STEP BY STEP / Hit the bleach

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Make ba­sic ad­just­ments

Load curve_s­tart.jpg into the De­velop mod­ule. In the Ba­sic panel, drag the Tem­per­a­ture slider to the left for a cooler colour pal­ette. The photo is un­der­ex­posed, so fix this by set­ting Ex­po­sure to +0.60. Darken the hood and eye­liner by drag­ging Blacks left to -14, then take Vi­brance to -20 for a more bleached-out look.

2 Cre­ate an S-curve

Tog­gle open the Tone Curve panel. Drag the High­lights slider right to +46. You’ll see that this pushes the top-right sec­tion of the curve up­wards and bright­ens the model’s skin. Now drag the Shad­ows slider left to -53. This makes the black hood and eye­liner even darker, cre­at­ing a strik­ing con­trast with the pale skin and back­ground.

3 Clip the shad­ows To make sure that we re­move more detail in the shad­ows, click the Show Shadow Clip­ping icon at the top left of the his­togram win­dow. Blue patches will ap­pear on the im­age to in­di­cate detail-free or ‘clipped’ dark ar­eas. Now drag the Shadow slider fur­ther left to -75 in or­der to in­crease the bleach by­pass-style clip­ping ef­fect.

4 Fine-tune the con­trast

Turn off the Shadow Clip­ping warn­ing so that you can see the blacks more clearly. Now we want to give the whites of the eyes and skin a bit more con­trast, so push the Lights slider to +25 and bring the Darks down to -12. Tog­gling the icon at the top-left of the Tone Curve panel will al­low you to see a be­fore-and-after com­par­i­son.

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