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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 I want to continue our conversation about Smart Filters. We will be working on the file corwig_01 again. Press F to get a Full Screen View mode. right-click your background layer and choose convert to smart objects. Next, zoom in a little bit, so you can see the photograph. What I want to talk about here is how a lot of times when you are working with filters, you need to disguise them. So we are going to go to our filter pulldown menu. We are going to choose Brush Strokes > Crosshatch. We are then going to look at our photo, and that actually looks pretty good here, I'm looking to have quite a bit of this effect on the image.
Now this is one of my all time least favorite filters, and here is why? I like it, except that when I use it, people can say "Oh, you use Crosshatch," or when someone else use it, "Oh yeah, crosshatch, I got it, I know why you are doing it, it takes away from the visual impact. But there is something about the impact that I like. I like something that I did there. So I can have this weird love-hate relationship with it. Well, what do I need to do as a photographer? What I need to do is apply the filter, click OK. Then I need to go down to my Blending Mode option, double-click on this icon, take it to something like Soft Light, lower the Opacity on that, click OK. Now let's look at our before and after. So what's happening here? Well, Crosshatch is been blended into the image. So I have this interesting kind of hallowing, interesting texture all over the place, and it creates a real interesting effect, and now you can say, oh yeah, I know Chris did? He did crosshatch, rather, they were thinking about the image. They were thinking about the mood and the motion of the image. Okay, One more example. Let's go ahead and close this one. Command+W on a Mac/Ctrl+W on a PC.
Let's go to this file, Clieto_wind_ tunnel. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode. And this is the photograph that I took of my good friend Chris Lieto in this wind tunnel, absolutely amazing place. What I'm going to do in this movie is actually not use a Smart Filter. I'm going to use just a regular layer, not a Smart Object layer. So here you can see we have our background layer. I'll copy that. Command+J. I'll copy it to a new layer. This new layer I'm going to navigate to my filter pulldown menu. I'm going to choose Blur, and then Motion Blur. I want to add quite a bit of Motion Blur here, so I have a good amount of Motion Blur on the file. Click OK. Blend mode of what? You know the Blend mode right? Soft Light.
Now the disadvantage of using a separate layer is I can't change the amount of the Blend mode. But at least I'm starting to see I have a little bit of streaks coming off from Chris. I kind of like that, right. I think that's looking kind of interesting. Yet I need to mask part of this away, so I click to add the Mask icon, grab my brush, paint with black, and I'll go ahead and paint it away on the computer, that doesn't need that Motion Blur on it, right? Some of the other elements in the photo of the background, just around the edges, okay, so that's fine, all right. So far I'm removing some of that blur, but still I have kind of an interesting blur effect going on. There are some other aspects of the photo where I'll find the Blurs there, so my mask isn't perfect, I'm okay with that. Again, also just trying to illustrate a point here. Now that I have this adjustment, I'm going to go back to my background layer, right-click, choose convert to Smart Filter. Now here, I'll navigate to my Filter pulldown menu>Blur>Motion Blur. All right, kind of interesting. So I'm going to add more Blur to this photograph. The reason I want to have that one layer without being a Smart Object is, so I can combine both of these layers together. I'll click OK here. Now I'm not going to do any blending on this one.
What I'm going to do is, double-click my blending options. That will lower the opacity. I don't want quite that strong of motion coming into the image. Click OK. Then I'm going to experience with my mask. Now I'm going to invert the mask. Command+I on Mac, Ctrl+I on the PC, grab the Brush tool, paint with white. What I'm looking to do is just to bring in some of the light streaks. Now keep in mind, this is a pretty quick and dirty way to do this. There are some more advanced techniques that we could use to really make this happen. Yet, I want to begin to Illustrate is, how you can use this different filters, and then disguise them in order to create some different effects. Now the final thing that I want to do with this image is, go to my Adjustment panels, click on Curves, now I want to darken the overall image, add a little bit of contrast there, and then go down to my layers.
Let's take a look at before and after. So here is our before. We added some blur there. Let's look at our contrast, quite a bit of contrast, I want to make this one real emotion, then added that Smart Filter on the top. Now my top cursor adjustment is too strong, no big deal. Lower the Opacity and find that sweet spot. Well, my point in this movie, in this final movie on Smart Filters is this, a lot of time when you are using Filters, they are really dominant, or they are really strong. We need to begin to discover ways to disguise those filters, either with masking, or with blending, or with layer opacity. In addition keep in mind that Smart Filters aren't always the solution. They do take up a bit of file size? Now there are certain people who love Smart Filters, because they always want to have that extra flexibility. And then there are others you say, you know what, if I'm going to make an adjustment, I'm going to commit to it. And then there are other ways to modify that adjustment if I need to do so.
So there is a little bit of a give and take on Smart Filters and Smart Objects for that matter. Now if you are interested in digging deeper into Smart Objects and Smart Filters, Deke McClelland has some great content on lynda.com library, in regards to the subject matter. You may want to check out his movies. Well all right, that wraps up our conversation about Smart Objects and Smart Filters.
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