Killer Photoshop effects 11-15
Best Photoshop Effects: 11 Cross-processing effect using Curves
Cross-processing effects were traditionally achieved by processing film in the wrong chemicals to produce complex and striking colour shifts. The same thing can be achieved digitally using a Curves Adjustment Layer.
If you open the Preset menu in the Curves Panel, you’ll see a Cross Process (RGB) effect’s been set up already. The digital cross-processing is created with adjustments to the individual red, green and blue colour channels.
The Photoshop preset boosts the contrast in all three, but applies a greater adjustment to the green channel. You can create your own effects, though, by starting from scratch, so revert to the defaults, then select any one of the three colour channels and start making adjustments to the shape of the curve.
Best Photoshop Effects: 12 Boost contrast with a Curves Adjustment Layer
Curves adjustments can be used to alter the contrast in different areas of the tonal range, and the most common adjustment is a boost to the midtone contrast with an ‘S-shaped’ curve.
First, click the middle of the curve to add a central control point. Now click and drag downwards in the lower part of the curve to darken the shadows, then click and drag upwards in the upper part of the curve to lighten the highlights.
This makes this curve steeper in the middle (midtone) section, increasing the contrast and saturation.
Best Photoshop Effects: 13 Correct a colour cast with the
white balance tool in Adobe Camera Raw
If you’re shooting in artificial lighting, it can be hard to get the white balance exactly right – it’s quite possible that none of the regular presets match the lighting exactly.
The solution? Open the image in Adobe Camera Raw then select the White Balance tool. Now identify an area in the image that you know should be a neutral tone (mid-grey is better than black or white) and click it.
With any luck, the colours will be fixed at the first attempt, but sometimes objects prove to be not quite as neutral as you thought, so you may need to click one or two more areas to get the perfect result.
Best Photoshop Effects: 14 Boost midtones with the Clarity slider
Curves adjustments are the traditional way to boost midtone contrast, but they work across the whole image and make dark areas darker and light areas lighter.
The Clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw is a great alternative. It applies localised rather than global contrast adjustments, and has the effect of making objects stand out more clearly without making the picture too contrasty overall.
It’s great for adding punch to images shot in flat lighting, or for making skies look more dramatic. Be careful how much you apply though – it’s much stronger in Adobe Camera Raw 7 than in previous versions.
Best Photoshop Effects: 15 Convert to mono with a Black
& White Adjustment Layer
You can turn a colour image into black and white simply by converting the RGB image to greyscale or using the Desaturate command, but you won’t get the best results.
The trick is to maximise the tonal differences between the colours in the original as they’re turned into shades of grey.
Traditionally, you’d do this with Photoshop’s Channel mixer, but the smarter solution now is to use a Black & White Adjustment Layer.
This offers finer control, with six ‘channels’ including both primary and complementary colours, or you can just choose a ready-made conversion from the Preset list.
PAGE 1: Killer Photoshop effects 1-5
PAGE 2: Killer Photoshop effects 6-10
PAGE 3: Killer Photoshop effects 11-15
PAGE 4: Killer Photoshop effects 16-20
PAGE 5: Killer Photoshop effects 21-25
PAGE 6: Killer Photoshop effects 26-30
PAGE 7: Killer Photoshop effects 31-34