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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
Another way to mimic the traditional photographic process is by adding grain to a file. This grain is not the same as the digital noise that most of us want to remove from our image. Digital noise tends to be harsher and more structured, whereas the traditional grain that was created by using more sensitive or higher ISO film was much softer and organic. In order to add grain to this image, I think I will first convert it to grayscale using the HSL/Grayscale panel, and I'll also add a little bit of a sepia tone by moving the Saturation slider and the Hue slider in the Split Tone panel.
Then we can move to the Effects panel. Here is where I can change the amount of grain, adding just a little bit of grain or a lot. We might want to zoom in while we add this grain, so I'll use Command+Plus in order to just zoom in a bit. You can see now, the amount gets more or less based on the Amount slider. You can see that the size of the grain gets smaller or larger, and we can control the roughness of the grain, either making it very rough and contrasty or making it much more organic by moving it over to the right side.
I'm going to go ahead and set the roughness down a little bit, as well as the size, and just decrease the Amount. I think there is just a little bit too much grain being added and losing too much detail in the image. If you're adding grain to your images, I would suggest that you print those images to get an idea of how much grain you would add to each image, because the file size of the image and the destination that you're going to take that image to, it won't change the grain structure, but it will change how the grain appears.
So you kind of want to get comfortable and do a few experiments to find out exactly the amount of grain to apply maybe for print versus for screen. One of the nicest aspects about this technique is that there really is no right or wrong. Adding grain is simply an aesthetic choice that you make based on the story that you're trying to tell with your images.
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