Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Making selective edits , part of Lightroom and Photoshop: Black-and-White Photography.
- Okay, so there are obviously a lot of benefits and flexibility to either a RAW workflow, or a smart object, or smart filter workflow, but sometimes that just isn't going to work. With any sort of brush-based operation, that's not gonna cut it. So I'm gonna reverse this file to what it originally was, which was a flat PSD, where we're actually interacting with pixels which is something that Photoshop does uniquely well. Now before we start talking about doing selective edits, and dodging and burning, I really want to encourage you to duplicate a layer in that workflow, because it is a destructive process.
Which is to say that we will be affecting the actual pixels. So I'm just gonna drag this layer down here to create another one, its going to look exactly the same. And then I'm gonna zoom in a little bit. And Photoshop has got some really great tools for dodging and burning. This is the sort of thing it does uniquely well. It wasn't always the case. It used to be, that if I came in here, and I said that I want to dodge the shadows, I would get something like this. And if you've tried it in the past, and had a bad experience, you definitely want to try this again.
Its been fixed, and by default, this little checkbox is on that says Protect Tones. And if I come in here to dodge the shadows, that's whats gonna happen, I'm just going to dodge the shadows. And if I, over that once more, if I say let's dodge the midtones, then its just going to open up the midtones. If I want to adjust the brush, I'm going to hit control and option, or control and alt, and I'm gonna drag left to right to adjust the size, and up and down to adjust the hardness.
And let's make that a little smaller. And let's switch to the burn tool. Smaller brush, and I want to burn the midtones here. And here, and there, and maybe I want to burn the highlights. I'm gonna turn that down a little, because that can be heavy-handed. And just drag that over that. Maybe I've got some distracting highlights in the jacket and the hands. I'm gonna give myself a larger brush, and I'm just gonna come through here and brush over that until I get the desired effect.
In this case, I might choose to come back to those midtones. Just make sure I'm getting everything the way I want it. Now just to see before and after, let's toggle that layer off and on. And you can see we've done a really nice job of equalizing this image. And that's the sort of thing that you could never do that with the adjustment brush, you could never do that with graduated filters. Its the sort of thing you want to do with a brush-based tool. If you're using it with a Wacom tablet or something like that, it is pressure sensitive. And the workflow is you want to just slowly, gradually build things up.
I worked in pretty close to the file, but for really detailed work, you'd want to hit command plus and just get in even closer. Just really be careful with what you're doing. But those brush-based tools are really great. If you were using a color image, you'll notice that there's also a sponge tool and that would allow you to saturate an area or to desaturate an area selectively. So definitely leverage those retouching tools. Great stuff to have in your toolkit.
- Why black and white?
- Shooting with black and white in mind
- Preparing color images
- Black-and-white mixing and adding toning
- Utilizing presets effectively
- Creating black-and-white HDR images with Lightroom and Photoshop
- Taking advantage of black-and-white adjustment layers
- Adjusting the toning of images
- Working with the Silver Efex plugin
- Converting to black and white on the go