In this lesson you will get a quick tutorial of Adobe Photoshop. Learn how to improve your aerial photos.
This video is meant to be a quick introduction to Adobe Photoshop. I will show you some of the basic editing techniques that I like to use to improve my aerial photos.
You could see here I have a batch of raw aerial photos. These are .dng files from the Inspire 1 camera, and I have picked out this one that I like. And one thing that I don’t like about this image is how dark the ground is, I like the dark sky. It would be nice if I lighten this up. So I am gonna open this in Adobe Photoshop and see what we can do. I’m just gonna drag this down to Photoshop and anytime you open a raw image in Photoshop, you gonna get this camera raw dialogue that’s gonna open up first before the image is actually opened in Photoshop itself. And this dialogue is very much like the dialogue in Adobe light room. You will notice that all this sliders are pretty much the same as in the previous lesson, in the light room lesson. And in fact, they are doing the same thing to the image.
It is important to remember that Photoshop can be destructive. So if you open this image and make changes to it and then save it without changing the file name or the location of the file that you are saving, you will override the original image which may not be what you intend to do. So it’s important to keep in mind when you are editing in Photoshop. Try to remember to use the “save as.” I always use the “save as” button and save it as a new image somewhere else. I like to maintain my original images in case I would like to go back and do something different with them later on.
So in this camera right interface, we’re gonna go ahead and mess with some of these sliders just to see what happens. We can warm this up a little bit and then the exposure is pretty good. Like I said, I would like to just lighten up this bottom part of the image, the ground that’s so dark. And to do that, I’m gonna try using the shadow slider. So I’m just gonna slide this over and it should just affect the shadows. And in fact as I slide that over, you can see that mostly just that ground image was affected.
If I slide it back, you can see how dark that gets. Let me increase that just a little bit more. And then if I increase the contrast, it’s gonna help bring out some of the structure in those clouds. In fact I’m gonna bring the contrast pretty high for this image. Then clarity is another slider here that will help bring out some of the structure in those clouds to really make it dramatic.
When I add just a little bit of vibrance, a little bit of saturation and then if you click here in this tab, this is the detail tab, you can add just a little bit of sharpening. Again, a lot of this is subjective, you just have to play around and see what it is that you like. You might see what the highlights do here. So if I bring that down and get a little more detail than in the sky, in the highlight part of the sky and I think I like that. So this is looking pretty good. I have got some good contrast in the structure in the clouds here in this rain storm.
But the ground is still not quite what I was hoping for as far as how light the ground is. I’d like to kind of bring out some more of the color and details in this. To do that, I’m gonna continue on the Photoshop and I’m gonna show you the power of layers in Photoshop to improve your images.
So this is just the raw dialogue box and we gonna go ahead and click open, and now we have that image with those edits that we made to the raw interface. Now in the Photoshop interface. So here is that layer, it’s a background layer. I’m just gonna hit command-J, the control-J in windows to duplicate that layer. So now I have background layer and the layer above it that’s exactly the same. And I am gonna show you how I can now make changes to this image and combine it with the bottom layer in order to get more of the result that I want.
So I have the top layer selected and I am going to go up to filter in the camera raw filter. And this a filter that acts just like that camera raw dialogue that we opened when we first opened the image. So I’m gonna click that, and now I am going to adjust the image and I’m not gonna worry. I have got the sky how I wanted. So I’m not gonna worry about the sky, I’m only gonna change this to edit the ground portion of the image. So I’m gonna do that by increasing the exposure quite a bit. And I might add a little more clarity, and saturation, and vibrance. And that is closer to what I had in mind for that ground. I want that pretty bright, and you can see now that we’ve lost a lot of details on the sky by doing that. But that is okay.
So we’re gonna hit “OK” and we’ve applied those changes now to this top layer, and I wanna keep the sky from the bottom layer. So what I’m gonna do is create a mask on this top layer that is gonna mask out the sky and keep just the ground. So to do that, I am gonna keep the top layer selected and I’m gonna come down to this add layer mask tool and select that. And you will see that we’ve created a mask now that is attached to this top layer. You can actually deselect that mask. I’m gonna make sure that mask is selected and then we’re gonna paint a mask with the brush tools. Over here is the brush tool.
And the way this works is if you are painting on a mask like we are, so painting on the mask and not the image with the mask layer. So painting black, so I have got black here, if you are painting black, it’s going to erase or mask out that portion of the image that you are painting onto. So you can see that I’m literally painting a mask here and I am doing so with a fairly large brush and the hardness is all the way down since this… It’s a large soft edge to brush and that will help fade in the sky with the ground.
So I’m just gonna paint and in fact I am painting 100% opacity, 100% flow and if you look over here, you can kinda see that most of this is now black and the bottom section that is where the ground is, is white. So that mask is letting the ground show through and then it’s using the sky from the layer below it. Now if we screw up, see I screwed up and I painted in too much of this down here. We can actually just switch and start painting white to paint back that part of the image. So you can swap this here and I have got the white loaded into the brush, and I can paint back that mask.
So just like that, we have now adjusted this two parts of the image. We’ve adjusted the ground to be really bright and the sky to stay fairly dark. And we’ve combined those two into an image that has a higher dynamic range than the original image. If we pull up that original image, you can see it here, you can see there is quite a big difference. It’s a much more pleasing and much more dramatic image than the original image straight from the camera.
From here, I can save this image out. I like to save out a Photoshop master so I can go back in and reedit this if I want, and then for sharing, I like to save it as a JPEG. So if I wanna put on Instagram or Facebook, I would save it as a JPEG and name it something meaningful, and then save it out and we are good to go. So that’s just a real quick look at editing aerial photos and Photoshop. I hope you got something from this lesson and will see you in the next video.