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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 are going to continue to talk about Curves and how we can use Curves in unison with Hue/Saturation and we will also pick up a few other things along the way as well. All right, we are going to be working on this file sammy_olson_wave. Double-click that one to open it in Photoshop. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode. This was a photograph that was captured by a good friend of mine, Sammy. Thanks, Sammy, for the use of this photo. Now what I want to do here is apply a Curves Adjustment right to the layer. In order to do that, I'm going to navigate to Image > Adjustments and then Curves or press the shortcut there. Now when I modify this image, and I'll go ahead and add an S curve, I then have to click OK to apply that. Now let's compare that to using an Adjustment Layer. Command+Z on a Mac/Ctrl+Z on a PC to undo.
With an Adjustment Layer you simply need to click to open up the Curves Adjustment, apply that same S curve and you don't need to click OK. Now all that I'm trying to point out here is in the past when we had created Curves either as an Adjustment Layer or on the Layer, you just have to open up the dialog and close the dialog. We no longer have to do that anymore, we don't have to click OK and that doesn't seem like that big of a deal. But once you start to work on a lot of images, it can really save you some time. All right, well the S curve really helps this image out. I love it, I love the colors right here, I think they are beautiful. And let's say I go back and then print this image on my Epson 3000, I'm like, Oh! Yeah it's great. Except the saturation in the sky is a little bit over the top, it's not quite coming out in the print. But how could I then protect this area or perhaps bring those tones down just a little bit.
We will go ahead and navigate back to Adjustments panel and then here I'm going to click on Hue/Saturation. Now I'm going to desaturate just a touch and then I'll go down to my reds, grab the Target Adjustment tool and I'm going to click and hover over these red, oranges here and then click and drag to the left. Yep, those are my reds, there we go. So now I was able to pull those tones out. Let's look at the before and after, before and then after. All right, the clouds look much better except it took out all the color in the wave as well, no big deal. We will go to the Mask icon and click Invert that will then fill that Mask with black. You can also invert your Mask by pressing Command+I on the Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. Then we will grab our Brush tool, press B on your keyboard or click on the tool from the Tools panel.
And we want to paint with white, so I'll press the X key to flip those colors, so I have white in my foreground color. Then I'll just go ahead and paint with white to reveal that desaturation up here in the sky and on those clouds and that looks pretty good. So lets go ahead and navigate down to Layers and click on the Eye icon, there is our before and after; overall before and then after. That looks really nice. Now, I realize that may I have desaturated that just a little bit too much so I'll lower the Opacity here, bring back just a touch to that color and now I have that before and after just bringing that into gamut so those clouds will print really nicely. Also, bringing a little bit more of the focus to this part of the wave here, which I really like.
That wraps up this conversation about using Curves in unison with some of our other adjustments like Hue and Saturation.
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