I was fortunate to acquire a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS5 for work and I was spending a few minutes learning some of the features that have been introduced since Photoshop 6. I had a few of my Europe photos on my work computer, so I wanted to try a treatment on one particular photo of Castello Sforzesco, which also happens to be the next place we went to chronologically.
Here is the original, unmodified photo:
What I loved about this scene was the cobblestone walkway against the arched walls, but the color of the photo was so monochromatic that nothing really stood out. I made a few layers and separated the walls from the floor and then started playing with each separately. I struck this balance by using the Vibrance tool to desaturate the cobblestones:
What I found interesting was that by desaturating the cobblestones, I think it draws attention to them by focusing on the shapes and geometry rather than the color. I also thought the Vibrance tool did a more interesting desaturation than by simply adjusting the saturation down. Vibrance preserves skin tones, so cranking it down left some amber color highlights in the “grout” where that color was prevalent.
I really like the effect. Let me know what you think in the comments.