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Removing Glowing Highlights in Photoshop

Lesson 32 from: Travel Photography: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Removing Glowing Highlights in Photoshop

Lesson 32 from: Travel Photography: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

32. Removing Glowing Highlights in Photoshop


Class Trailer



Course Introduction


Camera Gear for Travel


What Camera Gear Should You Buy?


Gear Bags for Travel Photography


Location Research and Pre-Trip Planning


Importing and Naming Conventions in Lightroom


Processing Images with Presets in Lightroom


Lesson Info

Removing Glowing Highlights in Photoshop

So if you think about what we've been doing in Photoshop, we generally do things that are either difficult to do in Lightroom, just inconvenient to do, or we do things that are, how would I say it, just impossible. Now, one thing I also mentioned was getting rid of little glows, 'cause sometimes you bring up clarity and you get this slight hint, like it feels like a dark in the sky right here. Well with things like that, I'm only gonna spend a minute on this, 'cause I don't just don't have another day (laughs), is I go to a tool over here that is called the Quick Selection tool, and I paint across the sky, and it should try to isolate it. If it selects too much, you can either go up here, and click on this minus sign, just say take away from instead of add to, or you could hold down the option key which temporarily gives you that, and I'm gonna come in here and if its got too much, I'm gonna try to get rid of the top of the temple there, 'cause I don't want it in that selection. I'm tr...

ying to just select the sky, where I had the little glow, okay. Right now, if I make any kind of change to my image, it's only gonna happen to the area that's selected, and usually I'd be more critical of that selection and be careful of making it. Right now we just need to do it, being in a hurry. I'm gonna do an adjustment layer now. You can use anything you want, brightness and contrast, curves, whatever you know how to use, and if you look at my mask, that selection got converted into the mask, which means, right now, this adjustment can only affect the area I had selected, which is my sky. What I'm gonna do is in this adjustment, I'm gonna brighten the image a little bit. The entire sky will get bright. Then I'll grab my Paintbrush tool. I'll paint with black with a soft edge brush, and I'm just gonna get it off of most of the sky, so that the only part of the sky this adjustment is affecting, is the part really close to that tower. Tower, it's not really a tower, Pagoda. So it's out here. So if you look at the mask, do you see it's just around the Pagoda, and so if I turn it off and on, can you see how it's just doing that, and do you see how I happened to pick approximately the right amount to get it in, but making the selection in the sky made it so it didn't affect the temple, and then I painted it with black, to say don't affect the rest of this sky, soft edge brush, tried to end relatively close to that, but usually I can help to eliminate that. I'm not gonna save that one, 'cause that wasn't precise enough. Questions, comments, concerns? What are we getting? I have a question, follow-up question, from Jack P. with regard to focus stacking. When do you do it manually versus allowing Photoshop to do it? Is it kind of like those scenarios where you said you had to be careful with regard to what was-- I rarely do focus stacking manually because it's very difficult to get them to blend together and look correct. What I would do, more or less, is if Photoshop didn't do a good job, I would try to find a specialized tool that's designed only for focus stacking. Oh, come on, there's two of them that come to mind. One is called Helicon Focus. Sorry that was my accessing the fileable back there. The other one is not coming to mind at the moment, but I would try to find a specialized tool designed only for that particular task, because usually they'll have more features and be able to handle more difficult images than a tool that can do just about everything, and it happens to have that feature. It's just like if you buy the copier, scanner, fax machine, you know, beverage cooler, all built in one, is it good at any of those things, compared to the dedicated fax machine or the dedicated scanner? Same thing with software. So look for a specialized tool for it, it'd be better, yeah. Maybe, another question had come in from Magnes Studio, who said, in yesterday's sessions you talked about blurring elements in the background in camera by narrowing depth of field via aperture. Yes. Have you ever used Photoshop layers with masks and smart blur filters? Have I ever? Well, yes, if you say have I ever, (laughs). When would you? Do I regularly? When would you? No I don't. I will sometimes soften a background a little bit, but usually it's not to get the really out of focus look. It's just to make it so it's not crisp. Instead I can make my subject crisp, and that helps keep my eye on the subject, but if I really want it to look like it's out of focus, there are too many situations where it's almost impossible to do it. You know, I have one person's face, and directly behind them, overlapping their shoulder is another person's face. I want that other person's face to look like it's naturally out of focus. When I try to blur it, the transition between their shoulder and other things, it's gonna make it so it's, it's not gonna look anywhere near real life. I will on occasion though, play with some things, but the difference of in camera versus digital when it comes to that, there's no comparison. Sure, if I owned a lens that only went to f56 or something, where I can't get to f2.8, I might need to resort to that, but I wouldn't look forward to it. I would much rather carry a big heavy lens than get gorgeous images right out of the camera, so, but that's just me.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom Presets Quickstart Guide
Lightroom Preset Sampler
Pre-Trip Planning
Actions Sampler Guide
Travel Photography Handbook
Actions Sampler
Lightroom Keywords
Big Set of Lightroom Presets
Practice Images
Travel Photogtaphy Mobile Guide
Gear List
Lightroom Tips and Keyboard Shortcuts

Ratings and Reviews


This was simply an amazing experience! Without a doubt the best investment of time and money I have experienced in quite awhile. Ben's complete command of the subject, the practical tips, suggestions and reference information was outstanding. I have enjoyed point and shoot photography for some time and recently decided to invest in some decent DSLR equipment (Canon EOS D70). I have a trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg South Africa rapidly approaching and thought it might be a good idea to take some classes and make an effort to get up the learning curve ASAP to take advantage of this travel opportunity. "Discovering" Creativelive and Ben Willmore's class was literally an answer to prayer! There is nothing like sitting at the foot of wisdom, taking notes, and having numerous "ah-ha" moments! This was great....looking forward to more classes. Thanks for the high quality effort!

a Creativelive Student

Genius! Ben is a brilliant master teacher - focused, clear and holds back no information. The best! This course has condensed the equivalent of 10 courses into one. He is a perfectionist in his approach and knows how to present the material. He is the leader in photoshop and photography "par excellence". Highly recommend any of his courses. Save your time and start with the best - everyone loves Ben!!!!

Nichole Sams

I feel the title of this class, Travel Photography, is much to limiting for what you are really going to get. As a wedding photographer, who dreams of traveling, I attending the class live in Seattle, and was hoping to get some inspiration for on location shoots. What I got, however, was a WHOLE LOT MORE. I would recommend this class to anyone with a camera and Lightroom. What I learned about how lightroom works and how to integrate it with photoshop is invaluable. I actually think they should charge WAY more for this course. The bonuses with purchase from the keywords (we are talking every key word you could possibly imagine) and the presets (holycow everything you would ever need) are worth exponentially more than the course price itself. Ben is a gentle easy going teacher and nice to listen to. His ease of teaching pretty complex ideas was truly wonderful. If you are reading this you must buy this course, it is well worth it!

Student Work