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A portrait can be a cherished possession for a lifetime, and now making perfect portraits is just one Photoshop course away. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his vast knowledge of Photoshop to focus on the specific tools every photographer needs to adjust images and keep them looking genuine. Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training explores this program's deep resources and inspires photographers to do their creative best with everything from blemishes to backdrops. Exercise files accompany the course.
At this juncture we are ready to do some final adjustments to the overall color and tone of this photograph. Now these adjustments are retouching per se, but in order to finish off this image, let's go ahead and have some fun with color and tone. What I'm going to do here is I'm interested in creating a little bit of a bleached effect or maybe a little bit of a warming and contrast effect. I am going to do that by clicking on the Adjustment layer icon and choosing Hue/Saturation. Now this is a really interesting technique and here is how it works. We are going to desaturate this photograph and we are going to do that with Hue/Saturation or any other desaturation techniques we can use like black and white conversion, etc. Then we are going to take this layer to a blend mode of Soft Light. Now what this will do for us is give us this really kind of distinct, almost kind of fashion in look, right, where we have this bleached out kind of high contrast look, really intriguing.
Now we can dial this back if we want a little bit less of that. So here is a little bit of our before and then after. Another thing that sometimes happens is some of the blacks or the whites will get blown out, meaning you won't have detail there. Your whites will be blown out; your blacks will be blocked up a little bit. I'm going to increase the Opacity to show you how you can fix that. If you double-click this layer, you can then go into this Blend If layer and here you are going to see that it's going to bring back my darker tones and you can see that on the shirt, or for that matter if we skid this over and bring this down, we can see that it will also bring back some of the detail in some of the brighter tones.
Now if you need to bring back some of those tones in order to create a good print, you can do that with the sliders, and then, on a Mac hold down the Option key, on a PC hold down the Alt key and you can create a transition between these points. So you can bring back some detail into some of those darker areas. So go ahead and modify those sliders just a bit there and click OK. Now if I press Command+Z on a Mac and Ctrl+Z on a PC, I can kind of look at my before and after there. It's pretty subtle and again how far you go with that, it's really going to be contingent upon how much detail you need to bring back. With this image, I think, it's looking pretty good just as is and that would be one kind of interesting color and tone treatment to this photograph.
Now another interesting treatment would be this one. Let's copy this layer, click and drag it to the New Layer icon, and then turn off the visibility of the background layer, because that's a little bit too contrasty. Although it is kind of an interesting aesthetic that we have going there. So we'll turn off one of those. We will click in the topmost one and this time click into the option to colorize the image. This is fascinating! Now because we are on the Soft Light blend mode, what we want to do is bring in a little bit of warmth here. So I'm going to bring in some warmth and then desaturate just a touch and look at my before and after. Now here is my before and then after. In this case what we are doing is we are adding contrast but also a little bit of warmth. Let's compare this one to this technique, a little bit more of a bleached effect.
Now this is the one that's bleached with a little bit of a yellow warming and again I'll lower the Opacity a bit here, in order to just stylize this. Now in this case, I'm just making subjective color edits. I'm just having a little bit of fun with the overall color and tone. Now the actual one that I think I would go with for this image is this one here on a little bit lower Opacity. So just bring in a touch of that. We could add just a nice little snap to the overall look of the photograph. Let's go ahead and press the Tab key to hide all of our panels and then after that go to Full Screen view mode. Then press the F7 key to bring back our Layers palette. We will go down to the bottom, hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC. Then click on the Eye icon of that Background layer and here we can have out overall before and then after.
All right. We have made some great progress on this image. There is only one more step that I want to take with this one, and that is having to do with the background. I want to modify the background just a bit and we will do that in the next movie.
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