EVEN OUT YOUR EXPOSURES AND RE-LIGHT YOUR SHOTS IN PHOTOSHOP CC TO GET PRO-QUALITY RESULTS.
Our digital image editing guru, Jon Adams, explains the steps in Photoshop CC for dealing with contrast differences – particularly in landscape photography – and evening out your exposures.
Getting the ‘correct’ exposure for a shot is a highly subjective matter. After all, some like their shots to be dark and dramatic, while others like them bright and open. For most photographers, choosing what’s ‘right’ depends entirely on the content of the image and the meaning they want to convey to the viewer. But the concept of exposure is rarely binary in a bright or dark sense – it’s far more nuanced than that.
When you critically assess an image, you may find that some areas, such as parts of a foreground, require lifting, while others, like a pale sky, need toning down. Depending on the position of the sun and the extent of cloud cover, the sky can be 2 or 3 stops brighter than the foreground it illuminates. If you make a global adjustment to correct this, you’ll end up with a great sky with the foreground thrown into obscurity, or a well-exposed foreground with a completely blown-out sky.
Solutions to these contrast problems can be found in the form of graduated Neutral Density filters placed over the lens at the time of capture, but aside from being time-consuming to fit and adjust, these only help if your horizon is unbroken across the scene. If a mountain or building juts out from the foreground and breaks the skyline, a grad will be of limited use, as it’ll darken the protruding item which is in need of brightening.
In Photoshop, a great route to balancing your exposure comes in the form of the Curves command, and over the page, we reveal how you can use it to precisely adjust the brightness, contrast and even the colour of different parts of a scene to get the exact result you’re after.
By adjusting the brightness, contrast and colour in different areas, this landscape scene is dramatically improved.