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As Ansel Adams once said, "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." Now, with Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques, creating breathtaking prints is within reach. In this course, photographer and instructor Chris Orwig teaches techniques and workflows for crafting powerful and enduring images that bring the photographer's vision to life. From producing a business card to visiting a working press, Chris covers everything photographers need to know to achieve unique, compelling results from the printing process. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this movie what we are going to do is just double check to make sure that our skin tones are in a good place. Now, my guess is that they are pretty good, yet I just want to double-check this. Also, as a side note, what I'm going to do here is just briefly get into the topic of color correcting skin by the numbers, but keep in mind, we cover that in detail earlier in this training title. So if you haven't watched those movies, it definitely would be worthwhile to dig into those movies before watching this one. So I'm going to go ahead and press the I key to select the Eyedropper tool. Make sure my sample size is something other than Point Sample; in this case 5 by 5 Average will be fine.
I'm then going to sample an area just off of the highlight. I have a highlight on the forehead there. I'll hold down the Shift key and click to set a point there. I'll change my numbers to CMYK Color. Now, sometimes it's a little bit distracting to have all these numbers visible. You can remove numbers by holding down the Shift key and clicking and dragging one of those points out. So go ahead and hold down the Shift key and click and drag those points out, and then I'll navigate back to the image there. Open up the Info palette, and here you can see I have my CMYK mix. Now, what I'm looking for here is a cyan amount that's one-third to one-fifth of my magenta, my yellow. What that means is you multiply 8 by 3, that's 24, or 8 by 5, that's 40. So I need to see a magenta or a yellow value of somewhere between 24 and 40.
Now, are those numbers right in that range? Yes, exactly. Now, my next numbers I want to work at are the magenta and the yellow. I always want a little bit more yellow than my magenta. So in this case, I'm in good shape, these skin tones look really good. The only thing that I may want to do here is go ahead and create another Curves adjustment. So I'll go ahead and navigate back to my Adjustments panel, Click on Curves, navigate to the Blue Yellow Channel, and open up the Info palette and drag this out so I can watch this while I'm working on it. In this Blue Yellow Channel, I'll click on the Target Adjustment tool, and I'm simply going to click and drag down to add a little bit more yellow to warm this up even more.
Now, I have gone a little bit higher than I typically would like to. Now, my magenta is lower than the yellow, which is good. The yellow is now even more higher, yet it still fits in this general recipe of numbers. Again, if you are thinking, Chris, I have no idea what you are talking about. Keep in mind that there is more information about this earlier in this training title. Here, basically what we want to do is have a number of our cyan, where we can multiply by 3 or 5. When we do that, we see that our magenta or yellow percentages are somewhere in that range, and in addition, we have a yellow that's always higher than magenta. In this case I'm just adding a little bit more yellow, just for the fun of it, just to warm this image up a touch more.
Now, another way that we could warm this image up would be to click on the Adjustments Layer icon and choose Photo Filter, and add a little bit of a warming filter. So I'm going to go ahead and do that and look at my numbers. Now, are my numbers still in the range? Well, they are a little bit off now, right? Now, if I multiply 3 by 5, it's 15. If I multiply 5 by 5, that's now 25. So what I did here was I added a little bit too much of a color shift, so this isn't going to really work for me. But I could lower my Opacity, and I could lower that Opacity just so I can find a place where I can bring those numbers back into range. When I do that I say hey, those numbers still fit in that mix.
Now, this image is much warmer, and this is a little bit of a subjective edit, yet this is where things get a little bit fun. Do you always want something that's perfectly color correct, or do you want to add or enhance the photograph a little bit? Now, the choice is really up to you. In my case, I want to warm this image up a little bit, have a little bit of fun with that, bring out some more of those vivid colors, and so I have done that here. All right. Well, now that we have talked a little bit about color correcting the skin tones, just to highlight, did we actually need to make those two adjustments? No, the image looks fine here, and these final adjustments are pretty subtle, yet I thought that it would be helpful in regards to printing to at least point out that one of the things that I typically do in my printing workflow is I double check my numbers. I make sure my numbers are in a good place before I actually get to the process of printing the photograph.
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