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Working with color can be an amazing journey, and in Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color, Brooks Institute of Photography professor Chris Orwig teaches a different way to create great color in photographs. Chris goes beyond the basics by showing how color can have a profound effect on a photograph's impact. He demonstrates adjusting color and tone to make images more vivid, changing colors, working with color saturation, cross processing, and more. The course culminates with real-world projects that utilize the techniques Chris has shown for creating intriguing and beautiful color photographs. Exercise files accompany the course.
So far we have taken a look at how we can use the Lab color space in order to add a bit of color variety and saturation to an image. What about if we want to create some real surreal color effects? I mean we want to our colors to glow. We want them to be so bright, it's unbelievable. Well we can do that as well and that's what we are going to do here. Here we have a photograph of this graffiti mural. My favorite thing about this is that the graffiti is wrapped around this pole here. I will go ahead and make these colors vivid. So I will navigate to my Image pulldown > Mode and choose Lab Color.
Next click on the Curves Adjustment Layer icon. We are going to go the A channel. We are going to increase the color saturation here a little bit and color variety. So I want to make sure that that point there sticks right in the middle. Okay so far so good, go to the b channel. This one I am going to bring in quite a bit, adding a significant change here. Then we will go ahead and click on the eye icon. Here is our before and after, again just bright vivid colors. I will zoom in a little bit further. Before and after and we can see it in the blues, up here, we can see these are just really bright vivid tones.
Now that we have those colors we can do a couple of things. One is we can actually duplicate this layer. Let's click and drag it to the New Layer icon. Now when I do that my colors just went over the top. Here is my before and after. For the most part, they don't look very good, but I do like how it affected the colors over here. So I am going to go to my Masks icon, invert that mask and then I grab my Brush tool and I will paint with white 100%. I am just going to go ahead and allow to that to come through over. Also allow it to come through up top where I have these neon colors, a little bit over here as well. I don't want to affect those reds, because those just went completely into a place where there is lots of too much of the texture there.
Then I will lower the Opacity. Again, just a little bit of subtle, extra added bit of color. Overall before and after. All right, nice. Now that we have done that, we can go to Image > Mode and RGB Color. Flatten that image for sure and we have our final photograph here with these new added and vivid colors and if you pan around the image. It just looks like something quite surreal. Now that we are back in this RGB composite view mode, we will go to the Adjustment panel and click on Vibrance and Saturation. When we increase Vibrance, what it's going to do is bring out some of the weaker colors. We can also bring up a little bit of the Saturation and we will just bring that up just a touch there then a subtle little adjustment, but again adding just a bit more of a boost of those colors.
One of the things that I notice is I lose a little bit here. So I will click on mask and I will paint with black and I am going to mask this off. I don't want to lose that orange color there. I like that. Here is my before and then after. Subtle, yet significant. Go to Window and choose History. I will open up the History panel and I go back to the original file. There is the original. Then press Command+Z, there is the after. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode and look at our before and after. Here is before and here is after. In this case, we have had quite a bit of fun with color using that Lab Color Space.
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