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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

Dreaming

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

The Magic Violin

Image of violin and musical notes
This image was inspired by a wonderful piece of clip-art from The Design Shop called Vintage Violin clip art. From there the image just kept building. The background abstract city element was created in Corel Painter and a few cool brushes created in PS for more detailed elements. This whole image was just a lot of fun to do and no filters this time!…..Digital Lady Syd

Looking for a Dragon Slayer

Image of a huge Dragon Fly
This is an image of a dragon fly that was sleeping upside down on the roof of my front porch. These bugs are huge – like 4 or 5 inch wing span! Anyway, got a good image so decided to play with it and see what effects I could get. What really surprised me is that the background actually came out inside the wings. The fly was selected using the Quick Selection Tool and then taken into Refine and Mask where this really nice detailed selection of the wings was created. A lot of textures were created. These textures were used: 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Sea Storm Canvas and French Brocante 10 set to Soft Light, and Daily Texture Exploration 7 set to Multiply blend mode at 60% layer opacity. The Sharpen Tool was also used to sharpen the wings. The Dragon is a brush by Rob Marks. Nik Viveza 2 filter was used to even out the background. The font is called Enchanted Brush. Lots of fun to create!…..Digital Lady Syd

Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treat Halloween Greeting
Happy Halloween to everyone! Just thought I would post a little Halloween cheer using a photo taken at the local Lowe’s Garden Center. Sometimes the displays are more creative than what you see in the neighborhood! I am not sure what this little guy is but he sure is scary! So had some fun with this image.  Started by selecting the subject and putting him on his own layer. Then underneath used Shadowhouse Creations Halloween Pattern 3 HP3 and topped it with Julia Dreams Halloween icons Pattern 1 – actually used the Blend If slider to get the strips to show up underneath by setting This Layer black tabs split to 131/174. It gave a really  nice effect. Add the Machovka_bat and text – the Adrenaline Brush font with a Stroke Layer Style- were added. Color was added to the letters by clipping Pattern Fill Adjustment Layers to the three text files. Had to replace the font on the bowl as it was not very sharp and added the Old English Text MT font – a layer style was added using a Stroke, Inner Shadow and Outer Glow effects. On a Stamped Layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust the focal point of the image. Then a 50% Gray Fill Layer was used to Dodge and Burn with just a black or white brush. The cobwebs were placed in the subject’s eyes – Obsidian Dawn’s Halloween Vector Cobweb 10 brush was used. Last step involved add Halloween Cats Brush by altergromit (love this cat) – added a mask to pop him out of the bowl and added an orange Outer Glow Layer Style around him. That was it – check out some of these resources for other interesting Halloween items…..Digital Lady Syd

Happy Halloween

Image of Halloween Pumpkins and Scarecrows
This Halloween grouping was taken at a local Lowe’s Garden Center on my Android – just could not resist the cuteness of these guys. I would love to have one of those straw looking characters but we do not get many Trick-or-Treaters here so no need to put outside. Anyway, since it was just a JPEG taken on the fly, the image itself needed some work. Only basic adjustments were done in LR, then in Photoshop the first thing done was to run the Shake Reduction Filter to try and sharpen up the edges a little. Next the background was removed using the Quick Selection Tool and Mask and Select command. One of my textures was placed underneath for a background. To further sharpen the image, it was taken into Lucis Pro (no longer available) and it really helped. On a stamped layer, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 using one of the Flypaper recipes presets to get this overall vintage feel – I forgot to write down which preset. So many of them looked good. Two inches were added to the bottom of the image and the Naive Deco Sans font was selected for type. On a New Layer a Mixer blender brush was used to smooth edges. Nik Viveza 2 was applied on a stamped layer to draw focus to the center pumpkin. Last step was to add a Curves Adjustment Layer for a little vintage feel to the overall image. Happy Halloween Everyone!…..Digital Lady Syd

A British Countryside

Image of British countryside
This image was taken of the British countryside on the way to Stonehinge. Lots of post-processing in Lightroom following Serge Ramirez’s instructions and using his very Sunset preset. Check out his My Most Liked Photos-Part 1: The Making of a Composition for basic info on this. Then in PS used Lucis Pro (no longer available) to really sharpen up the image. A couple Curves Adjustments layers, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle to really add the nice color treatment, and Camera Raw Filter to add a top bluish gradient. A final little sky clean up and that was it. Really like the nice feel of the little town…..Digital Lady Syd

Countryside Contentment

Image of countryside near Bath, England
This image was take on the highway to Bath, England. I did not realize what a beautiful sky was in the image so I had not looked at it in Photoshop. Now I think it looks rather idyllic. This image actually took a lot of layers to get it looking the way I wanted: Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio was used to bring the contrast into the image and the Radiance Adjustment was used to get some very precise lines. Some spotlight effect was used to direct the eye and Nik Viveza 2. To warm the sky a Light Gradient using clear, yellow and pink colors was added to warm up the whole image. Blake Rudis’s gradient map vignette technique was used to finish up the image. (See my Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog.) Overall a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd