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I am going to make a very color tinted portrait, a very stylized color tinted portrait, inspired in a roundabout way by the cover artwork for Joni Mitchell's album Blue. So this is where I am aiming for. And here is our starting point. Step number one, I need to desaturate the image, and I am going to do this by choosing a Black & White adjustment layer. So we now have a Black & White version of this image. Then I'm going to tint it by clicking on the Tint checkbox and click on the Color Swatch to specify the color of the Tint that I want.
I am going to key in the numbers that I used in the final version, so we can get the same result. And those numbers are 24 Red, 61 Green 135 Blue. The problem I see with the image right now is that the Highlights are too bright. So I am going to add another adjustment layer, a Curves adjustment layer and to give the image most somber tone, I am going to flatten the Highlights.
By coming to my Curve I am going to bring the Highlights of the Curve down to output level 148. So you can see that's pretty flattened the highlights, especially on the face. If we zoom in, we no longer have quite the same hotspots on the faces we did before. But the highlights is still a bit too hot, so in the next step what I am going to do is now turn off my two adjustment layers, go to my background layer, and I'm now going to load the Luminance channel by holding down the Command or Ctrl key and Clicking on the RGB channel, the composite channel.
So this will load the bright pixels in the image as a selection, I am then going to copy that selection to a new layer, Command+J or Ctrl+J. And if we take a look at that layer by itself, that's how it looks. Now the purpose is this, is I am going to do two things here. My objective is I want to get rid of the pores on the cheek and soften the highlights on the nose. I am going to come to the Image menu and to Adjustments and first of all I am going to apply the Equalize adjustment.
And secondly, I'm going to go to Filter and apply a Blur to that layer, just a small amount of blurring to soften out the pores in the skin. Let's just backup, here's the before, here's the after, when we see that in the context of our Black & White and our Curves adjustment layer, this is how the image now looks.
I would like to do two more things. One is to deepen the shadows and the other is to brighten the midtones. So to do this I am going to show just the background layer in isolation by holding down the Option or Alt key and clicking on it's eyeball and then come to the Select menu and to Color Range, and I am going to choose first of all Shadows. That's a selection of all the shadow areas. I am then going to return to the background layer, Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy those shadows to a new layer and then I am going to change the Blending Mode of that new layer.
That's how the shadows look by them selves. I will turn on all of the layers that I have so far, let's name that layer and then change Blend Mode to Color Burn. That's going to make the shadows a lot deeper. Then, same procedure, but this time for the midtones, turn off all the layers that you have, so that we are looking at just the background layer so that we are sampling the midtown values from the original background layer.
Color Range > Midtones and Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy the midtown values to a separate layer, and now I am going to put the midtones above the shadows and just to be consistent, I am going to name that layer and then I am going to change the Blending Mode of the midtone layer to Color Dodge, which is going to lighten the midtones. Now that's lightening the midtones, perhaps too much, depending on how stylize we want this to be.
So I'm going to then reduce the Opacity of that layer to about 20%, and there is our finished version, here is what we started with. So we have two adjustment layers, one to desaturate and apply the Color Tint, the other to flatten the tonal values, and then three additional layers, one to deepen the shadows, one to brighten the midtones, and one to soften the skin.
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