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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.
Select the file hawai_sammy_olsen.psd and then double-click it to open it up in Photoshop, press F to go to Full Screen View mode and then Spacebar to reposition your image. Now here you can see we have a document with two separate layers, I have the Background layer, the original photo. Then on top of it I have this black and white or desaturated version of the same exact photo. Well here is what we are going to do; we are going to click into this top black and white layer. Next, we are going to select the Elliptical Marquee and we are going to do that by clicking on the Marquee tool and then choosing Elliptical Marquee, as a quick sign out you can also press M and then Shift+M to select this tool as well. All right, well, now that I have this, I'm going to click and expand this across an area of the image.
Now the nice thing about this tool is if you click-and-drag it you'll notice that it's anchored to that first spot where you clicked. Well' if you click-and-drag and then press the Spacebar, you can then reposition that selection and then let go the Spacebar. Never let go your mouse button but continually press that Spacebar, reposition and then move with your mouse drag to change the size until you find the exact spot where you want it, okay, well perfect. Well, now that I have this area selected, I'm going to go ahead and click on the icon to add a Layer Mask. Now there are couple of different ways that you can add a Layer Mask. I can either click on the icon at the bottom of the Layers palette or I can open up the Mask panel. So I'm going to go ahead and open up the Mask panel here and we will find a very similar icon, it does the same exact thing except now, see there is a little plus (+) sign in. I'll click that icon. Now when I do that you can see that I have a mask down here; I have a black and white mask.
Now white reveals and black conceals, so let's turn off the visibility of this Background layer. So what I'm seeing here is white is allowing me to see this particular area of the image. Now what would happen if I would invert this layer and I can do that a couple of different ways the easiest is to click on this Invert icon here. Well, now white reveals the black and white image; all around the edges and the concealed area is this portion of the image in the middle, kind of interesting isn't it? So again we can begin to see how this operates or works like a stencil.
Well, then let's go ahead and click on the Background layer. Well, now when I click on the Background layer, I have that effect that we had before where I have the middle area in color, and the black and white area is all around this middle area. All right, well let's say that I want to modify this mask. Well you click on the mask and you can see that the mask is targeted, because you have these brackets around it. On the other hand, if I click on the image, you see the brackets arround the image. So go ahead and click in the mask, I'm going to grab my Brush tool. In this case, I'm going to go ahead and make my brush smaller by pressing the left bracket key and I'm going to paint with white. Now when I paint with white, what I'm doing is I'm revealing in this case revealing more black and white on my image.
Now on the other hand, I'll go ahead and make my brush nice and big. This time I'm going to paint with black so I'll change my color here by clicking on the switch foreground and background color button. And now when I paint with black; we can see what's happening right, let's click off the Background layer so we can actually see what's going on here. In this case I'm saying, I don't want any of these images to show up or any portions of this image to show up. And now when I click on the visibility for the Background layer, I can then see that the only part of the background image that I'm able to see is this middle area and the reason that is, is because I have cut out this area so to be, this is the blocked area, because that's black. And I'm able to see underneath that layer to whatever is underneath it.
Now keep in mind I'm not expecting you to comprehend masking in this entirety right now. All I'm trying to do is introduce a topic. We have a handful of more movies where we are going to really dig into the topic of masking. So again if this is a little bit blurry, stick with me. I think it will become clear by the end of this chapter.
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