Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photoshop Filters

Windsor Castle

Black and White image of Windsor Castle in England
Decided to turn this image taken inside Windsor Castle‘s gates into a black and white as the sky looked really nice with the treatment. It was converted in Lightroom using the Basic Linear Radial Dark preset by Serge Ramelli. Then the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush were all used to fine tune the effect. (He makes some really nice presets.) In Photoshop some clean up was done before a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer set to Foggy Night applied at 63% layer opacity. Nik Viveza 2 was used to even out the shadows and clouds a little. On a stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects Fog filter was added to the top of the image where the sky was still pretty dark – it also smoothed it out a little. I like the slight bluish tone that is in the image from the Lookup Adjustment Layer……Digital Lady Syd


Looking for Love

Image of a girl looking at a ruined castle
Sometimes it fun to just do something different! This actually took a lot of tweaking to get that romance novel or poster effect. Corey Barker offered one of his tutorials, Quick Hollywood – Inspired Illustrated Effect, for free so off I went. This is not quite what Corey’s poster looked like, but it still has a bit of that old movie magic. Several of the tips from his video were used which is how the illustrative look was created. The girl is called Wayra 11 from Liam Stock and the castle in ruins is called Winter Wonder stock 36 by Tigg, both at DeviantArt – must thank them for allowing the use of their images. Actually used Topaz Studio’s Basic Adjustment and Bloom Adjustment. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the focal points in the image. Love the font called Star Full Inline which has eyeballs in it. The other font is called Dancing Script OT. Had to paint the face a little and added light fog on castle from Topaz Lens Effects. Used my snow effect called Snow1 Overlay and painted it off the foreground. On another layer, used Corey’s Particle Universal brush for snow on the girl and throughout. Last step was Topaz Texture Effects were the border was added. I think it is too hot right now and I am thinking of winter!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hiding Out at the Rookery

Image of tricolored heron at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
This Tricolored Heron was trying to be inconspicuous which meant I had to take his picture. He really did not want my attention at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. Therefore he now has a beautiful bright-colored plumage to show off. Felt like getting back to my favorite type of Photoshop – painting and adding a few filters. I have done so many Tri-Colored Herons that adding the extreme color effect was fun to try. A technique by Glyn Dewis was presented in his How to Retouch a Dog Portrait video where he duplicates the background twice. On the first he applies PS Reduce Noise twice using just the Strength slider set to 10 and 4. On the top layer he applied a PS High Pass filter set to just 1 pixel to bring back sharpness. These layers were then grouped. It gives a very subtle painterly feel and gives a good place to start by smoothing over the background. On a couple layers on top, several blobs of color were added on the bird to make him more color. The layer opacity was set to around 50% and Overlay and Vivid Light blend modes. Had to clean up the background and fill in some holes. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) the Camera Raw Filter was opened where several Radial Filters were used to direct light. On another New Layer new hair was painted in to fill out the color on the birds lower body. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer was used to add a bluish tint into the image. On a clean up layer, some of the too sharp leaves were painted to soften their effect. Then on two stamped layers, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was applied using on one layer the Rum Purple preset (set to Multiply blend mode at 45% layer opacity) and the Wedgewood Blue and Tan preset (set to 55% layer opacity) on the other. A layer mask was added to the Wedgewood layer and parts of the bird were painted back even more. An Exposure Adjustment Layer was used to sharpen the eye. On a New Layer set to Overlay blend mode and 71% layer opacity, a Spotlight effect was created to emphasize the face a little more. Nik Viveza 2 was used to further enhance the focal point. A subtle vignette using How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog was added. Last step involved adding a Lens Blur Noise effect on a stamped layer (see my 10 Now so Well Known Photoshop Tips blog – first tip). That was it. Got to love these beautiful herons!…..Digital Lady Syd


Fog Rolling In

Composite image of the Golden Hinde in a fog
This image was created using several elements and textures – just a lot of fun to do! I have been sailing when the fog comes rolling in and I wanted that eerie feeling when it happens. The original boat element is one I took in London several years ago – it is an actual replica of the Golden Hinde – Sir Francis Drake’s galleon he sailed in 1578. In Lightroom the ship image had been converted to black and white before opening in PS. Next a New Document was created in PS and this image was loaded into it. The ship image was cropped and moved to the left side. Next Distressed Textures’s The Artist’s Palette Moody Earthtone texture was placed underneath at 25% opacity, and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was set above to make the texture less saturated and more of a blue-green tone. A Levels Adjustment Layer was clipped to the ship image (ALT+click between the layers). The lighthouse was added using some old clip-art from the Old Fashioned Nautical Illustrations book (#371). On a New Layer Obsidian Dawn’s Light Beam set Lighthouse Beam 1 was applied at 51% opacity. On another New Layer Lavender Designs Birds Nest Brush was applied – the two birds sitting on the sails. Jai Johnson’s Flybirds png2 was placed on another New Layer at 27% opacity – a layer mask was added and some of the birds were painted out. Then in the Properties Panel, the Density was set to 61% and Feather to 2.3 so the look like they are disappearing in the fog. Four Adjustment Layers were added: Hue/Sat for the yellow in the beam, Color Lookup Pastel 8 Hues set to 25% opacity, Levels to add contrast back, and another Color Lookup at 69% opacity using Blake Rudis’s preset Vintage Baby Blue. On another New Layer set to 26% opacity I used my old Cloud Text & Smoke Brush to add in more fog and haze. Using the Adobe Paper Texture Pro already supplied textures, 3 were stacked: Brush Rose set to Overlay at 67% opacity, Caspian set to Overlay 89%, and Touchtone set to Difference at 25% opacity. A Curves Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode and 61% opacity and was added to put contrast back into the image. Felt something was missing so I added 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) texture Cosmos 14 set to Multiply blend mode and 67% layer opacity – her star textures are some of my favorites! On a New Layer some of the spots from the texture below were painted out using my SJ Pastel 3 brush (see my How to Create My Favorite Brush blog). Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Fog filter was applied and set to the bottom right corner – in PS it was set to 66% layer opacity. Add a Red Channel Luminosity Curve. Then Nik Viveza 2 was opened and the final focal point was adjusted. I decided that I just did not like the way the fog looked, so with two brushes, Cloud Billoway and Cloud Heft from Gruts FX Cloud Set were both increased to a very large size and dabbed down to get the fog effect – then the layers were set to a very low layer opacity to give the dreamy fog effect. Clipping Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers to each allowed for some color variation. In the last step I added one of my frame layer styles setting colors from the image. This turned out to be quite a project!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Pink Orchard

Image of a Pink Orchard
This orchard image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida – a wonderful place to take flower images if you are in the area. This image was started several weeks ago so I am not completely sure what I wanted as an end result. This flower began as a purple orchard, but Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 was opened and the Citronella Lily was applied with several adjustments. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Impression’s Fine Brush Scumble was applied. On another stamped layer, Topaz Detail 3 was applied, another composite layer and Lucis Pro was applied, and finally on yet another stamped layer, Topaz ReStyle’s Rustic Red and Orange preset. Sort of amazing all the Topaz effects in this little flower! I used my favorite line brush, Grut’s Ink Pin Clinger – to actually draw around just a little around the petals. Two textures were added: Kim Klassen’s August Trio Traverse blend mode set to Vivid Light at 18% and her Fav Collection Cinnamon set to Multiply blend mode at 65% layer opacity. A couple Curves Adjustment Layers and a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer set to Foggy Night at 55% layer opacity. Another stamped layer was created and Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the lighting in the image. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve was applied as a final step. Lots going on here……Digital Lady Syd


Native American Bottles, Pots and Dishes

Image of Native American Bottles and Dishes
This image taken at the Ormond Beach Native American Festival was actually turned into a black and white in Lightroom. Painting in the highlights with an adjustment brush really made the light pop in the final iteration. In Photoshop, to remove a bit of noise, especially in the shadows, Topaz DeNoise 6 was used to remove it (used the Overall and Shadow sliders). Then Lucis Pro was opened to sharpen the details a little. It was set to Difference blend mode at 24% layer opacity and the Blend If sliders were used to further pull in the details. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to add contrast. For color a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was set to Colorize and a teal color effect was selected. Next another Hue/Saturation Layer was opened and a yellow-orange was applied to just the Highlights of the image. At this point the image looked really flat, but kind of old and vintage looking. I rather liked it. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Rustic Red and Orange preset was applied with a few adjustments and set to 74% layer opacity. On another stamped layer Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened and A Little Dingy preset was applied. The Texture section was changed to a gold and black bokeh which enhanced the lighting effect. That was all that was done……Digital Lady Syd


The Mighty Bat Flower

Image of Bat Flower at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando
This unusual Bat Flower taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, is an image I have wanted to post-process for a long time. I keep expecting a little Batman to come flying out of its center! It was a little tricky since it has such unusual antennae-like strands coming out of it, and there was a lot of light issues on the original image. The actual flower has a more brownish tone. I originally post-processed it set to the actual color, but it looked pretty boring. Therefore, I took a little artistic license and changed it to some of the purple shades already in the original image to give it a little pop.

There was mainly just a lot of clean up on this flower. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer and a Color Balance Adjustment Layer were used to adjust that color discussed above. Nik Viveza 2 was used to get the highlights on the flower just right and to darken the edges. A Green Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was set to Luminosity blend mode at 73% layer opacity to mainly adjust the contrast on the actual flower. A Matt Kloskowsky Vignette (see my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog) was applied as a last step. Not that much – just a lot of clean up! I think this is one of the most interesting flowers I have ever seen!…..Digital Lady Syd


Just Hanging Out with His Buddies

Image of Alligator visiting with his buddies at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Just thought I would add this image of a bunch of alligators enjoying hanging out at The Rookery at St. Augustine Alligator Farm waiting for that egg that happens to fall out of a nest. Sad but true–sigh! Just my basic workflow here – some Lucis Pro, Camera Raw filter and Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the focus. Some Dodging and Burning, and Luminosity Curve and Black & White Adjustment Layers. Just a lot of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd


An Engraved Leaf

Image of a cement leaf on a walkway at the Ormond Memorial Gardens
This image was taken at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens of a pattern drawn into the sidewalk. The texture in the image was so nice, I decided to add a little pizzaz to it. First Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle preset Loulou and Mandy was applied. This gave it the bright orange and turquoise colors. Three adjustment layers were stacked: Color Lookup using Fuji F125 Kodak 2395, Levels, and Photo Filter using Cyan at 52% density. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects2 was applied using a Dingy Cream preset. On another stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust corners. A Vibrance and Saturation Adjustment Layer was used. Then I decided to create a brush from the texture of a section selected using the Marquee Tool, turned to black and white, then painted out some more areas, and went to Edit -> Define Brush Preset. Now used the brush to paint in some added texture over the feather and flower and in blank parts of the image to add more texture. I really like the brush I created and hope to use it some more!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Pond Fairy…is always watching you

An image of the Pond Fairy
The Pond Fairy was a lot of fun to create. The original image was a lily pad pond image taken at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens. The sun appeared in the water as a brilliant white glare where the face is located. The fairy face is made from a brush I created from a model’s face. Corel Painter’s ParticleShop Photoshop plug-in was opened and the Cluster brush set to a bright yellow with the Glow checked and was painted on the plant on the left side and little on the tips of the lily pads. A texture from 2 Lil Owl (see sidebar for website link) called Mosaic Set Aqua Grunge – this is one of her best sets in my opinion – was applied and set to Subtract blend mode at 19%layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Diffusion filter was applied to really soften up her face and some of the sharp lily lines. Then it was removed in part of the image with a layer mask. Topaz Restyle was opened and a preset was made of the image at this point. Then the actual image sliders were changed to get a little bit different color palette. This is a great way to get the colors just like you want them, especially if they are pretty close to what you like. The other presets just did not work with this image. (See my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog for how to do this.) A few splats were placed on a New Layer to give a little fairy dust and water bubble look. On a composite layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and opened Nik Color Efex Pro 4 – used Detail Extractor, Glamour Glow and Midnight filters. This layer was set to Multiply blend mode and 24% layer opacity. A group was created for the face layers where the eyes, cheeks and lips were painted. Also the clover hat was added to her image here.  This was from my favorite object site – PixelSquid. The fish are from an image taken in Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It was layered on top of the water lily image, then free transformed to fit the pond area. A Black and White Adjustment Layer and Levels Adjustment Layer were set to get the correct tone and color in them. A layer mask was used to fine tune the fish into the area. Nik Viveza 2 was opened to adjust the focus. The text is a free font called Viner Hand ITC. Quite a few steps but lots of fun. So next time you look into a pond, check out The Pond Fairy who will be watching you…..Digital Lady Syd


An Army Tortoise

Image of a Galapagos Tortoise at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
I have visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm many times over the past few years and for some reason, these huge Galapagos Tortoises always catch my eye. They always look the same and are not particularly colorful, but for some reason this image caught my attention as it looks like he is wearing an Army camouflage helmet on his back. I just could not pass up the chance to try it out, so here my Army Tortoise – I think he really has a bit of a military expression on his face.

Just my basic workflow using Topaz Clarity to sharpen him up a bit, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Simplify using a preset created from Serge Ramelli’s video called How To Turn a Photo into a Cartoon with Topaz Simplify 4.0, a Selective Color Adjustment Layer to turn the blue tones in his shell to green, Nik Viveza 2 to even out the edges, a Lighten and Darken Curves Adjustment Layer to slightly dodge and burn the image. 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link) Mosaic Set Benoit textures was added and set to Multiply blend mode, and her Mosaic Set darcy grunge texture was set to Screen blend mode. For this texture the Blend If This Layer white tab slider was split and set to 90/128 to give the pattern effect just on the outside of the image. On a New Layer set to Overlay, a couple large round soft strokes were made to act as a spotlight on his face and part of his shell. A little clean up was done to finish up. I really think he looks so much more interesting now!….Digital Lady Syd


Poising for a Portrait

Image of a Tricolored Heron from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
This beautiful Tricolored Heron is waiting for her mate to return to the nest with more nest ingredients. I could not believe how beautiful her eyes were! And where is her neck – how does she do this? The image had lots of shadows on her feathers that had to be removed – used both Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush set with the Saturation way down and clarity up to retain the feather structure, and then in Photoshop used a little cloning on the feathers. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was applied to pull out the feather details more – the background was painted out in a layer mask. (For Clarity settings, see below.) On another stamped layer Topaz Impression 2’s Jai Johnson’s Oil Glaze Light Original Color for noise removal preset was applied. (Need to try this preset if you shoot bird and wildlife photography – see her preset settings in her video In the Digital Studio January 6, 2017). Darken and Lighten Curves Adjustment Layers were created and the layer masks were filled with black. (See my How to Use Curves Adjustment Layers to Dodge and Burn an Image blog.) Areas that needed either adjustment were painted back. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve Adjustment Layer was created. (See my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog.) Then an orange Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was applied at 19% layer opacity to warm up the image slightly using the mask to remove areas that were too warm. Finished up with Nik Viveza 2 to add a little vignette and drive focus to the bird’s eye. I just love the expression of this lovely lady…..Digital Lady Syd

Here are the basic Clarity settings used for my SJ Scottish Landscape:  Clarity Section – Dynamics: Micro Contrast 0.73, Low Contrast 0.33, Medium Contrast 0; and High Contrast -0.34; Tone: Black Level 0.69, Midtones 0.02, and White Level -0.34; Hue/Sat/Lum Section – Hue Red 0.13, Orange 0.11, Green 0.33, and Aqua -0.36; Sat Red 0.19, Orange 0.14, Green -0.31, and Blue -0.19; and Lum Red 0.59, Orange 0.16, Yellow -0.02, and Green -0.37; all not listed colors were set to 0. For this image, changed Medium Contrast to 0.70, set all Hues to 0, and changed these Lum settings to: Orange 0.39 and Yellow -0.87.


Teasing the Bird Paparazzi

Image of Snowy Egret flying at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
This beautiful snowy egret looks like he is having a great time showing off in front of the large group of photographers trying to get him centered in the cameras. I thought this was one of the funniest images I have taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. Added Gaussian Blur to the whole image at Radius 12.5 and painted back the bird. The whole background was just too busy and the photographers way too distinct. On just the bird a little Topaz Clarity was used to bring out the detail in the bird’s wings especially. Used an Exposure Adjustment Layer to sharpen the eye. Then Topaz ReStyle’s First Steps preset was applied. Used Nik Viveza 2 to balance out the color in the image and on the birds wings. A Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer finished up the image. It was a little tricky to not over-sharpen the bird to keep it from looking like a composite. I had to spend a lot of time just toning down the edges to blend into the overall background. Still like the image…..Digital Lady Syd


Building a Nest for the Future

Image of a Roseate Spoonbill at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery
One of my favorite birds to photograph, partly because they are so funny. This Roseate Spoonbill had to work pretty hard to get the branch broken off the tree limb so his mate could add it to the nest at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. The couples work very hard together getting it all just right. This guy was in such a busy background that I had to figure out a way to calm it down. Decided to go with a bit of a glamour look to soften the whole image down thanks to Sebastian Michael‘s action. (If you took his course, the link is in a recent e-mail.) I hope I get to find this guys nest and see the chicks that will be hatching soon. ….Digital Lady Syd


St. Giles Cathedral Entranceway

Image of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland
This image of St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland is of the West Doorway and contains many interesting carvings that were done by John Rhind in 1884. I am still trying to figure out who the sculptures are of – they represent historical people of Scotland – the middle guy is named Alexander, maybe the king who erected the first church at this location in 1120. Also the Gargoyle surprised me as he was rather prominent in the image (they are used as waterspouts and protect the church from evil spirits). I still wonder who all the people are that are just carved faces in the wall. The workflow is basically the same one used in the my Adding a Creating Painting Effect Fun Photoshop Blog. Lucis Pro was used to sharpen it up a bit. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression’s Abstract Settings Blake Rudis set to 63% layer opacity. A white layer with many parts painted out in a mask. A frame was added with a Pattern Adjustment Layer clipped to give the soft pink tones. Some clean up, a little dodging and burning, and Nik Viveza 2 to finish off. Would love to get back to Scotland and see who all these carvings are. ….. Digital Lady Syd

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Tiny Red Berries

Image of little Red Berries
These little red berries were found growing on a shrub in my yard – they appear after some tiny white flowers fall off of it. This strand was only about 1 inch long and the image was taken with my Lensbaby Composer at F/4 using a Macro +4 Lens. In Lightroom a Scott Kelby Trendy High Contrast Look preset was applied and a lot of time was spent to sharpen the berries using the Adjustment Brush. This image had a lot of noise in the image so the Detail Sharpening Amount and Noise Reduction Luminance sliders were set to 0 so it could be removed more effectively in Photoshop. Once in Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise 6 using the Raw Moderate preset was applied and did a much better job of removing the noise.  This layer was duplicated and Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened where the Fantasy Land II preset was added. A bokeh texture was inserted into the preset for the 2nd Texture section. In the Masking Enabled part of the Texture section, a black brush set to a Strength of 0.43 was used to lightly remove any bokeh effect from the berries. The Texture Effects layer opacity was set to 91%. On another duplicated layer, Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Swam and Sherpa Blue preset was applied and set to 50% opacity and Screen blend mode in the plug-in and once applied, the overall layer opacity was set to 85%. Just finished up with the Black & White Adjustment Layer set to 56% layer opacity pop the colors and set to Luminosity blend mode, a Red Channel Luminosity Curve Adjustment Layer to tone down highlights, and Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the focus and add a little vignetting. Pretty much my regular workflow. …..Digital Lady Syd

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Palm Frond

Palm Frond from Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens
This rather abstract-looking palm frond was taken at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens. I was unable to figure out what the actual string-like material is – whether it is part of the palm or some type of Spanish Moss. Lucis Pro was used to sharpen the image. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Blue Shades preset was applied to the image. Next on a New Layer the String was selected and an Outer Glow layer style was added to emphasize it. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added and a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was applied. Nik Viveza 2 was applied on a stamped layer and then Matt K’s Vignette was applied. (See my Fun Photoshop How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog.) I am going to go back and see if I can find out more about this particular type of palm. ….. Digital Lady Syd


The Break Out

Image of a Malayan Tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo
The Malayan Tiger image above was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida and he really was not trying to get out of his enclosure. He was actually checking out the tortoise in the next enclosure – apparently tigers like to eat tortoises according to his keeper. This image took an excessive amount of painting to get rid of the fence in front of his body. Luckily the eyes, nose and mouth structures were very sharp so the tiger could be reconstructed. Several paint layers were needed. Also several stamped layers (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) were used for the following filters: Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 did a great job adding a great effect on the tiger’s body using one of Blake Rudis’s wonderful presets called Room Glow set to Overlay blend mode. Topaz Impression 2 was applied at 82% layer opacity but I am not sure which preset was used to create a unique preset. Topaz ReStyle’s Tangerine Gauze preset, and Topaz Texture Effects 2 was used next. Finally Nik Viveza 2 was used to get the focal point correct. Lots of fun but lots of work……Digital Lady Syd


The King Entering his Domain

Western Lowland Gorilla image taken at the Jacksonville Zoo
I liked this image because of the expression of the Gorilla and texture on the wall beside him. I ended up with a vintage feel as opposed to a really sharp image as the texture looks much better with the vintage tones. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 was opened and once again Jai Johnson’s Oil Glaze preset was used at 56% opacity (settings for preset in the video In the Digital Studio January 6, 2017). Nik Viveza 2 was used to drive focus to his face. A little spotlight effect was placed on his face. A Curves Adjustment Layer and Levels Adjustment (adjust the output tabs to get the matte feel) layer were added. That is about it since the original image did not have a lot of color in it the vintage effect could be achieved. ….. Digital Lady Syd

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Finding the Shade

Jaguar at the Jackonsville Zoo
This jaguar started off as not a very pretty image at all – his lower foot was cut off, but the wood fence looked really good so I decided to process it. The image was taken at the Jacksonville Zoo behind a chain-linked fence where light shadow lines were throughout the image. In Lightroom Dave Delnea’s Backlight _Vertical_Left preset was applied and the settings adjusted. Used the Adjustment Brush to add a little Clarity and Sharpness to the just the face and ears. In Photoshop first the canvas had to be extended at the bottom and on the right side – filled some of the area using the Rectangular Marquee Tool and with Content-Aware Fill. Then the back foot was selected and copied (CTRL+J) to put on its own layer. The Free Transform Tool (CTRL+T) was used to add the bottom of this front leg and the spot Healing Brush was used to blend it all together. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 was used to blend some of the dark chain-linked fence shadows out and the spot Healing Brush was also used to remove them. Jai Johnson’s Oil Glaze preset (see video to create) was used and most of the jaguar was painted out on a layer mask. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Lucis Pro was opened and the Detail was set to 113. Then just parts of the jaguar were painted back in the mask to add more detail to the face. A Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was added next. On another stamped layer, Nik Color Efex Pro was opened and the Pro Contrast filter with the Dynamic Contrast set to 41% and the Darken/Lighten Filter were applied. It took a bit of time to work out the problems in this image, but the results were worth it!…..Digital Lady Syd


Keeping an Eye Open

Image of a Red Flanked Lorikeet at the Jacksonville Zoo
This is an image of a male Red Flanked Lorikeet found at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida. These birds are so colorful and very active! He actually posted for several pictures which surprised me. There were a lot of layers with this guy as I could not decide what to do with him. I finally settled on adding a pretty heavy texture to his image. French Kiss’s Solstice Puissance (see sidebar for website link) was selected and the color changed to match the bird. The bird was painted in several places using my SJ Pastel 3 brush. A little Exposure Adjustment Layer eye sharpening and Nik Viveza 2 to get the light in the background correct finished up the photo. These birds are so beautiful!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Cowboy in Montana

Image from Shorpy.com of a Cowboy in Montana
This image is from Shorpy.com, my favorite old image site, and was called Cowboy at Quarter Circle U Roundup in Montana in June 1939. Just had to try to add the hand-tinting and see if I could get that old West look that was so popular in the 60’s. This image was really not that hard to do – just followed the steps in my How to Colorize an Old Photo Fun Photoshop Blog using several Color Fill Adjustment Layers. On a stamped layer (CTRL++SHIFT+ALT+E) on top, used a Sunset Gradient 5 from Oilha Kozacheenko to get the beautiful sunset effect. The map was created by just going into one of the Map Apps and copying down a selection of Montana, removing all the roads, drawing a line around the state lines to thicken them, and removing the white in the map using Color Range. Then it was brought into the cowboy image. 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link) Mosaic Set beneit grunge texture was applied and set to Linear Light blend mode at 25% layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2’s Urban Grit preset was applied and then Topaz ReStyle’s Natural Brown Shades. It took a little bit of tweaking to get the final result, but it was a lot of fun! I like to hand-tint a good black and white image for a change of pace…..Digital Lady Syd


The Road to Hana

Image from Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii
This Maui image of a little water inlet on the Hana Highway is another example of the poster look that was in my Getting That Poster Effect Fun Photoshop Blog. Used a similar workflow with Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (any sharpening filter would work), Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 using one of my presets (I do not use the same preset for each image) – just have to use a little trial and error to find the right painting look. A layer mask was added and parts were painted out that did not look so good. The RGB luminosity layer and the brighten whites layer were also created. PS’s Poster Edges Filter was used with the same settings as my original blog. PS’s Stylized Filter using the same settings from the original blog was added. Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and these filters were stacked: Glamour Glow, Reflector Efex, Film Efex Vintage using Film Type 14, and Cross Processing using Method B02 at 17% Strength – this really added to the painterly effect. On a New Layer and using my SJ Pastel Brush, some clean up and colors were added in parts of the image to create a more painterly look. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve was used to further even out the tone of the image. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was used to get the exact warmth into the image. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Diffusion filter was opened and just a little diffusion and softness was added to the image to smooth some of the strokes. My favorite texture group from 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set (these are .png files) number 3 was added to the image and set to Overlay blend mode. Last step involved taking another composite layer into Nik Viveza 2 (still my favorite plug-in ever and now it is free) and added a little vignette and lightened the focal point, which is the point at waters edge and the tree almost in the center. It did take a while to do this image, but I am always surprised at how good these poster effects come out! Each time I try it I feel I am getting a better result…..Digital Lady Syd


Tree on Fire

Image of Tree in Maui
This image is from the beautiful drive on Maui called the Hana Highway. The tree was basically sitting alone on a hillside enjoying the wonderful weather, but somehow it turned into a rather dramatic image mainly due to the added texture. In Lightroom after watching a video by Serge Ramelli called Amazing Free Lightroom Presets!, his AA Drama Radial Circle Middle preset was selected. The Graduated Filter and Radial Filter settings were adjusted and moved. In Photoshop, the Background layer was duplicated and the PS Lighting Effects filter was used to add a little light in the top of the tree – was just trying it out. Think I like the Camera Raw Radial Filter better for this. Added the Flypaper Bird Brush Set-Albatross Fly Birds to the sky on a separate layer. Jai Johnson’s Daily Textures Explorations Texture 9 was used to create this rather glowing background effect. The layer was set to Multiply blend mode. A Red Channel Curves Adjustment Layer was added to modify the highlights. Nik Viveza 2 was opened and 7 control points were used to drive the eye toward the focal point and to give a slight vignetting effect. Also a little light could be scattered on the hill with this filter. A hoe-hum image has been turned into something rather spectacular!…..Digital Lady Syd