Thursday, January 18, 2007
Build your image corrections, step by step, using layers
Using the Eyedropper tool on the toolbar, I clicked on a dark magenta on the tail. Then, I enlarged the image to better see the side of the plane. I added a new layer by clicking the Add Layer icon on the bottom of the Layers palette (the icon just left of the trash can). Next, I used a soft brush to paint the color over the magenta on the side and front of the plane. I changed brush size, as needed, to make it fit, and erased places where I went too far. It should be close, but doesn't have to be perfect.
The color was right, but it looked like a blob. Another layer mode came to the rescue: Color. This applies the layer to the underlying layers, but only in terms of color. The tones of the original side of the plane now came through. It was a little strong, so I backed it off by turning down the opacity of the layer. In addition, I found places where the color went where it wasn't supposed to, so I erased those places. The photo had improved considerably since its beginning.
10. Color Detail
I now noticed that the gold stripe was weak. I used the same technique to add a new layer, sample a good gold, paint it over the stripe, change the layer to Color mode and clean up the painting. Actually, I discovered that I couldn't get a good gold from sampling the weak colors on the plane. I sampled the best I could, then opened the Color Picker by double-clicking the foreground color. I picked a better-looking gold, painted it on, changed the mode, then toned it down at the end by adjusting opacity.
The plane looked good at this point, but I wasn't satisfied with the photo. I felt the hills in the background were too bright—out of balance with the plane. I wanted to control only them, so I went back to Color Range and selected the hills. I used a new Curves adjustment layer to darken them slightly (remember that the selected area comes in automatically in the layer mask). You don't have to apply a lot of movement to the curve in Curves for this sort of adjustment. I also painted out the effect by the plane's wheel over the ground because I thought it made the wheel disappear a bit.
Page 6 of 7