Amazing New Shadow/Highlight Tool in Photoshop CS
Have you ever taken a photo that ends up too dark or the highlight is too strong while the shadows are too dark? Haven’t we all?! The new Shadow/Highlight tool that made its debut in Photoshop CS is truly amazing and incredibly helpful with adjusting shadows and highlights. Today I explored this new tool further with a variety of my photos and was astonished with its powerful capabilities. Used in combination with other helpful tools in Photoshop CS, you can more easily transform your photos to be better balanced and even spectacular. Below are a few helpful resources to help you gain some insight into using this new Photoshop tool, with a few thoughts tossed in along the way.
- “Inside Photoshop CS: Shadow/Highlight, An exploration of the new functionality, plus a mini-tutorial on dealing with noise.” By David Nagel, Digital Producer Magazine, October 10, 2003.
- “The Shadow/Highlight tool in Photoshop CS: Breathing new life into your images,” by Greg Downing, Naturescapes.net, June, 2004.
- “Photoshop CS: The Killer App for Digital Photography”, a Photoshop CS review by Bruce Fraser for creativepro.com, January 6, 2004.
- “Photoshop CS - Shadow/Highlight Command vs. Selections/Curves Technique”, by Cari Jansen, November 23, 2003.
- “Adobe Photoshop CS Review: Shadow/Highlight Command,” by Vincent Bockaert, Digital Photography Review, September, 2003.
As Greg Downing pointed out in the article above,
While an expert might be able to achieve similar results with the use of curves and masks, the Shadow/Highlight tool saves a ton of time and is easy to master when you understand the controls.
Exactly. The Shadow/Highlight tool can speed up the time to tweak photos. Much like typical tweaking, though, you may need to use the Shadow/Highlight tool combined with other Photoshop tools to adjust your image fully. So don’t be disappointed if you need to use other Photoshop tweaking tools along with the Shadow/Highlight tool. This new tool can dramatically speed up the time needed for tweaking, though, and can do so with incredibly good results.
As Greg also pointed out with this new tool, move the sliders slowly, noting changes to your image, stopping before you find any blurring or loss of detail. I also like to click the Preview checkbox on and off for an easy before and after look, whether using this tool or other tools in Photoshop. In addition, I use a duplicate image to work on, not the original, and I use duplicate layers for experimenting, too.
Although I’ve used Photoshop daily for years, I’m still mesmerized by it, and each new version provides even more powerful and amazing tools. The Shadow/Highlight tool is only one new or improved feature in this latest version of Photoshop. For more details, see my review from January, The New Photoshop CS.
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