Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photoshop Filters

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


Castillo de San Marcos

Image taken inside the Castillo de San Marcos Fort in St. Augustine
Loved how this image of the Castillo de San Marcos has such a soft feel inside the fort. The sharpness in the outside area where the kids was created using Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available, but I keep watching for everyone). The original image has the inside area looking much brighter. This was darkened down a little using Nik Viveza 2. Then to bring out the softening effect, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 and a preset called Room Glow by Blake Rudis was applied and set to Overlay blend mode. This preset was created using Glow 1 but works fine in Glow 2 and can be created by downloading the Topaz Labs Glow Webinar PDF file from Blake, who is a Photoshop and Topaz genius. In fact all 4 of the presets in this PDF are very useful in Glow. A Layer Mask was added to paint out the outside area in the door. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top, Topaz Impression 2 was opened and the Fine Brush Scumble II preset was applied as is. To further add a little softness Topaz Lens Effects was opened and the Slight Diffusion preset was applied. Layer Masks were also added to these layers to keep the outside area tack sharp. Try out these filters for this soft effect…..Digital Lady Syd


Rainbow over Arizona

Image of a rainbow at a storm in Arizona
This was a snapshot taken with an old camera several years ago when in Arizona. Just had some fun with it as I loved the way the trees looked and wanted to see if I could get a nice effect with them. Applied Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 and used a preset created from watching Jai Johnson’s Topaz Impression Oil Glaze Preset for Noise Removal video – adjusted the Red, Orange and Yellow colors in the plug-in and added a Vignette to it. The preset was not used for noise removal – just liked the effect on the image. Some clean up was done on a layer. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top, applied Topaz Texture Effects 2 – started a new preset with the Diffusion section (set Diffusion Strength to 1.00, Softness 0.49 and Blur 0.27); Basic Adjustments section to adjust the color in the rainbow with Enabled Mask turned and inverted the mask to just paint back the rainbow; Light Leaks section using the first leak to add a little foreground color; and finally the Masking section using the Brush tab to paint out some of the effect on the foreground tree. On a new stamped layer a little Nik Viveza 2 magic was used to drive the eye to the focal point. That was it!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Surreal New York New York Hotel

Image of the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Not sure what possessed me to create this, but it was a lot of fun. This is not really a hard effect to achieve. Just made some basic Lightroom adjustments so my image had nice tones and detail. In Photoshop, added a little Lucis Pro (no longer available) to sharpen it just a little more – could have used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail or Clarity to do this. Had to do quite a bit of clean up since there is there is a roller coaster running in front of the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), added a pretty severe motion blur by going to Filter -> Blur -> Motion Bur and setting the Angle to -90 (vertical effect for this image) and the Distance to 687. Added a duplicate layer of the Lucis Pro layer on top of the blur layer and a Black Layer Mask – the buildings were lightly painted back to give some building effect but still left it really vague. Another stamped layer was used and the now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was opened. Started with a preset and tweaked the sliders to get a pleasing effect. On a duplicate layer, the Flaming Pear Flood filter was added that gave a bit more of an eerie look – the lines in the bottom foreground came by selecting a Glue called spin light – thought it was an interesting effect. On another stamped layer used Topaz Texture Effects 2 using the Crisp Morning Run – did a lot of adjustments and used the Spot Mask a couple times, once on the Texture section and another in the Masking section. Added a Red Channel Luminosity Curve Adjustment Layer. On another stamped layer above used Nik Viveza 2 to add focus to the guitar on the building. Used a Selective Color Adjustment Layer to give that final color look to get the sort of soft abstract effect. This was a lot of fun to try something different……Digital Lady Syd


Magic Kingdom Snow

Image of a pair of lanterns from the Ghost House at the Magic Kingdom
This image is of a pair of lanterns taken at the Magic Kingdom although they look like they are from Hogwarts and the Harry Potter movies. Most processing was done with Lucis Pro (which is no longer available), Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 and Nik Viveza 2. Many painting snow layers as shown in my How to Paint in a Snow Storm blog. It is really fun to add snow into images to get a little different look……Digital Lady Syd


The Valentine Trees

Painted Valentine Trees
Happy Valentines Day! Just had some fun painting my Valentine Trees – started in Corel Painted and ended up in Photoshop. Lots of layers here a few filters – used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression (true – used after painting the image), Topaz ReStyle, Topaz Lens Effects Reflector, and Nik Viveza 2. Lots of layers for the grass and valentines added. Overall lots of fun to do. Have a great day!…..Digital Lady Syd


An Interesting Pink Flower

Pink Petaled flower from Belarus
This image is of an interesting pink flower that was growing in the countryside of Belarus. Update: Someone on my Flickr account told me it is a Cleome Flower native to South America. The original image is beautiful, but this time I decided to add some new filter effects to get a totally different look. Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to sharpen the actual petals, a Mixer brush by David Belliveau of Paintable was used to smooth the background and remove distracting items (this is the best brush for smoothing large areas and it can downloaded at the link), 2 Lil’ Owls’s Color Bokeh Grunge Set Texture 2 (see sidebar for website link) was applied and set to Luminosity blend mode, the free Nik Viveza 2 plug-in was used to adjust the focal point, a darken/lighten layer was applied to dodge and burn some of the edges, and finally Topaz (see sidebar for website link) was applied using the Charcoal I Slight Color preset (only adjusted the Color Magenta, Green and Orange Lightness sliders). On a New Layer did a final clean up with the same Mixer on the background. I really like the different result from the original…..Digital Lady Syd


The Spring in the Desert

Painted image of the Arizona Desert in the Spring
Image of what I imagine the Arizona desert looks like in the Spring after a bit of rain and before the sun gets too hot during the day for flowers to bloom on the plants. Painted the basic layout in Corel Painter and 4 layers for this. The clouds were blocked in and the plants and a few flowers using mainly Karen Bonaker’s brushes. In Photoshop created several different layers to add more plant details. Tried out the new inexpensive Flypaper Bird Brush set in this image – used the bush with the three birds on it, a single bird sitting on the cactus and the birds flying in the background. Grut 50 Photoshop Cloud brushes were used to embellish the sky more. Topaz (see sidebar) ReStyle’s silver and ivory cloak preset was added to adjust out the color a little. Nik Viveza 2 was used to add focal point emphasis. Topaz Lens Effects Graduated Neutral Density filter set to Bottom Quarter 2 stops was applied. On a New Layer above John Derry’s Impasto Smooth Light layer style was applied and with the Fill set to 0, used Grut’s OI Gypsum Slate brush painted over plants. French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) Atelier Canvas texture was added on top. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to the texture and Saturation was set to -100. Then on the texture layer, the blend mode was changed to Multiply and the layer opacity was set to 73%. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top to bring back the contrast. That was it……Digital Lady Syd


Bamboo Trees

Image of bamboo trees
These beautiful trees are part of the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens here in Florida. The blue sky was a perfect match for the colors in the tree trunks. I really wanted an oriental feel to the image. The first step was working on the RAW file in Lightroom. A free preset obtained from Allen Mowrery called Allen’s Vintage Retro achieved a bit of a sketch feel to the image and really softened the image. In Photoshop Lucis Pro (unfortunately no longer available) was applied using both the Enhance Detail and Smooth Detail sliders on all three channels to get a slight painterly effect in the image. Then Levels, Color Balance, and Selective Color Adjustment Layers were applied. On a stamped layer, Topaz Texture Effects 2 was opened and this is were the bluish texture became more obvious on the background. The texture used is one of the Topaz pinkish textures with darker edges. (Settings used:  In Texture Section, selected texture that is a pinkish color with darken edges (in my All, 6th row down and first column), Size 1.00 and Rotation 0 – Keep Aspect Ration; Brightness -0.43, Contrast -0.14, Detail 0.79, Saturation -0.49, Color Strength 0; Opacity 0.33 set to Normal blend mode; and Enabled Masking and set the Color tab to Hue 0.12 and Range 0.09, which blacked out most of the trees and leaves leaving the white sky for the area the texture would be applied. Next Vignette section Strength 0.40, Size 0.70, Transition 0.53, Roundness 0.61, Color Black and center in middle, Opacity 0.90 set to Normal. Basic Adjustments Brightness -0.08, Shadow 0.11, Highlight 0.12, Clarity 0.24, Saturation -0.12, Temp -0.10, Tint 0, Opacity 0.43 set to Soft Light. Overall Opacity set to 0.62 and Luminosity blend mode.) My regular workflow was done next with a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode, Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point, and a Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer. (Search on my Fun Photoshop Blog for info on these techniques.) The last step involved adding a Layer Style for a little Impasto texture effect on the tree bark. Used John Derry’s Impasto Smooth Light layer style and Grut’s IO (Impasto Oil) Gypsum Slate brush to paint in some of the tree trunks on a New Layer with a Fill set to 0. In areas that still needed a little texture, used the same brush on a New Layer just sampling nearby colors. Grut’s Impasto Oil brushes are great for just adding a bit of texture and depth here and there without going to the trouble of using a layer style. This was a lot of fun to do and I like the oriental color palette which bamboo always reminds of using……Digital Lady Syd


Window Flowers

Flowers at the Ormond Beach Art Museum and Gardens
These pretty flowers were snuggling up against the window and enjoying a nice sunny January morning at the Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens. Just having some fun here with Topaz (see sidebar for website link)K Impression and Topaz Texture Effects. Lots of masking and painting in areas with Regular brushes and Mixers. Could have worked on this image for hours! Love the colors!…..Digital Lady Syd


Colorful Leaves

Digitally painted image of colorful leaves
These colorful leaves were taken a year ago at the Jacksonville Zoo – near the entry way. I could not believe how colorful they were in January! Cropped in close to really emphasize the colors and not so much the details. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was opened – used one of my presets (SJ Ldsp Underpaint2 preset:  Detail Overall Small Details -1.00, Medium Details -1.00, and Large Details -1.00: Tone – Exposure 0.10, Contrast 0.24, Highlights 0.76, Blacks 0.31, Cyan-Red -0.61, Magenta-Green 0.11, and Yellow-Blue -0.16; Color – Temperature 0.16, Tint 0.21, Sat -0.27, and Sat Boost 0.19.) Instead of adding detail, the edges are all softened and the colors dominate the image for painting. Topaz Impression 2 was opened and a preset called Abstract Settings-Blake Rudis was applied as is. Back in PS the layer was set to Overlay blend mode and 50% layer opacity. The original background layer was duplicated and placed on top.  A black layer mask was added (hold down ALT and click icon to add mask at bottom of Layer Panel to make black) and some of the leave’s details were painted back in. Both the Regular brushes and Mixer brushes were used to paint over all the leaves on lots of different layers – paint colors were sampled from the image. I like to use individual layers for each brush and color. Nik Viveza 2 was opened and control points were placed on  the two main leaves where the focal points are. Still a few more clean up layers and that was it. I loved the abstract feel and bright colors of these leaves!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Contemplating Life

Vintage image of a beautiful woman from Shorpy's from cc1912
This was a black and white image from one of my favorite websites, Shorpy’s Historic Picture Archive (click on link to see original image). This image just sort of struck me as one I would really like to colorize. The first step was to sharpen up the image using the now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to add some natural contrast to the overall image. Next I used two different methods in this image, although I probably should have stayed with just one, but here are links to my blogs on these techniques: How To Hand Tint a Vintage Image and Create a Brush To Do This blog and How To Colorize an Old Photo blog. A Red Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was used to add in more contrast. (See my How To Use a Red Channel To Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog.) On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), opened Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2. My Crisp Morning Run preset was run (this used the original Topaz Crisp Morning Run preset and switched out the Texture to a bright turquoise one half-way down the list and the Opacity was set to 0.29; also changed Vignette Strength set to 0.60 and Size 0.53.) Then in Light Leaks section, the Enable Masking was turned on. Brush tab was selected, and the woman was painted out with a brush around the head area (brush settings: Radius 0.50, Strength 0.59, and Hardness 0.30). In the Split Tone section, used the Enable Masking feature with the Spot tab to just hide the face area – set sliders to Transition 0.84 and Color Aware 0.86. Nik Viveza 2 (also free) was used to sharpen up the texture on her dress using a Control Point and the Structure slider. Added a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode to balance the contrast. (See my How To Use a Black & White Adjustment Layer To See Contrast in an Image blog.) I just did not like the way her arm and hand on the chair looked too large so the Liquify Filter was used to adjust. Frooze the dress sleeve and chair behind and under the arm, then reduced the size and straightened the arm with Forward Warp Tool set to Size 300, Density 50, Pressure 100, and Rate 0 – just moved a little. Next PS’s Liquify Pucker Tool was set to Size 200, Density 50, Pressure 1 and Rate 80 – dabbed on hand a couple times. To enlarge the eyes just slightly, used the Bloat Tool set to Size 70, Density 50, Pressure 1, and lowered Rate to 32. Clicked once on each eye to just gently enlarge. Now all I could see was the red moire in the shadows of her arm skin and around eyes. Used Topaz DeNoise 6 set to overall Strength of 0.14, adjust Shadow 0.37, and adjust Color Red 0.69 to remove – set this layers opacity to 87%. I could paint these old vintage images all day long – really relaxing to do!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hello from a Queen

Image of a Queen Emma Lily
I was updating all my Topaz (see sidebar for website link) plug-ins this morning (many were updated in December 2016) and ended up experimenting with a few. I was using this beautiful Queen Emma Lily bloom, which was a difficult image to remove the distracting green background from the bloom. So I just started applying filters as I was checking update info. Topaz Black and White Effects was used to create an image with some color in it. Then on a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Clean’s Cartoon Desaturated preset was used to get a more detailed effect. On a duplicate layer Topaz ReStyle’s Zombie Ziggurat preset was applied. On another duplicate layer Topaz Glow was used. Lots of clean up layers were created to make sure it looks right. I finally found a fabulous Photoshop Pencil – Grut’s P Tin Softy – a new one he recently included in a great collection of 43 pencils. This brush was used to fill in black lines which were missing and adding a little color in little areas. Last step was adding Nik Viveza 2 to even out the background. That was all that was done!…..Digital Lady Syd


Happy New Year

Painted tree landscape height=
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and hope all your days are sunny as above in the coming year! I just created this image in Corel Painter – have not digitally painted in quite a while so it was fun to poen up Corel Painter and see what happened! Original painting used various brushes from Karen Bonaker, Melissa Gallo, John Lowther, and a few of my own. Then it was saved as a PSD file and brought into Photoshop where a few clean up layers were created using the Clone Stamp Tool and some regular brushes to even out the tones. The image was then taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 to just give a nice overall effect to pull it all together. Last step, used Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the lighting to my liking. This was so much fun to create. Feels good to paint again!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Wintry Florida Holiday

Image of the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, with a wintry feel
Having some Holiday fun here – spent a long time getting this beautiful entrance to the Henry P. Leu Gardens image to look like it was under the snowy spell of the Northern US.  I would go over all the steps in detail, but it would end up pretty long. Just say that lots of layers were used which included: the Liquify Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, Content-Aware Move, a couple Dodge Curve Adjustment Layers, Corel’s ParticalShop filter, Magic Dust Pretty Actions Brush layer, 100 Silver Lights Photo Overlays 16 and 17, Stroke and Spatter Dual Brush by John Derry layers, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 Chalk Smudge I preset, Alex Ducal’s Sketch Splatter brush layer, Pretty Actions Merry Christmas overlay, Grut’s FX Cloud Gumbo 01a brush layer, Topaz Lens Effect Reflector filter, and Nik Viveza 2 filter. Lots of fun! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!…..Digital Lady Syd


Red Hibiscus Holiday Cheer!

Image of a Chinese Hibiscus
Thought I would post a little Holiday Cheer with this beautiful Chinese Hibiscus flower. Just had fun doing a little painting and playing to get this image. There was one really handy items that was used with this image – a Watercolor Mockup Template from Edimahendra – a set of wonderful watercolor splashes set up to use in Photoshop file as Smart Objects. I put these layers in a group and then added my own layers on top using different brushes – Magic Dust Pretty Actions Brush, Kyles Real Watercolor Spatter Dense brush, Melissa Gallo’s Scatter Brush, and Grut’s Inky FX Romato Brush. I put one of my Corel Painter textures on top and clipped a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top with Saturation set to -37. Then in a layer mask, used a soft round brush and painted out some of the texture over parts of the flower. Text layers were added to finish up. Merry Christmas Everyone!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Tiger in Snooze Mode

Image of a tiger trying to take a snooze at the Jacksonville Zoo
This Sumatran Tiger was trying to get a little snooze at the Jacksonville Zoo. What a cutie – guess he had to keep his eyes open a little just keep up with all the goings-on in his part of the zoo. Since he made an appearance in my 2016 Inexpensive Gifts for the Photoshop Lover on Your List Fun Photoshop Blog, I thought I would cover some of the things done to get this interesting effect. First the fencing in front of his face had to be removed and the very handy Spot Healing Brush worked wonders on this. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was then placed on top. Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available) was applied.  On another stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Reflector filter was used to even out only the parts of the face in the shadows. The eyes were brightened using an Exposure Adjustment Layer (see my How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening In Photoshop blog.) All these tiger layers were grouped. Next Jai Johnson’s Unpredictable Collection Texture 25 was placed underneath this group. It was duplicated and the second one was set to Multiply blend mode at 82% layer opacity. Now, on the group on top, a black layer mask was added (CTRL+I in the mask to make it black). I just painted in white with a rough edged chalk brush the parts of the tiger I wanted to show up. A little of the free Nik Viveza 2 was added, and a canvas texture set to Soft Light blend mode at 42% layer opacity was placed on top. Love the effect of these textures by Jai…..Digital Lady Syd


A Bird Christmas Tree

Image of a Masked Lapwing
This bird is a Masked Lapwing that was photographed at the Palm Beach Zoo. I decided I needed to practice some painting so I picked this funny guy who sort of waltzed into my shot. Since the background was not too exciting, I decided to give him a little more holiday spirit by both painting and adding several filters. This image uses a lot of different filters and textures. The background texture is from Kim Klassen called Papertrio Paper and Paste (not sure it is still available but she has some beautiful textures) – applied twice, the second time set to Hard Light at 49% layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask was used to select the bird and put him on his own layer – then used the Mixers to paint him. Used Grut’s MI Sues Hedge brush to soften and get the pretty edging between the brown and white feathers and am finding this to be a very useful mixer! Also used one of Fay Sirkis’s hair blenders. Have to find the right brushes to paint these guys! French Kiss (see sidebar for website link) Myrica Gale png was used for the plant – color was painted on a layer underneath it to add some colors. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Impression 2 was opened and Cezanne 2 preset was applied but masked out the bird to retain my painting strokes. On another stamped layer Topaz ReStyle’s Emerald preset was applied. Set the opacity to 69%. Corel’s Partical Shop was opened and used the Flame brush to paint a little color in the tree leaf and used Cluster brush to add some lights to the plant. Then used the Star brush to create the bright star on top and added a little color in by turning off the Glow and painting a little on the branches. Its Eraser brush was used to soften the effect a little. (See my Intro to Corel ParticleShop Brushes for Photoshop blog.) Back in PS, this layer looked pretty bright so lowered the opacity. Magic Dust Pretty Actions Brush was used to add a little white snow effect on tree and underneath text. Added some texture and clean up was done to finish up……Digital Lady Syd


Purring Tiger

Image of a Malaysian Tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo
This image is of a Malaysian Tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo – I think he was actually purring – I sort of connected with him. I tried a couple different plug-ins on this guy. Started with Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity, then Topaz Clean’s Cartoon preset where a black layer mask was added and just the whiskers were painted back to give the sharp effect. First time I have used this plug-in so it was really good to see the results. Used PS’s Select and Mask panel and then followed up with a Defringe of 1 px to get rid of the gray edging. Used two of Jai Johnson’s new Unpredictable Textures for the interesting painted look behind him. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and applied Topaz Texture Effects 2 – one of Blake Rudis’s from a while ago (check out his videos on Topaz Labs). On another stamped layer Nik Viveza 2 was applied and that was it. It has a bit of an engraved feeling to it and was a lot of fun to try…..Digital Lady Syd


Bird of Paradise

Image of a Bird of Paradise plant with white bloom
This beautiful white flowers in a Bird of Paradise in my front yard was fun to post-process. Used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity to sharpen overall, and Topaz Simplify with the Simplify Size slider set to 0.17 which removed some of the bad spots on the leaves. Painted on the flower stems and stalks to further remove bad areas and add a little texture to them. Used the Corel ParticleShop plug-in to remove the background area using Blend brush and the Blender Tool. This plug-in can be very handy! On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects 2 was used – used Fall Foliage Foggy Morning (downloaded from the Topaz Community) with a few adjustments to the Basic Adjustments section. In the Texture section, masked the texture off the focal point with the Brush tab set to a Strength of 0.66. Did some clean up and added the free Nik Viveza 2 to enhance the focal point. Added Sarah Gardner’s Frame Collection Paper Frame 05 on top that is a free download. That is all that was done for this nice vintage effect!…..Digital Lady Syd

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