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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, we will be opening up the file sharpen.psd. Let's go ahead and crack that one open. F to go to Full Screen View mode and then double-click the Zoom tool to take the image to 100%. All right, now that I'm zooming in on this particular photograph of my breakfast to one morning, I just thought those blueberries were so beautiful. We'll notice that we have two layers, we have a Background layer, this one isn't very sharp and then we have the layer above where some sharpening has been applied. Now we are going to talk about sharpening much later in this training title. Yet let's just say for now that layer was sharpen, except we have a problem.
This particular photograph of my breakfast was shot with a real swallow depth of field. So I don't want to sharpen everything, I just want to sharpen this area of the image. How then can I do that? Well, I can use Masking in order to limit the sharpening to that particular area. Now keep in mind you are not going to always shoot your photographs at a shallow depth of field, yet there are times when you just want to bring some sharpness to the eyes, because they are so important. So you can use the same technique in order to do that. All right, well, on the sharpen layer let's go ahead and add a Layer Mask and let's do that this time by clicking on the Masking panel, hold down the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC and then click on the Add Layer Mask icon. That will then add a Layer Mask that's filled with black concealing or hiding all of the sharpening.
Next press B on your keyboard to select your Brush tool, then press the right bracket key in order to make that brush tool bigger, then press the Shift+Left bracket key, that will make that brush nice and soft. If you don't to use that shortcut you can always navigate to the Options bar and take the Hardness all the way off and change your brush size this way. Just be sure to click in the Options bar or somewhere off of the image so that you don't start painting. Now we want to paint with white so I'll make sure white is in my foreground it is and then we are going to go across this area of the image and simply sharpen that up, all right, let's check out before and after, here is before and here is after. All that we are doing is selectively sharpening this portion of the image.
Now that sharpening this is a little bit too much intense for me, no big deal. I need to lower the Opacity. Now here is a quick shortcut for you that will help you to lower the Opacity of your layer. Press the V key to select the Move tool. Next, press a number between 0 and nine on your keyboard, I'll press 5. Now when I do that it takes the Opacity of that layer to 50%. On the other hand if I press 77, it goes to 70%, 0 takes me to 100%. I can always use the slider as well or the scrubby sliders if I don't want to use that shortcut.
Let's look at our before and after, before and after. It's still a little bit too sharp. I'm going to bring this back even more before and after just adding a little bit of visual interest to that portions of the image and hey, that looks pretty good and now you know how to selectively sharpen. In an addition you can apply this technique to a number of different adjustments that you will be making on your images whether it's for brightness or for sharpening or for color, or for tone. All right, well that wraps up this movie.
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