How to use Pho­tos to make sub­tle changes

APC Australia - - How to Mac -

CLEAN UP

Dust spots are the bane of SLR users’ ex­is­tence. Here, two par­tic­u­larly fine splodges are ru­in­ing our shot. Click the edit icon to get the tool­bar up. Click the stick­ing plas­ter icon on the ver­ti­cal list of op­tions, then drag the mouse over your dust spot.

SAM­PLE SE­LEC­TION

The tool works by sam­pling a nearby area of your shot and copy­ing it over your dust spot. To change where Pho­tos sam­ples from, Op­tion-click the place you want to copy pix­els from. Drag the slider, or press [ or ] to ad­just the size of the brush.

STRAIGHTEN UP, FLY RIGHT

Wonky hori­zons are a reg­u­lar is­sue in land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy, so hit the crop icon and click and drag the ro­ta­tion wheel on the right-hand side of your im­age to straighten it up. The grid that ap­pears should help you get the horizon straight.

ADD TOOLS

Click Ad­just for ac­cess to the re­ally tasty tools. At first, you’ll only see Light, Colour and Black & White — the first two are lay­man’s terms for ex­po­sure and sat­u­ra­tion, but click Add to see a list of other op­tions.

ADD THE HISTOGRAM

A histogram is a use­ful way of as­sess­ing the changes you’re mak­ing. The graph is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the bright­ness of your im­age: if all the wavy lines are clipped off the right side of the graph, your im­age is over-ex­posed. Vice versa and it’s too dark.

WHITE BAL­ANCE

White bal­ance is typ­i­cally used when you’ve been shoot­ing in mixed-light in­door en­vi­ron­ments, but it can be use­ful else­where. Drag­ging the tem­per­a­ture slider left will cool your im­age; the op­po­site di­rec­tion warms it up.

...TOO MUCH

This is what hap­pens when you go big guns on the sat­u­ra­tion slid­ers. A very dra­matic im­age, but one that will, un­for­tu­nately, look pretty crazy if you try to print it. Keep your ed­its sub­tle for the best ef­fects!

ADD LEV­ELS

Add the lev­els tool, and click and drag the left-hand han­dle un­til it’s di­rectly un­der the be­gin­ning of your histogram. Do the same for the right-hand slide. This will quickly get the dark­est parts of your im­age black and the bright­est bits white.

ADD COLOUR...

You can warm up an im­age us­ing white bal­ance, but us­ing the Color slider is a great fin­ish­ing touch to your ed­its. Use the drop-down ar­row to break Color down into con­trast, sat­u­ra­tion and cast for more con­trol.

GO BACK IN TIME

Click Done to save your changes (you can re­turn to the edit screen at any point and click Re­vert to Orig­i­nal to re­store your shot). Al­ter­na­tively, se­lect your shot and choose Ex­port to cre­ate a copy with your ed­its for use out­side Pho­tos.

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