Stylish photo processing in Photoshop

In this lesson we will learn to do interesting photo processing, such effects are often found in many photos on the Internet. A similar effect can be achieved by using various plugins.
I have nothing against the use of plug-ins, but only if a person knows how to reproduce such an effect without them, and uses it just to save time. For beginners, before taking up a lesson, I advise you first to thoroughly study theory and fundamentals.

Step 1. Open the photo and duplicate the layer.

Step 2. We remove the noise from the photo in any way you know.

Step 3. Transform the top layer into a smart object. To do this, right-click on the layer in the palette Layers (Layers) and in the drop-down list select Convert to smart object (Convert to smart-object).

Step 4. Apply the command to the smart object Image – Correction – Light / Shadows (Image – Adjustment – Shadows / Highlights).

My settings are shown only as an example. For your image you have to pick them up yourself.
We converted the layer into a smart object in order to be able to quickly adjust the parameters of the command in the next step. Light / Shadows to get the result we want.

Step 5. Create an adjustment layer Black and white (BlackWhite). To do this, click on the icon in the layers palette and select the appropriate adjustment layer in the drop-down list.

When the adjustment layer window appears, click Yes, then change the layer blending mode to Overlap (Overlay). To achieve the desired effect, you can use other blending modes, for example Hard Light, Linear Light etc. Do not be afraid to experiment! That’s what we got at this stage.

Step 6. Double-click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer to open the settings dialog box. There is plenty of room for experimentation. For example, to darken the sky, you need to move the sliders of blue and blue to the left, etc.

On the layer mask with a black brush, paint the areas where you do not want the effect to appear. I have limited the zone of action mainly to the sky and skin of the girl.

In addition, you can adjust the settings command Sveta Shadows on a layer with a smart object.
But what happens if you change the blend mode of the adjustment layer to Hard light (Hard Light). The effect is enhanced, the sky turns darker, the drama of the image intensifies.

Step 7. To enhance the contrast, create a correction layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map). Select a black to white gradient and click Yes.

Next, change the layer blending mode. There may also be many options. For my image is more suitable Multiplication (Multiply). You may have modes. Overlap, Soft Light, Hard Light or others.
On the layer mask, draw a black brush on the areas where the effect is undesirable. Here is the result.

This is where the base part of the effect is over. Next, I will show actions with which you can vary this effect by making accents on color, contrast, tonal transitions, or soften the picture a little. You can apply these methods, both individually and together, in any combination.

Step 8. To begin, create the result of merging all the layers in the new layer. To do this, press the key combination ALT + SHIFT + CTRL + E. Then apply Filter – Other – Color Contrast (Filter – Other – High Pass).

The radius can be chosen large enough. Change the blending mode to Overlap or Hard light. Discolour the layer by pressing SHIFT + CTRL + U.

As you can see, the image has become even more contrasting and detailed. But noise and artifacts can appear on the skin and in separate parts of the image. Use the tool to get rid of them. Blur. Choose a small brush size and swipe through areas with noises.

Step 9. Again create the result of merging all the layers in the new layer. To do this, press the key combination ALT + SHIFT + CTRL + E. Then apply the command Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a small radius, so as to slightly blur the image.

Then apply the command Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter – Noise – Add noise).
Check the box Monochromatic. The noise should be fine, depending on the size of the image, a value from 3 to 10% is chosen.

Next, create a layer mask by clicking the icon in the layers palette.

Fill the mask with 50% gray. To do this, select the foreground color in the toolbar with the values ​​R, G, B = 128.

Then press ALT + DEL.
As you can see, our picture softened a bit, the transitions between colors and contrast areas became smoother. Adjust the transparency of the layer to your taste, with a black brush on the mask you can display individual details.

Step 10. Create an adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance). Here you can give photos the effect of cross-processing or film photos.

I wish you all creative success!
Author: Evgeny Kartashov

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