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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.
One of the Photoshop sayings that you hear quite often is that you have to select before you can correct, and the better that we can get at selections, the better correction that we can make, whether those corrections are enhancements or simply functional improvements of our photograph. Whatever the task is at hand, selections are really important. So let's go ahead and take a look at one of our Selections tool. We can select this particular tool by going to the Tools panel and clicking and holding down on the fourth icon and then by selecting the Magic Wand tool. Or we can press the W key and then Shift+W, which will then toggle back and forth between these two tools.
Now, the tool that we're going to focus in on is called the Magic Wand. This particular tool sometimes gets a bad rap. Some people call it the Tragic Wand, and some people say you should never use this tool. Well, I don't agree. There are times where this tool can really do quite an effective job. Well, let's take a look at a couple of the options with this tool up in the Options bar. Well, for starters, I want to focus in on Tolerance. Now Tolerance is kind of interesting. If we have a real low Tolerance, you can think of this as saying I have a low tolerance.
I don't really like variety. I just kind of like me myself and I. Well, if I have a low Tolerance and I click somewhere in the image, like I'll click on the red, you can see I've just made a small, little selection. Well, if I increase that Tolerance much higher and click in the same spot, here you can see now I have a much larger selection. All right. Well what are the other options? Well, next we have Anti-alias, which softens our edge a bit. Contiguous, with that checked on, you'll notice just the red background is selected, but this top left corner isn't selected.
Let's go ahead and turn off Contiguous. Navigate to Select and choose Deselect. Then click in the same exact spot. Well, now this time you can see it picked up the red over here in this other corner. It picked up the red tie, some of the other red tones on the face, and also on this area of the photograph. So what Contiguous means is touching. In other words, do you want to just make a selection of these pixels, like the ones you're clicking on, which are proximately close together, close or touching? So it depends on the type of selection you want to make. All right.
Well, let's deselect here. Go to Select and here we're going to choose Deselect. Let's turn Contiguous back on. Sample All layers is really helpful, especially if you have a multi-layer document. In our case, we don't, so I'm simply going to leave the default settings on as is. Next, I'm going to try to dial in my Tolerance. I don't know exactly what this will be. But what I want to do is start to modify this photograph that I took down in Mexico. So, I'm going to go ahead and click on the green of the face mask. Now, when I do that at a pretty high Tolerance setting, for the most part, it selects all of this area.
Well next, I want to make a change to that area. To do so, I'll navigate to my Image pulldown menu here, select Adjustments and then, Hue/Saturation. This is a really simple way to make a color change. We're going to drag this Hue slider, and here you can see I'm changing this, by simply dragging it one way or another. I can also affect the overall saturation, if I want to change that as well. All right. Well, let's just make some kind of a change here, just have a little bit of fun and then click OK. Next, what we need to do is to deselect this area.
You can see all those little marching ants. Those are defining the selected area, or the area that I can work on. To deselect, the shortcut is Command+D on a Mac, Ctrl+D on a PC. All right. Well now that we've deselected that area, what about the background? Well, let's say we go ahead and we click on this background red somewhere. We get a good selection, except we don't have this top-left corner in our selection. Well, with any of the selection tools, what you can do is hold down the Shift key. You'll notice there is a little Plus added next to the icon.
So, here's without it. Press the Shift key. There is, add to the selection. I'll then click up in this area. Now this is part of the selection. I'm also going to click on the tie down here, and now that's part of the selection. To see what we have selected or to make a change, let's go to Image > Adjustments, and choose Hue/Saturation again. Just having a little bit of fun, but let's change this background color to something different. Then go ahead and click OK. Then, remember that shortcut in order to deselect? It's Command+D on a Mac, Ctrl+D on a PC.
So, as you can see, you can use this Magic Wand tool in order to make selections of similar types of pixels. Sometimes this may be based on tone or color, but it's really good at making selections of larger areas, and it's definitely a tool that you want to experiment with, because it can really help you out in certain situations.
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