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With this photograph of this professional and world-renowned guitarist, we're going to take a look at how we can used HDR Toning in order to combine that with Blending modes and masking in order to create a really interesting color and tone effect. Well, one of the first steps that we need to take whenever working with HDR Toning is to duplicate our document. We can do that by navigating to Image and then by selecting Duplicate. Here we'll go ahead and click on Duplicate and simply click OK. Well, now that we have both of these documents, let's set these side by side.
Next step, we're going to navigate to Image > Adjustments and then we're going to choose HDR Toning. Now what my goal is here is to create an HDR tone look that I can then bring back and primarily mask into the glasses. I want to bring out the reflections there in the glasses. And if you look closely, you can actually see me standing there in the reflection. So as we start to modify the image, I'm going to really focus in on the glasses themselves. So one of the things I want to do initially is lower the Saturation and the Vibrance.
There is too much color in that. So I'm going to reduce that. I'm going to bring out a lot of detail and I mean a ton of detail. So I'm going to go ahead and crank this up significantly. Then I'll make some minor adjustments to just modifying the overall Radius and the Strength. Here all I'm doing is just starting to focus in on the glasses. Now I know the rest of the image doesn't look very good, but that's okay. I'm simply going to work with this and look to try to create a nice look there and just modify these sliders as needed. I think for the most part this will do. Now you maybe thinking this is crazy, because this image doesn't look good at all.
Well, stick with me because you'll see how we can use this in order to come up with some pretty interesting results. Well, I'm just going to desaturate perhaps a little bit more there and then click OK. Next step, we grab our Move tool. Then we'll hold down the Shift key and we'll click and drag this HDR toned image into the original document. Press F to go to full-screen view mode, and let's name this new layer hdr toning. What we're going to do is actually create a selection of the glasses. In order to do that, let's zoom in.
Grab our Selection tool, say like the Quick Select tool. We want to have a nice small brush there, and all we need to do is simply click and drag around the glasses. This selection doesn't have to perfect, although we do want it to be pretty good. So we'll just go ahead and click and drag around. I'll make my brush a little bit bigger there just to go even more quickly, and make sure we have all of the glasses selected. Hold down Option or Alt to subtract from the selection if we select too much. Just make sure that we have all those edges there. We can always fix this up later if it's not perfect, because what we're going to be doing is creating a mask from this selection.
Well, let's turn on the visibility of hdr toning, and then let's click on the Add layer mask icon. Well, now here we can see this effect. Here is that before and then after. That reflection is really starting to glow. But what I want to do is actually combine this with some Blending modes, in particular the Blending mode of Screen and of Soft Light. First, let's use Screen. We'll go ahead and choose from our Blending mode option, Screen. Now when we do that, we can see that it blends in a little bit more nicely. It also fixes up some of our edges that weren't so good.
Here is the before and then the after. The next step is going to be to click and drag this to the New layer icon or to press Cmd+J or Ctrl+J and to change this Blending mode to Soft Light. Soft Light will give us that really nice contrast. Now here we have the before and then the after. What we want to do from here is mix these two layers together. In other words, lower the opacity of Soft Light or go into the Screen layer and lower the opacity of the Screen layer, and see what we can do to come up with a way that just really brings out this overall interesting detail and the reflection.
Well, next, what I want to do is apply a color effect. If I'm going to have the glasses looking so kind of surreal there, what I need to do is to match the color in the image in this way. In particular, I want to go for that muted contrast look which we already know how to create. What we do is we click on the Adjustment layer icon, and then we choose Black & White. This will then convert the image to black-and-white. Next, we'll take this to a Blending mode of good old Soft Light. Now, here typically what's nice to do is to modify your sliders like increasing the Reds.
You can see that we can brighten up the skin tones. We can also work with Blues there as well. I want to bring up some of those details as well. Now that we have that effect, let's look. Here is that before and then after. Well, with this color effect in full force what we want to do next perhaps is bring back some of the HDR effect to the shirt and some of the other areas. Well, in order to do that, I'm going to go straight to one of my hdr toning layers. Here if I want to change the Density of the Blacks, I simply go the Mask panel and lower the density.
And as I lower the Density, we can see it's going to allow more of this effect to come through here on the shirt. Take a look at this. If we Shift+Click the mask, there's without a mask, before, and then Shift+Click it again. There is with the mask. That really limits it in some interesting ways. Or we can see it this way, before and then after. Now this works so well, because we have this Black & White adjustment layer here. So once we bring in the HDR tone look across the image, we want to go back to our Black & White layer. So let's double-click that one.
Here we may want to darken up the shirt a little bit, because essentially that HDR toning look brightened it up. Well, let's zoom out and evaluate how we are doing. Actually, at this stage we've come up with a pretty interesting look. Here is our overall before and now our after. Let's zoom in a little bit more so you can see that even better, before and then after. The only thing that might be fun to do here is to add some color into the image. One way to add color is with Color Balance. So here we'll go back to the Adjustments panel.
Click on good old Color Balance. Then what I can do is add some color and Highlights, maybe a little bit of Yellow there. I could then go to those Shadows. I could also add a bit of tone there, maybe some Blue and Cyan, just changing the overall color palette of this image. The nice thing about this is that we can flexibly change the color. There's that before and now after. The colors are going to interact with the underlying layers in a completely different way, simply because we've used all of these different effects. For example, if I turn off this Black & White adjustment layer, the color looks a little bit less interesting, than when that's on.
Also, if I turn off one of these layers here, we can see that also the color's less interesting, because the shirt is too dark, but it's the combination of all of these different adjustments which really give us this rock star type of a look. And this particular person is a rock star. So we want to go for something that has this particular aesthetic. Well, let's evaluate the overall before and after. Hold down Option or Alt, click on the eye icon of that Background layer. Here we have it before, kind of normal and then after, a really interesting color and tone creative effect.
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