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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.
Now, that we know a little bit about removing dust, let's take a look at another image where we have dust that's a little bit more prominent and we need to remove more dust. So we are going to work on this file corwig_sf_bridge. You can find it in the Chapter 26 folder, double-click that to open it up in Photoshop, F to go to Full Screen View mode and then double-click the Zoom tool to take this image to 100%. Now I'm going to zoom even beyond 100% so that we can evaluate this photograph. Now, when I look at this photograph, I say, hey! I like the composition; it was a beautiful morning. It was fun walking around San Francisco and capture the shot. Yet, because it was early, because it was dark, I did not notice that my lens was just absolutely filthy and we can see all of the dust that was on my lens all throughout the image. There is so much, man; I don't know what I'm going to do. So I'm going to zoom out and say, okay, do I want to make little lasso selections all around those areas of dust? Well, no, not at all. I need to go for a little bit more of a global approach. So I'll copy the background layer by clicking and dragging it to the New Layer icon and I'll name this new layer dust. Now you can also copy your layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on a PC.
Next, I'm going to navigate to my Filter pulldown menu. I'll choose Noise and Dust and Scratches. Now, here what I'm looking to do is to zoom in a little bit so you guys can actually see this. I'm going to take my Threshold down, Radius all the down, I'm just looking to see my before and after to where I can remove that dust so the sky looks good. It will have a little bit of texture in the sky so, here is our before and after. That looks really nice, click OK. Now when I do that, I look around the image, I say, the sky is definitely looking good before and after, yet the bridge is looking horrible. So how can I then limit my adjustment to that area? Well, we will zoom out and what we are going to do is create a mask. We are going to create a mask by holding down that renegade that kind of rebel shortcut key. It is the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, so press that key and then click on the add layer mask icon. So what happened was it added a layer mask filled with black rather than filled with white.
Next, press the B key to select the Brush tool or click on it on the toolbox here and we are going to hover over our image and we are going to paint with white. White is my background color so I press the X key so it is now on the foreground color and I'll zoom it a little bit, again so you can see what's happening here. We have a nice brush here, nice, soft edges and I'm just going to look to paint across the sky and I'm going to bring in this dust removal to this huge area here. Now I need to be careful that my painting is actually pretty good. I'm going to make a mistake and then we will look at how we can fix that mistake. Let's say I go around and say, you know what, I like that.
Dust removal, I think I'm doing well and I'm just painting kind of free form, not really paying attention to my mask at all and then I say to myself, hey, am I doing a good job? Well, I think so. What I really need to do here is I need to hold down the Option key on a Mac/ Alt key on a PC and then click on that mask. It will then show me the mask in this black and white view. Or on the other hand on a Mac/it is Shift+Option, on a PC Shift+Alt, click the mask and then you will see the red rubylith overlay. Now, that red rubylith overlay shows me that man, I missed a wide range of areas here. So I need to press the X key in my case, paint with white to reveal the mask in those areas, couple of little blemishes there, over here and continue to make my way through this. This will also help me discover if I have done anything like this, where I have masked into the bridge a little bit, the X key and then paint that back in so I have a nice a detail there and then the X key to go back and forth. And all that I'm trying to do is just to remove the dust in these larger areas so I want to clean that all up and that view of the mask really helped me out. I also need to move over here and clean up this area. The reason I want to make sure my mask is good is because I want those sky tones to all be really equal. Now, to get out of this, Shift+Option on a Mac, Shift+Alt on a PC and click on that layer mask. So again, the shortcuts for the layer mask on a Mac/Option, on a PC, Alt and then click. It shows you the black and white view. Click again to then remove that and then to go to that red rubylith overlay. On a Mac Shift+Option-click; on a PC that's Shift+Alt-click.
All right, well, now that we have seen that, let's zoom in a little bit on the image and look at our sky before and after, before and after, zoom in even further, so you can really see the detail, before and after, wow! That just looks so good. Now the other thing that we can do here is lower the opacity of this layer so when I lower it all the way down, and I have all those blemishes and then I can then bring that up just to disguise those so, I want to keep them a little bit more subtle. Another thing that I may want to do here is create a little bit of a transition between the edge where I have removed it and in between the area where I'm masking it off. A couple of different ways to do that, the easiest, click on your mask, go to Filter > Blur and then Gaussian Blur. We want to look at that edge there and the more we increase this, the more transition area we have. So we have got no transition and then just a little bit of transition it will just smooth that off, soften that edge out, just to touch and then we will zoom out, take a look at the image and say, you know what, in regards to dealing with the overall problems in the sky, that was a really quick and easy way to deal with that large area.
So keep in mind, when you use that Dust and Scratches filter, you can either apply it to small areas of your image or you can apply it to large areas of your image. That really depends on the subject matter and the problem.
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