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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.
In this movie I want to highlight another tool that you can find from inside of Bridge CS4 and this is a new tool. This is actually a pretty interesting tool. Now when I show you this tool, I want you to keep in mind that I'm going to show you a particular technique. Yet this tool is not limited to this technique. I'm going to show you a little bit of a functional technique. Keep in mind you could also use this tool for some other creative purposes. All right, well you can see I have multiple photographs. I have two photographs of my daughter Annika and she is looking up at this light source at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now the top image I really like except her face is over exposed, right? It's not going to print well. Now the bottom image has nice exposure on the face, except it is the background, which a little bit brighter.
What I can do is open up both of these images into a single layered document in Photoshop and then take advantage of the best exposure of both, in order to create a good image. All right, well here is what you have need to do. Select two or more images, navigate to Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers. This will then open up both of those images and they are now in a single Photoshop document, but you will notice that there are two separate layers. I'll press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Here we can see the first image, and then there is the second image.
In order to correct the exposure, I'm going to go ahead and click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now some of you may be thinking, layer masking? I don't even know what layer masking is. Just hold tight for a second. Know that we will be getting into layer masking, and to some of the other things that I'll be showing here. Yet I need to simply show you how you may want to use this tool. All right, next I'm going to select my Brush tool. I want to have a brush or Opacity somewhere right around about 50% or so. I'll make my brush size a little bit smaller by pressing the left bracket key and then I want to paint with black. So I'll make sure that black is my fore ground color and all that I'm interested in doing is trying to bring back some of the detail on the face.
Now as I do this, some of you are thinking, okay Chris, that's fine, except that doesn't look very good. There is that kind of black color hue there. I just don't like how that looks. That's fine. We are going to fix that up. Now the brush strokes that I'm painted here aren't very good, right? They are pretty rough, but I'm going to smooth them out by navigating to Filter > Blur and choose Gaussian Blur. Now what Gaussian Blur will do from me-- There are all my brush strokes. When I take this down we can see they are pretty harsh. I wanted then smooth them out and create a little bit more connectivity between the different brush strokes. Click OK. And now let's take a look at our before and after. I'm going to then turn that mask off. Here is before, and there is after. Again, just bringing some of that exposure together, so that we have a pretty good image.
Now with this particular image, am I finished? No. Yet that was a pretty good starting point. Now back to the Bridge for a moment. Again, all that I'm trying to illustrate here is how you can take two or more images and then open them up in one layered document inside of Photoshop. And keep in mind you can use this tool for some real creative project. Like let's say you are working on a collage or a montage. You can select all of your different collage pieces and then open them up in Photoshop in one layered document, and it will speed up your overall workflow. So again, keep in mind, this tool is both functional and creative and my whole intent here is to simply show you that it exists and help you begin to think about how you may integrate this tool into your own workflow.
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