Anything Photoshop or Photography


Purring Tiger

Image of a Malaysian Tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo
This image is of a Malaysian Tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo – I think he was actually purring – I sort of connected with him. I tried a couple different plug-ins on this guy. Started with Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity, then Topaz Clean’s Cartoon preset where a black layer mask was added and just the whiskers were painted back to give the sharp effect. First time I have used this plug-in so it was really good to see the results. Used PS’s Select and Mask panel and then followed up with a Defringe of 1 px to get rid of the gray edging. Used two of Jai Johnson’s new Unpredictable Textures for the interesting painted look behind him. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and applied Topaz Texture Effects 2 – one of Blake Rudis’s from a while ago (check out his videos on Topaz Labs). On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied and that was it. It has a bit of an engraved feeling to it and was a lot of fun to try…..Digital Lady Syd

Bird of Paradise

Image of a Bird of Paradise plant with white bloom
This beautiful white flowers in a Bird of Paradise in my front yard was fun to post-process. Used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity to sharpen overall, and Topaz Simplify with the Simplify Size slider set to 0.17 which removed some of the bad spots on the leaves. Painted on the flower stems and stalks to further remove bad areas and add a little texture to them. Used the Corel ParticleShop plug-in to remove the background area using Blend brush and the Blender Tool. This plug-in can be very handy! On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects 2 was used – used Fall Foliage Foggy Morning (downloaded from the Topaz Community) with a few adjustments to the Basic Adjustments section. In the Texture section, masked the texture off the focal point with the Brush tab set to a Strength of 0.66. Did some clean up and added the free Nik Viveza 2 to enhance the focal point. Added Sarah Gardner’s Frame Collection Paper Frame 05 on top that is a free download. That is all that was done for this nice vintage effect!…..Digital Lady Syd


Flowers Enjoying the Day

Image of Crepe Jasmine white flowers
These cute little flowers are Crepe Jasmine, I believe, and are growing in my front yard. Not a whole lot post-processing on this image. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was used to sharpen up the overall image. On a duplicate layer Lucis Pro (unfortunately no longer available) was set to Enhance (R161/G169/B67). Duplicated the layer again and applied Topaz Texture Effects’ Winter Wilderness preset. On yet another duplicated layer, Nik Viveza 2 (now free) was applied to darken the corners slightly and sharpen the focal point at the center of the flowers. Finally, a New Layer was opened on top.  Used a soft round brush to paint with black at a very low opacity to reduce the brightness of the stems of the flowers and leaves. Applying the Lucis Pro plug-in gave the very well defined effect on the leaves and flowers. This image was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

Feeling Fancy

Image of Gray Heron with fancy painted plummage
Thought I would do another image to show what the Corel ParticleShop brushes can do for an image. Here is a little gray heron recently taken sitting on my porch screen (see link to original image).  The Exclusive Pack of brushes was used to create this image – these come with the plug-in when it is purchased. Here are the brushes that were used in this image:  used the Fabric brush and painted out the fancy wings – Size 73/Opa 52; used Hair to add in more bluish lines in the wings – Size 120/Opa 100/Value Variability 5/Min Length 25; used the Wild Grain to some texture to sky used bluish tones – Size 75/Opa7/Count 15/Grain 55; used Cluster to add some little flecks in the head feathers Size 73/Opa 67 with yellow/white flecks and no Glow; used Fur to add some yellow cast on the light side of the bird; used Lightwaver to add the feathers on his breast; and used Fur to adjust the yellow over the breast areas. On a layer above Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 was applied with a few adjustments. That was about it! Love this regal bird!…..Digital Lady Syd

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Card
Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends celebrating the holiday today!

This was a really quick image to create – just used one of 2 Lil Owls Workshop textures for the background (see sidebar for website link). On New Layers above: Selected a Snow Brush to add a little holiday feel; added some brush strokes using a leafy floral clip art that was turned into a brush and a Bevel and Emboss layer style added to the layer; used Grut’s Inky Leaks FX Il Romato brush (one of my favorite in this great set) to paint over the stalks for some nice detail; and a chunky brush to add in different colors. On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 using a Dingy Cream preset was applied. A Stroke, Gradient Overlay and Outer Glow Layer Styles waere added to the text layer. The clip art is from Graphics Fairy and used Stroke, Inner Shadow, and Outer Glow Layer Styles. Fill Color and Pattern Fill Adjustments Layers were clipped to the clip art (ALT+click between the layers to clip)……Digital Lady Syd

The Jumper

Image of Oheo Gulch in Maui, Hawaii
Just had some fun taking some pictures at Ohe’o Gulch (also called Seven Sacred Pools) on Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii, a while back. The original image was much larger with people standing on top and swimming below! Very popular place! Note: people are not encouraged to dive or jump into the water here as it is very hazardous and many fatalities have occurred. Just wanted to see if I could get a nice waterfall effect using an old tip on how to smooth out waterfalls. (See my Smoothing Out Those Waterfalls blog.) Two Motion Blur filters had to be used since the water was falling in slightly different directions. To get the soft look in the rocks, used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 and a preset I created called SJ Soft Pastel Effect which uses a Basic Adjustment (need to set to individual image), Diffusion (Strength 0.57, Softness 0.38, Blur 0.39);  Split Tone (Highlight Saturation 0.12, Highlight Hue 0.48, Shadow Saturation 0.07, Shadow Hue 0.70, Balance 0.63, and Opacity 1.00), Vignette (use setting to fit your image), Borders (the second row up from bottom on left; Texture – Soft Grunge light beige/gray vertical lines (middle column, 7th row) – Size 1.00, Opacity 0.63, Blending Mode Saturation, Detail 0.07, Saturation 0.08, Color Strength 0.14, Color 0); and Light Leaks (a gold and yellow disk from upper left (2nd row from bottom and left column), Size 1.05, Blending Mode Color Dodge, Saturation 0.68, Color Strength 0.46, Color 0.45). A little burning around the jumper was the last thing done. This was a pretty neat place to visit!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Guilded Age Bathroom

Image of the bathroom at the Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in West Palm Beach
This image was taken at the Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in West Palm Beach, Florida. The image was actually post-processed without the border or vintage effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity, Lucis Pro (no longer available), Topaz ReStyle and Topaz Lens Effects were used to begin the process. I was actually really happy with the results, and then Adobe came out with Photoshop CC2017. If you open a New Document, now a New Document Dialog box opens – select the Photo tab at top and Templates is one of the choices. I scrolled down to Vintage Photo Effects which was downloaded and my image was placed on top. In the template I changed the background layer color and added a grunge overlay set to 47% layer opacity. I also clipped (ALT+click between the layers) a second texture under  the Vintage Photo Paper. The Vintage paper texture was set to 47% layer opacity. Last step was to open up the now free Nik Viveza 2 to sharpen up the bottles and detail throughout the pix. The lighting was a little difficult to handle in this image due to the mirrors and the light coming in through a bright window off to the left. Try out Adobe’s free templates if you want a little different look……Digital Lady Syd

Just a Flower

Image of an orange Canna Lily
Had some fun painting this Canna Lily growing in my front yard. Used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity and ReMask (to select the flower) before adding one of my textures behind it. Then on a New Layer above, just painted the lily using Jack Davis’s Wow C Oil Blender 2 Mixer Brush that can be downloaded from his Facebook page. Topaz ReStyle was used to soften the color a little using a preset called Cotton Cloud set to Luminosity blend mode at 38% layer opacity. Some lines were added on a layer above and the last step was to add some texture using Just Jaimee Summer 2012 Brush Sampler 4 with a Bevel & Emboss layer style. It was set to Pin Light Blend Mode at 64% layer opacity. Last step used Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point. Pretty simple and lots of fun!…..Digital Lady Syd


Peach Hibiscus

Image of a painted peach hibiscus
This peach hibiscus that was growing on my back porch in Florida and was painted in Photoshop. The technique used is presented in the November Issue of Photoshop User Magazine on KelbyOne, so if you are a member, check it out. It gives you directions for creating 3 mixer brushes and basically makes the effort a lot easier than using the built-in Photoshop Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Setup default action. A Canvas Texture was added on top for a more painterly overall effect. I will be experimenting more with this technique using some of my own brushes and see what happens……Digital Lady Syd



Fountain Grass

Image of painted fountain grass
Took this image of fountain grass in my front yard. The original image shows the yard of my neighbor across the street so the first step was to blur the image to get rid of their yard. Used Photoshop’s Blur Gallery set to Iris Blur at Blur of 220 px. Individual stamped layers (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) were created for each of the following filters: Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black & White Effects was used to give a soft purplish tone, Topaz Clarity was used to sharpened just the foreground stalks, and Topaz Impression (Fine Brush Scumble II preset) was applied and the foreground stems painted back in a mask – then on a New Layer above, the Mixer Brush was used to smooth out the background. On another stamped layer Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Brown and White Pooch preset was used with adjustments – then in a white mask the foreground stem were painted back. Several mixer brush painting layers were added to give the water spray feel. The last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 to give a light vignette effect in the corners. This image was a lot of fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd