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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
With this photograph, I want to take a look at how we can use Lightroom and Photoshop together in order to create some interesting sharpening effects. Here, I'll go ahead and click on this photograph and zoom in to 100%, and we can see the detail that we have in the frame. Next, let's go to our Develop module and open up our Detail panel. Now in the Detail panel, we're going to increase our sharpening amount, and I'll bring my Detail slider down and also bring the radius down and increase the masking here. Now this is a lower resolution file, so my sharpening amount and radius is going to be pretty low.
We can see the before and after there. It's just adding a little extra snap to the frame. There's not going to be a lot of noise in this image because the way it was lit, and in this case it is just natural light, but there's abundance of light kind of bouncing into the frame. So we can work on our noise reduction just a bit there and any other color noise reduction we need, as well. All right, well that looks pretty good, and this image is now ready. Yet, what I want to do is create a virtual copy of this file, so to do that, I'll use a shortcut.
On a Mac you press Command+Apostrophe on Windows you press Ctrl+Apostrophe. Down in the filmstrip, you'll notice we now have a virtual copy of this image. Well on the virtual copy, I am going to oversharpen this. I'm going to bring my detail amount way up. Primarily I'm focusing in on the eyes. Let me zoom way in, so you can see what I mean. Here, I'll click on a 2:1 zoom rate and then click at my before and then after. You see a lot a little, really nice details there.
Well now that I've two different levels of sharpening, I'm going to then combine these two together. The way that we can do that is by clicking on both images. So click on one, hold down Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and then click on the other image. Next we want to right-click, or Ctrl+Click. Here we'll choose Edit In and then Open as Layers in Photoshop. What this will do is it will take both of these photographs. It will open them up in Photoshop and combine them into one layer document.
Let me show you what I mean. Well here in Photoshop, I'll press F to go to fullscreen view mode, and then I'll zoom in a little bit. Now once we zoom in, we can see that we have both of these images, and I'll zoom in even further, so that we can see how this works. When we turn off the visibility of the top layer, we can see that the underlying layer is the one which is oversharpen. So I'll double-click the layer name and call this one, over sharp. Next, I'm going to go ahead and put this layer at the top of my layer stack. We can do that by simply clicking and dragging this to the top.
All right, well now this over sharpen layer is covering the regular, or more appropriate amount of sharpening. Well what we can do then is we can mask the sharpening into particular areas. Let me show you what I mean. Well here we'll zoom in even further so we can focus in on the eyes. Next, let's click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now we have a mask, which is filled with white. What I need to do is to fill this mask with black. The easiest way to do that is to go to the Mask panel.
You can find that by simply clicking on your Masks tab. Once you get to the Mask panel, there is a button called Invert. Go ahead and click on that. This black mask is now concealing this entire layer. The image doesn't have any oversharpening. Well what we want to do is paint in the sharpening to a particular area. So here we'll grab our Brush tool by pressing the B key, and then we'll go ahead and choose a brush size. In this case, I want a really nice and small brush, something even smaller than the eye. No hardness there, so we have a nice soft edge.
Let's click off of that and then go ahead and flip this, so that we can paint with white in our foreground color. If you know about masking, what you know is that when you paint with white you're allowing this to come through on this particular layer, and here I'm just painting a little bit in this area of the eye. As I do that, I'm building up the sparkle, or the visual interest in this area of the photograph. Here is before and then after. Now if I zoom out to a normal range what we're going to see is that all of a sudden the eyes have this really just nice, distinct look.
They just come to life in a unique and distinct way. So one of the things that you can do, as I'm showing here, is that we can sharpen with Lightroom, and we can create a virtual copy and create another type of sharpening, as well. We can then bring in both of those layers into Photoshop, and we can mask in the sharpening in the particular areas wherever we need it most. Now if all of this Photoshop work is a bit of a stretch for you, I have created a number of different Photoshop training titles. So if you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed, in regards to the work that we've done here in Photoshop, feel free to jump over and take a look at some of those other training titles.
They might help you out. Because what I've found is that if we can take Lightroom and combine it with Photoshop together, many times we can come up with even more effective and creative results.
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