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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.
As we continue to make our way through the preferences, we have now arrived at the Transparency and Gamut Preferences. And what are these all about? Well, our Transparency settings are pretty interesting. We can actually change our Grid Size and Grid Colors, which display transparency. Currently my Grid Size is Small. I can change that to Medium, I can change that to Large. If I go to None, I'm just going to see a solid color, all right. Well, let's bring back to grid. I'm going to take this to Small. You also notice I can change the Grid Colors between Light, Medium and Dark, or I can have a little bit of color in the mix.
I can change these colors at any time by clicking on the icons here and choosing a new color. So, now I have this checkerboard effect and I call that the Picnic Blanket Transparency Setting. Well why would you ever want to change your Transparency setting to something like this? And what is Transparency all about? Well, let's click OK. Now here we have this photograph of my daughter Annika and my wife Kelly and this was captured right after one of Annika's ballet recitals and let's say that what I want to do is erase the background here. Now when I start to erase, it's going to show me that I've transparency in the background and I'm going to try to get pretty close to the edge of my wife's hair there. So you can see that I'm doing that and then I'm going to go in a little bit too far as well.
So we can see that I've made a mistake. I'll press Command+Z to undo that mistake. Well the red and white checkers are showing me that there aren't any pixels there, the transparency and it's really distinct that's showing me in real clear ways where the transparency actually is. Let's go back to the Preferences for a moment. Command+K on a Mac/ Ctrl+K on a PC and then let's take this back to one of the default settings. We are going to go to this Light default setting. Now in this case, can I see the edge as clearly? Well, yeah, I can see it pretty well. Yet, there are some instances where it's helpful to change how you are displaying transparency, so you can really determine, am I actually getting to the background? This is especially the case, let's say, if we had blond hair.
And if I were trying to look at this border here. Now that blond hair isn't that bright but if it were a more high key image, changing the way the transparency was displayed could help me out. Also, the Grid Size can make a real difference here. So I'll go to Grid Size and choose Large. Again for me I'm not able to see the edge as clearly and sometimes it's just as simple as choosing one of these other options, and in my opinion, going to a smaller grid to really see what's happening there on the edges, so you can see the fine details. All right, well enough on transparency, what's the deal with a Gamut Warning? Well, currently my Gamut Warning is gray and the Opacity is 100% meaning, it's going to be that full gray color. I'll click OK here for a moment and I'm going to undo those erase brush strokes that I've made and I'm going to navigate to my View pulldown menu and then select Gamut Warning.
Now what this Gamut Warning is showing me is that there are some colors that are out of Gamut, these bright flowers. The image's a little bit too saturated. I'm going to have a problem with this image as printed. So what I can do that is correct that, right? So I'll go to my Adjustment Layers, I'll open that up. I'm going to choose Hue Saturation and I'm going to navigate to one of the brighter colors. I'm going to go to my Magentas, click on the Target Adjustment tool and I'm going to click on this area and then drag the Saturation down. And you can see that what's happening here is it's now bringing these colors into gamut, so that Gamut Warning is disappearing.
Let's drag this even further down. You can see a lot of the gray warning is disappearing when I increase the Saturation. And now have a ton more of the colors out of Gamut. So again that little warning can help me find the sweet spot. Will that warning never be printed? No. It's just a visual to try to help you get your image to a good place so that you can actually reproduce those colors when you're printing that file. We can navigate to the View pulldown menu and choose Gamut Warning again to turn that off. All right, well let's go back to our Preferences for a moment. Command+K on the Mac/Ctrl+K on a PC. Navigate back to Transparency and Gamut.
If you want to change the Gamut Warning to something else, click on the Color Swatch there and then choose a new color, let's say choose red, it would then show up red, when I turn on that Gamut Warning. Again a quick word of caution, I found that neutral tones typically work best because typically what the Gamut Warning is showing you, it's showing you where you have a color problem. It's better to have a neutral tone on top of that problematic color. So you can actually identify what's happening and you can fix that problem. All right I'll go ahead and click OK here. Grid Size, I'm going to go to Medium, Grid Colors I'll take back to the default lights. So as you can see the default settings for your Transparency and Gamut Preferences, for the most part are grayed. I thought it'd be helpful to talk a little bit about those options, so you actually know what's going on there.
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