February 14: #FinalEdit
When determining how you will officially publish your photograph, look at all of the options you set out for yourself with the basic edit, black and white, and the fun filters. You may not want to use one of the fun filters, but perhaps the filter did something to your photograph that inspires you for your final edit.
Below you will see my basic edited photograph, with the fun filters that are giving me the inspiration to go forward with my final edit.
While this one is not much different than the basic edited photograph, I love how deep the contrast is, which makes the colors stand out more.
This one is super inspiring to me. The way the filter made a rainbow spectrum for the lines of the water is really pushing for me to do something fun like that for my final edit.
So now, let's get started. I'm going to open up my basic edited image in Photoshop, like we've done the last several days. Make sure you have the background layer duplicated, as we have also done the last few days.
The first thing I'm going to do is deepen the contrast, as inspired by the second photo above. Go to Camera Raw Filter, as covered on February 11th and 12th. I'm going to bump my contrast up, like in the image below.
I'm also going to bump Clarity +38, and Luminance +38. This is what the image looks like now:
This is what I want to do now: I'm going to create a rainbow spectrum on the water, and mute out the background so that the saturation isn't fighting against the saturation in the water and becoming a distracting factor.
To separate the water from the background, I'm going to use my pen tool and trace the water, much like we did on February 12th with the black and white background.
Upon finishing my outline using the Pen tool, I'm going to right click, or double finger click, and select "Make Selection" from the menu that pops up:
This will create that dotted line that we've seen before. Remember to make your feather radius 0.
First, I'm going to save my dotted line as a path, so that I don't have to retrace the water later. Go over to where your layers are, and select Paths. Make sure "Work Path" is highlighted. Now, click on the 4 lines, which will open up a menu. You are going to "Save Path...". Click OK on the new window that pops up. Now my path is saved.
We are now going to separate our selected area from the layer it's in now. You do this by going to the main menu at the top of your screen for Photoshop, go over to Layer, New > Layer Via Cut.
To get to the gradient presets, go to the top of your screen, and next to the image that matches the gradient button in your toolbox, you'll see a gradient bar. Click on the down arrow to view more. I will be using the rainbow gradient, which is the bottom left one, so I am going to click on it.
Make sure your dotted line is still there. If it's not, go back to paths and make your selection again. If the dotted line is not there, the gradient will apply to the whole image, and not just the selected area.
Now, to apply the gradient, I'm going to click at the top of my selected area and drag the line down to the bottom of the selected area. This will apply the gradient. My first attempt, shown below, is at an opacity of 64%, which is obviously too strong of an opacity. You can see the opacity at the top of the screen.
I'm going to undo this move, and move the opacity down until I feel the opacity is perfect for what I'm trying to achieve. Below, you will see the image with the opacity of gradient I desire, which is set at 25%.
Now, I'm going to desaturate the background. Select "background copy" which should have the water cut out of it. With that layer selected, go to the main menu, to Image, down to Adjustments, to Vibrance. This will open a small window for you. I'm not going to touch Vibrance, as this will just make the background look washed out. Instead, I'm going to adjust the saturation down, in this case, to -65.
Notice how the rainbow colors in the water stand out more from the background since there is less competition for attention now. Next, I'm going to select Layer 1, which is the layer with just the water, and I'm going to open up the same Vibrance window. Except this time, my goal is to make the colors stand out more.
My vibrance is bumped up +10, with Saturation bumped up +22.
With Layer 1 still selected, I'm going to adjust the contrast and brightness of the water now. To do this, go to the main menu, to Image, to Adjustments, and select "Brightness/Contrast". I'm going to lower the brightness to -17, and bump the contrast up +43.
I now feel highly satisfied with how my image looks, and I'm going to Save As... it as a Photoshop File and a JPEG file. I'm going to put an F at the end of the file name so I know it's the final edited image.
Photographer, visual artist, and customer service extraordinaire.