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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Photoshop Tips From The Pros

Some of the best in nature photography share 11 techniques that will turn a good photograph into an award-winner

Labels: Blooms

This Article Features Photo Zoom

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Marc Muench
Multiply The Greatness
3 Because I typically expose the shot brighter than I want the final image to look—in order to maximize image detail and minimize noise based on the fact that most image information in a digital capture is found in the brighter half of tonal values—I use a very powerful, yet quick technique to compensate for the slight overexposure.

After processing my image through Adobe Camera Raw, I go to the Layers panel and create a copy of the Background image layer. Then I change the Blend mode for this Background Copy layer to Multiply using the pop-up at the top left of the Layers panel. This causes the image to appear about twice as dark as before. At this point, I make one or two changes based on what happened to the highlights only. If the highlights become too dark, I lower the opacity of the Background Copy layer until the highlights are perfect. If the highlights are fine, I skip to the next step.

At this point, I’ll reveal the original image in areas that are too dark. Create a layer mask on the Background Copy layer and choose the Brush tool. Set the Hardness to 0% and the Opacity on the Options bar to about 40%, and use a nice, large brush. With the foreground color set to black, paint on the image (which will affect the layer mask) to block the Multiply effect and reveal the lighter version of the image in the shadow areas. I usually perform this painting in multiple strokes, varying the size and opacity of the brush as needed.

Defringe Specular Highlights
4 Specular highlights are bright areas of the digital file that don’t contain any information. These are the reflections you’ll find from bright light, such as the sun shining on shiny subjects like water. All digital cameras create color bands surrounding these specular highlights, which look odd.

The sliders for Chromatic Aberration found in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom allow you to easily remove these colored bands. When working with these controls, be sure to set the Defringe setting to All Edges. Additionally, I typically move the Chromatic Aberration Red/Cyan Fringe slider to the left, subtracting between 10 and 25 for most lenses. The result will be nice, clean detail in your digital files.


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