Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Correcting color pt. 4: Adding finishing touches , part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques.
Now that we have color corrected this photograph, one of the things that I'm interested in doing is enhancing this even a little bit further. Now these enhancements can be subtle or dramatic. But let's start with some subtle enhancements. So we are going to go ahead and click on the Adjustment Layer icon and choose Hue/Saturation. Now what I'm going to do is grab the Target Adjustment tool and I'm going to simply click on one of the areas of the skin that I think is pretty red. So go ahead and try to find a red point there and I'll sample that. That will give me a good selection of those reds. I then want to decrease the transition area in this dialog so that I just have those reds there.
Okay, great. Now if I change the Saturation it is going to affect the overall image. So I'm going to do that so we can see that it's mostly targeting the area of the skin but it's more focused on the areas that are red. Well, I don't want to shift the Saturation that far but what I do want to do is desaturate just a little bit and I want to change that red just a little bit towards yellow there. Now by doing this what I can do is begin to equalize the color or the tone of the skin. Now I'm going to go too far for a moment, so you can see what's happening. This is too far but stick with me for a minute. So here we can see our before and then our after. Again, get in that little bit more of an even tone.
Now that doesn't look very good and in particular I can see that I don't have quite all the red that I need. So I'll grab the eyedropper with the plus icon and I'll grab a few more areas here, this will then expand the reach of that red. I'm just going to go ahead and click through these areas to make sure I have those. Okay, great. Well, now that I do, I'm going to bring this back to 0. I have a little bit of a desaturation here, so we will go back to 0. And we are going to click-and-drag to the right just a few points. Desaturate just a few points there and again just looking to equalize the tone. Now I'll zoom in a bit so you can see what's happening here in regards to this photo.
Now here is our before and then after. Zoom in even further perhaps on the skin area here and you can see before and then after. I'm just pulling out some of those brighter reds on the skin. Now, of course, I can desaturate that a bit more. I can shift those a bit more towards yellow. Here is my before and after. Okay, well now I'll zoom out. Again, a little bit too exaggerated there but let's say I want to have a little bit stronger effect here, we are just removing some of those reds in order to illustrate what I'm doing. I am in the Mask, I'll grab the Brush tool and make my brush a little bit bigger by pressing the right bracket key and then press the X key to paint with black and I want to paint away the loss of color on the lips. I want those to be nice and red.
I also want to bring back some red into the cheeks. So currently I'm painting at 60% Opacity. That will be just fine, just a little bit of red there on the cheeks. Press 0 to go to 100% and bring back even more color on the lips there. And now here is our before and after and again just removing some of the reds from up in the forehead and on the nose. Now a lot of times when you remove color, you then need to add color on top of what you have done. So that's what I'm going to do here. I'll click on the Adjustment Layer icon, navigate to Curves. Now when Curves are going to navigate to my Red channel and I'm going to increase the red. So I'm going to go ahead and click on my midpoint right there and just drag just a bit up.
Now I'm adding some reds. This is subjective color. And the nice thing about this is I can add a bit of red because I have already decreased the red variety in the skin. Now let's look at our before and after. Before and then after. So I can get away with that little bit of extra warmth, because I already pulled some out with Hue/Saturation. Next, we will go to the Blue, Yellow channel and we are just going to add just a touch of yellow there. Now when you add yellow, you need to be careful that you also add a little bit of magenta or red to offset that. I have already done that, so that looks pretty good. Well, let's press the F key to go Full Screen View mode. Then the F7 key to open up our Layers palette and let's see how we have done.
Well, here is the original image. We started to color correct the image so that we could reproduce it much better. We then worked on the shirt and we pulled out some of the blue down here on the shirt and again. That looks a little bit better. Subtle, yet significant. And then we started to work on the skin a little bit. Now when we did that our adjustment made the skin a little bit too pale, although it did equalize the color that we had there. Well, we did that knowing that at the end we would add a bit of the Curves adjustment on top of that which then makes for a pretty interesting and pretty compelling photograph. Let's take a look at the before and after. Here is the before and then here is the after. Now in closing, I just want to remind you that a lot of times what we are going to do is get our image so that it is color correct. And then later we are going to add some subjective edits.
Now if you are more interested in these subjective types of edits, I have a couple of other training titles on the lynda.com training library. One is called Creative Effects and other one is called Creative Color. If you are interested in the subjective side of modifying your images, take a look at those titles where you can dig deeper into a wide range of topics where you can learn how to further enhance your photographs.
- Implementing a color-managed workflow
- Creating color-correct prints
- Advanced image sharpening techniques
- Using typography with promo materials
- Working with print layouts and montages
- Considering paper and printer choices
- Soft-proofing to ensure stunning results
- Optimizing the print workflow
- Converting to CMYK and going to press