Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Seattle: Adding light for emphasis, part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Creative Effects.
In this movie we're going to be working on the file Corwig_Seattle. You can find it in the Chapter O1 Adding Light folder. Let's go ahead and double click this file to open it up in Photoshop. Press F to go to Full screen view mode and then press Spacebar tool and click and drag to reposition the photograph. You know I love creating photographs when I'm traveling. In this particular case I was up in Seattle and a lot of people have photographs of the Pike Street Market. Yet enough they have photographs like this and here's why? I love photographing in the rain because of all the reflections. I love that the market is closed. I love that I can see a little bit of the rain here. I also loved that this guy walked right into the scene. As he started to walk I was just like, Oh please and he walked right through the scene and for me that's what makes the image. You know sometimes it's that subtitles that really make an image strong. Speaking of that I know that I have few problems with this photograph.
One of them so I called the dark tones on the outer edges. Those are nice. Because of these hubcaps; they're just so bright. I need to get rid of those. So let's create a new layer, let's create a burn layer. We're going to do that by pressing Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on the PC. Name the layer burn in blend mode; you know it Soft Light, Right click OK. Grab our Brush tool press the B key. And we're going to go ahead and just paint over some of these bright areas where we don't want the eye to travel to. Also on this side. Don't need to go there. Little bit around the edge. Little bit on this structure there. Now these are all subtle changes, yet a lot of times what happens is that if you have brightness on the edge of a frame the eye gets hung up on it a little bit. So I'm going to go ahead and darken those.
I'm going to do the foreground just a bit but not at 100%. So I'll press the 3 key on my keyboard. That's a 30%. I'm just going to look to just darken this up just a bit now. Well most people notice that no but I will. So that matters right. All right so far so good. Let's take a look at our before and after. Before and after, very nice. Well these are still too bright for me. I want to paint with black right over that one. So I'm going to create new layer. Shift+Command+N on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. Name that layer Black, blend mode Normal, click OK. I'm just going to paint with black, right over that. Right now I'm painting that 30% Opacity. So I'm just slowly getting rid of those bright spots there. I like that I can get away with that, with this kind of image right. All right well so far so good.
I want to do a little bit more to bring out some of the other details in the photograph. Shift+Command+N on the Mac, Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC blend mode is going to be Soft light. This is going to be our Dodge layer. I want to brighten up a few things. We'll press the X key that will flip our foreground and background colors. So we can now paint with white. I'm just going to look to bring in a little bit more detail on some of these building the background the rain. I love that rain coming down there. And yes these brush strokes are exaggerated at this point. I want to show you how we're going to soften those, anywhere else we need to brighten up. I think for the most part we're pretty good with these adjustments. Well because these are pretty harsh brush strokes. We want to go to our Filter pulldown menu.
Choose Blur and then Gaussian Blur. And with this we're just going to look to soften up those edges and we want to bring it to a spot where we just started to diffuse the brush strokes I made. Click OK. Now here's our before and after. Again just bringing up a little bit of light to that area. Trying to direct some attention down here and also drawing a little bit attention to those neat elements up there. I'll lower their Opacity touch because that was just a bit too bright for me. Now here's my before and after. All right, great. I'm thinking to myself so far so good. I really like this image I like how I reduced and simplified things but haven't really fully improved the image right. Because so much of this photograph is about this character here.
So in order to improve him we'll double click the Adjustments tab so we can focus in on our layers. We'll click at the topmost layer. We're going to merge all the underlying layers to the top. We're going to do that by way of a shortcut. Shift+Option+Command+E. That's one of the shortcuts you just have to write down and that's a shortcut for a Mac. On a PC it's Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E. I'm going to repeat that because it's so important. Shift+Option+Command+E on a Mac, Shift+Alt+Ctrl+E on a PC. All right we'll go ahead and name this layer Light, and we're going to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu. We're going to go to Render and Lighting Effects. You know where I'm going right? An Omni Filter right on this guy and I want to brighten this guy up quite a bit.
Little bit more of a Positive Ambience there. I'm really going to bring a ton of lightning on this guy. Click OK to apply that. We're going in a good direction. Now of course the light here is way too intense but stick with me. You always want to apply more then you need. So you can back it up. Well now that I have more then I need I'm going to try out different Opacities. So I'll press the V key to choose the Move tool here. So now that have that tool selected or just click on it in the tool box, I'll press the 1 key that will take my Layer Opacity to 10%, then the 2 key that's 20%, 3, 30%, 4, 40% okay I'm getting to a pretty good spot.
Here's my before and after. I'm starting to like that. Need to go a little bit higher. I'm going to go to the 5 and then 6 and then 7, no that's too high, looks like down about 50% is going to look good. Now this juncture I'm kind of worried about how much light I have coming to the image and some of the other places. So what I want to do is create a mask and then mask in the light to the specific areas. I'll hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and keep in mind that's not renegade shortcut key. That's our shortcut key that says hey I want to do something different. When we hold down that key and click on the Add Layer Mask icon, the mask is filled with black rather than being filled with white which is a default.
So again Option-click on a Mac, Alt- click on a PC the Mask icon. Next step grab your Brush tool. Now that we have our Brush tool you know where I'm going, right? I'm going to paint with white so I'll go ahead and choose white in my foreground color. There is White. Bring up my Opacity quite a bit. Here we want this to be nice and high. I am just going to start to bring in some light around this character here and I'm just painting in some light and this time I'm actually painting with my mouse because today at this moment it will happen to have my Wacom tablet with me. Now most of times I actually use a Wacom tablet, which gives me pressure sensitivity in order to make nice adjustments.
If I don't have one what I will do is I will make an adjustment like this on the mask and I'll go to that Mask panel. I modify the mask density. Now this is going to control the overall density. Sometimes it kind of helps me kind of balance things out a little bit. So I'll just look at how I'm doing there. That's nice. I'll also lower the layer Opacity until I find the sweet spots. So it's always combining tools together. Now I think that looks pretty interesting. Now the enhancements here are pretty subtle. Yet for me pretty important. Let's take a look at the overall before and after. We can see that by holding on the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC clicking on the background layer. Here's before and then after and again there is a little bit of a shift of focus in this light here. It was tied into this light that I created here and you know in my opinion we created a much better photograph.
- 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