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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Well, now that we have darkened the corners of our image, we will look at our before and after. The overall image feels like its a little bit denser right, because we have more density around the edges and so it's a little bit weightier. I need to make this image snap, I need to bring it forward, I need to brighten it up. I'm going to do that in a unique way. We will click in the background layer, navigate to our Channels panel. I'm then going to hold down the Command key on the Mac/Ctrl key on a PC, and click on the Red channel. Go back to Layers, and then make sure I'm clicked in the background layer. Now what I did there was I turned the channel into a selection and it's a selection based on the luminance values. Let's take a look at what this actually is, press Command+J on the Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC and I'll call this highlights. And then I'm going to turn off the visibility of my other layers and zoom in a little bit, and here you can see that I have a selection of just the brighter tones here. The dark tones like the shadow on this side of the face, we can't see quite see those.
Now if you can't see this, what you can do is you can create a new layer. I'll go ahead and create a solid color layer. I'll create a solid color layer of red, so we can really see through this and we can see on top of this I have the luminance values. Now where I see more red that means I have less on this layer. All right, well you may be thinking, this isn't quite clear to me. Well, stick with me for a second; let's take a look at what we have. With this layer, we can then take this to a blend mode of Soft Light and take a look at what happens. Really interesting, we have this real interesting, increase in contrast except we didn't infect our darker tones. Like look at the dark tones over here. Well, there is no real change, right. It's just changing the brighter tones. We will zoom out a little bit, and then you can even duplicate this layer.
We will click and drag it to the New Layer icon. Now let's take a look at our before and after, before and after. So we were able to add quite a bit of Contrast yet we didn't increase the overall density of the layer. On the other hand, had we just copied the background layer and taken this to a blend mode of Soft Light, let's take a look at what would have happened. Well, we have nice contrast except we would have blocked up a lot of our shadows. So I don't want to do that, I want to keep some nice shadow detail there. So in this case I just want to make the image snap. It's a little bit more subtle and it really does help things out quite a bit. Let's take a look at our overall before and after. Here is before and here is after.
Now is this technique really burning and dodging because we are talking about burning and dodging here? Well, not really but it is a way to target specific tones and then work on those tones to make them brighter or darker. And essentially that is burning and dodging, right.
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