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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
After having assembled the panoramic photograph and then corrected some of the perspective issues, what I want to do here is take a look at how we can crop and finish this image off. Let's go ahead and zoom out. You can do so by pressing Command+Minus on a Mac or Ctrl+Minus on Windows. Now, here is what we have to work with. What you want to do is select your Crop tool. You want to go ahead and start to click and drag these points in. And as you do that, ideally you want to have the option set of Unconstrained because when you're creating a panoramic photograph, really it's all about your own perspective.
There's nothing which says, a pano needs to be this wide or this tall. So as I bring in these different points, really I am thinking about composition. I can't see that very well here. So I am going to zoom back in by pressing Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus. And you know sometimes what I like to do when I'm cropping especially really wide photographs is to press the Tab key. The Tab key will hide our panels on our right and left, then we can zoom in even further. Sometimes this can help us move around the photograph and determine if we have a good place or a good placement I should say in regards to the way that we're cropping.
Well here, I really want the focus to be this building in the middle, so I am going to go ahead and just change my crop, and I'm not too worried about these edges, where I have these different gaps. I will just bring my different points in. You can see that, that's a pretty good crop, I will zoom out a little bit here so I can evaluate that. I'm just going to bring again these different points in just a bit here, so that I have a lot of really nice focus on this area of the image. So I want it to be about that part of the courthouse. Okay, well after having modified this just a touch, and I think that looks pretty good, here I'll press the Tab key to bring back all of my panels, the tools panel, the panels on the right.
When you crop, you want to make sure to turn this checkbox off, Delete Cropped Pixels because you may not be sure if this is the perfect crop for you. Okay, well let's apply this. We can do so by pressing Enter or Return. Again, as I mentioned, if this isn't perfect, well what you can do is just go back and reactivate the crop, and you can see that what we can do here is we can change this. We haven't lost the rest of the detail here in the outer edges of the frame. Well here I will press Enter or Return and then I will select my Move tool in order to deactivate the crop, and hide that crop overlay, and I am liking this, I think that this could work.
It tells a nice story about this building and this courtyard. Yet, one of the problems that we have of course is that we have these gaps here, all of this grass is missing, and I have an area of sky which is missing. Well those areas are really easy to fix. You can choose one of your selection tools say like the Magic Wand tool. You can then click on that area where you have transparency in order to make that selection. You can also do this with multiple selections by holding down the Shift key, and clicking on those other areas.
Now, as I do that, you can see I now have three selections. Next, in order to fill those in, we need to first enhance the selection a little bit, by going to Select, and choosing Modify and then Expand. What this will do is it will take our selections, and give us the ability to make those just a little bit bigger, and that's important in order to fill those areas in. So let's click on that option, Select > Modify > Expand, and just expand these a few pixels, maybe even 5 pixels.
That will just push that selection out a little bit. The next step is to fill these in. We can do that by using our Fill command. You can press Shift+F5 or you can go to Edit, and then choose Fill. By selecting this, what we want to do is use what's called Content-Aware. This will analyze the surrounding areas and then fill it in with similar types of content, and ideally, this will work well, but it doesn't always work great the first time. Let's zoom in a little bit. Well down here on the lawn and over here on this wall, it almost looks perfect.
The lawn looks good there on both sides but up in the top, not so much. Well, no big deal. Let's just choose Select and then Deselect. What happened is, is it brought in part of the roof in this area. In that case, because it did such a good job except for these small elements, I am just going to create a new layer, and I am going to fix that area up with cloning or healing. Here I will go to my Clone Stamp tool. And with the Clone Stamp tool, you know how this works, we can Option+Click or Alt+Click on a sampled area, and if we're using all layers, we can clone to this topmost layer.
So I will go ahead and clone over this area. Because this is sky, I don't have to worry too much about the detail or texture anything here. And if I wanted to, I could also go back and try to re-content-aware fill that. Although here, with this image, it looks like these few little spots that needed some help, with the Cloning tool, I think it was a little bit more easy to use. Okay. Well now that we've done that, we have this phenomenal panoramic picture and what's great about that is that we were able to build this from these multiple frames. And even though we had this crazy distortion, we're able to quickly fix that, and then eventually as you saw here, we could crop and fill-in a few areas.
Well, the last thing I want to do with this image is I want to increase the Vibrance and Saturation and also make a slight Curves Adjustment. I will go ahead and click on the icon for creating a Vibrance adjustment layer. We'll click and drag this over to the right and just add a little bit of color saturation. Next, I'll go to my Curves Adjustment, and in Curves, I am going to bring up my whites there a little bit, bring down my blacks, just a really subtle light S-curve, and I will just see if I can modify that a little bit.
What I'm looking for here with this adjustment is just something to give the image a little bit of life. All right! Well now that we've made those final adjustments, let's take a look at the overall progress here with those last few adjustments; here is that before and then after, that looks really good. We can compare this to the original one without the distortion fixed by turning off the visibility of these layers, and turning on the visibility of the underlying layers. Here was the distortion. We then fixed that, patched in a few areas, and then made some final color and tone adjustments, and all of that effort was really worth it.
And if you haven't experimented with creating one of your own panos, I definitely recommend it because creating images like this is both fun and rewarding.
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