I do love to photograph my gerberas – they are always so pretty. This time I really changed them up. I think they are as pretty in pink as they were in yellow! So I was really just playing around in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) photoFXlab just to see if the new Topaz Clarity plug-in would work nicely with it. I didn’t even keep track of the changes I made exactly in Clarity, but I did use the Hue/Sat/Lum section to turn the flowers pink. I just kept fooling around with the sliders until I got a color I liked – used the Overall sliders on each of these sections and also adjusted the Clarity section too. Back in photoFXlab, adjusted the Dynamics slider a little to the right. Created a +From Stack Layer and opened up Topaz Simplify 5 where the Paint 5 preset was applied. Back in photoFXlab, the Mask tab was selected and the centers of the flowers were painted back so the detail from the Clarity layer remained. Exited the plug-in and did some basic flower clean up. Created a couple New Layers and used two of my free Cloud Brushes (Brush 6 and 9) to add some interest to the background. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer and evened out some of the petal color. Then added 2 Lil’ Owls Color Bokeh Grunge Set-2 overlay to the image (set to Normal at 100% opacity). Next the text was added using the free font Ruthie. Kim Klassen‘s Square 3 border was added last and set to 52%. The last step added another Curves Adjustment Layer to enhance overall contrast. That was it. I just love playing with my flowers in Photoshop!…..Digital Lady Syd
PS: Check out my Fun Photoshop How to Create an Overlay Out of a Texture blog to see the frame it was put in.
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz Clarity
Topaz Simplify Artistic Workflow
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1
This may be the most beautiful and interesting library ever made. I posted a couple times on Flickr with other images (see Minsk Library, Inside Minsk Library, and Minsk Library at Night) but this time I decided to process the inside ceiling which is all glass – totally breathtaking! As you can see, I caught the eye of the guard down below, but he lends a wonderful scale to the image. I had a hard time deciding what to do with the image as the original was not that bad but I wanted to enhance the light and airy feel in the image. So I tried everything I could think of and this is what I got!
First applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise 5 – the image was shot at ISO 1600 so it had some issues. Used the Overall Strength set to .17 and set the Shadows to .82. The layer was copied and Topaz Detail 3 was applied using the Architectural Detail II preset – this image was perfect for this preset. Next Black & White Effects was applied where I mainly applied a regular black and white preset and started moving sliders. What I think really made the image pop was the application of the Creative Effects Diffusion effect where the Softness was set to 0.10, but the Diffusion slider was set high at .91 and Diffusion Transition set to 0.61. This really made the roof lines pop without being too sketchy looking. Then Kim Klassen’s Cloth & Paper Reign texture was applied and set to Soft Light blend mode to lighten the image and add some blue tones back into the image. It was duplicated and this time set to Multiply at 24% layer opacity. Next a Levels Adjustment Layer was added to lighten the image more by moving the Output Levels to 23/255 and the midtone slider to 1.39. Next a Curves Adjustment Layer was added to lighten it even, and a bit of a vignette was painted around the edges of the layer mask. It still did not look quite right – almost blown out. That is when I tried a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer and clipped (ALT+click between the layers) it to the top texture layer. The 3DLUT File was set to Bleach Bypass.look in the drop-down, although several look rather nice. The last step involved creating a composite (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top and adding my SJ B&W Border Frame. I really like how the diffused settings made the ceiling lines look. Anyway, it was once again a lot of fun to experiment!…..Digital Lady Syd
I was looking through my notes from last year and came across some nice info on using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Simplify and Detail together to create an oil painting look. (See Creating an Oil Painting Effect from Topaz Labs.) My Hawaiian image from the east coast of the Big Island was one I had not originally processed as it really did not catch my eye – hoover over image to toggle to original. While doing a little Hawaii dreaming, I came across it again and thought it might look good using some of the settings from this video. (I really was thinking about how it would be to live in the house up in the top left – hum!) I actually did not follow the exact video workflow, but it did get me thinking about how to do this. Now that both Simplify and Detail have been updated, it was easier to get some different looks. Here are the steps I followed:
1. Duplicated the Background layer (CTRL+J). Topaz Detail 3 was opened and the settings from the second example in the video were applied: Small Detail .53, Medium Detail .46, and Large Detail .44.
2. Duplicated the Detail layer. Next Topaz Simplify 4 was opened and the Painting IV preset was applied. The only change to it is that the Edges section was turned off as it made the trees in the background stand out.
3. A Layer Mask was applied to the top Simplify layer. Some of the Detail Layer was brought back in by painting black on the mask on the foreground leaves. Also some detail in the little rock island was painted back.
4. What I did different was to add a New Layer and paint over the foreground leaves and trees in the midground to give a more painterly look and smoothing out some of the rough edges and colors that Simplify can bring into an image. A wet mixer brush was used for this.
5. Next a general Curves Adjustment Layer was added to bring in some contrast.
6. The sky was really blown out, so I added another Curves Adjustment Layer that brought back the natural clouds from the original image into the sky. The Layer Mask was filled with black and just the sky area was painted back with a soft black low opacity brush.
7. The water was way too cyan for my taste, so another Curves Adjustment Layer was added and the different color channels were adjusted to get a better color for the water.
8. I felt like the eye was not guided with a strong enough element to get you through the image. Therefore, a New Layer that was set to Overlay Blend Mode was added. With a large black brush set to 15% opacity, the edge of the bay was lightly painted on the water all the way to the back center. This burned in a slight contrast in the water for the eye to follow. Much better overall impact for the image.
9. The last step involved adding my SJ Thin Double Edge Frame layer style left at the default colors.
That is how I got this very Hawaiian Oil Paint feeling. Give these two plug ins a try and see what you think…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Topaz Simplify and Topaz Detail Together
Was looking at some of my older work and came across one of my first texture images from three years ago. I really liked the treatment of this image so I thought I would try to reconstruct how I did it. A very different workflow was used. When the Lightroom adjusted image was opened in Photoshop, I did some clean up to remove some tourist heads. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust’s Spicify preset was applied. Next Nik Silver Efex Pro Antique Plate preset (pretty close to SEP2′s Antique Plate II) was added and set to 42% opacity. Ash Texture 25 was added (it’s a shame but they are no longer available, but Isabelle Lafrance free Decemberpack1 texture 1 has a very similar look) and set to Overlay at 100% opacity. Back into Silver Efex Pro where the Neutral preset was applied – layer was set to Screen at 51%. Next a Curves Adjustment Layer was added using a slight S curve to enhance contrast. Topaz Simplify was applied using the basic BuzSim preset. The last step used OnOne’s (see sidebar for website link) PhotoFrame Dave Cross 15 set to 72% opacity - the PhotoFrames are no long available in the newest release but many are incorporated in the new Perfect Effects 4 module. The final result is really nice – I am going to experiment some more using these plug-ins to enhance my texture effects…..Digital Lady Syd
Recently I posted a blog using this image called Take the Time to Experiment! where a Mirror Effect filter from The Plugin Galaxy was used. This time the Flood Filter from Flaming Pear was applied. I love this filter. It is the only one that gives a really realistic look to a water reflection. Before applying the filter, the canvas had to be increased to add the reflection under the image. (Here are the Flood filter settings used so you can see all the sliders that can be manipulated: Horizon 60, Offset 0, Perspective 68, Altitude 6, Waviness 17, Complexity 17, Brilliance 28, Blur 15, Size 0, Height 23, Undulation 46, and Glue Normal.) See my Fun Photoshop Blog The Flood Look for tips on how to apply this filter. Nik Color Efex Pro 4‘s Midnight, Polaroid Transfer, and Detail Extractor filters were applied to just the hyacinths to add back some color to the flowers, especially in the reflection. In Photoshop the layer was then set to 69% opacity. That was it. Really fun effect!…..Digital Lady Syd
Loved how this image turned out with just a click in Topaz photoFXlab’s InstaTone tab (see sidebar for Topaz website). I do not know which image I sampled the tones from, but it sure made a very plain image look like it has some texture and interest. The image is of a small solar light and statue on my back porch. (Hover over image to see original image.) This is one of the best parts of this new plug-in from Topaz and I can’t seem to get enough of trying it out on almost all my images. Once the tones were applied, in the Adjustments tab the Dynamics slider was set up a little higher and the Contrast a little lower to give this beautiful final image. If you want to learn more about how to use the InstaTone effect, see Topaz Lab’s short video Quick Tips Thursday – Exploring InstaTone for some great tips. If you already own some Topaz plug-ins, definitely try out the photoFXlab interface – it adds a lot of new features including this one…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1
Using photoFXlabs v1.1
Using Topaz photoFXlab to Replace Skies
I just finished my first attempt at creating a pastel in Corel Painter 11. I tried to create one in Photoshop using pastel brushes, and just could not get the hang of it. Painter is great for converting your digital images into beautiful works of art. I have found the best book to use if you are just learning is Martin Addison’s Painter 11 for Photographers (if you are using or trying out Corel Painter 12, check Amazon for the updated version of this book).
The image was created by first using the Auto Painting part of the program (this is explained in his book) and a brush from the Smart Stroke Brushes category called Pastel Tapered using the brush default settings. My computer took forever to do the auto-painting – this program is a real memory hog! After getting almost all the painting covered using this technique, I created a New Layer in Painter and used a smaller brush (17.2 pixels) at 54% opacity to fill in the white holes and some of the details I wanted brought back into the image. The layer was set to 78% opacity after finishing. Saved the image as a PSD file and opened it up in Photoshop where I could clean it up more. The first thing I did was create a New Layer and used the Clone Stamp Tool at 70% opacity to clean up some of the ragged looking strokes – it did not need a lot of touch up. Next I added a Curves Adjustment Layer to lighten up the front door texture since it came out very dark in the Painter rendition – the layer mask was filled with black and only the door was painted back in at 60% opacity. I had put a large white edge around the image in Painter so it could have a soft painted framing – I did not like the look of it. In Photoshop on a composite layer (CTRL+ALT-SHIFT+E) and using the Quick Selection Tool, the white frame was selected and a layer mask added. The layer mask had to be inverted (CTRL+I on mask) so the frame was turned black to conceal. Next a texture, in this case a free one by Sarah Gardner called Blush Ginger (it is no longer available but there are many free texture resources – click on my Textures category on right for other blogs with links) was added below the image and set to 50%. It matched the image very nicely and has a great texture to it. Finally the top image was highlighted and a Inner Glow Layer Style was added to soften the edges of the image to match the texture underneath – the Color was changed by sampling the texture color and setting the Blend Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 88%.
Corel Painter is an expensive program but they do have great Education discounts if you are a student. I love the program but find I do not use it that much, especially since Photoshop CS6 has made some great strides towards achieving some of these same painterly effects. On the other hand, the Auto Painting function is very realistic and the program has so many more choices for brushes and styles of painting that I do not believe Photoshop will ever be able to completely compete in this area. Painter is definitely for those with the artistic flair……Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Adobe Photoshop CS5′s Mixer Brushes
Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 6 – Try Something New!
This image is actually of my pink and white Jazze Rose Frost Alestroemeria (see my blog Magnificent Macros with Nik Plug-Ins) but the colors were changed to purple and blue. I first tried this in a blog called Purple Lily Pads! using a slightly different technique with similar results. Just couldn’t resist posting again how easy it was to do this. First I applied the Topaz (see website link in sidebar) Simplify filter to get the soft petal look. I used a Simplify Size of .85 and Feature Boost of .78 to get a really painterly feel. In Nik’s Viveza (my favorite overall plug-in), the color sliders were changed to get the blue and purple colors. Control Points were added to adjust the background and parts of the flowers to get good detailed structure. The frame was created by just making a Photoshop Layer Style. In the Stroke tab the Size was set to 54 pixels, Inside Position, and Fill Type Pattern – just select any pattern that fits your image colors. I am using a pattern from Victorian Dreams by Princess of Shadows – texture 10 at a Scale of 1000. In the Inner Shadow tab set the Size t0 70. It is very easy to make frames for your images this way since there are so many patterns available to use. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd
Thought I would put up an image I created a couple years ago of Ormond Beach, Florida, where Granada Boulevard runs into the Atlantic Ocean – it is a beautiful stretch of beach if you are in the area. The old Hotel Ormond, a large 300-bed hotel that was built in 1887, was located near this beach. This was one of my first attempts at adding a texture to an image – not sure what texture this is, but it definitely is a watercolor texture that goes from a yellow tone on top to blues on the bottom – the layer was set to a Color Dodge Blend Mode at 30% opacity.
The image below is also of the same stretch of beach but from 1903 – there were beautiful houses instead of high-rises overlooking the ocean. In this winter image, the sails helped move the bikes on the hard sand beach coasting at up to speeds of 20-25 mph. The image is from Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – a great site to follow on a daily basis if you love American history like me as they post a new image every day from the past. To see this image in high resolution on their site, just click on it – and click here for a similar lower resolution shot of the same bikes racing a car. This beach is where the first official automobile race was held in 1903 and the town of Ormond Beach is still known as the “Birthplace of Speed.”
I hope to shoot more local images in the near future – it is fun to live in an area that has some great local historical interest. In the meantime, try out some textures to add a little interest and fun to your own images……Digital Lady Syd
Here is one of my first attempts at creating an image using a color palette I liked and not the one in the image. I just finished John Paul Caponigro‘s tutorial on Photoshop Color Strategies at Kelby Training where he teaches you how to change hues naturally to give a very believable feel to an image. He is one of my very favorite Photoshop gurus and he does beautiful fine art photography. This image actually contains: three Hue/Sat Adjustment Layers each addressing a different area of the image, a Color Balance Adjustment Layer, a Gaussian Blur filter applied to the image and selectively painted out, a Curves Adjustment Layer, a Replace Color layer, a Topaz Simplify 3 plug-in using the BuzSim preset set to a low Simplify Size, and a Wow-Frame 10 layer style. I was really pleased how the purple colors and cool tones could replace the greens and yellows and give such a wonder effect!…..Digital Lady Syd
This image of pink orchids in Hawaii had a background layer showing the flowers against a clear blue sky – perfect for adding textures. I really love the bokeh texture used in this image. As many of you know who follow me, I am a big fan of Shadowhouse Creations textures. This image stacked three of his beautiful textures to get this wonderful soft look: Oil Painting 5 set to Color Blend Mode at 100% opacity – a white layer mask was added and the flowers and part of the stems were painted in black lightly to bring back a little bit of the green and pink color; Gorgeous Tones Texture 3 (third one down) set to Screen Blend Mode at 32% opacity; and Bokeh Texture 4 set to Darken Blend Mode at 28% opacity. If you like the bokeh effect, this texture is one of the best…..Digital Lady Syd
I have not done a Digital Lady Syd’s Rule recently so here is one – Try something new! This is my first attempt at creating a Monet impressionistic type painting. I used a photo from my trip to the Big Island and really cropped it down since I am still learning all the strokes and blending needed for a larger image. I followed a couple tutorials by Fay Sirkis that are now available on the NAPP website (see Painting With Your Camera and A Stroke of Genius-Photoshop Art Studio with Fay Sirkis under the Webinar link). If you want to try to paint like the famous painters of past generations, Fay Sirkis is the one who teaches it best. Can’t say enough good things about Fay – she is a great teacher, fun to listen to, and very knowledgeable about all the techniques of many famous artists. The nice thing about Fay is she provides you with all the Photoshop brushes, mainly Mixer brushes, to create the painter’s style you want to try. Therefore, when trying to do a Monet painting, you have Monet Impressionist brushes for blending, adding highlights, underpainting, etc., at your disposal, and she teaches you how she made them and how to use them. This article from Professional Photographer is a good example of her teaching method – Fay Sirkis: Painting Magic, Adobe Photoshop CS5. She also teaches classes at Photoshop World and on Kelby Training, and is one of the Corel Painter Masters.
I may not be Monet but this image was definitely a lot of fun to do – I have never tried anything like this, and it has given me a new appreciation for the type of art that Monet and the Impressionists created. I hope to try some other Master’s styles and brushes from Fay soon. So do like me and try something new!…..Digital Lady Syd
For my other Rules, click on sidebar entry called Digital Lady Syd’s Photoshop Rules.
These beautiful Red Chinese Hibiscus blooms appeared on Mothers Day last week so I had to take their picture! Used my favorite artistic plug-in – Topaz Black and White Effects (see sidebar for website link) – and applied a preset I had created earlier called Water Landscape Sunny (Adaptive Exposure section – Adaptive Exposure 0.18, Region as 26.10, Detail 1.11, and Detail Boost 1.09; Quad Tones which creates the interesting effect used Color 1 Region set to R1G1B12 and 9.60, Color 2 Region set to R63G78B85 and 95.97, Color 3 Region set to R216G211B129 at 141.2, and Color 4 Region set to R255G254B237 and 255.0; Edge Exposure set to Edge Size 0.19, Edge Exposure -0.43, and Edge Transition 0.27 for all sides; and Transparency set to 1.00.) While in the plug-in, the Detail brush was used to sharpen the center of the flowers and to go around the petal edges where they overlap each other. Next ShadowHouse Creations Marshmellow Skies texture set to Overlay at 100% opacity was added to give the soft green-turquoise feel to the background – a white layer mask and a soft black brush was used to take the texture effect off the flowers. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added and OnOne PhotoFrame (see sidebar for website link) grunge 04 set to 75% opacity was also added. Not hard and once again a really beautiful effect. I love Black and White Effects! I could do this all day! As you can see by the number of related blogs below, this is definitely one of my favorite plug-ins – check them out for several other examples on how to use it!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Black and White Effects on Outside Art
Cleaning Up a Messed Up Photo
Topaz Black and White Effects Quad Tones Are Great!
Sunny Preset for Topaz Black and White Effects
My Office Friend Ted
Loving Both Filters!
The Art Corner: Painting and Sculpture by Tassaert
Quad Tones in Topaz Black and White Effects Plug-in
Get Rid of Those Power Lines Fast – with Paths and Spot Healing Tool!
Topaz B&W Effects vs. Nik’s Silver Efex Pro
Just Another Topaz Black and White Effect Example
Topaz B&W Effects Plug-In-A Real Winner!
Here is another before and after for you. The image of the KPC Seafood Restaurant at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. At night it was wonderful to eat outside under the dark starlit sky with the ocean waves in the background. I wanted to add this image to a Hawaiian slideshow I am creating in Lightroom 4 and was really disappointed at how bad the original image appeared. I liked the tone in the wood and the sky was rally nice but otherwise, it was not too good an image. I tried several techniques, walked away from it for a day, and came back to it. I finally got the nice result shown above (hover over image to see the original). To get this result, I removed the palm tree going straight up to nowhere. Next I went into Nik’s Viveza 2 to get rid of the hazy feeling. I usually use this filter later in my workflow, but this image needed a quick tune-up before I could do anything else. Then I went into Topaz’s Black and White Effects (see sidebar for website link) and by playing with the Quad Tones, got this really nice result. (For settings, see below.) A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to enhance the contrast of the building, but the blue in the sky was painted black in the mask to keep it from being affected by the curve change – the blue of the sky competed too much with the blue tones in the restaurant. Noise was removed from the whole image (see Russell Brown ACR blog below to do this). Localized sharpening was done and Puppet Warp was used to straighten the vertical lines of the restaurant. I feel like I was able to save an otherwise very bad image by using these two plug-in filters, and I might add two of my very favorites. For information on how to do some of my workflow steps, see my blog links below. …..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Nik’s Viveza 2 Plug-In – A Hidden Gem!
Quad Tones in Topaz Black and White Effects Plug-in
I Didn’t Know That! Curves Adjustment Layers
Edit Layers with ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) Script
Straightening with Puppet Warp!
A preset was created in Topaz Black and White Effects using these settings as shown on the final version of image above: Conversion: Basic Exposure settings – Contrast 0.08, Brightness 0.05, Boost Blacks 0, and Boost Whites 0; Adaptive Exposure settings – Adaptive Exposure 0.56, Regions 7.06, Protect Highlights 0, Protect Shadows 0, Detail 2.17, and Detail Boost 1.04; and Color Sensitivity settings – Red (-0.15), Yellow (0.38), Green (-0.42), Cyan (0), Blue (-0.09), and Magenta (0). Finishing Touches: Silver and Paper Tone settings – Tonal Strength 0.63, Balance 0, Silver 32.00, Silver Tone Strength 0.50, Paper Tone 32.00, and Paper Tone Strength 0; Quad Tone settings: Color 1 Region (Color R0G0B0), 24.68, Color 2 Region (Color R86G102B136) 69.92, Color 3 Region (Color R229G223B164) 154.9, and Color 4 Region (Color R255G252B206) 255.0; Vignette settings – Center (2796,1607), Vignette Strength (-0.09), Vignette Size 0.53, Vignette Transition (0.63), and Vignette Curvature 0.75; and Transparency settings – Overall Transparency 0.59)
It has come to my attention that Facebook is changing everyone over to using the Timeline feature for their profile page. Therefore I have created this free template you can use in the top portion of your profile page to show off your favorite images. The openings are set for a 4″ X 6″ size image. The resolution of the template is 72 ppi so you do not have to use a very high resolution of your image since they will be seen on low resolution monitors or phone/Ipad devices. This template can also be used as a blog header.
Steps to Add Photos for Photoshop/Elements Users: Download template here (scroll to bottom of page for download button) and open in Photoshop. Highlight each layer that says “PLACE IMAGE # HERE” and go to File -> Place. Navigate to your image and Place. You can now adjust the image to the opening since the image comes in as a Smart Object. If you Rasterize the layer (right click to choose Rasterize in Photoshop or Simplify in Elements) the layer to make file smaller, you can still adjust position of image later using a Free Transform (CTRL+T). Hold SHIFT key to constrain size of image. When finished, save your Photoshop Template file as a PSD file so you can update with different photos easily. Then do a File -> Save As and save the file as a jpg to be uploaded to Facebook using the steps below. It is easy to change the look of the template.
- The template is set to White but if you want the Facebook Blue color, just click the turned off top Facebook Blue layer eyeball and it will match Facebook.
- If you want to change the template color, pattern and stroke type, just double-click on the White Template layer to open up the Layer Style Blending Options for this layer. (For Elements Users, go to Layer -> Layer Style where you can adjust the Stroke and the Inner Glow – there is no Pattern Overlay style.) For the flower template example, Pattern Overlay was selected and Color Paper Pattern Blue Crepe from Photoshop’s canned patterns was chosen. (To load new patterns, click on the down arrow by the default pattern, and then open up the fly-out menu to load new pattern groups.)
- To just change the template color, go to Inner Glow Blending Option and change Blend Mode to Normal. Select the color you want and adjust the Size slider to fill the template – voila! New color!
- Select Stroke in Layer Styles to change the size and color of the stroke surrounding each image. The first example used Black set to Inside at a size of 2 pixels and White was used on the Facebook Blue example.
- To add a regular texture to the template, highlight the Template Layer and Place the texture (just like the images). Adjust to fit and then clip the texture layer to the Template Layer by going to Layer -> Create Clipping Mask so the openings for the images appear.
Steps to Load Cover to Profile Page: Go to Profile Page and hover cursor over the top area to the right of your image. The words “Change Cover” appear. Click on the words and select “Upload a Photo…” and navigate to the template image just created. The template will appear as the cover on the top without your image. Click Save Changes and your image will appear.
I hope you like using this template. Enjoy!…Digital Lady Syd
I call this photo Hawaiian Horses Chatting – they look deep in conversation. Hum?? Anyway, this weekend I did a Fun Photoshop Blog called “Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel – A Real Winner!” (I seem to like real winners!) This is another one of his great free Photoshop panels that creates texturized images very quickly and allows you to experiment easily to get an interesting effect. Check out my other blog for the download links and details on how this panel works. I will say that Flypaper Textures has given you several beautiful textures to play with in the panel until Russell gets an update to include other textures. This image used three Flypaper textures stacked: Texture Aquarius set to Soft Light Blend Mode at 84% layer opacity, Texture Creme Anglaise set to Multiply Blend Mode at 100%, and Texture Colosseum Sienna set to Vivid Light Blend Mode at 46%. I had been having a hard time getting a look I liked for this image until I tried the texture panel – it really surprised me how beautiful the effect ended up. Give this panel a try if you have Photoshop CS5 or CS6 and you love textures like I do. Definitely worth the effort!…..Digital Lady Syd
These beautiful dahlia flowers are now planted in a flower bed in my front yard. To get this effect, it was a pretty simple process. I sharpened the center and darkened the green stems first. Next ShadowHouse Creations Subtle Tones ST-8 texture was set to Color Blend Mode. With a layer mask I painted out the texture over the flowers very lightly using a soft 13% opacity brush and building up the effect until it looked the way I liked it. Next ShadowHouse Creations 3 Assorted Texture Set T 2 texture was set to Hard Light Blend Mode to add a very feminine look - also a layer mask was used to clear the lacy texture from on top of the flowers. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added on top to select the correct texture color by adjusting the Hue slider. The last step added OnOnePhotoFrames toner scratch 21 (see sidebar for website) with a very light purple-pink color. That was it. I loved the final result. I hope you will try using some of the beautiful textures from ShadowHouse Creations website where there is a huge selection of textures that can be downloaded for free. Major thanks for what he does to help us budget-minded Photoshoppers!…..Digital Lady Syd
The flowers were photographed on a table with a science fair 3-sided white board behind them and natural light from a window – shot with a Nikkor 60 mm Macro Lens set to F/3.2, 1/15 sec at ISO 400 with an attached Bower 0.5 x High Resolution Digital Lens with Macro lens, which gives the large depth-of-field effect.
This is a blossom from my new Ballerina Blue Fuchsia plant. I got an idea from reading The Photoshop Darkroom by Harold Davis and Phyllis Davis to scan my flower into the computer using a black box. I actually used a black sunglasses case to cover the plant while I scanned it with my Epson Perfection 3200. I used VueScan Scanner Software (my scanner is so old that Epson would not support it in Windows 7, but this relatively inexpensive software will) set to 3200 dpi, print quality, output tiff as a camera raw file, opens in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS5. The black background needed a little cloning clean up first, then the flower had a few bad spots on the leaves to clean up, Nik Viveza 2 was used to even out the purple color evenly, and finally the Sharpen Tool was used on a few of the flower veins. That was it. I was surprised how easy and different the flower looks scanned in. If you have a scanner, give it a try for a change…..Digital Lady Syd
I did a Fun Photoshop Blog called Tips for Flower Textures last week and I thought I would show another example. Yellow is a very powerful color and it is not different for this image. Once again the texture opacities and blend modes are varied to get this effect. Hover over the image to see how the photo looks with just a few Lightroom adjustments applied. To create this look, the following steps were followed:
1. Duplicate the original layer.
2. Select the background with the Quick Selection Tool and then click the layer mask icon to create a mask that will remove the background.
3. Next a texture by ShadowHouse Creations called In the Beginning was copies and placed under the selected flower layer to create a new background set to Normal Blend Mode at 100% opacity.
4. ShadowHouse Creations texture Photo-Tints Orange Overlay was moved on top of the flowers and was set to Vivid Light Blend Mode and 52% opacity. A Layer Mask was added and the center of the yellow flowers was softly painted out so the orange color is only on the tips.
5. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped (3rd icon at bottom of adjustment layer) to the layer and Master was set to Hue +22, Saturation -26 and Lightness +35 to soften the redness.
6. ShadowHouse Creations texture You’d Be Surprised was applied next and set to Color Dodge Blend Mode at 35% opacity. A Layer Mask was applied to the center of the front flower.
7. Sharpen Tool was used on the flowers only.
8. To get the grunge spots, Florabella’s Snow 3 (the link is to her Facebook page with the free download on the left side)was applied and set to Subtract Blend Mode at 37% opacity.
9. The last step involves adding OnOne’s PhotoFrame Taufer Texture 10 – link to OnOne software is on the right. They simply have the best frames!
I hope you will try to add some textures to your photos. As you can see, the original photo was not anything really exceptional, but with a few free downloadable textures, the whole look changes. And do not be afraid to try different blend modes – I love the way the snow texture turns into a more grunge look with the Subtract Blend Mode. Check out my related blogs below for more beautiful textures to download…..Digital Lady Syd
A little background information on this Valentine. To create the following card, these steps and resources were used:
1. Started with Spatter Heart Frame from BrushLovers.com. A Layer Style was added – Outer Glow set to a soft yellow and Linear Dodge (Add) at 75% and a Spread of 21; and a Gradient Overlay adjusting Graphix1 Muted 8 for a gold tone.
2. Next a background was added using Colored Vintage Paper by Ciara Panacchia.
3. Another texture was added above this one – Vintage Valentine Paper by Aramisdream. It was set to 59% and a layer mask was used to brush out the center and to create a vignette effect around the edges.
4. A layer was placed on top that used Obsidian Dawn’s Glitter set-hearts-glitter brush in a soft beige at 43% opacity.
5. Glass Prism’s cupid brush was placed in the center on it’s own layer.
6. The red valentines were placed on their own layer – Valentine Brush by digitalTouch was used. A Layer Style was added using a red Color Overlay and a small 1 pixel Stroke.
7. Two Text Layers were created using the font Precious, a perfect Valentine font. A Layer Style was added using: Inner Shadow set to Distance of 21 and Size of 21; Outer Glow set to Linear Dodge (Add) at 45% opacity and Size of 24 pixels with a light yellow color; and Bevel and Emboss set to Inner Bevel, Smooth, Depth 103, Size 10 and the rest default settings.
That is how I made my vintage look Valentine. It was a lot of fun to try out the different effects on the brushes – the layer styles really made a difference. When you have a minute, try a layer style on some of your brush strokes – you may get some surprising results!…..Digital Lady Syd
1. I created a New Document and then added a New Layer on top where a red circle was painted and then a yellow circle was painted inside it.
2. Next this layer was taken into Photoshop’s Liquify Filter and where I came up with this funny looking flower. This is a fun filter that can give some really interesting results if you take the time to learn what the various tools do. A Layer Style (double click on the layer in the Layers Palette) was added to create this nifty embossed heart look – by adding a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style and checking Texture. Now the trick is to double click on the word Texture on the left, and you get a new dialog where you can change the Pattern you use for the texture. In this case, the San Valentine Pattern by succo-design was used with the Scale set to 69% and Depth to +6. These are the same patterns you will see in the Pattern Overlay section, except they are embossed and have not color! This is really a great way to use patterns!
3. On a separate layer I painted a stem and a few leaves. Add a Layer Style to this layer and select Pattern Overlay from the left side. To show you the different from step 2, choose a pattern to add some texture to your stem. In this case I choose Obsidian Dawn’s Dirty Patterns-Texture 1 set to Scale 31% and Opacity 36%. Then an Inner Glow was set using a dark green color set to Size 125 pixels to add a little shading to the outside shape of the leaves and stem. You can see how this pattern was applied differently from the pattern in Step 2.
4. I was not really sure what to do next so I decided to add a colored background. I choose ShadowHouse Creations Raised Textured Effect 2 to give some interest to the background. All the textures in this group are beautiful.
5. On a New Layer ShadowHouse Creations Assorted Brush Pack 2 Soft Clouds-NewBrush 18 was used to for a soft white background.
6. On another New Layer, Obsidian Dawns Glitter Set-Random Swirls 2 was used for the slight yellow glow behind the flower.
7. Above that on another New Layer I used SJ Basic Star Scatter Brush to drop some large white flakes on the background for a bit of a wintry addition. (I set up a star scatter brush using the soft brush set to 30 pixels and spacing 1000%. In the Scatter dialog, set the Jitter to 1000% both axis and the Jitter Count to 100. I saved the settings to use the brush again. This brush is used in my Fun Photoshop Blog “Trying Out Topaz Star Effects” but it creates a nice snowing effect also.)
8. Above the flower, a New Layer was created and the little cupid painted in red (click twice to get dark enough) using Glass Prism CupidReq09 brush.
9. Under this layer, create a New Layer and paint all over image with Snow Drops by FrostBo to finish the snowy feel. You do not want snow on the cupid as it will blur the cupid so this is why the layer is under the snow drop one.
10. A Text Layer was created using the font MC Sweetie Hearts and a white Outer Glow Layer Style set to 21 pixels was used to make the letters stand out.
11. On top of the font a New Layer was created and small hearts using the Valentine Brush by digitalTouch with a white as foreground color and red as background color was painted along the bottom leaving a small heart trail along where the ground would be.
12. A composite layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and a Layer Style was created to frame the image Stroke set to a gray 4 pixels inside stroke, and a Inner Glow style set to light gray and 125 strokes.
Here is what the layer structure looks like in case you got lost.
It sounds like it is hard to do, but I wanted to show how easy it is to construct some very creative cards with nothing but Photoshop and some nice resources. The trick is to add each element on individual layers and make sure they re named so you know what you did. Much of the home art you see in Wal-Mart or TJ Maxx is basically just doing exactly what I did here. Check out my blogs below for other ideas just using Photoshop. Take some time to play around with some of the resources available for download and see if you don’t get some really nice art…..Digital Lady Syd
I have not been following all my favorite websites like I should. There is one I had not visited in quite a long time so I checked in. The CoffeeShop Blog was offering this wonderful Web Storyboard 6 for 5 pictures as a free download so I thought I would give it a try. I was really pleased with the final result. Her template is very easy to use – just clip (highlight image and go to Layer -> Create Clipping Mask) the each image you bring into the Photoshop file she provides to the location you want. Use Free Transform to adjust the size to fit. The background color was changed by clicking on the Background Color layer thumbnail and choosing whatever color you want. On the Frames layer, a Gradient Overlay Layer Style was added and reversed using Muted Gradient Muted 5 from Graphix1 set with a Radial Style, angle set to 90 degrees, and Scale set to 149% to get the pretty reddish gold colors on the frames.
Both The CoffeeShop Blog and Graphix1 websites offer some of the best free resources for the Photoshop fanatic like me. Take a minute to check out their websites – both have great blogs too (just click on their Home buttons).
It is really fun to put a collection of your images together! Give it a try!….Digital Lady Syd
This bear now sits in my office but I was never sure why I got him. Last week there was an interesting post by Ian Summers called “3 Exercises to Keep Creative Imagery Flowing” which gave me an insight to this conundrum. One of his generic creative exercises is called “Create a Giant Love Nest,” an environment that involves surrounding your work/creative area with many of the things you liked as a kid to help feed your creativity. I guess that is how Ted arrived – I found him at a bargain price in Cracker Barrel and had to have him. I am not even sure I had a Teddy Bear as a child but I liked his happy look (he never complains) and he is very soft and big (31 1/2″ tall). What’s not to like? So in honor of using childhood (and adult) toys and collectibles as a way to increase your creativity (and a good excuse to keep some of those things you just can’t part with), I am presenting my office friend “Ted.”…..Digital Lady Syd
PS. Ted was processed in Lightroom Beta 4 (see my Tidbits Blog “Trying Out Lightroom Beta 4“) and Photoshop using Topaz Black and White Effect (see my Fun Photoshop Blog “Topaz B&W Effects Plug-In-A Real Winner” and click on sidebar for website link). I started with the Opalotype Collection Flavescent preset and essentially adapted it by cranking up the transparency to 100, and adjusting the strength and placement of the vignette. A little localized face detail and burning on his mouth was added. That’s all.