Exposure, Color, and Detail Controls
Next up is the Quick Fixes panel (shown in Figure 7). These controls are fairly self-explanatory, allowing you to “nudge” the exposure, color, sharpness, and other settings by small increments. They work very much on the same principle as the Quick Develop settings in the Lightroom Library module.
Figure 7 The Perfect Enhance Quick Fix settings.
For this shot, more control was needed; the Color & Tone Adjustments panel provides that additional precision. This panel is nearly identical to the Basic panel in ACR and Lightroom, and serves the same purpose. Several options are provided for maintaining details and enhancing contrast, including: Brightness, Contrast, Shadows, Highlights, Blacks, Whites, as well as Detail (like Clarity) and three basic color controls (shown in Figure 8). The bottom line here is, if you’re comfortable using the Basic panel in ACR or Lightroom, then you already know how to get the most from these settings.
Figure 8 The detailed Color & Tone Adjustments in the Perfect Enhance module are designed similar to the controls in Lightroom and ACR.
To enhance this shot, I first increased the Brightness slightly to bring out a little more mid-tone detail throughout the shot. I also decreased the Contrast slightly, to avoid potential clipping problems (since this was already a high-contrast shot). I also brightened the lightest details in the sky a bit, by boosting the Whites value. Last, I cooled down the color temperature some to accentuate the blue tones in the water (which contrasts well with the orange clouds and reflections), and tweaked the Vibrance. The full changes are shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9 A before-and-after shot showing the retouching results + Color & Tone Adjustments.
For this shot, the final step was to add some vignette around the edges of the shot to draw the eye in, without covering up any of the interesting cloud details. The Vignette panel offers three pre-defined styles: Subtle, Strong, and Edges. Oftentimes I find the only thing that needs to be done is to select the Subtle option (which creates a more natural, camera lens-like effect), and then under the Advanced settings, tweak the Brightness and Size settings to make things look as natural as possible (Figure 10).
Figure 10 The Vignette panel offers some simple and fast options for darkening your shot around the corners, to draw the eye to the main subject.
When you’re finished with your enhancements, click the Save & Close button (bottom-right corner of the window) to generate your new file with the edits applied. Or, click and hold the button to apply your settings and then move the image to any of the other Perfect Photo Suite 8 modules.