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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to make your own custom black and white image from inside Camera Raw. We're going to once again work with Tree & shadow.dng, and then switch over to HI/ Grayscale. Then I want you to turn on the Convert to Grayscale checkbox. Now of all the ways that you can mix the black and white image with Photoshop, I would characterize this as the most powerful, for the simple reason that you have the most controls. You have eight controls in all, instead of six, which is what you get with the black and white adjustment layer for example.
So you might even want to open any old image inside of Camera Raw if you're considering converting it to Grayscale, and you can by the way, you can open JPEGs and TIFFs in Camera Raw, and I'll explain how that works in another exercise. Let's go ahead and start mixing here. The first thing I'm going to do, I want a similar look with the sky really dark, and the grass light and the foliage light and so on. So we get sort of an infrared photography effect. So I'm going to go ahead and drop the Blues down pretty dark here. I'll take him down to let's say -75, and then Purples and Magentas are going all the way down to -100. Then let's try taking the Aquas down -- I'm not really all that confident this is going to do anything for us, but let's take him down to about -25% here. Let's bring up the Greens, so that we have a little bit of an intermediate color zone here.
Before we go to Yellows, which I'm going to take away the heck up, let's go ahead and take these guys up to about + 90. Then the Oranges should rise too. Oranges will help us brighten the tree potentially here. So I'll go ahead and take this up to +100 like so. Then not too concerned about Reds. There's not all that many reds to work with here. But I might take it up to about +10. We get the effect that you see before you right now. Just to make sure that we're bringing out as much luminance as possible, let's get rid of some of this clipping by going back to the basic controls, and I'll reduce the Exposure.
I'll go ahead and Alt+drag or Option+ drag this Exposure value down to say something like -.5 might work up pretty nicely for us. Then Alt+drag or Option+drag the Blacks slider as well. I want to keep that pretty dark. I might actually take that up and clip the image just a little bit more, because as long as those clip pixels are pretty far away from each other, and these are pretty darn scattered throughout the image. We won't have areas of solid black, i.e., we won't have flat areas of black. All right, so this is looking pretty nice. Now it's going to look even nicer if we imbue the effect with color. So if we convert this black and white image now over to a dual tone. You can do that by taking advantage of the Split Toning controls right there. So go ahead and Click on Split Toning, and the idea is that you can infuse the highlights with one color and the shadows with another color. That's it.
So you get the two colors, which makes it a better colorization tool then say Hue Saturation, but not nearly as good as the Gradient Map adjustment layer. So Gradient Map remains my favorite method for creating any sort of Grayscale colorization. But having said that, this is not bad. So the first thing you do is you up the saturation values for both highlights and shadows, so you can get a sense of what you're doing. I'm going to take the hue value for the highlights over to 60, let's say, like so, and then I'll take the hue value for the shadows over to say 15; and I'll leave these saturation values cranked for just a moment, so we can see the result of this balance option. Balance determines the threshold between highlights and shadows.
So right now with value of 0, or say the brightest 50% of the colors are highlights, and the darkest 50% of the colors are shadows. There's of course some nice softening in between. I shouldn't say of course, because a lot of functions inside of Photoshop don't have softening. They have on-off thresholds. But this control does have softening. It does have fuzziness. So that's good. So I could raise this value in order to say more of the colors are highlights, and therefore should be colorized with yellow, or I can lower the value to say more of the colors are going to be shadows, and should therefore be infused with scarlet, or vermilion, or whatever this color is here. Anyway, I want to leave that set to 0. I just wanted to demonstrate how that value works.
I am also going to take down these ludicrous saturation values. I'm going to take the highlights down to 20 for saturation, and I'm going to take the shadows down to 15, so that we have a reasonably saturated, but not over-the-top dual tone effect here. That's it friends. Just to give you a sense of what we were able to accomplish, let's scoot over here to HI/Grayscale, and I'll turn off preview. This is the color image that we saw when we first opened up the image, just at the outset of this exercise, and this is the way the image looks now. Looks so good. Thanks to our black and white modifications here inside of Camera Raw.
I am going to go ahead and Click the Done button in order to accept the deed, and we'll press the Spacebar here inside the Bridge in order to view the image across the entire screen. Love it, an amazing, breathtaking dual tone. Thanks to the power of Camera Raw.
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