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Lots of Bikes at Flagler College

Image of colorful bicycles at Flagler College, St. Augustine, Florida
This is a different angle of some of the colorful bikes taken at Flagler College (the old Ponce de Leon Hotel) in St. Augustine, Florida. In Lightroom used the Auto button to tweak the original image and added a little more color into the bike colors. In Photoshop had to use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter to straighten the walls and then used Topaz Studio (see sidebar for website link) and applied SJ Subtle Colored Pencil which is up in the Community for your use. Back in Photoshop a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was used to increase contrast. Nik Viveza 2 was used to add a slight vignette. Last step was to add a Levels Adjustment Layer with the black Output Levels set to 27 and the Midtone slider set to 0.81 to get that flat matte Instagram effect. Really love these bikes!…..Digital Lady Syd

Enjoying a Swim

Angelfish drawing
I am not the best drawer, but I did this Angelfish image following a really fun blog called How to Draw a Tropical Fish by Eugenia Hauss at Envato Tuts. It does not look exactly like the final result of the tutorial, but this was all done digitally where the tutorial is using actual graphite pencils. For the drawing Grut’s I Qwillo brush for doing the beginning design,  Grut’s H Hatch Blanket brush (he has the best hatch brushes around), and Grut’s NM Shim Timber for shading were used. One of my Corel Painter textures was placed underneath for the watery look. The little fish are from Fish No2 Ars Frafix (no longer available) and the bubbles are from Lisa Carney’s Filters and Smart Objects Creative Live class which created a bubbles brush. A stamped layer was placed on top and Topaz ReStyle’s Silver and Ivory Cloak preset was applied with a few changes. Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 was used on another stamped layer and the Film Efex Vintage filter with no changes and a Vignette set very softly were added. A Luminosity Red Channel Curves Adjustment Layer and a Dodge and Burn layer using a 50% gray layer set to Overlay to finish up. It was a lot of fun to create!…..Digital Lady Syd

Entangled Noses

Image of two elephants at Kruger National Park in South Africa
I usually take my own image but this interesting image of elephants in an encounter look good for trying the effect used in the video linked below. It was taken at the Kruger National Park in South Africa and provided in a set of animal wildlife images from Deal Jumbo. The video followed is called Create a Powerful Emotional Effect for Your Portraits in 9 Easy Steps by Adam Scheff. This image was converted to the resulting sepia tone using a split tone preset in the Camera Raw filter. Some dodging and burning and sharpening was also used on this image. A Levels Adjustment Layer was used to give a slight matte tone to the shadows. Just a lot of fun to try a different look……Digital Lady Syd

Happy Valentines Day

A Valentines Day image
Just another Valentine – love to create them. These are my Valentine Trees created using the Render Tree filter (see my How to Create a Photoshop Artistic Tree blog) in Photoshop by selecting the Foliage Plant with no leaves.  Some hearts were brushed on to hang from the tree using the shape brush created in my Happy Valentines Day (with a Few Tips!) blog. The little scattered valentines were added to the branches and used to create some valentine flowers at the bottom. Paint Swipes (White) by People Love Process is a freebie called Design and Illustration Textures from Design Cuts if you sign up with them – this is a wonderful pack of PNG and PSD files.  Different shades of pink were used to paint in the paint swipes. And their Spatter Spray (White) was applied for the snowing looking background. The cupid is one of the brushes I created using Julie Mead at E-scape & Scrap set also from my Valentine blog tips. The image was taken into Luminar 2018 (see sidebar for website link) and the Accent Filter, Image Radiance, Sun Rays very lightly applied to brighten the trees, and the Darken & Lighten filters were used. In PS the layer was set to 57% layer opacity. A pink and blue overlay set to Hue blend mode at 82% was applied to add a little more color in the background. The fonts used were MC Sweetie Hearts and Birch Standard. The last step was adding a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer. Hope everyone has a Happy Valentines Day!…..Digital Lady Syd

Statue of Queen Anne

Statue of Queen Anne in St. Paul's Churchyard in London, England
I was pretty pleased with how this image of the statue of Queen Anne in St. Paul’s Churchyard in London turned out as the RAW file was not too great. I actually did a lot of the toning in On1 (see sidebar for website link) Photo Raw 2018 Effects module using the Tone Enhancer, Sunrise, and Dynamic Contrast filters – I am finding I really like the Dynamic Contrast filter for sharpening up the images. It did a really good job on the statue. In Topaz Studio (see sidebar for website link) two textures were added on the image. Used Blake Rudis’s 5 Tone Heat Map to adjust the tone. The Foggy Night preset in the Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was set to 23% on a layer on top. Nik Viveza 2 was used to brighten the Queen up a little. A little reddish tone was used to give a vintage feel to the image. Lots of fun to try these different filters together……Digital Lady Syd

Castillo de San Marcos

Image of Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida
This image of Castillo de San Marcos, the old fort in St. Augustine, Florida, was built in 1672. The weather was a little overcast but many famous building spires can still be seen in the background. A lot was done to this image, mainly starting the HDR process in Aurora 2018 (see sidebar for website link) using three-images, and then in Photoshop, On1 Photo Raw 2018 Develop module was opened to increase Detail. The PS Adaptive Wide Angle filter had to be used to straighten the walls of the structure. (See my How to use the Adaptive wide Angle Filter blog on how to do this.) What a wonderful historic place to explore in the US…..Digital Lady Syd

Flowers on an Old Spanish Home

Image of flowers on a balcony in St. Augustine
This is the Arrivas House located at 46 St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida and was built cc 1760. (Click on link for some interesting history on this site). It is now home of the Panama Hat Company store. Used the HDR command in Lightroom to create an image from three images exposed at -1 1/2, -1/2, and +1/2. The sky was totally washed out so had to bring in a sky image taken from my backyard – it was so overcast a sky with similar attributes had to be selected. Then two Curves Adjustment layers were added, one for tone and one for color. A Dodge & Burn layer using a 50% gray layer was created – painted with white and black at low opacity to sharpen up the blues in the flag and color on the flowers. A  New Layer set to Overlay blend mode was used for a little spotlight effect placed on the little flowers to brighten them up a bit more. Last step was using Nik Viveza 2 to pull the whole image together. St. Augustine is a great place to visit if you get a chance…..Digital Lady Syd

Blowing a Kiss

Image of the Sculptor called Blowing a Kiss
On my Fun Photoshop blog (see my Using a 50 mm Lens as a Macro Lens – Really? blog) recently I had two image taken as macro’s on the face of the above sculptor. Thought I would do another macro image, this time using my regular lens and not a flipped 50 mm lens, and get a little creative with the RAW file. This image was just basically post-processed in Lightroom using mainly the Basic Panel. Then in Photoshop Melissa Gallo’s Taupe Canvas (no longer available) was placed on the bottom, then a black layer mask was placed on the LR image on top. Just painted back in what I wanted to see using a couple different brushes at different brush opacities. Created a Darken Layer to outlines the focal point lines and a New Layer for a white Spotlight Effect on the face and hand. A Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode to adjust the colors. Then Blake Rudis’s action called 5 Tone Heat Map was used to add some more subtle color to the image – set to 88% layer opacity. I sort of like the feel of the image…..Digital Lady Syd

View from the Road

Image of a Tower in Scotland
This image was taken somewhere in Scotland. I tried a few different effects  but finally ended up with this rather simple result. Used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio for this image. Started with the Desaturated Blush I preset and changed several sliders. Then used the Tone Theme Filter which made the barn more of an orange color – this is a really nice filter and you should check it out if you own it. Back in PS, created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), applied a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode, a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer, and a regular Curves Adjustment Layer. Next applied Topaz ReStyle Zambezi Zest to the image at 42% layer opacity. Again back in PS, did some clean up and Black and White Adjustment Layers. A Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer to add a soft vignette and a Selective Color Adjustment Layer for a corner blue sky issue were then applied. Next added a Blake Rudis 5 Tone Heat Map to add a really pleasing look to the image. ……Digital Lady Syd

Blowing in the Wind

Image of three Dandelion blooms
Got back to basics and painted this image of what I believe is some variety of dandelion. Painted using three main parts: a background layer to begin, then blocked in the main subject on a middle layer, and detail was added on top, which took several layers and different brushes. Mainly used Fay Sirkis’s (a Corel Painter Master) PS mixer brushes. (These brushes are pretty hard to find now but worth it if you paint in PS – KelbyOne still has them if you are a member – just search for her name.) Hypothermia action was applied at 24% layer opacity (See Chris Spooner’s 10 Free Winter Blues Photo Effect Actions for Adobe Photoshop blog). And another fabulous action by Blake Rudis was applied – got to check out How to Use the 5 Tone Heat Map in Photoshop video and try this. Last step added a grain layer I built a while ago and put in my Library in PS. Lots of fun to paint again…..Digital Lady Syd