Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Road bike pt. 2: Adding drama, part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Effects.
Let's create a burn layer. Let's work on the edges and the corners of this image and we'll do that by pressing Shift+Command+N if you're on a Mac. That's Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. We'll name this layer Burn. We're going to go to a Soft Light blend mode. Now we could Burn or Dodge on this layer. But just to keep things simple I'm going to name this Burn and only do that for myself. This layer is too low. How could I make this layer go up to the top without clicking and dragging it? I can, of course, click and drag. Well there is a shortcut. It's Command+Right Bracket on a Mac. Ctrl+Right Bracket on a PC.
Well now that we have this layer up top we'll grab our Brush tool. Press the B key. Make sure you have your brush. We want a real big brush press the Right bracket key. What we want to look to do is paint with black. Currently I have complete black in my foreground color there. So I'll press the D key which will take it to the default black and white. In order to illustrate that even more let's say I have a color there and I press the D key. Now for sure, t hat's black and white. Currently I'm painting with the 100% Opacity and I'm doing that in order to see my edges. One of things I'm trying to do here is as well is not paint in exactly the same way. So I'm creating a little bit of shape almost like a figure eight around the bike. So here we can see that before and after. And I don't quite like the transition edge. I want a little bit more of a fanned-out edge. So I'll navigate to my Filter pulldown menu > Blur and then Gaussian Blur. One of the things you are picking up on here is that it's a really good idea to try to work on that mask and try to get it to blend in to the background. Click OK.
Here's my before and after. So again that shape was much too distinct. Now what's happening is a little bit more like we are experiencing that shape of the darkening but we can't really identify it. Okay I'll go ahead and lower the Opacity here. Just looking to again zero the focus in on the bike. That's looking really nice. So let's do one more burn layer. This time we're going to press Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. Name this layer burn 2. Blend mode? You got it, good old Soft Light. Click OK to apply that. Now we got to try a little bit of a different technique here. I'm going to go ahead and grab my Rectangular Marquee tool. I'm going to move in from the edge and I'm going to click and drag across the image. And that will create a pretty rough and hard selection.
If I right-click or Ctrl-click inside of that selection, I can actually change its feather. I'm going to go ahead and increase its feather, in this case, to about 15 pixels. Now the actual amount of the feather will be contingent upon the file's resolution. In this case it's a pretty small file side of pretty low amount of my feathering there. Well, what I want to do next then is invert the selection because currently I have the middle of the image selected. I want to invert that so I only have the outer edge. On a Mac press Shift+Command+I, on a PC Shift+Ctrl+I or navigate to Select and then choose Inverse. All right, well now we just have this outer edge selected. We're going to then fill that with black. Edit. We can choose Fill and then we're going to select Black there. Click OK. All right well now we have this nice darkening effect around the edge.
Now we can't really see much of anything because of those marching ants. So let's hide those. We're going to do that by going to Select > Deselect or by pressing that shortcut key. All right well that's a nice little finishing touch there, right. There's our before and after. Now again if this is too intense lower the Opacity or if it's not intense enough you could double this effect. Right, you could create another layer and has that same effect simply by duplicating it. Yet my opinion I think this is looking pretty good. Let's go ahead and evaluate the image. We'll go back to the background layer holding the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, clicking on that Eye icon of that background layer. Here's our before and then after. Again our before and after.
Now this final evaluation. I like that we're able to add a little bit of drama. I like that I still have nice detail on the bike. One of things I'm noticing is I almost have too much attention on this back tire. I lost a little bit of focus on this front tire. So I'm going to create one more adjustment layer by clicking on the Add Adjustment Layer icon, choose Curves. I am going to go ahead and brighten this up and add a little bit of contrast. I'm just looking to focus in on this tire here. I'm then going to invert this mask by pressing Command+I on a Mac, Ctrl+I on PC. Press B on the keyboard to grab my Brush tool. Left Bracket to make that brush much smaller and then I'm going to paint with white. So make sure I have white my foreground color there.
And I'll just go ahead and paint across this area. This is going to be a subtle adjustment. But I want to bring the brightness of this tire up to the brightness of the other one and just fix my mask here. So that looks good. Again it's a subtle little adjustment. I could make this even further if need be. May be I need to darken it up a little bit, there we go. Add a little bit more contrast on that one so that it matches the back wheel there. Also going to go down to this layer. And that looks pretty good actually. I was going to say I was going to lower the Opacity but I think that looks pretty good. So now there is just one more thing I want to do with this particular image. One of the things I'm noticing is that there's a little bit of a blue cast in the background on this wall. I think the bike isn't quite bright enough.
I like that I brought light around it and around the edges of the bike but I want to bring that bike out even further. So I'm going to click to the topmost layer here. I click on the icon to add an adjustment layer. And I'll choose Hue/Saturation. I'm going to go ahead and navigate down to my Blues and then click on the Target Adjustment tool and click and drag the left. This allows me to pull the Blues out of the image. Now we can see our before and after by clicking on this icon here. And when you zoom in we're really going to see that yeah, we're removing quite a bit of that Blue in the background and I may also want to go on to the Cyans just to make sure I'm pulling out any other Hue. So here's my before and after.
That's looking so much better. Well how about working on the bike? We'll go ahead and move this so I can see the bike and really focusing on that. I'm then going to navigate to my Yellows and here I'm going to increase the overall saturation just a touch. And increase the brightness or the lightness of the Yellows. Now I'll make this real drastic you can see here that I'm controlling those. So I'm going to go ahead and brighten those up just a bit there as well. Let's take a look at our before and after. Here's before and then after. We zoom out a bit so we can see the entirety of this layer. Here's our before and after. Pretty subtle adjustments but they're looking pretty good. We're almost done. We'll navigate to the Master channel and here we're just going to increase the overall lightness just a touch there. Bring that up a bit more and then go back to those Yellows and in those Yellows I'm going to brighten that up just a find that perfect spot there and I'm just swinging this one way or the other.
So I get this spot that I think looks just right. Here's my before and after on that. Go back to the Master and now I see that I think this needs to come back down. Bring it down a little bit further and then go back to my Yellows. Again try to find the spot where that bike looks really nice. Looks like it just a little bit up just bringing that a touch up, little bit of saturation there and again, just a subtle adjustment. But it's a nice way to add a little bit of an extra snap to that. We'll zoom out so we can see the overall before and after. Press the F to go the Full Screen View mode. Press the F7 key to pull up the Layers palette and then zoom in just a touch here. So I'll go ahead and zoom in. That was a bit too far. So I'll zoom out here. All right let's see if we can get a good zoom spot for this one so we can evaluate the image. I think that looks pretty nice. Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC.
Here's our overall before and then after. All right well done! Well my hope with this particular movie is that you picked up some tips and tricks in order to learn how you can enhance your images. And in addition I hope that you picked up a little bit of the overall thought process in regards to how a workflow like this actually works.
- Adding light and drama
- Applying graffiti and reflections to surfaces
- Using lens blur and focus to enhance portraits
- Masking multiple images and adding elements
- Combining images with multiple depths of field
- Applying border and edge effects