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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.
You know, one of the things that is common to hear people say in regards to using Photoshop is you have to cleanup your images before you can actually enhance them. You want to do the cleanup work first and that's exactly what we are going to talk about in this chapter. We will be working on this files corwig_clean_up_03. You can find it in the Chapter 26 folder, double-click that to open it up in Photoshop and press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Now here I have this photograph that I took of my brother-in-law, Ryan, jumping off of a lifeguard tower at a beach really close to where we live and I like using this image as an example because we have shot on film so we have lots of grain, I sized it down and so when we zoom in, Command+Plus on a Mac/Ctrl+Plus on a PC, we can really see the grain structure and we see some dust that was either on the film or on the lens. How can we then remove a little blemish just that and maintain the pixel structure or the pixel integrity that we see here? Now just because this image was shot on film, keep in mind this technique works equally as well when you are shooting digital. It is just kind of helpful to show it here.
All right, what we are going to do is grab our Lasso tool and when I think of reaching for the Lasso tool I think of a cowboy, right. Go for that Lasso, shortcut key little. I'm going to increase the feather a little bit. I'm going to overdo it. When I try the lasso or encircle this piece of dust, it says, hey! You can't do that because your feathering of that selection is bigger than the selection. So I click OK and we have just a subtle amount of feathering and if you ever get that message that your selection is to small, see if I can get it again. No big deal, just click OK and try to make a little bit of a bigger selection. Keep in mind what we want to do is select the piece of dust in a little bit more. My feathering again, is too strong so I'm going decrease that because I don't want to have too big a selection. So a little bit of a give and take there. Next step, navigate to our Filter pulldown menu, Noise and we want to choose Dust and Scratches.
Now, the interesting thing about Dust and Scratches here is that we have Radius and Threshold. I'm going to increase my Radius. Now it's hard to see what is happening so let's zoom in even further and reposition so we can go right there. That looks pretty good. Again, still kind of difficult to see. I can't tell because there are marching ants. So in my way, we will press Command+H on a Mac, Ctrl+H on a PC. What you will start to see if you have an area that's kind of smooshed or blobbed out. Now that's kind of difficult to see so for illustration purposes, let's make a big selection. Keep in mind, this isn't good, it's just for the illustration, Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches. Increase the Radius quite a bit here. Threshold all the way down and now Command+H on a Mac/Ctrl+H on a PC to hide that and we see OK. Just taking those pixels and smashing them together, mushing them together and that doesn't look very good.
Well, that's how Radius works. Well, what about Threshold? Now when I increase my Threshold, wow! I was able to bring back everything. I was able to bring back the whole structure there. Okay, well we learned how the sliders work. Let's hit Cancel, go back to our nice selection here, it is a nice, small selection, Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches and what we want to do is bring the Radius up till that little blemish is gone, then bring the Threshold amount till we what looks like pretty good grain structure. Command+H on a Mac/Ctrl+H on a PC to hide that selection. You know what, I think that looks great. Click OK to apply that. Now I can't see that selection area because I pressed Command+H or Ctrl H. So press it again, bring it back. Now reposition your image, hover over that with the Lasso tool, put it over another piece of dust and then press Command+F on a Mac/Ctrl+F on a PC to apply that Dust and Scratch filter there and then reposition it over here, press Command+F on a Mac/Ctrl+F on a PC. If you don't get it all the way out, hit it again and again Command+F on a Mac, Ctrl+F on a PC and I'm just going to go and remove those small pieces of dust.
Double-click the Zoom tool, that will then zoom us out, see if there are any other pieces, select the Lasso tool, reposition it over another piece of dust, so press Command+F on a Mac or Ctrl+F on a PC. When you are ready to deselect, Command+D for deselect, or Ctrl+D or select Deselect. All right, well as you can see that tool works incredibly well and there are certain situations where using that technique can really help you out.
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