This week I’m showing you a super quick and easy to way to reduce the highlights, no matter how complex they are, with a simple trick in Photoshop.
As life is quickly becoming busier and busier for me I’ve had to find solutions to be able to work on the go and with that, naturally comes sacrifice.
I opted for a Surface Pro 4 and an iPhone 6sPlus for my “Travel kit” and with the Wi-Fi abilities of the Sony A7ii it makes for a versatile set of tools that can cover a range of operating systems / platforms and quickly allow me to output some high quality material.
I had to shoot in an environment without HSS (Didn’t have my Citi600 with me) and I didn’t have my Hoya ND16 filter with me either. Which meant that I couldn’t effectively overpower the ambient light coming off the stage to get rid of the blue on the model’s skin.
This led me to trying a few solutions, albeit badly until Stefan Kohler hooked me up with this ridiculously simple and awesome solution for fixing colour problems while retaining all of the micro details in contrast etc (which you lose when you use Frequency Separation for low level skin etc).
In order to understand curves we need to understand color in the way that Photoshop does. This is called Additive color theory
EVERYTHING in an image is made of 3 colors – RED – GREEN – BLUE
A few days ago, we posted that little fun game about curves. You should go and try it now! Some people really struggled with this one, so I thought it might be a good idea to explain this here. you can consider this a curves crash course.
Curves. For some it’s just a big mystery, for others it’s daily routine. For those of the first category, here’s a little crash course. You can probably consider this a Curves Adjustments Layers 101. Just make sure you understand each of the workflows I explain.
Curves are somewhat of a panacea when it comes to Photoshop adjustment layers. With curves you can do pretty much anything you can do with the other adjustment layers: contrast, color correction, apply looks… One could argue that you can virtually eliminate all other Photoshop features, as long as keep curves and masks.
Of course, you would need to understand curves and one way to understand them is to try and read a curve chart and understand its implications on an image. Of course, this is fairly easy when you are only adding a bit of contrast or luminescence, but once you start using it for color, it is a whole different ballgame. But its worth it: the better you are in reverse engineering Curves, the more you know what you can (and want) to get out of them. Plus you would instantly know how ot apply a certain look (or how a look was applied)
This is why we made a few examples, and put together a small, fun, but definitely not simple quiz. If you end with a 100% score, you will be rewarded with standing ovations and bragging rights. And trust me, if you end up with a high score you WANT to brag, chances are non of your friends will make a perfect score… (we tried to make it not so hard to where you would need a calibrated monitor, if you get curves, you should be able to do it)
If you have absolutely no clue what those curves thingies are, then stop here and let us know in the comments, we will make a curves 101 tutorial for you. Hit the jump if you think you have what it takes.
In many Photoshop 101 lessons they say that any adjustment to a photo can actually be achieved via a manipulation on the curves tool. While this may seem true, it is not really trivial to understand how each of the adjustment layers changes the curves. In fact some of the adjustment layers (like photo filters) don’t seem to be curves related at all.
Ever noticed how movies have a very distinct look that gives off a cinematic look. The process of taking the footage and giving it a specific look is called Grading. There are a few ways to achieve that look and the team at the Photoshop Training Channel provides one of the best color grading primers I’ve seen to date.
Now, Grading can be as complex as you want to take it, but if you want to get a general understanding of the process this video is a great 30 minutes crash course.