Thread: Tutorial Pete's Photoshop tricks
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Old 14th September 2010
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snaarman snaarman is offline
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Re: Pete's Photoshop tricks

Bonus! Second Photoshop trick in one day:

We've all done this: Blown a sky and taken the edge off an otherwise nice picture. You can try to rescue it using the highlight recovery slider in ACR, but beware, it leaves nastly double lines around your trees and mountains.

You could use tonemapping or Shadow/Highlight as in my first post, but they have their drawbacks, with the danger of halos being visible.

Here's a naughty little trick I sometimes use: This uses the graduated fill tool, and it works best on trees against a blown sky. Here is an example because a picture is worth a thousand word, or 2kbytes if you prefer..

Here is the procedure, and this does work in Elements: Click on the forground colour box, and use the eyedropper to pick up the bluest bit of the blown sky you can find. This pale blue will appear on the "select a colour" pop up window. Now using the colour range you see in the window to pick out a deeper blue about half way towards black. This is the blue the sky should have been (if you follow me). Select this so it becomes the new foreground colour.

Now use the graduated fill tool and set it for Foreground to Transparent. Set the density to somewhere between 15% and 20% and the mode to Darken (very important, that). Now drag your graduated fill from top down to a bit above the horizon and see how it turns out. You may need to try a couple of times with different density to get the best result. Ideally it turns the sky bluer, leaves a hint of cloud if there were any there, and it tries not to turn the tree blue.

Here's another example, in this case an old slide that had a badly blown sky... Its a simple but surprisingly effective trick.



PS. Use with care. If it was clearly a totally lousy day and there wasn't any blue up there, don't put blue in, 'cos it will look wrong. Instead select a dark grey and drag that as per the paragraph above. This will create a lowering sky that can be quite effective. All this is no subtitute for better weather ;-)
Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.

Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.
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