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In Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing, Chris Orwig demonstrates how to take photographs to the next creative level by combining images in Photoshop. This course covers multiple compositing scenarios, including portraits and architecture photos, from selecting the images, to blending photos with layer masks and blend modes, and resizing and sharpening the results. Chris also covers tips and tricks design to inspire and increase the drama and interest of photographs. Exercise files are included with this course.
All right, well, now that we've worked on resizing and repositioning and clean up the photograph, let's explore how we can have some fun with color. In particular, what I want to do here is remove a lot of the color except for the color on the bike. I also want to brighten up a few areas of the image as well. Well, let's start off by brightening. Here we'll click on our Curves adjustment layer icon and simply click and drag up. We'll focus in on the areas that we want to brighten up, this side of the face over here and also this area of the bike tire and whatnot. Next, let's invert the mask.
Press Command+I or Ctrl+I, Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on Windows. Grab your Brush tool and paint with white. You want paint with white with somewhere around 60 or so percent. I'm just going to start to bring in a little brightness value in some of these darker areas of the photograph and make the brush a little bit bigger here on the tire and just look to bring in a little bit more detail there in those areas and also couple of other areas here, just painting with some pretty broad brush strokes, bringing in a bit of brightness and changing the way light's traveling in the photograph.
Make the brush a lot bigger and press 2 on the keyboard to go to 20%. Here I'm just going to brighten this side of the photograph up, because I notice that it's just a little bit dark over there. I'll bring in a little bit of brightness over here in this area as well. Okay again, so just bringing in a touch of brightness, let's evaluate. Here is before and then after. Now whenever you're painting, a lot of times it's a good idea to go your Mask panel and then to just diffuse those brushstroke edges. This will make that light a little bit more soft. Here we have it, before and after, little bit more of a subtle effect there.
Okay, well, next let's work on color. In order to do that, we'll go back to the Adjustments panel. Here we're going to click on Hue/Saturation. Now what's interesting about Hue/ Saturation is you can target different areas. For example, we can go to the Blues. In this area here, it's going to show us what blues will be affected. Well, if we want more affected, grab the eyedropper with the plus icon and then click on your image. Notice how extended the reach here. Well, now when I make an adjustment, it's going to affect a larger area of the photograph.
Okay well, that looks good. Next, let's go to the Reds. In the Reds, we're going to go ahead and desaturate, removing a lot of the red from the photograph. In this case, we're removing a lot of these skin tone colors and whatnot. Now again if we want more, we can use this eyedropper to extend that, clicking on these red tones that weren't removed here in this area of the photograph. Well, what about if we want to bring some of the red back that we lost on the tire. Well, just grab your Brush tool, paint with black and paint with black with a pretty high opacity.
Then just try to remember where those areas were that you can go ahead and just paint with black and bring some of those red accent colors back into the photograph. Great thing about working on the mask is that if you make a mistake, you can always undo this by painting with the other color. For example, I made a mistake right there. Press the X key. That exchanges your colors in your color picker, flips between black and white, so you can then have the correct color to either paint in this effect or to paint it out. In this case, we're just going to add a little bit of hue there and just modify this so we have that nice little accent color on the wheels there as well.
But what about some of these other colors? We have some yellow in the background. Well, to get that we really need to create a new layer. So here, we'll click on the Adjustment Layer icon. We'll choose Hue/Saturation. With this Target Adjustment tool, we'll sample one of those tones. They are the Yellows right there, and then desaturate. Now of course, the problem is that we desaturated the tones on the bike as well. We definitely don't want that. So here we'll grab our brush. What we want to do is invert the mask, press Command+I or Ctrl+I. Then we're going to go ahead and paint with white.
We can paint with white over these areas just to remove the yellow that we're seeing in the background. For that matter, we can paint all over the background, just removing any other yellow color or tone that we see back there, just to take that out so that we have nice clean backdrop. We can also go to the Master channel and remove any other colors that we might see in the background. Next step, let's click on our Adjustment Layer icon. Here we'll choose Curves. Now with Curves all that I want to do is brighten this image up a touch and then add a little bit of contrast, just to build back some of the drama there.
I think that looks pretty cool. All right, well, let's evaluate how we've done. If we double-click the Adjustments tab, here we can see our overall progress. Clicking and dragging through these layers, here was the original file. We worked on the feet remember. Then we also had this other image where we could then combine those feet and put them in a new spot. From there we had to clean up all of our edges. A lot of that clean up work actually wasn't very difficult, but it makes all the difference in the world. Then finally, we started to have some fun with color, working with Curves and Hue/Saturation and yet another curves adjustment in order to come up with this final effect.
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