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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here we are going to explore how we can modify dimension or contrast or highlights and shadows in a photograph. Let's zoom in on this image, and let's say that what we want to do is kind of enhance the shape of the muscles here. Bring those out a bit. To do so, we will use the Adjustment brush. Press the K key. Next, what we are going to do is have a nice low exposure--not too low, just a touch low. We want a lot of contrast there, maybe a little bit of clarity. Here I have a pretty low flow amount. Nice small brush, so I can get into the area that I want to work on.
I am just going to trace over the areas where I am seeing shadows. As you do this type of work, you shouldn't see a huge drastic change. You should be able to build up this change little by little and then press the Spacebar key and pan around. And I'll go ahead and try to bring out some of these shadows down here as well and just try to bring that shadow detail out a little bit. And if we zoom out a touch-- let's press the backslash key--here it is: before and then after. Zoom in. Press H to hide our little node there.
That's where we started the adjustment. Now here is before and then after. You can see how again it's just bringing out a little bit of that shape. If we make our brush a touch bigger, we can start you have a little bit more transition too on some of those edges. If you want to add a little bit more in a couple other areas, or if you want more precision make your brush nice and small, and you can really get into small, little detail areas. Now the great thing about this is that we can always change this. For example, here I am going to go ahead and decrease my exposure. Now as I do that, you can see that it's darkening up these shadows even more.
Or as I paint, you can see they're going to become more distinct brushstrokes. Now if you make mistakes when you're doing this, especially at this high of a level, what you might want to do is go back and erase. And here I am going to make a few little mistakes on this area. So I just make my brush nice and big, hold down Option or Alt, and make it a little bit smaller there, and just paint this adjustment away. Again, it's much too strong over here. My lines weren't very straight. So you can see that all I am doing is painting over what I have done in order to bring this to a little bit more of a realistic spot, so that this looks a touch better there. Okay, great! Well our exposure is obviously too low.
I wanted to exaggerate to show you a lot of times you need to add some color. Click in your color here and then click and drag to the image and just add a bit of perhaps skin tone or maybe little but a yellow into the shadows, so they're not quite so black. Next, we went too far with that, right? And I did that to exaggerate. I want to bring that back to more reasonable spot there. Now when we press the Backslash key, you can see that before and then after. We are just bringing out some of those shadow details. If I zoom out a little bit more, you can see before and after.
Okay, well that's still too strong and too hard, so I am going to modify this a little bit. And then I'm also going to choose my Erase brush and just clean up a couple of areas where it got a little bit out of control. So I am just painting away the adjustment in just like few of these areas. Again, before and after. You can do that by pressing your Backslash key to see those previews before and after. And whenever you are making adjustments like this, you want to think about other areas of the image as well. Like one of the things I'm noticing is that this hand color is a little bit strange.
I think just because it's tucked in there, we have nice kind of golden skin. So if we want to change that, let's create another adjustment here. Press K once. Press it a second time. What I am going to do is just go down and choose Color. This will zero everything out, give me a color. Click on your color chip, and what you do inside of this field, as you have seen before, you click and then drag over the image until you get a nice tone. I am going to try to have a nice skin tone there. Next, I am just going to paint over this area of the photograph. And it looks like this skin tone is a little bit too faint for me, so now that I have the color, I can bring in--maybe it's a little bit more yellow would be nice there.
And I will increase the flow, so you can see where we are going, and then we will decrease the saturation a touch here too. Just a minute. All right, take some of the saturation of that original one out and maybe darken this up just a little bit too, just so that skin has little bit more consistency with the rest of the image. Here is before, and then here is after. And then you can see all those adjustments kind of stacking up together. Now that's a small adjustment, but what I am trying to illustrate here is that you can make these types of small adjustments to the different areas of your image, whether it's to darken, as we have done so here, or if we want to brighten, we could have an increased amount of exposure and paint across our highlights.
And what this can do for us, it can help us bring out different aspects of our image--sometimes to make corrections and other times to make enhancements.
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