Wednesday, February 20, 2008

smart objects win everytime

We had a little fun game of poker tonight and while the chips were still down i bravely asked the question to my son, "hey, do you mind if i take a quick shot". You never know how that ones going to go but tonight it was a yes. I knew i had about 1 minute so i quickly grabbed a flash, threw a pocket wizard on it and one on the camera, set the camera on self timer and set it on the table with the lens propped up on a stack of poker chips. I hand held the flash just over his head and pointed straight down at him and the chips. I really liked the shot in camera but his hair and the chips were a bit too bright and his face was a bit dark. Into photoshop we go.
I opened the raw file in camera raw and set the exposure for his face. I held down the shift key which changed the "open image" button to "open object". I opened it as a smart object and then when back into bridge and opened the same raw file again but this time adjusted the exposure for the hair and chips (much darker overall than the first one). I again held down the shift key and hit "open object". Once both versions were open i combined them into one by holding the shift key down and dragging one onto the other. Next i blended them together by using a layer mask on the top layer. My top layer was the dark image so i painted in black on the layer mask over his face and cards to see through to the brighter layer underneath.
I ended up tweeking the brightness of both layers by double clicking on the layer which, because they were smart objects, brought me into the camera raw plug in again.
I flattened the layers at the end, retouched a bit, and then sharpened.
My sharpening technique this time was to go under image - mode and convert the rgb file to lab. Once in the lab color space i went into my channels pallate and clicked on the lightness channel. I applied an unsharp mask at an amount of 270, radius 1, and threshold of 5. I then went back to image - mode and clicked on rgb to change back the my original color space. Sharpening this way will affect your textures but not your color.
Oh, and to cap the image off i went under image - adjustments - hue/saturation and added about +12 saturation.

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