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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.
Now, at this point, some of you may be thinking, okay, the previous couple of movies we looked at how we can use the Dust and Scratch filter and everything. That was really interesting. I want to use those other tools we have in Photoshop. Well, that's what we are going to talk about in this movie. We are going to deconstruct some of the retouching tools that we have or some of the image cleanup tools that we have. We are going to work on this file here . You can find it in the Chapter 26 folder, double-click to open it in Photoshop, press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Now, here is the original photograph of this old motel sign and when I was standing there, I saw these two birds lying on the sign and I was just like, oh, perfect! Right, and for some reason, I just am attracted to old signs. I think they are so intriguing.
Now, the layer above which is my demo layer with a couple of different shapes and I have those so that we can deconstruct how some of our tools work. Now, you can find our retouching tools over here in this group. Now, we will go ahead and click on our first option, which is the Spot Healing Brush. Now the Spot Healing Brush is kind of interesting. Now, I'll zoom in a little bit, press the right bracket key to increase the brush size. What's going to happen is if I move down to the sign and I have a little spot I want to remove, I can click on it, it will then sample for me, find an area that looks really good for me, in order to correct that. And for the most part, this tool works really well in removing small blemishes.
So, I'll go ahead and click through this file and I'm going to click on the sign here to remove all these small blemishes. Now, I'm clicking, I can click and drag to sample an area and again, it's going to try to find a nice source area for me in order to clean that up and it's just sampling the source area for me. Now for the most part, this worked well. Let's look at our before and after except there is a small area where it didn't. Now, let's deconstruct what's happening. If I go ahead and zoom up to here and click to remove one of these dots, I say, okay, what happened, it pulled in, actually, circled from one of the surroundings circles. I'll click over here. That one worked fine, this one worked fine, a little bit bigger brush here. That one didn't work so well. And so again, we are seeing that it's sampling an area. It is saying, hey! Where are some good pixels? Where are some clean pixels that I can retouch? So it doesn't always solve all of our problems. All right, we will go ahead and Undo all that I have done there. Now what about the other tools we have here? Well, we have a Healing Brush. This tool is phenomenal. What we are going to do with this one is press the right bracket key to make the brush size a little bit bigger and then on a Mac/you Option -click, on a PC, you Alt-click and you click on an area that you want to sample and then you hover over the area you want to fix.
Now, when I do that one of the things I notice is it's showing me that sample area, it's telling me, hey! I'm going to bring this blue color area and then bring that on top of that and then blend those two together. So I have this little preview inside of this circle and a lot of times, when you are bringing content over this, it's really helpful to be able to see what that actually is and you can see if you are correcting the image well. So you can see this tool allows you to select a specific area. Yet, this doesn't always work so well. I'll Option-click here and let's say I want to cover up a part of the sign, I'll go ahead and paint over it and then as I do that, it then blends in from each side. I like to think of this happening as taking pixels here and blending them over here and blending these here and it's like you are putting your hands together and you are interlacing your fingers.
It's that interlace effect that then creates the final results. So many times, this tool is amazing, it's unreal, it's just unbelievable what you can do with it. There are other times when it isn't the best tool, so let's go ahead and undo that for a moment and then step backwards here as well. Well, let's take a look at the next tool in this set, the Patch tool. Now, the Patch tool is really interesting. What we can do here is select an area, I'll go ahead and select these circles and then click and drag and find a sample area that I want to use and let go, it will then again, blend those two areas together and fix that particular area. I'll Undo that and change this to Destination. Now, what's going to happen is it's going to take the area that I had and then bring that to a new area.
So, in this case, I have duplicated the problem. So that doesn't work very well. So here what I want to do is make a selection and I'll just make a kind of strange selection here and then bring and drag that over the area I want to correct. Now, in this case, I brought it over the area I want to correct, except my selection, because it was that strange shape. It didn't work very well. So I'll go to Select and Deselect. I'll make another selection of another larger area and I'll retouch on top of that and then once I have done that twice, I have pretty good results. Let's go to Select > Deselect and now that looks pretty good, right? So you saw that I had to kind of build that up.
All right, well so far, so good. Let's undo those adjustments that we have made and go down to one more retouching tool we have, the Clone Stamp tool. Now, the Clone Stamp tool is actually pretty interesting. We will go ahead and increase the brush size or Option-click on a Mac/ Alt-click on a PC, right to the right of the bird on that hotel sign. I'll do the same brush stroke that I have done before and this is the brush stroke I did with that Healing Brush, I'll go back and forth a little bit and then let go. Okay, well there is no blending and one of the things that we are discovering here is that this tool can be helpful when we want to actually copy the exact pixels. There is no blending going on in this case. We can just get something out completely. So let's undo that. Let's choose a brush and then let's increase the hardness of the brush or choose a hard edge brush and I'll go ahead and Option-click right here. I'll hover over, it's going to show me what I'm going to be able to do here and I'm just going to slowly look to remove this top part of the sign, Option-click above and I'm just going to paint, make my way down and Option-click over here a little bit and then again, just click to paint that out.
All right, so now I was able to remove that particular letter. Yet, the blending looks horrible, right, because I have all these different patchy areas of color because I was sampling from different areas. Well, no problem. A lot of times what you are going to do is you are going to use the Clone Stamp tool in combination with some of these other Healing Brush, Spot Healing, Healing or Patch tool. Let's go the Patch tool, we will go ahead and make a rough selection of this area and right now, we are on Destination. Let's go to Source and click in reposition this over a good source area. We want to try to get something that has pretty equal tones to what we have here, press Command+D on a Mac, Ctrl+D on a PC to Deselect and now we are able to successfully remove that. So again, keep in mind, a lot of times what you are going to do is use these tools in combination with each other in order to come up with the best results.
All right, well, my intent here with this movie was to simply show you these tools and to get you to begin to think about how you can use these tools in order to cleanup and enhance your images.
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