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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.
Welcome back. In this movie, what I want to focus-in on is the snow. Now, a lot of times when you photograph snow, it's tricky, right, because the snow is so reflective. So I want to bring back some details into the snow. How can I select that? Well, a couple of different techniques that we can use. I can use a Quick Select tool, and I can make sure I'm in the background layer, nice small tool. I'm going to go ahead and just paint around these little areas of snow, great. So now, I have a pretty decent selection of the snow there. I'm going to then create a new adjustment layer; I'll click on the Adjustment Layer icon and choose Curves. Now, with curves, all that I'm interested in doing is just darkening this area a little bit. I'll make it real drastic, so we can see what's happening. Now I'm darkening the area. I also want to bring down the whites a little bit.
So I'm going to go ahead and bring some detail into those tones. Now, one of the things that's happening is I have this big color shift. I'll make it even more pronounced. I'll add a little bit of a red hue to that. Now, I don't want that color shift, do I? I also don't want these real harsh edges. Okay. Well, let's click in the Mask and navigate to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. We want to blur out our mask a little bit, Zoom-out a touch here. That was a little bit too strong, right. We just want to soften those edges, so it transitions out. Okay, well that looks pretty decent there, click OK. Next thing that we want to do is we want to take this to a blend mode of good old Luminosity. I want to take it to a blend mode of Luminosity; we are losing that huge color shift there. So we will then go back to the Curves adjustment.
We don't need that red channel anymore. Go back to the RGB Composite View mode and what I'm interested in doing is bringing this one up a little bit. I just taken it down, so we could see the edges there, and make sure that's going in a good direction. Now, here is my before and after and that image will print much better because we have darken some of these brighter tones. All right, well the next thing that I want to do, click in the background. I'm going to go ahead and make a quick selection of these mountain rocks right here and the shadow on that area. Next, I'll click on the Adjustment Layer icon for Curves. I'll go ahead and brighten that area up. So I want to bring in a little bit more detail to that area.
Now, that I have that nice selection, I'm going to hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC, Command-click to activate that, click on the Curves Adjustment Layer icon and now I'm going to add a little bit of contrast back to the area that I just worked on. So we have two layers, right. We have one. That was a brightness, then the other one to add a little contrast back to it. Overall, here is our before and then after. So again, just a little bit of brightening and then a little bit of contrast and we can see we have both of those layers. Next, I'll lower the opacity just to modify this a bit. I like to back things off, just a touch there. And then we have our before and after in regards to that portion of the image. All right, well so far so good. We have worked on a few different aspects of this photo.
The next thing that I want to do is, work on the overall color and tone. So I'll click on the topmost layer, and here I'm going to click on the Adjustment Layer for Curves. Once again, I'm going to go down to my blue, yellow channel and I'm interested in cooling this entire image off. Now, when I do that increase the blues it looks a little purple. So I'm going to then go to my red cyan. So what I need to do here, add some cyan because if we want a nice deep blue, we need that cyan color in the image. Okay, well let's look at our before and after. Here is before and after, very different experience, much colder day in this case. Now, how cool do we want it to be, well, that depends.
We can lower the opacity and just diminish that a bit. So then we get a little bit of that frigidity, just not quite as much. I'll lower that even a touch more. I just want to have that real early morning cool look to the image. Let's double-click Adjustments, look at our overall before and after, and we will do that by pressing the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC, and then clicking on the Eye icon of our background layer. Here is before. Here is after. Again, click before and after. Some pretty simple improvements to this photograph, yet even more importantly, some really important techniques that you can use, the overall tone of your photograph as well as in that final step, modify the color. On that note, we finish our work on this image.
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