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Once the HDR Pro has created the file for us, what we might want to do next is begin to analyze the image and see what's working and perhaps begin to think about what else we could do. One of the problem areas with this image is the sky color. It's a little bit strange. So, I will go ahead and click on Hue/Saturation, select the target adjustment tool, and then I am going to click in that area up there. Next, when I do so, I am going to go ahead and a make a change. You can see that the sky is becoming really purple, or if I drag it the other way, it's becoming a little bit of more cyan. We are also are going to desaturate it a touch.
Now when I do that, it, of course, affects the other areas of photographs. Well, no big deal. Simply grab your Gradient tool. With the Gradient tool, what you can do is click and drag in order to create a gradation. Now on this case, my gradation is backwards. It's concealing up top, revealing down below. To invert that, go to Masks and simply click Invert. Now, that's a nice thing about masking is that if you ever get it wrong, you can always flip it around in order to get it. Here we now have our before and then after, just kind of dealing with some of those color issues in the background.
What else can we do with this image? Well, another thing that could be fun to do will be yet another Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Let's go there. In this case, I am going to desaturate 100 points and then take this to a blend mode of Soft Light. Now Soft Light is really interesting, because what it does it builds up contrast and color. Here is our before and then our after. Again, what I will do here is simply lower the Opacity on this one, just to take this effect off a little bit, before and then after. Now the other thing that I want to do is change the overall tone or color of the image.
I will click on the adjustment layer icon. Here I choose Color Balance, and all I am trying to do here is just have a bit of fun. I am going to make this image much more cool, a lot of cyan tones in there. I will bring in some nice blues into the highlights and also little bit of cyan and just changing the overall look of the file. Here is our before and then our after. Now that we've made these kinds of color changes, let's zoom out a little bit. The next thing I want to do is mute everything. I click on adjustment layer icon, Hue/ Saturation, lower the Saturation down, so I now have this really muted type of a look.
The last thing I want to do on this image is click on the New Layer icon, change this layer to Soft Light and then go ahead and grab my Brush tool. With the Brush tool, I am going to paint with black, and all I am interested in doing is burning in some details in a couple of areas in this photograph, and I want to kind of have a little bit more of a drama or dramatic types of effect here. So, I am just going to go through the image looking to try to bring down some of these details in a couple of different ways. All right! Well, let's zoom in a little bit on that so we can see how that's going. It's all right.
It's not perfect, but kind of an interesting little effect there. Here is our before and after with that. Let's lower the Opacity on this layer. The whole point of all of this that we are doing is just to say that a lot of times with HDR, what you want to do is start it off, obviously, with HDR Pro. And then from there, what you're most likely going to need to do is to push this image further using all of the things you know about Photoshop. And that's what where really all the creativity comes into play where you can really come up with interesting results.
Now lastly what we need to do here is go ahead and look at out before and after. You can do so by double-clicking the Adjustments tab the close that so I can see my layers here. Then I will hold upon the Option or Alt key, click on that Eye icon. Here before, straight out of HDR Pro, and then there's after, after just some interesting and subtle adjustments. Now, of course, if at any time you feel like this effect is over-the-top, what you can also do is open up one of your original files, bring that into the document and then simply lower the Opacity to find a sweet spot between this a little bit more surreal look or something a little bit more normal or regular.
So, again, the intent of this little movie here is simply to get those creative juices flowing and to act as a bit of a creative primer so that you, of course, know how to use HDR Pro; but then so that you don't stop there, so that you can take that and push things even further with all of the other Photoshop skills that you already have.
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