Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color
Illustration by Don Barnett

Night photography pt. 1: Brightening and contrast


From:

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color

with Chris Orwig

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Video: Night photography pt. 1: Brightening and contrast

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.
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  1. 4m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Learning strategies
      2m 4s
    3. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 15m 0s
    1. The effect of color
      1m 49s
    2. Why color matters
      1m 56s
    3. Understanding color adaptation
      3m 16s
    4. Understanding color relationships
      2m 55s
    5. Introducing Adobe Kuler
      5m 4s
  3. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting color and tone in a sunset portrait
      4m 23s
    2. Enhancing sunset colors pt. 1: Curves
      4m 7s
    3. Enhancing sunset colors pt. 2: Color Balance
      4m 26s
    4. Jellyfish pt. 1: Adjusting composition and color
      4m 52s
    5. Jellyfish pt. 2: Working with lighting effects and opacity
      4m 19s
    6. Jellyfish pt. 3: Integrating tone, color, and creativity
      6m 3s
    7. Night photography pt. 1: Brightening and contrast
      5m 12s
    8. Night photography pt. 2: Vibrance, hue, and saturation
      5m 29s
    9. Fisherman's rope: Color and Contrast
      3m 55s
    10. Fisherman's floats: Subtle color with curves
      5m 20s
    11. Wind tunnel: Masking using the Color Range command
      4m 14s
    12. Old desert sign: Quick color adjustments
      4m 25s
    13. Old neon sign: Creating impact
      2m 46s
    14. Artist's chalk: Enhancing vivid colors
      4m 9s
    15. Strawberry ice cream: Making subtle color enhancements
      2m 45s
    16. Hallways: Combining images with creative color
      4m 44s
    17. Santa Barbara Harbor: Adding color to grayscale images
      4m 29s
  4. 34m 14s
    1. Deconstructing Hue/Saturation
      3m 36s
    2. Using Hue/Saturation to change color
      2m 31s
    3. Adding accent color
      1m 49s
    4. Changing color with Quick Mask mode and Hue/Saturation
      2m 56s
    5. Replacing color with the Replace Color tool
      2m 49s
    6. Replacing and modifying color
      6m 59s
    7. Changing the color of an old fishing boat
      6m 50s
    8. Enhancing and changing eye color
      4m 30s
    9. Changing makeup color in a fashion portrait
      2m 14s
  5. 22m 6s
    1. Deconstructing color saturation with Levels and Curves
      3m 53s
    2. Adjusting vibrance and saturation
      1m 59s
    3. Using Hue/Saturation
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Selective Color command
      1m 56s
    5. Using Hue/Saturation and Curves to understand relative color
      4m 24s
    6. Increasing color saturation and variety with Lab
      3m 29s
    7. Getting creative with Lab
      3m 7s
  6. 24m 28s
    1. Using Color Balance to cross process
      5m 10s
    2. Using Curves RGB channels to cross process
      2m 22s
    3. Introducing Curves presets
      1m 52s
    4. Using Curves presets to cross process
      2m 52s
    5. Cross processing black-and-white photos
      3m 13s
    6. Integrating cross processing into a creative workflow
      5m 7s
    7. Using plug-ins to create a cross process effect
      3m 52s
  7. 22m 46s
    1. Removing color to create impact
      3m 49s
    2. Creative color reduction using Color Balance, Curves, and masking
      4m 30s
    3. Creative color reduction using Hue/Saturation, Curves, and masking
      6m 32s
    4. Multi-image project: Removing and adding color and creating a layout
      7m 55s
  8. 26m 44s
    1. Adding a sepia tone with Hue/Saturation and Soft Light
      3m 2s
    2. Improving tone and adding subtle sepia effects
      7m 43s
    3. Using Curves to create a sepia tone
      4m 48s
    4. Beach swing pt. 1: Creating a bleached contrast effect
      2m 1s
    5. Beach swing pt. 2: Adding glow
      3m 4s
    6. Beach swing pt. 3: Adding noise and final color and tone adjustments
      3m 21s
    7. Creating a sepia tone quickly with Variations
      1m 19s
    8. Using actions for a quick sepia conversion
      1m 26s
  9. 29m 10s
    1. Model portrait: Creating a muted color and contrast effect
      4m 3s
    2. Autumn leaves portrait: Muted color and tone made simple
      4m 11s
    3. Rock-star style: Putting it all together to create edgy color and tone
      6m 11s
    4. Tower Bridge: Enhancing color and tone
      2m 27s
    5. Concrete wall pt. 1: Adding color
      1m 30s
    6. Concrete wall pt. 2: Finding and installing custom fonts and brushes
      2m 48s
    7. Concrete wall pt. 3: Working with type
      3m 35s
    8. Concrete wall pt. 4: Using custom brushes
      4m 25s
  10. 12m 54s
    1. Introducing plug-ins by Nik, onOne, and Alien Skin
      39s
    2. Using onOne plug-ins
      3m 43s
    3. Using Alien Skin plug-ins
      2m 48s
    4. Using Nik plug-ins
      2m 45s
    5. Links for the color curious
      2m 59s
  11. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color
4h 28m Intermediate Jan 16, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Bringing photos to life with curves and color balance
  • Using subtle color to create impact
  • Showing the effects of vibrance and hue
  • Creating distinction with color, black-and-white, and sepia tones
  • Adding imagination and personality to images
  • Using color and blending modes to add style to photos
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Chris Orwig

Night photography pt. 1: Brightening and contrast

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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