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  • Hi there, this is Unmesh from PiXimperfect and today I'm going to share with you one

  • of the easiest ways to Color Grade in Photoshop.

  • We are going to explore some essential Photoshop and Camera Raw tips and tricks to create drama

  • with color.

  • Also, if you want to go a little more advanced, you will also learn some lighting techniques

  • to bring life to your images.

  • So without any further ado, let's get started.

  • Before we begin, I have something special for you.

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  • Back in the magical world of Photoshop and if you want to go ahead and download this

  • photo and follow along, you already know what to do.

  • Check the links in the description.

  • Now let's get started.

  • What we're going to use here is Adobe Camera Raw, but as a filter.

  • Now anytime you apply any filter, you want a backup.

  • So first of all, let's make a copy of the Background layer by pressing Ctrl or Command

  • + J. Make sure that the Background layer is selected, then press Ctrl or Command + J.

  • Now you have a copy.

  • You can actually name this Color Grade if you wish to keep it organized.

  • Before you apply any filter, keep in mind to convert this into a Smart Object.

  • Why?

  • So that any filter you apply, you will be able to change the values later and it's completely

  • non-destructive.

  • So with the Color Grade layer selected, go to Filter - Convert for Smart Filters and

  • hit OK.

  • You can always click on 'Don't show this message again' so that the second time you do it,

  • or the next time you do it, this message won't show up.

  • Hit OK.

  • But, I keep it off because I teach you and I teach people, so I got to tell them.

  • So, once this layer is converted to a Smart Object, which you can tell by the symbol right

  • there, you can go to Filter and then Camera Raw Filter and inside of this, we want to

  • apply some colors to the highlights and the shadows.

  • That's it.

  • And the easiest way to do it is going to Split Toning right there.

  • You see this icon right there.

  • It's called Split Toning.

  • If you hover over it, it will say Split Toning, self explanatory.

  • Now, in here, we're going to talk about Balance later, just focus on Highlights and Shadows.

  • So, what color you want in the highlights and what color you want in the shadows?

  • However, if you just change the Hue, if you just select a color, let's say I want blue

  • in the shadows, it just won't show up.

  • Why is that?

  • Because the Saturation is zero or the amount of color is zero.

  • You need to push it.

  • But, what's the best way to check which color will suit the best?

  • Well, I've got a trick for you.

  • All you got to do is to hold the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, when you move

  • through Hue.

  • So, when you hold the Alt key or the Option key and then when you drag this, it will assume

  • momentarily that the Saturation is at 100%.

  • So, let's say, if we stay at 185, this is the look, if we hold the Alt key.

  • So finally hold the Alt key and if I click and drag in here at 189, this is the look.

  • If I increase the Saturation, it's the same look.

  • So temporarily, it will assume that the Saturation is at 100.

  • So it helps you choose the right color.

  • But you can later control the Saturation anyway.

  • So let's decrease the Saturation all the way to zero.

  • And you can use this trick by holding the Alt key or the Option key, just drag and see

  • which color suits the best in the shadows.

  • So I'm going to go with somewhere about this Cyan-ish kind of color, or more bluish, let's

  • go for 222.

  • That suits best.

  • Now, let's control the Saturation.

  • How much of this color do you want?

  • So I'm going to go for, let's go for a little higher number in here.

  • We're going to make it moody.

  • All right, this is fine.

  • Let's choose the Highlights.

  • So hold the Alt key or the Option key again, and then click and drag on this slider and

  • we're going to go for a yellowish color.

  • Let's go for 65-ish.

  • Yes, that looks nice.

  • But it's kind of too much, of course, because it assumes the Saturation to be at 100.

  • So we're going to choose the Saturation of, let's say, let's go for about 70-ish / 74-ish.

  • And there we have a kind of look.

  • It's not absolutely amazing, but you've got a good starting point.

  • Now, what is balance?

  • Balance determines what is shadow and what is highlight.

  • So, it is that kind of borderline.

  • So, let's suppose this is shadow, half of this table, this is shadow, and half of this

  • table is highlight.

  • And if we choose blue for the shadows, it's going to apply blue to half the table on the

  • right hand side, or your left hand side, and it's going to apply half the table as yellow.

  • Now, if you change the Balance, this border between the highlights and the shadows, or

  • I don't know which side was which, will change.

  • That's it.

  • So if we change the Balance, see, the Highlight border is moving towards the dark area, meaning

  • now you have less color in the shadow, and more of the color in the highlight.

  • If you move it towards the left hand side, the opposite will happen.

  • So for me, I'm going to keep it at about, let's go for, how about we take it to the

  • negative side, just a touch, -2 or -3 is good for us.

  • Now that we are here in Camera Raw, why not explore more sliders other than the Split

  • Toning.

  • So, let's explore the Basic tab.

  • So this is actually the Basic tab.

  • Select that and play with the Exposure a little bit.

  • So let's set the Exposure in here to..let's decrease the Exposure to create the mood in

  • this case.

  • This looks nice to me.

  • Now, to make anything impactful, we increase the contrast.

  • So let's bump it up a little bit to about, say somewhere about.. let's go a little higher.

  • So we are going a little higher.

  • I know it's crushing the shadows, but we're going to increase the shadows later.

  • That doesn't matter.

  • So we're going to go for about 30.

  • Okay, so let's set the Highlights.

  • So how much Highlights do you want?

  • Do you want less of it, more of it?

  • I think Normal was fine, maybe just a hair to the right hand side.

  • Now, as I said, since we increase the Contrast, it crushed the Shadows a little bit.

  • So let's increase the Shadows.

  • So we're going to increase it to about 40.

  • What do you think?

  • Even more if you want to add some more brightness in the shadows, So let's go for about 50%

  • or 50 number, whatever you want to call it.

  • Now Whites.

  • I'm going to keep it the way it is because if I increase it, it looks good, but later,

  • we're going to add some lighting effects.

  • So let's save it for that.

  • But anyway, I'm going to just increase it a touch about 13% / 14%.

  • Blacks, let's decrease it.

  • Now, if you hold the Alt key or the Option key, it's going to show you which areas are

  • losing details, but we are not worried about that.

  • It's all about creating that mood.

  • As long as it looks beautiful, as long as the results are amazing, the client is not

  • going to look at the image and say, 'Oh, that area is clipped.

  • I'm worried about that.'

  • Don't worry about anything.

  • Just go to a Photography Art Gallery, you will find some international award winning

  • images and also some historic, most important images with the background completely clipped

  • out, and maybe the sky clipped out.

  • It does not matter.

  • Photography, in my opinion, is an art.

  • As long as it looks cool, we're good.

  • All right.

  • Anyway, so this is all right.

  • So do you want a little bit of Clarity?

  • Let's just give a little touch of it, Dehaze a little bit.

  • Wow.

  • Dehaze does bring a little difference in there.

  • So let's go for 12.

  • Yes, that number looks good.

  • Now, there's a difference between Vibrance and Saturation.

  • Saturation amps up the color of every single pixel, doesn't matter if it's a highlight

  • or shadow.

  • Doesn't matter if it's the darkest pixel of the image or the brightest one.

  • Unless it's black or white, exactly completely black or white, it will amp up the saturation

  • or the amount of color of that pixel.

  • We do not want that.

  • We just want to increase the color of the midtones and the areas that are already saturated

  • a little bit.

  • So for that, we need to just bump up the Vibrance.

  • So, let's increase the Vibrance to about, usually I don't go beyond 45, so for this

  • example, 33 or 30 is good.

  • So let's keep it at that.

  • And keep in mind, anytime we can come back to this and change the value, so that's cool.

  • Now that we're here, let's go ahead and apply some Sharpening to it.

  • So let's go to the Sharpening tab, which is the Detail tab right there, and increase the

  • amount all the way to the right first, that's the one thing that I do all the time, then

  • control the Radius and then, in the end, we adjust the Amount.

  • So, when you control the Radius, hold the Alt key or Option key and keep on increasing

  • it and stop at the moment where you begin to see these halos around the edges.

  • So, from the left hand side, keep on increasing it.

  • Just when you begin to see the halos, stop.

  • For me, it's going to be about 1.3/1.4.

  • Little bit halo here and there is fine.

  • And how much details you want?

  • Hold the Alt key or the Option key, if you take it to the right, you'll have more, if

  • you take it left, you'll have less.

  • If you hold the Alt key, it will show you where the details are.

  • I'm not really sure if you can see it on your screen because I'm working on a 4K monitor

  • right now.

  • So watch in 4K if you can.

  • So, there we go, and let's just control the Amount.

  • So we're going to keep the Amount somewhere about 70/71.

  • That's fine.

  • I want you to have a close look at the lipstick.

  • It's not popping enough.

  • We really want it to pop.

  • We just add some Saturation to it.

  • We just add some Saturation to the reds.

  • So, let's go to the Saturation tab or HSL, let's go there, and we just want to play with

  • the Saturation of the reds.

  • So, we simply increase it.

  • And have a look.

  • Lips become interesting.

  • So here's the before, here's the after.

  • Interesting, isn't it?

  • So we're going to keep it at about 53.

  • Now, time for us to add some special effects to it.

  • To add special effects inside of Camera Raw, we need to go to the 'fx' or Effects folder,

  • click on that one right there.

  • Now, if you want to add Green, you can, but first, let's add some Vignetting.

  • So, we're going to take it to the left to add some darkness around the edges.

  • Now, let me give you a tip right there - take it all the way to the left, right, and then

  • decrease the Feather all the way to the left.

  • That way you're seeing which areas the Vignette is applied.

  • Then you control the Midpoint and the Roundness.

  • So, how inside you want it to be or how outside you want it to be.

  • For this image, 50 is fine.

  • And Roundness is something you can also control.

  • If you want it to be completely round or square like that, that's also something you can do.

  • Once you have adjusted those, and then, you can Feather it all out and control the Amount.

  • So you're going to keep the Amount and adjust the Midpoint.

  • So for me, we just want the focus over there.

  • So let's keep it at about 24, so that only that area that we want our viewers' attention