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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Here we're going to continue to talk about how we can combine multiple frames. We're going to take a look at an issue which happens to us all. This one is even more common. It happens when we're photographing more than one person. And in a photograph like that often, we have, let's say, two people that look great and then another who is looking away or blinking or closing their eyes. Then we have another frame or the subject who is blinking or looking away looks great, but then the others don't. Well how can we bring these two images together? Well here we're going to start off with a little bit of a different approach in order to speed up our workflow when it comes to combining two frames.
Click on one of these images, then hold down Command or Ctrl and click on another. Next, let's navigate to the tools pulldown menu and here we're going to select Photoshop and then Photomerge. This allows us to automatically align these images before we even get to Photoshop. So click on Photomerge. That will then open up the Photomerge dialog inside of Photoshop. You want to turn on the Auto option and then we're going to turn off Blend Images Together. Typically, you don't want to have that on because it won't work very well.
Next, we'll just go ahead and click OK. So essentially, what we're doing here is we're going to open up a multiple layer document, yet this time, these images have been aligned. You can see that by clicking on the eye icon here's our before and after, the horizon is now in the exact same spot, and previously in those two images, it wasn't.Well as you can see, with this photograph, what I want to do is I want to combine these two people here in this picture with the photograph of the daughter on the left from this frame.
In order to do that, we'll click on this layer and then I want to add a layer mask, but this time, I want to do so more quickly. Hold down the Option key on Mac, Alt on Windows, and then click on that icon. When you do that, by default, it creates a mask which is filled with black. Well now that this is completely concealed, I can go ahead and start to work on this side of the photograph. I'm going to choose my Brush, I want to paint with white, and I want to paint with 100% opacity and I want a really big brush.
So here I'll press the Right Bracket key. Why a big brush? Well in this case, I know that I'm going to have to remove a lot of the subject, so I'm going to go ahead and just start to paint this away. I'm going to change the background as well, because I need those to align. I might go ahead and paint down here in this area as well. Now when I get close to the other subject, I notice that I kind of have an issue or a problem, because here she is standing closer to her sister, and the problem with that is simply that you notice that her arm looks really squashed.
So let's decrease our brush size and then press the X key. Remember that the X key, it flips between your foreground and background color. In this way, I can kind of paint back her original arm here. And I want to be careful, so I'm going to go ahead and decrease my brush size, and I'm going to get up really close here, so it's almost like she is standing behind her sister, so that we can bring that in along that edge there, because I want to make this look as believable as possible. So I'm just looking at those edges at the seams.
I want to make those really come together. Then I'll press the X key again to paint back in a little bit more of the shirt and I'll kind of go back and forth pressing the X key until I get this edge looking just right. Well, next I want to evaluate how we're doing. To do so, we can click on this icon here; there's our before, click on again, and there is our after. And in this case, I think it works, because it looks like she's kind of standing behind her sister there and her arm is behind her sister's arm. And as we look to create or to combine two images together, we always want to watch out for those edges.
Well the last thing we need to do here is to zoom out and then crop this image, so here I'll select the Crop tool and just bring this in a little bit. I'm going to create a little bit of a tighter crop and just try to get a little bit closer to the subjects here and I think that looks nice. Press Enter or Return in order to apply that. I didn't quite crop off enough of this edge here, so I'm going to reselect the Crop tool and bring that in a little further, and you have to really watch that because when you do these auto aligns and whatnot, sometimes you'd lose some details.
So you want to make sure that you have all of those edges looking good. Well that looks great; we have now successfully combined these two exposures, so that all three members of this family are looking towards the camera and smiling. And as you seek to do this with your own photographs, just look for how you can start to align and then eventually mask in those details and just watch the edges, so that you can create some nice smooth and clean transitions so that the combination of the two frames look good.
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