Friday, September 24, 2010

The Low End Of Adobe Photoshop CS5's Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers

All three posts this week have been about Adobe Photoshop CS5’s Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers.  Monday’s image had multiple adjustment layers of the same color (3 Red, 2 Green, 23 Cyan, and one each of Yellow, Blue and Magenta).  Wednesday’s image had one adjustment layer for each color, but each one had fairly highly abused masks.  Today’s image’s Layers Panel shows one Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and none of the masks has any areas held back.  Sometimes it just happens that way.  Colors looked good with bringing up the saturation evenly across the frame of the image.  What the image did need was to brighten specific areas.  Each different area needed to be attended to with its own amount of light added to separate components.  There is one additional Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, but, as usual, it has its own special twist.  It doesn’t matter if or what color was used to make the adjustment.  The Adjustment Layer affects only the white stars and stripes of the flag.  Being in the shade, the white areas of the flag had a slight blue cast.  To bring it into a crisper, whiter appearance the Saturation was lowered (-54 on the Master Saturation).  Find out more about each Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer by hitting the “read more”.
There are five individual Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layers. We’ll take them in the order they were used. The first is for the staircase visible in the door. Clicking on the image will result in a much larger copy of the image being opened. This can be better to see the effect of each adjustment. The staircase, being inside the house couldn’t have too much brightening or it would look unrealistic. A selection was made, the edge refined using CS5’s Refine Edge feature for a Selection to get around the leaves outside in the dappled sunlight.

The second B/C Adjustment Layer brings up detail on the outfit and shutter. Without brightening the shutter and outfit appeared just plain black. Next is the vest and purple shirt. Due to the shade on the porch, the body mannequin was just another dark blob. Before brightening, the lavender of the shirt didn’t show up at all. Number four is the left shutter. The justification for this Adjustment Layer was only to match it to the right shutter. The amount of brightening was different, so another Adjustment Layer was called for.

The last Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer is one of the keys to today’s image “working”. The Tiffany hanging lamp, visible inside the door, gives the staircase and banister their reason for glowing. The lamp is broken into two components. The part visible through the open door and the smaller piece seen through the window of the closed door. A general brightening of the lamp resulted in a strong side and a weaker side. The windowed piece became a two step process. One was the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer and then it was also Dodged (O) in the composite Layer (Ctrl/Alt/Shift/E). The brightness was deliberately kept slightly less than the “open” side of the shade to account for the window sucking up some light.

Other areas that were Dodged (O) in the composite Layer were the wind chimes and the bird house/lantern near the left side of the window. The sculptures on the lawn fell into place with only the saturation provided by the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers and the bicycle rickshaw was just a bonus. The image “looks” pretty straight, but a lot of work (quick work) went into creating something the appears natural.