4

Input Levels: 110 1.00

Output Levels: 0

I Caned

BPrervtew figure 2.72

Adjusting the green channel information.

Adjusting the green channel information.

figure 2.73

Adjusting the blue channel information.

figure 2.73

Adjusting the red channel information..

Adjusting the blue channel information.

figure 2.76

The active selection is transferred to the layer mask. Option! Alt-click the mask to see it.

figure 2.74

Using the C.hannel Mixer to create a black-and-white version of the image.

6. To create the last variant with a cooler blue tone, add a Solid Color adjustment layer and chose a deep blue. To have the blue blend with the image, use the Color blending mode, to allow the grayscale values of the image below to show through. To refine the blue lower the opacity to 60%as seen in figure 2.75.

BASING TONAL CORRECTIONS ON SELECTIONS

We have applied tonal changes to the entire image (global changes), but many times you just want to improve a specific part or area of a file (local changes). That is when you need to start thinking and working selectively. In this section, you use Photoshop's selection and painting tools to control where the changes take place. Selective changes can start with either an active selection or with a global adjustment layer.

If you make a selection before adding an adjustment layer and then add the adjustment layer, Photoshop saves the selection into the adjustment layer mask as illustrated in iigure 2.76.

5. Several variants of the image were rec|uired, including black-and-white, as well as a blue tint, to fit the decoration of the room in which the image would hang. To make the black-and-white variant, add a Channel Mixer adjustment layer, check Monochrome, and use 50% from, both the red and green channels, for a lighter rendition of the image, as seen in figure 2.74.

figure 2.75

Using a Color Fill adjustment layer, set to Color Mode to create a color-toned effect.

figure 2.76

The active selection is transferred to the layer mask. Option! Alt-click the mask to see it.

The shadow areas in figure 2.77 are too dark. When 1 make a selection and then add an adjustment layer, Photoshop knows to change only the actively selected area, as seen in figure 2.78. In the layer mask, wherever it is black, the adjustment doesn't take place, while the effect shows through the white areas. The best thing about this approach is that you can use any selection tool you are comfortable with, from the Magic Wand tool to the Color Range command, to create the initial selection.

1. Make a selection of the tonal areas that you want to enhance. In this example, I used Select > Color Range set to Shadows, as shown in figure 2.79, to create the active selection, and then accepted the selection by clicking OK.

2. Add a Curves adjustment layer. Notice that in figure 2.80, Photoshop automatically creates a mask for the adjustment layer using the selection (look at the thumbnail in the Layers palette). Where the mask is black, no tonal correction will take place. Where the mask is white, the tonal adjustments you make will take place.

3. Adjust the curve to open the shadows, as shown in figure 2.81. In some situations, you may want to experiment with blending modes to accentuate the adjustments. In this case, Screen is an effective choice.

4- If you notice distinct or abrupt tonal changes like the ones circled in figure 2.82, choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur on the layer mask to soften the transition from the black area (no change) to white (change), as shown in figure 2.83.

BEFORE

Color Rdnge

© Selection C Image

Selection Preview None

Selection Preview None figure 2.79

Tlie edited curve.

Using Color Range to select the shadows.

Gaussian Blur figure 2.82

figure 2.80

Lurves

Channel: RGB

( Cancel ) ( Load tZITTTl figure 2.79

Adding a Curves adjustment layer when a selection is active creates a mask to control where the tonal adjustments will take place.

figure 2.81

Lurves

Channel: RGB

figure 2.80

Tlie edited curve.

figure 2.82

A harsh transition can lead to a tie-dye effect along tonal differences.

figure 2.83

IZIZIZ)

Preview

Using Color Range to select the shadows.

Softening the layer mask with Gaussian Blur.

Multiple Masked Adjustments

One of the greatest benefits of working with adjustment layers is the ability to use the layer mask to control exactly where the image improvement takes place. Additionally, you can stack up many separate adjustment layers with masks to fine-tune an image with tremendous control and flexibility.

This image is not 85 years old, but the subject is (figure 2.84). Pam Herrington took this grab shot at her father-in-law's birthday celebration and caught this interesting array of candle reflections in his glasses. It didn't become the focus of the image until she cropped the image and used masked adjustment layers to make the reflections stand out, as seen in figure 2.85.

figure 2.84

The reflection of the candles in the subject's gkisses required some masked adjustment layers to reach their maximum impact.

figure 2.84

The reflection of the candles in the subject's gkisses required some masked adjustment layers to reach their maximum impact.

Pam selected the subject and added a Curves adjustment layer, which automatically created a mask. She inverted the mask so the adjustments she made would affect the background instead of the subject. Instead of reselecting the subject again, she simply Cmd/Ctrl-clicked the mask icon, which reloaded the selection again. She did this multiple times for several different adjustment layers to bring out the reflections (as seen in figure

figure 2.85

The layer masks control exactly where the tonal changes take place, to darken down the room and bring out the reflections of the 85 candles.

figure 2.85

The layer masks control exactly where the tonal changes take place, to darken down the room and bring out the reflections of the 85 candles.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Even after years of working with Photoshop, it still amazes me to see how improving image tone can turn a so-so image into an absolutely wonderful one. Rely on your visual intuition to access an image and use adjustment layers to bring out tonal detail and information. Working with adjustment layers gives you the opportunity to experiment and learn from the process. You may not get the image just right the very first time you try a technique, but believe me, every time you try something new, you're learning for the next image challenge. So download the exercise files from www.digitalretouch.org, practice with them, and then apply the techniques to your own images. Although some of the specific values may differ, the concepts of working with adjustment layers, blending modes, and selections will hold true.

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