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In this Photoshop for Designers course, Nigel French focuses on the tools and features in Photoshop designed for choosing, applying, and editing color. The course looks at concepts such as the color wheel and color harmonies as well as the practicalities of using the Color Picker, leveraging the power of color channels, and the characteristics of different color modes in Photoshop. The course includes exercises on correcting color, enhancing color, shifting and replacing colors, working with spot color channels, hand coloring black and white images, and designing with a reduced color palette.
In this movie we're going to see how we can use a gradient map to intensify a sunset, I have here a Gradient Map adjustment layer applied to this image. Here is how it looks without it, and here is how it looks with it. So I'm going to turn it off and we're going to recreate this. So the purpose of the gradient map in this context, and I'll be using it in another context in a latter movie, but here, what we can do is we can map specific tonal values in that image to specific colors.
I'm going to sample the colors of the sky and then map those colors to my gradient map from my highlights, to my midtones. So I'm choosing my Eyedropper tool and I'm coming and exampling this sort of bluey gray color at the top of the sky. That's going to be my foreground color. Now that's turned out a little bit too gray, and in fact, I would like to introduce more blue into the sky. So I'm going to click on that foreground color and then I'm going to change the Hue of the color by using the color slider to a more blue Hue.
I'm then going to increase the saturation of that color by dragging the color over to the right and let's go for something like that, and mostly I'm going to increase the brightness of it. So that's my foreground color, and now I'm going to sample the orange from near the horizon and that's going to be my background color. To sample it as my background color, I'm going to hold down my Option or my Alt key and click on the color. And I think I would also like that to be a little bit brighter than it turned out to be, and a little bit more orange.
So I'm going to move to mostly orange colors and I'm going to increase the Saturation and I'm going to increase the Brightness, so that is my background color. So now I'm going to come and add a Gradient Map adjustment layer, which immediately takes on my foreground and background colors, and this right here is interesting, and this may be one of those happy Photoshop accidents where you think, oh, I never thought of that, and I quite like the image like this.
But this is not really what I'm after here. What I need to do is limit the range of the gradient map, so that only happens within the tonal values of the sky, we don't want to happening in the buildings or in the dock that's in the foreground. So I'm going to click on the Gradient Map and I'm going to adjust the gradient. So currently, it's going from the shadows, over here, you'll see that the Blue is going into the shadow areas and the orange is going into the highlight areas.
I actually want to want to switch that around, because I want the blue going into the highlight areas. So before I do anything, I'm going to come click on Reverse and then come back. And now what I'm going to do is I'm going to get the orange Color Stop, which represents the tonal values of the shadows and bring this to about halfway, and we can see now that we have the blue transitioning to the orange and the orange is continuing from the midtown values into the shadows.
Knowing in advance that I'm going to apply the multiply blend mode to this gradient map, I'm going to add a third color, and that third color is going to be white, because multiply neutralizes white, so I'm going to choose white as my third color. Interestingly you can see what that's doing; the shadow areas of the image are now transitioning from orange to white. I want to make that transition a little bit more drastic, so I'm going to drag the color midpoint to the left, and then I'm also going to experiment with the position, and then I'm also going to experiment with the location of the orange slider.
I'm looking down here at the very horizon line where I can see the orange is not completely filling that area, so I need to move this to the left, until it does, and I'm also going to adjust the transition between the blue and the orange, because I would like a little bit more orange, and a little bit less blue, so I'm going to move that color midpoint slider slightly to the left. Now at this point I like the way my gradient map looks I now need to change the blending mode of this adjustment layer to Multiply, so that all of the white areas of that gradient map are neutralized.
Now what I can do to dial down this effect is just reduce the opacity and I can adjust that to taste, and if I don't like the affect of the orange on the highlights in the water, then I could as I did on my original version, add a layer mask to this gradient map adjustment layer. I'll choose my Gradient tool, I'll need to make sure that black is my foreground color and I have a Foreground to Transparent, Gradient and then I'm just going to drag up from the bottom, I'll just reduce my view size slightly, so we can see the full extent of the image and then I'm going to drag up from the bottom to slightly less than the halfway point of the image, and that will mask the effects of the gradient map in the foreground.
So the gradient map is now only affecting the sunset, and it's introducing more intense colors and richness into the sunset.
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