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In Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6, Chris Orwig provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 6, the CS5 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate images in non-destructive and now even more efficient ways. This course covers the benefits of the raw processing, which makes it possible to more precisely control an image's appearance—exposure, shadow and highlight detail, color balance, sharpness, and more—including new workflow procedures and technical concepts and issues. Learn the entire Camera Raw workflow, from opening and resizing, toning and cropping, to sharpening and saving. Exercise files are included with the course.
There is nothing like landscape photography, and there's really nothing like a black-and-white landscape photograph. You know there is such a rich history and tradition with black-and-white landscape photography and even more of these images are just so intriguing to look at. All right. Well, let's take a look at how we can convert this black-and-white image to grayscale. Let's take a look at how we can do that by starting off in the HSL/Grayscale panel. Let's select this panel by pressing a shortcut: Command+Option+4 on a Mac, Ctrl+Alt+4 on Windows.
Next what we want to do is Convert to Grayscale. Now when we do that the image looks a little bit flat, not quite interesting enough. Well one of the things that we know we almost always need to do with landscape shots like this is we need to darken the sky. We need to add some drama up there. So I will go ahead and bring down our blues and also our aquas and already the image is really taking on a new life. Well the next thing we need to do is we want to work on the overall color of the field here. We can dial this in a couple of interesting ways.
I can focus in on that path, I can also brighten up some of the grasses there, and I can really come up with an interesting conversion. All right. Well at this state, the image is already coming to life in a new way. Next, let's go back to our basic panel. Here in the basic panel, I will add just a touch of Fill Light, little bit more Contrast just to build up this drama and then increase my Blacks just a bit more. Now one of the things that I want to do here is let's say that I actually want to brighten up the path even more. So in order to do that, we are going to use a tool that we've already talked about.
It's called the Adjustment Brush. Press the K key to select the tool, and then go ahead and click on this plus icon here in order to go to the preset for Exposure in the positive. Next, we want to choose Auto Mask on, and then we want a relatively low Flow and for our brush size, we want a size that's about as big as this little path area here. Now what I am going to do is simply click and paint across this path, and as I do that, I can brighten up this area of the image. Now the only downside in regards to using Auto Mask is that sometimes our edges look a little bit choppy.
So I am going to turn Auto Mask off, either by clicking here or by pressing the M key. Press the left bracket key to make my brush a touch smaller and then just around the edges, I am going to look to try to paint in a bit to soften things up a little bit. Well I liked that it limited my adjustment to that area. I am noticing that there are few areas that are just a touch too choppy. So I want to go ahead and make just a couple of changes in those areas in order to modify that. All right. Well now that I have these Brighten affect dialed in, it is definitely too bright.
But that's okay. You know sometimes what you want to do is overdo your adjustment with this tool in order to see the edges and then next, lower it down until you find just the right sweet spot for your photograph. Here I will go ahead and just click and drag this back, add a bit of contrast in this area as well, little bit of clarity and also a little bit of sharpness just to add a bit of snap to that area. All right. Well to look at my before and after with this Adjustment Brush that we've applied here, we can click on the P key or simply press the Preview button.
Here is our before, and now here is our after, something which is leaning the viewer into the frame in a completely unique and distinct way. All right. Well, I will go ahead and just lower this Exposure down just a little bit more. I think it was just a touch too strong. Next, I want to go back to my HSL controls. In order to do that, I will go ahead and press the Z key, and it will take me to my Zoom tool, or in other words, it will exit me out of that Adjustment Brush adjustment that I have just made. Well now here, we will go back to our HSL controls, and now that we've worked on this image a little bit more, I just want to change things up a touch more and in particular I want to darken up the grass there.
Again, I am going for the dramatic view. All right. Well, perfect. I'm really liking this black-and-white conversion. It's completely different than just the default or auto settings, and we've really built this up nicely. Now the last thing that we want to do, of course, is double-click the Zoom tool. When we do that we want to press the Spacebar key, and we want to pan around our image. I want to take a look at the image and see if we see any noisy areas. Now one of the things that I'm noticing is there is a little bit noise in this image in regards to how we converted this.
So what I might want to do here is go to my Detail panel. In the Detail panel, we will go ahead and add a little bit Noise Reduction regards the Luminance value, in details there or very low detail amount. Then I will also increase our Color Detail Noise Reduction as well and then reduce those details as needed. Again, you want to look at your image of course and evaluate what you're seeing there. And a lot of these little subtleties are going to be tricky to see when this movie is actually compressed. Here on my monitor, I can see them really nicely, and they are looking good. I want to add just a touch of sharpening here, little bit higher Amount, lower Radius.
Next I will double-click the Hand tool. That will take this image so that the entirety of the image fits in the view of Adobe Camera Raw. Now we have completed a pretty good black-and-white conversion. So as you can see, you can really use these HSL controls as a great starting point from which you can build pretty stunning and pretty compelling black-and-white images.
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