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In Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to take photographs to the next creative level by combining images in Photoshop. This course covers multiple compositing scenarios, including portraits and architecture photos, from selecting the images, to blending photos with layer masks and blend modes, and resizing and sharpening the results. Chris also covers tips and tricks design to inspire and increase the drama and interest of photographs. Exercise files are included with this course.
The next thing that we are going to do here is we're going to work on the overall color and tone in the background. You'll notice that the background is a bit muted. It's almost gray in some areas, white in other areas, so what I want do is brighten this up. The trick though with this is I don't want to over-brighten this because I may lose some important details. Let me show you what I mean. If we go and click on our Curves icon here and make a Curves adjustment, say brightening the background, well, as we brighten that up we lose a lot of the other detail that we have in here in the explosion and also the hand becomes too bright.
We could try to control this by bringing down the detail in the lower area the curve and you can see how we are bringing back some of that so it's just affecting the background but still it's not really working. So here is how we can make an even better adjustment. Let's reset this by clicking on the Reset button. Next let's go ahead and click-and-drag just the midpoint up, just an overall, general, brightening effect there. Next, let's go to the Mask panel, and in the Mask panel we're going to choose Color Range. Now with Color Range what we can do is we can click in the background.
Do you notice how it's building up this mask here? Hold down the Shift key, you can click in other areas and you can build up this mask even more. Now primarily we have a mask, which is going to be pretty good. Let's evaluate. Click OK. And now here you can see the explosion actually looks really nice. Look at this. Here's the before and then after. It kind of added almost a bit more drama to that area. The bullet not so much; the background a few other problems. Well really that's not that big of a deal and this is a pretty nice mask, pretty good edges that we have here.
couple of ways we can change this up. We can go to Mask Edge and if we want to soften or smooth out the edge we could do that, we could try to have a little bit more blur in there, we could add contrast to it, add some Smart Radius and again we can modify the edges in this way, building up a bit of transparency. Yet in my opinion, you know what, I kind of like the edginess of this. It kind of feels more explosive to me. But I don't like the bullet or the background. So here we will grab our brush, and I am going to paint with white with a high opacity here. And actually not white.
That was a mistake. I want to paint with black. I got flipped around there, and so I'll go ahead and just paint that bullet back in, bringing in a little more of that blur. Now that I have that Blur in I'll press the X key to paint with white this time, a little bit bigger brush there, just to limit that blur a touch, kind of soften it out. Okay, that looks good. Now what I need to do is work on this area up top. So here again, I'll continue to paint with white, make my brush a bit bigger and there are some tone issues up there and I kind of exaggerated those, and I am just painting with white over the entirety of the photograph.
What that's going to do is allow this adjustment to come through in these areas. I make my brush even bigger, just has lot of nice uniform brightness. In this case, this adjustment is really making this image snap in a whole new way. Take a look. Here is that before and then after. Now if ever you feel like, you know what, I want more of the apple here, well, we can paint that in, right? Grab your brush, you could choose black there, and go ahead and lower the opacity and with a low opacity you could paint over these areas.
I am going to make this even lower and just start to paint in some of this. You can see how I am kind of building up some of this explosion here, and I am adding a bit more of that original tone that was in there. I'll do so in the back here as well. And these are pretty small adjustments but you can kind of see how I'm adding more density to that explosion there and building that up a bit more, it's not quite so crunchy. Although in my opinion, I kind of liked it a bit more before, so I think I am going to actually mask some of that out. I like kind of the explosiveness of that.
It's helpful to see that you can work on this mask in order to further make changes in regards to how this looks. All right, well here at this juncture we have accomplished our task. We have a pretty interesting looking image. Let's evaluate how we've done. Well if you Option or Alt+Click on the eye icon of your background layer. Here was the first image. We then decided to bring in the hand, and we did so by aligning this and then using a simple mask. Next we did some cleanup work, working on some of those small details, a little bit on the highlight there.
We broaden the bullet with a bit of blur, and then finally we made some background adjustments, just working on the overall brightness or tone there, in order to make this image a little bit more snappier, a bit more vivid and interesting.
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