Photoshop software allows flexible editing of photographs in the minimal time while effectively producing quality special effects. The apparent use of this software in photography makes it an inevitable fact that Photoshop is a must-have tool for editing photographs. High-key portrait effect is one of the many possibilities of special effects that can be produced with the help of Photoshop CS6. In this article, we shall look into the steps involved in creating a high-key portrait using Photoshop.
- First, open the image in Photoshop and then duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl + J/Cmd + J. The layer is renamed as ‘duplicate layer’. This is only visible in the layer panel.
- The next step is to press F7 and open the layer panel. Then go to ‘Add adjustment layer’ and click on curves. Then adjust the curve according to the image below.
- Now click on the ‘duplicate layer’ to activate it. Now to desaturate the layer, press the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + U/Cmd + Shift + U.
- The next step is to select the left eye using the pen tool. The selection may be made using any other selection tool as well. Then go to the options panel and click on ‘Refine Edge’ tool. Now change the output to ‘New layer’ in refine edge box and then click OK.
- In this step, go to the layer panel and click on the layer named ‘duplicate layer copy’ to activate. Then click on Add adjustment layer>Hue/saturation. Now click on ‘colourize’ option and change the values of hue and saturation to 211 and 40 respectively and then close the panel. Then go to the bottom of the Hue/saturation panel and click on ‘create clipping mask’.
- Now use the pen tool to select the right eye and then use the ‘refine edge tool’ to refine the selection. Then change the output to ‘new layer’ and then click on Ok.
- The next step is to go to the layer panel and then click on ‘add adjustment layer>Hue/Saturation. Now change the values of Hue, saturation and lightness as 211, 40 and 0 respectively. Finally, click on ‘Colourize’ and subsequently click on ‘create clipping mask’.
- In the given image, to fix the hair covering the right eye add a layer mask to ‘Duplicate copy 2’ layer. Adding a layer mask can be done by clicking on ‘add layer mask’ present at the bottom of the layer panel.
- Select black as the foreground colour and then choose a soft round brush with hardness value as 0% and size around 4-5 pixels. This brush tool is used to fix the coloured hair in the image.
- The next step is to create a new layer by pressing Ctrl + Shift + N/Cmd + Shift + N. The layer is renamed as ‘white’.
- Now we have to fill the ‘white’ layer with the foreground colour i.e. white. So make white as the foreground colour and press Alt + Backspace/Opt + Delete.
- In the penultimate step, we add a layer mask to the ‘white’ layer. To do this, go to the bottom of the layer panel and click on ‘add layer mask’. Now go to the tool panel and select the ‘gradient’ option. Next, the mode is to be changed ‘foreground to background’, and the type is changed to ‘radial blur’.
- The final step involves dragging the mouse cursor from the centre of the image to the extreme right for a couple of times.
We have thus successfully completed the steps required to create a High-key portrait using Photoshop CS6. The numbers of steps mentioned are definitely large; however, regular practice makes the entire process easier.