Anything Photoshop or Photography


Five Flowers and Plants

Image of 5 Flowers and Plants
Had a lot of fun putting this template together with some of my favorite flowers and plants from this year. If you would like the full instructions on how to do this, check KelbyOne Insider’s blog called Down & Dirty Tricks: Five-Up Photo Layout by Scott Kelby (I am hoping you can access this link). This is not a video so just follow the steps as they appear to make the template and then it can be used over with different images. Once I created and filled the template, just added a Curves Adjustment Layer to give more of a vintage feel. Very simple but fun to do…..Digital Lady Syd


Image of a Rainbow Lorikeet bird
In honor of a sweet little brown bird that was caught in my screened-in porch since Wednesday (he actually trotted out the door once we calmed him down), I decided work on a bird image  just to see what a colorful would look like in a basic brown bird look. This image was first processed in On1 Photo Raw 2018 (see sidebar for website link) and then finished up in Photoshop. Followed Steven Dempsey’s short video called Using Color Temperature with B/W Images in On1 Photo Raw 2018. Followed most of the steps using my own settings of course. Then in Photoshop’s Camera Raw filter, applied one of my favorite Split Toning presets, Nick Brandt’s Animal Sepia (Highlights Hue 23 and Saturation 6 and Shadows 41 and Saturation 6). Several Curves Adjustment Layers were used on the eye and beak. Lightened the background slightly with another Curves Adjustment Layer and painted the bird back in the layer mask. I think the On1 workflow for this type of image was very good……Digital Lady Syd

Just Saying Hi!

Close up image of a Yellow Billed Stork at the Jackonsville Zoo
This beautiful big yellow-billed crane lives at the Jacksonville Zoo and I believe he is in charge of the aviary as he greets every person who walks through the door. I have never seen such a tame big bird and he will give you quite a show. This guy did a complete 360 wing spread for me while I was about 6 feet from him. Just a few basic adjustments were done in Lightroom. Once in Photoshop, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to slightly sharpen the bird’s face and beak and to define a few feathers (used a black layer mask and just painted back those areas). On a New Layer painted in a little white spotlight at very low opacity to lighten up lower wing area. Used a Selective Color Adjustment Layer to brighten the beak yellow just a little. Used a Curves Adjustment Layer to lighten his eye. Added the Foggy Night Color Lookup Adjustment Layer preset set to 57% layer opacity. Not much to this image as it was pretty nice as shot…..Digital Lady Syd

Sunny Florida

Image of City Block in Palm Beach, Florida
Image taken at City Block in West Palm Beach, Florida using 3 bracketed images and post-processed in Skylum’s Aurora HDR 2018 for Windows (see sidebar for website link). I really like the results I am getting with this program. I did a recent blog on this software (see my Checking Out Aurora HDR 2018 for Windows blog) where I got some similar great results. This image got really good results with the HDR Denoise filter, and a little of the Image Radiance filter which gave it a nice feel. In PS the Adaptive Wide Angle filter was used as the arch was off just a little (see my How to Use the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter blog). A Black and White Adjustment Layer was used set to Luminosity blend mode to adjust the colors (see my How to Use a Black and White Adjustment Layer to See Contrast in an Image blog). On a stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was used to sharpen the bikes in the background. A Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer was used to create a slight vignette effect (see my Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog) That was it……Digital Lady Syd

Turn Around

Image of tourists in London
Good example of the image that is behind you – was actually going into the Tower of London tour and this was behind me. I love all the people doing all kinds of things and the buildings look so modern compared to where I was going! I am so glad I turned around – need to remember to do this more often. Not much was done with image – it is not an HDR – pretty much out of camera. A little was done in Camera Raw using a couple graduated filters and radial filters and the image was cropped more to a panorama size. That was about it……Digital Lady Syd

St. Giles Cathedral

Image of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland
This beautiful stained glass image was taken at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. In Lightroom used Serge Ramelli’s Bad Weather 9 preset as a starting point and added my own highlights and gradients. Not much was done in Photoshop – just some clean up, Nik Viveza 2 where 4 control points were placed in image with 2 on the glass and 1 on the Bible. A little noiseware was used on the image and a Gradient Fill Layer to darken the top slightly. That was it. There really is a lot of detail in the shot if seen at a larger size……Digital Lady Syd

Harvesting Orange

Image of Bird of Paradise bloom
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving in the US with this perfectly colored Bird of Paradise bloom that was growing in my front yard. Used setting from Urban Walk 15 Vintage Street preset in Lightroom. In Photoshop just practiced some of the things I have been learning about the various plug-ins filters. This image used Topaz Studio’s (see sidebar for website link) Impression default with some slider changes including the Painting Progress slider at 0.60 – then painted out most of the effect off the flower. Then the Precision Contrast filter was applied at 0.84 opacity and the Lighting Shadow set way down to give it a very dark background. Back in PS, On1 Photo Raw 2018 (see sidebar for website link) Effects was opened and their Glow Filter Orton Hear a Who preset at 75% opacity and the Noise Reduction filter Shadows preset was applied. A little burning was done on a layer above to emphasize some of the flower lines a little. (See my How to Create a Subtle Dodge and Burn Effect blog.) Some selective sharpening was done with a 50% gray layer and painting was done on the flowers using my SJ Pastel 3 Brush (see my How to Create my Favorite Brush blog). On a layer on top, a Spotlight Effect was created on the flower (see my How to Add a Spot of Light blog). The last step added the text using Naive Deco Sans font. Enjoy the holiday!…..Digital Lady Syd

Me and My Shadow

Image of me and my shadow
This image represents to me a contemplative mood – a connection with the Fall season and nature, and the nature of man with nature. It was a lot of fun to create. A tree from Pixelsquid was added into the shadow. Some of the colors are from using Lucis Pro. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Single Fawn was applied to the image. This image was taken into Luminar 2018 (see sidebar for website link) and the Adjustable Gradient Filter was added to the whole photo and the Sun Rays filter was added to just the foreground tree by using a layer mask. Loved how the tree turned out. PS Liquify filter was used to stretch the foreground tree where I wanted it. Some clean up layers and that was it. Love the whole concept of this image…..Digital Lady Syd


Image of one of my recent dreams
Have you ever had a dream that just seems so vivid that you remember several parts of it. Well that is what a lot of this image is showing – one of my very vivid dreams. I see a lots of stories going on here – like flowers actually filling the sky with planets or moons? Or bubbles being shot at a target? Really??? And what about those giant 3-leaf clovers guarding the bubble machines? Hum! So there you have it, the inside workings of my sleeping brain. So what I did here is basically just sketch this out and paint it. The clover is from PixelSquid, my favorite resource for all kinds of odd things. The bubbles were created using Grut’s FX IL Rinse Drip from his Inky Leaks Set (I love this brush set) and used Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers with black layer masks to paint in the different color bubbles. The little bubbles were from Lizard Queen Water brush 8. The last step was using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle Swamp and Sherpea Blue preset set to Screen blend mode in the plug-in and 44% layer opacity in PS to adjust the colors to match my dream. Sometimes things get a little crazy when you paint what you dream!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Beautiful View

View from Linlithgow Palace in Scotland
Loved this view of the Scottish countryside taken from a window in Linlithgow Palace – this is the palace where Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542 and lived for 7 months but did not return for another 20 years. Lots of interesting history here.  Started adjusting this image in Lightroom doing Basic Panel adjustments. In Photoshop on a duplicate layer, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was applied, then a black mask added and painted back just areas that needed more definition. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) On1 Photo Effects was opened and the Color Enhancer filter, Tone Enhancer, and Textures was used to help especially in the sky area. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied to even out the  lighting in the front foreground and midground areas. That was it!…..Digital Lady Syd