Anything Photoshop or Photography


Keeping an Eye on Things

Image of a Blue Heron at the Viera Wetlands
This was one of my crazy bird shots (Great Blue Heron) taken at the Ritch Grissom Viera Wetlands in Brevard County, Florida. Just had total fun working on this image! In Lightroom used Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Ultra Color and Magic Ugly Shade Fixer presets before opening the photo in Photoshop. The layer was duplicated and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black and White Effects was applied. Mainly set the preset to a Transition of 100% so some color came through and used its layer mask to sharpen the bird and add some additional color. A stamped layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT_+E) and this layer was taken into Topaz Glow where Blake Rudis’ Animal preset was applied. Then the layer was set to Multiply blend mode at 88%. (See my How to Get the Soft Glow in Topaz Glow.) On yet another stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was used to really emphasize the beautiful bird head. That was it and I just loved the results!…..Digital Lady Syd

Birding at Viera Wetlands

Image of a man using a large camera lens and taking pix of birds
This man is taking photos at the Ritch Grissom Viera Wetlands which is in Brevard County, Florida. It was a beautiful day to see the birds in their natural habitats and this guy had this huge lens – he was actually shooting to an equivalent of 1400 mm! Totally amazing! This image used 2 Lil’ Owls Studio’s (see sidebar for website link) Matte Glam 17 preset in Lightroom along with a Gradient Filter to increase the blue color slightly in the upper water. Brought the image into Photoshop and ran Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 to slightly sharpen the overall image using my Little Med Large Detail preset – (Set to Overall, Medium Details 0.38, Large Details 0.16, and Tone Contrast 0.30). Created a duplicate layer and created a Smart Object where the Liquify Filter was used to slightly slim the man down. A Curves Adjustment Layer was applied and the Layer Mask was filled with black. Just the water area was painted back to give the background a little more contrast that I wanted. That was it. Wish I had a lens like that!!!!!…..Digital Lady Syd

Wintry Scene

Wintry Image of trees and snow that I painted
So how do you create this tree effect? About all I can say is by following Painter for Photographers videos from Melissa Gallo, a Corel Painter master who really knows how to paint. She supplies the brushes and and papers to get this result. It was a lot of fun to create this little image from scratch……Digital Lady Syd

Sunny Desert Day

My watercolor paintined called Sun the Desert
Just went back and listenedd to Karen Bonaker’s wonderful Corel Webinar called Corel Painter Mixed Media Painting and thought I’d try some of her tips.  Many of the steps and brushes used in her examples were used along with several brushes created by following Jason Moranto’s Brush Engine Essentials videos offered at Karen’s Digital Art Academy – this is a great way to learn Painter! Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Desert Dust preset set to Soft Light blend mode was applied and set to 50% layer opacity. Nik Viveza 2 to draw out the focal point a little bit. Need to try this one if you like a watercolor look. Creating this image was totally fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

Adding Some Background Texture

Red Hibiscus bloom image with new texture in background
Just used my red hibiscus object image again to try out some texture effects with the background. I really liked the results. The flower was brought in and it was duplicated. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Cream and Plum preset was applied to the duplicated layer and set to Darken blend mode at 66% layer opacity. A texture that was made in Corel Painter using the Coarse Smear Blender Jitter brush (a FB friend used this brush quite effectively on an image) in a brownish beige color was added underneath the flower. It was also duplicated, Free Transformed (CTRL+T) where it was reduced and flipped horizontally, and lined up under the flower. A Levels Adjustment Layer and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer were clipped (ALT+click between the layers to clip) to the top texture layer to get the pinkish color. The last texture added just below the flower was made in Corel Painter using the Gravity Bristle Particle Brush (learned how to do this at the end of Commercial Packaging Illustration with Michael Bast Corel video where he shows the technique – I really liked it! Saved it as a PSD to open in Photoshop as a texture.) It was set to Multiply blend mode and an olive green Solid Color Adjustment Layer was clipped to this texture to make it a soft olive green. A stamped version was created on top and Blend If sliders applied before some clean up work was done. A final Levels Adjustment Layer was used to get the effect. Loved creating the textures for this!…..Digital Lady Syd

My Glowing Porch Flowers!

Image of my porch flowers using Topaz Glow on them
These are more flowers on my porch – Painted Lady Hibiscus and a Boston Fern. Clean up was done, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise set to Overall 0.09, and Topaz Clarity (My John Barclay Basic Settings preset-Micro Contrast 0.36, Low Contrast 0.20, Medium Contrast -0.11, and High Contrast -0.23; then Tone Level Black Level 0.14, Midtones -0.30, and White Level -0.20; Hue Yellow -0.58 and Green -0.19; Sat Green 0.27 and Blue -0.34; and Lum Red -0.08, Orange -0.52, Green 0.11, and Blue -0.42). On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow was applied. (SJ Painterly Wonderland preset-Set to Overlay. Primary Glow change Effect Sharpness to 1.00, Electrify 0.38, Secondary Effect Sharpness 0.48, Brightness 0.23, and Contrast -0.01; Color – Overall Hue -0.29, Orange Sat 0.43, Yellow Hue 0.14 and Lightness 0.50, Green Sat -0.77 and Lightness -0.44, Aqua Sat -1.00, and Blue Sat -0.50. Set back to Normal to take into PS – then adjust there.) Topaz Black and White Effects was applied. (SJ Soft Color Effect preset – Conversion section – Basic Exposure Contrast 0.04 and Brightness 0.05; Adaptive Exposure 0.24, Regions 16, Detail 0.98 and Detail Boost 1.05; Creativity Effects Diffusion Softness 0.71, Diffusion 0.67, and Diffusion Transition 0.56; Finishing Touches section – Silver and Paper Tone Tonal Strength 0.85, Balance 0.22, Silver Hue 27.00, Silver Tone Strength 0.61, Paper Hue 45.00, and Paper Tone Strength 0.42;  Quad Tone Color Region 1 black set to 7.46, Color Region 2 set to Color (R67/G48/B32) and 77.12, Color 3 Region to Color (R173/G148/B104) and 181.6, and Color Region 4 set to white and 255.0; Vignette Strength -0.28, Vignette Size 0.61, Vignette Transition 0.83, and Vignette Curvature 0.83; and Transparency Overall 1.00.  In Local Adjustments set to Detail – Brush Size 254, Opacity 0.25, Hardness 0.05 and Edge Aware to 0.50 – painted back the front flower and the orange colored dish so that it was a focal point. The Overall Strength was set to 1.00. Set same brush to Color and painted back the pink flowers. Vignette Strength set to -0.32, Vignette Size to 0.68, Vignette Transition to 0.63, and Vignette Curvature 0.82 – center vignette on just above the center pink flower. Changed Overall Transparency to 0.75.) On another stamped layer the Camera Raw Filter Radial filter was applied to adjust the focus on the orange pot and center pink flower. That was it. Lots of Topaz on this one!…..Digital Lady Syd

Painted Apples

Image of painted apples in a bin
Not sure what inspired me to paint these apples from image taken at the local grocery store, but I did. The image was first opened in Lightroom where the basic image was adjusted, then in Photoshop. After some clean up, a stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) where Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was applied using the Landscape III preset. Next on a duplicate layer, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used (used Cross Processing Method L05 at Strength 27%; Darken/Lighten Center set to Shape 1, Center Luminosity 73%, Border Luminosity -46%, and Center Size 24%; Low Key Glow 0%, Standard Low Key 6%, Dynamics Low Key 0%, Sat 56%, Whites 3%, and Contrast 72%; and Detail Extractor 22%, Contrast 14%, Sat 25%, Shadow under ow, and Highlights under hl). On a New Layer above, used a Blender Mixer brush using property bar settings of Wet 100%, Load 1%, Mix 100%, and Flow 100% and set to Sample All Layers – turn off Load Brush After Each Stroke so it will just be a blender and mix the colors underneath. I am not sure which brush I used, but any brush you like should be a nice blender with the above settings. On a new Stamped Layer, Nik Viveza 2 was used to add focus to the center area. Last step was a Curves Adjustment Layer. I also painted this in Corel Painter and got a much more abstract look. Will probably show that version in a later post. Anyway, love the Photoshop Mixer Brush effect on these apples!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Particle Brush Flower

Image of a red hibiscus bloom done in Corel Painter particle brush
This beautiful Chinese Hibiscus bloom was painted in Corel Painter using one of their new particle brushes and following the short video called Painter 2015 Particle Brush Painting Featuring Karen Bonaker. The image started with auto-painting using the Oils category Particle Spring Oil Mop brush variant. So much fun. Then brought it back into Photoshop to apply the textures, although it could have been done the same way the video showed in Painter. The flower was selected by going to Select -> Color Range and choosing white. Then added a layer mask to the painted canvas layer so the flower is white and the background is black in the mask. Since I wanted the edging to be yellow around the flower, the Layer Style was opened and the B Channel was unchecked. Also the Blend If This Layer black tab was split  (ALT+drag to split tab) and set to 133/158. Two textures from French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) were placed underneath: Colorwash Juin set to Normal at 100% Layer Opacity and Solstice Well Spring set to Multiply at 100% layer opacity. The Layer Style was opened up for the last texture and the Blend If This Layer white tab was split and set to 221/255 and Underlying White tab split to 195/226. The original Flower layer was placed on top with a black layer mask applied. Just the leaf veins in the front leaf and a few other details were lightly painted back in with white in the mask. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to bring back some contrast. Last step was using Nik Viveza 2 to really add some focus to the center leaf. I really love how the particle brush created this rather interesting effect around the flower……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Corel Painter’s Auto-Painting Results – Not Bad!

Doors, Doors, Doors!

Image of the front of an old home in Savannah, Georgia
Did this photo a while ago of an old home in Savannah, Georgia, that was being renovated. The original image was not that pretty as the building had to be taken into Photoshop’s Lens Correction where the distortion was removed. Many layers of clean up were done to get rid of some Spanish Moss hanging down in front of the image from an overhanging tree. Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and the Detail Extractor filter was selected (Detail Extractor 46%, Contrast 44%, and Saturation 6%) and Tonal Contrast filter was added (Highlights 1%, Midtones 36%, Shadows -33%, Saturation 59%, and Contrast Type High Pass). Now some of the beautiful color in the doors and brick started showing up. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was created and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) was opened and the Wonderland Preset was applied at 53% opacity. This was a great example of how Topaz Glow lights up an image. I love the final appearance of the home – hope it turned out this nice…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
How to Get the Soft Glow in Topaz Glow

An Artsy Sketch

Colored Pencil Sketch image of Baker's Pier in the Bahamas
Just playing around with an effect I learned from a tutorial by Lesa Snider called How to Convert a Photo to a Colored Sketch with Photoshop. It actually did a pretty nice job on this image. After converting the image to a sketch, I went to the Select -> Color Range and chose Highlights in the drop-down menu. Check Invert box and say OK-a layer mask is applied to the image selecting the background. Next I applied two textures I have created underneath the sketch with the top layer set to Hard Light and the Blend If This Layer black layer set to 101. Created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and added a Curves Adjustment Layer for some contrast. Next several layers were created and just different areas were painted to emphasize them. Created another stamped layer and applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle (Peach Prairie preset with changes to Sat Primary 0.02, Third -0.05, and Fifth 0.25; and Primary -0.58, Third -0.20, and Fourth -0.36; Basic set to Color Blend Mode , Tone White Level -0.37; and Details Structure -1.00 and Sharpness -1.00 to get a more painterly look on the colors). Added a copy of the image before ReStyle was added and set it to Luminosity at 42% layer opacity to tone down the colors a little. Sort of a crazy looking image, but was still a lot of fun to play with all the colors……Digital Lady Syd