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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 the previous movie we saw how we can begin to make a selection based on Color Range. Now a lot of times what happens is when you first see that's a little bit foggy. So what we are going to do in this movie is take a look at another image and we are going to look at how we can use Color Range create yet another mask. We'll be working on this file call.psd, so go ahead and open that one up in Photoshop and let's take this image to Full Screen View mode. Also as a quick side note, if you well, okay, I got this. I understand how to make a selection based on color range; feel free to skip ahead in the next movie. All right, we'll first start this, I have this image and here is what we are going to do. We are going to go ahead and add an Adjustments layer, we are going to click on the Hue/Saturation adjustment icon and we are going to click-and-drag this one way.
I'm going to go ahead and click-and- drag this so that the sign is nice and green. Now I'm not too worried about the background, because I'm going to mask that out. All right, well, now that I have created this adjustment layer, all adjustment layers come with a pre- built or a built-in mask. The mask is currently white. Well, how can we refine this mask or how can we make this mask more intelligent? Well, we'll go over to the Masks panel. Now that one on the Masks panel, we are going to choose Color Range. Now once we choose Color Range, we see the color image once again. We can either view a selection or the image. Now in my opinion the image typically works best although it's going to be different on each file.
Next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to click in this blue area. Now once I click in that blue area I can start to see that I'm able to begin to select the blue. Next thing we need to do is to click on the Eyedropper with the plus icon and then add to that blue. We want to slowly make this selection and build this up. Now it's hard to actually get all of the blue. How can we zoom in to get that? Well, Command+Plus on a Mac/Ctrl++ on a PC. I'm going to zoom away in here and I'm going to get into the small little details, just to make sure that I'm selecting all of the blue even all of the little blue fringing that we see here and the blue scratches. I'm going to go ahead and click all these small little areas and make my way around this.
Get those edges out. That looks pretty good. Here is a little area I need to sample. And again all these small detail actually really matter, if we are going to build the mask, we minus, we'll build a mask that's good. Hey! There is some blue that I missed up top. All right, well, so far so good. I think that looks nice, Command+Minus on a Mac, Ctrl+- on a PC to zoom out. We can also look at this by way of selection and here is one of the things that I m seeing this is that I have this sign, a really nice selection although I have also selected or I have also effected a portion of the wall. So we are going to need to fix that up, but we'll fix that up in a few minutes. So let's go ahead and click OK to apply that and we then let's zoom out so we can see our image. Press Command+ Minus on a Mac/Ctrl+- on a PC.
When I turn this layer on and off I see, you know what great. I'm definitely affecting the sign. I can now control the colors of the sign, yet I'm also affecting the background around here. So here is what I need to do. So I'll go ahead and grab my Rectangular Marquee tool, I'm going to make a pretty rough rectangular selection here and just going to make a selection around the sign. I'm just interested in trying to get as close to the sign as possible without getting too much of that wall selected. Well, now that I have that selection, I need to invert the selection and I'll do that by navigating to Select and choose Inverse. So now what I have selected is everything but the sign right. Okay, well great. I'm going to then fill that area with black. I'm in the mask here. I notice that I have black, I'll go ahead and set this back to their default. I have black in the foreground color and the shortcut to fill with foreground is Option+Delete on a Mac/Alt+Delete on a PC.
All right, well, that just cleaned everything up for us. So now we are really certain we are just focusing in on the sign itself. Okay, next step is to navigate to Select and choose Deselect. All right, well so far so good, we see that we have our before and after. And the nice thing about this is we can use this in some really unique ways. Check this out. I can double-click this here and I can reopen up Hue/Saturation and I can change the color even further so I'll go ahead and change it this way and now I have this red sign on this green background. So as you can see, creating a mask using Color Range gives you the ability to sample colors in your images and target real specific areas. You saw how I zoomed in, I got the small little detail so this is going to look perfect when I print it and I'm able to zero in on those areas and make changes.
Now some of you are thinking okay, that's really interesting but I'm never going to make a blue sign red, that's just not something that I do that's not something I'm interested in. Well keep in mind it's not all about changing color. I'm just trying to show you with color, because that's one of the more visual or more easy to understand adjustments that we can make. If we go back to our different adjustments we notice we have a number of different adjustments for color, for tone and for different effects. So we can use this Color Range Mask on a number of different adjustments. We can also use this with almost any other technique that we can find inside Photoshop.
All right, well, I hope that these last two movies has helped you start to understand how you can begin to use Masking and Color Range together in order to create some pretty compelling results. Well, there are other times when we want to create a mask and we don't want to use Color Range at all and we'll look at a few of those examples in the next couple of movies.
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