Challenge #2 Sky WAS the Limit
This one is called The Sky WAS the Limit. Now, this photograph was taken back in the mid 1800's. And they were still using Photoshop back then, even when Photoshop wasn't in existence. The problem was, is that the sky would never come in because, as we all know, the sky has a different temperature, or kelvin, than the rest of the ground. And so, if they could get the foreground in, the sky was pure white. Cause it would over blow, and just completely burn the glass plate. If they could get the sky, the foreground would be completely in shadow. And so, what a bunch of old time photographers would do in the 1800's is they'd go out on a cloudy day and take pictures only exposing for the sky. And they would just shoot hundreds of sky photographs. And they would put that into their studio banks. And then they would go out and shoot a picture like this, and go home and match the sky that they wanted for that particular day to the photo they shot, thus Photoshop was born. On glass plate negat...
ives. So what we're going to do today is we're gonna do something, of course these images probably took about 10 to minutes apiece to expose and get ready. Plus they had to use very lethal chemicals, like arsenic, and also cancer-causing materials. So they were getting sick, blowing their arms off in their dark rooms, stuff like that. So Photoshop is not only helping photographers make beautiful artwork, but Photoshop is also saving lives. (audience chuckles) So we're going to ask you to take an image with a fairly bland sky, and give us something much better to make the photograph more interesting, with a sky that you have pulled from Adobe Stock. Are you ready?
I am ready.
Okay. We'll see how quickly they can do it, and how convincingly they can make our skies. Are you ready? On your mark, get set, and go. You have three minutes to accomplish this task. Oh you're just stretching?
Oh. Look at this. It's gonna be mine.
Now that's a nice sky. I like that.
That's like, that's like Something Wicked This Way Comes coming through your sky, Lisa. I love it.
K, so you're selecting the sky right now.
Yeah just with a magic wand.
Yeah. I have a magic wand here. But it's more of a microphone.
That was a fast selection.
Yeah it's not perfect.
And you're working the same one, Jesus.
Know what I'm gonna do?
Yeah, it's a brilliant shot
This will be good,
with a boring sky.
We can have a challenge going on here.
Oh yours is a happy London.
I like that.
Oh not really?
Well, we're gonna make it sadder.
Oh, sadder. (Jesus laughs)
We always think of London as rainy. Oh boy. Okay, so RC, you have really changed the feel of the photograph. It's no longer a happy children's outing.
Yeah no, I think they oughta run.
Things are gonna happen. (audience laughs)
I mean if I were them, they better run.
Things are getting dangerous.
Like, it's not gonna be good.
I mean, I like this picture. So I'm just gonna license it right from here. Perfect. I'm like...
You've got a tornado chaser on your team now.
Yeah, I'm like, this is gonna work. There we go.
These kids are looking for an escape route.
This is the part I like. I'm like, once you get that done,
You're already done, dude? like this will automatically replace itself and that will be good.
Pretty excited about that.
So Lisa, are you already done?
No, he's done.
Oh you're done.
Yeah I'm at half.
I'm gonna go get a refill, I'll be right back.
Yeah yeah, right? Okay that's beautiful.
Well there's more to it. How much time do I have?
Uh, you have one minute and 30 seconds. You've got all the time in the world, man. You could like, uh...
We'll go fancy.
Yeah go fancy with it. Okay, so you're replacing the sky color. Oh, the color of the whole photograph.
You're giving me like a styled photograph. Oo that's nice.
There we go.
I like that. So, while we're waiting on the slowpokes over there, what exactly were you using there? You were using a Color Lookup Table, right?
Yeah, I was using a Color Lookup Table. 3D LUT, and um, to make the selection really, really cool man. People don't like using the Magic Wand Tool because it's an old tool. But I can simply select on that color selection. So our sky holds shifts. Select the other area, hold option on the Mac, click on the Layer Mask icon to create a layer mask that's inverted. So then, instead of the pixels that are selected becoming the layer mask, it's the other way around.
Dropping them out.
So that you're cutting back through.
Right. Then just using the hue and saturation adjustment layered to change the saturation and luminosity with the sky to match the foreground. And yes, you mentioned the Color Lookup Table to apply an overall look and style to the image. I can change the blending mode, and only keep the color if I like the original luminance values. Or change it to luminosity to keep the original colors and luminance values, but in this case I like them both.
I like them both too. That's quite nice.
That's a good effect. The Color Lookup Tables are quite powerful.
As like, a total overall effect.
And the other thing that I find interesting is that when you add a total overall effect on the top of an entire photoshopped image... (horn blows) Oh there's the time. (audience laughs) Sorry folks, I was just so engrossed in this conversation. I just left you out to hang and to dry. But as I was saying, I do like the fact that when you put something over the top, whether it's grain, or a Lookup Table type of effect, or something, you unify the entire photograph.
So that's always a favorite of mine. But it's also kind of a cheating way to do it, because I don't know how to do anything else. So. Alright. Lisa, what did you do?
Alright, I just put a gray sky in. It was a little light. I also darkened the sky already a little bit. But just put a little gray in there.
And why I have a double, what I was working on is the halo, and I didn't quite finish it. But what you can sometimes do is, if you put the same sky on top, and then expand your mask a little bit, you can get rid of a halo line. But I hadn't finished it so.
Oh so you just, you're making a copy and then expanding that selection.
Exactly. Cause these are multiple, exactly.
Very nice. Okay so a little
It's not quite done.
How many minutes would you say left in expanding that and getting that perfect?
Uh, I think I'd need about five more minutes.
Five more minutes. Awesome.
I'm not as fast as Jesus. I'm so sorry, sweetie.
Jesus moved through that real fast.
Yeah. But see you couldn't...
Jesus, did you use any kind of, did you work on the mask after you created it?
No, just what the... what the...
Just what it gave you is what you got.
Yeah. That's it.
Brilliant. Alright, RC.
Yeah I mean, and that's the thing, like a lot of times I think I tend to take a more esoteric approach with a lot of types of things. I think that Photoshop tends to have this kind of feeling that you replace one thing and you substitute something else but a lot of the time, when I'm looking at like, the examples, the first thing that doesn't come into mind is the tool, isn't the tool. It's more the story.
So a lot of the times, I'm sitting there and I'm going, "alright well why would I do this?" Or "what's the benefit of using a specific tool for this?" So when I saw the kids looking in one direction, with a highlight on kind of a one side, I'm like, "well what if they're running away from something that's completely different?" And I think that that's probably one of the things that's usually missing when people are doing compositing.
It tends to become a little bit, like when you look at Photoshop just for the sake of Photoshop, it's like art sauce. You know it's like you're just pouring sauce and hoping for the best. But I mean, really the goal is to try to be able to use the tool. So simple enough. It was just a couple of different masks. A lot of the times, the techniques don't have to be very complex if the story's good.
So, I have a couple good elements of story, and then on top of that, just kind of finished it with a LUT to kind of clear out a little bit of the imperfections of the two different things.
And it looks like, to me, you actually put the storm behind the photograph so that you could cut back and have the storm over the mountains. And then you put it in front, so that it'd spill over the mountains and come up and encroach on them. Is that what you were thinking?
Yeah. I mean that's pretty much it. You wanted to have kind of duplicates that kind of just run on top of one another. Sometimes to hide imperfections, but also to kind of be able to solidify what it is that you want to do to the story.
Excellent. Alright let's give it up for our Photoshop contestants once again. (audience applauds)