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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I have saved my progress as Rustic interior.psd. In this file exercise, we are going to go ahead and finish off the composition by adding a couple of adjustment layers, and then I will show you the wild difference between this authentic, high dynamic range image and the exact same treatment - that is the same Smart Filter, the same cropping, and the same adjustment layers applied to a single exposure. All right so, with this layer active, let's go ahead and add a levels adjustment, first of all, just to brighten up the scene a little. So I will Alt+ Click or Option+Click on this black- white icon, choose the Levels command, and I will go ahead and call this new layer "gamma adjust," like so, and then I will click OK. And the values that I want you to enter, if you're following along with me, are 5 for the black point value, so we are just darkening the darkest colors a little bit.
I just want a little bit of clipping going on there. And then I will tab to the gamma value and take it up two notches. So I press Shift+Up arrow twice in a row - the end. I am not going to do anything with a white point because we are already clipping colors, and there is nothing that levels can do about clipped highlights or clipped shadows, for that matter. All right so now go ahead and close that Adjustments panel. Next, I want to add a gradient map adjustment, because I basically want to override all of the colors inside the composition. Since what we really have is a lot of sort of low oranges for the wood and these very hot oranges around the bright spots, I am thinking that we are going to get more out of the luminance range if we are able to focus on the luminance to the exclusion of the colors.
So in other words we are going to be achieving a kind of low color black and white image. All right so go down to the bottom of the panel once again, Alt+Click or Option+Click in the black-white icon and choose a Gradient Map command, just a second option up. And I am going to call this guy "gradient," good enough and then click OK, and now let's choose a gradient that we are going to use. So click the down pointing arrowhead. And at the bottom of the list, you should see those 14 gradients that I had provided for you way back in Chapter 18 of the Advanced portion of the series.
If you didn't load them, or you are no longer seeing them, that's fine, because you can load them now. I have got ahead and included these very same gradients, that are called dekeTones CS5.grd. If you click this right pointing arrowhead and choose the Load Gradients commands, they are found here inside the 33_HDR_pro folder. So I have gone ahead and duplicated them for your gradient map pleasure. Anyway, I am going to cancel that. And the one that I want you to select is this guy right there, Carnival reflect, believe it or not, is going to work out pretty nicely here. And notice it does a heck of a job of coloring the scene, even though it does have some pretty interesting sort of purplish colors there in the shadows.
I kind of like that, but I am thinking we should go ahead and override that effect. So click off of the menu for a second to hide it and then click inside the Gradient bar to load the Gradient Editor dialog box, and we are just going to change out this final color right there, by double-clicking on that color stop. And let's make it black just by dragging to the bottom-left corner of the big field. And your Saturation and Brightness values should both be 0%. Hue doesn't matter for black. Click OK, and we are done. So click OK inside the Gradient Editor dialog box, go ahead and collapse the Adjustment panel, and this is the final version of our Barn effect. Now I have opened another image, for the sake of comparison here.
It's called Half-second exposure.psd. And what it is it's that half-second exposure, just a single exposure, the one that we used to correct the ghosting, as you may recall. And otherwise, it's the exact same composition. So I converted the image to Smart Object. I applied Smart Sharpen. There is a Smart Filter. I went ahead and set it to the Luminosity blend mode. We have the exact same cropping in force, and the exact same adjustment layers as well, and yet we end up with a much more drab effect, as you can see here.
I am going to press Shift+F in order to fill the screen with this image. And not only is it a little more drab, as you might expect, and we have greater disparity between the shadows and highlights inside of the image, but also we have this tragic effect with this backlighting creating a kind of haloing effect through the slats of wood in the door. Compare that to the HDR image, which looks like this, which is bright and vivid and dramatic and controlled, where the Highlights are concerned, and absolutely looks like a million bucks. And I am going to end things by just zooming in so that you can take in that composition.
So remember, if this is the kind of thing that you are interested in, what you need to do is tripod your camera, of course, and then go ahead and lock down the aperture, lock down the ISO, lock down the white balance, everything you can lock down, except the exposure, and then go ahead and hand-expose the shot from very dark indeed, so some very low exposures, to some very high exposures. And if you end up overexposing a few photographs, that's not a problem. You can just go ahead and toss them. As long as you have got a good, let's say 10 to 20 exposures to work from, you can pick and choose the ones that you want to use and end up coming up with some really great, high dynamic range, luminance-intense photographs, thanks to the power of HDR pro here inside Photoshop CS5.
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