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I also enjoyed the fast pace and only wished that it was a few hours longer. Totally worth my time, though. Essential Skills " by Mark Galer and Philip Andrews Learn the fine art of isolating and preserving delicate and complex shadows for transplantation to exotic new backgrounds. Mark Galer reveals how to introduce a world of exciting textures to your ever so subtle The flower for this tutorial was photographed using a Fuji FinePix on a cold winters morning in Victoria whilst the sand shot on Kodachrome film hails from the Great Indian Desert in Rajasthan.
This is how! Botanical Health Warning: The delicate petals of the flower can be cooked, frazzled or fried by the heat of a tungsten lamp in just a few minutes. Be prepared to work quickly or use soft window light as a low-temperature alternative. Duplicate the background layer. Just be sure to capture the subject and its shadow.
The surface used does not have to be white, but should be relatively texture-free. This will avoid mismatched textures when the shadow is transported to its new home. Use the gradient tool in Quick Mask mode. Step 2 The initial steps in this tutorial aim to reduce the background tone to white and leave the shadows intact. The fall-off of light from the directional light source the white background gradually becoming grey on the side furthest from the light can be balanced using an adjustment layer.
Drag a gradient from the brighter side of the image to the darker side of the image. A gradient in the default masking color will appear. Exit Quick Mask mode to reveal the resulting selection. Use a levels adjustment layer to balance the background tonality. The active selection will create a layer mask for the adjustment layer.
Be careful not to loose the shadows in this process. Select the subject without its shadow. A graphics tablet can help to make light work of this task. Click on the layer mask icon in the layers palette to apply a layer mask to the background copy layer if using Elements the selection can be used to delete the background on this layer. A graphics tablet can be used to make light work of tricky selections such as the one performed in this demonstration tutorial.
Drag the background copy layer to a position above the levels adjustment layer. Step 5 Drag the background copy layer to a position above the levels adjustment layer. This will ensure the adjustment layer created in the previous step does not affect your subject. This threshold adjustment layer will help in the process of isolating the subtle shadows and enable us to drop the remainder of the background to pure white The first step is to temporarily render all of the pixels below the flower on the top layer black.
Check the positioning of the layers in the layers palette if your own result does not match that achieved in the tutorial. Move the Gamma and Highlight sliders to render the grey tones of the background paper white. The shadows should now appear clearly defined. Unless the background is blemish free and very evenly lit not all of the background will be rendered white by this step. Have no fear the whitewash step follows. Paint out any remaining dark areas that are not part of the subjects shadow.
Now paint out anything that is not a shadow. Import a new background. Step 9 The threshold layer has now served its purpose and its visibility can be switched off, or the layer deleted by dragging it to the trash icon in the layers palette.