I use a Crumpler Industry Disgrace also, has worked great for me.
I use a Crumpler Industry Disgrace also, has worked great for me.
Let me start with a big THANK YOU to Penguinsoda for helping me with the error messages I was getting and helping me find a way to continue with this column.
Today's "Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day" is a High Key Portrait Post Processing tutorial starting with some tricks in the Camera Raw that comes with Elements (which is a very abbreviated version of the one that comes with Photoshop CS6) and some tricks on working with layers in Photoshop Elements.
This will seem like a really long tutorial for one simple portrait but I intentionally took a lot of steps to show you some great ways of working with Layers in Elements. Once you understand how Layers works and how to do with them what you want, you can apply it to virtually all of your photo processing.
Let's start with this photo of the lovely Leila that I took of her getting the Princess Makeover in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique a while ago. The intent is to make this a High Key, Black and White Image. I opened the RAW image in the RAW editor in Photoshop Elements 9.
I'm going to use the simplest method of making an image black and white by simply sliding the Saturation Slider all the way to -100. This just removes all the color.
Next I'm going to brighten it up quite a bit but increasing the Exposure Slider to +1.00. I'm also going to increase the Fill Light, Blacks and Contrast.
Here is what my sliders look like now.
Now if we zoom in on just her face, you can see that she is very fair skinned and there is a little bit of mottling in her skin tone.
This little trick is fantastic for working on portraits and smoothing out skin tones for softer, smoother skin. For this one we are going to use the Clarity Slider.
The Clarity Slider is used to add contrast to images and colors making them appear sharper and more detailed. It works really well on things like the brick walls in Cars Land. Normally, you would increase the Clarity slider a bit to make the photo look sharper. If you did that to a portrait, you end up showing more of the flaws in the skin.
However, by going backwards with the Clarity Slider, you make the skin appear softer and smoother with no flaws.
Note: In this version of the RAW editor, you can only apply these changes to the entire image. In the full version of RAW that comes with CS6, you can use adjustment brushes and make these changes to whatever parts of the image you want to, such as just her skin.
Once I've done those adjustments, I click Open Image and open it in Elements for further, more detailed editing. The first thing I do in Elements is go to the Layers Panel and Right Click on it and Duplicate Layer.
Then in the dropdown menu I change the Layer Mode to Screen.
This increases the exposure of the image and brightens it up a lot, but in a gentle manner.
In Portrait Photography, the Eyes are everything. I'm going to zoom in on the eyes and focus my attention on them. Notice how there is still some dark shadows under the corners of her eyes.
To get rid of those dark shadows, I am going to Duplicate the Layer once more, the same way I did before. This will duplicate the Screen Layer and brighten the image even brighter.
This is what we have now. It's actually a nice High Key image but a little too High Key for what I'm after. Notice however that the dark areas under her eyes are all gone.
I want to keep the area under her eyes like that but not the rest of the image. At the bottom of the Layers Palette the second button (a square with a white circle in it) is the Add A Layer Mask button. Clicking that will add a Layer Mask to the image allowing you to paint the changes you want, where you want them. Notice the Layer Mask box is White.
Since we only want to paint the brighter image onto a small part of the photo, I'm going to go to the Tools Palette and change the Foreground Color to Black and choose the Paint Can tool.
By clicking on the image with the Paint Can tool and Black as the foreground color, it filled the Layer Mask with the original image from underneath.
Now I choose the Paint Brush Tool and change the Foreground Color back to White. This way I can paint the brighter image onto the areas that I choose.
At the top of the page, I select a large soft brush and set the Opacity to 15%.
I just lightly paint over the dark areas under her eyes with several strokes to get a nice smooth finish. If you went right to 100%, you would see a line where you painted them together. I also painted over her eyes a bit to brighten the whites and her teeth.
Now I want to combine all those layers so I can work on the entire image but I want to keep those layers available in case I want to change parts of them. On a PC if you press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E (Command+Alt+Shift+E on a Mac), you combine all the lower layers into one layer, right above them. The lower ones are still accessible but now you can work on the whole thing as one. This is what the Layers Palette will look like.
I'm still zoomed in on her eyes because they are all I care about at the moment. I want to add some Contrast to them. To do this I click on the Add an Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Palette and select Brightness/Contrast.
That brings up the Brightness and Contrast adjustments and applies them as a separate layer. I increase the Contrast a bit.
Once again, I only want to make this adjustment to her eyes, so I do the same thing, Add a Layer Mask, Fill it with Black and then paint over the eyes with White.
Once again I want to combine that layer with the others into one image. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E.
Now I want to Sharpen her Eyes and her Eye Lashes a touch. I'm going to click over to the Quick Edit Tab near the top of the page.
I'm going to adjust the Sharpness until I'm happy with how her eyes look. Remember, I am making adjustments to the entire image but all I am concerned with is her eyes.
Now that I'm happy with her eyes, I go back to the Full tab where all my layers are and once again, add a layer mask, fill it with black, and then paint her eyes with white.
Now I'm happy with Leila but I want to make her face stand out a bit from the background by adding a slight Vignette to it. I don't want to just add black around the corners because then it will lose the whole point of being a high key image. Instead I'm going to darken the image itself, just around the corners. This is a fantastic way of giving any portrait more depth and making the subject stand out from the background.
Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, draw a rectangle around her face.
Since the Rectangular Marquee Tool that drew the Rectangle is a type of Selection Tool, at the top of the page click on Select - Feather
We are going to add a huge feather to the radius of the rectangle. I chose 250 pixels.
See what that did to the corners of the rectangle.
However, at this point, the selection is still of Leila's face. We need it to be the outside of the photo. Go back to Select and click Inverse.
Now we've moved the selection to everything outside of the rectangle.
Here's the important trick. You need to apply this change to only the area around the rectangle so to do that we need to isolate that area as a separate layer. On the keyboard press Ctrl+J. That will create a new layer where the outside of the rectangle is what will be affected. This is what it looks like in the Layers Palette.
Here is a close up of that top layer we just made.
Now simply change that layer mode to Multiply.
Doing that will darken the exposure on the original image and apply that change to the area around her face, creating a nice soft Vignette. (It isn't as noticeable on the white areas of the image)
Now, if you are done with all the changes and adjustments, at the top of the page click on Layer - Flatten Image and it compresses all those layers into one image that you can save as a jpeg.
I know this seemed like a lot of work and most of it unnecessary but it really was just to show how to do some tricks in RAW and how to manipulate Layers and how they function.
Note: I could do virtually all of those adjustments with greater detail and control in the RAW editor that comes with CS6. The Adjustment Brush in it allows me to paint any part of the image I choose and make changes to that area with all the sliders in the main panel. It is pretty slick!
Michael Greening 2013
:yea: Yes! Back in business!!!! And you're welcome! And thanks to mod/admin Trevor for helping me out with the technical stuff too!!!
Just as a precaution, I also use a quick disconnect attached to a piece of old strapping that runs from the black rapid connection point to the actual manufacturer strap connection. It's short and has no effect on the rotation and it doesn't slow anything up at all.
Glad the good people here got your tech issues squared away!
So glad the problems were fixed. Very excited to keep learning more. Out of idle curiousity what was the issue?
I haven't posted any pretties in a while, so here's a few.
Bite... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Working the Red Car... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Pay no attention to the mouse behind the curtain... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Past Reflections... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
As the day goes... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Is it just me or does this performer look just like Chris Colfer from Glee?
News Boy Salute... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Wow I hope I get some great Aladdin shots. Only 15 days until I'm there!
LOL. Maybe Chris in a few years. He isn't "pretty" enough. ;)
Sorry I've been absent a bit. It is just stupid busy at work.
I'm working on a few (really good and helpful) tutorials but need to get to Disneyland to really put one to the test. Can someone come and kidnap me and take me to Disneyland??? PLEASE!!!
Here's a few pretties in the mean time.
Skies of Color... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Tires, Lube & Oil... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Flo's by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
The Fans... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Here's a few from a wedding I photographed a few weeks ago. I know they have nothing to do with Disneyland but I like them.
All You Need is Love... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
A Love Story... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
The pathway of love and roses... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
You're an excellent wedding photographer too I see!
Love the DL photos - especially the first two. Hope you get to the parks soon - I still plan on being there on May 4th and 5th. Hope you can tear yourself away from work for a few hours...
Sorry I've been MIA lately. I just can't figure out what is happening at work.
We produced more product in the last 2 months than we've ever done and we're falling further and further behind on orders. They just keep coming in faster than we can keep up with.
I'm glad for the crazy business but it does get frustrating working 15-17 hours a day every single day with no relief in sight.
I haven't even been to Disneyland since March 7th. I KNOW!!!
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure when I'll get the chance to post another tutorial. I've got some really pertinent ones planned too.
At the moment, we are planning on being at Disneyland for the 24 hour event in May. I have my hotel reservations made and have it in our schedule. That isn't to say that the phone won't ring and force us to be working instead but I'm really hoping to be there from open till they kick me out.
Do any of you plan on being there for it? If so, should we do some kind of photo meet?
Here's a few pretties for now.
Fly By Night... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Hidden Mickey... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Steee-rike! by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Rainbow... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Paradise... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Rub... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
I'm still up in the air about the 24 hour event. A lot of it has to do with some personal scheduling that may or may not happen. (I have to reverify some dates.) But, awesome photos, as usual. ;)