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Creating an edgy muted and contrast look

From: Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

Video: Creating an edgy muted and contrast look

With this photograph, I want to share with you a technique that you can use to create a muted or edgy type of look to your photographs. Now this particular technique is incredibly easy, yet nonetheless it can help you come up with some really intriguing results. Well, here you can see that this fashion photograph was captured at the beach. And in our Layers panel, we have two layers: the original file as captured, and then the image after some retouching. Now we talked about the retouching and how to do that in one of my other training titles on fashion retouching.

Creating an edgy muted and contrast look

With this photograph, I want to share with you a technique that you can use to create a muted or edgy type of look to your photographs. Now this particular technique is incredibly easy, yet nonetheless it can help you come up with some really intriguing results. Well, here you can see that this fashion photograph was captured at the beach. And in our Layers panel, we have two layers: the original file as captured, and then the image after some retouching. Now we talked about the retouching and how to do that in one of my other training titles on fashion retouching.

Yet here, what I want to focus in on is this color effect. So in order to add this affect, all that you need to do is to click on your Adjustment layer icon for Hue/ Saturation in order to create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment. Next, we're going to go ahead and desaturate the image. So we'll lower the Saturation here. Then we're going to change our Blending mode to Soft Light. Now once we use that Soft Light Blending mode, what it will do is it will blend in this Desaturation effect into the color image.

The ending result will be this really distinct look. Check it out. Here we have that before and then the after. Notice this effect works great, whether you're photographing clouds, or people, or landscapes or products. It can just give your image that distinct or interesting aesthetic. Now one of the ways that we can push this even further is by using the Overlay Blending mode. You can think of Overlay as applying what Soft Light does, just with a little bit more intensity. So here you can see the images even a little bit more bleached out.

Here we have that before, and then after. Yet with Overlay, one of things that we can see, which is even more problematic is the black detail in the hair. We've completely lost this. Now for a stylistic effect that could be kind of interesting. But let's say that the client says, you know what, we need more detail in the hair. Well, no big deal. All that you need to do is apply some advanced blending to this adjustment layer. To do that, simply double-click the layer. So you want to double-click it away from the layer name, and also away from the mask thumbnail.

When we double-click the layer name, this opens up our layer Style dialog. Well here, we can work on this layer. If we click and drag up this black point here, you can see that I can bring detail back into the hair. We can now see that in the background over there. Look at the before and after, focusing on the hair there. There is the before, and there is the after. Well, the downside of using this control is that a lot of times it makes the edge really jagged. We can correct that. In order do that, hold down Option or Alt, and simply click and drag these sliders to split those sliders.

This creates a transition or diffusion between how it's bringing back this detail here. Well, now we can click on our Preview. There is before, and there is after, bringing back a little bit of detail into those areas. Now many times, bringing back detail like that's really important if this image is going to be printed. So we have some detail there, so that those blacks don't become completely blocked up. Now how far you go with this of course is up to you. You get to make the decision, in regards to how much detail you need. In my case, I'm going to lower this down just a little bit here, in order to have a little bit less detail.

Then go ahead and click OK. Well, now here we can see the before and after. There is before, and there is after, a pretty distinct look and aesthetic. Again, if you want something a little more subtle, you could always lower the Opacity, or you could try Soft Light. Soft Light will give you nonetheless an interesting look, but not quite so intense. Here is our before, and then after.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects
Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

91 video lessons · 32775 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 25m 0s
    1. Removing an object from its background
      2m 56s
    2. Creating and modifying a shadow
      3m 13s
    3. Modifying a directional shadow
      5m 30s
    4. Removing a model from a white background
      2m 46s
    5. Building a false context
      2m 7s
    6. Adding and modifying shadows
      8m 28s
  3. 22m 42s
    1. Adding illumination to create a glow from within
      4m 10s
    2. Adding light with curves and masking
      3m 43s
    3. Adding light for emphasis
      3m 42s
    4. Improving black-and-white images with curves and masking
      3m 26s
    5. Using Shadow/Highlights to improve exposure
      3m 42s
    6. Correcting an overly backlit photograph
      3m 59s
  4. 28m 12s
    1. Improving sunset colors with color balance
      3m 20s
    2. Using color balance and masking to enhance color
      2m 36s
    3. Creating new and vivid colors
      2m 15s
    4. Using curves, color balance, and blending for best results
      3m 21s
    5. Enhancing colors
      3m 32s
    6. Saturating and desaturating colors for emphasis
      1m 56s
    7. Adding color without increasing contrast
      3m 0s
    8. Improving the impact of color with curves and color balance
      8m 12s
  5. 38m 41s
    1. Creating stunning color with Hue/Saturation and color balance
      6m 16s
    2. Creating an edgy muted and contrast look
      3m 40s
    3. Reducing color for impact
      5m 41s
    4. Enhancing color and creating color variations
      7m 29s
    5. Using Apply Image to create interesting results
      3m 29s
    6. Combining HDR toning with color effects
      5m 52s
    7. Making adjustments with Selective Color
      6m 14s
  6. 34m 23s
    1. Introducing the HDR Toning feature
      4m 44s
    2. Using layer masks and blending with HDR toning
      6m 3s
    3. HDR toning creative effect
      7m 14s
    4. Enhancing a photograph with HDR for black-and-white conversion
      6m 16s
    5. Creating a high key color effect
      5m 52s
    6. Getting an HDR-like effect with the High Pass filter
      4m 14s
  7. 26m 33s
    1. Basic infrared conversion
      5m 50s
    2. Working with infrared presets
      5m 30s
    3. Combining infrared and HDR toning
      7m 41s
    4. Creating infrared with contrast and sharpness
      7m 32s
  8. 16m 17s
    1. Using adjustment layers to create solarization
      2m 56s
    2. Adding creative color and a blur effect
      5m 20s
    3. Experimenting with gradient color and solarization
      2m 44s
    4. Creating a golden solarized effect
      5m 17s
  9. 18m 41s
    1. Creating soft focus with filters and blending
      2m 20s
    2. Using Smart Filters to create soft focus
      2m 15s
    3. Using soft focus without sacrificing color and contrast
      3m 58s
    4. Applying soft focus to skin
      5m 42s
    5. Creating a desaturated soft focus effect
      4m 26s
  10. 17m 52s
    1. Adding grain with Adobe Camera Raw
      6m 24s
    2. Adding grain with the Noise filter
      5m 24s
    3. Adding grain with the Film Grain filter
      6m 4s
  11. 37m 24s
    1. Modifying tone and converting to black and white
      4m 38s
    2. Adding texture with a grocery bag
      9m 38s
    3. Making an image sepia toned
      3m 13s
    4. Adding texture in three different ways
      5m 48s
    5. Adding a subtle vintage color effect
      4m 10s
    6. Creating a vintage color effect
      4m 43s
    7. Creative texture blending
      5m 14s
  12. 23m 37s
    1. Deconstructing the lens blur effect
      6m 23s
    2. The lens blur effect in action
      4m 13s
    3. Applying lens blur with a mask
      4m 49s
    4. Using lens blur in portraits
      3m 25s
    5. Desert fashion project
      4m 47s
  13. 23m 0s
    1. Applying motion blur
      4m 39s
    2. Creating radial zoom blur
      4m 27s
    3. Working with motion blur and masking
      6m 14s
    4. Getting creative with the Radial, Motion, and Lens Flare filters
      3m 21s
    5. Adding color and emphasis
      4m 19s
  14. 18m 15s
    1. Adding graffiti on a single plane
      4m 17s
    2. Adding reflections on multiple planes
      3m 0s
    3. Using Free Transform to create a vanishing point perspective, pt. 1
      4m 46s
    4. Using Free Transform to create a vanishing point perspective, pt. 2
      6m 12s
  15. 17m 40s
    1. Cropping with Abode Camera Raw
      4m 32s
    2. Enhancing the sunrise colors
      5m 18s
    3. Modifying the color and tone of the mountains
      7m 50s
  16. 33m 18s
    1. Hand-painting a border or an edge
      5m 39s
    2. Adding a prebuilt edge
      4m 28s
    3. Working with a real film edge
      7m 57s
    4. Introducing the PhotoFrame plug-in
      5m 21s
    5. Using the PhotoFrame plug-in, pt. 1
      4m 11s
    6. Using the PhotoFrame plug-in, pt. 2
      5m 42s
  17. 41m 48s
    1. Changing color with onOne PhotoTools
      5m 43s
    2. Modifying focus with onOne Focal Point
      3m 56s
    3. Hand painting focus with onOne FocalPoint
      3m 9s
    4. Enhancing color with Nik Color Efex Pro
      9m 27s
    5. Actualizing your vision with Nik Color Efex Pro
      8m 39s
    6. Converting to black and white with Nik Silver Efex Pro
      5m 33s
    7. More black and white options with Nik Silver Efex Pro
      5m 21s
  18. 12m 39s
    1. Finding and installing custom brushes
      4m 33s
    2. Custom brush creativity
      8m 6s
  19. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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