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Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

Video: Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks

We are going to take a look at some advanced techniques which really combine some of the different things that we know about selections and masks, and we are going to do this in order to improve this photograph. This picture I captured for the cover of a National Magazine, and they wanted me to open up the shadows so that the image would print better. In particular, I needed to brighten up some of the areas of this photograph, say like these dark shadows here. Well, let's start off by going to our Select pulldown menu, and let's select those shadows by going to Color Range.

Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks

We are going to take a look at some advanced techniques which really combine some of the different things that we know about selections and masks, and we are going to do this in order to improve this photograph. This picture I captured for the cover of a National Magazine, and they wanted me to open up the shadows so that the image would print better. In particular, I needed to brighten up some of the areas of this photograph, say like these dark shadows here. Well, let's start off by going to our Select pulldown menu, and let's select those shadows by going to Color Range.

With Color Range, what you can do is you can click on an area of your image in order to sample that tone. Here, we can see these on a white matte background. You may have a different preview. If you do, you can change that by clicking on this menu and choosing different options. Sometimes it's helpful to see these on different previews, say like this White Matte so that we can see what we have selected. So you can either click on an area, increase the Fuzziness in order to select more or less. Another thing you can do is choose Localized Color Clusters.

What this does is it limits our selection more to this area, as you can see. A different way that you can make a selection is by clicking on this pulldown menu and choosing something, say like Shadows, and this will then give you a selection of all of these deep dark shadows. Well, this one is a little bit too much, so I want to go to something a little bit less. So here, we'll go ahead and navigate back to our Sample Colors, and I just want to click on this dark shadow there, increase my fuzziness. You can control the range, how far that reaches out from that point.

I want it to reach out to the other areas where I have deep shadows. And you'll notice it's selecting this area more than the other areas. That's why certain areas are kind of faint. We've talked about some of these things when we talked about selections, yet here I think this is a helpful review. Well, we're doing this simply to create a good selection. If you click OK now, you can see that I've selected the problem area. Well, now I can go ahead and create a Curves adjustment, and by doing that, it will create a Curves adjustment with a built-in mask.

If I make an adjustment here in Curves, you're going to notice that it's just working on this area of the photograph. Take a look at that precise control I have over those shadows, so I can bring those shadows up by simply clicking and dragging this up. It's also helping out some of my shadows in the other areas where I have problems. Well, one of the things that can happen, when you've brightened something like this, especially dark shadows, is you can introduce perhaps a little bit of color saturation, or you can see some color noise in that area.

So what I want to do is I want to desaturate this same exact area that I brightened. Yet Curves doesn't have the ability to desaturate. How can we do this? What you can do is you can go ahead and Command-click or Ctrl-click on your mask. That will activate any mask as a selection. You can see all of those marching ants are showing me that I've reactivated this mask. It's now a selection. Well, now all that we need to do is to click on another adjustment layer, say like Hue/Saturation.

Next, I can go ahead and change the saturation by desaturating. Now just to show you the area that I've selected, I am going to click on Colorize. This will look a little bit strange, but I want to highlight what's happening here. If I increase this and change this color, say, to something like let's say green, that's really noticeable. I know this looks kind of strange, but again, I'm just highlighting that this mask is allowing us to affect this area more intensely, and then some of the other areas that aren't as dark, a little bit less intensely.

And we're only able to create this because we used Color Range. Well, I don't want to add that color effect, so we'll click off Colorize. What I do want to do is just desaturate this a little bit to prevent that area really from having any problems. And one of the main points that I'm illustrating here is how we can use our different selection techniques, how we can turn those selections into masks, and then also how we can reuse our masks by Command-clicking or Ctrl-clicking them to activate the mask and then to create yet another adjustment.

Well, let's take a look at the overall progress that we've made with this image. Here is before, and then now if we turn these on, we have our after. And the beauty of this is that if the client says, "You know what? That's nice. But it's a bit too bright." Well, we can just go ahead and double-click on the Curves adjustment and make the needed change in order to bring back some of that original contrast there. Now the last thing that I want to highlight here is that when you're using this technique, if ever you notice that your edges in your mask--well, they are just too harsh, you can always soften those.

Here is a great way to preview this. Hold down the Option key on a Mac or Alt key on Windows. This will change your view to this mask here. When I look at this mask, I realize, gosh! These edges are actually pretty choppy. Well, to soften those up, you can go ahead and increase the Feather amount. That will then soften the edges of this mask. And by Option-clicking or Alt-clicking your mask icon, you just get a preview. You just get to see this. Hold down Option on Mac, Alt again on Windows, and you can then go back to the image and also increase the Feather amount here.

And by increasing that, a lot of times it just makes those mask work that much better. So let's increase our Feather a little bit here on this one, and then also, let's match that same Feather amount approximately, and so we'll go ahead and increase that as well. Now that we've made those adjustments, well, this image, it's good to go. Here is our before, and then now our after.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

173 video lessons · 26716 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
  2. 11m 49s
    1. Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
      4m 25s
    2. Isolating what you've learned and taking quality notes
      3m 53s
    3. Getting creative and being ready to be surprised
      3m 31s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Customizing the Bridge workspace
      4m 46s
    2. Reviewing and evaluating your photos
      4m 22s
    3. Rating, ranking, and filtering photographs
      5m 42s
    4. Organizing photos with stacks
      3m 55s
    5. Grouping pictures together with collections
      3m 56s
    6. Adding metadata and keywords
      4m 47s
    7. Renaming images
      1m 45s
    8. Accessing the Photoshop tools from within Bridge
      2m 28s
    9. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      2m 40s
    10. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 36s
  4. 45m 29s
    1. Setting up your color settings
      3m 31s
    2. Choosing preferences for the HUD color picker
      3m 50s
    3. Setting image interpolation preferences
      3m 3s
    4. Modifying zoom preferences
      4m 20s
    5. Changing HUD brush options
      3m 41s
    6. Customizing interface preferences
      3m 30s
    7. Opening up documents in tabs
      4m 11s
    8. Reviewing file-handling preferences
      5m 4s
    9. Setting performance preferences
      4m 23s
    10. Choosing cursor preferences
      5m 14s
    11. Reviewing guides and type preview preferences
      4m 42s
  5. 21m 4s
    1. Exploring two simple steps for more accurate color
      2m 57s
    2. Introducing color profiles
      5m 17s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      7m 33s
    4. Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    5. A demonstration of monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    6. Finding color management resources
      1m 32s
  6. 28m 34s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      4m 53s
    2. Changing the view mode and working with panels
      5m 33s
    3. Opening and arranging multiple documents
      6m 31s
    4. Combining, saving, and closing multiple documents
      5m 17s
    5. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 11s
    6. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 18m 24s
    1. The foundation of digital imaging: pixels and bit depth
      6m 12s
    2. Introducing image resizing
      3m 42s
    3. Resizing images effectively
      3m 48s
    4. Resizing and straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 28s
    5. Creative tip: sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 41m 56s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Accessing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 16s
    3. Improving your images with the basic controls
      7m 0s
    4. Correcting color and white balance
      4m 44s
    5. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 56s
    6. Utilizing the Crop tool to recompose your pictures
      5m 28s
    7. Creating dramatic black-and-white conversions
      5m 34s
    8. Reducing noise and making tack-sharp photos
      7m 11s
  9. 32m 55s
    1. Introducing layers
      2m 22s
    2. Understanding layers and layer transparency
      1m 29s
    3. Working with layer opacity
      3m 29s
    4. Aligning layers
      1m 32s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 53s
    6. Organizing layers
      2m 31s
    7. Filtering and finding layers
      2m 8s
    8. Adding layer style effects
      5m 28s
    9. Creating a clipping mask
      6m 50s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      2m 13s
  10. 33m 22s
    1. Making selections with the marquee tools
      4m 50s
    2. Using the three lasso tools
      4m 56s
    3. Selecting with the Magic Wand tool
      5m 43s
    4. Working with the Quick Select tool
      7m 21s
    5. Selecting based on color with the Color Range controls
      7m 13s
    6. Correcting skin tones with Color Range
      3m 19s
  11. 23m 2s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Painting away the contents of a layer with a mask
      3m 59s
    3. Using a selection to build a mask
      3m 3s
    4. Removing a subject from the background with a mask
      6m 37s
    5. Using a mask to selectively sharpen an image
      3m 58s
    6. Making selections with Quick Mask
      4m 11s
  12. 13m 42s
    1. Creating a custom border using selections and masks
      5m 4s
    2. Painting custom border effects
      3m 34s
    3. Using prebuilt borders
      4m 13s
    4. Exploring the PhotoFrame plug-in
      51s
  13. 11m 49s
    1. Adding brightness and contrast
      3m 3s
    2. Using hue and saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      5m 34s
    3. Working with vibrancy and saturation
      3m 12s
  14. 14m 36s
    1. Working with auto levels
      3m 36s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      4m 12s
    3. Painting in adjustments with levels and masking
      4m 10s
    4. Creative tip: checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 29m 50s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      3m 12s
    2. Using auto curves and adjustments to enhance an image
      4m 17s
    3. Changing brightness with curves and masks
      3m 59s
    4. Using curves and masks to improve tone and color
      4m 56s
    5. Making advanced selections and masks
      3m 53s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      5m 53s
    7. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 40s
  16. 20m 12s
    1. Introducing the magic of blend modes
      6m 33s
    2. Blending multiple images together
      3m 50s
    3. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      2m 8s
    4. Improving exposure, contrast, and color with blending
      5m 37s
    5. Using blending shortcuts
      2m 4s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Working with color correction in Camera Raw
      1m 21s
    2. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      3m 11s
    3. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      5m 54s
  18. 36m 1s
    1. Using a Replace Color adjustment
      4m 14s
    2. Using Replace Color, Hue/Saturation, and masks
      5m 32s
    3. Replacing color with advanced masking
      7m 14s
    4. Selecting and modifying color with the Hue/Saturation eyedroppers
      2m 30s
    5. Using Color Balance to create vivid color
      4m 3s
    6. Modifying color with Selective Color
      5m 3s
    7. Changing color with Photo Filter
      4m 4s
    8. Making creative color changes with Color Lookup
      1m 44s
    9. Creative tip: shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 35m 13s
    1. The modern equivalent of a traditional technique
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing two burn and dodge techniques
      7m 22s
    3. Burning and dodging with the Brush and Gradient tools
      4m 18s
    4. Dodging and reducing shadows in a portrait
      6m 0s
    5. Using selections, masks, and curves to change tonality
      7m 21s
    6. Improving a black-and-white landscape
      8m 32s
  20. 16m 9s
    1. The power of black and white
      4m 14s
    2. Converting a portrait to black and white
      4m 6s
    3. Converting a landscape to black and white
      4m 23s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      3m 26s
  21. 31m 57s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      3m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      6m 20s
    3. Creating a soft contrast effect
      6m 38s
    4. Changing focus with the Blur Gallery
      3m 40s
    5. Working with Tilt-Shift Blur
      3m 52s
    6. Creating a realistic lens flare
      2m 45s
    7. Adding light with the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 6s
  22. 12m 33s
    1. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 49s
    3. Masking in noise reduction to a specific area
      2m 1s
    4. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      3m 57s
  23. 48m 30s
    1. Cleaning before you enhance
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the healing and cloning tools
      7m 22s
    3. Cleaning up the background of an image
      6m 21s
    4. Basic portrait retouching
      3m 15s
    5. Brightening shadows under the eyes
      4m 53s
    6. Brightening the eyes
      2m 30s
    7. Retouching selected areas
      5m 27s
    8. Using Content-Aware Fill to remove distractions
      5m 34s
    9. Moving a subject with the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 54s
    10. Changing shape and dimension with Liquify
      4m 12s
  24. 24m 2s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      6m 52s
    2. Reducing exaggerated distortion
      5m 16s
    3. Applying Free Transform to correct perspective
      3m 49s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Perspective Crop tool
      3m 45s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 20s
  25. 26m 48s
    1. Combining two photos with movement
      4m 12s
    2. Using two frames for a group photo
      4m 57s
    3. Creating a panoramic photo from multiple frames
      3m 37s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle correction
      7m 34s
    5. Cropping, filling in the gaps, and making final panographic adjustments
      6m 28s
  26. 27m 24s
    1. Working with Smart Sharpen
      6m 17s
    2. Using Unsharpen Mask
      4m 49s
    3. High Pass sharpening an image
      4m 47s
    4. Selectively sharpening the in-focus areas of an image
      3m 35s
    5. Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks
      7m 56s
  27. 22m 44s
    1. Preparing images for the web and email
      4m 38s
    2. Sharpening for the web
      3m 5s
    3. Using Save for Web to create an optimized JPEG
      4m 26s
    4. Exporting images to Facebook or Flickr
      4m 46s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      5m 49s
  28. 26m 6s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      5m 56s
    3. Using a soft proof to visualize the print
      8m 0s
    4. Adjusting printer settings
      3m 43s
    5. Customizing the Print dialog box options
      5m 41s
  29. 32m 4s
    1. Opening up a video file in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    2. Editing a video clip and adding text
      5m 15s
    3. Using adjustment layers and adding an audio track
      4m 47s
    4. Creating a project with multiple clips
      4m 55s
    5. Adding a cross-dissolve fade and creating custom shortcuts
      4m 43s
    6. Customizing the workspace to review your project
      3m 2s
    7. Exporting a project
      2m 15s
  30. 3m 4s
    1. Exploring additional resources and ways to keep in touch
      2m 29s
    2. Goodbye
      35s

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