Welcome back to yet another movie in Adobe Photoshop CS 3. In this movie what I want to do is showcase black and white conversion in Photoshop CS 3. There’s some great new robust functionality inside a CS3, so let’s check it out.
Now before we actually begin, let’s modify our interface a little bit. Because this is going to be a visual edit, meaning I don’t need numbers, I don’t need all these details, it’s really visual, I need to clean up my interface. One way I can do that is double-click the title of one of these panels… just to collapse those. I can also change this little icon view. You know, but what I really like to do is what I did in the previous movie: hit “Tab” and then F7, so I’m just looking at my layers palette. And again I’m going to expand these, so I can just see the layers palette there. I can, of course, change the size of layers palette and it can go all the way to the left. I don’t know why you’d want to do that, necessarily. Maybe if you have two monitors, you want really big layers. But now in this case, I have it over there, in the right hand side. I can also write or control click inside of the Layers palette to change my thumbnail size. Now this is gonna be nice, depending on what you’re working on and how large you want that thumbnail. When you have a lot of layers I love to go right click and choose small thumbnails or no thumbnails, because ideally, maybe I’m naming my layers and I know what’s what. Alright, well, now that we’ve cleaned up our interface…Space bar to reposition the image to the top part of the screen. Now, why is that important? Well, here’s why. Typically when you’re working on a computer you’re looking down. Your head’s kind of sagging. It’s not very good for your posture. It’s not very good for your creativity, because strain on your neck and back does not equal creativity. But fluidity, flexibility, all that kind of stuff does. So I wanna be looking up a little bit. So in this case, I’m looking up a little bit. Now from our adjustment layers what we can do is click on our Adjustment Layer icon and choose black-and-white or I should say from our many different adjustment layers, we can select…what we’re going to select is black-and-white. This is awesome. So once we launch this black-and-white dialogue window, we want to move it over a little bit, so we can actually see what’s happening. A couple of things that I wanna highlight here. One is there are a number of different presets. We can look at some Infrared preset. That one doesn’t look very good on this particular image. High contrast ones, red filters, yellow filters etc. etc. I’m just gonna go back to None and what I’m gonna do is do a custom black and white conversion. Now, one of things I could do would be I could click into my blues and darken the sky. I can click into the Cyans and say: “Wow, OK the sky has some blues and some Cyans in it”. Or I could actually click in the image and I can drag the sliders around simply by clicking to the left or the right. So let’s say, I want to have a little bit darker sky here. And I’m going into some different areas of the sky. Go down here. There’s where some of the cyan is. You can see it pulled in the Cyan. I can even go further. A lot of times what you want to do when you’re working on your images is swing them one way and then swing them back. And then find the sweet spot the middle. Next, I can do the grass over here. Again it’s a just a real nice visual way to modify this. I want this path because this is a big part of the image to be nice and bright. Even if I clicked off of it you notice I’m dragging really far to the right, I’m still able to control the area that I clicked on. So the area that I’m controlling is the area that I first clicked on and the colors that are like it in the image. So that I’m able to brighten that up and then maybe darken the path down. As a side-note, this image was captured in the Antelope Valley, out in the desert. And it was absolutely hands-down incredibly beautiful. The sun had just started to set. And the hills were all just colorful… and it was amazing. Alright, let’s click OK. So that’s a pretty good black and white conversion. The next thing that I want to do, though, is I want to add a little bit more contrast and deepen some tones up top. So I’m gonna create a curved adjustment layer. I’m just gonna bring down some of these tones to do a little S-curve here. Click OK. Now the problem is I darkened this area down here. Well, I can fix that by grabbing my gradient tool. So I press “Tab”. I can select the gradient tool by selecting or pressing the G-key. Shift-G -key will scroll through these different tools here. Now, with the Gradient tool what I can do…first I just want to click and drag. Kinda to see what’s happening. But you’re gonna see that as I click and drag, black is concealing that. So right now I’m just limiting that to the top part of the image. If I want it solely up there on the top, I can do something as well… like this where I have that up near the top of little bit more. I can also unlink the mask here and I can move this up if I need to. So you can kinda see how I’m controlling that. Or I can stretch it out. Command - T. If I need to I stretch it out and I shift it around. And then of course I can also paint right on the mask, so maybe what I wanna do is paint with a brush other than this brush! Let’s go up to my brushes here. I’ll just say reset brushes. Go back to normal. And I get a nice brush there. And right bracket key to have a nice big brush. And then I’m paining that here and there. Now, again, a couple of different ways we can do that with a gradient, hand painting. It’s gonna give us some different results, based on what we’re looking for. Now that we’ve done that, the image is in a pretty good place. The last thing that I wanna look at here, at this image is zooming in and out. I can zoom in and out with Command - Plus or Minus. That’s a little awkward and it’s kind a jumpy. If I hold down the Option/Alt key and use my scroll wheel on my mouse. Of course, you have to have a scroll wheel. I can zoom in and out. I really like that, just because it’s so quick, so fluid and I can really get to where I want to go with an image. Once I’ve completed working on an image, in this case, converting this image to black-and-white, I’m gonna hit “Tab”. I have to go to full screen view mode. In this case I’m gonna go to that black background there, because I want to look at the image. I want to clear off the clutter of the Photoshop interface. And that will help me focus in on the content that I’m working on. And again I may want to see it in some different environments, so it’s not too contrast-y. It depends on what you want to do. If I want to bring back my palettes, whatever palettes I have open, I can just scroll over here to the right hand side and there they are. They’re there back for me, which is really nice. Alright, well that wraps up our work on this image. I hope it’s been a bit of help and you’ve learned something in this one. I’ll catch you in the next one.