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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
Another problem with this image is that we have some aberrantly colored shadows, so you can see that we've got these warm shadows here inside of this kind of green rock or whatever it is, and then we've got these purplish shadows inside of the butterfly's face and eyes. And we're going to reduce those using a density mask combined along with a Vibrance adjustment layer. So to start things off switch to the Channels panel and then we want to go ahead and load the Green channel as the selection, and the reason we're using the Green channel is because it has the most detail.
So go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on that channel in order to load it up. That goes ahead and selects the lightest colors inside the image which would be great if we had any problem with the highlights. Our problems however are with the shadows, so we need to reverse this selection by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command or you can press Ctrl+Shift+I or Cmd+Shift+I on the Mac. Now I'll go ahead and switch back to the Layers panel, and you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, dropdown to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the panel and choose the Vibrance command.
Because you have the Alt or Option key down that will bring up the New layer dialog box. And by the way, if you're using dekeKeys you can take advantage of that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+V or Cmd+Shift+V on the Mac. And I'll go ahead and call this layer Shadows and then click OK, and you'll notice that Photoshop goes ahead and automatically converts that selection to a layer Mask. So if I Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the layer Mask thumbnail here inside the Layers panel then I'll see an exactly inverted version of the Green channel. So we're going to apply the Vibrance adjustments to the bright versions of the mask while the dark versions of the mask will remain protected. All right.
So I'll Alt+Click or Opt+Click on that layer Mask thumbnail again, then so I can access my Vibrance options here in the Properties panel, I'll click on the Adjustment icon which is that thing that looks like an upside down triangle or if you prefer a V. Then I'll select the Vibrance value and I'm going to change it to -70 in order to achieve this effect here. The problem is so far we're reducing the saturation of the midtones and highlights more than we want to, and we're not reducing the saturation of the shadows enough, and that's because we need to increase the contrast of the mask.
So press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that layer Mask thumbnail so that we can see it there in the Image window, and then bring up the Levels dialog box by pressing Ctrl+L or Cmd+L on the Mac. And I want to really protect those highlights and midtones that are represented by the darker colors in the mask. So I'm going to take my Black Point value up to 150, so we're clipping away ton of that dark information. And then Tab your way over to the White Point value and reduce it to 200, so there we were brightening the shadows significantly and then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification.
And now you can press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that layer Mask thumbnail again in order to switch back to the RGB Composite image. And just to get a sense of what we've been able to accomplish now you can turn off the Vibrance layer. So this is the before version of the butterfly with those purple shadows inside the face and those warm shadows down below inside this Green background. And this is the after version with those neutralized shadows as you can see, it's done a big number underneath the butterfly here and those more neutral shadows inside the bug's face.
And that's how you correct the very common problem of aberrantly colored shadows, using a combination of a Vibrance adjustment layer along with a Density mask here inside Photoshop.
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