How to achieve creative, muted colors in Adobe Camera Raw, steps 10-18
10 Mask the whites
Check New at the top of the Adjustment Brush settings, then zoom in close to the eyes. Set a small brush size in the Brush settings, then click over the whites of the eyes to set another pin. Check Show Mask, then paint over the rest of the whites in the eyes.
11 Colour the iris
Uncheck Show Mask, then set Exposure to +0.55 and reset all the other sliders by double-clicking. Check New and paint another mask over the iris. Set Exposure to +0.20, Shadows to +13 and Saturation to +30. Click Colour and choose a light blue tone.
12 Tweak the shirt
Set another new pin in the pupil, then paint over both pupils and the edges of the iris. Set Exposure to -0.60. Next, check Auto Mask, then set a new pin for the girl’s shirt. Set Contrast to +23, Highlights to -40 and Clarity to +37.
13 Adjust the background
Create a mask over the hair (Highlights: -53, Shadows: +30, Clarity: +20). Add a mask top right (Exposure: +1.05, Shadows: +48) and another bottom right (Highlights: -56, Clarity: -39). Finally, add a mask for the board (Saturation: -15 and Clarity: -35).
14 Add a grad
Grab the Graduated Filter tool, hold Shift and drag a line down from the top of the screen towards the foreground girl’s head. The tool has the same tonal sliders as in the Adjustment Brush. Reset all sliders, then set Highlights to -54 and Shadows to +36.
15 Crop the top
Grab the Crop tool, then right-click and choose 2 to 3. Click and drag a crop box that excludes the very top and left of the image, then hit Enter to view the results of the crop. You can tweak the crop at any time simply by clicking on the Crop tool again.
16 Darken the corners
Click on the FX panel to access Adobe Camera Raw’s effects. Go to the Post Crop Vignette sliders and set Amount to -20 and Midpoint to 50. If you want to see a before-and-after vignette effect, click the Preview box at the top right of the image window.
17 Reduce noise and sharpen
Click on the Detail panel, then double-click the Zoom tool to zoom in to 100%. Set Sharpening Amount to 41, Radius to 1.2, Detail to 25 and Masking to 39 (hold Alt while dragging the Masking slider). Now set Luminance to 38 and Luminance Detail to 10.
18 Save and close
Double-click the Hand tool to go back to full-screen view. When you’re happy with your edits, click the Save Image button at the bottom left. Choose a name, location and file format, then hit Save. Click Done to save all settings and exit the Adobe Camera Raw interface.
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