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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 this movie, we are going to start off by working on these two images here. You can find them in the 11_camera_raw folder, subfolder resources. Click on one of those bad boys, shift-click on another, Command+R on a Mac/Ctrl+R on a PC, it will open those images, those files up inside of Adobe Camera Raw. All right, let's go ahead and click on the HSL/Grayscale tab. Now, we have a number of different options here, and just to quickly point out some of them, we can modify the Hue in our image. So, let's say, I want to modify the reds, so I can shift those to be more magenta or to be more orange.
And you can think of the Hue as giving you the ability to just shift colors. Your oranges can become more red or yellow; your yellows can become more orange or green. So what it is that is simply just pushing color one way or another. Well, I just want to talk about that while we are here, it's not necessarily important to Grayscale conversion. What is important is this Luminance Tab. Now the Luminance gives us the ability to control the overall brightness or darkness of tones, in this case I'm darkening these tones. Let's click on this next side colors.jpeg in the Luminance slider. This time let's brighten these overall tones and you can see I'm just going down the line.
The reason I have two files here is sometimes it's more helpful to look at it in a linear fashion, other times a color_wheel makes more sense. Again, it's just two ways to show the same thing but here you can see that I can really control the different luminance values. I'll click on Default to bring this back. Let's say I have a blue sky, I want to darken. I could then darken it by decreasing the Blue's luminance amount. Well, in this case the image is still in color, what about if we convert it to gray scale? We will click on Convert to Grayscale and now let's go ahead and decrease those blues, so now I have a nice deep dark blue sky right.
So, now in my black and white conversion, what used to be blue is now nice, deep and dark. Okay, well let's apply this knowledge to an image. Hit Cancel here, hit Cancel here and apply this to all the images sure. Navigate back to the camera_raw folder and click on this image here antelope_valley.CR2. Press command R on a Mac/Ctrl R on a PC. We are going to jump right over to that HSL/Grayscale tab, Convert to Grayscale. Okay, well that initial conversion is not very exciting, but I want to make it exciting. So, here is what I'm going to do, I want to darken the sky, right? Because we just learned about that, that those Blues are now becoming much more dramatic, some Aquas in there as well, check my purples; those aren't effecting really anything, a little bit in the high area of the sky there, so I'll bring those down.
Okay, great. So far so far good. Now what about this area in here? Well, I can change this as well; I'm just going to see if my Reds are in there, Oranges though will give me nice detail. That's exactly what I want, right? I want to bring out some of the light on that path because this is really all about the path, isn't it? So you can see where we are able to push this image pretty far here, a little bit more brightness in the field there, because we have some yellow and green grass, darken it up and building up a little bit of drama. Now that black and white conversion is compelling, it's intriguing, it's engaging. Now, I couldn't have created this unless I took advantage of the HSL/Grayscale slider.
The last thing that I want to do here just for the fun of it is navigate to our Lens Corrections, I'm going to add a little bit of Vignetting, I want to darken my corners, just a little bit more drama there. Then navigate back to the basic Tab here and I'll bring in a little bit of Fill Light, increase the overall Exposure, Recovery just a touch, and increase Contrast a little bit, a little bit of Clarity and bring my Blacks back just a little bit there. And I think, that looks pretty good and again we couldn't have created such a compelling black and white conversion without those camera_raw sliders and also keep in mind that it's always a combination of different sliders. What I'm trying to illustrate here, is what I need to do is Convert to Grayscale, then I add a little bit of Vignetting, when I did that I darkened the image, so I need to go back to my Basic options here and then I need to modify those a little bit.
So there is some give and take when you are converting to Grayscale. There is no one way to convert to Grayscale; rather it's a combination of these different controls together that leads to the best results.
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