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Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images

Check out this chapter for tips on retouching images in Photoshop, improving color, adding new elements to an image or removing unwanted image elements. (From the book Inside Photoshop CS by Gary Bouton, Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442.)

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By: Sams Publishing
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August 18, 2004
  1. · Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images
  2. · Rotate the Image
  3. · Improving Overall Color
  4. · Removing Unwanted Elements
  5. · Enhance Image Elements
  6. · Coloring the Shrubs and Vines
  7. · Adding New Elements
  8. · Adding New Landscaping Elements
  9. · Adding Ready-Made Elements
  10. · Adding Some Finishing Touches

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Keeping Up Appearances: Techniques for Retouching Images - Enhance Image Elements
(Page 5 of 10 )

Changing the Season: Enhancing Image Elements

The preliminary spring-cleaning work (so to speak) has been completed. You've straightened out the image and the house. You've improved the overall contrast and coloring of the image and made further improvements by removing unsightly items. The prep work is done, so now it's time for a change of season. Spring is around the corner.

Enhancing the Sky

So what is one of the obvious qualities of spring? Bluer skies, right? Certainly, spring isn't a time for dingy, light-colored, or overcast skies. Therefore, the next exercise will concentrate on finding an easy and workable method to isolate the sky to enhance this part of the image.

The Magic Wand tool works in this particular case because there is not a lot of detail in the sky, and there is a good amount of contrast between the sky and the other elements in the photo.

Making Over the Sky

  1. Choose the Magic Wand tool (W) from the toolbox. On the Options bar, set the Tolerance to 50, and make sure the Anti-aliased option is checked (uncheck the remaining items, as shown in Figure 13.12). Click on a blue area of the sky. Most of the sky will be selected, but not all of it. To fix this by adding to this selection, hold down the Shift key, and click on a white cloud area of the sky. Your selection should look similar to Figure 13.12. The selection will include areas that you don't want to include, but don't worry; you'll fix that in the next step.


Figure 13.12

Use the Magic Wand tool and the settings you see here to make a selection of the sky area.

  1. To fine-tune this selection, choose the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) from the toolbox. On the Options bar, click on the Subtract from selection icon, or use the keyboard modifier by holding down the Alt(Opt) key. Drag a rectangle selection at the bottom of the image to subtract any unwanted selection areas. Use this method to continue to subtract any unwanted selection areas that appear on the house (for example, remove any selections around the window areas). When you're satisfied that the sky is the only area selected, move on to the next step.

  2. On the Layers palette, click on the Curves 1 layer to make it the active layer. Press Ctrl(Command)+Shift+N to create a new layer, and name this layer Sky Color. Click on OK.

  3. Click on the foreground color swatch, and choose a rich blue color (R:82, G:44, B:205). Click on OK. Press Alt(Opt)+Delete (Backspace) to fill the sky selection with the blue foreground color. Press Ctrl(Command)+D to deselect. On the Layers palette, change the layer mode to Color Burn, and lower the Opacity to 50% (see Figure 13.13).


Figure 13.13

Create a new layer and fill the sky selection with a rich blue color. Adjust the layer Mode and Opacity to give the new color a more realistic effect.

  1. Press Ctrl (Command)+S to save your work. Keep the document and Photoshop open. There's still more work to be done.

This chapter is from Inside Photoshop CS, by Gary Bouton (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672326442). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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