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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Here in this movie, I want to share with you two ways that you can perform a traditional darkroom technique and that is the technique of burning and dodging. The first technique requires that we copy our background layer. So let's do that by pressing Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows, and I am going to go ahead and name this layer burn. Burn allows us to darken certain parts of the image. In order to burn or dodge on this layer, we can go straight to the Burn Dodge tools which you can find in the tools panel.
Now, Dodge allows you to brighten dark tones, Burn allows you to darken tones in your image and that's what I want to do. Well here, if you select the tool, you can then go to your Options bar. Typically, what you want to do is select the range of the area that you want to work on. Let's start off with the default Midtones. Next, we have Exposure. The higher the Exposure, the more intense the adjustment; the lower the Exposure, the more you'll have to paint back-and-forth over the area. Typically, when it comes to burning and dodging, you want to have a lower amount, so that you can slowly build it up.
Next, you want to make sure to have this option turned on, Protect Tones. This will prevent clipping. In other words it will prevent loss of detail in your whites or your shadows if you're burning or dodging. It also will prevent an undesirable hue or color shift. Now that we've set that up, let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit on this image. Now what I want to do is just darken up the edge of this photograph. So in regards to my brush, I will go back to the Options bar here and increase the size, and also make sure I have no hardness. Here I am just looking to try to create a little bit of a vignette effect, so I am just going to paint around the edges here, darkening up these edges.
You can see that as I paint back-and-forth over this area, I can create kind of a custom shape in regards to how I use my brush. I can also paint around here, just darkening up these edges, and by doing this, I'm primarily working on the midtones. The challenge of course is that some of the brighter tones aren't darkening. So I'll go into my Options bar, and choose Highlights, and then paint over that area as well. That will paint down some of those brighter tones that I might have missed with that other setting; like there, that train track, that looks a little bit better, and also some of these other tones in the background.
If ever you want this to be performed more quickly, just increase that Exposure, and also, press the Right Bracket key to increase your brush size, and you can see how I'm now creating an even stronger effect around the edge of the image. Let's take a look at what we've created here. If we click on this eye icon, you can see the creative effect which we've applied is this darkening effect to the outer edge of the image. Now these Burn and Dodge tools are great, because they allow us to build up either brightening or darkening; yet, they're also a little bit limited, they're limited in the sense that we're actually applying this adjustment to real pixels.
Well, there's another way to burn and dodge which I want to show you now which uses a different approach. Well, here let's go ahead and turn off the visibility of this layer for a moment and let's just click on the New layer icon. Next, let's name this layer Burn and Dodge, and what we want to do here is I want you to select your Brush tool. Choose a brush which has a nice soft edge and we'll do a medium-size brush here, so remove all the hardness. As far as the Opacity goes, I am going to start off with 100%, and eventually change that.
But now, I'm just going to go ahead and click and paint a stripe, one black, and then next to it one white. Well, what we can do is with a blank layer, we can paint with black or white or a different shade of gray that's either bright or dark, and we can change the Blending mode to Soft Light. When we do that, we'll see that what's happening is it's either darkening or brightening the underlying pixels. In other words, if we have our brush, and if we're painting with white, what we can do is a lower the opacity a little bit, and if we wanted to brighten the jeans here, well we could just paint across that area of our picture in order to bring some light into that area.
Take a look at that; before and then now the after. The wonderful thing about using a layer like this is that we're not modifying pixels and also, we have a lot of flexibility. If ever we feel the effect is too strong, or we can always erase it or modify it or change it by lowering the opacity or by changing the way we're working with the brush, so now we have a little bit more of a subtle effect. Now that we've seen that, let's bring the opacity back up, and let's do the same thing that we did before just to keep it simple, that is, let's darken the edges.
So here, press Command+A on a Mac, Ctrl+A on Windows to select all, then press Delete or Backspace and then deselect. I just wanted to remove all of those brushstrokes we had added. Let's select Black in our color picker. Next, we want to choose a relatively low opacity. Again, it's almost always best to build up the effect. As far as our brush, press the Right Bracket key to increase the brush size, and typically you want to have a nice soft edge brush, and here I will go ahead and just paint around the edge of the image.
And as we've done before, you can see how we can slowly kind of build up this darkening effect. And in this case, we might want to do something like this, perhaps just to create kind of a creative effect, or maybe what we need to do is keep the viewer's eye in the center of the frame, and you can focus a viewer in on your image by changing what's bright, and what's dark because the eye typically goes to that which is bright and also in focus. And by darkening this outer edge, well, it's kind of creating a bit of separation, the subject from the background.
Here in this case, I'm obviously doing a little bit more than we did with the other tool, and I am doing that just to kind of illustrate how we can use these brushstrokes in order to paint this in. Well, if we click off the visibility of this layer, you can see there's our before, now here's our after. If we change the Blending mode of this layer back to Normal, what you'll see is that I have all of these various brushstrokes. Now, my brushstrokes, they're a little bit choppy. So when you're using this technique and if you're painting with a mouse, what you might want to do is after you've applied the technique, is to go to your Filter pulldown menu and then to choose Blur and Gaussian Blur.
This will allow you to soften those brushstrokes. Let me exaggerate for a moment. Here if I bring this up, they're so soft, they all kind of blur together. As I decrease that though, what you can see is we can just take the edge off of those brushstrokes, so that they're not so harsh. This way, the light that I painted in here or the darkening effect is a bit more subtle. Now, you don't always have to do that, but I just wanted to share that with you because I think it can help out in a lot of situations. All right! Well, let's click OK to apply that.
Next, let's change that Blending mode back to Soft Light, and here you can see we now have this effect dialed in. We have that darkening effect around the corners. We did this by creating a new layer, changing the Blending mode to Soft Light, and then painting with black or white, or we can always just duplicate a layer, and right on that layer, we can use our Burn and Dodge tools. Now, there are other ways to darken or brighten as well, and this topic is actually pretty deep. So let's go ahead, and continue to talk about burning and dodging and let's do that in the next few movies.
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