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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.
Now that we know a little bit about working with levels, let's take a look at how we can use levels in order to make some creative and corrective color adjustments. We'll start off with this image here. Let's go ahead and double-click the layer on top, which we've already created which is a Levels adjustment. So far we've looked at how we can use the Auto controls and how we can use these various sliders here. Well, now what I want to do is get into the different channels, Red, Green, and Blue. Each of these channels allows us to control different type of color. Let's start off with the Red channel.
Now the Red channel, it allows us to modify both red and cyan, and in order to keep things simple here, let's just focus in on the midtone slider. If we drag this to the left or towards the word Red, well, the image it will become more red as you can see here. Drag this away and the image will become more cyan. In this way, we can use the slider in order to introduce a slight color shift. Let's say we want to add some red and perhaps also warm this up with some yellow. Well, in order to do that, we would navigate to another channel.
Green allows us to control both green and magenta. Blue allows us to control both blue and yellow. So let's go to that channel. Here, in the Blue channel, I'll go ahead and click and drag away from the word Blue. In this way, I can add a little bit of yellow to the picture. Well, now if we click on our Eye icon, we can see that our overall before and after isn't just about the tonal changes, it's also about these color changes. If ever you want to go back and modify something, well, just click on the menu, go back to the channel that you want to change--say, the Red channel--and then you can modify that by clicking and dragging.
And again, we can see that overall effect. Here's our before and after. Well, let's take a look at another example, one that's different than this image. For this image, really, we just needed to kind of color correct it a little bit or to warm it up, add some reds. In the other image, now I want to create some really creative color. And at first glance, the colors are vivid and bright and alive. Well, I want to push that even further. In order to do that, let's use Levels. We'll click on the Levels icon. One of the things that we know about Levels is that we can bring in our endpoints in order to increase contrast and color saturation.
We can also modify the midpoint in order to change the overall brightness or darkness. As colors become darker, they typically become more saturated. Let's take a look at our before and after so far. Here it is before and after. With a few simple adjustments, this image and the color in this image, well, it's already looking a lot better. Yet let's go further, let's go into our different channels. We'll start off by going to the Red or the Red Cyan channel. Remember, if you click and drag this to the left, towards the word Red, well, the image becomes more red.
Next, let's go to the Green Magenta channel, drag away from green, and it becomes more magenta. Finally, we'll go to the Blue/Yellow channel, and here we can either add blue by clicking and dragging to the left or add yellow by clicking and dragging to the right. And by doing this, we really have this completely different color palette. Let me scoot this image over a little bit so you can see the difference. Here's our before, what we originally thought was saturated and beautiful, now it kind of looks pale in comparison. And now here's after.
These are really rich ultra-vibrant and saturated, interesting colors, and what's great about this is we can use these controls to make changes like this, and then of course, we can always modify the opacity of the Levels adjustment, and we can do this in order to dial back this color saturation in this intense color here. Let's say we feel like we've gone a little bit too far. We can just go ahead and decrease the opacity until we find a new spot for this image, and then again, we can click on this Eye icon.
Here is our before, and now our after. With Levels, we have a lot of creative controls. We can work on tone, but we can also work on color. And by tapping into these different channels, this just opens up the possibility of making even more precise adjustments when it comes to both color and tone.
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