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In Photoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features, author Chris Orwig explores the enhancements in Photoshop CS5 and Bridge CS5 from a photographer's perspective. This course introduces the Mini Bridge, a brand new panel to browse and open images without leaving Photoshop, expanded layer functionality, improved sharpening and noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw, cleaning up and enhancing photographs with the new Bristle Brush and content-aware tools, and working with the new High Dynamic Range (HDR) toning controls. Exercise files are included with the course.
We're going to take a look at a small, yet nonetheless really quite fascinating and fun new feature inside of Photoshop CS5, which allows us to quickly convert our images to Black and White and add a little bit of a tone to these photographs in a pretty unique way. Well in order to take advantage of this new feature, we need to navigate to our Window pulldown menu. Here, we're going to go ahead and select Actions to open up our Actions panel. Now this particular new feature revolves around a Black and White conversion technique that Russell Brown came up with.
If you're not familiar with Russell, he's one of the senior creative directors at Adobe, and he's a really fascinating and interesting person. And this technique is actually quite powerful. Let's take a look at how we can use it. What you need to do is actually load it into the Actions panel. You can do so by clicking on the icon in the top right-hand corner of your panel and then by selecting LAB Black & White Technique. This will then open up this particular Black & White Technique Action. To apply this, simply click on Photo Toner and then go ahead and click Play.
What this will do then is run through a number of different steps, and it will give you this message that says you can modify the overall tint of your image by using hue or saturation. Click Continue, and it will open up that dialog, and here what we can do change the overall Tint and also Saturation and then click OK. Now this particular Action has actually done something quite profound. It's converted our image to Black and White in a really unique way. Well, one of the things that you can do in order to deconstruct things a little bit is to Option+Click or Alt+Click on your layer Mask.
Now when you do so, you can see that this Layer Mask is really quite intriguing. Option+Click or Alt+Click on that one again, and I wanted to highlight that just to get you to begin to think about how this tone is affecting the Black and White image. What you can also do is a Shift+Click this Mask to look at your before and after. Here's without that Mask and then here's with that Mask and how it limits this tone into specific areas of your photograph. The other thing you might want to try here is press Command+L or Ctrl+L to open up Levels, and you want to do this on the mask.
Well at this juncture, what you can do is you can change the overall values of this mask, so that you can brighten this up a little bit or darken it and with this image I think brightening it up, would be kind of a nice touch. It was just a little bit too muddy for my own taste. Here I'll go ahead and click OK. Of course, there are other things that you can do here as well. For example, I tend to like to have my blending of my color on a Blend mode of Soft Light. So, be sure to go ahead and try that. Here you can see it's a little bit of a lighter toned effect, which in this case, I think works well.
Here's my before and then after. Again, the tone isn't quite so powerful. Finally, my own preference is to lower the Opacity a bit, just because I like to go for toning that's a bit more subtle. So, of course, as always, all of these different customizations of this particular action are based on your own personal preferences and are completely up to you. Yet whatever your preference is, I encourage you to experiment with this Black and White Technique, because I think you'll have quite a bit of fun converting your images to black and white with this particular action.
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