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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 talk about how we can modify eye color. We will open up the file eye_color.psd, press F to go to Full Screen View mode and then double-click the Zoom tool to zoom in, that's a little bit too zoomed in. I'll zoom out just a little bit. Just for the fun of it, we have the original image and then the image after some tone was applied and little bit of retouching. All right, great. Well, now what we want to do is we want to work on the overall eye color. There are number of different techniques that we can use in regards to changing eye color. Let's take a look at one of them. We will zoom in on the eyes, press the Q key and then grab our Paintbrush. We are going to paint with black and what I'm looking to do here is to just paint with black around the area of the eye where there is color and in this case, I have painted a little bit too far.
So if I ever make a mistake while in Quick Mask mode, let's go ahead and make a drastic one, press the X key and here I'll then paint with white which we'll be then be able to ultimately remove that from my selection. All right, well now that I have that and it looks a little strange, I admit. We press the Q key to exit Quick Mask mode. We need to invert our selection. Select > Inverse or use the shortcut. Next, we are going to go the Adjustment layer icon and then we are going to choose an Adjustment layer that helps us work with color. Now keep in mind, there are a number of different adjustments we can do here. Curves, Color Balance, Hue/Saturation etcetera. I'm going to do solid color though just for the fun of it. I'll take this to a blue. Now that doesn't look very good. I know, but stick with me, we are going to take this to a blend mode of Color.
All right, now we are talking, right, we are getting close. Now the color of the eyes, they aren't very interesting to me. It's over the top. So you know where I'm going, right? I'm going to lower the Opacity and I'm just going to look to try to bring in a little bit of that Hue into those eyes, so I have a little bit of that color snap. So let's leave that right there at that 21% and then let's go ahead and click on the Adjustment layer icon. This time choose Hue/Saturation. With Hue/Saturation I'm going to go ahead and change the Hue by dragging it to the left so I have a little bit more Cyan. Now when I close the Adjustments, I don't have a Mask, but I want to use this mask that I have down here, great trick, great trick. You just got to know this one. Hold down the Option key on the Mac/ Alt key on the PC, click and drag the Mask up top or click and drag your mask to a new layer, replace the layer mask, yeah. So now I have this layer, which is then taking those eyes from a kind of purple-blue color to a little bit more of that Cyan blue.
Now so far, so good. I have some nice color in those eyes. I want to group these layers. So I'll press the Shift key and click on the bottom layer, Command+G on the Mac/Ctrl+G on a PC. Here is my before and then after. Now when I look at my before and after and I'm zoom out a little bit, I say okay. It's kind of an interesting effect, but over the top. So I lower the Opacity and I'll lower it way down, till I can find the spot that I think, it kind of matches the overall tone or color of this image. So in my case, I think that looks kind of good. Now at this juncture, I may want to modify those eyes further. How could I do that? Well, click inside of this group and click on the Adjustment layer icon in here, choose Curves. Now with this Curves dialog open, I'm going to brighten this up or maybe darken my blacks, really focusing in on the eyes, ignoring the rest of the image. Double-click to close that Adjustment tab and I just want to go back and review that shortcut I taught you.
on a Mac/hold down Option, on a PC hold down Alt. Click and drag your Mask to a new layer, apply that, so now I have this curves adjustment layer which is just controlling that particular adjustment area. Double-click that, now here, I can continually modify it. Let's say, I just want to darken it up, so I have a deeper tone there or for that matter, let's say I want to change the color a little bit. Here I'm adding a little bit of green. Now with this current state of green, it's a real glowing deep green, again, kind of surreal, maybe it would be fun for a special effect, but not for this image, right? It doesn't fit the mood.
Well, what can I do? Well, you know the tricks, right? Either a blend mode or Opacity. Let's try a blend mode. We will go down to our Color blend mode. That definitely helped it blend in a little bit and then let's lower our Opacity and here we are just going to take this back and add a little bit of that green into the mix. That could be a subtle amount of the green. Here is our before and after and now we have all of these different layers. They're all non destructive. One adds a little blue, kind of blue-purple. Now a little bit more Cyan. Now a little bit more of a green-blue and again, we can control the overall intensity of this entire effect and back it off until we find that it matches the intent of the image.
Now keep in mind that what I'm trying to do here is to just show you how you can modify color and then get you to begin to think about why you may want to modify color and to keep in mind that some images, you will want to really boost the color in a huge and strong way. Other images, you may want go for a little bit more of a subtle effect. The nice thing about this technique is you have an incredible flexibility, you can continually modify it, you can look away from your image, look back you can turn you layer on and off and then really determine is this good? And in my case, when I zoom out for a second and look at my before and after, I would say hey, yeah. That nice, little bringing out of those blue, cyan greens there, I think looks really nice and that wraps our conversation about working with eye color.
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