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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
The Adjustments panel houses some of the most important controls inside of Photoshop. And because that's the case, let's go ahead and zoom in on the Adjustments panel. And one of the things that I like to do is whenever I'm trying to learn something, I take a screen grab of it, and then I kind of parse it out and separate it out, so I can really learn what it's all about. Let's zoom in on this picture here. I'll do so by pressing the Tab key, and then by pressing Command+Plus in order to zoom in, and then F to go to Full Screen View mode. Well, the first thing you'll notice is that the Adjustments panel, which is located down here, is grouped in an interesting way.
We have four different controls, then we have six, and then we have five. Well, the first four are parsed out here up top. What's really they have to do is tone and also some color work. Brightness and Contrast, Levels, Curves. Curves really is one of the most powerful tools in Photoshop. It's really helpful for making corrections, or for making some creative adjustments to our images. Next, we have Exposure. Then in the next set, we have controls that really help us work with color, whether it's Vibrance or Hue and Saturation, Color Balance, converting to Black & White, adding Photo Filters which tone images, or working with the Channel Mixer.
Then the final set, these are what I'm calling more Specialty controls, ones we won't use actually that often: Invert, Posterize, Threshold, and so on. All right. Well, let's bring back the Photoshop Interface, and then let's also zoom out a little bit so we can focus in on the Adjustments panel. Well, the Adjustments panel, over here, has a couple of different ways that we can view it. We can either click on this icon here to expand the view, or click again in order to collapse it. Now, there are times when you are going to want to expand this so you can really focus in on the task at hand.
Well, the next that we need to know about is how we can actually select one of these different types of Adjustments. For example, let's say we want to work with Curves. We can go to this Curves Preset option here and click a Curves Preset that would then open or launch Curves. Or we can simply click on the Curves icon here. Or we can click on this icon on the top right-hand corner and choose Curves here. And there is even one more way we can do this. We can go down to the base of the Layers panel, click on the Adjustment layer icon and then choose Curves here.
Well, whatever we do, it will do the same thing. Let's go ahead and click on this icon here. It will open this particular dialog and then create what's called an Adjustment layer. You'll notice that the Adjustment layer is located above the other layer. By default, it's put on top. And this is really helpful because what this can allow us to do is to have different types of layers. For example, with Curves one of things that we do is click and drag up in order brighten, or click and drag down in order to darken.
Well, now here you can see that this image is much darker, yet I haven't actually edited the pixels. And I can continually change this. If this is too dark, no big deal. Click and drag up. Now, the point here isn't to teach you how to use Curves, but rather to get you in this concept of how Adjustment layers work. We can turn these on or off simply by clicking on the Eye icon. And we can also continually modify these. Another thing that we can do is we can stack up different Adjustments; for example, we can go ahead and go back to the Icon View by clicking on this arrow here, and then we can choose another Adjustment.
I am going to choose Hue/Saturation, by clicking on the Hue/Saturation icon. Next, I am going to going to go ahead and click and drag this to the left, changing the colors of this particular document. So here you can see I am stacking up these different layer adjustments. Now if at any time, I don't like one of the adjustments, again all that I need to do is to simply click on or off the Eye Icon. So I am going to go ahead and turn both of those off. Now another thing that's kind of interesting is let's say that we click in our Background layer which then takes us back to this thumbnail view here.
And let's go ahead and collapse this so it's a little bit smaller. And then let's say that we decide, I do really want this Curves Adjustments on, but it's just too intense. I want to soften it a bit. Well how could I do that? Couple of different ways. One technique that we could use would be to simply click in this layer and then modify the control here by changing the overall amount. Another technique would be to lower the Opacity of this layer. I am going to click and drag it to the left, and you can see I'm lowering the Opacity of this particular adjustment.
So one of the things that you are discovering is that Adjustment layers are incredibly flexible. There is so much that we can do with them. And they give us this nice flexibility because, in a sense we don't really have to commit to the adjustment; rather, we can make it, and then we can always go back and adjust or lower the opacity of that adjustment, or for that matter, we can get rid of it altogether.
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