Anything Photoshop or Photography


Venetian Dreaming…..

Painted image of a Venetian Canal
Just another Corel Painter image created following Melissa Gallo’s terrific Painter for Photographers instructions. Not exactly like Melissa’s beautiful images, but I think I am starting to get a style. Since I have not been to Venice in a long time, a free image from Free Images (used to be Stock.Xchng and image is linked) was selected to paint. The original colors were totally different to what is shown, but that is half the fun of painting! While in Painter I actually used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Cool and Clear preset with a few changes to get a different color scheme before painting the image. I will say that there were 13 iterative saves before I got to this final image. I am finding the Iterative saves are actually handy to have since I needed to go back to one due to some painting mistakes. The Painter image was saved as a psd file and taken into Photoshop where another Topaz ReStyle preset – my favorite Cream and Plum (you can really see the tones in this image) – was used along with Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the boat a little more to finish up. Anyway, totally fun but it did take a little time to get it right.

Check out my Fun Photoshop blog this weekend for the same image but done totally with Topaz plug-ins in Photoshop…..Digital Lady Syd

Houses in Marsh Harbour

Image of brightly colored houses in Marsh Harbour
Just a quick post on this painting. The original photo was taken while actually leaving the channel at the small town of Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas. Still working on learning to use Corel Painter – Melissa Gallo’s Painter for Photographers Workshop is really helping me understand how to use this program. Lots to learn yet – this is really so much fun! I did do the final crop in Photoshop and used Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point. Also a Curves Adjustment Layer and signature layers was added. Still not comfortable staying in Painter for this……Digital Lady Syd

Chef Mickey!

Image of a Mickey Mouse topiary at Disney World Epcot
In honor of Epcot‘s International Food and Wine Festival, this Mickey Mouse topiary greets you at the entrance. I loved this image but it presented a real problem since the trees behind Mickey were essentially the same color as the topiary. That is when I decided to use Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression to get Mickey to stand out. In Lightroom used Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) PW4’s Magic Harsh Sun Flare Fixer preset and then his Radispot preset (radial filter was placed on Mickey’s head) to get as much contrast as possible between the colors. On a duplicate background layer in Photoshop Topaz Impression was opened where my SJ Watercolor Background preset (started with Watercolor II preset and these were the final settings: Stroke Type 09, Brush Size 0.50, Paint Volume 0.68, Paint Opacity 0.82, Stroke Width 0.44, Stroke Length 0.38, Spill 0.09, Smudge 0, Coverage 1.00, Color Overall Saturation -0.02 and Lightness -0.04; Red Sat 0.41, Orange Sat 0.43 and Yellow Sat 0.43; Lighting Brightness 0.17, Contrast -0.29, Vignette 0, and Light Direction X0.52 and Y1.00; and Texture Strength 0.16, Size -0.68, Angled Weave and white background color) was applied. Back in Photoshop on a layer mask Mickey and his salad were lightly painted back. This layer gave the colorful background effect. This layer was duplicated and it was now opened up in Topaz Simplify and my SJ Hawaiian Landscape preset was applied (my settings are Global Adjustments: Simplify Colorspace RGB, Simplify Size 0.29, Feature Boost 0, Detail Strength 0.66, Details Boost 1.00, Details Size 0.27, Remove Small 0.06, and Remove Weak 0.10; Adjust Brightness 0, Contrast 1.00, Saturation 1.04, Saturation Boost 1.32, Dynamics 0, Structure 1.00, Structure Boost 1.00; Edges Edge Type Color Edge-Normal, Edge Strength 1.89, Simplify Edge 0.58, Reduce Weak 33.00, Reduce Small 0.20, and Fatten Edge 0.00; Did not use the Structure slider – too busy and the Dynamics slider works like Clarity and it brought the background out too much). Simplify added some extra contrast to Mickey – a black layer mask was added (hold down ALT key while clicking on the Mask icon at bottom of Layers Panel). Some clean up was done but basically this was all that was done. As I keep saying, “Got to love Mickey!”…..Digital Lady Syd

Some Painter Magic!

Image of a painted landscape by me
I will be honest and say this is a totally “Bob RossJoy of Painting type of image I created in Corel Painter 2015. This was done by following the painting instruction of Corel Master Melissa Gallo’s videos in her Painter for Photographers Workshop. Am really enjoying her artistic teachings and brushes. Also in Photoshop used Nik Viveza 2 to enhance parts of this image to get the color saturation I liked. That was it! Fun! Fun! Fun!……Digital Lady Syd

Some Mums for Fall

Image of red mums painted in Painter 2015
Just some mums taken at Orlando Airport recently and painted in the new Corel Painter 2015 update. This image was cloned in Painter using painted following the video Painter Cloning tools with professional photographer and digital painter Melissa Gallo. All the brushes she used in this short video along with one from Fay Sirkis called Background Edge Bubbles were used to paint it. Then in Photoshop Nik’s Viveza 2 was used to push the eye toward the lower left flower. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added and that was it. This was totally fun and pretty quick! Oh yes, Melissa just released her new Painter for Photographers Workshop – hope to show everyone some new paintings soon!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Little Dreamy Auto FX

Image of a Yellow Hibiscus blossom and two spend peach blossoms
This simple yellow hibiscus flower image was taken on my back porch. When opened in Auto FX Software’s Free Sampler, I got a very nice sort of dreamy effect. (These were the settings used in the plug-in: First Layer – Mystical Tint Tone and Color – Soften Details – Used paintbrush and painted paver bkgd lines using Size 66, Opacity 70, Feather 100, and these Soften Details – Mode Brush On, Opacity 40, Vibrancy 20, Softness 20, Saturation -42, Brightness -18, and Contrast 0. Second Layer – Mystical Tint Tone and Color – Lighten and Sharpen – Used Mode Brush On and painted in center of yellow hibiscus to sharpen the stamen and red color using Size 65, Opacity 62, and Feather 69, and Lighten & Sharpen Opacity 84, Lighten 60, Tonal Range 84, Fuzziness 5 and Sharpen Details 76. Third Layer – Mystical Tint Tone and Color – Vitality Mode Global using these settings: Midtone Softness 71, MidTone Strength 40, Highlight Softness 52, Highlight Strength 17, Saturation 30, Brightness -1, and Contrast 20. Was able to brush on center to make white stand out more using Brush Palette Size 200, Opacity 97, and Feather 100. Fourth Layer – Dreamy Photo – Ghost Type Soft, Blur 10, Blend 70, Ghosting 2, Tint Color 25 (r229/g186/b160), Soften Mask 5, and Zoom offset 0.) Then Nik Viveza 2 was opened and four control points were used to get the correct brightness in each of the objects. Last step was added my free  B&W Border Frame layer style –  sampled the peach color for the Inner Glow color. Overall I think the image turned out to be very pretty!…..Digital Lady Syd

Painting a Painter

Image of woman painting wooden figures at Epcot in MexicoThis wonderful lady was diligently painting away on the gorgeous wooden figures in her display at the Mexico Pavilion in The World Showcase at Epcot, Disney World Orlando. Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Magic Ugly Shade Fixer was used in Lightroom on the image and set to 46% opacity by using The Fader Lightroom add on. (Can download for free to use on the packaged Lightroom presets, and for a $25 registration fee it will work on all presets – I find it very handy at times.) Then in Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was applied only adjusting the medium and large details a little bit (Detail Overall Medium Details 0.38 and Large Details 0.16 and Tone Contrast 0.30 and Shadows -0.01). The new Topaz Impression plug-in was opened and the Oil Painting II preset was applied with no changes. Then because I can, Nik’s Analog Pro 2 plug-in was opened and Detail Adjustments, Light Leaks, Film Type and Multilens were applied. Just thought the Multilens was interesting for a change. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was added and a 2 Lil’ Owls Studio (see sidebar for website link) texture Confetti 13 was added and set to Color blend mode at 32% layer opacity – just needed to counteract the overwhelming yellow tones naturally. Some Mixer Brush clean up was done on a New Layer using my Chalk Brush as a mixer. And that was it. Not really that difficult – I liked the Oil Painting II preset from Impression. By just painting over some of the rough edges with a Mixer, I got the look I wanted. Anyway, it was fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

New Impression of Octopus and Seahorse

Image of Octopus and Seahorse at Epcot
These cute octopus and seahorse were located at the The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion in Epcot, Disney World Orlando. Been having fun trying out Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression so thought I would try the plug-in out on a different type of image. This turned out to be a lot of fun to do! In Lightroom Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Power Workflow 4 Harsh Sun Fixer and Tint Golden Sepia presets were applied, then one by CV Delnea called Backlit Horizontal Right. In Photoshop a New Layer was added and some clean up was done. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Detail 3 was opened to apply just a little sharpening to the medium and large size details. A New Stamped Layer was created on top and duplicated (CTRL+J). The bottom new stamped layer was highlighted and Topaz Impression was opened. The Cave Dweller II preset was applied with no changes. On the top stamped layer, my SJ Colored Pencil preset was applied. (What’s in my SJ Colored Pencil preset? It was based on the Colored Pencil II preset and these are my settings: Stroke: Type 07, Brush Size 0.90, Paint Volume 0.77, Paint Opacity 0.20, Stroke Width -0.82, Stroke Length -0.25, Spill 0.26, Smudge 0.16, and Coverage 1.00; Color: Overall Saturation 0.37, Red Hue 0.70, Red Saturation 0.32, and Red Lightness 0.00 – this turns the reds cyan and gives the preset an ugly color so don’t change these sliders if it is not a look you need; Lighting Brightness 0.21, Contrast -0.40, and Light Direction x1.00 y1.00; and Texture: Strength 0.33 Size 0.00, Texture Paper I, and Background color white. For this image these changes were made my  preset: only Color Section changes to Red sliders all set back to 0; Orange Saturation to 0.27; and Aqua Hue -0.37.) A layer mask was added to this layer and areas I wanted showing from the layer below were painted in with a soft round black brush set to 30% brush opacity (mainly the eyes and the seahorse needed some additional definition and extra texture to the leg in the air). Three New Layers were added above. With my regular chalk brush (Photoshop’s Chalk 60 with Shape Dynamics Angle Jitter at 19%), the octopus body was clean up with a pink color.  Then on the next layer the same brush as a Mixer to add some color to the octopus head. (These settings were used in the Mixer to get the effect shown on the octopus head – in the Brush Panel the Scatter section was turned on and Scatter set to 133%, check both axis, and Count 1; Texture turned on and a Canvas texture set to 160% and inverted with Mode set to Color Burn, Depth 100 and Jitter Depth 59%; and Wet Edges turned on.) and on top layer painted in some color to the octopus leg in the air and reduced the layer opacity to 61%. A Sponged Edge border from French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) with a green Solid Color Adjustment Layer clipped to it (ALT+click between the layers) and a Curves Adjustment Layer were added. That was it and I really liked the results. I especially liked the way the background greenery came out. Give this plug-in a try if you have a minute……Digital Lady Syd

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Digital Lady Syd Speaks Out on Topaz Impression

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