All Posts in Photoshop 101

February 1, 2016 - No Comments!

Photoshop 101 – How to simply switch colour

Even the thought of switching a colour of a subject or object can be considered daunting, when in reality it is actually quite a simple process.

You firstly have to ask yourself what do you require?

A Light to Dark conversion or a Dark to Light Conversion of colour

There are typically two variables to consider when switching any colour of any subject/object:

Luminosity & Colour + Suitable Mask of the Area you wish to effect

Once you understand this process, you will be able to perform both conversions.

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Luminosity Adjustments
In simple terms, any adjustment of luminosity (Exposure, Brightness or Contrast adjustments) through the use of Levels, Curves or Channels to make your image lighter or darker.

A quick way of generating a variety of different options is to use luminosity masks.
If you are unfamiliar with the use of Luminosity masks, it is simply showing you variables of lightness for Highlights, Midtones and Shadows within your image.

highlights-midtones-shadows
These "masks" can be used on any adjustment and effect your image proportionally.

To load a channel as a selection simply (command or ctrl + click) on the channel you wish to use and then add it as a layer mask to your adjustment.

Please note if you wish to load a selection it will normally be as a positive.
If you require a negative Channel simply invert the selection once it is loaded or or Invert the mask on the adjustment.

I personally use Zone Masks as it shows you a different range of information compared with Channels.
Once again these can be used as a mask for any adjustment layer.


zone-masks-all

Top line: Zones 0-4 are Shadow Values
Middle line: Zone 5 is your Midtone value
Bottom line: Zones 6-10 are Highlight values.

The reason I primarily use Zone masks for Colour Switching is it can create a +4 to -4 Difference of Light in Luminosity of your image.
Please note you will have to invert zones 0 - 4 to see this.

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Colour Adjustments

You can choose to use any solid colour adjustment layer or colour swatch.

To tweak the colour I normally use the following adjustments which can be found here

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Shortcuts for Selections!

Load any channel as a selection - Command (or CTRL) Click on the Channel/Mask
Inverse any Selection - Command (or CTRL) + Shift + I
Invert any mask - Command (or CTRL) + I
Deselect the selection - Command (or CTRL) + D
Reselect the selection - Command (or CTRL) + Shift + D

Now for the fun...

Select All - Command (or CTRL) + A
Copy - Command (or CTRL) + C
Paste - Command (or CTRL) +V
Load a Channel as a selection - Command (or CTRL) Click on the Channel/Mask
Opening up your selection with itself (making it the Channel brighter) - Shift + Command (Or CTRL) Click
Closing down your selection with itself  (making it the channel darker) - Shift + Option (or ALT) + Command (Or CTRL) Click
Intersecting your selection with itself - Option (or ALT) + Command (Or CTRL) Click

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Instructions:

•On your image
•Load your zone masks using the action above
• Invert zones 0-4 so that they are now positive
• Start with Zone 6 as it will likely be your base, copy this to its own layer
•Depending on how dark or light you need to switch, choose the appropriate zone mask
• Select an appropriate colour you wish to use; set the layer to color blending mode
• Group these two layers (colour and luminosity) in their own group and apply a mask to the area you wish to effect.

Practice:

colour-switch-original
Original Image.

1. Selected the appropriate luminosity Mask for switching the Royal Blue to the yellow.
As the luminosity of the blue needs to be lighter. A lighter zone is chosen of +2
yellow-mask+2
2. Sampled the colour of the yellow
colour-yellow
3. Created a mask where it is required
yellowmask

1st Conversion - Dark to light Result

colour-switch-first
4.  As the final luminosity is darker for the colour switch (Light blue to Purple).
I simply selected the default Zone 0 and applied a levels adjustment to this adjustment.
purple-mask-0

5 . Purple colour Sample
colour-purple
6. Select the final mask
purplemask
2nd Conversion - Light to Dark
colour-switch-second

Before/After

colour-switch---before-after

February 1, 2016 - 1 comment.

Photoshop 101 – How to edit colour using Selective Colour

colour-theory
Colour values are primarily referenced in either RGB (Additive) or CMYK (subtractive) values.

If we are working on a computer, colour is represented on a screen with light. These values are created using the additive colour method.
This process begins with mixing values of black and ends with white, as colour is added the values the result becomes lighter.

When you are mixing colours with paint or through a printing process, colours are created using the subtractive colour method
This process begins mixing values of white and ends with black, as colour is added the values the result becomes darker

At the end of the day, you have to first have to understand the properties of Colour; how this can be effected by saturation and brightness.
Below is a cheat sheet of how you can effect saturation and brightness using a selective colour adjustment layer.

Selective-colour-adjustment-layer
Properties of Red

More Saturation
Simply increase the Magenta and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Magenta and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Cyan value

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Cyan value

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Properties of Yellow

More Saturation
Simply increase the Yellow value

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Yellow value

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Cyan and Magenta values in equal proportions.

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Cyan and Magenta values in equal proportions.

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Properties of Green

More Saturation
Simply increase the Cyan and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Cyan and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Magenta value

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Magenta value

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Properties of Cyan

More Saturation
Simply increase the Cyan value

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Cyan value

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Magenta and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Magenta and Yellow values in equal proportions.

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Properties of Blue

More Saturation
Simply increase the Cyan and Magenta values in equal proportions.

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Cyan and Magenta values in equal proportions.

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Yellow value

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Yellow value

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Properties of Magenta

More Saturation
Simply increase the Magenta value

Less Saturation
Simply decrease the Magenta value

Lighter Colour
Simply decrease the Cyan and Yellow values in equal proportions.

Darker Colour
Simply increase the Cyan and Yellow values in equal proportions.

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January 28, 2016 - No Comments!

Retouching and Post Production Resource List

Below is an extensive list of retouching and post production videos and tutorials which I highly recommend.

CONCEPTS

**New Article** -
http://www.diyphotography.net/the-power-of-color-and-color-harmonies-in-composition/

Thoughts on Contrast by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=169

Thoughts on Colour by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=167

Thoughts on Sharpening by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=168

Thoughts on Recovery by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=2164

Thoughts on HDR by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=2157

Thoughts on Black and White by Guy Gowan
http://www.guygowan.com/focus/video.php?&userid=2138

Videos

Match Tone and Colour in Photoshop

Editorial Retouch from Start to Finish Series Episodes 1-13 by Krunoslav Stifter

The Differences between brightness and Luminosity with Conny Wallstrom

Adding shine or Pop the Highlights with Gry Garness

An Overview of Colour Grading with Natalia Taffarel

An in-depth analysis of Colour Palettes and Retouching with Natalia Taffarel


Full Edit with Natalia Taffarel

Retouching Hair - Clone in Darken Mode by Natalia Taffarel

Opacity vs Fill by Natalia Taffarel

How to use Supporting Layers for Editing images with Jonas W

Glamour Retouching Part 1 With Carrie Beene

Glamour Retouching Part 2 With Carrie Beene

Capture One Pro 8 Webinar | Retouching workflow with Pratik Naik

Dodge and Burn Technique by Sean Armenta

May 20, 2015 - No Comments!

The differences between Brightness vs Luminosity inside Photoshop

If you are struggling with the concept of how Brightness and Luminosity affect colour check out the video above.

My good friend Conny Walstrom talks about the differences between Brightness and Luminosity within Photoshop.

He covers a few modules of how Photoshop Handles colour inside HSB (Hue, Saturation, Brightness), HSV (Hue, Saturation, Vibrance), HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity), Grayscale, Luminosity and Perceived Brightness.

January 6, 2015 - No Comments!

Photoshop 101: My Custom Photoshop Preferences

Below is a series of my own preferences which you can easily customise how Photoshop can work for you.

GENERAL SETTINGS
To access your photoshop settings, simply press Command/ctrl + K to bring up the Preferences dialogue box.

Interface -

interface

 

interface-custom

 

interface-custom-white

I have set my Standard Screen Mode to a Custom Colour of White (252, 252, 252)

 

interface-custom-grey
I have set my Standard Screen Mode to a Custom Colour of Grey (128, 128, 128)

File Handling -

file-handling

I typically have "Disable Compression of PSD and PSB Files" Checked; however It creates a bigger file yet saves 1/3rd faster then normal.

Performance -

performance

Cursors -

cursors

My brush settings are set to 'Normal Brush Tip' with the option of showing the Crosshair whilst brushing. All the other cursors (mainly the pen tool) is set to precise.

 

PALETTE LAYOUT

default-photoshop-screen

My current custom 'default' layout for working in Photoshop CC2014

 

CURVES OPTIONS

 

curves-options

I typically have my curves display options set to pigment/ink % so that I can work in percentages rather then light values.

 

LEVELS SETTINGS

levels-defaults

I have my levels display options enabled to Enhance Monochromatic Contrast so that It clips the channels independently preserving the colour of the image. I have set the Shadow clipping point to 0, so that it keeps as much of the shadow detail as possible within the adjustment of "Auto Levels"

levels-custom

January 4, 2015 - 2 comments

Photoshop 101: How to create a simple grunge effect in Photoshop

Below is a series of steps to follow of how you can create a simple way of creating a grunge effect within Photoshop.

1. Create a duplicate of your background or a copy of a merged layer (command/ctrl + shift + option/alt + e).
2. Create a solid colour fill layer above the merged copy/duplicate layer. Set this layer to Colour
3. Merge both the Solid Colour Fill layer and the Duplicate Copy together.
4. Select either Normal/Multiply/Screen/Overlay/Softlight for your chosen grunge effect.

Note: If you don't want the hassle of creating the adjustment yourself, click the download link below.

SCREENSHOTS OF THE STEPS

1-fb2048
Step 1.

2-fb2048
Step 2.

3-fb2048
Step 3.

4-fb2048
Step 4.

5-fb2048
Step 5.

6-fb2048
Step 6.

7-fb2048
Step 7.

8-fb2048
Step 8.

9-fb2048
Step 9.

10-fb2048
Step 10.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FREE ACTION SET?

Bleach Effect

Bleach - A bleach by-pass effect with channels
Grunge [with Multiply] -
A muted grunge effect which darkens the image.
Grunge [with Screen]
- A muted grunge effect which lightens the image.
Grunge [with Overlay] - A muted grunge effect which adds contrast to the image

HOW DO I INSTALL THE ACTION INTO PHOTOSHOP?

Method #1
1. Open your downloaded folder or file and navigate to the actions file. It will end in the .atn file extension.
2. Double-click the .atn file and then open Photoshop.
3. Now the set of Photoshop actions should show up in the actions panel and should be ready to use.
To access the actions panel, simply go the top bar in Photoshop and click Window > Actions. The panel should then appear somewhere within Photoshop.

*Remember to 'Enable Button Mode' (simply navigate to the drop-down menu within the Actions Panel) so that each of the actions are instantaneous*

Method # 2
1. Start this method by opening Photoshop and navigating to the drop-down menu in the Actions Panel.
2. Next click the load actions link that is highlighted in the image above.
3.Clicking the load actions button will open your folders.
4. From there navigate to the downloaded folder with the specific Photoshop actions file you have downloaded.
5. Now select the file and click Open.
6. After all this your Photoshop actions will be visible in the Actions Panel and you are ready to start using them!

Enjoy!

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August 26, 2014 - 2 comments

Photoshop 101: How To Use Blend If in Photoshop

Blend if
WHAT IS BLEND IF?

One of most overlooked features of Photoshop is the Advanced Blending options and the Blend If sliders. The Blend If sliders are located in the Layer Style dialog box - right click on any layer and select Blending Options. Blend If sliders can be used to either remove the information from the current layer selected This Layer - or bring up information from the Underlying Layer.  The adjustments are similar to those of a Levels Adjustment Layer 0-255 (256 levels of information) from shadows to highlights

blend if 2
HOW DO I USE BLEND IF?

If you move the shadow marker (right) or highlight marker (left) you will partially remove or separate what information is to be used or affected in the adjustment. In the illustration below I have moved the shadow slider to a value of 42; meaning that the information between 0-42 levels can be seen. It is represented as an absolute value (showing defined pixel edges).

2. Split Blend If
blend_if_sky_no_blend_if

To create a smoother transition (gradient) of information, you can split the Blend If sliders. Press ALT or Option + Click on either side of the slider separate the marker. In the illustration below I split the shadow marker between values 42-62. This has feathered the transition only affecting those values.

 

3. Split Blend If 2
blend_if_sky_with_blend_if


HOW DO I USE BLEND IF TO TARGET SPECIFIC AREAS?

Targeting Highlights Only:

4. Effect Highlights

This Blend If split is now ignoring the Shadows and only targeting the adjustment to the Highlights and Midtones.

Targeting Shadows Only:

5. Effect Shadows

This Blend If split is now ignoring the Highlights and only targeting the adjustment to the Shadows and Midtones.

Targeting Midtones Only:

6. Effect Midtones

This Blend If split is now ignoring the both the Highlights and Shadows and only effecting the Midtones

FREE BLEND IF ACTION:

7. Blend IF Action

Here is an action set I have made for Blend If, it can be used on any layer or adjustment. I personally use it with a range of adjustments of Contrast or Sharpening as I can effect Highlights, Shadows or Midtones independently.

Enjoy!
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April 16, 2014 - 1 comment.

Photoshop 101: How to use Apply Image in Photoshop

apply_image_sky_after

OVERVIEW:
A typical issue that photographers face when capturing digital images is limited dynamic range of DSLR cameras. We always have to choose between which detail we would like to keep, and which detail will unfortunately be lost. If you choose to expose for the highlights – the shadow detail may be compromised. Likewise, if you choose to expose for the shadows – the highlights may get overexposed and you’ll end up capturing no detail in the brightest parts of the image.

This is a quick tip that will show you how you can enhance and retain the light and dark information within an image.

Typically this is used for landscape photography, however can be applied to any type of image. This technique enables you to adjust the contrast of the scene to try and reflect your initial vision, to show “why” you decided to capture this image in the first place.

Feel free to download and view the PSD file of the photo above:

From Dropbox
From Google Drive

HOW DO YOU USE APPLY IMAGE?
Follow these steps to add contrast and drama to your image:
1. Duplicate your background layer: press Ctrl + J or Command + J on a Mac.
2. Select “Apply Image…” from the Image menu:

apply image menu

Now depending on the image at hand you will have a few adjustment options.

HOW TO CLOSE DOWN HIGHLIGHT DETAIL:
With this particular adjustment, you are darkening the image, specifically targeting the highlight detail within the image.

Change the blending mode in the Apply Image dialogue box to Multiply.

Apply Image - Multiply
HOW TO OPEN UP SHADOW DETAIL:
With this adjustment, you are lightening the image, targeting the shadows in the image.
Change the blending mode in the Apply Image dialogue box to Screen.

Apply-Image-Screen

HOW TO ADD CONTRAST:
With this adjustment, you are darkening the shadows and brightening the highlights, in other words, adding contrast. Change the blending mode of the Apply Image dialogue box to Overlay or Soft Light, depending on how much contrast you wish to introduce.

Apply-Image-Softlight

QUICK TIP:

  • All of these adjustments can be refined using Blend If slider. If you are unfamiliar with Blend If you should check out my Photoshop 101: How to use Blend If Article
  • You can apply each or some of these adjustments as separate layers and then selectively mask out the areas where you wish those specific effects to be shown. For example, for the image above, I used two Apply Image layers for the highlights and one for contrast. This is a simple, yet very effective way to adjust either the contrast or specifically target the shadow or highlight information.

February 13, 2014 - No Comments!

Photoshop 101: How to Automate Your Workflow using Actions and Droplets in Photoshop

Actions are simply recorded tasks in Photoshop that create automated steps or parameters, which once executed, produce desired results depending on the pre-recorded steps they contain. These steps can be quite simple, for example general exposure or contrast adjustments, or something more advanced like the Frequency Separation technique setup.

One of my good mates, Conny Wallström provided FREE Useful Actions, which can be found here.

These Actions are designed to simply speed up your workflow and make your processing and retouching images more efficient. They give you specific options of what you would like to edit.

If you are not familiar with Actions, and the Actions panel isn’t currently in your Photoshop workspace, you can open it Window menu:
 
Action Window Location

 

 

 

 

When you first open the Actions panel, there is a default set of Actions already installed in Photoshop.

Default action set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To remove your default set of Actions and start creating your own custom actions, just drag the Default Actions folder onto the Trash Can at the bottom of the Actions palette.

To create a new Action Set, simply click the Folder icon next to the Play button at the bottom of the Actions palette.

create new action set

 

 

To create a new Action simply click the Create New Action icon at the bottom of the Action palette.

Create new action

 

 

Record your own desired adjustments after pressing the Begin Recording button.

stop record action

Once all the steps of your new Action are completed hit the Stop command to finish recording your custom Action.

Make sure to  backup your custom Actions, so you don’t lose them even if your Photoshop crashes, or you get a new updated version installed on your computer. To backup your Actions, select the Action set you’d like to save, go to the drop down (wing menu) of your Actions palette, and select Save Actions. Save these out in your desired location on your hard drive (or external hard drive). Actions are typically saved out as an .atn file.

save actions

Please be aware that if you do not save your Actions, and Photoshop crashes or becomes unresponsive within the same session (after you created your new Actions), you may lose them for good. Remember to save them out to a desired location right after you created them. Once you have recorded and saved your new custom Action/Actions, close Photoshop and then reopen it. This saves new Actions in the Photoshop memory and in your Workspace.

SOME TIPS AND TRICKS WHEN WORKING WITH ACTIONS

TIPS:

  1. Open your Action palette (drop down menu) and select “Button mode”. This will allow you to instantly play each Action as a button.
  2. From the Action drop down menu, use “Insert Stop” commands to insert a pause in your Action. This enables you to adjust any settings and then re-press your Action to continue playing. For example, if one of the steps in your custom Action is adding Curves Adjustment layer, most likely you’ll need to adjust the Curve differently for each shot you work on, so inserting a stop will allow you to do that rather than playing the entire Action with pre-set adjustments.
  3. From the Actions palette drop down menu, click “Insert menu item” when the desired Action is selected – this will allow you to select any desired menu as an adjustment in the middle of a playing Action. For example, if you include insert menu item Gaussian Blur, you will be able to control the desired Radius when the Action is played.

TRICKS:

  1. When building your Actions, always work non-destructively. Start your custom Actions from creating a duplicate of the background layer, and then build your adjustments on top of it , so that you don’t work on the original background layer.
  2. As you are writing an Action, which should be run at the very beginning of your retouching, always select the background layer before building new layers or adjustments on top of it. It creates a reference point for the Action to work off.
  3. Group any important layers together into their own folders in the layer stack. For example, group Adjustments of contrast within its own folder. Keep these layers separate from other Adjustments. Keeping your Layers stack uncluttered and well-organized will help you work efficiently.
  4. Insert “Purge” command to reduce History states or memory issues when creating large and complex Actions:  Photoshop > Edit > Purge > choose Histories or All
Purge

WHAT ARE BATCH COMMANDS?

Batch Commands are automated Actions on a global scale both in Photoshop itself as well as in Adobe Bridge. To enable a Batch Command on your Actions simply go to File -> Automate -> Batch.

Batch-command-menu

  1. Set – Choose the set which contains the Action you’d like to run
  2. Action – Choose the Action you’d like to run for the batch
  3. Source – Specify files you’d like to process
  4. Choose – Choose the folder containing the source files
  5. Override Action Commands  – Use source files when opening (select this option if your Action contains  an “open” command, and the open commands in your Actions will be ignored).
  6. Include All Subfolders – Process files in all folders within the specified source folder
  7. Suppress File Open Options Dialogs – Do not show File Open Options Dialogs
  8. Suppress Color Profile Warnings – Do not show Color Profile Warnings
  9. Destination – Final Destination of processed files; Save and Close or to a specific folder.

WHAT ARE DROPLETS?

Droplets are simply automated Actions from outside Photoshop. These work similarly to a Batch Command however can be simply run by dragging and dropping any files or folders onto a Droplet icon. To create a droplet simply go to File -> Automate -> Create Droplet

Create-droplet

  1. Choose – Specify name and location for Droplet file
  2. Set – Choose the set which contains the Action you’d like to run
  3. Action – Choose the Action for the droplet
  4. Override Action Commands  – Use source files when opening (select this option if your Action contains “open” commands. The open commands will be ignored).
  5. Include All Subfolders – Droplet will process all folders and subfolders within the chosen one
  6. Suppress File Open Options Dialogs - Do not show File Open Options Dialogs
  7. Suppress Color Profile Warnings - Do not show Color Profile Warnings
  8. Destination – Final Destination of processed files; Save and Close or to a specific folder

MY PREFERRED SETTINGS WHEN CREATING DROPLETS:

  • Save the droplet out on the desktop (or your designated folder for custom Actions) for easy access and use.
  • Uncheck or disable Override Action “Open” Commands
  • Check or enable Include All Sub-folders
  • Check or enable File Open Options Dialogs
  • Check or enable Color Profile Warnings