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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 this movie, we will be working on the file shaun_tomson.dng. You can find it in the Chapter 11_camera_raw folder. Let's go and open this one up in Camera Raw by pressing Command+R on a Mac/Ctrl+ R on a PC. Now this is a portrait that I took of one of my all time favorite surfers. This guy is a world champion; he's just a legend. This guy is absolutely amazing. And I like this portrait. I like his expression. Yet I want to make this image even better. So I want to show you a couple of different things that you can do. Now, for starters, what we are going to do is we are going to jump over to the Lens Corrections option here. Then, I'm going to add a little of a lens correction vignette. Now when I do this and I decrease the midpoint, you see that what's happening is it's darkening the edges of the image. Now I kind of like that because what it's doing is it's focusing the viewer in on the image itself. Now one of the things a lot of times that happens is when you do this darkening, it actually is darkening the overall image because you are adding more density to the image.
So I need to go back to my basic controls. Now here I'm going to increase the exposure a touch, bring some fill light into this side of the face, little bit of contrast there, little bit of brightness. I'm liking that. So far so good. Here is our before, here is our after. Subtle yet significant. Yet, as I'm evaluating this image, I'm thinking, you know what? There is just too much headroom. There is too much space above his head here. So I'll grab the Crop tool. Shortcut key is C key or I can simply click on it and then you click and drag across the image. Well, now what I want to do is constrain the proportions and resize this crop area. So I'll hold down the Shift key, grab one of the corner anchor points, and I'm going to click and drag to reposition this and then click to reposition the crop over the image. Now, we saw that before you can click on another tool to apply the crop, or you can press Enter or Return.
Now when I do that, I kind of like it. I think, okay, I'm going in a good direction, although I did lose all that vignetting, right? Because it was all cropped off, all the darkening of the corners. Yet, we will fix that in a minute. All right, the next thing I want to look at is how we can rotate the image. I'm going to hover it near one of the corner points, and I'm going to exaggerate this a little bit in order to illustrate a point. I'm then going to click and drag to rotate, then I'll select another tool, then I'll press Enter or Return and say, you know what? I like that rotation. I just went too far. So I'll grab the Crop tool and hover it over near one of those corner points and I'll drag this back and then press Enter or Return. Yeah, that's much better.
I kind of like that but again still too much headroom. Grab the Crop tool and now click and bring this in, and lower that a little bit there, and press Enter or Return. All right, now we are talking, right? We learned a little bit about vignetting. We learned a little bit about cropping, about rotating. Now let's go back to our lens correction tab. Now our vignetting is doing something to the bottom of the image but at the top, we can't even see it, right, because it's a way out here. So let's reset this to the default settings by double -clicking the slider, and then what I want to do is go to Post Crop Vignetting.
Now this is pretty interesting. Here is what we can do. I can increase the overall Amount, now I'm making it black around the edges. I can then determine how far in this actually reaches. Now for roundness, I can make this oval or I can make it very round. Let's make it really oval so we can de-construct that edge there. I can also increase or decrease the Feather. Check that out. Now I have a real nice hard edge amount. What if I want to make that white? Well, I can then do that and of course, I can control that overall roundness. In this case, I just have this border edge around the image. Now it's not really doing anything except adding that border, and the nice thing about it is it's non-destructive. All right, well, that's not what I want to do, but I did de-construct how this works for you. So now, here is what I do want to do.
I want to add a little of Post Crop Vignette. Now the Midpoint, I want it to be pretty far in so I'm going to put it right there about 20. Roundness, I want it much more round. Feathering, I need a lot of feathering, right. Okay, now that I have the feathering, then I need to pull the Midpoint back. That's a little bit too hard. The amount I'm going to darken up and again, I'm just going to look to dial in my sliders until I find a nice sweet spot, looking to darken up the edges and not go too far. All right, I think that looks pretty good.
Feathering, increase that a touch more. Here is our before and after with that. All right, so far so good. Let's go back to the Basic panel and we'll take a look at the before and the after. Subtle yet significant basic adjustments. We added a little bit vignetting. We learned about the Crop tool and we also learned about the Post Crop Vignette. And I think this portrait is looking really cool. Now, all that we need to do is press Done, then back in the Bridge. We will see our thumbnail and our preview updated with those new Camera Raw settings.
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