Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

 

Workflow Technique #052

iCorrect Editlab Pro 4.5 Plugin (PC only)


 

review note by Uwe Steinmueller

 
 

You probably know the term "You can do that in Photshop". Yes, you can do many things in Photoshop. This does not mean it may be easy or even intuitive. There is quite some need for applications that make photographers workflow easier and more intuitive.

iCorrect Editlab Pro 4.5

With the new version of iCorrect Editlab Pro 4.5 it was time to revisit this Photoshop plugin (does also exist as a standalone application). Read the original review by our friend Jim Collum.

iCorrect Editlab Pro is all about correcting an image with some easy steps. Often "easy" does not really match with a lot of "control". iCorrect Editlab has a very good balance here.

The workflow provided by iCorrect Editlab is most useful if you work with JPGs and not raw as the raw converters include most of the tools of iCorrect Editlab. Right now was a good time for us to have a new look into this tool as we use our new Leica Digilux 2 in JPG only (hard to believe - even for us :-) - we are not using raw with the Digilux 2 and are still happy: read why here).

The central steps for any image correction are:

  • Correct the white balance
  • Black and white point selection
  • Contrast, brightness and global saturation
  • Selective color corrections

These are exactly the steps supported by iCorrect Editlab (IEL).

Note: Many plugins support only a tiny preview and this is of little help for judging colors and contrast. IEL allows you to have a full screen preview and this is essential for us.

White Balance


Click WB tool

If we work with raw files we correct white balance in the raw converters (ACR, C1 or B4). But if you start with a JPG then iCorrect Editlab was our tool of choice for a very long time now. Yes, you "can do it in PS" but not nearly as easy and good as with iCorrect Editlab. For it to work you have to have some neutral point in your image. If this is the case then just click on it (can even average multiple points) and you are done with WB.

In case you don't have a gray reference you also can use color sliders to correct the white balance:


WB sliders

We avoid using the color sliders as getting color right is a hassle this way. Better is to photograph a gray reference and then later apply these setting to the other images (could be implemented more user friendly but it works).

WB correction is excellent!

 

White and Black point settings


White and black point settings

Setting the white and black point works like levels in Photoshop and there is not really anything new. Give the automatic "SmartColor" as shot as it may deliver just what you need and is also a good starting point for fine tuning.

Contrast, Brightness and global Saturation


Brightness, Contrast and Saturation

Here the version 4.5 shows a big improvement over previous versions as it added the essential Shadows/Highlight brightness sliders. In principal it creates a curve to change the image tonality but is easier and more intuitive (at least for us).

Note: To show the differences we use the symbol to indicate that a mouse over will show the previous or original image (move the mouse cursor slowly in and out of the image).

For our crab photo we used the above settings:


After Correction (before click on image)

Were these changes quite subtle the next ones are not. We used the following settings in IEL:



After Correction
(before click on image)

This time we opened up the shadows quite a bit. The downside of this is that you amplify the noise in the shadows. We used the Helicon Filter Pro to reduce the noise.


Noise Removal at 300% magnification
(before click on image)

We like the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation tool a lot!

 

Selective Color Correction


Color Corrections

The selective color correction is very powerful and well to understand. But the real power is provided by the so called "Memory colors" (default are skin, sky and foliage).

Here is an example of a correction for skin tones (we are not really masters for skin tones but you probably get the picture):


Skin tone after correction
(before click on image)

Here is what we did. We selected a part of the skin with the eye dropper and then applied the Memory color "S=skin".


Default skin correction (over the top)

This correction is way over the top. But with a few tweaks we get a very nice result:


Tweaked skin colors

But now the best part: You can create your own "Memory Color" from these settings and the next time the skin tone correction is only one click away.

Conclusion

iCorrect Editlab Pro 4.5 is overall an excellent tool (and even includes more features: like color profile editing). It shows how to make image correction more productive and photographer friendly.

We are affilates with PictoColor.

You get 10% off on all Picto Color products over $49.00 if you use the coupon code PCOUTBACK.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

   

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