[ by Mark W ]
I guess big apologies for last night’s painful presentation on layers. The plan was supposed to be whizz through the slides just to leave you with some background and then get stuck into Photoshop itself to demo the real thing for most of the time. Unfortunately we had problems with Charles’ computer being unable to recognise the projector. Don’t know if that was a graphics driver issue or Win10 issue, but the computer would just not play with the projector.
That meant we switched to using the club laptop, which was all fine to show the presentation on the projector, but unfortunately does not have Photoshop loaded. So I was left a little bit time-filling and making do with it all from the slides.
Anyways, here is the presentation.
(Here is a direct link to the Adobe pages I copied some text from on page 3.)
The presentation includes the image I was going to use to illustrate layers. As I mentioned yesterday, the shot was actually bracketed, and there was some HDR processing involved also (both a tone-map and fusion blend). The main thing to show though was the use of layers.
Here is the 0EV from the bracket-set (i.e. the correct exposure as measure by the camera), all was shot as raw and this is just a default Adobe Camera Raw processing, exported out to sRGB JPEG. I have not done any white-balance correction here.
Here then is the actual image I entered to last year’s PDI round 1. The image scored 10.
See the difference – that’s all done by layer-based processing (aside from the crop/rotate which is done in Lightroom after).
Here are some screen grabs from PS CC of what I would have talked through last night if the computer would have played ball (the layers panel is down the bottom right and you can see how I have labelled and grouped the layers… I always do that so I can remember what each does; I did not do any relabelling for last night’s demo – this is my actual psd working file from a year ago):
The PSD has 22 layers. Most of the work is really done in adjustment layers with various masks to selectively re-tone all the ceiling woodwork and correct the different colour casts you naturally get in interior shots where there is a mix of natural daylight and artificial lighting.
As I mentioned yesterday, my workflow starts and ends in Lightroom (and I work in ProPhotoRGB and 16-bits throughout to get maximum colour gamut and dynamic range granularity, at least in my master files, though for PDI submission we use sRGB and JPEG which is 8-bits). I have used LR to do the final crop/rotate and export to sRGB JPEG for the PDI entry. I am a member of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan and today use Photoshop CC 2015 and Lightroom CC 2015, though I have been using Photoshop since CS5 and LR since LR2.
I mentioned yesterday also how I use the Google Nik Collection very often in my processing – specifically Color Efex, as well as Silver Efex and Output Sharpener (which I blend back selectively). I do use the others also, but not so often. For Color Efex I typically use Detail Extractor and Tonal Contrast.
The Nik Collection is excellent value I think, and as I was trying to recall yesterday in my time-filling, Google acquired the independent Nik when they bought out Nik for its Snapseed mobile image processing and sharing product as a counter-play to Facebook just having acquired Instagram. Google has updated the Nik Collection since and has so far maintained it well (I believe Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google) is a keen amateur photographer).
It’s a by-the-by, but my own MacBook Pro laptop died two weeks ago (at 6 years-old, its graphics chip was out-of-date anyways), and a new one is on order, with a delivery date of yesterday… and that was what I was hoping to use for the demo. As it stands, I think I now get it next Monday. Humph.
PS : forgot to mention it above, but here’s a great (but detailed) description of what layer blend modes actually do:
Photoshop Blend Modes Explained