellow, and the characters are not prominent, so I changed the color contrast and light-dark contrast of the image by changing the architectural tone. , The finished picture is as follows:
later change the wall to dark red, It forms a contrasting color match with the green plants in the middle, and the facial skin of the characters is slightly yellowish under the influence of the light source, which makes the otherwise plain picture more flavorful. This is to change the color according to the needs of content expression to make the subject stand out.
In summary, the color direction in the later stage is analyzed according to the original scene. In some places, the color can be changed, and in some places, it is not appropriate to change the color. For beginners, it is recommended not to Try to change the hue drastically, because you are not skilled enough in color matching. When you first learn, you should focus on the hue of the original scene. On this basis, you can properly strengthen it. Wait until you can skillfully adjust the color to be clean and comfortable, then try again Add your own creativity to drastically change some of these colors.
3. The proper sense of photography is the basic guarantee
The above two points are about our thinking before shooting and when viewing the original image. Now the third point is about Where to start later.
Learn to analyze the original image, don’t be affected by the original image, because it may be inaccurate, and restore it based on the real scene when shooting, such as preliminary adjustment of exposure, removal of color cast, etc.
This is not a question of aesthetics, nor is it a question of thinking. It is just a matter of basic photography skills and the most basic common sense of photography. The obvious defects in the original image should be removed. Let’s take a look:
Case 1: Great light ratio
This is the light ratio is too large, the dark part is underexposed, and the dark part needs to be brightened
Use the method of “pull gray picture, extract details” to extract details. The goal is to concentrate the peaks of the histogram . The premise of retouching is to see the details of the picture. At this time, the histogram peaks have been concentrated in the middle, and the brightness of each part of the picture is similar, so it looks flat and gray, but this is only the first step in order to extract the details of the picture.
Look at the detailed adjustment method:
The above picture is the parameter adjustment method of “pull gray picture, extract details”, which is fixed Method, all single low-sensitivity high light ratio pictures can be adjusted like this:
Exposure does not change-contrast left-highlight left-shadow right-white left-black right
At this time, the gray scale of the picture will increase and the details will be reflected. Then adjust the exposure of the first line to adjust the overall brightness of the picture to normal.
Note: This operation must be performed when the RAW file is imported into ACR, because this adjustment is a single force to brighten the picture, and it requires sufficient tolerance. If it is a JPEG file, it must not work, and the image quality will be poor.
I finished the detail extraction above. Now I will talk about how to remove the grayscale. We pull the gray image to see the details, but the grayscale cannot be kept so large.
First of all, to be clear, the essence of the picture being gray is that there is no contrast or contrast between the various parts of the picture, so it looks very flat. Then our goal of removing grayscale is to find a way to appropriately increase the contrast.
Dust removal method 1: S-curve
can still be operated in AdobeCameraRaw, use the curve tool to pull the curve into the picture above, similar to the S-shape, adjust the bright part of the upper right part to increase appropriately, and adjust the dark part of the lower left part, and pull down appropriately Low, so this is equivalent to brightening the bright parts a little bit, darkening the dark parts a little bit, increasing the contrast between light and dark, simply adjusting the exposure method to remove the gray, there is no loss of image quality.
Gray-removing method 2: Level adjustment
After importing into Photoshop, press the shortcut key “Ctrl+L” to open the color scale panel. Concentrate the three arrows in the middle “input color level” appropriately to the middle to improve the gray state of the picture and make the colors fuller.
The above is the retouching technique of “pull gray image to extract details” The complete method, first pull the gray, extract the details, then restore the gray, and then continue with the normal retouching steps, such as adjustments in color, detail, texture, etc., but the following retouching steps are not this tutorial The key point, the specific tutorial can be viewed on my WeChat public account: The Light and Color World of Shadow Leaf.
But you can see the final image effect, as follows:
Case 2: Original image color cast
This It is a color cast, the white balance is deviated and needs to be corrected afterwards.
1, adjust the overall exposure
brighten the dark part, but also pay attention to the light part
Don’t overdo it Exposure, so that all the details of the entire picture are reflected. Only when the exposure is normal can you see the details of the flaws and color accuracy.
2, correct the skin color of a person
Skin color needs to be corrected in two ways, first let the skin part be exposed to normal, then correct the color. When adjusting the skin color, only look at the skin color part. Don’t worry about the environment behind. After correcting the skin color, use the mask to wipe out the environment.
Here use the curve tool to correct, first select the RGB mode to brighten the skin , Select the “drag hand” tool and drag up and down the skin part. As shown in the figure below:
, please pay attention to the light source on the right side of the character, so the skin on the left side of the character will be slightly darker than the right side. Pay attention to the adjustment when you wipe the mask behind. Then adjust the skin color cast to make the skin look close to what the naked eye saw at that time. Since the skin color will be affected by the light, it will be warmer to a certain extent, and the influence of ambient light on the skin must be reflected.
is adjusting the color channel, as shown below:
Look at the before and after adjustment effect of skin tone
Here only the steps to correct the color cast are demonstrated. The complete retouching process can be found on my WeChat public account : The light world of Shadow Leaf, check it out. The finished image is as follows
Case 3: The original image needs to be reshaped
This is the exposure distribution problem, the main part of the character should be more obvious. Therefore, it is necessary to rearrange the exposure distribution so that the characters are brighter and the environment foreground is appropriately darkened. There are too many retouching steps for this picture, so I won’t demonstrate it here. You can go to my public platform to watch the complete tutorial.
Four. Familiar with tools and color principles are important skills
has solved the problems of the above thinking and basic photography consciousness. Now it comes to the part of color correction, the basis of color correction and ps The application of color palette tools is based on the principle of hue circle.
is the picture of the hue circle above, the direction of the circle is the hue Change, the radial direction is the change of lightness. This hue circle must be memorized and familiar with it, so that the color scheme can be formed into a subconscious habit. Contrasting colors can be understood as opposite colors in the hue circle, and adjacent colors can be understood as adjacent colors in the hue circle.
The general direction of color matching is as follows:
1, monochrome matching
This blues night scene theme is a very typical case of monochrome matching. When using monochrome matching, it reduces the impact of color on vision and allows observers to pay attention The force is more concentrated on the screen content, so the scene content is very demanding, and the lines or shapes of the scene are required to be very characteristic.
2, contrast color matching
blue and The contrasting color of yellow, also called the combination of cold and warm, is very commonly used in night scenes, because the night itself is a dark blue environment and warm lights.
This kind of green and red is also a contrasting color combination. The purpose of contrasting color matching is to give a stronger color contrast and enhance visual impact.
3, adjacent color matching
This is the adjacent color combination of blue and green, the color contrast is small, giving a feeling Relatively soft, usually more durable, not easy to produce visual fatigue.
Yellow and green, red and yellow, blue and purple are also adjacent colors, depending on the relative position on the hue circle.
The above is the overall color matching, but it must be achieved through the use of various color correction tools in Photoshop. There is no clear order for the use of various color correction tools, and it is not a tool. It can only be used once, and it is used repeatedly in color matching, as long as the purpose is achieved.
Next, we will sort out the commonly used photo editing tools
After the idea is clear, we need to know which situation to deal with which tool to solve, and prescribe the right medicine.
There are many adjustment tools for to edit pictures, and beginners can’t distinguish their differences, principles and usage. Let me sort it out below.
From the general perspective, the main functions of the tools are:
dimming, color correction, noise reduction, image correction, selection, enhancement of details, and special effects.
1, adjust the exposure category: ACR basic items, curve, brightness mask.
ACR exposure adjustment will definitely be used for The preliminary adjustment of the raw file can also be combined with the gradient filter and radial filter in ACR for selection adjustment.
The curve tool is relatively fine, and the exposure adjustment is only one of the functions of the curve tool, and the adjustment effect can be very precise and detailed.
Lightness mask is used to automatically make selections, usually combined with curves. First create multiple lightness selection channels in the lightness mask, and then create a curve tool or other on the selection you want to adjust Tool adjustment. Can be precisely adjusted to a certain brightness area. I will post a tutorial on the brightness mask in the near future.
2, correction of picture categories: distortion correction, cropping, repair, etc.
Lens distortion is mainly caused by two aspects:
Objective factors: Due to the structure of the lens, optical path problems, distortions, such as the distortion of a wide-angle lens, cannot be avoided. When shooting with a large-aperture lens, there will be purple and green fringes on the edges of objects. For such problems, use the tool on the far right to adjust the degree of distortion and edge removal.
Subjective factors: due to own shooting angle or camera not released The distortion caused by the level, for example, the elevation angle is too large and the camera is crooked. Use the tools in the middle of the picture above to make adjustments.
To remove debris and blemishes in the picture, such as ground debris, and stains caused by dust in the lens, use the tools on the left in the picture above.
3. Noise reduction: ACR noise reduction, nik noise reduction
ACR noise reduction is relatively simple, but it is easy to lose details, and it is not fine enough. Generally, the brightness should not exceed 40, otherwise it will significantly affect the quality of the details.
The Dfine2 plug-in in Nik is relatively fine, you can choose automatic or manual noise reduction, you can also choose the sampling point.
Of course, there is also stack noise reduction in landscape photography. I will arrange courses to explain advanced landscape photography post-production techniques in the near future.
4. Toning category: HSL, curve, color balance, 3Dlut, optional colors, straw brush, etc.
The color correction tools should also be subdivided, and the characteristics of each tool are For different purposes, you must prescribe the right medicine. According to your needs, choose the right tool. Of course, you must use a variety of tools together when coloring, but you must use it correctly.
Adjust the vividness and intensity of color: HSL tool
Correct color cast: color balance, curve
adjust color purity or color trend: optional color
Add tones: 3Dlut, straw brush
Normally, the color grading sequence is: first correct the color cast, set the overall tone, then adjust the vividness, and then add tones or adjust color trends. In actual retouching, these steps will be used repeatedly, as long as the purpose is clear and the usage is correct.
5. Enhanced details: various sharpening, high contrast retention, nik plug-ins, etc.
Sharpening: It has a good effect for local and contour enhancement, such as sharpening the human eye in portrait photography.
High contrast retention: easy to operate, suitable for large-area adjustment, and has an obvious effect on the surface of the object.
nik plugin: The operation is relatively complicated, but the effect is good.
5. Clearly organized retouching ideas are the foundation of the later stage
The above mentioned various scattered techniques, and now they need to be integrated to form retouching ideas. You may have encountered this kind of problem when you use Photoshop to retouch images: the basic operations of Photoshop have been mastered, but you don’t know where to start when you get the picture. Anyone can learn the application method of the software, but the thinking and aesthetics are not so easy to learn. .
In fact, there are methods for cultivating ideas and aesthetics, which cannot be separated from the following four principles:
1, the picture style is established not to violate the objective facts and is acceptable to most people On the basis of
2, there is the expected effect in the mind before there is a very clear idea of retouching
3, the idea is well-founded, it is from the problem
4. Every retouching step is inseparable from a mastery of basic knowledge.
Keeping in mind the above 4 points, let’s discuss in depth:
There are many problems with the image of a raw file. The internal factor: the camera cannot fully process the image information like the human brain, so the original image will have insufficient exposure, color, and distortion. External factors: When shooting, the environment, weather, shooting angle, etc. will affect the image effect. Therefore, the basic process of retouching is divided into two major levels.
The first level: remove the deficiencies of the original image, restore the real scene to the greatest extent.
The second level: increase the artistic effect and atmosphere you want.
The first level includes exposure, color cast, and distortion The basic adjustments of, in addition, there may be debris removal and noise reduction, which are mainly carried out in ACR. In portrait photography, there are steps such as dermabrasion and liquefaction. The purpose is to remove the flaws in the original picture and restore the scene.
The second level of includes the steps of adding tones, adjusting the relationship between light and shade, increasing artistic effects, strengthening details, and increasing texture. The purpose is to adjust the real scene closer to the picture in our mind.
Next comes the key point:
Where did the idea of come from? Ideas arise in the problem, and each step is to solve the problem in the picture, so follow the following 4 points to determine the idea of retouching.
1. Find the problems in the picture and the purpose of your own retouching
2. According to the problem and purpose, find the corresponding solution
3. One by one, connect them in a reasonable order.
4. The way to edit pictures in order is the idea
, for example, as follows:
First analyze the main problems in the original file, and according to the existing problems, look for retouching solutions one by one Ways
1. Insufficient details in the overall dark parts: brighten the details in the dark parts in ACR
2, the overall color is colder: use saturation in ACR, adjust with HSL tools
3, the mountain details are not prominent: use the nik plug-in to enhance the details
4, the floating ice transparency is not enough: the curve tool brightens the exposure, modify the color cast
5, there are stains: Use a repair brush or repair tool to remove
6. The twilight atmosphere is not enough: first use the color palette tool to color, then use nik to add texture
7, the water surface is uneven: use a blank image The layer is painted with a straw brush
However, the above solutions are scattered. We need to pay attention to the sequence of steps when retouching, so we connect the solutions in a reasonable order.
What is a reasonable order for editing pictures? I think it should be possible to summarize the four “firsts”.
adjust the light first, then color, restore first and then artistic, first the whole and then the parts, first the subject and then the environment.
Therefore, first correct the exposure in ACR as a whole, and then adjust the overall color balance or use the Separate Tone tool to determine the main color and correct the distortion. Then after importing the PS, remove the stains, and then use the selection and curve tools to partially adjust the ice floes to strengthen the light source. Finally, the tones are rendered to enhance details and increase texture.
According to this sequence, combined with the retouching tools mentioned in the fourth point, step by step to make late adjustments, and form a complete creative idea and process. The specific practice still needs everyone to take the shooting practice and sum up the experience. Thank you for reading my tutorial. I am the photographer Yingye.
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