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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 my humble opinion, there's no better time of the day than the morning, and there is no better time than the sunrise. In this movie, we'll be working on this file: corwig_sunrise.psd. And in this movie, I want to share with you a few tricks that you can use in order to make your sunrises and sunsets really snap. We will be working on this file. You can find this inside the Chapter_21 folder. Go and double-click that to open it inside the Photoshop. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode, and then Spacebar to reposition the image. Now this photograph is really interesting. I was camping, I was camping right over here.
I got up before the sunrise. I was walking around. The sunrise was absolutely amazing. It was reflecting off the sand, and oh, it was just so beautiful! Then when I opened up the image I thought, gosh! It's not -- It didn't quite -- It wasn't like how I experienced it, right? So I want to make these colors sing. I want to make them snap. How can I do that? Well, what we're going to do is use a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. Color Balance works so well with sunrises and sunsets. Now there are certain people who will say, "Well, I would never use Color Balance, because it's not as advanced as Curves. Curves, you have to use everything in Curves." Now, I love Curves, use them all the time. Yet, I never want to fall into the trap to think that there's only one way to work on your images. I like using multiple different techniques.
All right, now how does this work? We are in our Midtones, I'm going to go ahead and increase the Reds. All right, that's already interesting. Little bit of magenta in there. Great! Now a lot of times you would think, well go ahead and add yellow, but sometimes it's actually adding blue that really makes the sunrise look interesting. Now that's not the case with this one, but I have to show you that, because a lot of times when adding a little bit of blue, so you have the blue and red thing going. Oh, just looks so great. All right. Well, now I have these real vibrant colors. Here's my Before and After. I think that's looking really interesting.
Next thing I want to do is, Copy this Layer. Click and Drag it to the New Layer icon. Now, wow, my goodness, this is absolutely ridiculous. I mean the color there; it's just crazy. I'll go ahead and reduce the Saturation of that a little bit. And here's something else it's kind of fun to try with this. Lots of time it's fun to try a blend mode of soft light. What this is going to do is, just add that really deep contrast. You can see it especially down here, just this vivid, deep tones. Now a quick word of caution, when you're pushing your sunrises, or your sunsets this far, you may have a little bit of a tricky time printing the photo like this depending on your printer. Yet that being said, you can still get away with some really deep colors. So again, I'm going to go for it here. The only thing I would like to do now is I would like to brighten up the edges, and in particular this side of the image. So I'll Click on the Adjustment Layer icon, and choose Curves. That will then open up the Curves dialog, and I'm just looking to brighten up the image overall. Okay, that looks really nice.
Now I want to invert this Mask. I can do that either by clicking on Masks > Invert, or by pressing Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. We want that Mask black. Now press B on your keyboard. Select your Brush. I'm going to paint in an about 80% Opacity, and paint with White. Now it's a big brush here, so I'll press the Right Bracket key, Soft Edge Brush i.e. no Hardness. And I'll go ahead and just paint around the edges here. And I'm just looking to brighten those edges up, just a touch. Now it doesn't quite look natural the way I painted this. And my Mask is kind of messy, right? Well, it's just kind of some real rough Brush stokes. Well, I can smooth that out. Also the side now, how did I get to that view? Option-click the Mask, or Alt-click the Mask, you can see it in the Black & White View mode. I can smooth this out by going to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur.
That will then smooth this out, and I can find the Suites bar here. And again, I find this is really helpful when I'm not using the Welcome Tablet. Right now I'm not, because I'm moving quickly. I Click OK. Option-click the Mask on a Mac, Alt-click on a PC. Now let's look at our before and after. Again, just brightening up those Edges, bringing in a little bit more in there. And then I'll lower the Opacity of that. I would like a little bit of the Darkening Effect. I just don't want it to go too far. All right, the final step, press Tab, F, go to Full Screen View mode, Zoom in. And then press the F7 key. We will Option Click the Eye icon on the Background Layer. And that's a shortcut for the Mac, all right? Option-click on a PC that's Alt-click. Here's our before, and then Option-click again or Alt-click again, and there is our after. And that looks pretty vivid. That was a little bit closer to how I experienced the sunrise.
Now that been said, in this case I pushed the sunrise really warm, lots of reds, and oranges, and yellows. Keep in mind you're not always going to go that way. A lot of times, bringing in those blues just really make those sunrise a little sunset snap. Finally, the last thing that I want to do, press F7 to bring back my Layers. Click on the top layer, Shift-click in the bottom. Command+G to group those. So I can turn this on and off. And then lower the Opacity all the way. And then increase it, and see if there's a sweet spot. It may be that I went too far with it. Again, sometimes when you get excited about color, you go too far. You know what's my opinion; I'm going to go for, I'm going to really go for those deep, vivid colors, because I like them. Press F7 to get rid of the Layers palette, and you know, sometimes you need to minimize the interface in Photoshop. So you can step back for a moment, and look away and look back and say, "This isn't all about working on thing, this is about enjoying photographs. This is about passion for photography." For that you just have to step back and enjoy your images, and enjoy what you're doing. All right, that wraps up this movie.
See you in the next one.
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