In Love With Photoshop CS4

I recently acquired a copy of CS4 after using Photoshop 7 for years and years. One feature on it alone has made a huge difference in my ability to post reasonable facsimiles of my artwork on the web. It’s called Vibrance. One problem I always had with reproducing my work is caused by my saturated colors.  In PS7 if I approximated the values in my paintings then the colors would be become too hot and if I faded them to reduce the heat then they were too light and lost too much contrast. So they ended up somewhere in between without really solving either problem. Enter CS4. I soon discovered Vibrance under  image/adjustments/vibrance.  And I was in love!

Here’s a painting of mine that I’ve re-color corrected from what I had originally done. It’s called “Midnight Magic”

This how it currently looks on the website (hopefully to change soon)
This is after playing with the levels and getting the values closer to the actual painting. But now the color is too hot and everything is a bit harsh. This is especially true when you view it in a larger size..
I then used the vibrance plug-in to take out the heat. Took it back to levels and played it back and forth in those two until I achieved what I was after.

Here is another example that I think makes it even clearer what I’m talking about because the teals and oranges are very hot. This one is called “Forgotten Summer”. With them side by side I think it’s a bit clearer what the differences are.

"Forgotten Summer" the scan without adjustment.
“Forgotten Summer” the scan without adjustment. The colors are nice but there isn’t enough contrast between lights and darks.
“Forgotten “Forgotten Summer” after levels were adjusted. The values are good now with strong darks and lights but in the process the colors are way to warm and glow too harshly.


"Forgotten Summer" after adjusting with vibrance
After adjusting with vibrance the colors are no longer popping out harshly and the contrast is still good.
Composite of "Forgotten Summers" at different points in color and value correction. Notice in particular how the orange shifts in the three photos.
Composite of “Forgotten Summers” at different points in color and value correction. In particular notice how the orange shifts in the three photos.
Composite of “Forgotten Summers” at different points in color and value correction

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to use this new tool to adjust all the pictures on Moontoe Gallery but it’s worth it. I’m also looking forward to seeing what other nifty tools PS4 has under it’s hood. When I discover that next greatest thing I will let you know.