Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Darkening bright tones, part of Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Essentials.
In the previous movie, we looked at working on an image where we wanted to brighten some tones that were too dark. In this image we're going do the opposite. We're going to darken some tones that are too bright, and we going to learn some valuable shortcuts along the way. Go ahead and open up the file orwig.TIF by double clicking it in the Bridge. Press F to go to Full Screen view mode. Quick side note, this image was captured by one of my former students, Beau Roulette. This guy's an amazing photographer and it was really fun to see how he works. And this image is captured at 12 noon. He has a way of coming up with these really interesting colors and tones. Now let's go ahead and zoom in on the image. There are a number of different ways to do that in Photoshop. One way, on a Mac is Command + plus, on a PC that's Control + plus Now that's a shortcut you may know by how about this one? If you have a three button mouse, on a Mac hold down the Option key- on a PC, that's the Alt key- and then use your scroll wheel to zoom in and out. How cool is that? So zoom in either way and then press the spacebar to access the Hand tool and reposition the image. Now you know what we're going to do here.
We're going to use Curves to darken the ear and the hair there a little bit. It's going to be a subtle improvement in the image. Subtle, yet significant, because I want to darken this a little bit so the images isn't so much about the ear. Now, that's not a bad ear. It's fine ear, but I want to darken it up a little bit. So go ahead and click on the Adjustment layer icon and choose the good old Curves. Now I want to reposition this Curves dialog window so that I can see this portion of the subject, in this case good old me, and then I'm going to drag my midtone point down there to darken that quite a bit. I'm looking at the hair and the ear there.
Now I know that's way too intense, but I'm not worried about that because I'm going to be using masking and layer opacity to bring that back and make it look good. A lot of times what I'm doing when I'm using Curves or any other adjustment for that matter is I'm going a little hard, going a little heavy, because it helps me identify my edges and make a really strong edit that I can then back off with masking and opacity. Alright well, that looks pretty good. Go and click OK to apply that Curves adjustment. Now we need to invert our mask.
On a Mac that's Command+I. On a PC that's Control+I. The mask is now inverted. Let's zoom in a little bit more. Command+plus to zoom in or use one of your other shortcuts. Next select the Brush tool. Press the B key. Now that I have the Brush tool I want to dial in my opacity. A couple a ways to do this. One as I can click on the Opacity slider in the Options bar or check this out. With the brush tool selected, I can press to the 4 key. it takes it to 40%. The 5 key to 50% Zero is 100. So I'm going to take this to about 70% here and then start painting with a white. Currently in my color picker, black is a foreground color and white is the background. To invert or flip those two colors press the X key.
That's quite a bit of short cuts but my hope is that you can press Play or Pause or Rewind to pick up those shortcuts. They'll be important for us as we get into more intense retouching. Now in this case, I'm simply going to paint on the ear, zoom in a little bit more here and make sure I can darken this up. Quite a bit. Maybe a little bit too much. That's fine, Next I'm going to lower my opacity more by pressing the 3 key. Now it's 30%. A little bit bigger brush and I'm looking to darken up as part of the hair and the left bracket key makes my brush a little bit smaller.
Press the X key. That flips from black to white, so I can fix that up if any of my edges aren't good. Let's look at our before-and-after to see how we're doing. So far, so good. My neck down here, I think that's a little bit too dark. So I'm going to select black in my color picker. Take my opacity up perhaps to 60% there and then just paint that back a little bit. Fine to have a little bit of darkness, but that was quite a bit. All right. Clicking on the eye icon shows me my before and then after. I like that. The final thing that I want to do is lower the opacity for this layer. So I'll do that by clicking on the Opacity slider. Drop this down maybe somewhere in the 60s and again, this is a subtle edit, but significant. It makes the image a little bit less about the ear because that ear caught a lot of the light. A little bit more about the face.
Let's double click the Hand tool. That will take this image to Fit In View mode, so we can see the entirety of the image. Look at our before and after Now that maybe pretty small on our screen, but on my screen that looks nice. It darkened the hair a little bit, that ear just a little bit. And although we're working on a specific image here, what I'm more interested in is this technique, this concept. It's incredibly important that we're able the use Curves to adjust tone and adjust a specific area in an image and you'll see that come up multiple times throughout this training. So again, get over the fact that this is a specific image and walk away from this movie with that concept and that technique.
Those wishing to see these skills applied in greater detail may also enjoy Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniques.
- Strategizing a retouching workflow
- Correcting color and tone
- Cleaning up images in Camera Raw
- Removing distractions
- Enhancing structure and symmetry
- Reducing and removing wrinkles
- Sculpting facial features and body parts
- Whitening and brightening teeth
- Changing eyes
- Smoothing skin
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS3 Portrait Retouching Techniqueswith Chris Orwig8h 35m Intermediate
Beyond Skin: Going Deeper with Photoshop CS3with Lee Varis3h 56m Intermediate
1. Retouching Roadmap
2. Correcting Color and Tone
3. Cleaning Up Images in Camera Raw
4. Cleaning Up Images in Photoshop
5. Structural Image Enhancements
6. Reducing and Removing Wrinkles
7. Enhancing Eyes
8. Enhancing Eyelashes and Eyebrows
9. Improving Hair
10. Improving Faces and Bodies
11. Fixing Teeth
12. Improving Makeup
13. Enhancing Skin
14. Softening Skin
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