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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, so I've gone ahead and saved our modification so far as Custom monochromes.psd, and I've actually even gone so far as to set up some layer comps. So I'll bring up my layer Comps panel, and there is the original version of the image, we're already looking at that. This is the default Black & White modification. So this is the result of that Channel Mixer Adjustment layer set to 40% Red and 50% Green and 10% Blue. And then, we have Blue emphasis, which is that custom black and white effect that we created, that had the most Blue, like 50% Blue and then 30% Green and 20% Red.
Then finally, there's this negative Blue version of the image, that is to say we had 100% Green, 50% Red and then -50% Blue. And this negative Blue version certainly has a lot more drama associated with it than the default Black & White effect, but seems to me that there's something still missing here. I'm looking for, I don't know, more detail inside of those Highlights, more detail inside of those Shadows as well. What if we were to combine these various custom grayscale effects that we've created using the Channel Mixer, what kind of effect might we achieve? Well, I'm going to go ahead and turn on Shadow/Highlight default right there, which turns on this Shadow/Highlight layer, which I have not manipulated so far, so it's just sitting there, waiting for our modifications.
The great thing though is, since I've set it up this way in advance, as soon as we apply some modifications, we'll be able to see the results of every single one of the variations here inside the layer Comps panel. So I'll go ahead and hide that panel for now. Click on Shadows/Highlights to select it. Then I'll go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and choose the Shadows/Highlights command. If you made yourself a custom keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+S or Command+Option+S on the Mac, go ahead and use it. And notice that I've moved my Shadows/Highlights dialog box over to the right-hand side.
It also contains my most recent default settings that I saved in the previous chapter. All right! But we're going to go pretty nuts. First of all, I'm going to raise both the Shadows and the Highlights to 100%. So I'm going to max out that Shadows Amount value and I'm going to tab down to Highlights and max it out as well. Now, you might look at this and think, well, boy, did you ever ruin that image? You were onto something before, but now you've made it look like some old black and white piece of film stock or something along those lines, something that is degraded and grown some sort of fungus over time. We're not done.
I'll go ahead and reduce the Tonal Width for my Shadows to just 30%. So I'm reining in that Shadows effect just to the darkest 30% of the luminance levels inside the image. And then I'm going to increase the heck out of that Radius value. I'm going to increase it in fact from 50 pixels to 150 pixels, and that takes care of those weird halos that we were seeing inside of the Shadows. Now let's go ahead and dropdown to the Highlights option; I'm going to leave the Tonal Width set to 50% here, but I'm going to raise that Radius value to 200, in order to distribute the Highlights a little bit better.
And finally, I'm going to increase that Midtone Contrast value to 60, and we end up getting this effect here, which looks pretty good. So this is the before version of the image. By the way, this is the default Grayscale recipe right here that we're seeing. And this is the default Grayscale recipe when added to a heaping helping of the Shadows/Highlights Filter. All right! I'm going to go ahead and click OK to accept that modification. Let's see now that we have our layer Comps available to us, let's now see what kind of difference that makes subject to the other Channel Mixer manipulations.
So I'll go ahead and switch here to Shadows/Highlights custom, so that's that custom blend that includes a Blue emphasis. So in other words, it's 50% Blue and 30% Green and 20% Red, and we end up getting some ultra dark details inside this image. So I'm not sure that's necessarily the best combination, although I could just go ahead and use the Brightness/Contrast function here to elevate the brightest values if I wanted to. But check this last one out, this is Shadows/Highlights, plus the infrared effect, where I'm taking 100% Green, adding in 50% Red, and then subtracting out 50% Blue, and I get this effect right here.
And compare it to the standard negative Blue, which is the infrared effect without the Shadows/Highlights Filter. We had this at the end of the previous exercise, now we have this effect here, which I believe to be that much more preferable I should say. All right! So I'm going to go ahead and close the layer Comps panel and I'll press Shift+F in order to switch to the Full Screen mode, and let's go ahead and zoom in on this image and also switch back to the default Grayscale version. So this is that Grayscale Comp that we created way back in the first exercise, the one that Photoshop creates using the standard default recipe, and this is the final version of this image, created using a combination of Shadows/Highlights, along with the custom application of a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer.
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