I will be offering a class at the Hershey Library on Saturday morning October 13th. Rather than the usual demonstrations of how I made a particular image or used a special technique, this will be a class where your images are the source material. Requirements for participation are that you bring at least three images on a jump drive, including brackets if available, and be willing to have your images used for demonstration. You will be given the final result as a psd on your drive so you can study what was done after the class.
One of the ways to improve your processing is to teach yourself to deal with images in sections rather than globally. Some initial global corrections are needed, such as white balance and some preliminary white and black point settings. Just as in the darkroom application of burning and dodging, digital corrections often require isolating sections of an image for local control.
In cases where the dynamic range of the capture is sufficient for a single overall correction of exposure and initial contrast, post raw processing in Photoshop with selections is probably the next logical step. In some cases double processing the raw file is a better option. Process separate areas of an image in the raw processor or Lightroom and then make a composite image in Photoshop. This gives you the best source material for the image.
Once you make the initial processing decisions in ACR or Lightroom you can open the image in Photoshop. In Lightroom you can make a virtual copy to accomplish multiple versions of the processing. In ACR you can modify the processing and use the Alt or Option keys to make “Open a Copy” available. This opens the image with the new settings without overriding the initial settings in the XMP file, so your primary corrections are preserved. However, your secondary processing decisions are not preserved.
Compositing images in Photoshop is pretty common, but is usually done for content. Compositing for exposure or contrast is a different approach. Improving skies is the first place this technique makes sense. If you are a wedding or portrait photographer consider the possibilities when the subject is wearing white or other lighter colors. Getting significant improvements in fine detail is easily accomplished. Once the compositing technique is mastered, the Photoshop processing is really not a big deal. But, not all images require compositing.
Sign up for the class at the Hershey Library or by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org). The class cost is $40. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.