I clicked Cancel and decided to try the Curves adjustment. With the Curves window open, by clicking on the diagonal line right in the middle and moving it up and to the left I was able to brighten the image quite a bit without losing detail in the highlights or the shadows.
This looked a lot better to me. I clicked OK and then, Command + S.
What about the color? It’s not bad, but it looks a little warm to me, (probably too much Yellow). One way to correct a color imbalance is under the Image menu > Adjustments > Color Balance.
Watching the photo, I move the slider to more Blue to remove the Yellow. Make small adjustments. Click the Preview button on and off to compare before and after. If it’s better click OK. Command + S.
My photo is looking a lot better, but it could use a little more punch. I want to bring up the color of the yellow handle. Go the the Image menu again > Adjustments > Hue/ Saturation. [Please note, because I was only trying to increase the color of the Yelloe handle scales, intead of leaving the Edit: set to Master I could have selected Yellow instead and just increased the Saturation for that color alone]. Once again make small adjustments as you watch the image. Don’t overdo it. When you’re satisfied click OK, Command + S.
If you want to see what you’ve accomplished in you photo corrections, click on the Eye icon on the Copy layer to switch it on and off. Even if you’ve made small corrections the difference may be considerable. I’m really happy with my corrections, but there’s a couple of things that really bother me, there’s scuff marks on both bolsters. If I were selling this knife I would point out any flaws and not correct them, but for display purposes only, I’d like to make those scuffs go away.
Using the Zoom (magnifier) tool I would enlarge the section I wanted to work on. I select the Eyedropper tool, and click in the area to get an appropriate color. With soft brush selected and the Opacity around 30% I slowly paint over the scuff. That’s better. Command + S.
I started with a photo that was In-focus, but usually the last thing I want to do with and image is to see if I can sharpen it just a little bit more. The way I do this is to go to the Filter menu > Sharpen > Unsharpen mask and move just the top slider, and watch the image. If you start seeing a clumping of pixels or halos you’re over-sharpening. When you’re happy click OK, Command + S.
We’ve been working on the photo with the same resolution that it came out of the camera. If you ever want to print this photo, you’re going to want this High Resolution copy saved, but we have to reduce the resolution to 72ppi for use on the Web. We need to Duplicate this photo again. Remember we duplicated the Raw Image and Saved it. So, up to the Image menu > Duplicate. You can rename the file if you want, I would remove the “copy” and add 72ppi to the file name. This is the file we want to continue to work with. Save and put away the High Res. version.
With the 72ppi version open in Photoshop, go up to the Image menu > Image Size, a new window will open.
Continued in Part III