Whether you’re an experienced photographer or someone who has just recently purchased a camera, learning how to use Photoshop is the best investment you can make to get the most out of your pixels. In Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Photography, Julieanne Kost reviews the Photoshop features and techniques that are most useful to photographers, from tonal adjustments to retouching.
Photoshop CC and its companion app, Camera Raw, are loaded with tools and features for photo editing, retouching, color correction, and creative effects, so you can always produce the highest quality images. This course gets you up to speed with Photoshop and shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, compositing, and even painting. Along the way, you will learn the secrets of nondestructive editing and mastering features such as layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, filters, layer masks, and other features that make Photoshop the most popular and powerful image editing software on the market.
• Making creative changes with adjustment layers
• Adding color and gradients with fill layers
• Retouching portraits
• Combining (aka compositing) multiple images
•Working with Smart Objects
• Applying filters like blurs and glow
• Painting with Photoshop
• Adding text and watermarks to photos
• Using artboards and libraries
• Exporting and sharing images from Photoshop
If you’re looking for more information, you can check out all of my Lynda.com courses here including:
Dragging the dotted lines within the Tilt Shift Blur Gallery filter changes the length (also known as the fade range) of the blur independently of one another.
Option (Mac | Alt (Win) -dragging the dotted line causes the opposite side to mirror the change by repositioning it by the same number of pixels.
Note: this means that if the two dotted lined were symmetric before dragging with the keyboard modifier, they will remain symmetric, but if they were previously repositioned (one line was moved 20 pixels and the other was moved 50), then using the modifier will change them both by the same number of pixels.
There are a lot of great new features in the Photoshop CC 2015 release. Here are my top 5 for photographers!
The new Dehaze control in Lightroom CC and Adobe Camera Raw can help you to dramatically improve an image by removing haze. The Dehaze technology is based on a physical model of how light is transmitted, and it tries to estimate light that is lost due to absorption and scattering through the atmosphere. For the best results, you’ll want to set the white balance for the image before using Dehaze. Then, in the Effects panel, move the slider to the right – to easily remove the haze from the original scene. Move the slider to the left to add a creative haze effect.You can choose to make very subtle to very significant adjustments – if you’re pushing the slider to the extreme, you might want to refine the image using the Basic panel (increasing the shadow detail or refining the Vibrance slider) in order to achieve the exact look that you’re after.
Original image and with the addition of the Dehaze feature (slider set to +68).
Original image and with the subtraction of the Dehaze feature (slider set to -72)
When moving the slider, there is very little change in the highlight area (on the right side of the Histogram), while the shadows and lower portion of the histogram is clearly being changed. If you are concerned that the darker values in the image are being clipped to pure black, Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) -drag the slider to see the black point clipping visualization. When you see black areas appear in the image, you know that you’re starting to clip to pure black and can back off. In addition, Dehaze can be added locally by applying ACR as a Smart Filter in Photoshop.
2) Restore Noise in Blur Gallery
As many of you have already discovered, Photoshop has the ability to add a number of different types of blurs to an image. However in previous versions, it was always a challenge to add noise back into the blurred area in order to create a more realistic effect. Now, when selecting any of the blur gallery filters, you have the option to add Uniform, Gaussian or Grain noise back into the blurred areas in order to closely match the restored noise with the original image. For the most flexible and nondestructive workflow, convert the layer(s) into Smart Objects before using Blur Gallery.
Path Blur without Noise applied.
Path Blur with Noise applied.
The Noise panel includes the following adjustments:
• Noise – this checkbox turns the Noise on/off. (It’s not just a preview, if you turn it off, the noise will not be applied to the result.)
• Type – select between Uniform, Gaussian, and Grain (this is the same Grain that is found in Camera Raw).
• Amount – the amount of contrast added to the noise.
• Size – controls particle size for Grain. It is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform.
• Roughness – controls the regularity of the grain. A negative value makes the grain more uniform, a positive value makes the noise more uneven. It is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform.
• Color – controls how much color appears in the grain (from monochromatic to highly saturated).
• Highlight – suppresses the application of noise in the highlight areas (for better highlight/shadow matching).
in addition, the Spin and Path blurs now also have the ability to save their own masks. (The Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift blurs are still combined in a single mask.) Note: If the Noise panel is not visible, choose Reset Blur Gallery from the workspace menu in the top right.)
3) Improvements to Content Aware
• The Healing Brush, Spot Healing, and Patch tool are now faster (healing in real time!) and deliver higher quality results.
• The Content-Aware Move tool can now rotate, scale and flip images – allowing you to transform the object being moved. The tool’s Extend option includes the same “transform before dropping” capability as well.
• File > Automate > Photomerge has a new check box that enables automatic filling of transparent edges using Content-Aware technology (the fill is placed upon its own layer so that you can quickly refine if necessary).
Photoshop automatically applies Ccontent-Aware Fill in the transparent areas of the panorama.
4) Multiple Layer Styles
You can now add multiple strokes, color and gradient overlays, and drop shadows as Layer Styles in Photoshop. Click the plus icon to add multiple copies of these effects (each one can be applied up to 10 times). Use the arrows to reorder within the group with in the Layer effects panel (or reposition in the Layers panel).
Multiple strokes applied to the same layer using Layer Styles.
5) The Glyphs Panel
Photoshop has a Glyphs panel! Choose to see all of the glyphs for the entire font, or any of the subsets from the list. If the character shows a black dot in the lower right corner, clicking and holding will display variances. Double-click on a glyph to insert it. At the bottom of the Glyphs panel, use the slider to zoom the glyphs, or use the scale-down/scale-up icons to zoom the preview within the grid.
If you’re a designer, be sure to check out this video to find out more about additional new features in Photoshop including Artboards, CC Libraries, Layer Styles, and Adobe Stock. Or, if you more involved in screen design/Web/UI/UX, be sure to check out this video to find out more about Adobe Stock, CC Libraries, Layer Styles, Design Space (Preview), Live Device Preview, and Quick Export.
The new Path blur filter enables blurring along a motion path. The video below demonstrates how to choose the direction and speed of the blur, refine tapering and even distort the shape of the blur to add artistic effects. You’ll also see how to add more than one path for additional control of the motion.
And here are some shortcuts for the Path Blur Filter:
• Command click the end of a path to set the End Point blur to 0 (zero).
• Shift -drag on the Blur Shape path to simultaneously change the direction of both Blur Shapes.
Duplicating and moving a path
• Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) on the blue path or points to move a path.
• Option + Command -click (Mac) | Alt + Control -click (Win) to copy a path.
• Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) on a blue path curve point to convert it to a corner point (and vice versa).
Tip: an effective way to visualize what the path blur is doing is to make a white layer with a grid of black dots spaced about 50 pixels apart. Those dots turn into streaks that reveal what the blur shape is in local areas.
The new Spin Blur filter creates non-destructive, realistic, motion effects including the ability to spin an object at variable angles, as well emulate traditional strobe effects (including the ability to define the strength, number of flashes and duration). This video will show you how:
Tip: Command + Option -drag (Mac) | Control + Alt -drag (Win) the pin to duplicate it.
Similar to the Liquify filter, the Field, Tilt and Iris Blur Filters can now be applied as Smart Filters in Photoshop CC. The benefit of applying the Blurs as a Smart Filters is that as a result, the manipulations are nondestructive. Not only can you re-edit the filters at any time, but you have access to the Smart Filter mask to selectively show and hide the filter, the Smart Filter Blend Modes and Opacity options and, since you can create a smart object from multiple layers, you can now apply the Field, Tilt and Iris Blur filters to all of those layers at once. In addition, the ability to apply the Blurs as Smart Filters means that we can apply these filters to video clips in Photoshop!
Because the video was recorded before the 2014 Release of Photoshop, the video shows them appearing under Filter > Blur however they were relocated in the 2014 release to Filter > Blur Gallery. And, when in Blur Gallery, the Spin Blur and Path Blur aren’t visible in this video because they hadn’t been created when I recordedthe video!
Tip: because blurring a layer removed a certain amount of noise from the image, you might want to export the mask created in the Lens Blur filter. This will save the mask to a channel. Then, you can convert the layer a Smart Object, load the channel as a selection and add noise back into the smooth, blurred areas using the Noise filter or, add noise using Camera Raw as a Smart Filter. Note: you will need to invert the mask to apply the noise to the area that was blurred.
The video below demonstrates how to selectively blur an image using the Field, Tilt and Iris Blur Filters:
And here are a number of shortcuts and tips for working with the Field, Tilt and Iris Blur Filters:
Will all blurs, you can:
• Hold the “H” key to temporarily hide the Blur interface (pins etc.).
• Tap the “P” key to toggle the preview on and off.
• Hold the “M” key to display the mask.
• Add as many blurs (even mix and match between Tilt Shift, Iris and Field) as needed to a layer, knowing that the multiple pins will create a single unified, intersecting mask).
• Use the option Save Mask to Channel to create an alpha channel.
• Vary the Selection Bleed to expand the blur into the selection. Note, you have to have created a selection before selecting the blur filters or this option will be unavailable.
Specific to the Tilt Shift blur:
• The area between the solid white lines has no blur applied. The distance between the solid and dashed while lines is the “transitional” area where the amount of blur is slowly added over the length of the transition. Beyond the dashed line, the specified blur amount is fully applied.
• Click-drag the solid white dots to rotate the angle of the blur, OR click-drag anywhere outside of the solid white lines to rotate the angle of the blur. Note: if you click, release the mouse and then drag you will add another blur – you must click and drag in one motion, without releasing the mouse between the click and the drag. Add the Shift key to constrain to 15 degree increments.
• Add distortion to the foreground of an image (or rotate the blur to favor the opposite direction). Or, choose Distort Symmetrically to apply distortion to both sides of the blur.
• Use the Focus slider (in the Options bar) to blur the center part of the Tilt Shift blur (if you want the whole layer to start slightly out of focus).
• The Blur Effects panel offers a various settings to customize a Bokah effect.
Specific to the Iris Blur:
• From the center pin to the “free-floating” solid white dots, no blur is applied. Between the solid dots and the solid white circle is the “transitional” area where the blur is applied over the length of the transition. Beyond the solid white circle, the blur is fully applied.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt +(Win) -drag the free-floating dots to move independently (thus making the transitional area asymmetrical).
• Drag the large square on the solid circle outwards to create a rectangular shape Iris blur.
• Drag the small white dots on the outer circle to rotate and/or to distort the circle to an oval.
• Use the Focus slider (in the Options bar) to blur the center part of the Iris Blur (if you want the whole layer to start slightly out of focus).
Today Adobe announced all new versions of 14 CC desktop applications, 4 new mobile apps, the immediate availability of creative hardware, and new offerings for Enterprise, education and photography customers.
Of course this includes new features, enhancements and updates to both Photoshop and Lightroom for design and photography including the new Spin and Path Blurs in Blur Gallery, new typographic controls including Font Search and Typekit integration, enhancements to Smart Objects, Smart Guides, and Layer Comps, improved Content-Aware technologies, new selection capabilities using Focus Mask, as well as hidden gems and workflow timesavers.
Check out the latest advancements in Photoshop CC in the videos below:
Photoshop CC (2014): New features and enhancements (3 minute overview)
How to Add Realistic Spinning Motion Blur Effects in Photoshop CC
Adding Motion Blur Effects Along a Path in Photoshop CC
New Typographic Features in Photoshop CC
How to Align and Distribute Layers using Smart Guides in Photoshop CC
How to Use Layer Comps for Multi State Mock-ups in Photoshop CC
New Smart Object Features in Photoshop CC
How to Remove Distracting Elements using the Enhanced Content Aware Tools in Photoshop CC
How to Use Focus Mask to Make Selections based on Focus in Photoshop CC