Anything Photoshop or Photography


The Sculpture Called Reaching

Image of the Sculpture called Reaching
This bronze sculpture called Reaching was created by Edward Fenno Hoffmann, III, in 1963 and is very striking. The image was taken at the Society of the Four Arts’s Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida. It used Technique 1 on the Lucis Pro 6.0.9 website where both their Single Channel mode (47% layer opacity) and Split Channel mode (73% layer opacity) are applied on separate layers. (Settings for the Single Channel mode layer were: Enhance Detail of 55, Smooth Detail of 10 , and Mix with Original Image of 10% processed and 90% original. Settings for the Split Channel mode layer were: same Enhance Detail and Smooth Detail settings as Single Channel mode but no Mix with Original Image.) This image shows how little an amount is needed to get that classic Lucis look we all love. The vignette is from Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects – Add Vignette Selective filter set to Medium (Strength -0.46 and Opacity 39.60). Not much else was done to get this lovely effect on the beautiful sculpture. For more information on the Lucis Pro 6.0.9 plug-in, check out my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog……Digital Lady Syd

A Pub at the Borough Market

Image of Pub in the Burough Market in London, England
Found this old picture from the Borough Market in London, England, taken several years ago. It just looked so good when Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used. I had created a preset years ago that used these filters: Tonal Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Vignette: Lens, Contrast Color Range, Remove Color Cast, Graduated Filters, and Image Borders. A Gaussian Blur effect set to 16.8 Radius was added to blur the lower right area. Check out the Nik plug-ins as they are now free from google and try them out……Digital Lady Syd

Coming At You!

Image of a Malayan Tiger
Below is an image of a Malayan Tiger taken at the Jacksonville Zoo earlier this year. JixiPix’s free Spectrel Art preset 10 was applied to the whole image. (See my How To Use the Free Spectrel Art Plug-in blog.) Next the tiger was selected using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5, then a white layer was placed underneath the tiger. One of my Corel Painter textures was added on top of the white layer and a layer mask was added. By painting with a soft black brush, just the parts of the painted texture wanted were left in the image. Lot of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd

Sunrays At the Beach

Image of Flagler Beach, Florida
This is an HDR image of Flagler Beach, Florida, taken with 3 bracketed images. The images were taken into the now free HDR Efex Pro 2 plug-in from Photoshop (see my How to Use Google (Nik) HDR Efex Pro 2 blog for instructions on how to do this). The Bright preset was used with some minor changes. Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 (also part of the free Nik Collection) was then used to give a different feel to the image – High Contrast (Harsh) preset was used and the layer was set to Luminosity blend mode at 78% layer opacity. On a stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was used to give the beautiful color palette – used my favorite Cream and Plum preset and just adjusted the Color Temperature and Tones a little. That was it. This is really how I see this beach on a beautiful day!…..Digital Lady Syd

Feeling Peachy

Image of a Peach Colored Hibiscus
Just felt like playing with one of my beautiful peach colored hibiscus blooms that are growing on my back porch. In Lightroom’s Basic Panel, just pressed Auto and reduced the Exposure slider a little (usually the Auto button tends to over-expose the image), added some Clarity, and used the Adjustment Brush to paint in some of the flower focal point details using the Clarity and Sharpness sliders. In Photoshop, Topaz Impression’s Watercolor IV preset was applied with no changes to the image. A layer mask was added and using Grut’s Natural Media Knit Pin brush, small lines were painted to bring the original color from underneath – looks like a light outline in places. Really liked this effect and it is easy to do. On a New Layer above, Grut’s Charcoal Dale Haze brush set to 35 pixels was used to blend away areas that were drawing attention from the focal point, mainly the bud and some of the edges had bright colors in them. Check out brushes – each week he offers a free brush to try out and that is how I got the two used here. Nik Viveza 2 (now free) was used to add a slight vignette on the outside edges and to add a little more detail to the focal point. These flowers are so beautiful!…..Digital Lady Syd

Swimming in Circles

Image of fancy fish in a Hawaiian pool
Lots of fun playing with this image of some Hawaiian fancy fish (koi) that was not that great – wanted to see what I could do with it since it had an abstract feel to begin with. In Lightroom, used the Basic Auto button, then backed off the Highlights to -12. Painted with the Adjustment Brush set to Clarity (60), Dehaze (45), and Sharpness (71) on the fish to bring them out just a little. Got to watch the Dehaze brush setting as it can overcook the results if too much is used. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow Graphic Sketch II preset was applied and the layer was set to Overlay blend mode at 77%. On a duplicate layer (CTRL+J) applied Topaz Impression’s Cezanne I preset with changes to the Orange Hue and Saturation sliders. Created a New Layer and set to Overlay – used a black brush set to 12% brush opacity and burned in parts of the image where areas are blending too much together. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) used Topaz Texture Effects’s Burning Effect preset. Changed the border to create the pretty oval effect. Finally applied Nik Viveza 2 (now free) to draw attention to the two middle fish. I thought it turned out to be an interesting effect…..Digital Lady Syd

Quietly Standing Out

Landscape painting with a red fox
Sometimes it just feels good to paint! Totally enjoyed trying out and practicing with Melissa Gallo’s Painting Spring brushes and paper (still have a lot to learn but enjoying it immensely). Once the basic background was painted, it was brought into Photoshop to finish up. The impasto effect was created using Kyle Webster’s Impasto Kit – Super Light Gesso 2 layer style with the Natural Media Knit Pin brush from to paint in the snowy effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Polarization filter using the Bottom Half 2 Stops preset was applied. The Fox was created on its own layer using a free brush from and adjusting it to match my image. Topaz Texture Effects’s 1 Color Burst II was added without the vignette effect. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 (now free) to really showcase the fox. That was it! Loved painting this image!…..Digital Lady Syd

Spooky Old Building!

Painted image of a building in London
Had some fun today painting this unusual building that was taken in London several years ago. This time the building was actually distorted in Lightroom using the Lens  Correction section and the Manual tab before bringing the image into Photoshop to paint. Used Lori Jill’s Photoshop technique on Udemy and her rushes to paint with the mixers. ‘s special effect Cloud Kewm was used to paint in some clouds since no blue or clouds were in the sky. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Tierra Frost preset was applied with adjustments. Last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 (now free) to emphasize the upper two stories for the focal point. That was it – definitely a bit spooky looking!…..Digital Lady Syd

Waiting for Spring

Painted image of a red bird on a snow covered fence
Just had some fun painting in Corel Painter. This image was created using several of Melissa Gallo watercolor brushes from her Painting Spring class. Really nice course and am having a lot of fun watching the videos. The bird was painted in Photoshop using my friend Nicolai’s Ink brush Brezh Brow and Pastel brush Re-Cc – check out his huge variety of wonderful brushes at and his free weekly brush. Nik Viveza 2 (now free) was used to emphasize the bird just perfectly. Lots of fun playing with these brushes!…..Digital Lady Syd

Spring Is in the Air!

Painted Flowers using Paintstorm Studio
I really love painting flowers in Paintstorm Studio as the colors look so wonderful. Therefore the three pretty blossoms were painted using several Paintstorm brushes – a watercolor brush, a cross hatch brush, and two manga hair brushes for the leaves. Then in Photoshop a brush from Ruan Jia called Leaf 5 with some hatching texture added and color to create the flowers on the ground – scroll down to find download and check out all the other sources of some wonderful brushes. The birds are from a Lost & Taken set photo IMG 4721 set to Multiply blend mode at 33% layer opacity (not sure these are still available) and a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer with a watercolor pattern was clipped to it to give a little texture to the birds. The background texture is one I created in Painter a while back. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Graduated Neutral Density filter using 1 Stop Bottom preset. Finally Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was added using these filters:  Darken/Lighten Center, Film Efex Vintage, White Neutralized, and Vignette Filter. That was it. I really like the results!…..Digital Lady Syd