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O ’ R E I L L Y



Professional Tips & Workflow Strategies for Using Photoshop to Enhance Your Digital Photography Skills

Digital Photography
Expert Techniques

Ken Milburn

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Bringing Out the Best Picture
So you’ve taken the shot. Is that it? Certainly not. In the world of digital photography, you can use a wide variety of techniques to “bring out” the best picture possible from the shot you’ve taken. You might be wondering, “How is that possible?” Well, in order to explain that, we should provide some background on how cameras differ from our own brains. The human brain can process more color range at any given instant than a computer monitor or a digital print can display. Our eyes don’t actually see more range than film or digital sensors; rather, our brain instructs our eyes to composite different areas of the image into a single whole. The brain does this “multiple-exposure” blending so quickly that we think we are looking at only one image. The camera, on the other hand, doesn’t have our brain inside. It records only one instant in time, which is why we are often so disappointed when we look at a base picture. (“That’s not how I remember the color and the details!”) And it gets worse: cameras are notorious for losing all the little details in the highlights and shadows of a shot. Thankfully, we can use the camera and the computer to minimize these deficiencies, and bring out a wider range of brightness and colors in each of our digital photographs. For example, compare the differences between Figures 3-1, 3-2, and 3-3. Figure 3-1 shows a landscape shot using the color range that you would expect from a camera that saves to JPEG. As we mentioned in the previous chapter, RAW files capture a far greater range of colors—you can see an immediate difference in the color range of Figure 3-2. Figure…...

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