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Working with color and tone

From: Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

Video: Working with color and tone

In order to create a vintage aesthetic, one of the best places to begin is with color, tone and texture. And here in the Layers panel, you'll notice that I've included different texture. Some old scans of paper, also an old edge, and then also a torn out page of an old book. Let's turn Off the visibility of those layers. We'll be referring back to those at a later time, but first let's evaluate what we have. Well this particular portrait was captured with available light. The person was standing in their garage, there's simply a painter's drop cloth behind him, and there is a lot of really nice light being bounced up into the subject.

Working with color and tone

In order to create a vintage aesthetic, one of the best places to begin is with color, tone and texture. And here in the Layers panel, you'll notice that I've included different texture. Some old scans of paper, also an old edge, and then also a torn out page of an old book. Let's turn Off the visibility of those layers. We'll be referring back to those at a later time, but first let's evaluate what we have. Well this particular portrait was captured with available light. The person was standing in their garage, there's simply a painter's drop cloth behind him, and there is a lot of really nice light being bounced up into the subject.

So what I want to do first is I want to remove the color and then work on the tone, and also work on the light a little bit. So here, we'll go ahead and click on our adjustment layer icon and choose Black & White in order to convert this to Black & White. Next, we'll work on the brightness value of a few areas in the image. We'll just customize these in order to get them to look just as we want. Now in this case, we get some nice brightness in the face, a little bit more darkness in the shirt. But I don't have the contrast that I want. Well I'm not too worried about that because later we'll be building up our contrast with a number of different adjustment layers.

For example, one of the layers we'll use is if we go back to our Adjustments panel, we'll click on Color Balance and here we're going to add a lot of reds and also a lot of yellows here in the highlights. We're going to bring in a ton of yellow. The next step is going to be to change this layer's blending mode to Soft Light. That will then blend this color into the image and it'll give us this nice mix. From here, we want to modify our sliders in order to just dial-in the exact aesthetic we're going for with this color. Next, I'm going to lower the opacity so it's not quite so strong.

I want a little bit more of a muted color palette to start off with. All right, well I think that's looking good. Next, I'll click on the adjustment layer icon. I'll choose Color Balance one more time, and here in my mid-tones I'm just going to add a little bit more of a Red, and Yellow, and Magenta. Again, I am just shifting the color, just a touch more, and as we do this, I'll then lower the opacity, bring in just a hint of this color. What I'm trying to do is to build up this nice kind of weather type of aesthetic, and here we have it, with a few simple adjustment layers, there is our before and then after.

Let's zoom out a little bit. And as we zoom out, one of the things that I notice is that there are a lot of bright areas around here. I want to darken those up. So to do that, we'll create one more adjustment layer, this time Curves. All we'll do here is simply click-and- drag down, and then we're going to invert the mask and paint this into specific areas. We can invert the mask by going to the Mask panel and then by clicking on Invert. Now keep in mind we want a bright image because we'll be adding more contrast as we progress.

So when we grab our Brush tool and when we select white to paint, we don't want to paint it 100%. When I bring that down below 50, little bit of a smaller brush there and then we'll just start to make some brush strokes in this area, darkening up this portion of the photograph and also around the subject, little bit on the shirt there, what this will do is it'll help us begin to build the focus around the subject, not so much around these other areas. Now these steps can be really helpful because they can help draw the eye to a particular area of the photograph.

We really want to bring everything up to the subject there. All right, well let's look. Here's before and then after. Let's blur out our brush strokes by increasing the feather. That will just diffuse those brush strokes. Now we have it before and then after. Our overall progress so far, before and after, great work.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing
Photoshop CS5: Creative Compositing

58 video lessons · 30336 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 2m 30s
    1. Welcome
      52s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  2. 20m 12s
    1. Combining layers with blending modes
      1m 36s
    2. Using blending modes and color adjustment layers
      2m 21s
    3. Layer blending and shortcuts
      4m 3s
    4. Creative project: Wisdom begins in wonder
      6m 23s
    5. Creating a flamenco dancer advertisement
      5m 49s
  3. 17m 39s
    1. Snapshot project: Using Auto-Align and Auto-Blend
      3m 27s
    2. Flag project: Combining depths of field
      3m 46s
    3. Nature project: Combining foreground and sky
      4m 47s
    4. Nature project: Adding clouds and creative color
      5m 39s
  4. 15m 28s
    1. Combining multiple frames
      5m 21s
    2. Cleaning up the details
      5m 5s
    3. Modifying color and tone
      5m 2s
  5. 11m 48s
    1. Combining interior and exterior architecture
      6m 57s
    2. Increasing drama and visual interest
      4m 51s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Composite project overview
      4m 12s
    2. Masking multiple images together
      3m 28s
    3. Extending the canvas and adding elements
      2m 58s
    4. Enhancing the main elements
      1m 47s
    5. Cleaning up the background
      4m 27s
    6. Award-winning composite inspiration
      4m 30s
    7. Photoshop composite inspiration: Web sites
      4m 5s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Project 1: Removing a model from a background
      9m 27s
    2. Project 1: Combining multiple photographs
      3m 23s
    3. Project 1: Working with shadows
      8m 15s
    4. Project 1: Adding light and color
      5m 18s
    5. Project 1: Working with curves and masking
      3m 45s
    6. Project 1: Final color and tone adjustments
      6m 56s
    7. Project 2: Combining multiple photographs
      7m 51s
    8. Project 2: Adding shadows
      7m 21s
    9. Project 2: Organizing layers and adding blur
      5m 48s
    10. Project 2: Adding film grain
      6m 19s
  8. 22m 58s
    1. Illuminating the eyes
      4m 16s
    2. Blending graphics with photos
      4m 25s
    3. Making final color modifications
      6m 19s
    4. Creative portrait blending
      7m 58s
  9. 25m 54s
    1. Working with color and tone
      3m 46s
    2. Adding texture
      4m 4s
    3. Adding film grain
      2m 44s
    4. Modifying texture
      4m 32s
    5. Darkening edges
      3m 34s
    6. Applying a creative color effect
      7m 14s
  10. 14m 39s
    1. Creating a selection of the TV glass
      4m 14s
    2. Masking the images into the selection
      5m 16s
    3. Modifying the color and tone
      5m 9s
  11. 27m 42s
    1. Extracting elements from their backgrounds
      6m 49s
    2. Removing the words from the book
      4m 31s
    3. Masking and image blending
      4m 35s
    4. Creating composite options
      4m 56s
    5. Enhancing the color
      6m 51s
  12. 11m 39s
    1. Setting the stage with color and tone
      4m 30s
    2. Working with textures and blending
      7m 9s
  13. 20m 31s
    1. Project overview
      4m 54s
    2. Using masking and blending modes for emphasis
      5m 8s
    3. Adding and modifying typography
      4m 55s
    4. Making final color and tone adjustments
      5m 34s
  14. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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