Tutorial: Reducing Highlights

On August 4, 2013, in Tutorials, by teaco

I’ve done a couple of shoots recently where I’ve pushed the highlights, and want to pull them back slightly in post without affecting the rest of the image.  Here’s a nice and quick way to do it.

The highlights hadn’t been clipped so the detail would still be there.  I just need to ‘dial back’ the brightness over the lightest parts of the image.

1) Create a new curves adjustment layer and pull the curve down in the middle.

adjustment layer

2) Making sure you have highlighted the mask part of the curves layer (click the white rectangle just in case), then go to IMAGE on the toolbar, and then click ‘APPLY IMAGE’.

3) The ‘Apply Image’ field will appear on the screen.  Make sure your blend mode is set to MULTIPLY and you have not checked the ‘invert’ box.


4) That’s about it! You will see that the layer mask has the highlights in white, but the lowlights are black and therefore unchanged by the curve.  You are free to play with the curves layer to get the exact effect you want.  If you are doing a big adjustment, you may wish to change the blend mode of the curves layer to ‘Luminosity’ so that it affects brightness only, and does not affect colour ratios.

adjustment mask

Any questions then just leave a comment on this page.

How to lengthen legs in Photoshop

On September 29, 2012, in Tutorials, by teaco

It’s really easy to lengthen legs in Photoshop. You just need the square marquee tool from the side bar (as shown in the first image below) and the transform function (ctrl+t).  The idea is to stretch the legs  in sections using the marquee tool.  The reason you don’t just stretch the whole leg, is that you don’t want to elongate the feet or knees. You only want to lengthen the shins and thighs.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Make a new layer (ctrl+j) then make the background invisible (uncheck the eye in the layers palette).

2)  Select the feet with the marquee tool, then move them down by using transform (ctrl+t and then drag down).

4) Move the shins down to touch the feet. Using transfrom, stretch the shins up a little bit, therefore lengthening the shin only

5) Select the knees and move them to meet the shins (without stretching them)

6) Select the thighs and, using transform, transfrom then stretch the lower part to meet the knees.

This means you have stretched the shins and thighs only, and moved the feet and knees.

The second image shows the sections that will be moved or stretched.

How did you get on? Please let me know if this tutorial was useful or if you have suggestions.