Introducing Shadows/Highlights

show more Introducing Shadows/Highlights provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced show less
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Introducing Shadows/Highlights

In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to one of the most powerful features inside of Photoshop. It's a feature that has been really growing on me over the years, because it gives you high degree of control. And it's called Shadow/Highlights and what it allows you to do is basically breathe life into the shadows inside of an image, open them up if you will. And then tone down the highlights. Now, we are not using a color correction feature, even though it's organized along with the other color correction commands inside Photoshop, it's actually a filter that's just been placed in the wrong location and that's why I am discussing it in the context of the filtering effects.

So what I would like you to do, is take this image right here. I have gone ahead and saved my progresses Dead calm.jpg and the big difference is I went ahead and flattened the image, because after you apply lens distortion, you get an independent layer, then after I have got done straightening the image and cropped away the extra pixels and the transparency and all that jazz, there was no reason not to flatten it. So that is what I have done here, and I have gone ahead and saved the file inside of the 17_shads_hilites folder. You'll have to excuse my abbreviation of shadows and my misspelling of highlights, but I am just trying to keep the folder names as short as possible.

Anyway, so we have got this image from Felix Mizioznikov and we are going to apply the Shadows/Highlights filter to this image. But let's apply it to an independent floating layer. So I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump the layer and I'll go ahead and call this S/H, because after all those letters apply to just one command inside Photoshop. Let's go and choose it. You go up to the Image menu, then choose Adjustments and choose Shadows/Highlights, again, it's a filter that's not located in the Filter menu and I'll explain what I mean in just a moment.

Now the first time you choose a command, it presents you with just two options, so it seems pretty darn straightforward. It's actually much more intricate than this. What you do is, you determine how much brightening you want to apply to the shadows and how much darkening you want to apply to the highlights, and these default values right here, go ahead and boost the shadows and don't do really anything to the highlights, as you can see. This is way too much boosting where the shadows are concerned, because the bigger problem with this image is it's not that we need to elevate the shadows, it's that we need to downplay the highlights. So I am going to take the shadows value down to 10%, let's say and then I will tab to the highlights value and I will increase it to 50% in order to temper those highlights.

What I end up getting is this extraordinary sunburn effect. So we are definitely bringing out a lot of luminance information inside of this image and I think we have better sculptural contouring, a bunch of good stuff going on, but the bad stuff is, his face is now sunburned inexplicably, because obviously a moment ago he was doing just fine in that department, he did not have a burn. Then you can also see some halos. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this image. Notice this horizon line, we have got a bounce going upward, and something of a dark bounce coming downward, not quite as significant.

And as a result, we are flattening the scene a little bit. We are overemphasizing the color saturation and we have some obvious halos. So even though, these values are the values we will end up using in order to breathe life into this image, make it look just awesome, as you'll see. So far, we are not getting the right results at all, and that's because we have no control thus far over our radius values and that's something we desperately need control over.

And we get that control by turning on this check box right here, Show more options and I am going to show you those more options in the next exercise.

Introducing Shadows/Highlights
Video duration: 3m 44s 26h 24m Intermediate Updated Aug 31, 2010


Introducing Shadows/Highlights provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Design Photography
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