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One of the tools that Apple rewrote for Aperture 3.3 is Highlights & Shadows, and we see that brick right here in the Adjustments tab. Now Highlights & Shadows once upon a time, prior to Aperture 3.3, had more sliders than just these three. What Apple has done is rewritten the whole tool, added more intelligence so that you don't need those fine-tuning sliders from before, and that these three basic sliders will take care of all of your highlights and shadows needs.
So let's take a look at that. I'm going to show you how the new sliders work, and then I'm going to show you how to use this tool instead of Dodge and Burn for a much better result. If you've ever tried to use Dodge and Burn, you know how frustrating that tool can be. This is a better way to go about to accomplish essentially the same thing, only have it look much nicer. So we're looking at a photograph here that has definitely some shadow area, and if we want to open up that shadow area I just move the Shadow slider, and you see how that dark area becomes lighter, sort of like a magic fill light.
And according to Apple, this re-written shadow slider introduces fewer artifacts so that you get a more natural effect. I like the image the way it is. So I'm just going to leave it. Now the Highlights will recover highlight information, and you see that we get a little bit more detail in the petals here that when we move the highlights. I'm just going to move it back a little bit. I kind of like it on the bright side and then the mid-contrast is exactly that.
It adds strong contrast when you move it to the right. It really drops the contrast. See how things get much flatter when you move it to the left? Be careful with this tool. I like to use this tool as just the final adjustment after I've looked at Highlights & Shadows. So that's basically the way they work. Now let me show you how to use Highlights & Shadows instead of Dodge & Burn. This is what I consider the really cool stuff. We're going to go to a different image here.
We have a shot of Renee here, and I like this shot a lot, but I would like to do two things to it. I'd like to maybe lighten up her hair just a bit here, and I'd to recover a little highlight detail right there. We can easily do that with Highlights & Shadows, and the brush is much better than with Dodge & Burn. First thing I'm going to do, I know I want to do two different adjustments here. I'm going to open up a second Highlights & Shadows brick. I do that by going to the gear menu, and I'm going to add a new adjustment.
Now I have two of them, so the first thing I want to do is lighten up her hair a bit. So I'm going to go to the Gear menu > Brush Highlights & Shadows in, I get the floating palette so I can set my Brush Size, Softness, which is that area around the tip, and then Strength, I'm going to have it all the way over, and we'll go ahead and detect edges, in case I paint outside the lines. Now I want to open up the shadows in her hair, so I'm just going to move this slider over like this. So I'll move it over far so you have some idea what I'm doing, and then I just start to paint.
I can open up that shadow area. You're looking at this, and you go, well, you know, that doesn't look very good, Derrick. I'm sure you're high on this tool, but I'm telling you, I'm not liking what I'm seeing. Well, this is the nice thing about it. Once you make your basic painting, then you can back it off. Now I can just back it off to something that looks much more natural, right there, and I can check and uncheck the box, and you can see that, yes, we've added some highlights to her hair very easily, very natural. I have complete control over what I'm doing.
I'm in charge of my photograph. Now let's go to the top here, and I'm going to go to the second brick, and once again, I'm going to brush highlights and shadows in. This time I'm going to move the highlights all the way over, because I want to recover information in her top here highlight area. I'm going to make my brush size bigger, and we're just going to paint a little bit. Here we go, and just do a little painting right here.
Try to stay within the lines, but I do have detect edges so that should help me. Now I have recovered some detail, much more natural looking, try doing this with the Burn brush, believe me the results will not look as good. And if you've done that before, you know exactly what I'm saying, okay. Now I'm just going to show you the before and after. I'm just going to check the box. There's the before, and there's the after.
So the Highlights & Shadows brick is very powerful. The new intelligence that Apple has written into it I think is quite good, and I prefer it to Dodge and Burn. Just use it with the brushes, create as many bricks as you need, and make that photograph look exactly the way you want it to.
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