Monday, July 23, 2012

Lightroom to Photoshop to Plug-Ins And Back (And Forth)

I decided to play with some Plug-ins, got half of what I was looking for, backed out, went to Adobe Photoshop CS6, played with a couple Alpha Channels , go more of what I was looking for and went round and round to come up with today's image.

I know, it's a run on sentence, but that's what working this image was like.  Let me take you through it.

I shot the image yesterday, thought it had something to it, so I played with it this morning.  I straightened and cropped it to taste in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.  Tweaked the Color, the Clarity, the Vibrance and the Exposure.  I thought it might gain something, so I brought it into Nik's Color Efex Pro 4 (Photo/Edit in/Color Efex Pro 4).  Looked at a couple presets and combined a couple.  There were three used.  One was a detail enhancer, one said something about an early morning glow and I don't remember the third.  It gave me a little of what I wanted, but the grassy area and the sky were just too garish for my taste.  The barn and fences looked pretty interesting.  So, I clicked the "Do It" button and fled back to LR4 before I really screwed things up. 

Once back in LR4 I highlighted the original and the "Nik'd" copies and took them into Adobe Photoshop CS6 as Layers (Photo/Edit In/Open As Layers IN Photoshop).  Because they were based on the same cropped image I didn't have to worry about any misalignment. 

Using the Quick Selection Tool (W) I made Selections of the barn and silo, and the lower fence.  I then put a Layer Mask on the top Layer.  It happened to be the "Nik'd" Layer, but it really didn't matter which was the top Layer.  It would have just determined what I wanted the Mask to cover.  I filled the Mask with both Selections, leaving the structures converted and the grass and sky back at their natural state.

I took out the gold color on the barn sides and fences, leaving it only on the roof using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer clipped to the "Nik'd" Layer.  From there it was back to LR4.

I used LR4 (you could just as easily use ACR) to darken the entire image by two stops using the Adjustment Brush.  I then went back and flipped the Brush from the Apply Mode to the Erase Mode and erased away everything the needed to be brought back to the exposure.  I applied a controlled vignette this way.

I did take one more trip into PSCS6 and created a New Layer.  With the Brush Tool (B) I used the Color Picker to get the gold tone from the roof of the barn.  I "painted" the "sun facing" surfaces of the cupolas and silo and then changed the Blend Mode to Color.