Friday, May 18, 2012

Lens Correction, Camera Raw, & LAB mode= Magic

Those of you who have read my blog for while know I am a big fan of LAB mode editing. Every once in a while I stray from this, and just don't find many others who like to dabble in it, but then I'm just drawn back to it, especially with summer shots.

OK, first things first. I'm going to show you some magic. And the best way to see it, is to first see the Not Magic.

This is the Not Magic ugliness of an unedited Camera Raw photo. Bland. Boring. Pituii!

But I really wanted you to see a specific correction you can do in Camera Raw that I just discovered and am amazed by! Compare these two photos (click on one of the photos, and then compare them in the little slide show that pops up); ignore for a moment the color tweaking and sharpening, and just look at what seems to happen to the dimensions of the photo, moving from the top photo to this second.

Camera Raw has a tab,6 tabs to the right of the main screen, labelled "lens corrections." Click on it, and then click on "enable lens correction." The program pulls up the correction for the specific lens you used for your shot, and corrects the distortions, like magic! It's almost as if there was a "bubble" in the middle of the photo, and it gets "ironed out" and correctly flattened with this adjustment!

Next, I adjust a few things in Camera Raw, like color balance, exposure, and pull it into Photoshop. The 2nd layer of magic now begins. I go to "image", "mode" and change the photo to "LAB mode" instead of RGB. I do a levels adjustment, and then a curves adjustment, adjusting opacity as desired. Had I wanted the sky to retain more of the "blue", I could have allowed for that, but thought it really reflected the underexposure of the straight Camera Raw.  I just do a minor tweak, not the much more extensive and brilliant work of Harold Davis.  Then, flatten, convert back to "RGB" (image>mode>RGB), sharpen and save.

And this was a guy I spotted sitting on a bench, creating a little pottery figure. I was impressed!

Next up, finally, we get to Animal Kingdom!


My 365 Project said...

That made quiet a difference. I really like the shot of the man working on the little clay figure.

joscelyne cutchens said...

pretty beach shots. :)

Nicki said...

Pretty location. As for Raw and Lab Mode - I occasionally follow your tutorial on lab mode, but until I clear off the computer of the thousands of extra copies of pictures backed up on it when the computer crashed (over a year ago) - I am afraid to use any extra space required for raw photos. Also, I know as soon as I go in that direction, I'd find a way to 'need' an extra program to process the pictures - and some how my kids sniff out every extra penny.