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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.
You know some of the most powerful photographs of all time are photographs of people. There is just something about people photographs, which is so engaging, so enlivening. And in this chapter, we are going to focus in on how we can make photographs of people even better. What I'm going to try to do is just cover some of the essential topics. Now that have been said, I also have some other training on retouching and at the end of this chapter, I'll show you some before and afters from that training, if you are interested in digging deeper into this topic. But for now, for this chapter, you can see we are going to cover a wide range of images. We are going to start off by working on this photograph here titled family_beach.psd. Let's go ahead and double-click that one to open it up, press F to go to Full Screen View mode and then press the Spacebar to reposition this image.
Now here we have this nice photograph of this family, yet in the background we have a little bit of a distracting element. We need to remove that. So let's double-click the Zoom tool so we can zoom in on this portrait. Next, let's create a new layer. Shift+ Command+N on a Mac; Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. We will name this retouch/clean. So we want to clean that up. Press S on your keyboard to grab the Clone Stamp tool. We are going to paint with 100% opacity there. Take that all the way up; Sample-All Layers is on. Now I'm going to hover over this area that I want to retouch. That looks pretty good. I'll then hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and click and then I'll reposition that.
Now with this new preview CS4, I can see right where that line needs to be. I'll click to apply that and move along, click to apply that, that way, and I'll go from this side as well, Option- click there on a Mac/Alt-click there on a PC. I'll just look to try to bring these two sides together and sample a couple of different areas. They are just trying to clean that seam a little bit and again down here as well. Okay, so far so good, let's zoom in a little bit further. Next, we want to go to the horizon line and we will Option-click on that horizon, scud it over, click once, click again, click again, just trying to bring that horizon over there.
I think that's looking good. Sample that area and again the trick really is to click from different areas and slowly paint this away. But try to not do this in one big brush stroke because typically that's just doesn't work and so what I'm doing is I'm pressing the Option key, I'm sampling, I'm clicking, I'm sampling, I'm clicking. I'm looking at my seam; I'm looking out my horizon. Here is our before and after, and say, hey! For the most part that's looking pretty good. My horizon got a little weak up here so Option-click that and try to build that up, just a touch there, not that anyone is going to really even notice that but I will. Now I'll zoom out a little bit. See how we have done, before and after, pretty nice.
The only thing that I'm noticing here there is a little bit of problem and when I look at my before and after it's in the foreground here, at least the foreground of my retouching and I have a little bit of a repeating pattern. I want to make sure I don't see anything like that and you may not see the repeating pattern. I see it subtle but there are two dots that then repeat themselves. So I'm going to press S on the keyboard, Clone Stamp tool, a nice one to clone that out and the trick with this is you want to sample different areas, paint sample of different areas, and paint until you get a just perfect. Double-click the Zoom tool, and you know what, I think that looks really good, no more distracting elements back there, no more people back there on the beach.
And we have successfully cleaned up the background and even more, you have been reminded of how you can use these tools in order to remove distracting elements so that the image has more impact so that it's about the subject and there is nothing distracting from the subject itself.
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