[Third in a series on toning with PS Adjustment Layers]
Here’s a cool tip for those blue skies that could really use a polarizer—you know, you thought you had it in the camera bag, but didn’t. What to do? Here’s a way to fix it in Photoshop, using Adjustment Layers.
I’m starting with an image of an arbor that I shot early one morning. Maybe this doesn’t really need a polarizer, but it will work for our lesson here. The only thing I’ve done to this image is a simple Levels adjustment, setting end points for the highlight and shadow sliders.
With your Adjustment Layers palette active(Window>Adjustments), hold down the Alt key (Cmd-Mac) as you click on the ‘Black & White’ adjustment layer icon. This will bring up the Properties box for the layer.
Click on the Mode pulldown and select ‘Luminosity’. Click OK.
The Black & White layer will now activate. Now click on the Scrubber (Hand) tool in the layer window.
After clicking it, go directly to the blue sky of the image, where you’d like the polarizer effect. The Eyedropper will turn into the Scrubber tool as soon as you click in the image.
Now click and drag to the left. The blue sky will darken as you drag to the left! No other colors in the image will be affected.
This works with any color in the image, since the scrubber is sampling color and making the adjustment. Drag to the left to darken, to the right to lighten.
That’s it! Instant polarization, thanks to the magic of Adjustment Layer toning! Try this and see what you think.
[Editor’s Note: This ongoing series of articles is examing a Photoshop image toning workflow based upon the Adjustment Layers approach.]
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog
Related articles on the web:
Photoshop Tutorial: The Black and White Adjustment Layer at Tutorialblog
Black and White Adjustment Layers and Blending at Digital Photography School
Black and White Adjustment Layers at AdobeTV (video)