Anything Photoshop or Photography


Checking Out the Feathers

Image of a Little Boy looking at the feathers in a costume
I am apparently going through a vintage feel period. Loved this little boy at the Native American Festival held in Ormond Beach, Florida, each year. He was extremely intrigued by the feathers in the beautiful costume the older man was wearing. Totally loved this shot! Not much to the post-processing in this image – in Lightroom applied Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Magic Ugly Shade Fixer and Dave Delnea’s C+V Washed Vintage 001 preset. In Photoshop ran the Shake Reduction filter. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise 5 due to the added artifacts from the Shake Reduction filter – set Overall to 0.31. A black layer mask was added to the layer (hold the ALT button while clicking on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel) and just painted back his face, hat and sleeve areas as I liked the grainy feel in the rest of the image. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer to add some contrast to the image. Nik’s Viveza 2 was opened and a control point was added to his face to lighten and direct attention to that area. Back in Photoshop a New Layer was added and some clean up was done. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer was added and some of the bright orange in the background was softened so it was not so distracting. Filled the layer mask black by CTRL+I in the mask to invert it and painted back just the distracting areas to soften. Created a Stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and my free SJ Mid Size Double Edge Frame was applied using colors from the image. Lots of fun just to play with an image!…..Digital Lady Syd

Universal Family Fun!

Image of people on Caro-Seuss-el at Universal Studios, Orlando
Just a quick fun picture taken at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, earlier this year. This is the Caro-Seuss-el ride, similar to the Flying Elephants at the Magic Kingdom. Added Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Crosslight Warm preset in Lightroom. In Photoshop rand the Shake Reduction filter – seem to work really well on hand-held images. Next the Mixer Brush was used to remove the heavy shading on the children’s faces. Since I felt like doing a vintage image, ran Nik’s Analog Efex Pro 2 filter using a preset I created called Flat Vintage Look – used Basic Adjustments and two control points were placed on the kids; Light Leaks using the Soft leak 1st column and 2nd row – gave a really bleached out look coming from the right so the Strength was set way down to 28%; Lens Vignette – just a little setting Amount t0 -53% to slightly darken down the corners; Film Type Warm Nikko 2 set to a Strength of 24% and no grand (set to 470); and Levels and Curves adding some Luminosity and blue tones. Little more clean up on the faces and a Curves Adjustment Layer. Last step was Nik’s Viveza 2 with control points on the children’s faces to draw attention, especially to the little girl. That was it! ….. Digital Lady Syd

A Quiet Evening At the Marina

Image of boats in Camachee Cove, St. Augustine, Florida, at sunset
This is a beautiful image of the boats in Camanchee Cove in St. Augustine, Florida, at sunset. In Lightroom I applied David duChemin’s B-W Kathmandu Neutral preset, and then adjusted the HSL tweaking and some slight Split Toning to get this look. Opened in Photoshop and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was applied using my Small Medium Large Detail preset (Medium Details 0.38, Large Details 0.16, and Contrast 0.30), and then in a layer mask the sky was painted out so that the clouds did not look too crisp. On a New Layer there were a few highlight areas that needed to be painted over. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top and set the Output Levels to 0 and 165 – first time I have ever moved the white tab left on this slider, but it just slightly darkened down the image the way I wanted it to look. A stamped layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and SJ B&W Border Frame from my free Double Edge Frames Photoshop Layer Style was added with colors sampled from the image. Hope you enjoy the photo!…..Digital Lady Syd

There’s a Leopard on the Floor!

Image of a Snow Leopard Rug
Just having fun here. Took this image of a Snow Leopard Rug at the Native American Festival in Ormond Beach, Florida. No, I do not believe it was a real snow leopard skin, but it caught my eye so I snapped a shot. In Lightroom just used Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Power Workflow 4 Super Hero X WhiBal and Tint 82A Cooling presets. Next in Photoshop I applied the Shake Reduction filter – seem to be getting good results with this. On a duplicate layer, the image was opened up in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black & White Effects and a preset I had created a while back was applied (settings for my SJ Sky and Green Preset are: Conversion section Basic Exposure Contrast 0.02, Brightness 0.02, Boost Blacks 0.71 and Boost Whites 0.25; Adaptive Exposure 0.62, Regions 34, Protect Highlights and Shadows 0.01, Detail 2.47, Detail Boost 1.04, and check Process Details Independently; Creative Effects Diffusion Softness 0.17, Diffusion 0.69, and Diffusion Transition 0.50; Local Adjustments Detail Brush (Brush Size 110, Opacity 0.45, Hardness 0.01 and Edge Aware 1.00) and painted over eyes and some of the facial features in the face; with Burn brush painted in (using a small Brush Size 10, Opacity 0.23, Hardness 0, and Edge Aware 1.00) some of the hairs around the face and up to the ear; and using the Color Brush with the same settings painted in the eyes and a bit of the nose; Finishing Touches Silver and Paper Tone set to Tonal Strength 0.19, Balance 0, Silver Hue 42.58, Silver Tone Strength 0.46, Paper Hue 46.48, and Paper Tone Strength 0.48; Quad Tone Color 1 Region (black) set to 0.00, Color 2 Region (R3/G36/B22) set to 67.18, Color 3 Region (R214/G223/B238) set to 146.6, and Color 4 Region Set (white) set to 255.0; Vignette Center – had to center on the right eye since clicking on the image in a whitish area left a noticeable white blog – think it is a glitch in the plug-in, Vignette Strength -0.25, Vignette Size 0.01, Vignette Transition 0.17, and Vignette Curvature 0.50; and Transparency slider set to 0.89). On a New Layer some clean up was done to remove distracting objects. On a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 was applied (settings for my preset SJ Blown Out Beach: Basic Adjustment Detail Extractor 18%, Brightness -10%, Contrast 13%, and Saturation 0%; Light Leaks Strength 13% and Soft First leak upper left with control point placed in upper right to darken down the corner showing Texture Strength set to 68%; Lens Vignette Amount 36%, Circle under ct in Rectangle, and Size 72% with the vignette set over the left eye; and Levels & Curves Opacity set to 70%  and just bumping up the end of right bottom curve to 0/2 in the RGB curve, and dragged down the curve in the middle of the Luminosity slider to pop the picture a little). Nik Viveza 2 was added on another stamped layer and 6 control points were added – each corner was darkened down a little and softened by moving the Structure slider to the negative side, and a control point was placed on his face to brighten it up to draw the eye. Back in Photoshop a New Layer was created and just the eyes and nose were sharpened. On a final stamped layer my free SJ Thin Double Edge Frame layer style was added and colors sampled from the image. That was all that was done – just basically followed my Plug-in Workflow (see Digital Lady Syd’s Plug-in Workflow)…..Digital Lady Syd

Fall Is In the Sky!

Image created from various Photoshop Brushes
This is an oldie-but-goodie created in 2011 but I like the fall colors. Since I am into so much painting, this one was done with 11 layers using different brushes, one free texture, Shadowhouse Creations Oil Painting 5, one of my favorite textures, set to Overlay at 59% layer opacity just below a Nik Color Efex Pro Graduated Neutral Filter layer (don’t have settings – before I was saving that info). First a new document was created at 8 inches x 10 inches at 240 pp. Here are all the free brushes (thanks to the wonderful Deviant Art artists) used in this image, each on a different layer. On New Layer it looks like a large soft round brush was used to created the strong orange and reddish effect for the background just painting over the image at a lower opacity and building up a little. Glitter & Lines by Madeliniz gr set to 31% layer opacity; Glitter & Lines by Mandeliniz-g1 warped – brown lines; Texturemate swirls 35 png – green circles; grunge brushes by lydia -bright yellow on lower left; Another layer of grunge brushes by lydia – pink splotch lower right and set to 62% layer opacity; yet another layer of grunge brushes by lydia – blue object; Dollfie-Chan snowflake; Arsgrafik Snowflake Brushes 364 snowflake lower right yellow; another of the same brush that used pink and the Color Replacement Tool to add the color; Space by JaneDoeStock Space#2 – upper white galaxy spiral; and Space #4 – lower orange comet. Looks like a little white grunge was spread around to look outer spacey but not sure what brush. These type of images are so much fun to create. Give it a try if you get bored and want a change!…..Digital Lady Syd

Squirrel Resident at Universal Studios

Image of a squirrel and plants at Universal Studios Orlando
This was probably not the greatest image but I loved the way the squirrel’s tail looked so I had to do some processing on this photo. This shot was actually taken once again at Universal Studios Orlando. I wanted a painterly look, but I did not want to spend a lot of time painting it since it was not the best original image. Trey Radcliff‘s Gradient Endless Weekend Lightroom preset was applied. The photo was opened in Photoshop CC and the Shake Reduction Filter was used. Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to overall sharpen the image. A black layer mask was added and just the squirrel and the closer plants were painted back. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was created and turned into a Smart Object where Alien Skin’s Snap Art 4 was opened. I used a preset I had created in Snap Art 3 based on the Historic Oil Paint preset (settings were Background – Brush Size 14, Photorealism 23, Paint Thickness 77, Stroke Length 63, Color Variation 0, and Bristle Brush Brush Style; Detail Masking – on Squirrel, Effect Detail, Brush Size -10, Photorealism 100, Paint Thickness -40, Stroke Length -49, Color Variation 36 and Brush Style Bristle Brush; and on mid-back leaves, Effect Detail Brush Size 23, Photorealism -59, Paint Thickness 73, Stroke Length 79, Color Variation 85, and Brush Style Bristle Brush; and Colors Brightness -38, Contrast -14, Saturation 33, and Temperature 36; Lighting – Default; and no other settings used). Using Photoshop’s Flat Fan Single Bristle Wet Edge brush as a Mixer, the overly bright spots were blended in on a separate layer. Next Topaz ReStyle Rustic Red and Orange preset was used (the settings used are ReStyle Color Style Lum Third -0.48 and Fifth -0.39; Texture Strength 1.00; Basic Tone Black Level 0.11, Midtones -0.31, and White Level 0.30; and Detail Structure 0.11 and Sharpness 0.73). This turned the image color palette into a bit warmer feel. Nik Viveza 2 was added to add a little more tonality to just the squirrel and add some blue into the sky. The last step was to use Photoshop’s Radial Filter in Camera Raw on just the squirre to draw further attention to him. It was a lot of steps but always fun to do……Digital Lady Syd

Young Warrior

Image of a Young Warrior from the Native American Festival
I loved how this image turned out. The original was taken at the Native American Festival in Ormond Beach, Florida. Not going to go into all the details as it was a huge process – 27 layers and lots of hours but I will say it was all done in Photoshop, mainly with a Flat Fan Oil Brush I created. Must give a shout out to Melissa Gallo, a Corel Master, for her wonderful textures and her techniques in teaching how to do this type of image, including creating your own brushes! Check out her website and get the Painting in Photoshop Workshop if you want to learn some fabulous techniques and tips. (She also has a new one being released shortly called Painter for Photographers that I am so looking forward to taking!) This texture is her April Pastel texture. Also used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle to get the color in the image exactly right. This plug-in is in my top three! Totally fabulous what it can do to an image!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz ReStyle

The Mighty Tulip

Image of a yellow tulip painted in Photoshop
Just another photo of a very colorful red and yellow tulip and some pink daisies from my local grocery store. Just practicing my painting. This time using my basic workflow. Add Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Power Workflow 4 Magic Flat Light Fixer. Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 to sharpen up the image a little, and Topaz Simplify to use as a base coat to paint above. On a New Layer above, used Photoshop’s Flat Fan Single Bristle Wet Brush as a regular brush to paint over the yellow tulip and some of the greenery. French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) Atelier GA Brush created in my blog was painted on the next layer. (See my How to Paint with a Texture Brush from Your Image blog for how to make this brush.) Melissa Gallo of Painted Textures Desert Sky Canvas texture was applied twice to create two texture layers, first set to Hard Light at 56% layer opacity, and then set to Color Burn at 24%. Created a Stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top and then copied the Topaz Detail 3 layer and placed underneath since I had some bad places on the petals. In the stamped layer, added a white layer mask and lightly painted back part of the tulip that were not sharp enough. Then on a New Layer above, used my Chalk 60 brush as a mixer to smooth over the tulip. I decided this image needed some pizazz – it was just too yellow and bright green. On yet another New Layer took my Chalk 60 brush with the texture turned on and painted some bright colored blotches all over it in oranges and yellows and greens and pinks – kind of went crazy. Set this layer to Pin Light. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer and a Levels Adjustment Layer to add contrast. On a stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was opened up and Control Points were added to the yellow tulip and the purple daisy in front. Topaz ReStyle was opened on another stamped layer above. (Here are the settings: SJ Very Muted Sepia preset. Changes to preset were: Restyle Opacity 88%; Lum Primary -0.58, Third -0.36, Fourth -0.45, and Fifth 0.30; Texture 1.00; Basic Opacity 23% set to Hard Light blend mode; Color Temperature -0.11; Tone White Level 0.25; and Detail Structure 0.06 and Sharpness 0.83.) The last step involved adding the beautiful Canvas Vignette border by the wonderful Corel Master John Derry – can be downloaded from this link. This is the final image. Okay – it is a bit of workflow, but sometimes it just takes a lot of manipulation to get the look you like!….Digital Lady Syd

The Most Delicious Caramel Apples!

Image of Rocky Road Caramel Applies from Universal Studios Orlando
The above is what happens if I am in Photoshop when I am hungry! These delicious Rocky Road Candy Apples were located at Snookers Candy Store in Seuss Land at Universal Studios Orlando. May be the most tasty looking candy apples I have ever seen! Wanted to use this image as an example of just a subtle painterly effect added to an image for just a little enhancement. This image was processed in Lightroom where cropping and Seim’s Workflow 4 (see sidebar for website link) Hill and Lucas preset was applied. Photoshop’s Shake Reduction Filter was applied and it actually sharpened up the image just a little. Did lots of clean up since this was shot through a plastic case. Finally I went into Photoshop CC (CS6 also has it and Pixel Bender still has it for CS5) Oil Paint Filter – I am really sad this filter has been eliminated in the new CC 2014 version – I thought the marshmallows and chocolate would look nice with this effect. (Settings used: Brush Stylization 10, Cleanliness 10, Scale 1.14, Bristle Detail 10, Lighting Angular Direction 300, and Shine 1.35.) A layer mask was added and with my Chalk 60 brush, some of the effect was painted out in areas that looked overdone. To really make the image pop, Nik Viveza was applied – both globally and with control points to add just the right amount of vignette and sharpness. This filter is still just incredible! A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to lighten up the whites just a little more and a layer was used to add some burning to define the marshmallows in the front apple from the one further back. (See my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog.) This was really a fun image to work with and just adding a little painterly effect really made it stand out!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Archaeologist

Image of a gift shop display at Universal Studios Orlando
This is part of a really interesting display in one of the gift shops at Universal Studios Orlando. I shot the image up at a rather life-like mannequin and really liked the results. Seims (see sidebar for website link) Power Workflow 4 Magic Flat Light Fixer preset was used in Lightroom. In Photoshop the Shake Reduction Filter and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the whole image. Kim Klassen‘s Autumn Burst was applied on top and a layer mask was added. Using my Chalk 60 brush in the mask at 30% brush opacity, the man and objects were lightly painted back so they show through the texture. Kim’s 1402 magic texture was placed on top and set to Soft Light at 32% layer opacity. Next 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Ultimate Texture Collection’s Jewel Chalks was set to Divide at 33% layer opacity – this gives the bluish colors in the image. Next a Text layer was added using the font called A Charming Font Superexpanded at 70 pt. On a New Layer the Sharpen Tool was used on the person’s face. Nik’s Viveza 2 was used to sharpen up the face even a little more and to add a slight vignette effect in the corners of the image. That was about it. It turned out to be a really different image and the Difference blend mode turned an ordinary image into something quite interesting……Digital Lady Sydf