Skip to main content

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 8 of 118

Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

8. Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders


Class Trailer
1 Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 04:05 2 Bridge vs. Lightroom 06:39 3 Tour of Photoshop Interface 18:21 4 Overview of Bridge Workspace 07:42 5 Overview of Lightroom Workspace 11:21 6 Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents 08:19 7 How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:10 8 Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders 13:09
9 Developing Raw Images 30:33 10 Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs 09:12 11 How to Save Images 03:37 12 Using the Transform Tool 04:48 13 Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020 06:03 14 Selection Tools 05:55 15 Combining Selection Tools 07:37 16 Using Automated Selection Tools 17:34 17 Quick Mask Mode 05:07 18 Select Menu Essentials 21:28 19 Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 13:00 20 Align Active Layers 07:29 21 Creating a New Layer 06:15 22 Creating a Clipping Mask 03:02 23 Using Effects on Layers 11:24 24 Using Adjustment Layers 16:44 25 Using the Shape Tool 04:39 26 Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool 04:39 27 Masking Multiple Images Together 15:15 28 Using Layer Masks to Remove People 10:50 29 Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky 10:04 30 Adding Texture to Images 09:11 31 Layering to Create Realistic Depth 05:35 32 Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:29 33 Optimizing Grayscale with Levels 10:59 34 Adjusting Levels with a Histogram 03:37 35 Understanding Curves 06:18 36 Editing an Image Using Curves 18:41 37 Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment 07:19 38 Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode 07:14 39 Editing with Blending Modes 08:04 40 Color Theory 05:59 41 Curves for Color 16:52 42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments 08:59 43 Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment 13:33 44 Match Colors Using Numbers 16:59 45 Adjusting Skin Tones 05:25 46 Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw 10:52 47 Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush 07:53 48 Retouching with the Clone Stamp 06:51 49 Retouching with the Healing Brush 04:34 50 Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools 13:07 51 Extending an Edge with Content Aware 03:42 52 Clone Between Documents 13:19 53 Crop Tool 10:07 54 Frame Tool 02:59 55 Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools 08:14 56 Paint Brush Tools 13:33 57 History Brush Tool 06:27 58 Eraser and Gradient Tools 03:06 59 Brush Flow and Opacity Settings 04:17 60 Blur and Shape Tools 11:06 61 Dissolve Mode 09:24 62 Multiply Mode 15:29 63 Screen Mode 14:08 64 Hard Light Mode 14:54 65 Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes 11:31 66 Smart Filters 11:32 67 High Pass Filter 13:40 68 Blur Filter 05:59 69 Filter Gallery 07:42 70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter 04:43 71 Combing Filters and Features 04:45 72 Select and Mask 20:04 73 Manually Select and Mask 08:08 74 Creating a Clean Background 21:19 75 Changing the Background 13:34 76 Smart Object Overview 08:37 77 Nested Smart Objects 09:55 78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects 09:08 79 Replace Contents 06:55 80 Raw Smart Objects 10:20 81 Multiple Instances of a Smart Object 12:59 82 Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects 05:42 83 Panoramas 13:15 84 HDR 11:20 85 Focus Stacking 04:02 86 Time-lapse 11:18 87 Light Painting Composite 08:05 88 Remove Moire Patterns 06:11 89 Remove Similar Objects At Once 09:52 90 Remove Objects Across an Entire Image 05:46 91 Replace a Repeating Pattern 06:50 92 Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel 10:27 93 Remove an Object with a Complex Background 07:49 94 Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes 12:27 95 Warping 11:03 96 Liquify 14:02 97 Puppet Warp 12:52 98 Displacement Map 10:36 99 Polar Coordinates 07:19 100 Organize Your Layers 11:02 101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss 02:59 102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep 12:34 103 Blending Options: Blend if 13:18 104 Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image 06:27 105 Layer Comps 08:30 106 Black-Only Shadows 06:07 107 Create a Content Aware Fill Action 08:46 108 Create a Desaturate Edges Action 07:42 109 Create an Antique Color Action 13:52 110 Create a Contour Map Action 10:20 111 Faux Sunset Action 07:20 112 Photo Credit Action 05:54 113 Create Sharable Actions 07:31 114 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1 10:23 115 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2 07:57 116 Image Compatibility with Lightroom 03:29 117 Scratch Disk Is Full 06:02 118 Preview Thumbnail 02:10

Lesson Info

Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders

so I'm gonna get out of that. And let's go to some images that have yet to be adjusted. And before we really get into working on photographic images, much trying to understand some of the adjustments that are available by looking at a simple image, I'm gonna end up opening this, which is generically known as a, um, gray wedge. Now, this is not a raw file. A raw file would end with a file extension of I think CR WRC are two came from a canon camera. It would end in dot and the e f for a Nikon in there are many different file formats. Each camera manufacturer has a different version of a raw file. In what raw means is the raw data that the camera captured without being manipulated at all. It's just with sensor grabbed before anything else has been done, and each manufacturer saves that in a different way, and therefore each one is a different file extension on the end. And so this is not a raw file to tiff because I made it in photo shop, and if you have a tip for a J peg file, you can s...

till adjust them in camera, but you have to go to the file menu and choose opening camera raw to force it to go in there. All right, so this is just gonna represent the general brightness range you might have in a picture, and we'll work with the sliders that are found on the right side of my screen to see how does it adjust this particular simple image? And as I do, I think it will be easier to understand what the's sliders do. Then we'll start applying them to normal pictures and let's take a look at what we can dio. So first off, cameras divided up into various tabs. If you look on the right side of my screen, right here are all the tabs. And if you hover over a tablet, this one, you should see the name of the tab, the detail tab, black and white split toning, lens corrections and so on. We're going to start under the basic tab because just about every image I open gets adjusted with those controls, whereas the others are only used as needed. And not every picture needs what's under the other taps. So down here we have a series of sliders, and we're going to start by working with these settings right in here, which are the tonal sliders. They generally adjust the brightness of the picture, and they can't generally shift color. They're not going to make a blue sky turn red or something like that. These were only, you know, affect how bright or dark something is. Exposure is going to adjust the overall brightness of the picture. So when I move exposure, watch this image and see how much of it changes. The only portion that's not changing when I'm moving. This is black. Black is remaining black, but other than that, everything gets brighter. If I move in the opposite direction, everything is going to get darker. So I adjust exposure when the entire picture has an issue. And so the whole images to dark fine, just exposure. Then I'm gonna skip down to sliders, so we have highlights in shadows and let's see what they do. The highlight slider tries toe, isolate the bright ish shades and your picture and tries not to effect the dark ish areas. So if you look at this image, what might we consider to be bright well, these shades up in this area are definitely bright, and these maybe to a lesser extent. But once I get down into here, I wouldn't consider those to be highlights or bright areas. So let's see what happens when I just my highlight slider. I bring it up and you notice that if I just bring it out, bring it back down and bring it up. If you look at the areas that are changing, it's primarily the really bright stuff that's changing. And then a little bit of the rest of the image is changing, and that's just so it blends in with whatever is left over. Once you get into the darker shades here, I'll bring highlights down, and we can also attempt to darken it. You notice that white stays generally white. It's actually getting the tiniest bit darker, but barely perceivable e darker but is trying to isolate just the bright areas. Shadows does the opposite. It tries to work in the darkish areas of your picture and tries to leave those bright areas alone. So if I go to shadows and I bring it up, let's see what part of the image changes you notice that it's the really dark areas up until about the middle gray that's there. And then next. Nothing happens to the writers moving the other direction, and Aiken darkened things. But again, it's trying to isolate it just into the dark ish portion of the image. Then we have whites and blacks, and a lot of people get confused about what's the difference between whites and highlights because they both work on the bright part of the picture. And what's the difference between blacks and shadows? Because again, they both think about the darkest portion of the picture. Well, when you adjust both whites and blacks, it will generally affect the entire range of your picture. All it's doing is saying How bright should this brightest tone be? Um, it might be easier to see this if I have something that doesn't already have black and white in it. Let me grab this image here, which the brightest shade is nowhere near white. So if I move up, the whites watch what happens, you see that the entire picture is getting brighter. But what's happening is is it's taking whatever the brightest shade is in the picture, and it's making that brighter in taking all the other shades that are darker than that along with it. But it's doing it starting from the brightest shade that's in the picture so I could bring this up and I'm gonna bring it up until that brighter shade looks white. If I bring it further than the I lose detail with the shade next to it. So I think right about there, it turned white. Blacks, on the other hand, thinks about the darkest shade in the entire picture, and it controls how dark should it be. So if I move blacks down, watch the darkest part of the picture. I can come in here and make a darker and eventually get it to be solid Black War. I could bring it up in lighten it. But it's thinking about the extremes of brightness, the absolute brightness and the absolute darkest. Let's tweak how bright those areas are and let the rest of the picture move along with it. I imagine you had a spring in your hand if you were a kid and you had a slinky. When you're a kid, it's like grabbing the ends of the Slinky and just pull it out longer, either side longer and everything else in between moves along with it. Just like a spring. The loops on the spring would move along with it. Now you might be thinking, though, that sounds a bit like shadows and highlights, but it's not right now. If you look at this particular image, what would be considered a highlight? Meaning what is bright right now? And the answer is that not much. This might be the little list, like the absolute edge of being considered a highlight. But if I try to adjust the highlights, it's not going to change this image much right now because there's nothing in this picture that's close toe white, and therefore there's not really any highlights at all. We're just got the areas where it would blend into everything else. If I go to shadows, what in here is close to black? Nothing. So when I just shadows, not much will happen a tiny bit because it would try to blend in with the rest of the image. But there's nothing near black, and therefore shadows will be largely ineffective, but with whites and blacks, since it thinks about whatever the brightest shade is regardless, if that's white, where if it's 50% gray or it's anything else in this means just brightened. The brightest part were dark and the brightest part. Then it's going to be effective and saying, with blacks working on the darkest range, so I often think of whites and blacks is either the first step that I do for an image that looks washed out. If it looks like it's dense fog in a picture, that means you're not gonna have any white in that image. You're not gonna have any black in the You'll see that when I get to foggy looking images, and that's when these two sliders will be useful. But otherwise, on normal looking pictures, I use the whites and blacks. Sliders is what I might call a finishing technique, meaning that when I think I'm done with the image, then all tweak those just to make sure I got the full brightness range I might want, Um, but most the time it's more near the end of adjusting things. Let's go back to that more full range version of the gray wedge that's here and now let's look at what the other sliders do. So remember, exposure controls the overall brightness of the picture. It's gonna pretty much affect everything and highlights is going to isolate bright ish things. Things that are close toe white shadows will isolate darkish things. That means things that are close to black whites controls. How bright is the brightest part of the picture, Blacks is how dark is the darkest part of the picture. These will become much more useful when we start working on normal pictures. But now let's figure out what contrast does contrast is going to control how big of a difference is there between bright and dark things. If you increase contrast, there will be a greater difference between bright and dark stuff in. If you lower contrast, bright and dark things will become more similar to each other. You could in some ways do that with the shadows in the highlight sliders. If I brighten the highlights and I darken the shadows, I'm getting a greater difference between bright and dark things, and that's going to be the equivalent to increasing contrast if I do the opposite. If I take British things and darken them by lowering this and I end up taking the dark stuff and brighten it. They're going to become more similar to each other. That's similar to lowering contrast. But let me get rid of those adjustments and show you just contrast. Just, you know, in here any time you have a slider you're experimenting with, be feel free to double click on it that's going to reset it to it's default setting. So anytime I'm experimenting with a slider and inside, I don't like what it did. A double click on it. It just pops to its default. Alright, let's try contrast and let's see if it does what I said. It does. I bring it up right. Things get brighter and dark. Things get darker at the same time, I lower it, and bright and dark things start looking more similar to each other. And it contrast is something where most of the time adjusting highlights and shadows instead, because that can control the two parts individually, whereas with contrast, it's doing in both at the same time. But it's still a very useful adjustment now, below that, we have three sliders. They're called texture clarity in D. Hayes. What the heck do they do texture, clarity and D. Hayes. Well, in this case, the one I really want to talk about its d. Hayes, because texture and clarity, we need detail in our picture to really see what it does. So it's not gonna do much on here cause I don't see like, texture within my picture. But D. Hayes should end up doing something. De Hayes is going to act much like the blacks slider. Remember when I said that blacks and whites might be useful when I get an image, it looks foggy. Wouldn't that also be known as hazy? Well, let's grab an image one of these simplified ones. This would be the equivalent to a hazy scene where it just looks like dense fog. You and you can't see a lot of detail. That's because bright things and dark things will be very similar to each other. Just look like a gray fog. Let me freshly what blacks would do if I bring blacks down. The darkest part of the picture gets darker and darker, and eventually it turns black. But if I continue pushing it further, watch what happens to the bar that's right next to black do you see how eventually you lose it and it turns solid black. And if I could push this even farther, the next bar over might end up getting to solid black, although I've maxed it out, so I might do exposure instead to see if I could get it. But let's look at how D. Hayes is different. It's gonna act a lot like that black slider. But once that area gets close to being black, it's going to be concentrating them the dark part of the picture in trying to retain detail. So I'm going to bring D haze down. Let's see, I'm sorry. Bring it up, see if that dark area gets darker and darker. But as it nears black, you'll notice that the one right next to it is still very easy to see that it's different. And so D. Hayes. Anytime you have a hazy picture, the darkest part of your picture will not be near black. In to break through the haze, you want to get the darkest party image towards black. But if you did that using the black slider and you went it all too far, you can easily trash the detail on dark part of the picture, but D. Hayes is going to do it and make it so you can still see the separation between all those tones, but that will make more sense when we get Tor normal picture.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it