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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, I want to introduce you to the topic of masking. Now I'm going to talk about masking by way of a story and I'm going to do that because one, masking is really integral to everything that we are going to do in Photoshop. Two, sometimes masking can be a little bit abstract but let's make this a little bit more simple. So here is a quick story for you. I have this photograph and this was captured by a good friend of mine Sammy Olsen. It was captured on the north shore of Hawaii in the wintertime absolutely beautiful and I love surfing. And you know handful of years ago, I found out I was going to have a daughter, it was our first daughter, I was so excited.
So I decided to get planned. So I bought her some women surfing magazines and you see a t-shirt there. No pressure, she absolutely has to surf. (Laughs) But I just want to get some fun stuff for her, right. And I decided that I want to decorate her room, my wife and I decided we would have some fun with this and kind of go with this surfer girl theme. So one things that I want to do is to create a stencil and masking works a lot like a stencil does. And when you have a stencil what you do is you cut nearly out and then you add some paint. Let's say we want to make this flower blue. We then lift the stencil off and we are just left with the blue shape. So as you can see here, you can then see those little shapes on the wall. And now stencil gave me that creative ability to create a unique shape.
So when we start to talk about masking, think of masking as a stencil but a very fluid, flexible and changeable stencil. All right, well let me explain a little bit more. One of the things that we can do with a mask as we can select an area and we can say you know what, I want to reveal an adjustment to a specific area. So here we have a screen grab of my Layers palette. This is a hue/saturation adjustment layer where I have removed all of the saturation. I have revealed that "desaturation" in the white area that is out here. The black portion in the middle of this " stencil" so to speak is where I have concealed it. That's why I have said if I have a spray can, I spray across that well nothing is going to go through in this area so the original image remains here.
Now I'm sure you are probably thinking okay, I kind of get the idea of a stencil. But I don't really get how that relates to masking. So obviously what we need to do is spend some time working with masks. So let's go ahead and do that in the next movie.
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