Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photoshop Filters

Harvesting Orange

Image of Bird of Paradise bloom
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving in the US with this perfectly colored Bird of Paradise bloom that was growing in my front yard. Used setting from Urban Walk 15 Vintage Street preset in Lightroom. In Photoshop just practiced some of the things I have been learning about the various plug-ins filters. This image used Topaz Studio’s (see sidebar for website link) Impression default with some slider changes including the Painting Progress slider at 0.60 – then painted out most of the effect off the flower. Then the Precision Contrast filter was applied at 0.84 opacity and the Lighting Shadow set way down to give it a very dark background. Back in PS, On1 Photo Raw 2018 (see sidebar for website link) Effects was opened and their Glow Filter Orton Hear a Who preset at 75% opacity and the Noise Reduction filter Shadows preset was applied. A little burning was done on a layer above to emphasize some of the flower lines a little. (See my How to Create a Subtle Dodge and Burn Effect blog.) Some selective sharpening was done with a 50% gray layer and painting was done on the flowers using my SJ Pastel 3 Brush (see my How to Create my Favorite Brush blog). On a layer on top, a Spotlight Effect was created on the flower (see my How to Add a Spot of Light blog). The last step added the text using Naive Deco Sans font. Enjoy the holiday!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Beautiful View

View from Linlithgow Palace in Scotland
Loved this view of the Scottish countryside taken from a window in Linlithgow Palace – this is the palace where Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542 and lived for 7 months but did not return for another 20 years. Lots of interesting history here.  Started adjusting this image in Lightroom doing Basic Panel adjustments. In Photoshop on a duplicate layer, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was applied, then a black mask added and painted back just areas that needed more definition. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) On1 Photo Effects was opened and the Color Enhancer filter, Tone Enhancer, and Textures was used to help especially in the sky area. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied to even out the  lighting in the front foreground and midground areas. That was it!…..Digital Lady Syd


Looking for a Dragon Slayer

Image of a huge Dragon Fly
This is an image of a dragon fly that was sleeping upside down on the roof of my front porch. These bugs are huge – like 4 or 5 inch wing span! Anyway, got a good image so decided to play with it and see what effects I could get. What really surprised me is that the background actually came out inside the wings. The fly was selected using the Quick Selection Tool and then taken into Refine and Mask where this really nice detailed selection of the wings was created. A lot of textures were created. These textures were used: 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Sea Storm Canvas and French Brocante 10 set to Soft Light, and Daily Texture Exploration 7 set to Multiply blend mode at 60% layer opacity. The Sharpen Tool was also used to sharpen the wings. The Dragon is a brush by Rob Marks. Nik Viveza 2 filter was used to even out the background. The font is called Enchanted Brush. Lots of fun to create!…..Digital Lady Syd


Happy Halloween

Image of Halloween Pumpkins and Scarecrows
This Halloween grouping was taken at a local Lowe’s Garden Center on my Android – just could not resist the cuteness of these guys. I would love to have one of those straw looking characters but we do not get many Trick-or-Treaters here so no need to put outside. Anyway, since it was just a JPEG taken on the fly, the image itself needed some work. Only basic adjustments were done in LR, then in Photoshop the first thing done was to run the Shake Reduction Filter to try and sharpen up the edges a little. Next the background was removed using the Quick Selection Tool and Mask and Select command. One of my textures was placed underneath for a background. To further sharpen the image, it was taken into Lucis Pro (no longer available) and it really helped. On a stamped layer, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 using one of the Flypaper recipes presets to get this overall vintage feel – I forgot to write down which preset. So many of them looked good. Two inches were added to the bottom of the image and the Naive Deco Sans font was selected for type. On a New Layer a Mixer blender brush was used to smooth edges. Nik Viveza 2 was applied on a stamped layer to draw focus to the center pumpkin. Last step was to add a Curves Adjustment Layer for a little vintage feel to the overall image. Happy Halloween Everyone!…..Digital Lady Syd


Smokestacks in New York City

Image of Manhattan's Business District in NYC cc 1900
The above image is from the Library of Congress and is an image taken of the Business District in Manhattan, New York City, cc1900. Shorpy.com showed it as a blog image and has posted some really interesting info about what buildings were in this original image. What intrigued me is the smoke from all the smokestacks and all the American Flags (I counted at least 160), most flying on top of the buildings. A lot of clean up was done first and the image had to be converted to RBG from Grayscale and reasonable size needed to be set. On a cleaned up stamped image (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Topaz Studio was opened and one of my uploaded Community presets (SJ Building Sharp) was applied. I did go through and tweak the four adjustments (Basic, Precision Contrast, Precision Detail, and Dehaze) in this preset, but it is pretty much the same settings. The last step in Topaz was to reduce the total effect in the sky – used a Mask Transparency of 0.33 with a brush and then added a Feather of 0.23 in the More Mask Options section. In Photoshop a Color Lookup FoggyNight preset added at 11% layer opacity and Linear Burn blend mode. Two textures from Flypaper were added: Alice set to Overlay blend mode and 100% layer opacity and Villa Adriana set to 36% layer opacity and Overlay blend mode. Last step was to open Nik Viveza 2 and add a little lightness on the buildings facing the sun and in the corners for a subtle vignette effect. Really fun picture to work with……..Digital Lady Syd


On Safari

Image of a display at Universal Studios
This image was taken at Universal Studios-Florida in a gift shop. I thought it was a very interesting display. Just followed one of my basic image workflows for this one. First selected the display from the background. Then added underneath a Texture from 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link), a texture I created a long time ago set to Darker Color at 46%, and an object of just vertical lines on top of it set to 46%.  The actual cut-out layer was opened in Lucis Pro to get the almost illustrative effect. Then some clean up layers and Nik Viveza 2 to direct the eye properly. A Red Channel Luminosity layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Ash Gray and Eggshell on another layer, and a Camera Raw Filter to add grain were the final steps. That was it. I really like the overall effect…..Digital Lady Syd


Abandoned Texaco Station

Image of an abandoned Texaco gas station from 1937
I found this image of an abandoned gas station in 1937 on Highway No. 2 in western North Dakota at Shorpy’s Historic Photo Archive but downloaded the original as a tif file from the Library of Congress. Seemed like a perfect candidate for colorizing in the new Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio. When working with these vintage black and white images, you always need to first adjust the resolution and resize it in Photoshop by going to Image -> Image Size command – set to a resolution of 300 by unchecking the Resample button, inserting 300, then rechecking the button to change the size. Next duplicated the layer in PS and opened up Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio and selected my SJ Colorize Black and White Image preset (it is up on the Community Site). Then added: Reduce Noise Adjustment and painted out the foreground in a mask so it only affected the sky; Dehaze Adjustment set to a Strength of 0.39 and Suppress Artifacts to 0.82; and Impression Adjustment using the Default settings changing the Stroke type to Stroke 09 and set the Painting Progress slider to 0.27. Back in Photoshop just did my normal workflow although it took a little more work. Used Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the overall image and several painting layers to smooth out the sky. Lots of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd


Feeding Egret

Image of a white egret eating in calm water from Hurricane Irma
This image was taken in my neighborhood soon after Hurricane Irma visited recently. This is just standing water from the large amount of water received from the storm – it has now almost completely evaporated. Needless to say the birds loved it!

Note much done to this image – most of the processing was done in Topaz Studio, the new free interface for the Topaz plug-ins. (See my Introducing the Free Topaz Studio blog) I am still trying to figure out how to use all the adjustment settings. (Here are the settings used: Basic Adjustment – Exp -0.22, Clarity 0.28, Shadow 0.52, Highlight -0.16, Sat 0.29, Precision Contrast – Micro 0.30, Low 0.10, Medium -0.11, High -0.30, Shadow -0.35, Sat -0.22, Vibrant -0.79, and Color Contrast -0.37; and Radiance 0.28 opacity, Strength 0.11 and Fade 0.38.) A Red Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was applied. (See my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog.) Last step involved using a Selective Color Adjustment Layer and reducing the brightness of the over-powering Yellows. …..Digital Lady Syd


Beautiful Horse

Image of horses
This beautiful image is a stock photo from Deeezy Cute Animals. I wanted to try out a technique that John Paul Caponigro presented on his blog recently called Creative Image Sharpening with HDR Software. This technique is applied to only one image and does not work well on all photos, but I liked the effect on the fur texture. Unfortunately his blog addresses the older version of Nik HDR Efex Pro and the newer free Nik HDR Efex Pro2 is a very different interface. Therefore I had to play around the various settings, but I got what I consider a pretty nice result. There are a couple nice videos on how to use this software at the link also. In this case, only one image was used to increase the detail on the texture (here are the settings I used: Tone Compression 60%, Method Strength 72%, HDR Method Depth subtle, Detail realistic, and Drama natural. Structure was then set to 67%, Blacks move to middle of slider and Whites almost to end). A control point was placed on the horse eye and nose to add a little fine sharpening. A vignette was created. It was fun trying out the filter and it definitely does make the image a lot sharper, but it can look really bad on some images. I always liked the filter for HDR, so definitely continue using it for that if you have it. But if you have an image with some nice texture in it, give this single photo technique a try. …..Digital Lady Syd


A Beautiful Bedroom

Image of a Master Bedroom at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida
Decided to experiment and turn this Master Bedroom in the Flagler Museum or Whitehall in Palm Beach, Florida, into a monotone color – it just looked pretty after David DuChemin’s Lightroom Develop Preset was applied called B+W Duo-Cool to Warm. It actually was a little too bleached out but this is point that I started in Photoshop. I wanted to have a vintage feel to the image. The actual image was done in bright golds and yellows. The image was sharpened using Lucis Pro (no longer available) and then adding a black layer mask and painting back just some of the detail. An outside border was created using Shadowhouse Creations Heavenly Vintage Texture Set-Lavender Texture which was desaturated (CTRL+SHIFT+U). Nik Viveza 2 was added to sharpen up the left mirror reflection. To add a little color tone to the image, a Color Fill Adjustment Layer was added using a beige-pink color – set to Color blend mode at 54% layer opacity. I really like the overall effect…..Digital Lady Syd


Watching the Sky

B&W image of a Siamang Ape
This Siamang Ape lives at the Palm Beach Zoo – he has just finished his breakfast and is getting ready to run to the top of the trees and announce the opening of the Zoo for the other animals. The technique used in this image was presented in a video by Glyn Dewis called Use Photoshop to Take a Picture from Good to Great in 5 Steps – it is based on an effected created by wildlife photographer Nick Brandt. One of my Corel Painter backgrounds was used as a background placed under the ape image. Then used a layer mask to remove the original background. Then basically sharpened the image and then blurred the image in selected areas of the image. Last step involved adding grain into the image. The video goes through most of this. This was a lot of fun to try! Thank you Glyn Dewis for showing us how to do this!….Digital Lady Syd


Beautiful Clouds at Stirling Castle

View from Stirling Castle in Scotland
This image was taken at Stirling Castle in Scotland. The sky was so dramatic that there were many different ways to process the clouds, but I settled on a less dramatic and more sunny feel to the image. It was actually quite an overcast day when this image shot. There was not a lot done to this image. Biggest problem was some noise – both Luminance and Color so Adobe Camera Raw was used to clean it up. I can’t remember the last time I had color noise so this was unusual. On a stamped layer, Lucis Pro was applied and the clouds were painted out in a layer mask to keep them from being too crisp. Nik Viveza 2 and a Red Channel Luminance Adjustment Layer was added. Then I realized I had a slightly crooked image so PS Adaptive Wide Angle Filter was used to straighten it up just a little – worked perfectly! (See my How to Use the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter blog.) Then a border was created using single line rectangle, selecting the outside, adding a layer mask to a stamped layer, and clipping a Black & White Adjustment Layer on top. That was it. What a wonderful place to visit!…..Digital Lady Syd


Feeling Happy

Image of Alice in Wonderland
This is a composite image that I created using stock images and a texture I had created in Corel Painter. The beautiful Alice is from Faestock on DeviantArt. The first step was to create a New Document set to 8 inches X 8 inches at 300 dpi. Next the stock image of Alice was added and the girl was selected and removed from the white background. On this cut out image, an effect used by Corey Barker at Creative Live during the 2017 Photoshop Week was applied. I cannot seem to find another source for this effect but Corey has used similar effects in Photoshop User Magazine and a Kelby One blog. Anyway, the basic effect gave Alice a rather gungy look using different brushes in layer masks. The Alice layers were put in a group. Then the texture was added underneath the group. Selective Color Adjustment Layers and a Curves Adjustment Layer were used to blend this all together. Nik Viveza 2 was added to draw focus to her face. The font is the Old Printing Press Free Version. It is fun to make just a care-free image that makes you smile!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Whisker Cactus

Macro image of a Whisker Cactus
A local hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, labelled this a Whisker Cactus – the red spikes are at the top of the stalk. They had this wonderful cactus garden with several different types. Unfortunately I did not have my macro lens with me, but this image has a pretty nice macro feel to it. A lot of the post-processing was done in Lightroom using the Bad Weather 8 preset by Serge Ramelli with adjustments to the Gradient Filters and Radial Filters. In PS, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to just add some texture and sharpening into the cactus only. Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the plant colors. Matt Kloskowski’s technique was used to create a vignette. (See my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog.) On another layer the Sharpen Tool and Blur Tool was used selectively and a 50% gray Dodge and Burn layer was used on the focal point areas. That was it. These cactus are pretty but incredibly sharp!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Neighborhood Puppy

Image of the Neighborhood Puppy
This is one of the cutest puppies I think I have ever seen. Her name is Kaila and I get to play with her every now and then when she is on one of her neighborhood walks. This time she let me take a few images of her, so I thought I would take advantage of this photo and try out a recent Topaz blog called Cartoon Your Critter – Make Your Pet a Work of Art by Taylor Seaton. I did not follow the steps exactly since my image is not really a cartoon effect, but I liked the final results. So how did I get to this point? Well I used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask, but I also tried Photoshop’s Mask and Select, which gave a great result too, just to see which is is better. (I think the results depend totally on the image IMHO, so if you do not like the results of one, try the other.) I did not like the results Topaz Simplify gave to this image, so Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (unfortunately no longer available) was applied on a duplicate layer of just the selected dog. Again the layer was duplicated and following the Topaz blog, the image was taken into Topaz Impression 2 where the Cartoon Your Critter preset was downloaded from the Community. No changes were made to it. Next Artiste Old Master texture from French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) was placed underneath the dog layer. Topaz has several nice textures in their blog that can be downloaded if a nice one is needed. Then created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top so it can be taken back into Topaz Impression 2. On separate layers above lots of painting with PS was done to add my own painting flair. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied and just a little bit of vignetting was added along with a little work on the nose and mouth. I really like the results. And as always, it was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hospital Militar

Image of the Spanish Military Hospital Museum in St. Augustine, Florida
Just had some fun adding an interesting effect to this front door image of the Spanish Military Hospital Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. In PS a free action by Chris Spooner called Engraved Effect Medium was used on the whole image. If you use this action be careful-it makes your image huge. What you need to do is look in the group and decide which layers you want to apply and remove the others to control the final size of the image. I really like the engraved look and the action contains three different levels to experiment using. Then the image was taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 and applied the Abstract I preset with changes to fine tune to this image. Next a stamped layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was placed on top. Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available was applied and just the Smooth Detail slider was used. One of my PNG textures was added to the image and set to Overlay blend mode and then set to a bright blue color by clipping a Color Fill Adjustment Layer. The Foggy Night Color Lookup was added and set to 34% layer opacity. Next 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Starry Night 6 was applied and set to Saturation blend mode at 46% layer opacity. The last step was to use one of Sebastian Michaels edges. It like the sort of vintage feel in the image…..Digital Lady Syd


The Golden Dragon

Image of Nano Lopez's Little Devian Sculpture
I had never seen a Nano Lopez sculpture until my recent visit to St. Augustine where the James Coleman Gallery had it displayed- this piece is called Little Davian. I shot this beauty through the front window in bright daylight so it took a lot of cleaning up to get rid of the reflections . I thought that the dragon was singing into a microphone but he is actually eating a “Dragon Berry” ice cream cone! Need to check out all Nano’s work – it is amazing! I will give you a quick run down of what was done to the image, but many steps were involved to get an effect I liked. First the dragon was run through Lucis Pro (no longer available) to get the edges defined better – it does not really sharpen but gives a similar look. Then PS Select and Mask command was used to extract the dragon from the background. To get the interesting cyan texture on the right side, a grunge type object created in Corel Painter was placed behind the extracted dragon, set to Soft Light and 52% layer opacity.  A Hue/Sat Adjustment Layer was clipped to the layer and set to a Cyan color. A Darken/Lighten 50% gray layer was added. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the color and tone throughout the image – this helped fix the glass reflection problem. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was used on just the dragon. A Spotlight Layer set to Overlay blend mode was used on the dragon head. 4 Light Leaks were used on the edges – top and bottom set to a little dark red color, right side cyan and left side a warmish orange. 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set – overlay 6 was set to Divide blend mode at 40% layer opacity to darken the edge of image. The font is called Chiller. Last step involved adding Topaz Detail 3 – just gave the overall image some sharpening and emphasized the background texture. Obviously my image does not do justice to the actual beautiful piece created by the artist, but it was a joy to work on the image!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Red Lion in the Tower

Image of Alcazar Hotel Tower's clay red lion face
Took this image recently in St. Augustine of the back of the Alcazar Hotel (Lightner Museum) showing one of the beautiful red clay lions. Henry Flagler had these lions placed over both this hotel and the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) exteriors. To begin in PS, a free action by Chris Spooner called Engraved Effect Medium was used on the whole image. Lots of clean up with a mask. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impressions2 using a Van Gogh preset was applied and the effect was painted off back in PS on the lions face. Melissa Gallo’s Painted Textures Mist on the Lake (no longer available)) was applied twice – one set to Normal and one to Linear Burn at 55% layer opacity. A Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to adjust the color. Then a stamped layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was placed on top and taken into Topaz ReStyle using the Cream and Plum preset (one of my favorites) was applied to the image and set to Hue blend mode at 76% layer opacity. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza2 was applied to adjust the contrast just right. Last step added just a simple line border.  That was it. I love these beautiful clay lions – they are so striking!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hitching a Ride

Image of a small gorilla hitching a ride on the back of a larger one
This image was taken at the Jacksonville Zoo – this little guy was hitching a ride across the large field for the Lowland Gorillas. The image was first processed in Lightroom using Seim’s Magic – Harsh Sun Fixer preset and then adding Dave Delnea’s Backlight 002 Horiz preset to it to give the interesting lighting effect. Dave’s preset was adjusted before sending the image to Photoshop. Adding this kind of lighting can really pop a boring image. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was applied using my Little Med Large Detail preset – added a black layer mask and painted back the detail just on the back of the gorilla and the little gorilla. On a stamped (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) layer, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was added using these filters:  Darken/Lighten Center, Color Effex: Vintage set to Film Type 2 and 82% overall opacity, Brilliance/Warmth set only to Warmth at 32%, and Glamour Glow to soften the image a little. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the lighting on the gorillas. I love post processing and painting images from the zoo!…..Digital Lady Syd


Who’s Watching Who?

Image of a Gorilla from the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida
This gorilla I have used in several blogs – he was very much aware of everything going on around him and all who were watching him. I believe he was concerned for the little gorillas that were playing near him. There was a lot of clean up done to get him ready for the texture and Topaz Impression filter used in the image. The Gorilla was separated from his background using the Select and Mask Tool. It was okay that the selection was not perfect since just this layer was going to be taken into Impression. But first one of Jai Johnson’s fabulous natural textures was placed behind him – one called Daily Textures Captured Light Sea 4 (free download if you sign up for her newsletter). A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to desaturate the texture a little and remove the warm gold color, and a Levels Adjustment Layer were used to make the yellow color even more white. Then a Color Balance Adjustment Layer was set to Highlights and Just the Yellow-Blue slider was set to +35 to add a little blue tone into the whites. After reading Jai Johnson’s Being Expressive blog, I decided to try the effect she described. On a Stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), the layer with both gorilla and texture was taken into Topaz Impression 2 where the Quick Sketch I preset was applied with these changes: Color Overall Sat -1.00 and Overall Lightness -0.52; Set to Hard Light bm at 54% layer opacity. The just some clean was done in PS and the texture was reapplied on top, set to Overlay blend mode and 52% layer opacity to add some warmth back into the fur of the gorilla. A Black and White Adjustment Layer was added and set to Luminosity to get the colors just right. Just took a lot of clean up but eventually it came out like I wanted it! I really liked the effect that Jai came up with – give it a try!…..Digital Lady Syd


I’m Just a Little Kitty Cat

Image of a tiger washing his paw
I just love to photograph the big cats – they are so interesting and beautiful! This tiger image had fencing all over it and the Healing Brush in Topaz Studio (see sidebar for website link) actually took almost all of it out of the image – I was totally surprised. They have just recently added it into the program. For me to get it to work well a very small size of 0.03 was used and by dragging the brush first over the color that you want added in, it tends to fill in with that color. Then just a Curves Adjustment Layer for color adjustment and then a Levels Adjustment Layer for contrast correction for a bit of a vintage matte feel. A Color Look Up Table set to the TealOrangePlusContrast preset and the opacity to 29%. Topaz Detail was used to sharpen the face. A Red Luminosity Curve was used to add a little more contrast. A left side yellow-orange light leak was added to the image to lighten it up a little. Created a composite layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), made it a Smart Object (right click on menu and select), and opened the Camera Raw Filter. Went to the HSL sliders and adjusted mainly the orange and yellow colors in all the sections to get the tiger color and background just right. Last step was to add the text – used the Streetlight script font. What a cool tiger!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Very Unusual Place!

Image taken in New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
This image was taken at New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, the Bahamas. Had fun playing with several different adjustment layers and filters. On a New Layer above image, a bird brush was created using Aaron Nace’s Creating a Custom Brush video. Just added a little Angle Jitter to it.  The layer was set to Multiply blend mode at 70% layer opacity. Then a Pattern Adjustment Layer was clipped to the birds and a coffee colored watercolor pattern was used – this is how the wings have a tipped color effect. (See my Patterns, Patterns, Patterns Fun Photoshop Blog for more on this.) A Black and White Adjustment Layer was set to Luminosity on top. Next a Levels Adjustment Layer to add some contrast. Then a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. The Color Negative preset was applied with a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer. Next a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added and the Master Hue was flipped to the end to get the color palette seen in the image. The Blend If This Layer black tab was split to 0/145 and Underlying Layer’s white tab was split to 130/210 (ALT click on the tabs to split) to let some of the color leak through. Another Black and White Adjustment Layer was added and set to Soft Light and adjusted to get just the right color effect. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve Adjustment Layer was added. A stamped layer was placed on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Restyle’s Gunsmoke and Jordy Blue preset was applied – in the plugin, Restyle section was set to Screen blend mode at 41% opacity and Basic section set to Multiply blend mode and 64% opacity – a few changes were made to the Tint, Tone, and Detail sections. It basically added yellow where the color was white and really brightened up the image. That was it. Not sure I could do it again, but it was fun to figure out a new look!…..Digital Lady Syd


On the Prowl

Image of a Malayan Tiger from the Jacksonville Zoo
Felt an urge to paint one of my favorite subjects – the large cats. This beautiful Malayan Tiger was romping around at the Jacksonville Zoo, and definitely not stopping for a photo op. Luckily I spotted him and took the shot. (Okay – he was in his enclosure.) So this followed my basic painting workflow. In Lightroom a crop was performed and Serge Ramelli’s Bad Weather Basic preset was used and then adjusted. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link to free program) Studio’s Sharpening Lens Blur filter was used to sharpen the image overall. Then one of my Corel painted textures was added underneath the tiger along with Jai Johnson’s Explorations (10) texture that was set to Linear Light blend mode and 55% layer opacity. On the Tiger layer, a black layer mask was created and the tiger painted and further defined in the Select and Mask panel. After than, just a lot of painting. One of the Mixer brushes that worked well on this image was a free one from Adobe called Munch-Round Ratty and was set to 45 pixels. to  create a nice blend when painted over the edges of the tiger body. Several layers of both regular brushes and mixers to paint him in. An Exposure Adjustment Layer was used for the eyes, and Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw eye to his head. Finished off with a Curves Adjustment Layer to bring back contrast. It was a lot of to paint again!…..Digital Lady Syd


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