Coloring An Environmental Portrait In Photoshop
Yesterday we took you behind the scenes and showed you the lighting that went into this image. Today we’re going to clean it up in photoshop and make the colors really pop. Before doing any color work, it’s always important to clean up distractions in the photo. These are usually small things, like bright little spots of light and the electrical boxes on the wall. Small distractions like these can easily be taken care of with the clone stamp tool. A tip when using the clone stamp – try to cover things up in one continuous brush stroke, rather than sampling over and over again. This will give you a more seamless cover-up.
Creating a Glow Around The Match
Let’s say we want to make the match that’s lighting our subject’s face even brighter. We can do this quite easily by creating a curves adjustment layer and pulling up both the Red and RGB channels. Pulling up the RGB makes the image brighter, while pulling up the Red Channel increases the reds in the photo. You could even pull the Blue Channel down to add more yellows, as blue is the opposite of yellow. Now that we have our curves layer looking the way we want it, we can make a selection on the layer mask that only affects the area that that match is in. Adding a gaussian blur to the mask gets rid of the sharp edge and makes it appear to be natural. Not only does this create a cool effect, but it also helps draw attention to the subject’s face.
Pumping Up The Colors
Here’s a really cool way to add color to your shadows. Start by creating a color fill adjustment layer. Right click on the layer and select blending options. By moving the underlying layer sliders, we can get the color to only show up in the shadows. Not only does this add color, but it also eliminates some detail in the shadows. This helps to make the image less distracting and draws our eye more to our subject’s face. We can also use a combination of curves and levels adjustment layers to add more blues and oranges to the image, giving it a more cinematic feel.