Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Outstanding Features and Functions of Adobe Photoshop CS3 version - Photoshop Different, Adjustable Angles on Multiple Planes

Photographer can be enhanced in many ways with Photoshop. Many times the areas of the photo that are touched up can be differentiated from their surrounding areas. You have the tools to create a nice, soft fade from the effect and effect-free areas through masking and there are many ways to achieve this. Before you add an effect to any area of the photo it is useful to add this masking to the selected areas you want to adjust. One method most commonly used is the 'quick mask mode'. It is quick and easy to use and normally produces acceptable results.


Quick masking:

Layer masking: Somewhat more complicated, you can add a layer mask. This permits you to apply any effect gradually from any point in your photo. Follow these steps in Photoshop:


1. Select 'Windows > Layers'.

2. Right click on your layer and choose 'Duplicate layer'.

3. Click on the little icon in the bottom of the layer box called 'Add layer mask'.

4. Choose the 'Gradient tool' on the main tool box.

5. Choose a gradient style from the top 'Options' bar (linear, radial etc.).

5. Select a gradient style from the top 'Options' bar (linear, radial etc.).

7. Last, return to your original background layer and apply any effect you want. This will apply the effect in a soft, gradual way. Use opacity to turn the effect down to less than full strength if you want.

8. Last, go back onto your original background layer and apply any effect you want. This will apply the effect in a soft, gradual way. Use opacity to turn the effect down to less than full strength if you want.

Lens-like effects: You can apply 'Gaussian blur' using the layer masking outlined above which will make the selected areas appear soft-focused, as if you had used a large-aperture lens. With 'Curves' you can make your corners darker than the center, duplicating the lens effect called vignetting. Technically, vignetting is considered a lens dysfunction, but subjectively it can add an extra feeling to your photo, creating a sort of frame that will have a 'sucking' effect, drawing more attention into the center of your photo. You can also just lower the contrast and/or color-saturation around your main subject, helping to separate it from the background clutter. Be creative with the many options offered!

Soft glow effect: Great for creating a 'romantic' look for portraits. Follow these steps: 
1. Apply 'Gaussian blur' to the new (top) layer. Make it blurry, but leave a little detail.
2. Play around with the blend modes and opacity till you get what you want:

3. Adjust the blend modes and opacity till you get what you want:

'Lighten' or 'Screen' blends lightens the image instead. Nice for adding high key or highlight glows.

'Soft Light' and 'Overlay' adds contrast and saturation. Especially useful for landscapes and still life photos.

Black-and-white-ish: A cool metallic black-and-white'ish look, in my opinion very suitable for documentary work and subdued portraits, is easily obtained by setting the contrast high (curves) and colour saturation low. Do it with Photoshop's 'layers' to be able to tweak your exact settings it in place.
Color grading: You can get the same effect in your photos as in some 'color washed' movies. The easy way is to go to 'Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation', click 'Colorize' and use the slide bars to choose your favorite grading. If your goal is well-defined color, it's better to use the 'Edit > Fill' function. Simply select the color you want and set the 'Blending mode' to 'Color'. Whichever way, it's advised first to duplicate your layer before you start. This will allow you to safeguard some of the original colors by turning the color grading down. Use the 'Opacity' slider in the layer box to do this. If you want a duotone image, just make 2 duplicate layers and give them different color gradings. Mix them together, again with the 'Opacity' slider and the different 'Layer blending mode' options in the layer box.

Color grading: The same color washed effects found in some movies (golden brown, soft blue) can also be applied to your photos if desired. The easiest way is to go to 'Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation', click 'Colorize' and use the slide bars to choose your preferred grading. It's better to use the 'Edit > Fill' function if you want a well-defined color. Simply select the color you want and set the 'Blending mode' to 'Color'. Whichever method, it's good first to duplicate your layer before you start.

This will permit you to maintain some of the original colors by turning the color grading down. Use the 'Opacity' slider in the layer box to do this. If you want a duotone image, simply make 2 duplicate layers and give them different color gradings. Mix them together, again with the 'Opacity' slider and the different 'Layer blending mode' options in the layer box.

One example: To give your image a warm reddish-orange color tone make two duplicate layers first. Use 'Edit > Fill' to make the first one red and the second one orange. Set opacities to 30 and 60% respectively and select the 'Multiply' blending mode for the top (orange) layer. Tweak it in place to get it precisely as you want. Also try adding a soft glow, as explained above.

Micro contrast: To enhance your contrast and draw out texture details in your photos use this effect. You can even use it when your overall contrast is already maxed out, using all tonal ranges from pure black to pure white. The method is likened to the normal 'Unsharpen Mask', but with some special settings. Go to 'Filter > Sharpen > Unsharpen Mask' and set the 'Amount' to around 20-30%, the 'Radius' to 50-100 pixels and zero on the 'Threshold'.

You will get a subtle contrast enhancement that, for some pictures at least, works really well. You can create stunning and unique photos with any of the above mentioned effects. Remember however that just as important as learning how to apply these effects, is learning when to use them. You want to make sure to not lose the original qualities of the photo to the special effects. When to use these effects is ultimately up to you and your personal taste and opinion. Less can be more, so make sure not to overdo it.
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- About the Author:
Started out in design and then moved into digital photography. I have worked for Adobe in the Photoshop department and now create on line tutorials to help users understand this very seemingly complicated piece of software.Visit :http://learnphotoshop2.blogspot.com/