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Landscape Workflow Techniques

Lesson 111 from: Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Blake Rudis

Landscape Workflow Techniques

Lesson 111 from: Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Blake Rudis

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Lesson Info

111. Landscape Workflow Techniques


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


The Bridge Interface


Setting up Bridge


Overview of Bridge


Practical Application of Bridge


Introduction to Raw Editing


Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface


Global Tools Part 1


Global Tools Part 2


Local Tools


Introduction to the Photoshop Interface


Toolbars, Menus and Windows


Setup and Interface


Adobe Libraries


Saving Files


Introduction to Cropping


Cropping for Composition in ACR


Cropping for Composition in Photoshop


Cropping for the Subject in Post


Cropping for Print


Perspective Cropping in Photoshop


Introduction to Layers


Vector & Raster Layers Basics


Adjustment Layers in Photoshop


Organizing and Managing Layers


Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes


Screen and Multiply and Overlay


Soft Light Blend Mode


Color and Luminosity Blend Modes


Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes


Introduction to Layer Styles


Practical Application: Layer Tools


Introduction to Masks and Brushes


Brush Basics


Custom Brushes


Brush Mask: Vignettes


Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn


Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation


Mask Groups


Clipping Masks


Masking in Adobe Camera Raw


Practical Applications: Masks


Introduction to Selections


Basic Selection Tools


The Pen Tool


Masks from Selections


Selecting Subjects and Masking


Color Range Mask


Luminosity Masks Basics


Introduction to Cleanup Tools


Adobe Camera Raw


Healing and Spot Healing Brush


The Clone Stamp Tool


The Patch Tool


Content Aware Move Tool


Content Aware Fill


Custom Cleanup Selections


Introduction to Shapes and Text


Text Basics


Shape Basics


Adding Text to Pictures


Custom Water Marks


Introduction to Smart Objects


Smart Object Basics


Smart Objects and Filters


Smart Objects and Image Transformation


Smart Objects and Album Layouts


Smart Objects and Composites


Introduction to Image Transforming


ACR and Lens Correction


Photoshop and Lens Correction


The Warp Tool


Perspective Transformations


Introduction to Actions in Photoshop


Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface


Making Your First Action


Modifying Actions After You Record Them


Adding Stops to Actions


Conditional Actions


Actions that Communicate


Introduction to Filters


ACR as a Filter


Helpful Artistic Filters


Helpful Practical Filters


Sharpening with Filters


Rendering Trees


The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters


Introduction to Editing Video


Timeline for Video


Cropping Video


Adjustment Layers and Video


Building Lookup Tables


Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type


ACR to Edit Video


Animated Gifs


Introduction to Creative Effects


Black, White, and Monochrome


Matte and Cinematic Effects


Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades




Glow and Haze


Introduction to Natural Retouching


Brightening Teeth


Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool


Cleaning and Brightening Eyes


Advanced Clean Up Techniques


Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization


ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits


Portrait Workflow Techniques


Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization


Landscape Workflow Techniques


Introduction to Compositing & Bridge


Composite Workflow Techniques


Landscape Composite Projects


Bonus: Rothko and Workspace


Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos


Bonus: The Mask (Extras)


Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


Lesson Info

Landscape Workflow Techniques

So I told you about tone, color, and effects. So where does this fit in? Well, that was just setting the tones for me to get the tones exactly where I want them. What I'm gonna do here is build up tone, color, and effect as well. So if we go into our creative live panel, the one thing that I do here is go into my tools first. I'm gonna start my tools. Here I've already taught luminosity masking, how to make a shadow mask, how to make a mid tone mask, and how to make a highlight mask. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna press this All Tone Masks. This is a rather large image, so it's gonna take a little bit of time. But this is gonna separate my dark areas, my mid-tone areas, and my highlight areas all in their own curves adjustment layers. And how I know that? Well, if I turn on these color overlays, those are my shadow areas, or my dark areas. This is my mid-tone area, and this is my highlight area. There is a button on the panel right here that's called Preview ON, Preview OFF. If...

I turn the preview on, it'll show me. Turn the preview off, it'll turn it off. That way I don't even have to click down here in the layers pallet if I don't want to. So now that they're separated into their own individual darks, mid-tones, and highlights, I'll just go through and start modifying those curves. I can make my darks darker, or my darks brighter. And the difference here between what you're seeing here and what happens in something like Adobe Camera Raw, is that I know exactly where my dark areas are. And not only do I have control over just a slider that's for shadows, now, let's think about this. I've got a dark selection that's showing my shadows. I can modify the shadow's darkest dark areas, the shadow's mid-tone areas, and the shadow's highlight areas. So you see there? I now have three settings for one shadow adjustment, for one dark mask adjustment. So by bringing this down, I'm making those darks darker, and by bringing this up, I'm making the light areas within those, the most highlight area within that shadow area, brighter. Bring that up. Just look at the before and after real quick on that. Really starts to add some depth to the image. Looking at the mid-tones, bring this up. It's gonna make all our mid-tones brighter, darker, I should say. Bring it up, they're brighter. Bring it down, they're darker. Round off those mid-tone areas, make them a little bit darker. Maybe open up. That is the mid-tones of the mid-tones that are getting darker. And this is the dark portions of the mid-tones that are getting brighter. And this is the highlight portion of the mid-tones that are either getting brighter or darker. And then I'll go down tot he highlights. The highlight area is basically gonna be that waterfall. Look what happens in the waterfall. In that waterfall, you can see here that the data that's available within the waterfall. These areas that are blowing out here, there's actually detail there. So if I were to bring this over to here, you start to see those details coming out, because I'm clipping off all of the dark areas within the highlights, and saying, this is the new darkest area of the highlights. And when we go right in here, you can see that difference. If we bring it all the way over to here, it's gonna start clipping out some really nasty stuff. There's no governor here, okay? There's nothing to tell you, say, hey, dude, stop, other than you saying, hey, dude, stop. (laughing) So we're just gonna bring that right down to there, okay? So now, if I close this folder, look at that. Look at the difference there. Now, could I have done that in something like Adobe Camera Raw? Quite possibly. It would've taken me a lot longer. I probably would have had to use some brushes. But the thing to take away from here is that by doing this in Photoshop, and putting the darks, the mid-tones, and the highlights on their own individual curves adjustment layers with a mask that's specifically for them, it's allowing me to modify the darkest areas of the darks, the mid-tone areas of the darks, and the highlight areas of the darks. There's no sliders that can do that in something like Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. It gives me maximum control. Could you use this on portraits? Absolutely, you could definitely use this on portraits as well. I just wanted to show you a little bit of a different way we could use it on something like a landscape. Here, on landscapes, so I'll give you a little tip on landscapes, luminosity masking, we tend to get a little bit heavier on the shadow areas, and pay attention to shadows. Where on portraits, we tend to be a little bit more concerned with highlight areas. So instead of a lot of emphasis being placed on the shadows, with these masks, you'll probably place a little bit more emphasis on your mid-tones and your highlights rather than the shadows. What I would also do at this point, transitioning over into maybe my color area, is make a dodge and burn. And this is where I get to sculpt with light. I'm gonna press Dodge and Burn. It's gonna tell me exactly how to use this, but it's already gonna set me up. Make my brush a little bit larger. I'm gonna start inviting the viewer in by highlighting certain areas and making them brighter. So I'm gonna brighten up the side of this rock, 'cause I like the way that looks right there. It'll give them a little stepping stone to put their foot. Might brighten up this moss, brighten up this moss here, brighten up this moss here. Make my brush a little bit smaller. Brighten this up, brighten that, brighten that, brighten that. Brighten up all that moss a little bit. ALT or Option will get me switched over to burning on the fly. And I'll start burning around the areas, underneath the areas, and around the areas that I just dodged. That starts to help develop depth within the image by making certain areas brighter, and then accenting those bright areas with darker areas. In between here. This a little bit bigger. AlT or Option. Brighten that up, maybe brighten that up, brighten that up. And then I might darken down the trees. And I'm just, if you see what I'm doing, I'm just kinda, and I'll brighten that part up of that tree. Look at that. Sculpting with light. Off, on, off, on. Why do I want a baseline image to start? 'Cause I wanna make these decisions. These decisions I couldn't make as easily in something like Adobe Camera Raw. You could make different brushes for dodging and burning in Adobe Camera Raw, but it's not gonna be as fast and as fluid as it is in Photoshop. So I've got my tone looking pretty good. Now let's look at how I can modify something like color. So, there's a couple things that I can do here. I'm gonna go ahead and make a, I wanna make a selection of this. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna press CTRL, SHIFT, ALT, and E to make a stamp. The reason I'm making a stamp of this is I wanna select the color range of the color yellow here. So I'm gonna go to Select, go to Color Range, and I'm gonna turn this back to None. I'll select this color right here. Make it to grayscale. Brighten up that fuzziness. That's gonna make a selection for my colors. Now, what I'm gonna do, after I make that selection for those colors there, I'm gonna make a curves adjustment layer specifically for those colors to separate the color from the luminance value. I don't need that stamp anymore. This is gonna be probably yellow. We'll call it yellow. So now I've got a curves adjustment layer for all of the foliage in the image. Now I can brighten up that foliage. I can make that foliage a little bit darker, and then a little bit brighter. Add some more contrast to that foliage. This is kind of like dodging and burning with those tones. But because I have a curves adjustment layer here, I have access to things like not just the RGB value or the luminance value of that color, I can also go into the individual colors of that color. So again, we're just taking all the things that we've learned about the curves adjustment layer, about all the different layers that we've learned, we're breaking them down. The hard thing about this is saying, okay, well, what do I do with the curves adjustment layer once I have it? Well, get to know the curves adjustment layer really well, and then once you get to this point, you're like, oh, yeah, all I gotta do is go into the blue channel there, and I can start making that stuff more yellow. If I remove the blue from it, now it's more yellow. Bring this up, and it's more blue. Get some more yellow in there. Go into the greens. (screams) (laughs) You have to be very, very, very cautious with this. A little bit goes a long way. Bring this down a little bit. Add a little bit magenta to those yellows. Maybe a pop of a little bit of green. So what I'm doing here, that color that's selected, those yellow colors that selected, I'm making the darkest portions of that yellow a little bit more magenta, and the lightest portions of that yellow a little bit more green. Which, what that's doing is it's allowing me to be a painter, essentially, of color on this image. If I turn those off, look at that. It's kinda muted. It's kinda dull. I'm starting to get some nice color in here. (audience member mutters) One thing that we can also assess in here, especially with waterfalls, is inside of the waterfalls sometimes we can get a color cast in the water that can sometimes be blue. I'm just gonna check it to make sure it's not there. And then if you are working on waterfall images, you will see this. Sometimes your waterfalls are blue, and they're not supposed to be blue. Water, unless it's got a lot of chemicals in it, is not blue. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna go and add a hue saturation adjustment layer on here, 'cause we're still working with color. And I'm gonna zoom into this area. Click on the targeted adjustment tool, and click in there. There's blue present within the light area in that image in that waterfall. If I bring it up, you can see all the blue that is actually present within that waterfall. So I like to bring this up pretty high on the saturation just to see if maybe I wanna change the hue of that a little bit, just to get some of that blue out of there. Drop that saturation a little bit. And I can either darken it down or brighten it up, depending on the color profile that I want there. So if I zoom in on the color blue right there, I can either brighten it up or darken it down. The saturation there is gonna actually give me more of that color blue or reduce it. We don't wanna go all the way down to zero saturation, 'cause if we do, we're gonna end up with what looks like a black and white image with a splash of color in it. You still want that blue to stick around. You just wanna taper it off a little bit. And if you look right here, right here, this is the color blue that we've selected. The color blue's been selected from that waterfall. This is the color, the actual color of that blue on the top bar. Look at the bottom bar right here. This bottom bar's color will change based on what we're telling that color blue to become. So if I bring this up, look at that. That blue, we're telling it to become white. If I bring this over here, that blue, we're telling it to become black. This is a great tool, right here, this little hue saturation selection here that we don't often use. Because what I can do is, I can also adjust the spread of that color blue. So if it selects the color blue, but there's still some things that are kinda hanging out around there, that may be transitioning into the cyans, if I grab this edge of this slider right here, I can bring this over and start getting more of that cyan color included in the color blue that I'm now telling it to be a little bit more on the color white. We zoom out. It's very subtle, but it makes a huge difference. In the end, it will make a huge difference. If we zoom into here, you can see that. Right now it's set to pretty bright, so we might wanna drop that down to the darker color. And that looks pretty good. So let's look at our before and after so far. That's straight out of Adobe Camera Raw. That's after tone. That's after dodge and burn. That's after the color yellow. That's after our hue saturation. We don't have to stop there either with color. If I go ahead and add something like a selective color adjustment on top of this, and we go into the color yellow, we can now tell that yellow to get a little bit more green. The thing about green things in photos, a lot of times grass looks yellow and dingy in photographs, and it doesn't look green. Our eye wants to actually see green. It doesn't want to see yellow. It wants to see green. So I'm gonna pop that up and make that yellow a little bit more yellow, add a little bit more cyan to there to make it a little bit more green. And if we go into the color magenta, if I drop this down, it's gonna get a lot more green. That's not the green we wanna see. (laughing) That's electric, offensive, disgusting green. We don't wanna do that. So we want more of maybe a little bit magenta to round that off. Look at that selective color, and see how it's getting more green, but it's not offensively green. It's looking pretty good. If it did, we could just drop that opacity down to something like 65%, if you don't like how heavy it is. Go heavy, taper it down with the opacity. I can even change the blend modes. If as you were adjusting this, you noticed that your color yellow that you spent so much time to get that color with that right luminance value, is starting to get darker from the decisions that you're making with this selective color. If you change this to color instead of luminosity, that will ensure that only the color of this selective color starts affecting the image below, allows the underlying layers luminance to see through. From here, we have a bunch of different options that we can make, 'cause right now we've got the tone good, we've got the color good, now, we can start venturing into some of our effect base areas. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna click on, let's say, let's do a color burn. This color burn is gonna pop open, and it's gonna tell you, use the color picker to select what color you would like to burn the image with. I press Continue. I can select which color I want to come across as a color burn kinda color cast along the image. So if I get maybe a little bit more of a deeper cyan color, right about here. Yeah, I like that pretty good. And if I color dodge, it's gonna ask me what color do I wanna use to add to my highlight areas. Think that yellow was looking pretty good right around here. These are subtle. But what are these doing? Just like we talked about before, this is a solid color fill set to 15% fill with the color dodge. This one is 15% blue set to color burn not color dodge. If we click down here, you can see that. Now these also, because you see these little squares right here, they have some blend if attached to them as well. So if I double click there, you can see the blind if that's happening there to protect some of those highlight areas. So looking at that selective color, things are getting a little bit on the overly green side. So I'll probably drop that opacity down on that selective color, and maybe do the same thing on this yellow here. Drop that opacity down, 'cause it's getting a little too yellow for me, a little too vibrant. But that's the thing, just because you committed to this down here doesn't mean you have to be stuck with it. We're doing all non-destructive layers. All these layers that you see on here are not actually hurting our bottom layer at all. They're just building up, and building up, and building up, and building up. And there should be a series of effects that are just a very subtle build up to bring the image to where you want it to be. So if I were to click on here, and go to, let's go to another one. Let's do the Gradient Spotlight. This tool is gonna use the gradient that we talked about during our custom creative effects. Let's use a gradient fill. If we double click on that gradient fill, we can move it around and make basically like a little flashlight that we point around the image to get exactly where we want the viewer's eye to try and navigate to. So maybe something around here. Press OK. With this, it does have some blend if attached with it as well. You can see that what it's doing is it's making sure because of the hard mix blend mode that's being used, it could make it very bright. So what it's doing is it's tapering down the brightness of that and not allowing those whites to blow out, essentially. Press OK. And then one of the things that I do a lot is gonna be that radiance action to really make it glowing and vibrant. So if go ahead and press that Radiance action, that's actually probably gonna take some time, because it's a smart object. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna press CTRL, SHIFT, ALT, and E, and just show you what that radiance is. It's gonna make a stamp of all my visible layers there. We're gonna set that to the blend mode of soft light. And it's already gonna make things a little bit more punchy, more powerful. We're gonna go to filter, gonna go to blur, and go to Gaussian blur. Blur that to get a nice radiating glow around the image. It's gonna be really powerful right off the bat, just by the nature of it, by the nature of soft light, but that's okay. Just drop down the opacity a little bit. And then if you don't want it to affect a certain area in your photograph, let's say we don't want it to affect our highlights, we could say, no highlights. If we don't want it to affect our dark areas, we say, no darks. And now it's only boosting areas that would in mid-tones through our highlights. If we say, only our mid-tones, now that glow is only affecting our mid-tone areas, and it's very subtle. What happens when we press those buttons? Those buttons are a custom blend if settings. So this one will make sure that only the black areas are being affected by that. If I click that, it's gonna reset it to only the black areas, no black areas, no highlights, only highlights, or mid-tones. I'll go ahead and minimize that down. If we double click inside here, you'll see what it's doing with blend if. It's automatically setting that for us. And then one of the last things I'd probably do here is probably add something like a vignette. We'll do a box vignette for this one. Very subtle box vignette that we could then drop the opacity on that. And we can also use blend if on a folder. So this folder is the box vignette folder. If I click on this and say, no highlights, or only my mid-tones, or only my dark areas, that vignette that's inside there is only gonna affect the dark areas and not the mid-tones or the highlights. So if we look at the overall before, there's the overall before. There's the overall after. Before, after. Very subtle type of effect. If we wanted to color grade this a little bit more, we could do that as well too. Color grading is not a step that I would include in the color phase. The color phase is where you're getting the color image to look right. Color grading is an effect. If I wanted to get a warm color grade, I would use probably something like this. And if I wanted a cool color grade, I would use this. But that's just the gradient map. So we can change those colors to whatever colors we want. So I could make my darker, darkest dark areas, maybe I want that to be one of the greens that are in here, like this forest color green right around here. It's not selecting it. Ah, it's because we don't have a stamp underneath. That's okay. We'll just choose our own dark color. And then maybe for the highlights we choose a brownish color. It's very subtle. It's only set to 15% on the color, but this is what it would look like if we were to bring it all the way up to 100%. We could change it to something like soft light. Soft light or color are really good for color grading. I'll just leave that in color. Very subtle. But see what it's doing there, especially on those highlight areas, it's even toning down that water a little bit more by adding that color grade towards the end. That's something I'd be pretty happy with. So I'm gonna go ahead and show you one more way that we can do this with another image. So this is from Grinter's Farm. What I wanna show you here, that was a landscape inside a forest. But oftentimes, the landscapes that we are competing with are gonna be a sky and a foreground, which can be a little bit more difficult to do. But in Adobe Camera Raw, it can actually be pretty easy to do that. And we're actually gonna do a lot of the steps that we do. We can get a lot of that done in Adobe Camera Raw before transitioning into Photoshop. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna open these images. Open in it in Camera Raw. And I'm gonna show you something we haven't done yet, which is merging for HDR. Now you see these are bracketed. When I do sunset shoots, a lot of times I will bracket because there's a lot of dynamic range that happens in a sunset shoot versus just going into the woods. That's a very low dynamic range. Probably somewhere around seven stops. This is probably somewhere around 15 to 20 stops of dynamic range. So it's gonna take bracketing in order for me to get all the stuff in that I need. Look at this example, the sky looks good. We got some detail in those dark areas. And here the foreground looks good. So we can use the HDR merge process in Adobe Camera Raw. If I click on the bottom one, click on the top on, and then I press Merge to HDR. It's gonna start compiling a preview for me of what it would look like if these were slammed together, and it goes ahead and mixes the light from both images, or I should say all three images. Deghosting, there was no ghost in this farm that I know of. But if we go ahead and change this to something like low or medium, that's gonna be based on how much movement there was in the photo. If there was any movement in the photo, I'd probably wanna set this to something like medium. And I can say Show Overlay to show me what exactly would be ghosting in this and what it's fixing. What it's doing is it's basically assessing any movement in the image so that it will not included that into the compiled image. Otherwise, you'll see what looks like a ghosted edge around maybe, I think, one of the tops of one of these flowers, or something like that, the sunflowers. And it looks like there's no ghosting in here. Nothing was moving. So we'll just turn that off, and we'll say merge. It's gonna ask you to save this as a dng. We're gonna save it as it's own dng here. We'll just call this MergedHDR. Save. And with a photo like this, it doesn't have a whole lot that I would need to go into Photoshop for, because I wanna do a lot of this stuff right here in Adobe Camera Raw. You can see that it automatically sets the auto settings after it does that merge to HDR. It's trying to give you a really good HDR looking photograph to begin with. Looking at the highlights up there. Opening up these shadows down here. And this is something I might end up doing for this image. And I know that because looking at it, if I just bring these shadows down like this, it's a little bit dark underneath. I wanna bring out what's happening in these sunflowers here. So I'm gonna bring that up, maybe adjust the overall temperature of the entire image, maybe make it a little bit more magenta overall. And I like this to start with. And it doesn't really look that good back here, but check this out. If we go ahead and go over to our graduated filter tool, and we drop the exposure down here on our graduated filter tool, and I click and drag this down here, we can start working with what's happening up there in the sky. Notice, I have a big piece of sensor dust up there too. We can fix that too. I'll boost the contrast here. Maybe I'll add a little blue to there, a little magenta to that sky. Look at that. Look at that. Now we're using color temperature here, not necessarily as something that's going to fix our image, but using color temperature as an artistic effect to make that sunset a lot more attractive and beautiful. Bring up the highlights a little bit to get a little glow back there. Contrast, yeah, that'll be good. Maybe drop our whites a little bit. There we go. Make it a little bit more dark and intense. If I increase the clarity, that's gonna be all the details back there. I can decrease that clarity to kinda make it look like those clouds are kinda disappearing. You see that? So I bring that down. Everything's starting to kinda fade away back there. If I use dehaze, not good. (laughing) Not good. But look what dehaze shows me. It shows me I have two sensor spots up there. Gross. Let's go to zero. So now, I'll go over to, I gotta fix those spots. So I'll go to spot removal tool. Visualize spots, turn it on. Bring that all the way up. And I got three, four. Awesome. Click, click, click, click. (audience muttering) and one right there. We'll call that good. That's good, okay. So now I got that sky looking pretty good. I can go into my radio filter, and I could increase the exposure here that's happening inside this flower. Increase the exposure. Increase the contrast there. Reduce the highlights. Increase the Yellow. One of the things we can do with this also is increase that clarity a little bit too and make those kinda pop out to the foreground. But it looks a little contrived, right? So what do we do? Well, we can come down to our mask. We can make a luminance mask, and we can start feathering some of that black so that some of those pits of black start to appear from underneath. Turn the mask off so you can see what this looks like on the fly. See that? We're allowing the back to show through. So the settings we have in this radio filter are only applying themselves to those highlight areas. That looks pretty good. And if I like that, I can right click it, say Duplicate, drag it over to this one. Maybe increase that exposure a little bit. Let's go back to that graduated filter. We can probably deepen them a little bit more. Increase that saturation back there a little bit, and then do the same here. And then open that up in Photoshop. So there I did a lot of tonal adjustments, a lot of tone and color adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw before even coming over into Photoshop. But I could still assess what the tones would look like in this image. Make my tone masks. And now I'm doing these luminosity masks on top of a good baseline image that came from Adobe Camera Raw that was basically an HDR photograph. Look at those darks. I do wanna darken them down, but I don't want it to happen to my sky. I just want it to happen to that foreground area. And if that's the case, I'll ALT or Option click on this luminance mask, press B for my brush tool, and brush with the color black on that mask. So just because you have those luminosity masks that you created, doesn't mean you have to be stuck with them. You can still use all the things we've talked about throughout this course like masking. Go into the mid-tones. It got a little bit darker. And then our highlights. I like how bright it's getting inside the sunflower, but I'm not quite liking how bright it's getting in the sky. ALT or Option click. And then just brush on that sky. Or make it a little bit easier for me. Use the gradient tool. The gradient tool, if it's set to black and white, will give you a black and white gradient. (laughing) So let's set this to black to transparent. When we set it to black to transparent, it will start from black, and then move it's way into transparency. The other thing about putting this to black to transparent is you see I clicked four or five times, and it made that transparent mask? If it's black to white, every single time you click, it'll reshape that mask. If it's set from black to transparent, it will only allow it to, it'll build up, essentially. So you can build up as many as you want there. So make that. And then, again, I'd get a little more tedious with my brush. Brush out that sky. So now it's only controlling any of the highlight areas that are in the most close to me foreground area. Before and after. So it looked good in Adobe Camera Raw before, but it still was a very baseline image. So once we bring it in here, and we start modifying those luminosity masks, and that tone, and that color, we start really getting into there. If we go into our selective color, that was for tone. Color, go into our greens. Maybe make them a little more magenta, a little more yellow. Add a little cyan to them. Then move to our yellows, and brighten up the amount of yellow that's in them. If I don't wanna make them blue. (chuckles) Just as a refresher with these selective color tools, with the selective color tool, what it's doing is, it's looking at the yellow color, and it's increasing the amount of yellow in there, or it's mixing that yellow with blue to tone it down, or taper it down. Magenta. Makes it a little bit more rich. How about a little red there? Get us a nice sunset type of look. One of the things we can add to this if we really wanna make that sunset kinda flare out a little bit more, is if we were to add a gradient to the top. Now we're starting to get into some of our effects. Linear gradient form the top. We'll just press OK right here, 'cause what we're gonna do is we're gonna change this to soft light, and then double click that gradient again so I can see what colors I'm gonna be adding to this. Trippy, no, don't want that. Don't want that. So that might work, and I will press reverse. I like it like that. That looks pretty good. Again, I'm not really paying too much attention to what's happening to the foreground, because I just want this to happen to the sky to give me kind of a dusk type look. So I'll click on that. Use the brush tool, set it to black. Paint this area out. Maybe drop that opacity to make it a little less potent. So you can start shaping you own light here. And you can start shaping your own light, shaping the color there, however you wanna do that. One thing that I can continue with this too is if I wanted to continue on, I could just press the dodge and burn, and continue to shape that light and the color. Dodging out more of this area here to brighten those up. Brighten up the petals. ALT or Option to burn. Brighten those up. So the difference here is that, the difference between this image and the image that we used before is that we're separating foreground and background, doing different things with the foreground and the background. With the other image, the whole image was pretty easy to edit because it was just all the same thing. But then other landscape images, you're gonna have a division and a separation between foreground and background. You always have to be thinking about what's happening with the foreground and the background, and how you can separate them using masks, and just brushing in with white, or brushing in with black to push, and pull, and reveal those things. We haven't done anything outside of anything that we've really gone over throughout this entire course. We're just building up on top of everything that we've already learned from the very beginning of this course all the way to the very end of this course, and using all the layers, and all the tools that are within those layers. The opacity, the blend if, the blend modes, the fill. All those thing that we've talked about build up to this point, multiple layers, stacking layers on top of each other, and knowing that whatever layer is right here is not necessary directly affecting the layers that are happening up here, and that they're all working from basically the top down. So it's a build up, stacking process. Now, if we do some modifications to the layers down here, it will affect what happens to the top because we aren't doing anything destructive. We're never doing anything destructive. What I mean by that is, if I were to turn off these darks right here, which actually, it looks a little bit better with that off. So I'm gonna go here and just drop that opacity a little bit. It will affect what's happening above it, but they aren't necessarily interacting with one another. It's just, what's happening on top is not gonna have quite as much of affect on those dark areas. That's where things can get muddy. If as you're building things up, and you're building up, building up in your layers pallet, and things are getting muddy, instead of beating yourself up on the top of the layers pallet, go down to the things that you did in your tone and your color, and start manipulating them. See if that, maybe if you drop those darks a little bit, and drop the opacity on those darks a little bit, then up here it might start to brighten up a little bit. 'Cause everything all interconnected at that point. Layers on the top, we wanna work from the bottom to the top. But then if things are getting muddy at the top, start working your way back through to see. Turn off layers. Turn on layers. There's nothing wrong with. And you don't do this right every single time. Work flow is something that you just, you play around with. You might be watching this and say, well, you intuitively went to all these different things. Well, yeah, I processed hundreds of landscape photographs a month, and I critique a lot of landscape photographs every month on my website. So it's really easy for me to go to these things. But for you, just experiment. Play around, turn things on, turn things off. If you don't like it, delete it. Nothing is out the window here. If I press ALT or Option and look at our before, we haven't destroyed any of the pixels on the original image. We're just building up layers on the top to get the overall look that we want in the end. And everyone is gonna process this image differently. Every single person will, and I think that's the great thing about this, is that the tone and the color part, yeah, you can all pretty much get that part down. But transitioning into those artistic effects, and starting to get this image feeling more uniquely yours, is gonna make you different from the next person. So just like in the portrait workflow, we talked about quite a bit. We started with where do we start in Bridge. And then from Bridge we went into Adobe Camera Raw. We did some slight modifications on that first image in Adobe Camera Raw. Brought them into Photoshop. We worked on tone, color, and our effects. Then we worked on another image that had a foreground and a background that needed some separation and some division so that you could see what happens when you push and pull the foreground and the background with masking. If you'd like to follow me, you can go ahead and do so at I'd be glad to have you around my little sphere of f64 Academy. And the next lesson, we're gonna be talking about the composite workflow. So we're gonna take everything that we've learned about portraits, everything we've learned about landscapes, and we're gonna incorporate a portrait into a landscape.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Bootcamp Plug-In
Painted Backgrounds
1 – Intro to Photoshop Bootcamp
6 – Intro to Raw
11 – Interface and Setup
16 – Intro to Cropping and
22 – Intro to
26 – Intro to Layer
43 – Intro to
50 – Intro to Cleanup
58 – Intro to Shapes and
63 – Intro to Smart
69 – Intro to Image
74 – Intro to
81 –
88 – Intro to Editing
96 – Custom
102 – Natural
107 – Intro to Portrait Workflow.pdf
110 – Intro to Landscape
112 – Intro to
115 – Rothko and Interfaces (Bonus Video).zip
33 – Intro to Masks and
106 - Frequency

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Student Work