1. EXPOSURE BLENDING
2. COLOUR MANAGEMENT
3. LAB COLOUR & SHARPENING
1. EXPOSURE BLENDING
To start, open up your chosen raw image. You want to make adjustments that affect the sky, mid ground, foreground. Or you can concentrate of highlights, mid tones, and shadows. Play around with exposure, shadows, whites, blacks etc and then for further control move into your luminosity panel.
In here you can control certain aspects through color. For example the sky may be too light so I slide my blue slider down to darken.
Once you are happy save the image as a DNG (digital negative). This is so you are working with the best possible files when you load into photoshop. Depending on what you are doing, name the file something that you can easily distinguish what it is. I am only looking at Background/sky and Foreground/water.
Once you have all your files and happy with the adjustments, select the files in bridge and click;
Tools > Photoshop > Load files into Photoshop layers...
Once loaded you will get an screen like above. Your two/three images loaded into layers in the same photoshop file. Your next step is to order them how you wish and create a layer mask on your top layer. My sky image is on top so I am painting through to bring out my lighter foreground.
For this particular edit I struggled to get this to work as I initially only had one image to work with and to do a HDR edit the "traditional" way. So I looked to other ways to do it and a fellow student adviced using Google Nik.
It is a program that is free to download and use within photoshop which allows to to load pre sets onto photographs to get the desired effect on the photograph.
FILTER > NIK COLLECTION > HDR EFEX PRO 2
I selected the bright option which instantly changed the image. I loved the effect it gave the image and it was what I wanted to achieve.
3. LAB SHARPENING
The RGB color mode is the most common to work with, so I’ll assume that most of us use this as our default. We can still work in RGB even though we’re doing adjustments in LAB color mode, it’s just a little extra work. So open up your image as you normally would and basically process the entire image until you’re happy with it.
The lightness channel contains all of the light and dark tones in the image while avoiding any noise caused by the color channels. Sharpening works by darkening the darks and lightening the lights at their boundaries. Any color noise will cause noisy sharpening. In this example, I’ll show the Unsharp Mask to sharpen the image. You could use whatever method you prefer in place of that.
Switch to the channels palette and select “Lightness”. The “A” and “B” channels should be deselected and your image should look like a black and white photo. Now, apply your sharpening directly to that channel. For the Unsharp Mask, you can find it under; Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Every image requires different settings, so don’t just assume that those numbers when you first select are the best for your image. Once you get the sharpness where you like it, apply the filter and reselect the “LAB” channel in your palette.
4. TEXTURE & PATTERN
A pattern overlay is used to add a pattern to a particular layer. Using Pattern Overlay in conjunction with other effects can help you create different styles, with depth.
Open the image you want to edit in.jpg format - Then create new Layer.
Select "New Fill Layer" and select "Pattern".
This is the window that will pop up once you have selected 'Pattern'
I only wanted to add texture to the hair so I used the quick selection tool to select the hair then proceeded the previous step just on the hair.
I played around with the opacity to get the right balance and it gave a softer texture to they hair but not loosing all the detail in the hair