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In this workshop Tim Grey looks back at one of his most treasured images and how it came to be, explaining the story behind this particular photograph, what his creative vision for it was, and how he achieved this vision. See how Tim applied adjustments like converting to black-and-white, adding a color tint, and enhancing contrast, and how he cleaned up the image to make it look the way he wanted it to. And more importantly, gain insights into the artistic decisions that were made at every step along the way.
I've taken my basic photograph of the prayer sticks here, and I've applied a black and white adjustment layer in order to create a black and white interpretation. Essentially removing all of the color, since that color just really wasn't important. I'll go ahead and turn off the visibility of the black and white adjustment layer. And you can see there's a fair amount of yellow in the image of course, just a little bit of reddish tones. And the areas of the boards that appear to be weathered quite a bit, are sort of grayish, perhaps with a slight bit of blue to them, but not too much. And I just felt that the color wasn't contributing anything to the image and in some ways it was a little distracting.
And so I've converted the image to black and white with a black and white adjustment layer. But the more I think about this photo and about the mood that I'm trying to provide in this image and the experience I had capturing it. The more I think that perhaps something that gives us a greater sense of age, something that really feels like this is an older photo. And also something that adds a little bit of a touch of warmth, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. I like the warm tones that are present in the original color image, and I'd like to find a way to sort of add those back, you might say, but in a more meaningful way.
And thinking about going toward a sepia tone type of effect. A little bit of a warm, almost brownish reddish type of a color I think will work well for this photo. So with the black and white adjustment layer selected on the Layers panel, I'll go to the Properties panel and then simply turn on the tint checkbox. And you can see that this gives us a translation of the image where instead of having shades of grey, we have shades of a particular color. But we can specify which color we'd like to use. And we can do that by clicking on the Color Swatch associated with the tint checkbox, to bring up the color picker.
I can then adjust the overall color. You'll see by default, the vertical gradient here allows me to select a hue, whereas the larger gradient allows me to adjust saturation and brightness. With saturation on the horizontal axis and brightness on the vertical axis. I'll start off by adjusting the hue, the base color, and I think in this case shifting things a little bit away from red and a little closer toward yellow will really help the image. I don't think that reddish, kind of almost slightly pinkish tone will really work for the photo. And so something that has a little bit more of a yellowish tone I think will work well.
I just want to make sure not to go so far as to end up with a bit of a greenish tint. But I also want to reduce the saturation just a little bit and I'll probably adjust the brightest, darkening it done just a little bit as well. And I think probably right about there is going to work pretty well. Essentially just reducing that saturation a little bit so that the color is not quite as intense will produce, I think, a better result in the photo. So, a little bit of a warm, slightly yellowish tint to the image.
Bare in mind, that as I apply further adjustments, we'll see the effect of this color change a little bit. I do think that I'll add a little bit more contrast and add a little bit more drama. But for the moment, I want to focus on the color and trying to bring out some of the warmth of that subject with just a very subtle color tint applied to my black and white interpretation. So, with that established, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that tint. And then I can take a look at some of the other adjustments I might like to apply to this photo.
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