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Creative-Image Artistry

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This chapter is from the book

CREATIVELY, YOU'RE AT THE MIDPOINT of this book. You've read about taking better pictures and applying some basic image adjustments to your images. If you've experimented with the techniques I suggested, you've gotten a glimpse of the power of seeing creatively when taking pictures and the power of Photoshop when working on your images in your digital darkroom.

Now it's time to dive a little deeper into the creative world of Photoshop. In this chapter, you'll learn how to create your own reality (with your images), which is totally cool. You'll see, among other things, how easy it is to change the time of day, control the weather, create an image that looks like it was taken before you were born, change one or all of the colors in a scene, put someone on the "Photoshop Diet," and, following our creative-image artistry theme, create the type of image that surrealist artist Salvador Dali might create if he were alive today and using a digital camera and Photoshop. Wallace Stevens wrote "Reality is the beginning not the end."


All About Hue

Changing the hue affects the overall look of a color photograph. Hue is the actual color of an object. The hue of a red apple in a photograph is red. Other factors make that color, or any color, look different. For example, increasing the saturation of the picture gives the apple a deeper shade of red, and decreasing the saturation makes the apple look less vibrant. Increasing the brightness (using Levels, Curves, or Brightness) also makes the apple look less vibrant. Decreasing the brightness gives the photograph a deeper, richer look. Increasing the contrast can make the apple look crisper, whereas decreasing it makes it look less crisp. Hue works with saturation, brightness, and contrast—and you.

In this lesson, I use a still-life picture of tulips in a hand-painted vase to illustrate the possibilities of varying the hue (Figure 3.1).

Figure 3-1

Figure 3-1

Tech info: Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon 50mm Macro lens. Exposure: 1/60 sec. @ f/16. ISO 100.

In Photoshop, you can control hue by going to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (press Command-U: Mac or Ctrl-U: Win) and then adjusting the Hue slider (Figure 3.2). When you do that with the Edit: Master option selected, you change the hue of all the colors in an image. This is the result when I adjusted the Hue slider to –51 (with Edit: Master selected) (Figure 3.3). And here's what happened when I adjusted the Hue slider to +138 (again, with Edit: Master selected) (Figure 3.4).

But there's more to adjusting hue. You can adjust the individual colors (Reds, Yellows, Greens, Cyans, Blues, and Magentas) by clicking on the Edit drop-down menu and then scrolling to the specific color you want to adjust (Figure 3.5). For example, to adjust only the yellows in the tulip image, I selected Edit: Yellows and moved the slider to –51. Notice that the color of the flowers has changed from my original picture, but the background is still the same color (Figure 3.6).

Speaking of the background in the flower image, changing it is also no problem. Here I selected Edit: Blues and adjusted the slider to –43 (Figure 3.7).

Moving the different sliders gives you virtually endless hue possibilities.

In the next image, I wanted to change the young woman's blue outfit to more of a blue/green. To do so, I selected Edit: Blues and adjusted the Hue slider to –68 (Figures 3.8 and 3.9).

Figure 3-8

Figure 3-8

Tech info: Canon EOS 1D Mark II, Canon 70-200mm IS lens @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/125 sec. @ f/4.5. ISO 400.

For extra color enjoyment, play around with the Saturation and Lightness sliders in this dialog box, too!

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