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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 movie, we looked at how we could stack up different Curves Adjustments in order to come up with our final results. In this movie what I'm going to do is talk about how you can sometimes save your image when you start to really makes some interesting Curves Adjustments. So what I'm going to do here is click on the Add Adjustment Layer icon and choose Curves. What I want do is darken the overall image. I decide that once I print this, the background was just a little bit too light. So I go ahead and I bring down my blacks, which then decreases the brightness value for the blacks as well as the other colors and tones in the image.
Now, let's say I go ahead and apply that adjustment and I say, you know what? I'm done. Double-click the Adjustments tab and I'm looking out my image. I say, you know what? I like the background except I just really don't like how I effected the deep, deep blacks over here. I wish I could have just affected these tones over here. Well, you can of course modify the Curves Adjustment tool yet there are times when it's helpful to use what's called advanced blending. You can access advanced blending by double clicking the layer, or by clicking on the Fx icon and choosing Blending Options. So I'll go ahead and do that now.
Now, when I open up the Layer Style Effects panel, in this I have all my different layer style effects and then at the top I have my Blending Options. Now, what I'm going to do here is go down to the Blend If. When I increase This Layer what we are going to see is that its actually bringing back the detail in those darker tones. Now when I do that, I have this strange edge. In order to smooth out that transition, all you need to do is on a Mac hold down that rebel shortcut key, it's that Option key, right? On the PC that's the Alt key. Do something alternative, do something a little bit different, so press down that key and then click and drag those sliders. You will now notice that I have this smooth transition and I have saved all those black tones. Those will actually print well.
Let's click OK and look at our before and after. Here is before and then here is after. Before: too darker tones, probably won't print too well. Here is after. That image will actually print pretty well. Overall before and after with this Curves Adjustment. Here is before and after. So I was able to use advanced blending in order to limit how that particular adjustment affected the other layers. Also as a side note, we will go ahead and double click this layer and reopen advanced blending, you can work with the highlights or the whites here as well. Now go ahead and click and drag that down and you can see how that's working from those brighter tones out. And if you decide to bring back some of the detail of the brighter tones, you can also Option-click on a Mac/Alt-click on a PC to create a little bit of transition.
We will click OK and then press Command+ Z on a Mac/Ctrl+Z on a PC. It's pretty subtle with this image because we done a lot of bright tones but you can again protect the brighter tones as well. So as you start to work with Curves and as you start to make other types of adjustments, just know that you can always tap in into advanced blending for those unique situations where you need to save or bring back some of those bright or some of those dark tones.
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