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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Sometimes it's fun to work with filters to simply add some creative effects to your photographs. In this case, I have this wonderful portrait of my daughter Sophia here down at the beach. Now, what I want to do here is I want to add a little bit of a lens flare. Now, the trick with Lens Flare of course is that once you discover it, it's easy to overuse this filter. But then again sometimes it's fun to just play with Photoshop to experiment. Sometime these experiments lead to something that you are going to use in perhaps a little more subtle way. Well, let's experiment and have some fun. There are couple of different ways that we can use this filter.
One technique is to simply copy your Background layer. To do so, press Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC, and name this lens. Next, we are going to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu. We are going to go to Render and then choose Lens Flare. All right. This will open up the Lens Flare dialog, where we can choose different types of Lens Flare. Here, you can see the different types. I can control the brightness of that. Let's go back to the 50-300 to zoom. Let's say that all I want to do is add a little brightness in the top left and bring this Lens Flare in across the image.
We'll click OK to apply, and there we have it. Let's look at our before and after. Here, we have before and then after. Now, another really fun way to apply this filter is to create a blank layer and fill it with black and then to apply the filter. Let me show you what I mean. So, we'll create a new layer, and we'll call this one lens 2. Next, we'll navigate to our Edit pulldown menu and here choose Fill. We are going to fill this layer with black. We'll click OK to do so. Next, we'll go back to our Filter and to reopen the dialog so you can change the settings, what you can do is press a shortcut. On a Mac Command+Option+F, on a PC, Ctrl+Alt+F. That will then reopen that Lens Flare dialog.
Now, if you forget the shortcut, you can of course always simply go to Filter, and there you can choose Render and then Lens Flare. All right. Well once I do this. I can really see how this is going to work. I can position this in different spots and then finally, click OK. Well, now that I have clicked OK, I can really see the lens flare graphic that it's created for me. That's really all it is. It's just a few different shapes and these graphics here. Well, how then can I use this in combination with that image that I have in the Background layer? Well, you may remember that there is a blending mode which allows us to remove black.
And just focuses in on the one side of the grayscale and black completely drops out of the picture. Well, we can use that blending mode here. It's called Screen. So, if we select the Screen blending mode, wow, all that we have is that Lens Flare effect on top of the image. It's going to look identical to what we have down here before. The one reason why we may want to use this black layer is to just get really familiar with what this effect is. So, we can kind of see how it works there. Then also see how it's going to blend into our image as it does to the underlying layers in this context.
So, if you haven't ever experimented with using Lens Flare, now you have a couple of different techniques that you can use to begin the experimentation process. But also keep in mind that what you want to do is you want to use this filter sparingly. Many people who are new to Photoshop get really excited about this filter and overuse it. So, just be cautious as you begin to play with this one. Of course, as always experiment with your Opacity levels and take a look at how this works on different photographs, and see if you can use this filter to come up with some interesting photographs so that it doesn't overpower the image but rather complements what's already there.
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