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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Now that we've gone through all the trouble of creating this mask based on color, let's go ahead and take a look at the easy part of it, right. How we can use what we've created in order to come up with some different options here. All right. Well for starters let's click on the Eye icon of the Background layer, so we can really focus in on the mask. Well, while this mask is good, one of the things that I'm noticing is that my edges are a little bit rough. They need a little bit of sweetening up. Well in order to do that, simply click in the mask and then go over to Mask Edge. You know how this works, right? We're going to turn on Smart Radius and increase our radius a little bit.
One of the things that's interesting about this is is just looking at the edges and trying to smarten up those edges, so they look a little bit better. In other words, it's detecting what's there, rather than just having it kind of randomly take place. It's cleaning stuff up for me. We'll add a little bit of Contrast. That will bulk out some of those edges. Just a touch of Smoothing there. And I think that looks pretty good. Here's our original, and then here is our after. The edges now look much, much better. We'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that. The next thing that we need to do is make some changes to the image.
So we're going to click in the image layer. It's really helpful, as we make these changes, to have the background layer visible. So let's turn the visibility of that layer on. There are a number of different ways we could make changes, but let's take a look at using Hue/Saturation, simply because it's such a simple dialog. We'll navigate up to Image and here, we're going to choose Adjustments, then Hue/Saturation, good old Hue/Saturation. Remember, the client had requested that they wish we had a few other colors, like a black color jacket, or maybe a gray color.
Well let's go for black first. All that we need to do is to desaturate here, and I'm just desaturating the entire layer, but because of the mask, we're only seeing this effect on the jacket. Now I could darken this up a little bit, and there we could have a black version of the jacket. Well let's go ahead and click OK in order to apply that. Click on the Eye icon to view the before and after. Here is before, and then there is after. Great. One version, different type of a jacket. Well let's say the client also wants this gray, kind of a light gray color.
Well, what could we do? Well, all we need to do is click and drag this to the New Layer icon, and then we'll turn off the visibility of the underlying layer. Now start to work in this one. This time, let's go to Image > Adjustments and here we're going to choose Levels, another really simple way to make changes to a photograph. Well, what we can do here is we can modify this tone, and I'm just looking to have a little bit of a lighter gray. So I'm dragging my Midtone slider to the left. Then I'll go ahead and drag my Shadows slider up a little bit - add a little bit more Contrast there.
To look at our before and after, we can click on the Preview button. There is before, and then there is after. So you get the idea. Once we have this mask, we can do almost absolutely anything. For that matter, we could change the color of the jacket. We could change the brightness. We could change the contrast. We could change the sharpness of the jacket. There is so much that we could do. So don't get hung up on the particular changes that we're making; rather, keep in mind that with the mask, what you can do is once you've created it, you can use that mask in so many different ways.
And as you can see, what masks can do for you is they can add a lot of flexibility to your overall workflow. Let's click OK to apply this. And then let's look at our Options here. Here is the original photograph. Here is one image with a deep black jacket and then another one with a light gray jacket. Now keep in mind, we're just scratching the surface here, yet I'm hoping that by working through this mini project that you've learned some really valuable skills in regards to masking, and that you can take these skills and start to apply them to your own photographic workflow.
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