Finishing an image with Colour, Contrast and Sharpening.

Are you struggling to bring your images to life with vibrant colors, balanced contrast, and crisp sharpening? Look no further! In this blog, we will explore the art of finishing an image with the perfect combination of color, contrast, and sharpening techniques. Whether you’re a photographer looking to enhance your latest shoot or a designer adding the final touches to a project, mastering these skills is essential for creating professional-quality imagery. Get ready to learn some valuable tips and tricks that will take your photos and designs to the next level!

Finishing an Image with Colour, Contrast, and Sharpening

This episode is sponsored by squarespace whether you need a domain website or online store make your next move with squarespace in this video i’m going to show you how i finish off my images by editing color contrast and sharpening and even though this video sits in this portrait retouching series the techniques i’m Going to give you here will apply to any genre of photography personally i like to give a very natural look to my images making sure that the contrast is realistic and the colors still look natural but just taking that extra 10 minutes on your images at the end before You present them to the world i feel just makes them pop that little bit more and make sure that the image i’m showing you is the one i had in my mind’s eye on the day i know a lot of you will ask in the comments if you can still use these Techniques in lightroom and the answer is of course yes but with limitations the tools are over there but i just find taking those extra 10 minutes and moving over to something like photoshop gives me loads more control over my work and that little investment of time for me is Definitely worth the control i get back in my images as i finish them off so let’s jump in okay so when i’m finishing off an image there’s three things i’m looking to work with and those are color contrast and sharpening so let’s start with color i’m going to come down here To adjustment layers and i’m going to select color balance now you have to work out your mix of colors that you like to see in your images i’m going to show you mine but this is a good idea just to use this tool to play around with it and find out what Mix works for the sort of look you’re going for i use quite a traditional mix pushing cool tones into the shadows and warmer tones into the highlights the way that i do that with this color balance tool and by the way you could do this with curves And selective color and a load of different tools in photoshop this is just a very easy one come up here to tone and select shadows so first of all whatever we use on these sliders at the moment will only apply to our shadows so i’m going to push in i’m going to Overcook it a little bit i’m going to push in some blues into my shadows and some cyans on that top rung there so we’ve cooled off our shadows quite a lot come down here to mid tones now and i’m going to push in some yellows into the mid tones and some reds So some nice kind of orangey tones in there and the highlights i’m going to do the same i’m going to warm them so some yellows and some red so let me go back into shadows i’m going to put an even more cool tones into those shadows to see how Far we can push it um something like that okay a little bit strong so all i’m going to do is come over here to opacity i’m going to dial this right down i’m going to dial it up until i like where it sits somewhere about i would say That’s 74 something like that says off and on quite quite a neutral look at the start here and the minute i turn that color balance on you can see we push the cool tones into the shadows warmer tones into the highlights so that’s the mix that i like but Definitely take some time with this tool you might want a different mix to this and this is quite a quite a traditional thing i do like to keep my colors fairly neutral and traditional and fairly close to what i shot them as you might want to push them really hard and do something That feels a little bit more stylized next thing i’m going to do is come down here to adjustment layers and grab a hue saturation adjustment layer now i’ve gone over this tool in a previous video which i’ll link down below in the description and you can take some time With that and see really how powerful this tool is and what you can do with it but i’ll show you how simply i use it here and what i want you to think about when you’re putting together the colors for your image is not just what colors you want to see But what colors you don’t want to see as much so you need to be balancing out which colors you’re pushing and favoring by adding saturation to and which colors you’re dialing back and hiding more because you don’t want them in the mix i think a lot of people when they do color They just think of applying a wash of a particular color over the top but then you lose all that beautiful separation so it’s best to work with those colors individually so with this tool here i’m going to come up where it says master hit the drop down and you can see we can Work with individual colors here so let’s go to those blues if i dial this lightness up and down you can see that it’s just selecting the blue parts especially on his jersey down below so in terms of the way that i like to shoot i like to Lose a lot of the blue in an image and dial it back so even though i pushed it into my shadows to create that nice color separation i don’t want it to feature too heavily so with that blue channel selected i often just desaturate and darken slightly Those blues because i want the warmer colors to feature more i almost want a brown look to the image but i don’t i don’t want to apply a brown wash over the top i want to get that brown tone with all the separation just by pulling Some of the other colors out instead of just pushing brown in so if i come up here to yellow what i will do with yellow is i’m going to dial this slightly to the left on the hue slider and you can see what that does in that Video down below but basically what it’s doing is with the yellows it’s pushing these yellows more into the oranges so i want my yellows to appear slightly more orange and i might just saturate those a little bit again less is more with this stuff and i might Brighten those up a bit you can see what part of the image it’s selecting so just maybe something subtle like that and that to me looks fairly good i might just come up here to master and work out how much saturation i want for the whole image so all this is going to Do is dial the global saturation for the image and i don’t want too much more i think probably plus five looks pretty good so quite a subtle edit all right so let’s move on to contrast the first thing i want to do is i want more edge contrast of sort of all these Fine details especially the sort of dark parts and the features and the best way i’ve found to do that is to come down here to adjustment layers and go and add a black and white adjustment layer on top now obviously we don’t want to be black and white just Yet but let’s see what we can do with this so first of all i want to create a bit of contrast in the image and a great little formula for portraits to create that contrast is to dial the reds which will be in the shadows on the skin to the left And the yellows to the right

How to Achieve Edge Contrast

Frequently Asked Questions about Finishing an Image with Colour, Contrast, and Sharpening

What is the importance of colour, contrast, and sharpening in finishing an image?

Colour, contrast, and sharpening are essential elements in enhancing the overall look and feel of an image. They help to make the image more visually appealing and impactful, drawing attention to its key features and creating a more professional finish.

How does colour correction contribute to finishing an image?

Colour correction helps to ensure that the colours in the image are accurate and balanced, giving it a natural and realistic appearance. It also allows for the adjustment of tones, saturation, and overall colour balance to achieve the desired aesthetic.

What role does contrast play in the finishing of an image?

Contrast is crucial in defining the different elements within an image and making them stand out. It enhances the visual impact by creating a greater sense of depth and dimension, as well as making the details and textures more pronounced.

How does sharpening contribute to the final touch of an image?

Sharpening helps to bring out the finer details and textures in the image, making it appear clearer and more defined. It enhances the overall clarity and sharpness, resulting in a more polished and professional-looking finish.

I hope you find useful my article Finishing an image with Colour, Contrast and Sharpening., I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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