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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 what I want to do is show you what I would have to say is my all time favorite Photoshop plug-in. It's put out by onOne Software and it is called Photoframe. Now keep in mind you don't have to use this plug-in; you can use those other techniques that I have already showed you, yet this is an amazing plug-in and typically you use plug-ins in order to speed up your workflow and/or to get some other results you just couldn't get without the plug-in and that's really the case here. We are going to work on this file corwig_eddie_ben.jpg you can find in the Chapter 14 folder. Let's double-click that to open it in Photoshop, press F to go to Full Screen View mode. And here we have this photograph that I captured of Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper. I dig those guys. I like their music and a pretty interesting concert photo here. What I want to add is add a little bit of style to this photo that kind of matches their music a little bit.
Their music is pretty down to earth; it has some rough edges to it and I like that. So, I'm going to click on my Adjustment Layer icon and choose Color Balance. That will open up the Color Balance panel and all I'm going to do here is add some reds and some yellows; kind of add some interesting tones there. Double-click the Adjustments, so I have my before and after. Now, why am I doing that? Well, I'm doing that because I want to illustrate how we can use color in order to connect the frame to the overall image. I'll click on my background layer, navigate to my Filter pulldown menu, choose onOne and then go to Photoframe. Now, a quick comment about this. The most recent version of Photoframe that you will be able to use and view is Photoframe 4 and it is so much better than Photoframe 3.1. Yet right now today while I'm recording this movie that version isn't publicly available, so I can't show that just yet. Yet, keep in mind it is so much better, it is ridiculous, but for now we will use this. Okay, I'm using the demo version of this, so I'm going to go ahead and click Demo.
Nice thing about demo is you can download the software, try them out for fifteen days, if you like them, see if they are worthwhile, and then you can figure out if you want to purchase it or not. All right, well here you can see I have the interface and I have a current frame selected and I have a number of frames here, I'll go ahead and turn that off. Well, how can I select a frame? Well, I can go to my different types of frames, let's say I'll go to Photographic and in Photographic I'm going to go ahead and choose Camera. Now with camera, I'll then double click one of these frames and then I can see that around the image here and I can resize it, I'm going to go ahead and size it to the edges. I can say, okay that's kind of an interesting frame. So, one of the things you are going to discover here is you have a wide range of frames. I mean I'm talking about a ton of different types of frames. Well you can also take one of the frames -- let's turn that off, let's go down to another one, Vincent Versace frame. You can take one of the frames, let's say it is a pretty kind of standard frame and you can add to that. I'm going to go ahead and choose this Emulsion option. You can see that it kind of burn the corners down. I can click on to add different frames and stack these frames on top of each other.
Now in this case the stacking doesn't look very good. So, let's turn this off, we will turn off our options here. Well, how could we do something that maybe would look a little interesting? Let's say that we chose an option kind of like this where we have an edge, we could then go to that Emulsion and add that Emulsion frame on top of it or for matter we could have a Polaroid frame and then an Emulsion frame. We will do a little set of Emulsion frame. So, we have this real extreme kind of film look and you can see how these two frames are combined together. Do you always have to combine frames? Not all at. All I'm trying to do here is just begin to show you how you can have different types of frame. All right, well I'm going to go ahead and choose one that's kind of simple, let's see what I want to use for our demo. Wow, that's kind of interesting. I like that one; I'll click Apply to New Layer. That will then create that frame around the edge of the image, just roughening up a little bit and now I'll turn on my Color Balance layer and again the reason I want to have that layer on top rather than my frame on top, with my frame is on top I just see this strange, kind of a white look, doesn't really connect when that's underneath and I have color on top of the frame, well now it is really taking it to a new level.
I'll click on my background layer and navigate to my Filter pulldown, onOne Software, Photoframe. I'm going to try another frame out just so I have a couple I can compare. And in this case I'm going to go to one that's a little bit more polished off so to speak, I have this little edge frame. I'll turn off the top layer and in this case I have that frame, I'm going to reposition it and I could have repositioned it inside of the plug-in, yet I didn't which is no big deal because I want to show how you can fix that. Reposition and grab the Marquee tool, hover around the edge of that frame and then go to Select > Inverse and now we are going to fill with white.
I'll put white in my background color because it typically is there. On a Mac that's Command+Delete, on a PC that is Ctrl+Backspace, just to fill it up, block those areas out. So, now I have this version of the frame or I could go to this other frame that I have here. Let's crop in on this one. I'll keep in mind with the cropping, the positioning, the alignment, the blending and all of that, the sky is the limit. You can really do anything with this. One thing that's kind of interesting to do with these frames is to take your frame, copy it, Command+J on a Mac/Ctrl+J on a PC and take it to a blend mode, like a blend mode of Soft Light.
Now all of that did for me here is it just kind of darkened those edges, now when I have that other one on I combine those two, we are just seeing a little bit more of a contrast build up around the edge of that frame. If you want more, press Command+J on a Mac/Ctrl+J on a PC and then you can even build that up further. Now, that actual type of frame is going to really depend on how that blends into the image and how it all works together. Sometimes it is kind of interesting to see when you have the color off you can just start to see, how you are just slowly building up a little more of that frame. Now this particular effect could I have created it on my own? Well yeah, I could. I could have scan something, laid down over the image, create the frame, resize it and everything, but the plug- in speeded up my workflow and really it probably did help me accomplish something I wouldn't have otherwise accomplished simply because of the time. It also helped me get really creative and experiment with this and in addition I was able to use my other Photoshop skills in order to take advantage of this plug-in.
So, if you are like me, when I discovered this plug-in, you are probably thinking wow that's kind of interesting or at least like to play with it. Do a quick Google search for onOne Software and then you can download the demo and play with it and one of the things I think you will discover as I have discovered is that what surrounds your images can really affect them and change them and then also keep in mind with any plug-in you don't want to overdo it with a plug-in. So, experiment and have fun, but keep in mind it is not the solution. You want to have an idea first and then use Photoshop or the plug-in second. In this case I had the idea, I knew the style I want to go for with the image and then use the plug-in in order to help me actualize the vision I had for that image.
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