Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Enhancing the color and tone, part of Photoshop CS5: Athletic Retouching Projects.
Here we're going to explore how we can start to work on the color of the photograph. Now one of things that I know about this surfer is that he is a real soul surfer. In regards to his photography, he shoots a lot with film. He likes that old analog process. A lot of those ideas really surround this particular surfer. So what I want to do is try to create color and tone and mood which kind of reflects that, which taps into that. So I want to give this a little bit of almost a cross-processed tone type of esthetic. So I'm going to start off by using Levels.
In order to do that, I'll navigate to the Adjustments panel. Then I'll click on the Levels icon. Now you know that you can tap into the different channels here. We have the RGB, or we can go to the Red, Green, or Blue channels themselves. We can do so by clicking on this pulldown menu or by pressing the respective shortcut keys. You want to learn those shortcut keys. It's either Option+3, Option+4, Option+ 5 for Red, Green, or Blue, or for the composite RGB channel, it's Option+2. Those are shortcuts on a Mac. On Windows, that's going to be Alt+2, Alt+3, Alt+4 or Alt+5.
The reason you want to learn those is because it's the same shortcut that you'll also use when you're working inside of Curves. Well, if you don't like shortcuts, no big deal. Simply click on the pulldown menu and go to the Blue channel. Here what I want to do is I want to bring up the blues in the shadows. I'm going to do this pretty dramatically adding a lot of blue to this image. I'm also going to go ahead and bring in some yellows into the highlights there. Again, I have this really kind of stylized type of a look already. I'm just going to modify these and mix these two colors together, bringing in some blue and also bringing in some yellows.
Well, I'm starting to like the look of this, except the image feels almost a little bit kind of fuzzy. It needs a bit more contrast, a bit more grit, a bit more feel. Well, we'll get to that. Next thing I want to do is click on my Adjustments layer icon and choose Hue/Saturation. You can also do this by going back to Adjustments panel and then selecting Hue/Saturation here. Well, what I want to do here is remove some of the red that I'm seeing. One way to do that is to click on the pulldown menu and then choose the Reds, or you'll notice we have similar shortcuts here.
In this case, it's Option on a Mac or Alt on Windows, 2 through 8. Let's go to the Red channel. Here what I'm going to do with the Red channel is just click and drag to the right for my hue. That's going to change the hue there. You can see I'm modifying it. I just want to warm it up a little bit. Then also de-saturate it. So remove some of the reds that I'm seeing there. The next thing I'm going to do is go ahead and go back to my Adjustments, and I'm going to choose Color Balance. In Color Balance, right in my Midtones I'm going to again just remove a little bit of the reds there and then increase the overall yellow on this image.
So again, it's giving it a little bit more of that strong yellow tone. It's these adjustments together that have given me this particular look. Well, now that I've done all of this, one of things I want to do next is just build up that contrast. So do that, I'm going to use Curves. We'll go back to the Adjustments panel, click on our Curves icon, and I'm going to go ahead, and deepen those blacks up quite a bit. I'm also going to work on my highlights just a little bit there, bringing up a little bit more light in that area.
That's where it kind of starts to get fun, where you can start to exaggerate some of those colors and really bring them out. Now once you have this contrast adjustment, you may want to go back and click on and off these different layers. Just see if they all work well together. See if you might want to change them one way or another. You can also double-click the icon say for Levels. You could go back to that Blue/Yellow channel. You could experiment with how much Blue you want to bring in there. Perhaps a little bit less would be nice. Also, how much yellow you want to bring in up in the highlights? What we're looking to do is just to create this stylized color and tone.
Now once you've done all that, it's probably a good idea to organize your layers. So let's do that. We'll double-click the Adjustments tab, which will collapse this panel. Next, we can see all of the adjustments that we've made. What I'd like to do is click in one of the adjustment layers, hold down the Shift key, and then click in another and then press Command+G or Ctrl+G. We'll just name this color / tone. Then we can see our before and after here. Here it is our before, and then our after. Just slightly modifying the color and tone to give a little bit of a different esthetic or look and feel with this particular photograph.
Well, there are just a few more steps that I want to take with this photograph. We'll do that in the next movie.
- Creating and combining multiple exposures
- Repositioning subjects
- Enhancing color and tone
- Removing unwanted background elements
- Simplifying with selections
- Improving composition with cropping
- Toning with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) Pro toolset
- Enhancing eyes
- Changing shape and sculpting muscles with Liquify
- Increasing height
- Sharpening and creating final layer comps
Skill Level Intermediate
Photoshop CS5: Fashion Retouching Projectswith Chris Orwig4h 30m Intermediate
Photoshop CS5: Portrait Retouchingwith Chris Orwig11h 2m Intermediate
1. Outdoor Portrait
5. Gym Workout
8. Indoor Track Sprint
9. Enhancing Strength
10. Surfer Portrait
11. Underwater Portrait
13. Father and Son Portrait
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