Monday, April 26, 2010

After Adobe Photoshop CS5 Does It's Magic

What happens after you use Adobe Photoshop CS5 to do it’s magic with HDR Pro. Today’s image has a very illustrative quality to it. It could have been the architects rendering of what the pub might look like during his/her presentation to the owners. Instead, it started out after the fact as a photograph that was fine for a vacation shot, but not much as far as excitement goes. The Burl Wood of the bar and the column didn’t pop at all in the original shot and the lights at the far end of the bar had no sparkle. HDR Pro was the genesis of the transformation, but the larger amount of work was in saturating each of the colors. I use Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers for each of the colors available. (Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta.) One of the reasons is the control derived from treating each color on its own. The other, more important factor is to get the accompanying Layer Mask that comes along with an Adjustment Layer. In some images the Layer Masks lay there collecting dust. In others the same Mask is used for several colors. In today’s image it went to the far extreme of being used. Each Mask had its own area that had to be tamed. A screen capture of the Layer Panel is available in the “read more” for this post. Check it out. Other features of Adobe Photoshop CS5 were used on this image. There needed to be a little straightening done to fix a little problem I had with holding the camera. The vertical wall corner on the right side of the image was used to straighten things up. (Hit the Eye Dropper Tool (I) a couple times to get to the Ruler and use the new Straighten Button to rotate the wall corner to vertical. Hold down the ALT key so CS5 won’t automatically crop to the straightened size.) Select the resulting blank areas using the Magic Wand (W) and Expand the selection (Select/Modify/Expand) by a few pixels to create an overlap and use the Content Aware Fill (Shift F5 for the Fill dialog box and Content Aware for the Contents) to fill in the blank sections. This type of “busy” image is just about ideal for using the new Content Aware Fill feature. To find out about the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers and Masks, hit the “read more”.
On the left is what the Layers Panel looked like after all the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers were used. You can see that the only color that didn’t need some masking was the Red H/S AL. Each of the other five needed some tweaking to allow rich saturation in most of the image, while knocking down the saturation in specific areas. i.e. The ceiling coming off the column was way too yellow, so it was masked for yellow. But, the trim ring for the recessed light was a bright gold color that needed the boosted saturation. Therefore, just that little oval had to be “unmasked” using a small white Brush. The yellow was also left cranked up for the niches at the far end of the bar holding a couple of framed pictures.

The cooler near the right side of the image is Stainless Steel. There. The Cyan Adjustment Layer was masked, but the Blue Adjustment Layer wasn’t. That allowed for the highly reflective surface to have a metallic glow while not looking plastic.

You can see in the masking what was saturated and what was brought back. Let me know if you agree.