Horse show

You can bring out de­tail in both the sky and the horse

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

01 Start with the sky

Go to File>Open. Browse to horse.dng. Click Open to open it in Cam­era Raw. Press O to see clip­ping warn­ings. Set Ex­po­sure -0.65, High­lights -41, Whites -22, Clar­ity +11, Vi­brance +42. With the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter, draw from the top of the frame to the horse – set Ex­po­sure -70, High­lights -34.

02 La­bel the layer

Click Open Im­age. This takes the pic­ture into the Pho­to­shop edi­tor. Go to File>Save As. Name it ‘com­pos­ite’ and set the For­mat to Pho­to­shop. Click Save. In the Lay­ers panel, dou­ble-click on the locked Back­ground layer’s thumb­nail to un­lock it. La­bel the layer ‘Sky layer’. Click OK.

03 Now for the horse!

Go to File>Open Re­cent. Open horse.dng. Undo the ear­lier changes: click De­fault, drag Clar­ity and Vi­brance to 0, click the Grad­u­ated Fil­ter icon, click Clear All. In the Ba­sic panel, click the Zoom tool. Drag Ex­po­sure to +0.45. Set Shad­ows +52, High­lights -77, Whites -23, Clar­ity +24, Vi­brance +44.

04 Re­move chro­matic aber­ra­tion

Now that you’ve bright­ened up the horse, you’ll have re­vealed some colour fring­ing. Use the Zoom tool to mag­nify the im­age to 100% and drag with the Hand tool to see the fringes. Click the Lens Cor­rec­tions panel, then click the Color tab. Click the Re­move Chro­matic Aber­ra­tion box.

05 Add a mask

Click Open Im­age. Choose Se­lect>All, Edit>Copy. Click the com­pos­ite.psd tab. Pick Edit>Paste. You have a layer for the horse and one for the sky. Click the horse layer. Pick Layer>Layer Mask>Re­veal All. A white mask ap­pears. Click the Gra­di­ent tool. Press D. Click Lin­ear gra­di­ent. Tick Re­verse.

06 Com­bine the lay­ers

Click in the top-left and draw a di­ag­o­nal gra­di­ent down to the hori­zon. Thanks to the mask, you can see the horse from the top layer and the sky from the layer be­low. The an­gled gra­di­ent stops the sky from over­lap­ping the horse. Pick File>Save to save the ex­po­sures as a lay­ered PSD file.

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