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Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3 was created and produced by Lee Varis. We are honored to host his material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®
Portraiture can be one of the most rewarding skills for a photographer to master, and the right post-processing and enhancement techniques can make all the difference. In Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3, Lee Varis uses Photoshop CS3 as a digital darkroom to bring out the best in photos of people, faces, and bodies. He examines tone and contrast, color correction, retouching, and more.
Okay, we've been concentrating on black and white conversions from color, going from color to black and white. And we know that we can actually go from black and white and apply that back to the color image. There are some very, very powerful things you can do with this and this comes out under the heading of luminosity blending where we are taking luminosity, using it to our advantage, the luminosity that may exist in the individual black and white channels, and changing the tonal structure of the image in the color, full color image.
So we're going to look at some of the very powerful things we can do with that and I'll start with this next image. Here I have a picture of Nathan. The actual values for my skin tone, if just check the values, really not too bad. The mix of the skin is fine. He just looks kind of pasty here. So let's take a look at what this might look like in black and white.
Well here's the Red channel. There's the big problem. His face is completely white in the Red channel. Well the Green channel is better. He actually now has some tone in his face, but most of the tone or the richness of tone in his face is found in the Blue channel. So let's see what we can do here to take advantage of that. I am going to go back to our color image. Let's zoom in for a little bit better look here. And what if I took from the Channel Mixer, turned it into a Blue channel mix.
Let's select the Blue filter here, I get 100% of Blue channel, monochrome. Now if I change the Apply mode from Normal to Luminosity, I'm taking the black and white luminosity from the Blue channel and applying it to the color image. And look at that. I get a complete reversal or a whole new look out of the tones. I haven't run a curve on this yet. And in fact I get much better richness of tones than I had in the original color image.
He is real pasty here. Now he is movie macho, has a nice tan, and the only problem I see now is that I've created a kind of baby blue gi here; his karate uniform. And I've rather get back some of the richness of that blue color. So let's look at Blending Options. A lot of powerful things can happen here under Blending Options.
So let's look down at the bottom here, our Blend If area, and I'm going to zoom in on this. And what we're looking at here is Blend If and we have the darkness in this Blend If Gray. So if This Layer which represents our Blue channel, Channel Mixer, the Underlying Layer which represents the original layer. But what if we looked at the Red channel? In the Red channel the blue gi is very dark.
So if I want to get some of that blue gi back, if I move this black point over, and you can kind of see in the image here what's happening. Let me zoom back out. As I move this little gray black point slider over there, I'm getting black more and more of that original blue color. I'll use the Option key or Option or Alt and split this little triangle apart. So we get a smooth blend into that. And I'm actually getting a little bit of this texture of the original blue or the lighter blue from the Channel Mixer.
And I'm using this too put a little of that texture back. So now here's my new mix. I still preserve the darker skin from the Blue channel luminosity. But I'm going back to the original color in the blue gi. And I've also put a little more detail in the gi, because I didn't blend a 100% back using the Blending Options.
So let me turn that on and off again. Look at that. I haven't had to mask this off or anything and I achieved a result that I could not achieve just using Curves. So this is a hint at the power of luminosity blending. You can achieve much more complicated results. This was a solution and an easy solution to a somewhat more difficult problem in the color image. It turns out to be pretty trivial if you know how to use your Blending Options. We are going to look at a more complicated image next.
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