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$10 US | $13.

75 CDN MARCH 2005

Damian Fagan (San Francisco) altered brush dynamics to create custom brushes for the look of a
traditional painting in his fantastical interpretation of Pescadora, a mythical fisherwoman.

쐃 Fagan created a foundation for the 쐋 Since it is difficult to paint smooth Texture in the Brushes palette and click-
painting by drawing elements with the arcs or uniform edges with traditional ing the arrow next to the Texture icon for
lasso tool and filling the selections with brushes, Fagan wanted the hard edges a pull-down list of textures. He clicked
solid colors that would serve as middle of his Wacom-drawn elements to appear the arrow in the textures list, appended
values for shadows and highlights. Each more hand-painted. He sampled a color the Texture Fill 2 set, and chose the
element was drawn and filled on its own along the edge of an element with the Weave 2 preset. He created a new layer
layer for individual manipulation. eyedropper tool, selected the brush tool, and used his custom canvas brush to dab
decreased its size, and painted along white in open areas of the background.
쐇 Fagan employed a simple way to an edge. This method worked well to He also used this method to create the
mold 3D shapes from the flat-color muddy the bottom contour of the torso. moon, then lowered the layer Opacity
elements without applying more color. While he painted on the element’s edge, to blend it with the background. Making
In the Brushes palette menu, he chose he changed color periodically, then sure to adjust only the brush Size and
and appended the Natural Brushes 2 ducked in and out with the blur tool not the Master Diameter, Fagan used
presets, and selected the Wet Brush 60 for some subtle irregularities. a smaller version of the custom canvas
tip. He then customized the tip in the brush in detailed areas. He also used the
Brushes palette by altering the Shape 쐏 With the basic shapes formed, Fagan brush on a separate layer to make shad-
Dynamics and varying the intensity of further enhanced the realistic paint ows on the swim cap. He sampled color
the stroke pressure in Other Dynam- effect. He added a new layer above an on the edge of the cap, painted with the
ics so the brush would assume a more element’s existing layer and used the brush, and set the layer blending mode
painterly quality. Fagan selected the brush tool with the same custom Wet to Multiply.
burn tool, chose his custom Wet Brush Brush tip to paint loose strokes and
tip, and darkened each element’s edges. blotches of color. He often chose high- Fagan used a default brush, Dune

He started with a low Exposure setting contrast and complementary colors to Grass, to add detail to the sea floor in
in the Options bar and slowly increased stand out from shapes underneath, such the lower right corner.
the percentage to create dimension as adding orange and yellow blotches
and form. Depending on the color of on the face.
the element, he could deepen the color
or even vary its hue as he did with the 쐄 In the past, Fagan used the Texturizer
water wings, which took on an reddish filter to simulate the look of canvas, but To add a whimsical texture to the
quality. He then contrasted the contours it created a perfectly uniform texture background, he appended the
with the dodge tool. “While the burn and that looked computer-generated when Special Effect Brushes from the
dodge tools are valuable for modifying printed on canvas paper. “In traditional Brushes palette menu and selected
exposure in photography, using them in painting, the paint sometimes thins out, the Hypno Lines brush tip to apply
this manner simulates the application of and the texture of the canvas shows at various sizes.
varying hues,” he says. “I can modify the through,” he notes. To recreate this,
existing color values of an element and Fagan made a canvas brush using his
ensure the resulting color range will be custom Wet Brush tip. He added to the
consistent with the original color value.” dynamics of the brush by selecting

Damian Fagan

3 MARCH 2005

Natasha Vasiljevic (Toronto) found that combining traditional outdoor photos with digital studio images
gave her the right perspective to simulate the wide-screen perspective of an opening film sequence.

쐃 While visiting Detroit, Vasiljevic felt the midtones darker, but was careful to 쐏 With the studio shot of the model’s
the buildings and streets epitomized a mask areas to prevent highlights from hand and purse, Vasiljevic pumped the
typical urban landscape she had seen being blown or darkening shadows too Reds and Yellows with a Selective Color
in American films. She captured images much. Then she added a Selective Color adjustment layer to match the color of
using a Nikon 35mm with the intention adjustment layer and increased the Reds, the skin and nail polish with the back-
of creating a wide-screen perspective Yellows, and Cyans in both background ground colors. She then increased the
from an opening movie sequence. images. “I used to apply Hue/Saturation, tonal contrast between the model and
“I was envisioning how movies will but I think it alters an image too much,” background with a Curves adjustment
introduce a scene at an odd angle with she says. “Selective Color does a better layer that deepened the shadows and
faces and bodies passing very closely by job of punching color.” midtones, giving the purse and hand a
the camera,” she recalls. “I wouldn’t be sense of outdoor lighting from behind.
able to shoot that kind of perspective 쐋 For the image of the model’s face, The purse appeared too sharp, and while
in the field, so I knew I would need to Vasiljevic added a base Curves adjust- a Gaussian Blur wouldn’t work here, a
incorporate digital images.” She scanned ment layer to lighten the midtones and texture would. She chose Filter > Artistic
the Detroit images, using an Epson 2450 shadows (while masking the cheek and > Film Grain and set Grain to 4, increased
scanner to get “that raw look a not-so- nose highlights from the adjustment). Highlight Area to 3, and Intensity to 1 to
sharp scanner can have,” then digitally She added another Curves adjustment enhance the purse’s surface while de-
shot a model in her studio. To simulate layer, filled its mask with black, and creasing its sharpness. “I use Film Grain
distorted camera angles, she opened the painted with white on the eyes to isolate as an easy way to tone down a digital
Detroit and model images in Photoshop, them. She then pushed up the curve to image that looks too much like a studio
and used Free Transform (Command/ enhance the whites of the eyes. Com- shot,” she explains.
Ctrl-T) to enlarge and stretch them. paring the face image to the intended

background image, she noticed the skin
쐇 Although the model shots would com- appeared cold, so she warmed the face
plete the movie look, the Detroit images’ with a Color Balance adjustment layer
colors were key in producing the surreal and moved the Cyan/Red slider toward
sensation Vasiljevic wanted. Before she Red. Once the face was placed into the Natasha Vasiljevic
could boost their color, she needed background image, it was too sharp c/o Suzy Johnston, rep
to return the photos to their original against the background, so she applied 416.863.5115/877.737.7464
contrast and color prior to scanning. She a slight Gaussian blur with a mask to
added Curves adjustment layers to make soften areas of the skin.

5 MARCH 2005

Color-based selections can be fast and convenient but they often invite an unwanted guest—a bit of
color fringe left at the edges. With minimal preparation, you can use Levels to not only eliminate the
fringe, but also control edge softness to make a selection blend with a new background.


Many selection techniques require  To convert the background (instead try Option/Alt-clicking the layer mask
you to carefully trace around edges. of the hand) to a mask, Option/Alt-click thumbnail before you access Levels.
When you encounter an image with the Add layer mask icon at the bottom You’ll see the mask appear to grow and
a fairly uniform color in either the of the Layers palette. The hand’s edges shrink as you adjust its contrast by mov-
foreground or background, you can are sharp because almost all of the pixels ing the Levels sliders.
save time with the Magic Wand tool in the layer mask are either pure white
or the Select > Color Range command or pure black. To view the mask directly,
to perform a color-based selection. Option/Alt-click the layer mask thumb-
However, these approaches some- nail in the Hand layer. Option/Alt-click
times leave the background color at again to display the image.
the edges and create a harder edge
than you’d like.  You can soften the edges by making
some of the edge pixels in the mask
 Open “MOUSETRAP.TIF,” double-click gray, which is the equivalent of using
the Background layer to convert it to the Feather command on a marquee
a new layer, and name it “Mousetrap.” selection. Click the layer mask thumbnail
Open “HAND.TIF,” select the move tool on the Hand layer, choose Filter > Blur >
(V), drag the image to the mousetrap im- Gaussian Blur, set the Radius to 6 pixels,
age while pressing Shift to center it, and and click OK. The blurring softens the
name the layer “Hand.” edges, but shows a bit more of the black

background. That’s fine because you’ll
 Since the hand has a nearly uniform be tightening up the edges in the next
background color, it should be easy to step. As a general rule, you should blur
isolate it. Select the magic wand tool (W), the mask roughly twice as much as you’d
set Tolerance to 10 in the Options bar, want for the final composited image.
and make sure Contiguous is unchecked.
Click in the black background to select  With the layer mask thumbnail still se-
it. Although you’ll use a layer mask to lected, press Command/Ctrl-L to access
fine-tune the composite in a moment, the Levels dialog box. You’ve probably
briefly check the selection’s edges by used Levels to adjust an image’s tonality,
pressing Delete/Backspace. Turn off the but now you’ll use it on the layer mask to
visibility of the Mousetrap layer, zoom in, increase its contrast. Dragging the black
and press Command/Ctrl-H to hide the Input slider to the right makes more of
selection marquee. A bit of background the dark-gray pixels in the mask pure
remains around the hand—enough to black, effectively shrinking it. Drag it
be objectionable, but not more than you until the fringe disappears from around
can remove with this technique. Undo the hand. To further sharpen the mask, Gary Young has written Photoshop
(Command/Ctrl-Z) to return the back- drag the white Input slider to the left, courses taught worldwide in training
ground to the Hand layer, and turn on which makes the light-gray mask pixels centers and online. Contact him at
the visibility of the Mousetrap layer. white. If you’re unclear why this works,

7 MARCH 2005

It’s difficult to read numbers in the Info palette while you are pushing curves or dragging sliders
because moving the eyedropper tool makes numbers disappear. Instead of wasting time going
back and forth with the eyedropper to get color readouts, ensure your color adjustments are accurate
with the color sampler tool.


쐃 When a client asked me to replace the the Layers palette. In the resulting dialog Make a habit of arranging the order
classic red of a tricycle with their corpo- box, you’ll notice that as you drag the of your readouts the same way each
rate color, I started by creating a chip of Hue/Saturation sliders, the Sampler 1 time. For example, I make Sampler
the desired color next to the bike. I’ve re- readout numbers do not change. The 1 the target color and Sampler 2 the
produced the image with the corporate Sampler 2 readout displays two sets of color to be adjusted. When necessary,
color chip for you. Open “TRICYCLE.PSD,” numbers: The original values and the I use Sampler 3 to evaluate light areas
and follow my process by selecting the adjusted values. Your job is to bring the and Sampler 4 for dark areas.
color sampler tool. (Press Shift-I until it values for Sampler 2 closer to Sampler 1.
appears in the toolbox.) Click once in Start by dragging Hue all the way to the In the absence of a calibrated moni-
the color chip to place a color sampler right, decrease Saturation to –60, and tor and a color management system,
point—a crosshair and a number. Press click OK. matching color to a predefined color
Command/Ctrl while click-dragging chip is remarkably accurate. In CMYK,
a sampler point to move it around. If 쐋 Duplicate the Hue/Saturation adjust- the numbers don’t lie. If you have to
you make a mistake, Option/Alt-click ment layer by pressing Command/Ctrl-J. match a given color, find the number
the sampler to remove it. Now click in Now choose Layer > Change Layer Con- of a PMS color that matches it, and
the flat, colored area at the back of the tent > Curves. Press Command/Ctrl-1 place a chip of that color in the docu-
tricycle seat for a second color sampler to access the Cyan channel. Reduce the ment. Use the color correction tools
point. (You can place up to four points in amount of ink by dragging the curve to modify the document’s color until
an image.) Placing a color sampler point down about 3/4 of the way across the it matches with the color chip.

automatically expands the Info palette, grid until the Cyan value of Sampler 2 in
and you’ll see readouts corresponding to the Info palette matches the Cyan value
your two points. Notice the readouts are of Sampler 1. Access the Magneta chan-
in CMYK, but by clicking an eyedropper nel by pressing Command/Ctrl-2, but this
to the left of a readout, you can change time push up the curve until you match
it to RGB, Grayscale, or another option the Magenta value of Sampler 2 with the
such as Total Ink. Control/Right-click on Magenta value of Sampler 1. After press-
a color sampler point to access a contex- ing Command/Ctrl-3 to access the Yellow
tual menu with some additional options. channel, drag the curve down slightly to
match the Yellow value of Sampler 2 with
쐇 I’ve already created a selection of the Yellow value of Sampler 1. The tri-
the tricycle’s red areas for you, so select cycle now matches the target color, but
the Target chip layer, move to the Paths it appears flat. To create the wider range
palette, and Command/Ctrl-click the Red of values evident with metallic paint, add
Regions path to load it as a selection. a bit of contrast to the image in the form
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment of another adjustment layer or a slight Simon Tuckett is an illustrator and
layer by clicking the Create new fill or S-curve on the Black plate of the Curves retoucher in Toronto. For more infor-
adjustment layer icon at the bottom of adjustment layer. mation, visit


9 MARCH 2005

The Dust & Scratches filter has a bad reputation for destroying image detail. However, if you work from
the assumption that Dust & Scratches isn’t the only solution for repairing an image but a jumpstart to
rescue it from tedious spotting, the filter can become a welcome addition to your everyday toolkit.


쐃 Open “SCRATCHES.JPG,” and save it last step will start to return. You want the Press Command/Ctrl-+ or – to zoom
as a Photoshop (PSD) file. Obviously, this Threshold setting to be as high as pos- in and out of the image.
Civil War-era photo has so many dust sible, as long as you can’t see the defects
spots and scratches that it would take resurface. I decided a Threshold level of When zoomed in, press Page Up or
hours to repair each defect individually. 6 would sharpen the image just enough. Page Down to move the image up or
To remove the bulk of them, you can use Fine-tune the settings until you’re satis- down one screen. Add Command/Ctrl
the Dust & Scratches filter. First, keep the fied with the result, and click OK. to the Page Up or Down keys to move
original image as an unedited reference the image left or right one screen.
by duplicating the background layer 쐏 Zoom in and out on different areas
(Command/Ctrl-J). of the image, and toggle the duplicate Press the Spacebar to quickly ac-
layer’s visibility. Both the good and cess the hand tool. Press Command/
쐇 With the duplicate layer active, zoom bad effects of the filter will be obvious. Ctrl-Space or Option/Alt-Space to
in on a particularly damaged area and You’ll quickly see that while many of the access the zoom in or out tool.
select Noise > Dust & Scratches from the defects are gone, there are also some
Filter menu. Arrange the filter’s dialog important image details that have been
box so you can see it alongside your im- eliminated. Bring back these details by
age, and make sure Preview is checked. selecting the Dust & Scratches layer and
As a starting point, move the Radius and clicking the Add layer mask icon at the
Threshold sliders all the way to the left. bottom of the Layers palette. Click the
The Radius setting determines the size of layer mask thumbnail on the layer, and

what the filter considers an image defect, paint in your image with a soft black
so you’ll want to keep it at the lowest brush to let the Background layer show
possible value. Click on the Radius slider, through. Keep toggling the layer visibility
and use the Up Arrow key (or your mouse off and on so you can see the details that
wheel) to slowly increase the Radius. need to be restored. It won’t be as much
Watch the preview, and try to remove work as you might think—in this case,
the most defects without destroying too just the eyes, hair, lips, and some uniform
many important details. For this image, details. If you accidentally reveal more
I chose a Radius of 13. Don’t click OK yet defects than you want to, simply paint
because there’s still more to do. over the same area of the layer mask with
a white brush.
쐋 The image looks pretty blurred, but
the Threshold slider can take care of that. 쐄 Press Command/Ctrl-0 to view the
This setting determines how dissimilar entire image and toggle the visibility of
the pixels should be before they’re con- the filter layer one last time. You’ll see Doug Nelson is a freelance writer,
sidered a defect to be eliminated. Click that the majority of the defects are gone! technical editor, and founder of
on the Threshold slider, and slowly bring From here, you can add a new layer and, an online commu-
the value up. You’ll notice an almost use the healing brush or the clone stamp nity for photo retouchers. For more in-
instant increase in sharpness, but if you tool to fix the remaining defects.(Check formation, visit
go too far the defects eliminated in the Use All Layers in the Options bar.) or e-mail

11 MARCH 2005

If you shoot digitally, you may need to choose between two post-processing workflows before you even
snap your camera’s shutter—either shoot in Raw mode or save images to the memory card as JPEGs.
When photographer Rob Stuehrk shoots Denver Broncos games, both workflows are ideal. Take a look
at the pros and cons of saving Raw and JPEG files and determine the best workflow for your shoots.

쐃 The Associated Press expects Stuehrk and posterization. The image degrades But with all the information in a 16-bit
to deliver his photos directly after a a little after every edit and save—not an Raw file, post-processing in Adobe Cam-
game. JPEGs are virtually client-ready ideal result for stock photos. Photoshop era Raw can be an involved process and
when they are written to a camera’s features such as Shadow/Highlight and requires more skill to have a successful
data card due to their universal file Channel Mixer can be hard on an image and efficient workflow. Stuehrk would
format. Saving images as JPEG files are if not used carefully to preserve image not only have to spend time after the
tantalizing to event photographers quality. A professional’s JPEG workflow game processing all the Raw captures,
like Stuehrk who need to do little, if is most successful when there’s control but also convert them to an acceptable
any, post-processing on images. It’s over the lighting, exposure, and white format for the Associated Press.
perfect for photojournalists who take balance while shooting, which is a luxury
numerous images, batch-process quick Stuehrk doesn’t have. While the Associ- In this case, Stuehrk could have the best
adjustments in Photoshop, and upload ated Press will accept adjusted JPEGs, of both worlds because his camera can
to a server. But during a football game, Stuehrk cannot compromise the quality save images as Raw and JPEG simultane-
exposure can change dramatically as the of the images for his stock library. ously. At the end of the game, he can
action moves from endzone to endzone download the JPEGs onto his laptop,
and from sunlight to shadow. By the end 쐇 Shooting Raw can give Stuehrk con- make adjustments in Photoshop to the
of a game, Stuehrk usually has a camera siderable flexibility and control over his two or three best images, and upload
full of images with extreme differences images because he can have uncom- them to the newswire. Then when he re-
in lighting and color. Since Stuehrk also pressed, white balance-independent turns to his studio, he can open the Raw
uses the images for his personal stock digital negatives. A Raw capture’s data captures in Adobe Camera Raw, expose
sales, he often needs to apply intensive is stored with just tagged information the images to his liking, and archive them
adjustments to produce stock-image about the image’s exposure. Instead of for his stock sales. Not every photo shoot
quality from the exposures. setting the white point, color space, and necessitates both workflows like this.
image contrast in the camera, Stuehrk If you have the option between saving
When a photographer trips the shutter can visually adjust these elements later images as Raw or JPEG, you first need to
on a digital camera, the analog light using Photoshop CS’ Raw converter, consider the control you have over the
information is received by the camera’s Adobe Camera Raw. He can maintain lighting, decide the image quality you
sensor and is converted to a digital signal full-image integrity while adjusting want, and determine how much post-
as a Raw capture. When the capture is blown-out highlights or underexposed processing time you can allow yourself.
saved onto a camera’s Compact Flash areas. The Raw captures remain in their
card as a JPEG, the Raw information is original, robust, 16-bit mode and provide
processed according to the white point him with many more shades of gray per
of the camera’s computer, along with channel for smooth tonal gradation, even
the tone, color saturation, sharpening, at larger print sizes. Shooting in Raw is
and contrast characteristics specified beneficial for photographers who need Jay Kinghorn is an Adobe Photoshop

by the manufacturer. This means a JPEG flexibility with the files they offer to their Certified Expert and co-author of the
may be degraded slightly (e.g. blurred, clients. It’s great for wedding photogra- upcoming Perfect Digital Photography.
haloed) even before importing from the phers who want post-processing control Contact him at Rob
camera. When a camera saves as a JPEG, for formal shots such as a bride’s white Stuehrk is owner of Agile Imaging,
it reduces the file to an 8-bit image with dress against skin tones or dark colors. specializing in coverage of events
only 256 shades of gray per channel. If Even fine-art photographers can benefit such as the Centrix Financial Grand
an image requires extensive editing or from editing and archiving raw images Prix of Denver and University of Colo-
needs to be significantly enlarged, it for sales or converting images to black- rado Buffalos Football. Contact him at
becomes subject to possible banding and-white while still in the Raw format.



13 MARCH 2005

These keyboard shortcuts will keep your fingers flying from the moment you create a new file until you
make the final touch-ups on your image.

GROUNDWORK • To play a single command in an Action, • To add a layer mask to hide a selection
• To open a flattened version of a layered double-click the name of the command (as opposed to the default of revealing
PSD file, press Shift-Option/Alt and while pressing Command/Ctrl. a selection), Option/Alt-click the Add a
double-click the image. This works as • To view the Actions palette as clickable layer mask icon.
long as the file was saved using Prefer- buttons, choose Button Mode from the
ences > File Handling > Maximize PSD palette’s menu (5). CURVES
File Compatibility. (OS X only) • To access the Curves dialog box with
• To create a document the same size as TRANSFORMATIONS the previous settings applied, press
an open document, choose File > New, • Free Transform (Command/Ctrl-T) a Option-Command-M (Alt-Ctrl-M).
and select the open document’s file selection from its center by pressing • To show additional grid lines, Option/
name from the Preset menu. (CS only) Option/Alt while dragging a Transform Alt-click in the grid area.
• For a quick way to see the actual pixel box handle. • Tab-Control/Right-click to cycle
dimensions of a document, Option/ • To distort a transform box, press through multiple Curves points. Add
Alt-click the image info area at the bot- Command/Ctrl while dragging. Shift to go in the opposite direction.
tom of the document window (or the • To skew, Press Shift-Command/Ctrl • To move multiple Curves points, Shift-
Status bar in Windows), and you’ll see while dragging. click each one first.
the document’s Width, Height, Chan- • To change perspective, press Shift-
nels, and Resolution (1). Option-Command (Shift-Alt-Ctrl) ARTISTIC TOUCHES
• To scroll through all open documents while dragging. • To sample a color for the Background
simultaneously, select the hand tool, • To repeat a transformation setting, Color swatch in the toolbox, press
and check Scroll All Windows in the load a selection, and press Shift- Option/Alt while clicking with the
Options bar. Select the zoom tool, and Command/Ctrl-T. eyedropper tool.

check Zoom All Windows to zoom all • To create a copy on its own layer while • Press Shift-Delete/Backspace to access
open documents at once. (CS only) creating a duplicate transformation, the Fill command dialog box.
• While dragging out a guide from the load the selection, and press Shift- • The paint bucket has two additional
rulers, press Option/Alt to change the Option-Command-T (Shift-Alt-Ctrl-T). Modes in the Options bar: Behind fills
orientation of the guide. transparent images, and Clear erases
• To find the center of an image, Control/ MASKS based on the color you click on (similar
Right-click on a ruler and choose Per- • After adding a mask to a layer, press to the magic wand tool).
cent from the contextual menu (2). Command/Ctrl-Tilde (~) to target the • With all vector/shape tools, the Comma
• To add canvas to an image, drag out a image thumbnail on the layer. Target and Period keys move to the previous
crop with the crop tool. Now drag the the mask thumbnail by pressing or next preset in the Style list in the
crop handles outside the image, and Command/Ctrl-Backslash (\). Options bar. Add Shift to move directly
press Return/Enter to apply the crop. • Press Backslash to toggle the display of to the first or last style.
The area outside the image fills with a layer mask (as a red rubylith overlay). • To access the Brushes palette while
the Background Color. To add transpar- In the Channels palette, the shortcut using a brush, Control/Right-click
ency instead, convert the Background toggles the channel’s visibility. anywhere in the image area.
layer by double-clicking it (3). • To duplicate a layer mask to another • To select the airbrush, press Shift-
• To use cropping dimensions from one layer, select the target layer (unmasked Option/Alt-P. When selected, the
image to another, apply a crop to the layer), and click-drag the layer mask numeric keys change the Flow. When
first image, click Front Image in the thumbnail of the layer with the desired deselected, they change Opacity. Press
Options bar, and you’ll see the Width, mask to the Add a mask icon at the Shift while entering numbers to use
Height, and Resolution entered. Switch bottom of the Layers palette. the opposite setting. (PS 7 and later)
to the other file, and drag the crop tool. • To paste a selection into a layer mask, • To assign a keyboard shortcut to a
The aspect ratio is constrained and will Option/Alt-click the layer mask thumb- filter, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts
be at the desired dimensions (4). nail, then Paste (Command/Ctrl-V). > Application Menus > Filter. (CS only)

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15 MARCH 2005

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Photoshop Fix
P.O. Box 9035 • Strengthen or alter the mood of your image with easy edge tricks.
Maple Shade, NJ 08052-9639 • Manage and manipulate the amount of information in your channels.