Lesson 11 – Output

Life Through a Lens


For lesson 11 we learned about output and printing, and focused mainly on RAW image conversion and editing in Camera RAW.

I had learned to use Camera RAW just by trial and error, and usually would only use the sliders to edit my images, and never switch tools in the top toolbar. Lachlan’s demonstration has demistified these tools and I followed along eagerly, amazed at the results I got before even opening the image in Photoshop.

The first thing that we were shown was the spot healing brush. As the name suggests, this tool is mainly used in beauty retouching of portrait images.

I opened up another photo of the lovely Teya, and proceeded to effectively edit all of the character out of her image. Not something I would normally go so far with, and being an authentic kind of soul, probably not something she would entirely approve of herself, but for the sake of demonstration, here is what resulted:





The spot healing brush in Camera RAW is here on the toolbar:


By selecting this brush, resizing it by using the square bracket keys [+] so that it is just a little bit larger than the spot or blemish you want to edit out, adjusting feather etc and clicking, the software automatically samples an area of surrounding skin. If you do not like the effect, undo and try again.


By turning on the spot visualiser option you can get a very scary and very clear visualisation of where the spots are


The red circle is where I have clicked to edit, the green circle is where the software has sampled the ‘replacement’ skin from



Uncheck the ‘visualize spots’ and ‘show overlay’ to see how things are looking


Spot healing brush is not just for spots, you can also drag it to adjust scratches and lines

As well as spot healing, we discovered a host of other capabilities I was previously unaware that Camera RAW had:



BEFORE: The original RAW file



AFTER: Edited solely in Camera RAW


Selecting a sampled area of neutral grey in the clouds by looking at the RGB values under the histogram. HINT: Neutral grey values = R:119 G:119 B:119 so try and find a sample point as close as possible (within 5 points) to these values

An excellent article on finding neutral grey, or how to colour correct an image that does not have any neutral grey can be found here

Another handy technique for finding neutral grey in your image in Photoshop can be found in this article here


Targeted adjustment tool – click and drag up and down on a colour to adjust, click HUE SATURATION and LUMINANCE tabs on the right to affect these areas


Here I have used the adjustment brush to target the green on the surfers wetsuit so that I could dial down its saturation to a point where it was not so overbearing to all the other colours


The targeted adjustment tool also works on the parametric curve, which is the second icon on the toolbar underneath the histogram


The radial filter – hold OPTION to draw from the centre, SHIFT to draw a perfect circle, and both to do both simultaneously


The graduated filter – hold the SHIFT key to keep it horizontal




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