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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 this movie we'll be working on the file corwig_wolf_family. We're going to continue to talk about modifying color and tone. One of the things that you'll probably discover in this is that when you work with color and tone, there's much more give-and-take, there's much more play involved. So let's go and open up this file in Photoshop, and then press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Now what I want to do with this image is bring out some of the colors. So I'm going to click on the Adjustments tab and then click on the Curves icon. Now I'm going to choose a preset here from the pulldown menu. I'll just choose Medium Contrast. That will then boost the overall contrast.
Now that's a little bit too intense for me, so I'm going to click on my top point. Now what I want to do is, I want to brighten the image up a little bit more, and then I'll press the minus key, that will allow me to select the bottom point there, and I'll use the Up arrow, just to bring that up, just a tad. And then again, we have our before and after, just a subtle little Color and Contrast Increase. All right, well, next I'm going to go to my different Channels: Red, Green and Blue. I'm going to do that by way of Shortcut. It's Option+3 on a Mac/Alt+3 on a PC. Add a little bit of red there. Option+4 on a Mac/Alt+4 on a PC, a little bit of green as well. And then, Option+5 or Alt+5 to go the Blue/Yellow Channel. Let's look at our before and after; here's before and after.
All right, well, so far so good. I'm liking how it's really bringing out some of the colors. I'll double-click the Zoom tool, so I can really see this image, right? Let's take a look at our before and after; before and after. Except one of the things that I'm noticing is that, things are getting a little bit too red. In particular, I can see that on his face. So we'll go back to our Adjustments, and we'll go to Hue, Saturation. Next, we'll go down to our Reds. Now when we're working on our Reds, to actually see what tones we're going to modify. A lot of times what I'll do is, I'll modify this Hue slider. Now I know this looks bad, but it's showing me that, yeah, looks like the Incredible Hulk family, right? No, it's showing me that I'm going to work on the skin tone. Perfect, that's what I want. Right, I don't want to modify the Hue at all.
So I'm going to go ahead and desaturate here. And when I desaturate, I'm going to go pretty far so we can see it. I'm going to find the Suites, but again go far, come back, go far, come back. Just find the Suites bar. Let's look at our before and after, before and after. Again, pretty subtle, but it's just bringing that skin tone back down a little bit. I don't want the color there to be too exaggerated. Okay. Well, so far so good. Our image is looking pretty interesting. The next thing that I want to do is Zooming out a bit. Now I want to work on the color that we see in the background. I want to bring some of those colors out. So I'll go back to my Adjustments, and this time, I'm going to click on Color Balance. Now here, in my mid tones, I'm going to increase the reds, and the yellows. I like that. Also in the highlights, I'll go ahead and increase the reds there a little bit, and the yellows as well. And those nice vivid pastel colors, actually, I don't think I want any yellows there. Maybe a little bit of blue, if anything else.
Okay, that looks good. Now I'm going to click on the Mask icon, and invert this mask. So I invert the mask, so now that Color Balance Adjustment Layer is affecting nothing. Black conceals, right? Okay, while I grab my Brush, because white reveals. Front of my Brush on a blend mode of Normal, I noticed that it was accidentally on Soft Light. So I had to change that back. The Opacity here, well, I'm going to lower this down to about 50%. Now I'm going to paint with White. I'm just going to start to bring in some of these really fun pastel colors up in the clouds. A little bit on the ocean here. And I'm going to start off with a real big Brush. And one of the things that I'm noticing as I start to paint around the image is I like the colors in the sky.
I don't necessarily like it on the beach. So I press the X key. That will then allow me to paint with Black on my Mask. Okay, well, so far so good. And I use small brush now. And I'll paint with White, press the X key again. I just want to bring in some of that color. Get real close to the family there, and then smaller Brush: Left Bracket key. Okay, then in this area here. Now because I'm painting with my Mouse right now, my Mask isn't very exact. So I want to smooth that out, so I'll click in my Mask>Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.
We can see the mask if we Zoom out a bit. And here's the original Mask; you can see the different painting brush strokes that I've made here. I'm going to go ahead and blur that out, because some of those were stronger than others. I'm just looking to try to create a Mask that's a little bit more seamless. That looks pretty nice. Click OK. Now because this Mask has a few little different tonal variations, this is going to actually make the color look somewhat interesting. So here's my before and after in regards to changing that background color. Let's double-click the Zoom tool to zoom in. Press Tab to get rid of everything. F to go to Full Screen View mode, and then press the F7 key to bring back our Layers palette.
Now here's a great way to look at your before and after. You hold down the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC. Click on that Eye icon. Here's our before; we thought "Wow! Vivid colors, Wow! Sunset." And now here's after. Gosh! We pushed that even further. And then it's also nice to go through our Layers, here's our Curves Adjustment. Here's that Layer that worked on those: Reds; just brought those down, and then that final Adjustment Layer that worked on the background, and you know what? I think that image looks much more interesting. I'll press F7 to reposition the image, so I can really evaluate it. So you know what, "Hey! I really liked that Color and Tone treatment that we applied to this image." And once again, I hope that you picked up something of value, in this movie.
I'll catch you in the next one. Adios!
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