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Now that we've done some work on the sunrise colors here in the sky, let's start to focus in on the mountains, and then finally, the overall color and tone of the photograph. Alright! Well to organize things a bit, let's click on our top Adjustment Layer, hold down the Shift key, then click in the bottom layer, and then press Cmd or Ctrl+G for Group. We'll go ahead and name this group Sky. Next, what we want to do is zoom out a little bit. As we zoom out we want to look at our before and after. Here it is, before and then after. Well, for the most part I think this is looking good except I am noticing that one of my adjustments here this one in particular is a little bit over the top.
So I'll click on this mask and I'll just sweeten this up by painting with black. All I am going to do is just paint away some of this adjustment here. I want to do that just so that area looks a little bit better, before and after, and a couple of other little areas as well. So you just want to make sure that you are always double-checking your progress. Well that looks fine. Let's go ahead and close that group and start to work on the mountains. Let's zoom in a little bit on the mountains by pressing Cmd+[Plus]. What I am going to do in order to bring out some color in the mountains is I am going to add a Curves Adjustment.
In Curves, I am going to brighten this up a bit. I am going to go to my Red channel, add a touch of Cyan, go to the Blue/Yellow channel, add a touch of Blue there. Whenever you can have this cool and warm combination, it can look really interesting. Let's go back to the RGB composite, maybe just darken up the Blacks a touch there as well. Okay, we'll invert the mask, you can do that by pressing Cmd+I, Windows, that's Ctrl+I. You can go to your Mask panel, and choose Invert.
Next step, grab your Brush tool. I want to paint with white, and we want to have a nice soft edged brush and actually a little bit of a bigger brush here. I'll go ahead and make this probably around 400 or so. With that low Opacity, what's interesting is I can just start to click and drag across the image or paint. We can bring in some of this color, adding a bit of brightness there, contrast, vibrance. All we want to do is just start to make these mountains come alive with this color. I'll make my brush a little bit smaller by pressing that Left Bracket key and I'll just go through this area.
Again, just looking to add a bit of this color shift here, this cool tone which brings out that feeling of the cold and the morning, and then the sun makes it look like those colors are that much more vibrant. The great thing about this is because it's an Adjustment Layer, and because this is a mask, we have just so much flexibility here. We can always undo this, if we go too far, we can always paint with black. In this case I added too much over that area, press the X key, paint with black, and just paint it away, fix up that edge.
So it doesn't affect the background there. I'll make sure all those edges are really nice. Here we have before and then after just illuminating this part of the image. Let's make our brush a bit bigger and just keep bringing in this color and tone wherever we wanted. I'm going for the dramatic effect. That's why I am bringing in so much here, although that being said it is just a little bit too far, a little bit over the top. So let's lower the Opacity on this layer just so we have just a little bit of that snap there. Here is before and here is after, great! Next thing I want to do is work on my highlights.
So let's click on Adjustment Layer icon, choose Curves, and let's create a brightening curve. Here we'll invert this, Cmd or Ctrl+I, grab our brush, and then a nice low Opacity, a nice small brush now. We are just going to go ahead and paint over some of these highlights with an even smaller brush. This is the same thing that we did in the clouds where we found some highlights, we just painted over those to bring out some of those highlight details, adding a bit to the mountain light which is already here, and adding a little bit of drama to the photograph.
In my case, I am using this really low Opacity. It's going to probably be tricky to see. Here is before and after. So let me crank this up, and kind of exaggerate this a little bit. This isn't going to look perfect, because I am exaggerating it. Yet, I know when these movies get small, it's kind of tricky to see, so sometimes it's helpful to go a little bit more over the top here with these type of effects. So let me just bring in a bit more there and again making my way around here trying to control the brightness of a few of these little areas throughout the image.
If this were a real image, I'd be taking a bit more time working with a little bit of a smaller brush and really just getting just the highlight itself, but let's evaluate how this looks now. There is that before, and then after. You should see the top of those mountains just kind of starting to light up a bit. Well, here let's go to our Mask and then let's Feather out those brushstrokes, so we have more softness there. Go back to the Adjustments and in the Adjustment we can bring this up even more if we want a little bit more light on the edge of the mountains. Take a look; there is before and then after, just some nice little illumination there, these two layers together, add a bit of visual interest to these areas of the mountains.
Well, let's zoom out so we can see how we are doing with this. This is a bit over the top, we'll bring that down so it looks a little bit better. Well so far so good. The next thing I want to do is work on the overall color and tone. One really easy way to do that is to go back to our Adjustment layer. Here we'll choose Vibrance. I am just going to bring up my Vibrance. That will bring out some of those colors, add a bit more color variety, and also bring up my saturation. So add just a little bit more of a visual snap there.
Now, once I've done that, I need to go back and just make sure my different adjustments are really good, because these now have a bit stronger effect. So in this case with this Curves adjustment I am noticing I have a bit too much Cyan there so I am just going to remove a little bit of that, in that Blue/Yellow channel. Again, just find just the right amount of the color there for that. I think that looks pretty good. Again before and after. Alright! On this mask though, we are going to clean it up. So I'll paint with black, and I won't do too much of this, but again a lot of times what you'll need to do is at the end, go back and make some of these last-minute adjustments.
You want to do that once you've seen how you are going to bring out these different colors. Well, now that I have that, I'll go back perhaps add just a little bit more of that Cyan. Again, you can see how you can continually modify this. It's a lot of fun. Alright! Well, let's group these two layers at the top here. We'll click in one, hold down the Shift key, click in another, and then press Cmd or Ctrl+G to group those, we'll call these mountains. Let's take a look at our overall before and after. To do that, let's press the F key to go to Full Screen View mode.
We'll zoom in, and then press F7 to open up our Layers panel, so we can evaluate how we've done with this one. Here it is, our overall before and then after. As you can see through these last few movies we were able to create a really interesting panoramic image simply by cropping the photograph, and then by applying some of our other skills in regards to using Adjustment Layers and maskings in order to modify the overall color and tone. So here's my tip for you. If you haven't ever experimented with this technique, you definitely want to try this out.
The other thing that you want to do is when you are out taking pictures, take a few frames, and think of those frames with this crop in mind, think about how you could crop the image, and how you could create that panoramic photograph out of a single frame because sometimes what that can do is it can help you think about things a little bit differently and ultimately, it can help you create even more interesting and engaging photographs.
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