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Busy As a Bee!

Image of a Bee in a purple succulent plant
This little bee and his buddies were very busy checking out this magnificent specimen of a purple succulent at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. I am not sure what kind of plant this was, but it was a gorgeous color! No wonder the bees were attracted to it! The image was opened in Photoshop and the background duplicated. Next JixiPix Spectral Art’s Dark Lines preset was applied to the layer – see my How to Use the Free Spectrel Art Plug-in blog to download. A black layer mask was added and the effect was only applied to the bees to give a little more detail to the wings. A stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (see my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordible!) blog) was applied to further sharpen up the bees. Another black layer mask was added and the bees were painted out again and in the Properties bar, the Density was set to 80%. Some clean up was done on a layer. On another stamped layer the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was applied using my favorite grouping of Film Efex: Vintage (set to Film Type 2), Darken/Lighten Center, and Monday Morning set to no Smear, Color Set Sepia, and overall Opacity 56%. On yet another stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was opened up. The Sunflower Fields preset was applied and in the ReStyle Masks section, just the color was painted into the bees – this gives the really pretty golden color in the bees, and in the Basic section, the Detail Structure was set to -0.69 to soften everything but the bees. The last step was to create another stamped layer and apply the also free Nik Viveza 2 to the image to draw more focus to the bees. It always amazes me how these different plug-ins work together to get some great effects!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Red Sunflower Saying Hello

Image of a Red Sunflower from the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida
This gorgeous red sunflower image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida (a wonderful place to take flower pix!). I had never seen a red sunflower growing before – grew up around yellow ones! Did a tight crop around the flower first. Next tried out the new Photoshop feature called Select and Mask to remove the flower, buds and stems from the busy background. Works pretty nicely but takes a little practice to get a good result – the  computer runs pretty hard while using it. The selection was applied on a new layer with a mask. Placed one of my Corel Painter textures behind the flower and buds. Next created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top and opened up the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 – used 3 of my favorite filters: Film Efex Vintage Film Type 6 and placed several control points around the outside removing the filter effect from these areas – this preserved the texture effect; Darken/Lighten Center; and Monday Morning with 4 control points on outside and 48% opacity. Back in Photoshop the Nik layer was set to 77% layer opacity. That was it! Pretty easy and I like the results – it feels summery to me!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Just a Little Flower

Image of painted purple flower
This image was created by painting over a flower taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. The flower was actually selected from its background with Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5 and saved as a PSD file to take into Paintstorm Studio. This program has some beautiful paint brushes at a very reasonable price. Several different layers were painted with different brushes including the watercolor spots before saving as a PSD and re-opened into PS. A bird was added and my Corel Painter Fresh Air texture was used behind the flower. Added a little grass using Frostbo Set 2 Grass 005 brush to add some ground. Used Kyle T. Webster’s free Animator Pencil to draw around the petals a little and the free Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the focal point. It was a lot of fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd

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White Ibises Playing at the Sea

Image of White Ibis's at the Sea
This image is of a group of White Ibis at the West Palm Beach Zoo – when someone threw out some treats, the whole exhibit sort of “flew the coop” and came out with everybody walking around on the sidewalks. Totally funny! I decided to make it a more interesting get-away area! Basically just sharpened the birds in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3. Then selected the birds from their background – I used Topaz ReMask 5. With a layer mask several birds were removed where they were partly hidden by other birds. Several layers were added for painting – used Grut’s FX Cloud brushes (love these brushes) for clouds and ground areas, Grut’s Dusky Covert brush for color on birds, Kyle T. Websters Sparse Bristle Watercolor brush for lines on body,  Aaron Blaise’s water brush sb 46 10, and Frostbo’s Grass Set 2 brushes 005 and 009. The newly free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used to create the final effect (Filters used: Tonal Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Vignette: Lens, Remove Color Cast, Graduated Filters, and Image Borders) – I like to just play around with the different filters to see what happens! This was just a lot of fun to paint – and not that difficult!…..Digital Lady Syd

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A Beautiful Room

Image of Flagler Museum's West Room in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image of the West Room is one of several beautiful areas at the Flagler Museum (or Whitehall) in West Palm Beach, Florida. It appears to be one of areas rented out for special occasions. When visiting this museum, it was a pleasant surprise to see all it contained, and with practically no other people around. A photographer’s paradise!

For post-processing, in Lightroom Trey Radcliff’s free preset called A Marshmellow Happysmell was applied – this gives it the warm colors in the image. In Photoshop, Lucis Pro 6.0.9 was applied (AOIC-0/100; R171/G155/B37) and then in a black layer mask, just areas I wanted sharpened were painted back. Created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and added Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s Overpaint II preset as is. Next several painting and clean up layers were used to smooth out some of the rough edges. Added Nik Viveza 2 as a last step to emphasize the focal points. I like the effect this Impression preset added to the image…..Digital Lady Syd

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Hiding from the Sun

Image of Pear Harvest Sculpture at the Sculpture and Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach, FloridaThis restful place was located at the Philip Hulitar Sculpture and Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida. This particular bronze sculpture was called Harvest Pears and was in this building with a fountain and another sculpture called the Monumental Apple Basket – both sculptures are by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz.

This image used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow on a duplicate layer – using one of my presets called SJ Painterly Wonderland (see my Tidbits Blog called My Glowing Porch Flowers for preset settings). On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) applied Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Settings were: Assign Original Image Color – 0/100 original and Smooth 4791 and Enhance 45589). The Elephant on the stand is from Design Cuts Elephant Children’s Book Freebie Pack-77. A lot was done to make the elephant fit into the image like softening the edges and adding some defining lines. On another stamped layer Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was added using these filters:  Film Efex Vintage, Glamour Glow, Darken/Lighten Center, Monday Morning, Detail Extractor, and Sunlight. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point. This took a long time to do, but it is always worth it when I take my time on post-processing……Digital Lady Syd

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A Peaceful Place

Image of a quite place at the Philip Huilitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image is a of a nice quite place at the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida. In Photoshop two layers were opened in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression and different presets were used to get this effect. The first preset was one of mine that was based on a Colored Pencil preset. But I did not like the effect on the bottom foreground grassy area. Therefore one of Blake Rudis called Abstract Settings was used for this area by removing the effect from the top of the image in a layer mask. Then on two more different layers Topaz Lens Effects was opened using Toy Camera Soft and Dreamy preset with the Vignette and Camera Shake turned off, and a Selective Vignette using the Soft Olive Green preset. As a final step, Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw the focus to the statue a little more clearly. I really like the way the painterly effect turned out!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Red-Winged Bug on a White Flower

Image of a Red-Winged Bug on a White Flower
This was just a fun image to do – loved the colors in the bug. Just used my basic workflow – used Lucis Pro 6.0.9, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3, Black and White Adjustment Layer, Topaz Lens Effects Reflector and Vignette filters, and Red Channel Curves Adjustment Layer along with lots of clean up. Used a Hatch Brush on lost of this image. Lots of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Texture Everywhere!

Image of Symbiotic Plants in a Palm Tree
I love this image because of all the textures in it. These are symbiotic plants growing in the Palm, but I am not really sure what kind – the brown plant appears to be a type of Spanish Moss. The light was pretty nice on the green plant so it created a nice contrast in the image. In Lightroom just Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Kodrachrome preset was applied to the image. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the plant and the moss – a black mask was applied and just those areas were painted back. A Black and White Adjustment Layer was used to adjust the values in the image to emphasize the focal point, then switched its blend mode to Luminosity and kept the adjustment. (See my How To See if You Captured the Focal Point blog.) A Camera Raw filter was applied on a Composite Layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) using the Radial Tool and adding just a little Exposure (+o.35) and Yellow Temperature (+70) to the image. This tip I learned from Matt Kloskowski Lightroom Tip: Relighting a Scene with the Radial Filter. On a new Composite Layer, Topaz Lens Effects Vignette Selective filter using the Medium Vignette preset with slider adjustments and Opacity set to 61.39 was applied. That was it. The texture is what I really like with these adjustments…..Digital Lady Syd

Get the Boy Something He Wants!

Shorpy's Vintage Image of shopping at the Sport Mart in Washington, DC in 1922
This image was downloaded from Shorpy.com of the Sport Mart on F Street NW in Washington. DC around 1922. I had originally started tinting the whole image as I thought the old cars were quite interesting. Once zoomed into the people, the image took on a whole different perspective! Therefore it was cropped tight to see the boy and his father and/or grandfather looking at the bicycles and other items in the store window. The sign sort of capped off what I consider a great story! All I could think about is what the little boy wanted.

The tinting was done using the technique and brush in my How to Hand Tint a Vintage Image and Create a Brush to Do This blog. After resizing and cleaning up the image a little, several layers were painted with the Tint Brush created in the linked blog. Then image was cropped as the cars looked good still in front of the store. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was used to create the rather dewy soft vintage feel in the image. (These filters were used:  Glamour Glow, Midnight with Blur turned off and set to 52% opacity, Reflector Efex, Vignette Filter and Image Borders.) Nik Viveza 2 (also free) was used to focus on the store window a little more. On another stamped layer Photoshop’s Camera Raw filter was opened and using the Detail section, some color noise was removed in the coats of the people. Adding a black layer mask (CTLR+I in white mask) to the layer, just the coats and any colored noise areas were painted over with a white brush to remove the noise. On another stamped layer the Camera Raw Radial Filter was used to lighten just the people and sign using the Brush in the filter to pinpoint just them. This layer was set to 55% layer opacity. Next a Red Channel Curves Adjustment Layer was used to brighten up the luminous areas just slightly. (See my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Imaged Effect blog.) That was all that was done. I am really enjoying this technique!…..Digital Lady Syd

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