Coloring Monochrome Images Digitally

written by: Tony Worobiec

One of the possible drawbacks of abandoning the darkroom is the danger that some of the more quirky techniques risk being lost, and the hand-coloring of black-and-white photographs is a good case in point. Before the advent of color film, if a photographer wanted to present his work in color, he was required to apply subtle dyes to a silver gelatin print. This technique has enjoyed a revival in recent years, but it is a time-consuming exercise requiring a fair measure of skill. In order to recreate the delicate colors one associates with this technique, the pigments need to be Read more »


Keep it Simple

The ideal print process should be invisible
written by: Al Weber

In 1980, on assignment for the Finnish Museum of Architecture, I made this photograph of Resurrection Chapel in Turku, Finland. Architect Erik Bryggman created what has become one of Finland’s proudest structures during what the Finns call the Winter War and what we know as World War II. To my taste, it is simple, but profusely elegant. The intentional quality of light and graceful, romantic carvings are but two of the buildings outstanding features. I decided to use the light that was there, with no supplementary assistance, to keep the carvings understated but visible. Existing contrast was great to the Read more »


Eliminate Harsh Tones and Improve Your Photos

How the Shadow/Highlight tool, History brush, and Dodge tool can enhance portraits
written by: Ctein

There are many kinds of f laws that make a photo scream “amateur,” but poor tone and contrast characteristics are among the most common. Amateur photographs often have a lot of midrange contrast, with tones in the highlights and the shadows pushed far towards the pure black and white. Faces suffer especially. They acquire hard lines and sunken eyes, aging a person 10 years, and excessive contrast can make a placid expression seem glowering. Fortunately, problems like these can be easily fixed in the computer (unlike, say, awful focus or composition). The Shadow/Highlight adjustment Difficulties arise when you want to Read more »

Creating Panoramas with Photoshop CS, CS2, or CS3

written by: Barry Haynes

I’ve been making panoramas with Photoshop for a long time. I’ve made them using 35mm film images and digital camera images– many of them without the very helpful Photomerge filter in Photoshop CS3. This article assumes you’re shooting with a digital SLR camera or some digital camera that allows you to shoot in Camera Raw mode. If you are not using a digital camera, or if your camera doesn’t shoot in Raw mode, then the steps would be similar after the section about the Raw filter. Although you can create panoramas with earlier versions of Photoshop, I’d recommend using Photoshop Read more »


Digital Infrared, Part II: Post-Capture Processing

In part II of this series: Developing the potential of your infrared captures
written by: Lloyd Chambers

Unlike color images, which can satisfy as JPEGs right out of the camera, digital infrared images almost always benefit from post-capture adjustments that bring out their unusual qualities. After all, infrared is “beyond visible,” so there is no right or wrong approach, unlike color photography. To produce compelling images, this post-processing should be done with an open mind for artistic possibilities. Infrared by its nature has no real color or brightness; unlike regular color photography, the human eye offers no guidance as to how infrared should be rendered. On the photo- graphic continuum, visible-light color photography maps most closely to Read more »


Vertus Fluid Mask

This powerful tool speeds up mask creation– but has a few downsides
written by: Ctein

Many folks don’t understand how valuable selections and masking are for working on their digital photos. It’s true that compositing is an important use of masking, but that isn’t the only or even the primary use of selections and masks. I’m entirely a fine- art photographer these days, and I frequently use masks to improve my photographs. Masks are way of exercising local control over a photograph. They let you control what parts of an image get affected by your manipulations. A mask is nothing more than a grayscale image that has the same dimensions as the photograph you’re working Read more »


Compositing Bracketed Photos (Part two)

written by: Barry Haynes

The image Ship Rock Fire Sunset, on the cover of my book Photoshop CS Artistry, is a composite of two bracketed photos created from one original 120 film 6×4.5 shot. In the first of this two-part article ( PT, March/April 2008), I showed you how to create and work with both digital- and film-bracketed images, and how to line up several images. Here I’ll cover exactly how this Ship Rock image was created, how to create masks from channels, and how to separately adjust the colors from each image that went into Ship Rock Fire Sunset. The following steps are Read more »

Beautiful Skin Tones

A Quick and Effective Method
written by: Mark Dubovoy

I believe that almost every photographer has been confronted by a photograph of one or more people, shot either under unknown lighting conditions or mixed lighting. Meaning that either a white-balance card (or other device) was not used, or that the lighting might be a combination of two or more of the following: daylight, flash, fluorescent, or incandescent light. The camera is usually set to Auto White Balance and the final result is an image that is not properly color balanced. I have a quick method for dealing with this situation. Everything that follows also applies to film shooters, where Read more »


Non-Destructive Split-Toning

written by: Uwe & Bettina Steinmueller

In April 2007, Photoshop C3 introduced the new, powerful Black-and-White tool. It can be used as an adjustment layer and features toning (or “tinting”). At the time, I was surprised that Photoshop did not implement the more powerful and useful split-toning of Lightroom. Toning is, after all, a popular treatment for photographs; many photographers tone shadows differently than highlights, and sometimes give the midtones yet another tone. You could say that Photoshop features the ultimate toning tools: duotones and quadtones. This is true, but this method has its price. Once you use duo-/quadtones, Photoshop switches to a different color model, Read more »

Embellishing Skies with Photoshop

written by: Dick Dickerson & Silvia Zawadzki

This column was prompted by a query from a reader in Thessalonica seeking a good Photoshop technique for darkening weak skies, especially in black-and-white. After exploring a variety of tactics, we settled on the use of Selective Color adjustment layers. This is a hugely versatile command that receives rather short-shrift in most textbooks and Web discussions dealing with Photoshop. Given its versatility, it takes some time to understand its operation. Our approach was to explore its many options using a photograph of the familiar Macbeth ColorChecker Chart. Go to the Layers palette, choose Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer, and Read more »