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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I'm still working inside the Dark and Light butterfly.jpg images that are found inside the 07_basic_correct folder. Bear in mind that I have applied these adjustment layers in the previous exercise. I've not saved our progress files however because we're going to be doing exactly that together in the next exercise. Now at this stage, we want to tweak our settings. Had we been using static color adjustments, we had to undo and reapply. That's not that big of deal. But imagine that after applying a static color modification. And when I say static, I mean you're changing the actual pixels inside of your image by going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments and choosing Brightness/Contrast. Had we done that? And then applied let's say another twenty to a hundred other operations after that.
Then changed our mind and decided that we didn't apply the right Brightness/Contrast settings. Why then we're faced with the proposition of having to go very far back in time whereas we can change our mind with Adjustment layers anytime we like? So here I am inside Dark butterfly.jpg. In order to adjust my settings, all I have to do is double-click on the thumbnail that's associated with this Adjustment layer. And that brings up the Adjustments panel. Now you may find that Brightness is automatically highlighted. If it isn't as it isn't in my case, let me show you a keyboard shortcut.
It's Shift+Enter or Shift+Return on the Mac. That goes ahead and highlights that value. That's a new keyboard shortcut inside of Photoshop CS5. It was my idea. I have to tell you that. I fought for that one, because I was sick of the fact that you couldn't get to those numerical adjustments the way you could in the past. All right, I'm going to go ahead and press Shift+Up Arrow in order to raise that Brightness value to 110. Then I'm going to tab to Contrast. I'm going to press Shift+Down Arrow a couple of times to reduce the Contrast value like so. So we have a brighter less contrasty Dark butterfly.jpg image.
Now let's switch over to Light butterfly.jpg. Notice the Adjustments panel's still up onscreen. Neither of the values however is highlighted. So once again, we'll press Shift+Enter or Shift+Return on the Mac in order to highlight the Brightness value. It's always by the way that keyboard shortcut is always going to highlight the first numerical value inside the Adjustments panel, specifically that one panel. I am going to press Shift+Up Arrow in order to increase the Brightness by 10. Press the Tab key to advance to the Contrast. And just leave that alone. I'm actually happy with the Contrast value for this image.
Let's go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel. You know what we might as well rename this Brightness/Contrast 1 layer just so that you can see that it's possible. Double-click on its name just as with any layer inside of Photoshop. I'll call it darken. Then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. And we now have not two exactly matching butterflies, mind you, but two butterflies that look a little better together. Thanks to the flexibility of Adjustment layers.
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