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Working with color can be an amazing journey, and in Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Color, Brooks Institute of Photography professor Chris Orwig teaches a different way to create great color in photographs. Chris goes beyond the basics by showing how color can have a profound effect on a photograph's impact. He demonstrates adjusting color and tone to make images more vivid, changing colors, working with color saturation, cross processing, and more. The course culminates with real-world projects that utilize the techniques Chris has shown for creating intriguing and beautiful color photographs. Exercise files accompany the course.
There are a number of different techniques that you use in order to add a cross processing effect. In this movie what are going to do is take a look at how we can use color balance to create a pretty unique cross processed look. So you may be thinking, well, what exactly is cross processing? Well, cross processing is a traditional photographic technique and what it has to do with is how you process the film and it actually has to do with improperly processing the film. The end result is some really interesting vivid colors and contrasts and what not. Well, we are not working with film here. We have a digital file and so what we can do is we can apply a cross process type of look to a digital photograph in order to achieve a similar type of effect. Here I have this portrait of the artist Andy Davis and he is in studio there looking out of a window in front this white backdrop and it's kind of a funky image. So what I want to do is add a little bit of this cross processing effect in order to fit the nature of the photograph.
So I will go ahead and click on the adjustment layer icon and choose Color Balance or I will click on Color Balance icon, either way. Now what we can do here is we can bring some tones into our shadows. Let's say for example in our shadows, we want to go Cyan, so we can add quite a bit of Cyan there. Here is our before and then after. We can then go on to the Highlights and on the other hand in the Highlights, we are going to add some Yellow. So already we have this really nice and interesting look. It went from this. Particular look all the way over to here and again it has a little bit of that cross-processed effect. Now let's say though we want to take this even further.
What are a couple of different things that we could try? One thing that I like to do is to load the luminance from one of our different channels. Now you can do this by a way of shortcut or long cut. Let me show you the long cut. You go into the Channels and then you Command+Click or Ctrl+Click on a Channel to load that particular channel's luminance values. On the other hand, if you want to be able to be a little bit quick about it, you can go back, click at our mask just because we are going to load that information into the mask and then press on a Mac Command+Option+Shift +2 for the Red Channel. On a PC that's Ctrl+Alt+Shift+2. That will then load the luminance values of that channel.
We can then fill that with black. We can do that by a way of shortcut again or long cut. Edit > Fill and we will choose Black or if we want to do that by a way of shortcut, in this case Black is in the background, so that would be Command+Delete on a Mac, Ctrl+Delete on a PC. If it were the foreground color, that would be Option+Delete on a Mac or Alt+Delete on a PC. But again use whatever technique works best with you. Let's go to Select and then Deselect and see what we have done here. If we Shift+Click the mask we can see our before and after. So what we are really doing is we are allowing this particular adjustment to focus in on specific tones.
On the other hand we could then duplicate this. Command+J on a Mac, Ctrl+J on a PC and while in the Mask we are going to invert that mask and we can do that by going to masks and pressing Invert or by pressing Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on a PC. There is a quite a bit of information here but I am hoping that you will press Pause, if you don't catch any of it and try it out or jot it down. Okay, well let's keep going. We'll double click the icon for the Color Balance layer and now that we have that, we can go under our Shadows and here we can see that we could modify this particular area and I am going to modify it a little bit differently there. I will go to the other curves adjustments and then I will go to my Shadows or my Highlights for that matter.
Again here I can modify this in another way as well. So why then use these techniques in order to create to this particular combination. What we have done here is we have one layer where we are masking in the color in a specific area. Shift+Clicking the mask shows me my before and after. Then we have another layer. Shift+Clicking the mask, before and after. Again, that's limiting the color to specific areas. So all that we are trying to do is to begin to split how we are shifting the tone or the color. Now all that being said do we always have go through all of those steps when we are trying to create a cross processed effect with Color Balance? Not at all, a lot of times as you saw before. I simply go in the Color Balance, bringing in some color and then Shadows, bringing in some different color and the Highlights there. It gives us a pretty interesting effect.
Let's say that we like that, but we want to take it a little bit further. We could then duplicate it. This will be too intense, but we could try a blend mode, Soft Light, add a little bit of contrast, lower the intensity of that and again it's just going to give it that little bit of that extra push there. We could lower the initial color effect and increase our contrast in color effect a little bit more as well. Again, a little bit more contrast here, a little bit more like film. Now a lot of times what happens is when you have a cross process effect you may want to darken a few areas of the image. To do this we will create a new layer, clicking on the new layer icon, we grab our Brush tool and really roughly we are just going to paint with black around a few areas of this image, just to create a bit of a vignette effect.
Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. We want to blur that out pretty significantly. Then take this to a blend mode of Soft Light and finally lower the Opacity of that to dial in the desired effect. Again, it's kind of subtle, but it ties into this whole effect. Let's look at our before and after. Here is before and then after.
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