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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
In this image I want to select not only the window frame, but also the little archway above it, so that I can darken it down a little bit and make it look like the window and the archway are receding back into that brick wall. Now in order to do this I'm going to use a combination of both the Elliptical Marquee tool as well as the Rectangular Marquee tool. I think I'll go ahead and start with the Elliptical Marquee tool and I'm going to pretend that there's a straight line going right across the top of this arch here, as well, there's a straight-line sticking right up from the edge of the window and that's where I'm going to start dragging the point of origin for my Elliptical Marquee tool.
And notice as I drag that out, I've got it pretty well on top of the arch. Now I might want to make a slight change to this. In order to change your point of origin while you're dragging out your selection, as long as your mouse is still down you can hold down the Spacebar and actually change where the selection is. So, I'm just going to scoot it over just to wee bit to the left there, then I will let go of the Spacebar and then I can continue dragging.
So, you can see that just by holding the spacebar, that's going to help you to change the point of origin from which you can start your selection. Now if the selection went too far and it was overlapping the brick area, I would change to the Marquee tool, and in fact, I'm going to do that anyway, because I want to add the rest of this window frame to this selection. In order to do that I need to make sure that I have the second icon selected, that's the Add to Selection, and then I will click right on top of these marching ants here and drag down in order to select the window frame.
Again, if I didn't start the selection in the right place, I can hold down that Spacebar while I'm still drawing the selection, align it properly, let go of the Spacebar and then continue dragging or refining out the selection on the right-hand side. All right, so now we've got the window as well as the arch selected, but I don't actually want each individual windowpane selected. So, there are two different ways that I could subtract each one of those panes. I could grab the Rectangle Marquee tool and change the option to Subtract From, and then I could subtract all of these, 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12 window frames, but there is actually an easier way to do this.
I'm going to subtract all of the panes at once using the Marquee tool set to the Subtract From and then I'm going to add back in all of the dividers by clicking on the Add to, and then just dragging really small selections. Again, if I need to, I can hold down that Spacebar if I didn't start at the right spot, click and drag again, and one more time for the horizontal line, and then all I have to do is drag the two for the vertical lines and I will have all of those windowpanes removed from my selection.
Now that I have this selection, I know that we haven't really talked much about Adjustment layers, but I'm going to add the first adjustment layer, which is Brightness and Contrast Effect. As soon as I click this icon in my Adjustment panel, Photoshop will automatically add the adjustment, but the marching ants are gone and that's because Photoshop turned that selection into a mask, and we'll talk more about masks in a minute. I just wanted to show you that if I do decrease the brightness of this area, you can see that it looks like the window, as well as the arch on top of it, looks like it's actually recessed back into the wall.
So you see that it helps to look at the area that you want to select and sort of break it down into its basic shapes that way you can use a combination of the selection tools like the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tool in Photoshop in order to make what initially looks like a complex selection, but in fact is just made up of a few simple shapes.
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