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Working with color can be an amazing journey, and in Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color, Brooks Institute of Photography professor Chris Orwig teaches a different way to create great color in photographs. Chris goes beyond the basics by showing how color can have a profound effect on a photograph's impact. He demonstrates adjusting color and tone to make images more vivid, changing colors, working with color saturation, cross processing, and more. The course culminates with real-world projects that utilize the techniques Chris has shown for creating intriguing and beautiful color photographs. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the next couple of movies, we will be working on this wonderful photograph that was captured by one of my good friends, Blaine Franger. I will go ahead and zoom in on it so we can actually take a look at this. Now the way that Blaine actually captured this image is he set his camera up on a tripod, long exposure, and then had someone drive a car. You can see we have these really interesting light trails here. Now Blaine does all kinds of really interesting photography. Google his name, Blaine Franger, and also Google Blaine Franger Blog and you can see more of his work. It's really fun. He is a real passionate guy, passionate about photography, great photographer.
Anyway, so with this particular photograph we want to bring these colors out. I love the composition; I love this particular idea and concept. Yet the colors aren't quite where we want them, right? One of the things that I am noticing is I need to work on a color here. I also see a little bit of ghosting and the sky I want to work on. So let's go ahead and create a Curves adjustment layer. We will click on Curves here. Grab our Eyedropper, which will give us ability to set our midtone gray point. Let's click on the concrete. Now when I do that I see all this and my before and after, it removed quite a bit of the color shift.
I like that. That's brightened up as well. Then let's go into the Red channel. Now in the Red channel what I want to do is I want to bring in just a little bit more of red. I don't want it to go quite so neutral. Now here is before and after. Okay. Well, I like how that's treating the road there. I don't want it to affect the rest of the image, so I am going to mask this into these specific areas. We will invert the mask by pressing Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC or go to Masks, and then choose Invert. All right. Well, next step, grab the Brush tool, press the B key, and we are going to paint, in this case, let's go to about 70% Opacity. I will press 7 on the keyboard. What that's going to do is then allow this to come through.
I want to make sure I am painting white, not gray there. So I will go ahead and hit the D key to go to default. It takes that to white. Now I have my Opacity at 70%. Now I can bring in those nice colors there. Again, I am just going to go ahead and roughly paint through these areas of the image. A lot of times what will happen is I will actually create a mask like this and I will make it somewhat rough as I am doing here, because I am going to then soften it up later. Do you want to bring a little bit of brightness into these hills? So I am going to go ahead and bring that into this area over here as well and little bit between the light trails, just a touch there.
Then I am going to take my Opacity up. Now that I like how that looks, little bit larger brush, bring in a little bit more of that effect here. Okay, let's take a look at our before and after. Before and after, already a nice step, a nice, good direction to be going in. Before and after. Now my mask isn't perfect so I will click in the mask and then go to Filter, choose Blur and Gaussian Blur. I want to blur that out. If I zoom out a little bit, you could see my rough masking brush strokes here. I am going to increase that. Click OK. That will just smooth out all those edges. Here is my before and after. Okay, great, so far so good.
Next thing we want to do is click on our Adjustments Layer icon and go to Curves. At this point, we are going to brighten up those whites, we are going to bring down the blacks, we want to add some nice contrast and color saturation. I like that, I like little bit of the range of color there, before and after, great! Next thing I want to do is work a little bit more on the sky and on the road. So we'll click on Adjustments Layer icon and choose Curves. Focusing in on the sky, I am going to go to the Blue channel, grab the Target Adjustment tool and then I am going to click and drag up to make that a little bit more blue.
I will then go to the Red/Cyan channel and I am going to click and drag down to make that a little bit more cyan. Now I like what that's done to the image. Here is my before and then after. I think the sky is interesting. I also all the sudden noticed that the road looks so much better. I thought I was taking the road in a good direction. Now I am convinced. That's just a ton better, except I need to mask this in, right? So we'll go to our Masks panel, click Invert to invert that or to mask it completely off. Grab the Brush tool by pressing the B key, and I am going to paint with 100% Opacity. First of all, I am just going to work on the sky up here, bringing in some of these nice blue tones. Here is our before and after, great. Lower the Opacity a touch, and then let's work on the road.
The nice thing about this is when we can get these cool and warm tones together, that can create a really interesting mood or emotion. So again, just bringing in lot of those and I am just painting away across this area. Now I'll paint away across this area as well, this other portion of the road. I'll press the Left Bracket key. That changed my brush size, made it a little bit smaller and just making my way through here, little bit over here as well, over there, and just some detail masking work, right? Now the nice thing about this too is I am going to blur this mask out. So if it's not perfect, no big deal. Filter, and Blur, and good old Gaussian Blur on that mask. Let's see, how high do we want to take that up? Oh, good amount.
Click OK to apply that. Now here is our before and then after. Okay, the image is going in a really nice direction. We have more ground to cover in regards to this image and we will do that in the next movie.
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