I Spent Yesterday at the Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS3 Power Tour

November 13th, 2007

I spent the day yesterday (Monday 11/12) and I am excited about passing on several ideas that I picked up. The most exciting is that Dave Cross (the instructor from Kelby Training) talked about bracketing using camera raw which is something I’ve talked about briefly in a couple of previous posts. The idea is that you can use single RAW image to create two images from, one exposed for the highlights and one exposed for the shadows and then combine the 2 images and using the highlights from one image and the shadows from the second image. The difficult or time consuming part of this technique is developing the mask that controls which part of each image is use in the composite image. Dave demonstrated a technique that does NOT require a mask. Wow, this makes this technique a breeze. The only down side is this technique doesn’t work identically the same on every image. The images like the one above that have all the lacy tree branches in front of the bright sky are of coarse the most difficult.

After I got back home from the seminar I took one of my old images of a twilight shot where the sky was blown out and quickly and easily recovered the delicately lit sky. The basic idea of this technique is that you combine the highlight and shadow parts of the images using layer blending. On the image above I used the difference blending mode. I need to try some more examples and then I’ll do a tutorial that shows this technique step by step. I think this technique will work nicely for bright windows. I also need to check out if this works on Photoshop elements… I think it does. I believe it also works on most older versions of Photoshop since the layer blending features have been the same in Photoshop for a long time.

This seminar gave me a refreshed perspective on all the great advanced techniques that Photoshop has to offer in this new photo-editing world where Lightroom can do so much of what I used to do in Photoshop. There are still plenty great real estate photography post processing techniques that you need Photoshop for!

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3 Responses to “I Spent Yesterday at the Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS3 Power Tour”

  • Looking forward to this Larry.

    From my own experimentation, the HDR in Photochop CS2 was terrible.
    I never had much success with Photomatix, pictures looked pasty and terrible.
    Although I have recently obtained Photochop CS3, I have not played with the HDR yet.

    From Scott Kelby’s CS2 book, I learnt the trick of copying the layer and using Screen mode to increase the brightness. Then, you can use a layer mask (often a gradient) to even the scene out.

    I sometimes use two versions of the same NEF file, one exposed for one area, and another exposed for the rest. This produces “ok” results, however you can never fully fix thru-the-window if it’s blown out too much to begin with.

    Given we always shoot windows in our scenes, a quick and fuss-free way of good HDR is always handy for RE.

  • How is this different in what HDR software does?

  • Anonymous,
    This is a great question. I did a post recently ( that showed the difference between HDR and masking a technique very similar to the technique I’m referring to here. They are similar, but I feel that I have more control over the final out come when using Photoshop. When I do this same blending with Photomatix I don’t feel I have as much control as with masking or blending in PS.

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