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Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop to fix a sky that has blown out. Distributed by Tubemogul.
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Enhance Your Photos
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Understanding Adobe Photoshop
With Author Richard Harrington
Episode Number 117 Repair Sky
Hi, my name is Richard Harrington and welcome to another edition of Understanding Adobe Photoshop. This week we are going to continue looking at skies and we are going to take care of a very common problem which is what do you when the sky blows out. Now, we have got a top image here and we are going to continue our series of photos from the pipe place market out of Seattle.
I shot the pipe place market sign and as you could see here the sky is okay and the sign is okay. In this case we compromised instead of exposing for the sky during the sky nice and rich and vibrant. Well, that would have been great but it will put our sign in the shadows and of course we could have expose for the sign but then the sky would have been blown up. We went down the middle giving us a perfectly average and boring photo but fortunately Photoshop let us fix this by not going too hot or too under expose we are able to capture enough information so we could find the happy middle here and fix both problems in the image.
Let us start this selection out by using our favorite tool the color range command to properly select the sky. I am going to go ahead and choose select, color range and this brings up the color range dialog box. I will click in the sky to make it initial selection then hold down the shift key and drag through to grab more of the sky. The goal here is to get a good selection that takes in most of the sky although you might get a little bit of the other surface here if the blue is reflecting off with the rooftop.
We can go ahead and play with the fuzziness sliders here to test and that is pretty good. Let us just pick up this little bit of clouds here.
And we will click okay. Notice, I now have a selection that entails the sky. And let us do a couple of things here. First of I want to add an exposure adjustment layer and we are going to go ahead and expose the sky just a little bit lower.
We can play with camera correction if we need to and were just getting a little bit of a darkening there.
We will now add a photo filter.
And we will go with the cooling filter, the most intense one.
There we go. Play with the density to taste and you will see there that we have got a pretty job the sky looks like an actual blue sky again. And we will click okay. Now, we want to limit that selection there so it does not affect the whole photo so we need to apply the layer mask. You will see here that there is a layer mask but it is not properly applied.
I am just going to go ahead and delete that layer mask temporarily. Come down here and command click on this layer mask so it is selected and then we could reapply the layer mask. And if you look closely there you will see that the blue is affecting the sky but not the rest of the image which is good. Now, that we have fix the sky we need to go after the rest of the image. The good news is you do not have to make another selection simply use the reselect command. If I choose select, reselect my last active selection is loaded and we can now inverse the selection by choosing select inverse.
Notice that the sign and the building are now selected. Let us apply an adjustment layer for levels here and we will play with the Gama point here. Let us move this in and do a proper levels balance getting our whites to pop by putting the white at the rise at there, the black at the next stand and then play with the middle slider here until we get the proper balance that we want. I will pull of blacks in just a little bit there and that is looking pretty good already and we will click okay.
Let us go ahead and do select reselect again and we will add a hue saturation adjustment layer and simply pop-up the saturation on that sign so that red neon really starts to pop.
There we go that is looking pretty good and to finish this out I just wanted a little bit of being yet so I will toast on a gradient layer. I will use a black to white gradient. And we will set that to radio. Let us play with the angle and reverse that a little bit. And now, we have nice center spot and we will change that to the multiply mode and lower it opacity to about 40% or so. And you will see there you are getting a nice darkening effect that your edges.
Let us take that down to about 30. Good! A little bit of a center focus and there you have it. We have actually fixed the image. If you want to do a quick toggle here you can go ahead and call up the history pallet because up at the top you have the original state. Let us just go ahead and click this snap shot icon here so now we have two snap shots and it is piece of cake. We can go and say our original image and our restored image. And you see there that we have been able to do quite a bit of restoration.
When I am shooting a real top image in the field I find it generally safer to in the middle. I make sure that my sky is not over exposed i.e. blown out. And I do not shoot of the sky exposure which would then leave the subject under exposed. By shooting with the unfortunate happy middle you could then go back afterwards and tweak it and get the proper contrast in saturation in those individual areas and restore your photo properly.
For understanding Adobe Photoshop my name is Richard Harrington. I hope you enjoyed this week episode. Be sure to check other resource blog at RasterVecto.com and keep your eyes out. We have a new book coming out that you are going to want to get. Thanks again.
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