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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.
Now that we know a little bit about Smart Filters, let's go ahead and begin to have some fun with our photograph. We are going to work on this image corwig_01.psd. Double-click that to open it up in Photoshop. I have to go to Full Screen View mode and then zoom in so we can see this interesting photograph of this ladder. Now, in order to convert this to Smart Filters, we need to either right-click and choose Convert to Smart Object or navigate to our Filter pulldown menu and choose Convert for Smart Filters. That will do the exact same thing. We will go ahead and click OK there. Next was name the layer, Ladder.
Now that we have converted this to Smart Object, we are ready to add our Filter. Here we are going to Filter pulldown menu, Noise and add some Noise. I'm going to go ahead and crank up the noise, I have too much noise on this image, click OK, but I want to add too much noise in order to illustrate. How you can hop, skip and jump around, you can continually make modifications to this and one of the nice things about Smart Filters is you have incredible flexibility. So to modify this I double-click, Add Noise, I'll reduce the Amount, click OK. Then I'll double-click this icon here, it allows me to choose a blending mode like Soft Light and then I can dial the blending off, so I can reduce it a bit, click OK. Still I have a little bit too much Noise, even with that blending.
Double-click Add Noise, I'll go ahead and reduce that even further and then click OK to apply that. Now of course the last thing that we can do is click in this mask icon and of course you need to make sure you are targeting not the image, see those brackets breadth the mask. Grab your Brush tool and here we are going to paint with black 100% Opacity and I can then paint away that noise from different areas on my image. Now that maybe hard to see, select Add the Noise or Increase the Noise Amount, so you can really see what's happening, again click in the mask and I can paint that Noise away from different areas on my image.
Now I don't really like what I have done here. So I want to reset this. Fill it with white. That's Command+Delete on a Mac, Ctrl+Delete on a PC to fill with my background color, which is white. All right, well in this case I need to bring this down to something a little bit more normal, so I'll double- click Add Noise, bring my Amount way down, bring that way down and that Amount looks pretty interesting, click OK. Now to evaluate my overall, before and after, here it goes. Here is the before without any of the added filter and here is the after.
And again the nice thing about this is I can continually modify even here I decide I want to take down the Soft Light blending just a touch here, reduce that a little bit, Contrast went a little too high, click OK. So, as you can see Smart Filters are incredibly flexible. They allow you the flexibility of continually modifying your image and sometimes that's really important and especially when you are getting creative right and another times, when you are getting very technical and you want something to be just perfect. All right, well that wraps up our conversation about Smart Filters, but before we leave there is one more thing I just have to do. I love this red border here. I want to enhance that. So, I'm going to my Adjustments layer, click Hue Saturation, go to the reds and I'm going to increase the saturation of those reds and then close this Adjustment Layer and here I have my before and after and I just had to do that, I couldn't help it, because I like the color of those reds, I just want to add a little bit more make that snap and you know what that finishes off this image and that finishes off our first conversation about how we can use Smart Filters in order to create a more flexible workflow.
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