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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.
Select the file corwig_cleanup_01 and double-click that to open it up in Photoshop. What I want to do in this movie is to get you to begin to think about how you can retouch your images with content that's already there. I'll go ahead and grab the Zoom tool and I'll click to reposition this, just a little bit zoom in there, nice. What I want to do is clean up this lower left hand corner of the photograph. Now I could have, of course, used my Clone Stamp tool, all right. I could use the Healing Brush. It's going to get a little bit tricky. It's going to get a little bit messed up because I have all these different shapes and I have all these different shadows. But yet, I notice that up here, I have this really clean area of the image. I'm going to use that.
Let's copy our background layer, Command+J on a Mac/Ctrl+J on a PC. We will just name this copy. Next, we are going to go ahead and make a selection. So select you Marquee tool, click on your Marquee tool there. I'm going to go and click and drag on this area of the image and then click on the Mask icon. So, so far what we have happening is I have a white rectangle, which is revealing this portion of the image. So that's all I see. What happens when if I unlink this? Click in the layer and then grab the Move tool by pressing the V key or clicking on it in the toolbox and then press my down arrow key. What I can see here is that I can bring down some of the good area of the image to that location.
Let's turn on our background layer so we can see what's happening. So almost looks as if I'm stretching this out but really what I'm doing is simply moving that portion of the image down. Well now that I'm moving that portion of the image down, I see I can actually use this, I think this is going to work. I could stop there, that would look pretty nice in regards to the composition and the overall image, yet I want to go further. And I'm going to go further in order to reveal a little of a problem. So I go to this point and I say I like this except that I have a few little problems. One is I've notice some repeating patterns. I can see a little divot there as well as right here. Then it gets darker on top. How then can I fix that? Let's merge this to a new layer. So we are going to click in our topmost layer and press Shift+Option+Command+E on a Mac/Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E on a PC, and we will name this merged.
Now that we have merged this together, we can use our good old friendly neighborhood, Patch tool. Now that's one of the only tool that you have to be actually on the layer. So now that I have this, I'm going to make nice good selection of this top area of the image. Again, I just have a nice, healthy selection there. I'll then click and drag to reposition this, paying attention to my alignment, let go and then go to Select > Deselect. Now let's take a look at how our seam looks. Well, gosh! That looks pretty perfect and it also has removed one of those divots so that's really nice.
Now the only other thing that I might want to do here is make a selection of another area of texture. In this case, I have this little bit of texture here and then see what happens if I drag this over to this portion of the image. See if I can get that to blend together. Let's go to Select > Deselect to see how that was. Here is our before and then our after. Go to Select > Deselect, so we can see again what's happening. Again I'm just trying to interrupt the pattern, get a little bit different type of grain in the mix. I can also mix it up by using some of my other tools like the Healing Brush.
I'll sample this area and paint down. I'll sample over here and paint to the right. I'll sample over here and paint to the left. And I'm just looking to try to get a little bit different texture because I don't want them to see that the texture is actually repeating them on. I want them to see how it would, and that there is quite a bit of variety. So let's look at our overall before and after. So here is our before and after; very believable, very good retouch, and all that we had to do is think about let's use what's there and then make that even better. Now keep in mind that you can take this even further.
Let's click in this topmost merged layer, where we have all of these merged together, and copy that layer. We will do that by pressing Command+J on Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC, and we are going to name this layer flip. And I'm going to flip this by selecting the Move tool. Command+T on a Mac/Ctrl+T on a PC to select the Free Transform option and then right-click and yup, you got it flipped horizontal. Now when I flip this, I'll then double -click to apply that. I now have two different versions of the image. Well now that I have two different versions of the images, I'm going to take this to a blend mode of Difference. And when I go to this Difference blend mode, I can start to see where my images are aligned or for that matter don't align. One of the things I noticed is that the straightness of these edges aren't quite on and in regards to my circle there, it's just a little bit off on that, but I'm going to get that pretty close, take it back to my blend mode of Normal.
So now I have my before and after. We can start to see how I brought that in, and here what I can actually do is click on the Add Layer Mask icon. It's filled with white. I'll grab my Gradient tool and click and drag. Now the thing with the Gradient tool is if it isn't right initially it's no big deal. All you need to do is invert that. Command+I on a Mac/Ctrl+I on a PC. And so what it taught me is I actually need to click and drag from the other direction. So I'm going to go ahead and do that and here again all that we are doing is looking to retouch out this portion of the image, and I can click and drag to make that extend even further.
Now at this point, are there some problems with the image? We will look at our before and after. Oh yeah! There are some few problems; we now have a scratch here and a scratch over here. We have a little bit of gusting on top, a little bit down below. But we can go under our Mask and really fix that up in order to clean it up. We also will need to say, is this a better image? Well in my case, when I get to this point I say, you know what, I like this really clean and simply but it isn't a better image so I'm going to turn that layer off. But all that I want to do is just to get you to begin to think about how you can use what's there in order to retouch your images and in order to arrive at some really compelling clean up work because here is what happens to a lot of people who are new to Photoshop.
They get so excited about the retouching tools, the Clone Stamp tool and the Healing Brush tool, that's all they use and while those tools are amazing, while those tools are really good, that's only half the battle. You want to use those tools in combination with other techniques like the one that we learned in this movie.
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