Monday, September 22, 2014

Getting Rid Of The Hot Bits

We went out shooting with some friends a couple weeks ago.  One of the things I tend to do when in that type of setting is take a couple shots of the people I'm with.  The fellow in today's image is a very good photog and becoming a pretty good friend. (Hi Ed.)  There are two different types of lighting and, obviously, Ed wasn't shooting giant, mutant flowers.  I was shooting using a Nikon 85mm Micro with a Nikon R1 close up rig attached.  So, the flower, although shot in bright sunlight did have a bit of controlled lighting on it.  You can see, in the lower left, that the area behind the flower is fairly dark for being shot in broad daylight.  That's the beauty of using speedlights to over power the sun.  To find out how I tamed the light falling on Ed, hit the "Read More".

The sun is right over Ed's shoulders.  Metering had to be for his face.  That produced some blown out areas at the back of his head, his left shoulder and right hand (seen under the camera).  There's an easy way to get control of "the hot zones" (a little Ebola reference). 

The first thing you'd want to do is isolate the hot areas.  Selecting the highlights only is easier than you, at first, might think.  Since today's image is a composite you may have already figured out that it already went from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) to Adobe Photoshop (PS).  To Select tha highlights, go to the Channel Pallet.  Ctrl Click on the RGB Thumbnail.  That selects only the highlights of an image.  Create an Alpha Channel by Saving the Selection (Select/Save Selection).  My personal workflow involves saving every Selection made on an image.  If I start saving too many selections I'll name them.  If it's only one or two I'll leave them as Alpha 1 and Alpha 2.  [Alpha Channels are available in PS Elements.  Adobe just doesn't tell you about them.  When you do a "Save Selection" you're creating an Alpha Channel.  The method of grabbing only the highlights will be different when using PSE.]

Create a new blank Layer. 

If you've gone on and have done other things you can always (today, tomorrow, next month) get the Alpha Channel back using the Load Selection function (Select/Load Selection). 

With the highlights Selection active, get the Brush Tool (B) and sample a color right next to the blown out area that you'd want to use for fill (ALT Left Click).  Bring the Flow down to 10% - 15%.  Because you have a Selection you can "paint" sort of willy-nilly.  The only places that will accept the color will be those areas inside the Selection. 

One thing I'd recommend is to paint over the entire area before lifting your pen (unclicking the mouse).  If the color isn't dark enough, go over it again (and again) until the colors match.  Since it is a highlight you'd probably want to leave it a few shades lighter than the surrounding area.  You don't want to obliterate the highlight, just tone it down a little.