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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, we will be working on the file annika.tif. You can find it in the Chapter 16_adjustments_panel folder. Go ahead and double-click that one to open it in Photoshop. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode. This is a fun picture of my daughter Annika and my daughter Sophie right there playing in one of our friend's backyards, having a ton of fun and you know what I think? You are going to have some fun with the Adjustment panel because it's going to speed up your workflow. Initially it's going to feel a little awkward, it's kind of like someone rearranged your desk. You know like, hey, where is everything? But eventually once you get the hang of it, it's going to speed up you workflow by leaps and bounds because everything is much more organized, compartmentalized and you don't have to move your mouse as far and again, in the long run this is really going to help out. All right, well let's go ahead and zoom in on this image and let's zoom in by way of a shortcut, Command+Spacebar on a Mac/Ctrl+Spacebar on a PC and then click. That will allow you to access the Zoom tool temporarily if you don't have it currently.
All right, now that we are zoomed in, what I want to do is apply a Brightness and Contrast Adjustment. So let's click on this first icon here in the Adjustments panel and let's first talk about the controls. Now these controls are kind of interesting. We have the option to control the Brightness and Contrast and then we can choose Use Legacy. Well what's it all about? Well if I increase the contrast right now and the brightness for that matter the image looks bad, but it doesn't look horrible. Now let's turn on Use Legacy and increase the brightness and the contrast. Well now it just looks absolutely horrible, right? Well Use Legacy, what it does when you have that checked off, actually prevents clipping. So you want to have that on when you are making your adjustments.
So we will go ahead and increase the contrast, overall brightness and here we can find a nice spot for this image. Because it's so sunny out, I'm going decrease the Contrast a little bit. Now, how do I know if I actually like this adjustment? We will click on the Eye icon. Here is our before and after and I say, you know what? I don't like it. I don't know what I want to do, but I want to reset this. So we will click on this Reset icon here. All right, well let's talk a little bit more about this. Let's go ahead and increase this quite significantly, increase the contrast. We make an adjustment. Again, we are not sure if it's good. Well, you can press and hold the Backslash key and it will show you the original file or you can click on this icon here and hold it and again it will show you the original file or it will take you back to the previous state.
So that's really helpful, right. It will help me determine you know there is too much contrast. I'm going to go ahead and take those down and then all that I'm looking to do here is to just boost the brightness just a touch, decrease the contrast just a touch. All right, great. But what else I can do here? Well, I can also click on this option to create what's called a Layer Clipping Mask. When I click on that it will then say, only modify the layer immediately underneath this adjustment. Now that's helpful when you have a number of different layers. We have talked about Layer Clipping Masks before, right? And it will limit that adjustment to the layer below. To turn it off, click that icon again. Now if I can't see all my controls here, well I can click on this option to expand the view of the Adjustment panel and then click on it again to collapse that. Now finally, if I want to go back to the list of adjustments click on the arrow and that will take me back to the list of Adjustments.
Now keep in mind that while you can modify your adjustments here, you can also modify the layer as well. I can lower the Opacity of this layer and that will then decrease that overall adjustment or I can increase the opacity to increase the adjustment. Now, when I click in the Background layer, it goes back to the default list. When I click back in this layer, it will take me to that particular Adjustment. And here I'm going to go ahead and increase my Contrast. I don't like it that low so I'm going to brighten it and increase the little bit of contrast and I think that looks pretty fun. Let's look at our before and after, before and after, a little subtle adjustment. Yet more important, we have now begun to learn how to work with the Adjustments panel.
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