Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
Illustration by Richard Downs

Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

with Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Video: Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions

One of the best ways to significantly change the look of an image is to convert it to black and white. Suddenly things like texture, tone, shape, lines will look very different as a monochromatic image. It's also great for when you sort of hit the wall with your image and you want it to look different, but you are not sure what to do. There are lots of ways to convert to black and white, I want to show you a couple of very fast ways that gives you an easy fast look, but you also refine them a bit more. So here's our image in Photoshop and as we mentioned before one of the things we want to do here is just hit Auto first and see what we get.
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  1. 7m 53s
    1. Welcome
      2m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
    3. What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw
      4m 42s
  2. 9m 30s
    1. Reinventing the Crop tool
      5m 44s
    2. Using the new Crop tool the old way
      3m 46s
  3. 6m 4s
    1. Then versus now: Understanding how the Auto button works
      2m 55s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Auto
      3m 9s
  4. 6m 37s
    1. Using Curves
      3m 31s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Curves
      3m 6s
  5. 14m 57s
    1. Looking at sharpening
      2m 6s
    2. Understanding Smart Sharpen
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding the role of Smart Objects in a sharpening workflow
      2m 20s
    4. Applying brush-based selective sharpening
      5m 50s
  6. 9m 6s
    1. Understanding the challenges of building blur
      2m 54s
    2. Using Iris Blur to create shallow depth of field
      6m 12s
  7. 8m 20s
    1. The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      6m 24s
    2. Understanding the role of the graphics tablet
      1m 56s
  8. 12m 33s
    1. Understanding and using Content-Aware Fill
      3m 16s
    2. What to do when Content-Aware Fill doesn't work
      2m 38s
    3. Beyond fill: Content-Aware Patch
      1m 16s
    4. Content-Aware Scale: The feature nobody knows about
      3m 30s
    5. Content-Aware Move: Recomposing photos
      1m 53s
  9. 3m 17s
    1. Exploring what Liquify is really used for
      3m 17s
  10. 12m 1s
    1. Correcting automatically based on lens profiles
      4m 2s
    2. Getting the most out of Adaptive Wide Angle
      4m 47s
    3. Exploring lens distortion and video
      3m 12s
  11. 7m 22s
    1. Using presets new and old
      47s
    2. Surprising yourself with the Color Look Up Adjustment layer
      2m 15s
    3. Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions
      2m 31s
    4. Imagining a connected Photoshop
      1m 49s
  12. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
1h 37m Intermediate Sep 05, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes takes you on an insider's tour of the key photo-enhancement features in Adobe Photoshop CS6, providing details on how they work, background into their evolution, and insights into how to use them more effectively.

The course begins with an exploration of Photoshop features that make changes to an entire image: the Crop tool, the Auto button that's present in many adjustment dialog boxes, and the Curves panel options. Next, Bryan explores sharpness and blur. Each has its place in a photograph, and Bryan details how the sharpening and blur features work and how to get the most out of them.

The course also looks at adjusting specific areas of an image with the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools, and at the growing array of content-aware features in Photoshop, showing how they work and what to do when they don't work. The course concludes with a tour of the powerful Liquify filter, features for correcting lens distortion, and the world of presets that allow you to apply settings with a single click.

Topics include:
  • Reinventing the Crop tool
  • Rediscovering the Auto button
  • Getting the most out of curves
  • Understanding Smart Sharpen
  • Building blur and softness
  • Working with a graphics tablet
  • Using Content-Aware Fill, Scale, and Move effectively
  • Correcting distortion automatically based on lens profiles
  • Using presets
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions

One of the best ways to significantly change the look of an image is to convert it to black and white. Suddenly things like texture, tone, shape, lines will look very different as a monochromatic image. It's also great for when you sort of hit the wall with your image and you want it to look different, but you are not sure what to do. There are lots of ways to convert to black and white, I want to show you a couple of very fast ways that gives you an easy fast look, but you also refine them a bit more. So here's our image in Photoshop and as we mentioned before one of the things we want to do here is just hit Auto first and see what we get.

And that changes my image quite a bit I can pull the Highlights down a little bit and if I want to introduce a little more contrast in the shadows, that's easy to do. Now probably the easiest way to do black and white is the black and white Adjustment layer. And if I get Auto again in here, it's just going to give me a little bit more contrast between the channels. And I can come into any of these different Presets and get some pretty different looks simply by clicking on those and there are a lot of those. As with any of the Presets, you can further refine them and save them as your own.

But we are not going to use this one, I want to show you a new one that's in the Gradient Maps, and we have licensed a bunch of presets for the Gradient Maps. So if you click on Gradient Map and then come in here, this little fly-out gear, and add the Photographic Toning presets, just click OK, and I like to look at this as a large list, so I can remember which one I liked. And there are all sorts of different ones in here, same idea, you get a really different look at your image, these are especially nice for some of the mixed tones that you see here.

I am going to go with the Selenium 2 and that looks great, it's really nice monochromatic image. Now this isn't just for black and white, I can use this for color as well. So if I come in here and say Color Burn, I get a really nice saturated image and this being an Adjustment layer, I can just back it down a little bit. And the other great thing about this being an Adjustment layer is I can come over here and grab a brush, I want to make sure that that's black. I can change the size, again using Ctrl+ Opt or Ctrl+Alt to quickly change my brush size and then just restore the tone to the background.

I am just cutting through the effect that we applied. And so there in just a few seconds we seriously changed the look of our image. So great for black and white, but great for color as well.

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