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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.
Without a doubt, there is in arts and crafts a skill to converting our images successfully to black-and-white. And one of the great things about this is that this is something that we can all do because we now have these tools which allow us to tap into the data in our files when we convert these to black-and-white. So here in this movie, we are going to start off with the demo file. We are going to take a look at how we can create a black-and-white adjustment layer and how we can get to know the controls that we'll see there. Then we'll jump quickly to working with a photograph.
Well, let's navigate to the Adjustment Layers panel and let's click on the icon for Black & White. When we do this, we can see that it then removes all the color in our photograph. Yet what's interesting is that in this dialog, we have these different sliders. Let's say, for example, that we want to reduce or darken the reds and the orange, we want to reduce the brightness there. We can just go to the Reds slider and simply click and drag to the left. We can also work on other colors as well, say the blues. Here I can go ahead and brighten or darken those tones and by tapping into the color data, you can see that we can have this really fine-tuned control the way that we convert our images to black-and-white.
We can also use this tool, the Targeted Adjustment tool. Click on it and then hover over your image and then simply click and drag, drag to the right to brighten, drag to left to darken and in this way, we have this precise control in making these conversions and this is really important because when you remove color, you remove that which previously created some sort of visual interest. We need to somehow recreate that and we can do that really easily and effectively with this tool. All right! Let's go ahead and jump to a photograph.
Here we'll be working with this picture and let me actually zoom out a little bit. So I'll press Command+Minus on a Mac, Ctrl+Minus on Windows and let's once again click on the icon for converting this to black-and-white and to create a black-and-white adjustment layer. Well, this initial conversion, it's just a little bit flat. You know that color photograph was so exciting with those bright blues and yellows. Take a look at it and here you can see those colors, they draw you in. Yet when we remove them, we lose a little bit of the dimension of the picture.
So I need to start thinking about well, how can I bring some of that back. One technique that I could use is to think about brightness. Here I'll go ahead and select this tool and I notice that the shirt, it's just too bright. I'll click and drag to the left that will darken up that area of the picture which then makes the face seem brighter. Now I want to bring the skin out even more. To do that, just click on the skin, drag to the left, that will darken, drag to the right and that will brighten. All right! Now we are talking. We can also work with our yellows.
We'll see that affect the skin tone and also the hair there. What I am looking to do is to add some visual interest, some snap, some pop and here when we use this tool, well, it's really exciting because you see these different parts of your image come to life. So often, what happens is we get excited about the ability we have here about the adjustments we can make and then we just stop here. Yet what I find is that if we take this just a little bit further, it can really help out when it comes to converting to black-and-white.
Let me show you what I mean. With this image, let's say that we've used this adjustment and it looks pretty good. Well, to finish this off, I'll click on my Adjustment layer icon for Curves. Now here with Curves, I am going to go ahead and darken those blacks, I want nice deep blacks and then I'll bring the whites back up. You know it's this final adjustment, at least for me that makes all the difference in the world because this allows me to have that little bit of extra punch. It's just darkened those blacks because when it comes to black-and-white typically, I gravitate towards those images with a lot of contrast.
Now, of course, you want to make adjustments which you like, yet the whole point here is that use not Black & White Adjustment panel, but use it with all of the other controls that you know, say, like the adjustments that you can make with Curves and by using those two different sets of controls together many times that will lead you to creating even more interesting results.
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