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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Let's go ahead and take a look at how we can work on the area around the eyes. In particular like with this image we have some shadows underneath the eyes. Now these shadows are the result of an overcast day, a big light source above, and that shadow just gets trapped right underneath the eyes. So let's zoom in a little bit on this image and what I want to do is just start to take a look at how we can remove or reduce these. Now, this is going to take a few steps in order to do this, and one of the intermediary steps, it's not going to look very good, but it will look good at the end, so stick with me here on this one.
Well, let's create a new layer. Let's do so by pressing Shift+ Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. I'm going to go ahead and name this layer shadows1. I'll click OK. Next step, we're going to go ahead and select the Healing Brush. With the Healing Brush selected, we'll zoom in perhaps even further. We're going to make the brush nice and small and now we're going to go ahead and sample an area right next to this shadow. So, hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and sample that area and then painting in over.
And we're going to have to go back-and- forth as we look to try to clean this up. Now again right now I don't think this looks very good. It's not very attractive. It looks kind of unnatural, but we're going to improve that. All right! Let's work on the other eye as well, and again just going through and again just going through and sampling this and then painting this out. The next thing that I want to do is select the Clone Stamp tool, blend mode Lighten, lower Opacity somewhere around 20% or so. Here's once again Option+Click and then just paint over this area.
What this is going to do is basically brighten up a little bit of this darkness that we have here, and it's going to create a little bit more of a smooth transition, because the Healing Brush while it's great, it's kind of infamous for creating a little bit of a bleeding kind of effect where it will blur darker tones into lighter tones. Okay, well, let's zoom out and see how these eyes are so far. All right. They are okay. Let's go back to the Healing Brush. A couple of other little areas I need to clean up here that don't look very good. The wrinkles over here. I'm just looking to try to have a nice uniform look of the skin.
So, I'm working on the different brightness values here that I'm noticing, also any little wrinkles and whatnot. Well, once I've done that I realize okay this looks very surreal, very unnatural, and not very compelling. No big deal. All that we need to do now is simply lower the Opacity and as we lower the Opacity we can find the sweet spot for this so that we can simply reduce those shadows rather than remove them altogether. Because if we remove them altogether what might happen is we're going to lose a little bit of the shape or the character of the face.
So, in this case again we can dial this in and just find a nice little sweet spot here, just reducing those shadows. Again, we still need that eye shape. We just don't want that shadow to be so strong and prominent. Now the other thing that you can do is that if you ever notice if this area gets too white or if it gets too red, or there is some kind of color shift, you can do something which is really interesting. You can click on the Adjustment layer icon and choose Curves. And then once you've selected this Curves adjustment layer what you want to do is click on this icon here to create what's called a layer clipping mask.
In other words, when I make an adjustment here we can see that it's only affecting that underlying layer. You can see that's affecting that as I brighten this or as I darken it. Now, in this case we can see that it looks again really unnatural, really horrible, not very interesting. Well stick with me for a second. What we're going to do then is remove this little curve spot there. And I'm just going to click in the middle and darken this up just a touch, because what I found was that it was a little bit too bright. It's kind of too milky underneath those eyes, so now here with my before and then after. That looks a little bit more natural.
We could of course also mask in this darkness into a few areas. And it's kind of funny to think of adding darkness when we are trying to brighten. But again what we want to do is have something look natural. The other thing that we can do here is we can go into these different channels, and we could add a little bit of Hue here, perhaps a little bit of Red just to have it match the skin a little bit more evenly. And as we do this we're really getting to some advanced Photoshop stuff. And if you can come up with ways to do things like this, you can make your images look phenomenal.
Let's take a look at the before and after. Here we go. Here's our before and then our after. Keep in mind that when working around the eyes we need to be so careful because that's what we're drawn to in photographs. Therefore, we don't want to take away from the eyes. We want the eyes to be what people focus on, the expression, the faces. We want our Photoshop work to look seamless. We want to hide all of our tracks. In this case, I think we've done a pretty good job. I'm just going to zoom out so we can see this image a little bit more clearly.
Once again, our before and after. Now, of course to finish this off what we need to do is apply that same technique over to these wrinkles or these shadows underneath this side of the image as well. So, if you're looking for a good way to practice these skills, here's what I recommend. Practice what you just learned on the bride over here and see if you can get those shadows to look as good as the shadows we just finished.
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