Exploring Photoshop CC

Exploring Photoshop CC

Getting to grips with the new features in Photoshop CC

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  • Intro 1
  • Step 1: Removing camera shake 2
  • Step 2: Adjust the settings 3
  • Step 3: Directional blur selection 4
  • Step 4: Area blur marking 5
  • Step 5: Straighten it up 6
  • Step 6: Lens correction 7
  • Step 7: Stop falling down 8
  • Step 8: Make it bigger 9
  • Step 9: Brightening up 10
  • Step 10: Colour and contrast 11
  • Step 11: Spot removal 12
  • Step 12: The smart sharpener 13
  • Step 13: Reduce noise 14
  • Step 14: Adjust shadows 15
  • Step 15: Toning with colour 16
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Step 1 of 16: Intro

So there’s a new Photoshop on the block but the question of committing to the subscription route depends on whether you find the new features useful or not.

In this tutorial we’re going to look at the most important new ones and see how they work in practice, starting with the camera shake reduction function. Camera shake occurs because there’s not enough light coming into the camera, for the aperture and shutter speed settings, to record the image before the camera moves.

Typical instances of this are low-light photos where you don’t have a tripod, or long, telephoto shots where the shutter speed simply isn’t fast enough, or close up macro shots where again, if you don’t have a tripod, keeping the camera still enough is a problem. Usually this would consign the image to the bin, but the new tool has the potential to rescue it. We’re also going to look at the resizing function, using Camera RAW as a filter and the new Smart Sharpen.

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Step 2 of 16: Step 1: Removing camera shake

Here’s a low-light shot of the bridges on the Tyne between Gateshead and Newcastle. It’s underexposed, there’s some camera movement, plenty of noise in the shadow areas, some dirt and it would be nice if it was bigger. All told, this would probably be heading for the bin. First task then, is to launch Filter> Sharpen> Camera Shake Reduction.

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Step 3 of 16: Step 2: Adjust the settings

By default, the filter will select a section of the image to work with, but this may not be the best option. Firstly, zoom in to 200% using the control on the bottom left. In the Advanced panel on the right, right-click over the trace area and select Delete Blur Trace. In the top left click on Blur Direction Tool (R).

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Step 4 of 16: Step 3: Directional blur selection

Draw from one point on the solid image to the same point in the blurred version. Then tick Preview. On a small Blur Trace Length of 10-11px the result tends not to be very good. Where the shake is bigger, it’s much more effective and can be used to isolate the direction of the shake. If this result is poor, right-click over the Blur Estimate Regions and select Delete Blur Trace again.

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Step 5 of 16: Step 4: Area blur marking

So, instead, click on the Blur Estimation Tool (E), top left, and mark an area that has clearly defined blur and contains the lightest and darkest parts of the image. If possible, otherwise just aim for an area with contrast and blur. This should give a better result than the automatic area selection. Check that any thin wires are still visible and if not, reduce the Smoothing parameter. Then click Okay.

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Step 6 of 16: Step 5: Straighten it up

Before increasing the image in size it needs to be straightened, otherwise you end up cropping from the interpolated image. Select the Crop tool and click on the Straighten option. Near the middle of the image, click on the horizon and drag the tool along it. Let go and it will rotate to straighten. 

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Step 7 of 16: Step 6: Lens correction

Move the crop markers back out to the edge and click on the tick. Go to Filter> Adaptive Wide Angle and set to Perspective. Put a tick in the As Shot box. This gets the Focal Length from the Metadata automatically. Click OK to apply to remove any bulging from the lens.

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Step 8 of 16: Step 7: Stop falling down

Move the crop markers back out to the edge and click on the tick. Go to Filter> Adaptive Wide Angle and set to Perspective. Put a tick in the As Shot box. This gets the Focal Length from the Metadata automatically. Click OK to apply to remove any bulging from the lens.

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Step 9 of 16: Step 8: Make it bigger

Crop off any white areas left and then go to Image> Image Size. Stretch out this window so you get a better view of the results. In the sizes change the vertical resolution to 3300px so that it can be printed at A4 at 300dpi. Set the resizing method to Preserve Details. Now, move the Reduce Noise slider so you get a good balance between keeping sharp lines and removing added noise artefacts. Click OK.

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Step 10 of 16: Step 9: Brightening up

Crop off any white areas left and then go to Image> Image Size. Stretch out this window so you get a better view of the results. In the sizes change the vertical resolution to 3300px so that it can be printed at A4 at 300dpi. Set the resizing method to Preserve Details. Now, move the Reduce Noise slider so you get a good balance between keeping sharp lines and removing added noise artefacts. Click OK.

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Step 11 of 16: Step 10: Colour and contrast

Click on the Basic header and increase the Vibrance and Saturation a little. Clarity increases the contrast but also produces halo effects so instead tweak the actual Contrast. Slide the Shadows up to +70% to brighten them up and adjust the tone curve again if required.

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Step 12 of 16: Step 11: Spot removal

Click on the Basic header and increase the Vibrance and Saturation a little. Clarity increases the contrast but also produces halo effects so instead tweak the actual Contrast. Slide the Shadows up to +70% to brighten them up and adjust the tone curve again if required.

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Step 13 of 16: Step 12: The smart sharpener

The Smart Sharpen filter has been redone so go to Filter> Sharpen> Smart Sharpen next. Set the Amount to 200% and then use the Radius slider to adjust how much of an effect this has. Increase it until all areas of the image have been sharpened, even if that means that some are too sharp at this point.

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Step 14 of 16: Step 13: Reduce noise

You will notice that the noise levels have increased. Use the Reduce Noise slider to remove them, but pay attention to fine details and stop before it removes them. There are lots of lights in the scene and they are currently much too harsh. Under Highlights increase the Fade Amount, Width and Radius until you get the highlight areas looking right.

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Step 15 of 16: Step 14: Adjust shadows

As this is a night scene, the lights in it contrast quite sharply with the surroundings. In a daylight scene you won’t have to adjust the Highlights at all, but instead tackle the Shadows. Here they will become very noisy and need fading while retaining the sharpening effect elsewhere. It’s also worth applying the filter on a layer so you can use a mask if necessary.

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Step 16 of 16: Step 15: Toning with colour

A final tweak if required can make use of another new feature. Go to the Adjustment Layer options and select Color Lookup. In the 3DLUT file drop down menu select 3Strip.look. Paint on the mask to stop the building on the left getting too blue and the water from picking up too much noise. Then flatten and save.

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