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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.
In this movie, we are going to continue our conversation about black and white conversion. But you can think of this movie a little bit like a bonus movie. This isn't an essential movie. I thought it would be kind of fun to convert this image to black and white as well as include a couple other little fun effects which tend to come into play when you are converting to black and white. So let's go ahead and double-click this file to open it in Photoshop. I have to go to Full Screen View mode and then zoom in just a touch here. Now, when I zoom-in, I say, Oh! Adorable photograph. Yet I notice that I need to retouch this image a little bit. So let's go ahead and select the Healing Brush.
Now, the Healing Brush is pretty interesting, and there is a new feature inside of Photoshop. What you need to do is hold down the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC to sample an area, and then reposition your cursor. Now, when you do, you notice that you get a preview of what you are going to be cloning. All right, well, what I want to do is actually sample this area here upon the line, position that over, click once, click again, I just want to remove those little lines there. Make my brush much smaller, and then I'll click to remove that little dot. So again, some real simple retouching, but all I'm trying to illustrate here is how you know how this live preview of what you are going to retouch underneath that tool, same thing goes for the Clone Stamp tool as well.
All right, well onto the black and white conversion. We're going to go ahead and use a preset. We are going to go down to the Red Filter. Now because there is a lot of skin-tone in this, it's going to be nice and bright. We also have a lot of Red tones. They have brightened up the overall image, which I really like. It's a little bit too strong for me, so I'm going to darken it with this slider here. Then I want to build up the contrast. So I'll click on my Adjustment Layer icon or go back to the Adjustments panel and choose it this way. Same exact thing. I'm just going to look to bring in a little bit of contrast here, and I want to darken it overall, just a touch. Although I like that kind of bright effect, and you will see why in a few moment. Okay, before and after.
The next thing that I want to do, I want to burn down my corner. So I'll Zoom-out, so we can see those corners, okay. Now that I can see them, I'll create a new layer by way of shortcut, Shift+Command+N on a Mac. On a PC, the shortcut is Shift+Ctrl+N. We will name this layer Corners. blend mode of what? You know the deal, right? Soft Light, click OK. Now, I need to fill it with black. Option+Delete on a Mac/Alt+Delete on a PC to fill with your foreground color, which in my case is black, perfect. Click on the Add Layer Mask icon, grab your Brush tool. We want a nice big huge brush. We are going to now paint with black to limit the Darkening effect, so that it's not quite darkening her face, give this nice bright light there, lower the Opacity down quite a bit, brighten it up around here, just a touch and that looks pretty good. Here is our before and after darkening those corners. We can control the Opacity either by using the slider or pressing 8 on your keyboard. It goes to 80%.
All right, well so far so good. We have our before and after. The last thing that I want to do is click in the background layer, click and drag this to the New Layer icon and navigate to the Filter pulldown menu. Choose Noise, add some noise, I want a small amount of noise. I want it to be Gaussian blur, Monochromatic, no color in that, that looks good, click OK. Yeah, now Double-click to Zoom-in on that. We have this noise there before and after, lower the Opacity of that one, just a touch there, so it blends into the tones, nice, film look there.
Final step, click-in the top layer and you know where I'm going, right? Photo-Filter and from the Photo-Filter pulldown menu, I'm going to choose Sepia tone. So I want just a little bit of Sepia tone there, click on the color, I prefer to have a little bit darker brown. I can have as strong of a color shift, just a subtle little shift there, before and after. Press Tab to get rid of everything, I have to go to Full Screen View mode and then press F7 and that will bring back your Layers palette, we can see our before and after. Here is before, Wow! And then after. A very different emotion, a very different mood, and I want to end our chapter on black and white conversion with this "Bonus" movie.
To get you to begin to think about black and white, there is something really powerful that happens when you convert to black and white, somehow by reducing all the colors, by taking the colors out completely, you have a very different emotion. Sometimes that's a little bit more contemplative, it's a little bit more thoughtful or at least that can be. Now, converting to black and white is an always a solution. Yet there are times when it can be really interesting, and the nice thing about the techniques that we used here is they are completely non -destructive. We can always undo these things. Another thing that's kind of nice about this final Bonus movie is that this is a good illustration for that idea that a lot of the best results come from using multiple techniques together. In this case, our techniques were adding green and then adding curves on top of black and white, darkening corners, bringing the dodging, and then finally, working with our overall color. All right, well that wraps up this chapter on black and white conversion.
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