3 - Day 22 - The Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop: Part 1

White Balance:

The name pretty much explains itself. This slider helps you correct the white balance of your photos. If you’re editing a JPG, PNG, or basically any format that is not RAW, you’ll see 3 types of predefined settings – As Shot, Auto, Custom.

As Shot – This resets the white balance to the default
Auto – Photoshop will determine what’s the correct white balance should be which is 99% of time is wrong
Custom – If you play with the below two sliders, Temperature, and Tint, even by a little, White Balance will change to Custom. This tells the photographers that Photoshop is having a custom white balance

If by any chance you get to edit a RAW photo, you’ll get 6 additional formats:

  • Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Shade (my favorite)
  • Tungsten
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash

Temperature: It sets the temperature of the image. If you drag it to the right, the image will look warm and gives a perception that it was shot on a hot day or in the presence of the sun. If you drag it to the left, the image will look cold and gives a perception that it was shot at the time when the sun was not present.

Tint: It helps you to give the artistic effect and further correct the white balance by changing the hue.

All Photographer’s Choice

Below 6 sliders are the one that photographers use in almost all image. If we remove them from all of the photo editing apps then Instagram and Snapchat will go bankrupt.

Exposure: It sets the exposure of the photo i.e. brighter and dimmer. Even by increasing by 0.05, the image gets visibly brighter.

I get asked a lot of times that what is the difference between Exposure and Brightness. The correct answer is this:

Exposure shifts all levels which are highlights, mid-tones, and shadows. In fact, it scales all levels by a constant multiplying factor. For instance, to push exposure +1EV means doubling all levels in the linear domain (a different factor in the gamma domain).But Brightness is not just a mid tone control since it affects the entire image again.

The difference of Exposure vs Brightness is that the later preserves the highlights while Exposure will blow them. In chance, Brightness makes us loose contrast in the highlights and can lead to some hue changes (not clearly perceivable).

Contrast: Even if you say that you don’t know what it is, I won’t believe you. Even a 1st class student knows what it does.

It helps to create a balance between highlights and shadows by altering the mid-tones.

Highlights: It changes the highlight portion of the image. I use it a lot to bring back the overexposed sky. It doesn’t work as good as with JPGs as it works with RAWs.

Shadow: Just opposite of highlights. This helps you to brighten the darker areas of your image. If you drag it to the left, it’ll make them even darker.

Whites: This slider plays with the white points of the image which is global. If you lower it, you’ll notice that the image gets dark.

Blacks: Just as Whites, this plays with the Black points of the image.

Detail + Saturation

Clarity: It sharpens the image or makes an image less blurry. The effect is drastic and you many not want to drag the slider to the extreme right. Otherwise, the image will look grungy.

As a rule of thumb, I never increase the calrity of most of the images by more than 10%.

Vibrance: If you drag it to the right, you’ll get a more vibrant picture.

Saturation: If you drag it to the right, you’ll get a more saturated picture.

Difference between Vibrance and Saturation
Just like exposure and brightness, another very common question is the difference between vibrance and saturation. If you play with the vibrance slider, it’ll affect only those pixels of the image which are not saturated. For example, a pixel which is saturated red will not be affected by this slider, unlike a pixel which is pale red.

On the other hand, Saturation doesn’t discriminate pixels, it simply saturates them.

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