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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 the previous movie, we have talked about applying the High Pass Filter to a black and white image. In this movie, we are going to look at how we can apply that filter to a color image. Now you maybe thinking okay, what's the big deal? I don't need to watch this movie. I already know about High Pass. Well you don't know everything that you need to know and there are a few particular steps that we needed to take when we are working with color images. Let's go ahead and double-click the file corwig_spaz.psd. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode and then double-click the Zoom tool to take this image to 100% and here we have this orange iguana. Really fascinating looking creature here.
What I want to do is sharpen this file. So we will go ahead and click in our background layer. Now are we going to convert this to smart filters? No. Press Command+G on a Mac/Ctrl+G on a PC and we will name this new layer Sharpen. Next, we are going to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu. We are going to Other and then choose High Pass. Now what we are looking to do here is to just to create a nice silhouette. One of the things that I notice is even when I have a real low kind of silhouette or outline of the image, I still see some color in it. Let's click OK and then let's zoom way in. So I'll grab my Zoom tool and click and hold, I want to zoom way in here and again you can see there is a little bit of a color coming through on this particular layer.
Now that's one of the problems when you are using this high pass filter on colored images. So here is what we need to do. We need to press Command+U on a Mac Ctrl+U on a PC or go to Image > Adjustments and choose Hue/Saturation and then desaturate. Now before I desaturate, I'm going to increase the saturation just to illustrate that there is a ton of color in this layer. Now we want to remove that color, so that our sharpening does not exaggerate any color problems, especially color noise. So I'm going to go ahead and choose Desaturate there and click OK. Now here is my before and after. Before and then after. Pretty difficult to see, maybe if I zoom-in even further, before, there we go. We can the color now, and then after. Much better.
Now I can go ahead and apply my final blend mode, which is going to be Overlay or Soft Light. There is Overlay, a little bit more intense, and then Soft Light, a little bit more back down and we can see the difference there. Let's move to the eye because that's the important part of this image. There is our before Soft Light, Overlay after, a little bit more intense. Now I'll double-click the Zoom tool, do the same thing. Compare those two blend modes, see how they look and you know what, in this case, I think that Soft Light blend mode will work really well. Now press and hold the renegade shortcut key, the rebel shortcut key. It's the Alt key on a PC. You want to do something alternative. Or the Option key on a Mac, you want to have a different option. And then click on the Add Layer Mask icon. That will fill your layer mask with black. Press B on the keyboard to grab your Brush tool and then you want to paint with white. So I'll press the X key to flip those two, so I have white in the foreground color and here I'm simply going to paint in the sharpening to few areas of the image.
Lot of sharpening around the eye there, a little bit in the face, in the mouth, just a touch and then now we have our before and after. Zoom in so you can see the results, before and after and at this stage we have successfully sharpened this photograph and as quick side note. When you are applying this High Pass Filter to your color images, you don't want to convert it to smart object because you don't have the ability then to remove the color from the layer as we did here and removing the color from the layer will make your sharpening that much better.
So be sure to copy the layer and then desaturate it and then finally choose your blend mode and then mask in the areas that you want to sharpen.
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