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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, I am going to show you how to mix perfect black-and-white photograph inside of Camera RAW, and you do that from the HSL/Grayscale panel, and then I will show you how to infuse that image with color using the options in the Split Toning panel. I have opened California coast.dng, and I have already cropped the image and applied some basic adjustments to it, so that it looks at its absolute best, let's imagine and these settings are saved along with the file. Now before you embark on a grayscale image, I advise you to work just the way I have. Go ahead and apply your cropping first, then apply your basic adjustments, and save those adjustments out as a snapshot.
So I am going to go over here to the Snapshots panel. Now you may have wondered along the way what in the world is going on with the Presets panel, because it allows you to save adjustments too. Well, when you are saving a preset, you are saving the adjustments as a preference setting that you can then apply from Camera RAW to other images inside your library, whereas when you save a snapshot, you are actually saving the adjustments inside the image file. That's what we want to do in this case. So I will switch over to Snapshots, and I will create a new snapshot that represents my best color settings, and I will even go ahead and call it Favorite color settings or something along those lines.
That way, we can always come back to this later if we want to, after we have mixed down our grayscale image. So click OK. Then let's switch to the HSL/Grayscale panel. Notice here inside the Saturation sub- panel that I have applied a few adjustments. I have raised the Saturation of both the Aquas and the Blues in order to bring out the colors in the sea. Now then I am going to click on Convert to Grayscale in order to mix my grayscale image. So, this is the best way to work. This isn't the only way to create a grayscale image inside of Camera RAW.
You can just reduce the Saturation value in the Basic Adjustments panel, if you want to. However, you have a lot more control with these sliders. Notice that we have more sliders available to us than we do with the Black & White command inside Photoshop. The Black & White commands gives you access to your standard primaries. That is reds, yellows, greens, and so forth whereas here inside of Camera RAW you have access to subjective colors, including oranges, for example, which is great for skin tones. You have got aquas, which is great for sea and sky. You have got purples as well, which are frequently found inside high color images.
Now, you can adjust these numerical values if you want to, but even better in my estimation is to just use the Targeted Adjustment tool. So I am going to grab that tool either by clicking on it or pressing the T key. Notice that it's automatically set to a Grayscale Mix, because I have already asked to convert the image to grayscale here inside the HSL/Grayscale panel. Now I am going to go ahead and do some dragging here. I am going to drag to the left here inside of the sea in order to darken it up, and that takes the Blues value down to -100. I am going to raise the Aquas value to -35 here, and I might also go ahead and bring out some of the other colors inside the image.
For example, I might lift on one of these flowers in order to bring out those warm colors, and I am not sure I really want to take them that high, but that might be a good starting point. Then I might drag upward inside of the Greens as well in order to brighten them up. So you have that kind of subjective color control. Now them I am going to edit my values a little bit. I am going to take the Reds value actually down to -10. That's just something I came up with an advance and the Oranges, I am going to leave it 50.
So not much different than what I had a moment ago. I am going to take the Yellows value up to 30, and I am going to take Greens to 15, and these are just again values I came up with. If you want to go your own way, feel free to do so. So there they are, reading sequentially -10 for Reds, +50 for Oranges, +30 for Yellows, +15 for Greens, -35 Aquas, Blues -100, Purples +20, and then Magentas +5 ultimately. Now notice that we have a ton of noise going on inside of this image, and it would be interesting to find out how much of that noise is authentic.
So I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command+ Option+0 on the Mac to zoom the image to 100%. Let's scroll over to this region, and I will see here inside of the sea region that I have a couple of weird things going on. First of all, I have these highlighted edges, and that is going to happen. That's going to be an artifact of this effect. Since I am taking the Blues down so low and I am raising the Greens value which is right next door, I am going to create some edge artifacts. Either I am going to live with that, which I am, or I am going to adjust my settings to get rid of the edges.
The more troubling phenomena - and luckily I have some control over this - is these weird striation patterns, these vertical patterns that are appearing inside the sea. So let's switch over to the Detail panel, and this would be color noise inside of the sea. That's what I am guessing. The fact that we are seeing the striations is probably a function of this Color value of 25. If I take it down to 0, then I see the joyful world of noise that's inherent inside of this image. Now, the bad thing about this noise is it's distracting and chunky and very obvious.
The good news is that it kind of covers up those edge artifacts. So I might think about keeping it, but only briefly, because what I am really going to do is I am going to crank this Color value all the way up to 100, because I don't care if the colors are bleeding into each other now. That's what happens. If this were a full color image, I would see the colors bleeding back and forth. So I would see the blues bleeding into the hills and the greens bleeding outward into the sea and so forth, but where a black-and-white image is concerned, that doesn't even matter. So I will just max out that color value.
Then I will also go ahead and take the Luminance value up to 15 for good measure, and I will leave the other values set as they are. Now that ends up making the image look a little bit soft, frankly. So where this image is concerned, I am going to take fairly radical approach. I am going to max out my Sharpening amount value to 100%. I am going to take that Detail value down to 0 and I am going to raise the Radius value a full pixel to 2, and that converts the 2.0 as soon as you press the Tab key, and we end up with this effect here. Now, the problem is as soon as I start zooming out from my image at 50%, I start seeing the noise come back which is pretty distracting, and it gets in my way of perceiving what the image really looks like.
So if you want to get an accurate view of your image, of the noise reduction inside of your photograph as you work inside of your Camera RAW, here is something you can do. Notice this link down here at the bottom of the window. Currently it says Gray Gamma 2.2, 8 bit per channel and so forth. It says the size of the image as well. So in my case, it's 3983 pixels wide by 2400 and change pixels wide. You can go ahead and change that if you want to. I could click on that link, and these workflow options control how the image opens up inside of Photoshop.
That's basically all that's going on. I am going to reduce my Crop Size value from its current size to the lowest size available to me, 1348. That's going to force Camera RAW to do a downsample here inside of the image window. So to recalculate what the noise reduction really looks like. Now, I will click OK. You just have to remember that you've done that because ultimately you would want to set it back to its real size, the one that does not have a minus sign or plus sign next to it before you open the image inside Photoshop.
So we are using this option strictly as a previewing function. I will click OK. That's going to reduce the heck out of the image. Then I will press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command +Option+0 on the Mac in order to once again, zoom it to 100% and notice now we have a smaller view of the image with less noise, and the way that this works is the noise reduction and the sharpening are applied before the re-sampling. So this should be an accurate view into my image. The next step is to infuse this image with a little bit of color using the Split Toning options, and I will show you how those work in the next exercise.
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