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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
All right now that you've seen Hue/Saturation and its Colorize check box I want to show you a quick and dirty way to assemble a Sepia tone. Now I already shared the recipe with you in the previous exercise but I think it helps to see it in practice on a photographic image, plus I'll pass along a really great keyboard shortcut that I created for you, and we'll also add a Brightness/Contrast layer to finish off the effect. So here I am working inside one of the corrected images of the boys. It's called Variations edit.jpg. Now I want you to see, if you go to the Image menu and you choose Adjustments, the Hue/Saturation command which is the static version of the function that actually goes in and permanently changes the colors of pixels has a long standing keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+U or Command+U on the Mac.
I've gone ahead and taken these key color adjustment features and added Shift to those keyboard shortcuts in order to create Adjustment layers. So in other words you press Ctrl+Shift+U or Command+Shift+U to create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer, provided that you loaded my dekeKeys shortcuts. Now that keyboard shortcut is by default assigned to de-saturate that is Ctrl+Shift+U or Command+Shift+U. I just never use this function. That's what I found over time. It's not the best way to get rid of the saturation of an image, notice what it does, if you choose a command, it just converts it to black-and-white, jus like that.
And there are way better ways to work. There's actually a black-and- white function inside of Photoshop. So I'm going to go ahead and undo that change, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and you can see if you go to the layer menu, again for those of you who loaded dekeKeys, go to the layer menu, choose New Adjustment layer which is another way to create adjustment layers inside the program and you'll see that Hue/Saturation has that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+U, Command+Shift+U on the Mac. All right, so let's use it, if only so you can see how really easy it is. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Shift+U, Command+Shift+U on the Mac and that not only brings up the Adjustments panel.
It also brings up the New layer dialog box, so I can name this layer, and I'll call it sepiatone, and then I'll click OK and bang, we've got a new adjustment layer that quickly. So I really value that keyboard shortcut, I hope you do to. I'm going to turn on the Colorize check box, and then I'm going to take the Hue value up for starters to 30. I was showing you 40 in the previous exercise. That's actually a great number, but 30 is a good starting point because it's a nice orange and you can work from there, and you can decide if you want a lot of saturation, which I doubt very much you do, or if you want a low saturation image.
Now I'm going to take this Saturation value to about 20 in this case and Hue is still active for me. At this point I can now decide, you know what, I want to yellow the image up a little bit, so I'll press Shift+Up Arrow to take this value to 40, and I end up getting a really nice Sepia Tone. Now at this point it doesn't have a lot of contrast, I would like to have a higher impact version of this image so that's where Brightness/Contrast comes in. Now to make a Brightness/Contrast layer at this stage in the game, what you need to do is return back to your Adjustment layer list, and you do that by dropping down to the bottom-left corner of the Adjustments panel to this arrow right there, click on it, and then you can see your list of Adjustment layers as opposed to the options that are associated with the selected layer.
Now I want you to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on Brightness/Contrast. That brings up the New layer dialog box. Let's go ahead and call it high impact, and then click OK, and make sure Use Legacy is turned off. That's very important for this effect, and then take the Contrast value up pretty high, I'm pressing Shift+Up Arrow several times in a row there to raise that value to 50 which I think looks pretty nice, and then I'm going to press Shift+Tab to back up to the Brightness value and press Shift+Down Arrow to darken it just ever so slightly.
Now a note about heaping adjustment layers on top of each other like this. It's perfectly acceptable to do, so long as you try to avoid duplicating the efforts of another layer. For example inside the sepiatone layer here all we did was change Hue and Saturation which are color components. We didn't do anything to the Luminosity so the Lightness value is still zero. Meanwhile the Brightness/Contrast layer only affects Luminosity, it doesn't affect Hue or Saturation or Color, so these two layers work beautifully with each other and that's it.
That's the final effect. Now a word to the wise here, this is not necessarily the best way to create a Sepia Tone inside a Photoshop. There are two really great functions. I'll go ahead and return to the Adjustments list here. One is black and white and the other is this guy right here Gradient Map and we're going to be discussing both of these features with links in the future chapters, but they both involve more effort. For a quick and dirty effect you just can't get more simple than Hue/Saturation with Colorize and Brightness/Contrast together working inside your image.
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