In this tutorial we’ll try to create a more visually appealing print than resulted from Part II. And, as it turns out, we’ll also learn that there are always exceptions to the rules—sometimes when you least expect it.

Note: You should work through Part I and Part II of this series prior to tackling Part III in order to put the information into proper context.


Part of the joy I experience when recording these videos is derived from the creative process itself. I seldom practice every step in advance so that you get a feel for the meandering path one must often take when trying to tame pixels.

The Cropped Original Layer

Much of what we’ve learned comes into play in the following videos. Pay attention to the details as I slip in a couple of new techniques that you should be able to reproduce.

Here’s the starter files if you need them.

The Blur and Darken Layer

Shift + Option + Command + N = New Layer. Use E to Stamp Visible. Convert to Smart Object prior Gaussian Blur then change Blend Mode to Darken.

The Edges + Multiply Layer

Filter > Stylize > Find Edges generates results without an intermediate dialog box. The results are seldom useful without changing the Blend Mode.

The Brighten + Clarity Layer

Working with three channels in Camera Raw required repeated adjustments to various settings. Moving the Clarity slider to 100 and Dehaze to 23 led directly to lowering Shadows and Blacks—in this case to 0 (very rare).

The Clarity x 2 Layer

Sometimes, not always, a second trip through Camera Raw can yield interesting results. You’ll never know unless you try.

Experimentation = Learning

The Spot Darken layer

The old-school dodge and burn layer still has a few advantages over the dedicated Dodge and Burn tools. First and foremost recovering from mistakes like the one I made in the video. Remember to change the Blend Mode to Overlay after filling with 50% gray.

The Drag and Drop Text Trick

What an unexpected discovery made via wondering, what if? When I discover new ways to work, I always share them with you. When you discover new tricks, please let me know. I’m always happy to learn.

Text as a Smart Object

I wanted to show you have to rasterize type but be aware that simply converting a type layer or a folder containing an editable type group, the type is automatically rasterized. It’s always a good idea to retain an editable copy if your type.

Final Words

Leverage these new skills to grow your art in new directions. And remember that there’s no 1, 2, 3 recipe for enhancing imagery.

Experiment, young Photoshop Jedi, and use your powers for good, not ill.

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