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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.
When it comes to working in Curves, practice definitely makes perfect. So let's continue to practice with Curves and take a look at how we can modify or improve color with the Curves adjustment. Now with this portrait here of my daughter, Annika, I was pushing her on a swing, and it was really sunny out. I pushed her into a shadow and so it was this shadow which was then creating this cool tone. Now if we look closely at this image, there is a bit of a blue cast. So let's take a look at how we can correct this image, warm it up and improve the overall color.
Well, first, we're going to click on the Curves Adjustment Layer icon to open up the Curves Adjustment. Next thing that I want to do is I want to navigate down to my different channels, but this time I want to do this by way of shortcut, so that you can begin to learn those. First, let's go ahead and press Option on a Mac, Alt on a PC and then the 5 key. That's going to take us to the blue or yellow channel. What we're going to do here is select the Target Adjustment tool. Hover over the skin. As I hover over the skin, you notice in the Curves dialog, it's highlighting this area right here.
We're then going to click and drag down. Now when we click and drag down, you notice that yes, we have some nice warmth, but it's a little bit too green. So what we need to do next is to navigate to the green channel. We can be so by pressing Option+4 on a Mac, Alt+4 on a PC. Again, with the Target Adjustment tool, we're going to click and drag down, adding a bit of magenta into this image. All right. Already that's looking a ton better. Well, let's say that, at this juncture, I really want to brighten up the image as well.
Well in order to do that, we press Option+2 or Alt+2. That takes us to the RGB composite channel. Now, if ever you forget these shortcuts, you can always simply click on this pulldown menu, and they're listed to the right of the different channel name. All right, in the RGB mode, I'm going to go ahead and brighten this one up. Well, now that I've brightened that, it's affected the color a little bit. I want to add a little bit more yellow. Option+5 or Alt+5. That takes us back to the blue-yellow channel. I'll go ahead and click and drag this point down just a bit.
I want to have a real nice warm look here, and then I'll go ahead and press Option+4 or Alt+4, and then just add just a touch more of magenta to this photograph. All right. Well, that's looking better. Let's take a look at our before and after. Here we have before and then after, a subtle, yet nonetheless significant, adjustment. Now, a lot of times what happens is when we make these adjustments, we get excited. We say, yes. We warmed up the image. It looks great. We forget to kind of check our tracks and make sure that all of the improvements are good.
For example, one of the things that I'm noticing here is that the eye color, the original blue, looked wonderful. Now it's a little bit of a yellow-blue. I'd really like to bring back that original color. Well, let's zoom in a little bit on the eyes. We can do that by pressing Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus. Next, press the B key to select your Brush tool. Then we want to choose black as our foreground color. You can do so by pressing the X key in order to flip this so that the black is in the foreground, and then I'm going to make my brush a little bit smaller by pressing the left bracket key, and all that I'm going to do is mask out this adjustment on this particular area.
In other words, I'm saying, don't turn the eyes yellow. Don't affect the eye at all, for that matter. Keep them as they were originally. So now if I Shift+click my mask, we can see there was what we used to have, and then there's with that added mask. Here's our overall before and then after. Let's say that at this juncture, we say, you know what, that is nice. Those blue eyes are so wonderful, except they're a little bit too blue. They're a little bit too unnatural. Well, what we can do in that case, in order to equalize things a bit, is head back to our Mask panel and here we have a control for Density.
As we decrease this amount, what it's going to do is it's going to bring back more of this adjustment into the image. Bring that all the way down. There it is with the complete 100% adjustment. We can find a sweet spot where the eyes don't look unnatural, yet they are kind of tied to the image with a bit of the Hue and Brightness shift that we created with this adjustment. And in this case, I think this is looking much better here. Take a look at our before and after. Here we have it: before and then after.
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