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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Select the file corwig_eddie_vedder.jpg and double-click that one to open it up in Photoshop. Press F to go to Full Screen View mode then double-click the Zoom tool to take this image to 100%. When I look at the image, I see you know what, I like it. I like the composition, I like the lighting, except one of the things I'm noticing is I have a little bit of a noise problem and I'll begin to see the noise problem in some of the gradations like along here on the shoulder then especially up in the lights. So I'm going to zoom into that area and I'll zoom in even further here so we can begin to see that. We see there is a little bit of artifacting here. Well how can I correct that? Well we can correct that with a real handy tool. It's a filter. It's called the Noise Reduction filter. So we are going to right-click this layer and choose Convert to Smart Object and then double-click this to name it eddie.
Next, we will navigate to our Filter pulldown menu, Noise and choose Reduce Noise. Now, I'm going to zoom away in here because I know it's sometimes kind of tricky to see what's happening when you are doing this detail work but currently we can see some good amount of noise here in this light. I'm going to increase my overall Strength. Preserve Details yeah, I need some details preserved. You can see that I can bring back some of the texture there. That's going to be a pretty low number. Color Noise, that's going to be from color artifacting. Now I'm not going to see that here in this one but right here in the background, Before and After, I hope you can see that, there are red blotches in the background; those disappear when I increase my Color Noise.
Now Sharpen Details, I do need to bring some of the details back. It's going to be pretty important to zoom out. I'll go ahead and zoom out and take a look at Eddie. So I'll zoom in on Eddie for a moment and look at my before and after. Click on the image that's before, let go, that's after. You know what, it looks great. I still have a nice edge detail. I like it because his hands are a little bit blurred, shows some of the passion and emotion of his singing. Now I'm going to go back to these lights up here and again click, there is my before and then finally my after. So one of the things you are discovering here with this movie is this Noise Reduction Filter works extremely well. I'll go ahead and Click OK to apply that.
Now let's take a look at our before and after. Here's before and then here's after. I want to zoom in even further. I really want to make sure you guys can see this before and after. All right, that looks nice. Double-click the Zoom tool. Take it to 100%. Step back just a little bit; enjoy the show. Before and after. I'm looking around the image, looking at different areas of gradation. Make sure those look good. I'm also looking for any area where I need detail in it, kind of over-smooth the detail. Now, one of the areas I'm guessing I'm going to have problems are these palm trees. So, let's look at our before and after. Before and then after. So those are a little bit more blurry. That's okay though. They are out of focus a bit and actually it did a really strong job, better than I anticipated.
So in summary, you are going to want to reach for that Noise Reduction Filter, when you want to do some general types of noise reduction. It works really well and also keep that in mind. The majority of your images will need some kind of noise reduction and a lot of times it's helpful to reach for that Noise Reduction Filter because it's so simple to use and because it works really well.
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