New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers
Illustration by

Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments


From:

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers

with Chris Orwig

Video: Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments

I want to talk about how we can use Levels in combination with masking, in order to get the most out of our Levels Adjustments. We are going to be working on this image here corwig_uk_1; you can find it in the Chapter 17 folder. Go ahead and double click that one to open it in Photoshop and then press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Now I'm going to click on my Adjustments panel here and I'm going to choose one of my Presets, in this case Levels, Increase Contrast. All right, great. We have this Increase Contrast, except you know what? I want to push this image even further. Let me go ahead and navigate to the Blue-Yellow channel and I'm going to make this one a little bit more warm and then go to the Green-Magenta channel, add a little bit of Magenta there, okay I'm liking that. Then go back to the RGB Composite view and I'm going to deepen my shadows even more, want those nice and deep; brighten up the whites there a little bit and then modify the overall tone and the mid tones there, that looks pretty good.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 28s
    1. Introduction
      2m 43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
  2. 19m 32s
    1. Taking visual snapshots
      2m 33s
    2. What's new in the Photoshop CS4 menus
      1m 24s
    3. The importance of the 30-minute blink
      2m 38s
    4. Isolation
      3m 32s
    5. Taking notes
      2m 29s
    6. Creative memorization
      2m 16s
    7. Verbalize, human, fun
      1m 18s
    8. Lessons from a legend: Douglas Kirkland
      2m 10s
    9. Resources and links
      1m 12s
  3. 30m 42s
    1. Is Photoshop CS4 worth it?
      2m 50s
    2. Seeing the new Tools panel
      3m 22s
    3. Working with the Application bar
      2m 51s
    4. Navigating with the Hand and Zoom tools
      4m 27s
    5. Rotating with the new Rotate View tool
      2m 0s
    6. New ways of arranging documents
      5m 41s
    7. Working with the panels
      2m 34s
    8. Customizing your workspace
      2m 11s
    9. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      3m 12s
    10. Creating custom menus
      1m 34s
  4. 39m 36s
    1. Choosing your Color settings
      5m 4s
    2. Setting Image Interpolation preferences
      3m 1s
    3. Zoom preferences
      2m 40s
    4. Interface preferences
      7m 46s
    5. File-handling preferences
      2m 33s
    6. Performance preferences: Memory
      5m 40s
    7. Performance preferences: Cursor
      5m 46s
    8. Performance preferences: Transparency and Gamut
      4m 44s
    9. Reviewing the other preferences
      2m 22s
  5. 21m 14s
    1. Bit Depth 101
      4m 34s
    2. Introducing image size
      2m 47s
    3. Image Resize overview
      7m 54s
    4. Resizing by cropping
      3m 33s
    5. Straightening
      2m 26s
  6. 10m 10s
    1. Introducing color management
      2m 3s
    2. Monitor calibration basics
      2m 43s
    3. Advanced monitor calibration
      2m 36s
    4. Creating a neutral work environment
      2m 48s
  7. 11m 17s
    1. Using Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom together
      2m 20s
    2. Bridge as a digital light box
      1m 19s
    3. General Bridge preferences
      2m 49s
    4. Thumbnail Bridge preferences
      1m 38s
    5. Advanced and Cache Bridge preferences
      3m 11s
  8. 28m 1s
    1. Creative tip 1: Discarding, the great selection technique
      4m 6s
    2. Introducing the Bridge interface
      3m 27s
    3. Getting photos from your camera
      4m 14s
    4. Choosing a workspace
      4m 16s
    5. Customizing the workspace and the Synchronized window
      4m 10s
    6. Using Bridge to rate and sort
      4m 3s
    7. Sorting with filters
      3m 45s
  9. 33m 53s
    1. Previewing multiple files
      5m 6s
    2. The Bridge Review mode
      7m 4s
    3. The Bridge Full Screen mode
      3m 8s
    4. Bridge slideshows
      4m 25s
    5. Stacking images
      3m 24s
    6. Renaming and batch-renaming
      4m 11s
    7. Adding favorites
      1m 58s
    8. Grouping images with Collections
      4m 37s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Setting up metadata
      3m 34s
    2. Customizing the workspace for metadata
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a metadata template to add a copyright notice
      3m 55s
    4. Keywording images
      3m 33s
    5. Filtering images based on metadata
      1m 41s
  11. 9m 54s
    1. Recording an action
      2m 16s
    2. Batch-processing an action
      2m 11s
    3. Simplifying repetitive steps using the Image Processor
      2m 21s
    4. Opening multiple images as layers
      3m 6s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Understanding the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 15s
    3. Opening files in Camera Raw
      5m 23s
    4. The Camera Raw interface and essential controls
      5m 13s
    5. White Balance, Straighten, and Tone
      3m 2s
    6. Crop, Rotate, and Vignette
      5m 6s
    7. Improving color and tone
      4m 45s
    8. Saturation vs. Vibrance
      4m 46s
    9. Converting an image to black and white
      4m 7s
    10. Split-toning an image
      3m 32s
    11. Working with tone subjectively
      5m 56s
    12. Adjustment Brush essentials
      3m 19s
    13. Using the Adjustment Brush
      7m 24s
    14. Working with the Graduated filter
      4m 6s
    15. Sharpening and noise reduction
      6m 10s
    16. Working with multiple images
      4m 45s
  13. 38m 42s
    1. Creative tip 2: Worth the risk
      2m 30s
    2. Introducing layers
      2m 53s
    3. Working with layers
      2m 21s
    4. Working with History and the History Brush
      4m 1s
    5. Aligning layers
      1m 56s
    6. Organizing layers
      4m 17s
    7. Layer style effects
      4m 21s
    8. Creating a clipping mask
      4m 27s
    9. Creating a reflection of an image
      2m 37s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      5m 36s
    11. Reviewing layers shortcuts
      3m 43s
  14. 31m 31s
    1. Introducing masking
      2m 8s
    2. Creating a simple layer mask
      3m 51s
    3. Masking shortcuts
      3m 25s
    4. Using Color Range to create a detailed mask
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 5s
    6. Masking and brightening eyes
      3m 35s
    7. Masking and selective sharpening
      2m 58s
    8. The Quick Mask mode
      6m 41s
  15. 24m 15s
    1. Creating a custom border with masking
      5m 41s
    2. Using pre-built borders
      7m 6s
    3. Exploring sample image frames
      4m 59s
    4. Frame plugin highlight: Photoframe
      6m 29s
  16. 51m 47s
    1. Creating a mask with the Quick Selection tool
      5m 39s
    2. Working with the Quick Selection tool
      4m 12s
    3. Creating color range selections
      4m 46s
    4. Advanced selection enhancements
      5m 1s
    5. Using the Magic Wand
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Lasso tool
      5m 37s
    7. Pen and path shortcuts
      5m 20s
    8. Understanding paths
      4m 7s
    9. Creating path selections
      6m 3s
    10. The Magnetic Lasso tool and paths
      8m 29s
  17. 21m 10s
    1. Introducing the Adjustments panel
      2m 26s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the difference between Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Target Adjustment tool
      4m 9s
    5. Hue/Saturation adjustments and masking
      3m 15s
    6. Hue/Saturation blending with Shadow/Highlight
      4m 46s
  18. 17m 45s
    1. Introducing levels
      1m 58s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      3m 3s
    3. Modifying color with levels
      3m 47s
    4. Levels and masking
      3m 13s
    5. Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments
      5m 44s
  19. 40m 58s
    1. Demystifying curves
      6m 52s
    2. Using curves for contrast and tone
      3m 33s
    3. Midtones and advanced blending
      2m 50s
    4. Curves and general Hue/Saturation
      2m 54s
    5. Enhancing color with curves
      6m 18s
    6. Curves, color, masking, and tone
      5m 10s
    7. Curves and masking
      4m 54s
    8. Creative tip 3: Using curves for publication
      5m 14s
    9. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 13s
  20. 24m 7s
    1. Creative tip 4: Ordinary ingredients = extraordinary results
      2m 23s
    2. Introducing blend modes
      5m 36s
    3. Blend modes visualized
      6m 48s
    4. Blending multiple images
      6m 9s
    5. Blend modes shortcuts
      3m 11s
  21. 42m 57s
    1. Correcting color with eyedroppers
      4m 37s
    2. Advanced color correction with eyedroppers
      2m 27s
    3. Color correction with Camera Raw
      3m 3s
    4. Performing difficult color correction with Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    5. Performing easier color correction with a color chart
      2m 31s
    6. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      3m 42s
    7. Color-correcting by the numbers
      4m 10s
    8. Color correction: Studio shot
      3m 6s
    9. Color correction: Light skin tone
      3m 6s
    10. Color correction: Dark skin tone
      3m 44s
    11. Color correction: Multiple skin tones
      6m 40s
    12. Color correction plugin highlight: SkinTune 2
      2m 50s
  22. 44m 44s
    1. Replacing color with Hue/Saturation
      3m 2s
    2. Replacing a color
      5m 6s
    3. Modifying color with Selective Color
      3m 5s
    4. Color focus
      5m 59s
    5. Experimenting with cool and warm colors
      5m 18s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with sunset colors
      5m 16s
    7. Enhancing a landscape with sunrise colors
      5m 19s
    8. Enhancing a color group shot
      3m 17s
    9. Using photo filters with black-and-white photos
      3m 14s
    10. Using photo filters with color photos
      5m 8s
  23. 22m 3s
    1. Introducing the Burn and Dodge tools
      2m 56s
    2. Using the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 47s
    3. Darkening corners with the Soft Light blend mode
      3m 0s
    4. Adding contrast to the highlights
      2m 30s
    5. Darkening a portion of an image
      2m 45s
    6. Correcting bright and dark tones
      3m 56s
    7. Reducing highlights with the Multiply blend mode
      3m 9s
  24. 19m 30s
    1. Creative tip 5: Seeing beyond the color - your gear is good enough
      4m 58s
    2. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      3m 37s
    3. Portrait black-and-white conversion
      3m 31s
    4. Landscape black-and-white conversion
      2m 40s
    5. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      4m 44s
  25. 11m 16s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      2m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      3m 21s
    3. Blending and masking Smart Filters
      5m 19s
  26. 19m 38s
    1. Noise reduction with Surface Blur
      4m 36s
    2. The Noise Reduction filter
      2m 54s
    3. Advanced noise reduction with Channels
      5m 32s
    4. Advanced noise reduction with the Dfine plugin
      6m 36s
  27. 33m 29s
    1. The Dust and Scratches Filter
      3m 57s
    2. Using masking to remove dust and scratches
      5m 10s
    3. Introducing the trio of healing tools
      6m 18s
    4. Using the Healing and Clone Stamp tools
      4m 21s
    5. Using the Patch tool
      7m 40s
    6. Cleaning up an image with what's there
      6m 3s
  28. 58m 58s
    1. Creative tip 6: A beautiful mistake
      2m 51s
    2. Cleaning up a background
      3m 21s
    3. Removing blemishes
      4m 19s
    4. Cleaning up backgrounds and blemishes
      3m 46s
    5. Brightening eyes
      3m 12s
    6. Changing eye color
      4m 55s
    7. Darkening the edge of an eye
      1m 32s
    8. Adding makeup
      2m 25s
    9. Correcting distortion
      2m 19s
    10. Reducing eye wrinkles
      4m 4s
    11. Adding height and reducing wrinkles
      7m 55s
    12. Whitening teeth
      4m 6s
    13. Whitening teeth using Quick Mask
      3m 39s
    14. Softening skin
      5m 5s
    15. Removing red-eye
      2m 21s
    16. The next steps in retouching
      3m 8s
  29. 38m 35s
    1. Introducing Smart Sharpen
      3m 23s
    2. Smart Sharpen demystified
      4m 10s
    3. Smart Sharpen and masking
      8m 46s
    4. Using the Unsharpen Mask filter
      5m 19s
    5. Black-and-white High Pass sharpening
      8m 2s
    6. Color High Pass sharpening
      3m 27s
    7. Sharpening and tone
      5m 28s
  30. 28m 38s
    1. Resizing for email and the web
      3m 1s
    2. Image size considerations
      2m 54s
    3. Preparing files for the web
      4m 37s
    4. Sharpening for the web
      2m 12s
    5. Correcting color for the web
      3m 10s
    6. The Save for Web dialog
      3m 51s
    7. Creating a web gallery
      6m 21s
    8. Sharing your photos online
      2m 32s
  31. 23m 33s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 19s
    2. Presenting your photos as a PDF slideshow
      2m 55s
    3. Desktop printing recommendations
      1m 40s
    4. Preparing to print
      5m 53s
    5. Using Soft Proof to pre-visualize printing
      3m 46s
    6. Using the Print dialog
      3m 31s
    7. Print settings
      1m 29s
  32. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Photoshop CS4 for Photographers
14h 50m Beginner Nov 04, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Sharpening a photograph to make it more vivid
  • Reviewing the essentials of retouching
  • Understanding the fundamentals of color management
  • Creating a layer mask to brighten eyes
  • Applying advanced noise reduction using channels
  • Using Bridge CS4 to organize and tag the best images
  • Processing photographs for print and web publishing
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Chris Orwig

Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments

I want to talk about how we can use Levels in combination with masking, in order to get the most out of our Levels Adjustments. We are going to be working on this image here corwig_uk_1; you can find it in the Chapter 17 folder. Go ahead and double click that one to open it in Photoshop and then press F to go to Full Screen View mode. Now I'm going to click on my Adjustments panel here and I'm going to choose one of my Presets, in this case Levels, Increase Contrast. All right, great. We have this Increase Contrast, except you know what? I want to push this image even further. Let me go ahead and navigate to the Blue-Yellow channel and I'm going to make this one a little bit more warm and then go to the Green-Magenta channel, add a little bit of Magenta there, okay I'm liking that. Then go back to the RGB Composite view and I'm going to deepen my shadows even more, want those nice and deep; brighten up the whites there a little bit and then modify the overall tone and the mid tones there, that looks pretty good.

Let's look at our before and after, here is before and after. Well I like this. I like how this image looks, except guess what happens? I print this out on velvet fine art paper or matte paper, or one of those rag papers and I notice that, these shadows they are just too dark. I need to brighten those up. In order to brighten those up, I'll click on my Masks panel and I'm going to then target the mask here. Grab my Brush tool by pressing the B key and paint with black. In this case I'm painting with a 100% Opacity black here. Okay great. And I'll go ahead and just click and drag to paint into this area because again I want to brighten this area up. I want to limit the adjustment to this area.

Now when I do that, I say, I like that I'm able to have a little bit more tone there except it just doesn't match because it's so gray. Well, we will fix that in a second. The next thing I'm going to do is lower the Opacity to somewhere below 50% here and I'm just going to paint inside of a board a little bit. Again, I want to bring some of those details back for the print. On Monitor this looks fine, it actually looks great on monitor but when I print it, I just don't have any detail in there. I need that detail in order for the image to look good. All right well now I have these two different adjustments that I have made on my mask. Yet again they are two strong, it looks gray, I don't have the right color on top of it. Well, here is a great masking trick for you. You can change the Density of your mask; I'm going to take this all the way down. Well, now it's gone. The Density or I like to thing of it as intensity is off but then I'm going to increase this and bring this up and now take a look at that. Let's look at our before and after, here is our before and then here is with that mask, after. We are just bringing a little bit of light into that.

Also, take a look at what's happened to your mask. Well, let's undo that by holding down the Option key on a Mac/ Alt key on a PC and then clicking on this mask icon. Well, here you can see my mask is much more gray, now as I increase that it changes the tones that I have used. Basically, it allows me to control the tonal value of the mask, it's kind of the equivalent of applying a Levels or a Curves adjustment right to the mask itself. Now, if that doesn't make sense, don't worry but just basically know you can control the overall Density or intensity of your mask. To bring it back to the normal view, hold down the Options key on the Mac/Alt key on a PC and then again find that sweet spot. You know a lots of time it just subtly backing that off and we can see our before and after here, overall before and after here.

Just want to check to make sure that, that looks good and you know what it does. Now there is one more adjustment that I want to make with this particular image, another Levels Adjustment. So I'm going to go back to my Adjustments and then click on the arrow that will allow me to see the Adjustment list. This time for my Levels Preset, I'm going to choose Darker. Now that darkened up the overall image and I want to darken that even further. Now once I have done that, I say, okay obviously it doesn't look very good. But wait till I tell you what kind of effect I want to create, I want to darken the corners of this image. So I'm going to go ahead and navigate over to the Mask option here. Now in the Mask option I have the ability to press the Invert button, which will then fill that mask with black. Okay that takes it all the way off, click it again to bring it back.

Now I'm doing that to just to get a feel for -- did I go far enough, are my corners going to be darkened up. Well, yeah I did. Next, I'm going to change my brush size, by holding down Command+ Option on the Mac and clicking and dragging. I want a real big brush here. On a PC, you are going to hold down the Option key and the right mouse button and then click and drag. I'm going to then paint with black in the middle portion of my image and I'm just looking to limit this adjustment so that it doesn't affect this middle portion of the image. Let's look at our before and after, before and after.

It's a subtle adjustment yet it's darkening those corners really nicely and here we have the before and after. Now if it's not intense enough, we will just go back to the Adjustments panel and then make it a little bit darker and that looks pretty good there. And then go back to the Mask icon. You can also control the overall Density as well of that mask to control how much of the mask is been affected. In this case, let's say we want to darken the overall image, just a touch there, very nice. Well, in closing we have gone through some advanced techniques here that have helped to improve this image. Let's take a look at the overall before and after.

We will click off the Eye icon. Here is our first adjustment and then we limited that adjustment so that it didn't affect these darker areas and that was especially important because those areas became darker once I added my final adjustment there. Well, now that I see that I have this final adjustment on top, I may want to go back to this mask and then control the overall Density, i.e. brighten that up even more. So I'm just sliding it in a one way or the other to evaluate that and say, yeah I do need to brighten that up a little bit more so that it prints well. In addition, I'm going to click on this topmost layer and lower the Opacity of this layer because I want to back that off a little bit. I want that effect but it was just a little bit too intense. The effect is a little bit more subtle and this image will print well.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop CS4 for Photographers.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS4 for Photographers.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.