Friday, August 17, 2012

A Little Bit Of Everything In Photoshop and Lightroom

Like the title of this post says, there's a little bit of everything in today's image.  It's a four shot panorama put together in Adobe Photoshop CS6 (CS6).  It was desaturated in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (LR4).  It was straightened using the new Adaptive Wide Angle filter in CS6.  It was hand colored in LR4.   CS6's Content Aware Fill was used to fill in gaps in the sky and water.  LR4 was used for the final crop.  Another trip to CS6 gave today's image a "painted" effect with CS6's new Oil Paint filter.  And, finally, a vignette was applied back in LR4.

There is a reason why each step was done in either CS6 or LR4.  To follow a rundown of each step and an explanation of why it was done in which application, hit the "Read More".

The "Pano".  This is probably the easiest step to explain the "why" of which program it was done in.  At this time LR4 has no capability to splice multiple images together.  Therefore there is no choice for step one.  The images were selected in LR4 and then sent over to CS6 to be made into the pano.  (Photo/Edit In/Merge to Pano in Photoshop).  Sending the raw (not RAW) pano back over to LR4 preserved the Layers and Masks just in case I needed to get back to the original panorama.

While in LR4 some of the color was removed to create the "pallet" for getting to where I wanted to go.  This is a case of thinking a couple steps ahead.  In the Basic Panel of LR4 all it took was to bring the Saturation Slider to the left about 40 points.  That left enough color to have the darkest part of the water and sky still blue but took out the greens and yellows.  This left the dock, most of the water and the trees pretty neutral.  The other slider moved was the Highlights slider to get a little more detail in the clouds.

Next was to correct the bends in the docks and water line.  Because a typical multiple shot pano tends to bend things down toward the middle the docks appeared to be curved.  CS6's new Adaptive Wide Angle filter can be used multiple times in the same image, so straighten the long pier, straighten the short pier, straighten the shore line from just about center to the right edge.  The one stop you may not think needed straightening was the church on the hill just to the left of center.  I didn't think it would work because it was such a short segment, but it did. 

Since I had drawn some of the color out of the image I needed to put some big color back into the shot.  This was all done in LR4 using the Adjustment Brush.  Down at the bottom of the Adjustment Brush Panel there's a small rectangle with an X through it.  Clicking on that box brings up a color picker.  The idea would be to pick a general color, test it and fine tune it using Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Temperature and whatever else you can find to hone in on the color you want.  In the original shots there were some trees that had turned and some that were still green.  Seven individual colors were used on this image.  The green and gold/orange for the trees.  Brown for the piers and posts.  Yellow for the bumper along the side of the pier.  A couple of reds for the buildings and the life ring in the rescue boat and blue for the water and blue hulled boat.

While the image was still uncropped it took another trip over to CS6.  The Content Aware Fill (introduced in CS5) was used to "fill in" a couple spots that had been affected by the straightening.  Probably should have done this before the hand coloring, but oops.  I hadn't.  CAF picked up the colors and applied them to the fill regions with no problem.

Now it was time for the final crop.  I make it a habit to do my crops in LR4 even though CS6 now has a nondestructive crop.  Just habit.  The crop is a 1 x 3 ratio giving the ability to get a nice clean 12 x 36 print (from Costco for $5.00)

At that point the image looked pretty good, but I wanted to take it one step further.  Back to CS6, made it a Smart Object and applied the new Oil Paint filter.  (Filter/Oil Paint).  It was available in CS5 through a download of Pixel Bender from Adobe Labs.  It's not included as a standalone filter in CS6.

As far as a vignette goes, I have three methods I use.  It it's going to be a straight, centered vignette I do it in LR4.  If it needs to be off centered I'll either do it in CS6 or use an Adjustment Brush technique in LR4.  Today's image uses a straight, centered vignette, so it was done in LR4.
That's it.  A little bit of everything in CS6 and LR4.  BTW:  If you don't have LR4, everything can be done in CS6 and ACR (Adobe Camera Raw).  Hope this was informative.  Thanks