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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 the previous movies we have been working with images that have color and more importantly I have been using color as a way to teach us how mask actually work. Yet, in this movie what I want to do is step away from color for a moment. I want to minimize all the variables and just work on a black and white image. In particular, I want to look at how we can bring brightness to a portion of an image. So let's go ahead and open up this file brighten.psd and then go ahead and press F to go to Full Screen View mode and zoom in on the image. Now when we zoom in on the image, one of the things that I notice is that the image looks pretty good, yet I'm interested in bringing some more brightness to the eyes here. And so I'm going to go ahead and click on this topmost layer, and this topmost layer is called Brighten.
Now I have modified this layer with a Curve Adjustment and we'll talk more about curves later but for now just say okay, this is a brighter version of the same image. Now it's too bright everywhere else except I really like the way the eyes were. So I'm going to zoom in even closer on those eyes all right, great. So I want to create a mask, yeah, I want to create a mask that's filled with black. We have seen so far how you can click on the mask icon and that will create a mask filed with white. Well, if you hold down that renegade shortcut key that rebel shortcut key which is the Option key or the Alt key and then press the Add Layer Mask icon, you got it. It will create a Layer Mask, which is filled with black, pretty interesting. All right, the next thing that I'm going to do is grab my Brush tool. Press the B key.
Now I'm going to make my brush much smaller and then I'm going to do that by way of shortcut, on a Mac it's Ctrl+ Option-click and drag. I'll make it really, really small there. On a PC that's Alt+ Right Mouse button click-and-drag. All right, well now that I have this nice small brush, I need to paint with white right. Now if I paint with white around this area, I'll reveal the brightness of this layer. So I'm going to go ahead and make sure that white is in my foreground color and I'll do that by clicking on this icon here or by pressing the X key.
Next, I'm going to go ahead and just start to paint this in. Now initially this is going to be way too bright yet, stick with me for a second. And I want make this too bright so that we can see what's happening okay, great. So I can see that I'm starting to have some brightness there, it looks a little strange. Yeah, I'm going in a good direction, here is my before and after. Now one of the things that's happening here is it's allowing too much brightness through. So let's just go ahead and turn off the Eye icon for our Background layer. There we can see that what I'm doing is just simply bringing in this portion of the image; we'll now let's turn that back on.
What then if I bring in less of it. Well, all I need to do is click on the Opacity slider for that layer and then lower the Opacity; I'm going to bring this way down. Now let's take a look at it here, just a simple little bit of brightness there, making that look more interesting. Double-click the Zoom tool to go to 100% so I can step back a little bit and evaluate this image. Here is my before and my after simple yet, pretty significant I'll make a little bit brighter, because I know sometime that's tricky to see when these movies get small. So again the actual amount of brightness is going to really be contingent upon how far you want to go with this effect. In my case, I want to take this down pretty low, I'm worried you won't be able to see that but hopefully you can at least see their eye change, I'll zoom back in perhaps so you can see where I'm going, here is my before and after.
So as you are starting to see you can work with masks in order to improve images. In this case, improve the eyes of a portrait. It's not just about changing colors or using color range to make changes. Sometimes what you are going to do is hand paint in your changes right on that mask. All right, we'll let's take a look at another Masking example, and the next Masking example that I want to look at is how we can use Masking in order to improve the overall sharpness of an image.
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