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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Photoshop Secrets Of The Pros

Discover new ways to enhance images using this classic editing program

Labels: How-To

This Article Features Photo Zoom

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4 Work In Camera Raw. First, you must shoot RAW files for the best-quality image. This is especially important when photographing high-contrast scenes, such as this backlit scene of a cowboy at dusk. In Camera Raw, you have exceptional control over the contrast in an image and can recover (using, that’s right, the Recovery feature) areas of an image that are overexposed up to one stop. Crop in Camera Raw, too. Dump the areas of an image that will affect your decision as to the best exposure for the main subject in the image.

5 Don’t Underestimate Shadows/Highlights.
When the Shadows/Highlights adjustment was first introduced in Photoshop, I thought it was a weak feature designed for those who didn’t want to be bothered with Curves and Levels. Well, I sure have changed my tune. It’s a powerful adjustment, as illustrated by these before-and-after examples of one of my Bodie State Historical Park images. With Shadows/Highlights, you can tone down the highlights and open up the shadows in an image fairly independently. Here’s the key to using this feature. In the Layers panel, Control-click (right-click on a PC) on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Now you can use the Shadows/Highlights tool nondestructively when you go to Image > Adjustment and choose Shadows/Highlights.
—Rick Sammon

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6 Black-And-White Infrared. I’ve used this technique for years to mimic the look of black-and-white infrared film. First, convert your image to black-and-white. There are a dozen ways to do this, but I prefer using the Channel Mixer and setting it to Monochrome. Work visually with the Channel Mixer. If you have a lot of sky, use a good percentage of the Red channel, which will deliver a black sky. If there’s a lot of foliage, blend in a higher percentage of the Green channel, which will deliver bright foliage much as if it were shot on infrared film.

1.Once you have a black-and-white image that you’re happy with, set the foreground color to white in the Tools palette.
2.Select Sampled Colors in the Color Range dialog box, then use the Fuzziness slider to select an amount of highlights in the image. This is a taste thing. Start with 100 and click OK.
3.Select > Modify > Expand the selection by 1.
4.Select > Feather by 12 to 24.
5.Using the Fill command, fill that feathered selection with anywhere from 12 to 100 percent of the foreground color (white). This delivers that ethereal glow to highlights, mimicking the look of black-and-white infrared film.
—Daryl Benson

7 Adding Texture. I’ve been collecting textures for years and have used Photoshop to creatively add these to images. There are dozens of ways to do this, but one of the fastest and easiest is to use layers. I initially opened up a color image, converted it to black-and-white and added an old sepia-hued, wood texture to a new layer on top of the original image. More subtle textures usually work best. The three blend modes I like to use are Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light.

1.Use the Layers window Opacity slider and Layer Style (double-clicking on the new layer will open this dialog box) to blend the texture with the background image.
2.Option-click (Alt-click on a PC) on the triangular sliders to split them in the Blend If option at the bottom of the Layer Style dialog box. This will deliver a smoother blend. I also lightened some of the highlights and the edges to more closely mimic the look of older, aged prints.
—Daryl Benson


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