Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photoshop Filters

Fountain Grass

Image of painted fountain grass
Took this image of fountain grass in my front yard. The original image shows the yard of my neighbor across the street so the first step was to blur the image to get rid of their yard. Used Photoshop’s Blur Gallery set to Iris Blur at Blur of 220 px. Individual stamped layers (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) were created for each of the following filters: Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black & White Effects was used to give a soft purplish tone, Topaz Clarity was used to sharpened just the foreground stalks, and Topaz Impression (Fine Brush Scumble II preset) was applied and the foreground stems painted back in a mask – then on a New Layer above, the Mixer Brush was used to smooth out the background. On another stamped layer Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Brown and White Pooch preset was used with adjustments – then in a white mask the foreground stem were painted back. Several mixer brush painting layers were added to give the water spray feel. The last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 to give a light vignette effect in the corners. This image was a lot of fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Rainbow Tree

Image of a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree in Maui, Hawaii
This image is of a beautiful, but unfortunately vandalized, Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree in Maui, Hawaii. Why people would do such a thing is hard to understand! It is a very unusual tree that only grow in frost-free zones. This image a preset in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust as seen in a Topaz Webinar by by Joel Wolfson called Creative Essential with Topaz Plug-ins Plus the Official Introduction Glow 2. Topaz Glow was used to brighten up the rainbow on the trunk. The last step was using Topaz Texture Effects 2 and  the Breaking Down preset. I have never seen this type of tree anywhere else!…..Digital Lady Syd

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BFF’s!

Image of two elephants composited into a painted background
These two guys are from different places – not BFF’s at all – the larger elephant is from that wonderful object program called PixelSquid (see my How To Use the PixelSquid Add-on In Photoshop blog), and the other is from an image I took of the elephant at the Jacksonville Zoo. Just a few steps here: the plants are from brushes created mainly from my favorite plant brushes by Frostbo Brush Grass Set2 with a Bevel and Emboss added to it; both elephants were worked on using Lucis Pro (no long available); Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was used to get the correct color effect; and the now free Nik Viveza 2 was used to get the correct focus on the elephants. It actually took me several hours to get the effect, but I love the texture…..Digital Lady Syd


Beautiful Flower

Image of an orange Canna Lily
The flower in this image was an orange Canna Lily that grow really well in Florida. Topaz Detail 3 was applied to sharpen the image first in Photoshop. On a stamped layer, the Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 preset as created in my Adding a Creative Touch in Topaz Impression 2 was applied, but this time the Coverage was set to 0.12, Coverage Transition 0.03, and Coverage Center X -0.13/Y 0.31. In the Masking section, the Spot Transition was set to 0.93 and Color Aware was set to 0.27 and the effect was placed on the center of the flower. The really bright colorful background could be controlled this way. Next a Black & White Adjustment Layer was added and set to Luminosity blend mode to get the tones correct. (See my How to Use a Black & White Adjustment Layer to See Contrast in an Image for more information on this.) On another stamped layer, Topaz ReStyle was applied a preset that used some colors from a previous image I had processed. (See my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog to do this.) Two Curves Adjustment Layers were used to apply dodging and burning in the image. (See my How to Use Curves Adjustment Layers to Dodge and Burn an Image blog on how to do this.) On top of those, a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was applied using the Filmstock_50.3dl filter. A light pink Color Fill Adjustment Layer was placed on top and set to Color blend mode. Last step used the now free Nik Viveza 2 plug-in to draw attention to the focal point. Lots of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

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The Beautiful Snowbush

Image of a Pink and Green Snowbush
This a beautiful Snowbush growing in my front yard. I just love the colors and patterns in the leaves of this bush. Very simple post-processing here. Duplicated the layer and used Lucis Pro (no longer available) to sharpen the image. A black layer mask was added and just the leaves in the focal point were painted back. One of my Photoshop textures was applied on top (see my Get Rid of That Color! blog that used the same texture and free brush links). A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between layers to clip) and set to a pinkish color. The texture layer was set to Soft Light blend mode at 68% layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Rusty Edges Vignette was applied. A Black & White Adjustment Layer was added on top using a Luminosity blend mode and the sliders were adjusted to get  a nice color effect; then it was set to 64% layer opacity. It still needed a little more sharpening – I wanted a more depth in the image so Topaz Detail 3 was opened on a stamped layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), and the Interior Detail I preset was applied – it looked over the top but there was just the right amount of sharpening in some places. A black layer mask was applied and just those areas that needed were painted back in white. I believe it did add that extra depth that really makes the image…..Digital Lady Syd


Vintage Pottery and Glassware

Image of Native American Pottery and Glassware
This image was taken at a Native American Festival of a pottery and glassware display. Since the items are so vintage, I decided to a add a vintage feel to the image. After doing some Basic Panel corrections in Lightroom, the image was duplicated in Photoshop and Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no long available) was used to sharpen the image. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was added on top the free Nik Analog Efex Pro plug-in was applied. This filter is really fun to play with and gives some beautiful vintage effects! These filter effects were stacked: Basic Adjustments, Light Leaks, Film Type, Frames, and Levels & Curves which includes a Luminosity curve which is very handy! If you have never used this filter, note that many of the sections allow you to move the effects around within the image. Back in PS, 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 for more info on this.) On another stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the focal point. It was just slightly too bright for that vintage feel, so a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer was added using a light cream color pattern set to a Color Blend Mode at 52% layer opacity. That was it! I love the vintage effect!…..Digital Lady Syd


Bird on a Bird Cage

Image of a Little Blue Heron
This Little Blue Heron decided to check in on us while we were having dinner on our back porch without electricity after Hurricane Matthew. The screen is blown out there I could get a really nice shot of him. He is a real beauty! Usually I paint these guys, but this time I decided to try out Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (no longer available) on the bird and really liked the results (Enhancement sliders R91/G101/B19 & Assign Original Image Color 5/95). Used the Camera Raw Filter to remove a slight amount of noise the Lucis Pro filter added. On a stamped layer above, Topaz Texture Effects 2 (see sidebar for website link) was applied using the Texture and Vignette filters. The filter mask was used to get the effect correct. Last step was to use the now free Nik Viveza 2 to draw more focus to the face of the bird. That was it. The birds are so pretty around here!…..Digital Lady Syd


Just Being Purple

Image of purple lantana in my front yard
These pretty little purple lantana grown in my front yard and had some fresh water drops on them. Just found out in the reference link that their berries are poisonous and the leaves toxic to animals. It is considered an invasive plant in Florida – all this just to get a few butterflies! Used Lucis Pro (no longer available) to sharpen up the flower edges a little. In the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4, the Vignette filter and Glamour Glow were used. Lots of petal clean up on separate layers , but what really made this image pop was the Melissa Gallo texture called Snowy Sky set to Linear Light blend mode. This texture gave a really nice icy look which I think goes with purple perfectly!…..Digital Lady Syd


Vintage Car

Image of a vintage car
Took this image a while ago at a Turkey Run held in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway (see seats in upper left). Basically just used Lucis Pro (no longer available) set to Detail 65, then opened image in the now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 where the High Structure (Smooth) preset was applied. The layer was set to 37% opacity back in PS. Dodged and burned using Curves Adjustment Layers. Used On1 Photo 10 Effects (see sidebar for website link) and stacked these filters: Tone Enhancer, Color Enhancer, Glow, and Split Tone. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow was then applied to a stamped layer above using the Morning Mist preset with some adjustments. It took a while to do this image but it was a lot of fun to try the different combinations of filters!…..Digital Lady Syd

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Riding the London Eye

Image taken from the London Eye
This image of a train station was taken from the London Eye. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise 6 was used to get rid of the noise in the shadow areas. The now free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was used to convert image to a black and white. On a stamped layer above, Lucis Pro 6.0.0 (no longer available) was set to Enhance Detail 105 and Smooth Detail 95. This layer was set to a Difference blend mode, and the Blend If Underlying Layer white tab slider was used to bring back some of the white in the image. A Red to Gray Gradient Map Adjustment Layer was placed above at 47% layer opacity. On another stamped layer Topaz ReStyle was used to get the a good color balance. Last step was to add Topaz Texture Effects to get the vignette in the image. It was fun to see what stacking these filters would do!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Rosebud

Image of a Yellow Rosebud
The image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando, Florida in the rose section. This is a beautiful place to photograph flowers – in this case the image was shot at F/22 with my Nikon 60 mm Macro Lens with a Bower 0.5 x High Resolution Digital Lens added to the lens. I know, odd settings but I was experimenting and loved the result. The key to getting this image effect was getting a very clear detailed shot. In Lightroom just basic changes were made and a little sharpening was applied to the bud with an Adjustment Brush set to Clarity 77 and Sharpen 83. Then in Photoshop Lucis Pro (no longer available) was set to Split Channel with Enhance sliders set to R157/G233/B59 and Green Smooth slider set to 25. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was placed above and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s Georgia Okeefe II preset was applied. In a white layer mask some of the edges were painted out to keep them sharper. Next on another stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects Selective Vignette set to Olive Green preset with effect centered on the bud. Back in PS the layer opacity was set to 74%. Hope to be able to reproduce this result again!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Red Bromeliad

Painted Image of a Red Bromeliad
This is a red Bromeliad taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. In Lightroom just basic adjustments were done on the RAW file. In Photoshop,  the plant was selected using the Quick Selection Tool and then the Select and Mask Panel was used to clean up the selection. This is a wonderful addition to the latest version of CC. One of my Corel Painter textures was placed behind the the selection. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2 was opened one of my Impressionistic textures was applied. A Brightness/Contrast and Curves Adjustment Layers were placed on top and the layer mask converted to black by CTRL+I inside the mask. Then just areas I wanted brightened or more contrast added into were painted back. On a New Layer above, a lot of painting using a regular brush to smooth out rough edges from the plug-in was used. Nik Viveza 2 was used to set the focal point in the flower and the last step was to add Topaz ReStyle to get a nice pleasing color palette. Love the final effect!…..Digital Lady Syd


Blowing in the Wind!

Image of a dandelion
Had some fun with this little dandelion – it was taken using my Lensbaby Composer at F/4 using a Macro +4 Lens. In Lightroom just the regular basic adjustments. In Photoshop Nik Viveza 2 was used to lighten up the white strands in the flower. Then Lucis Pro 6.0.9 was applied using the Split Channels. Next Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and 4 filters were added: Detail Extractor, Glamour Glow, Reflector Efex, and Darken/Lighten Center. Can you tell I was having a lot of fun with this one? Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Motion filter Type Zoom was centered on the flower to straighten out the strands. In a black layer mask, just the strands were painted back. A Levels Adjustment Layer was used to lighten up the overall image. Next Topaz Texture Effects was used to apply one of my painted textures set to Blend mode Subtract in the plug-in. Back in PS, Melissa Gallo’s Trees in May texture was added and set to Linear Dodge blend mode and 40% layer opacity. That was it! It is so much fun just to play around with an image and I am sure this little dandelion did not care!…..Digital Lady Syd


Orchids Showing Off

Image of three Purple Orchids from the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida
These little beauties were showing off at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. Not much was done to them – just your basic adjustments in Lightroom. In Photoshop, Lucis Pro 6 (no longer available) was run twice – once to smooth the background by setting the Smooth Detail to 19, and once to sharpen the foreground adjusting the Detail settings in each channel (Red 109/Green 103/Blue 101) where the color dialed back to the original amount by setting the Assign Original Image Color at 20/80. Two Curves Adjustment Layers were used to darken certain areas and lighten in others to blend away some shadows. The now free Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw the focus to the center of the flowers. That was it. I really love these flowers!…..Digital Lady Syd


Firebush Plant Spinning Out of Control!

Image of a painted orange-red Firebush Plant
This bright orange-red Firebush Plant has taken over my front yard – I bought it a little over a year ago in the damaged good area for 75 cents. Wow! This image was taken with my older Lensbaby Composer at F/4 with a Macro +10 Lens attached. In Photoshop the image was duplicated and JixiPix Spectrel Art was applied using the Darken Detail preset – the layer was set to Screen blend mode at 48% layer opacity. On a New Layer Grut Brushes MI Swish Mini Mixer Brush was used to paint the plant and red floral areas. Jai Johnson‘s Soulful Sea Breeze texture was placed above and set to Color Dodge blend mode at 64% layer opacity. Then Melissa Gallo’s Mountain Range Texture (not sure her textures are available anymore) was applied above and set to Color Dodge at 34% layer opacity. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to this layer (CTRL+ALT between the layers) and the Saturation was set to 0 so no color comes through, just the painterly texture. On a stamped layer above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Motion Blur filter centered on the flower. On another stamped layer, the now free Nik Viveza 2 was used to further emphasize the focal point. Have a great day!…..Digital Lady Syd


A Palace on Wheels

Image of Henry Flagler's Railcar No. 91
This image is of Henry Flagler’s Railcar No. 91 (see A History of Railcar for No. 91 for an interesting history lesson) or the so-called “Palace on Wheels” from the Guilded Age (CC 1912). It is available to walk through while visiting at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. This image was created using the exact same steps as in my recent Fun Photoshop Blog called How to Get a Great Illustrative Effect with Lucis Pro 6.0.9. First duplicated the background layer and opened up the free Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 using High Structure (Harsh) preset with a few changes for this image. This layer was duplicated and Lucis Pro was applied (Smooth 13/Enhance 97 and Mix with Original Image 81/19) and then duplicate this layer and open up Lucis Pro again with these settings (Split Channels Enhance Detail Red 159, Green 171, and Blue 177 with Smooth at 15). On top a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added and green color created (Hue 109, Saturation 11, and Lightness -41 with Colorize checked). The layer mask was turned black by CTRL+I in mask and a soft low opacity brush was used to paint back the green in the railcar and set to 44% layer opacity. Another Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added (Hue 187, Saturation 8, and Lightness -7 with Colorize checked). The layer mask from below was copied (ALT+drag) and then invert the layer mask (CTRL+I in the mask). A stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow 2 Auto Shine preset was applied. A Gradient Map was added on the image using a cream to yellow gradient set to Color blend mode at 47% layer opacity. Last step involved another stamped layer and the also free Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust where the focal point is. That is it!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Perfect Plant

Macro Image of a Pink and Green Plant
This pretty plant sits on my kitchen table and I am not sure what kind of plant it is, possibly a Sherbert Ti. It creates pod looking objects that open up into leaves. This image was taken with my old Lensbaby Composer and was set to F/4 with the +10 Macro Lens attached. On a duplicate layer in Photoshop, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) DeNoise was opened and the Overall slider was set to 0.10 and Shadows to 0.20 – not much adjustment at all. Topaz Glow 2 was applied on a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) using Blake Rudis’s Glow for Animals Settings preset and set to Color Dodge blend mode. (To download the presets that were for Glow but work fine in Glow 2, click on his Topaz Glow Webinar.) The now free Nik Viveza 2 was opened on a stamped layer and two control points were used – one to sharpen the pod as the main focal point and one  to soften the blue in the background leaf. A Luminosity Red Channel Curve Adjustment Layer was added on top. (See my How To Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog for more info on this.) A little clean up layer and that was about it. Love what this Lensbaby does for a macro effect!…..Digital Lady Syd


Flagler Museum

Image of Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in West Palm Beach
This is the outside of the magnificent Flagler Museum, also called Whitehall, last home of Henry Flagler in Palm Beach, Florida. It is one of the images used in my Fun Photoshop How To Create a Quick Montage blog. This is a great place to take images if you are in the area and has wonderful history! Nik’s free plug-ins HDR Efex Pro 2, Viveza 2, and Color Efex Pro 4 using Midnight filter at 51% and Detail Extractor filter on just the foreground and museum were applied all in one Smart Object. Nik Define was used at default for a little noise removal and that was it. …..Digital Lady Syd

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Screaming On the Coaster!

Image of riders on the Manta Roller Coaster at SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida
This image definitely represents that so recognizable Lucis Pro look. Loved all the expressions on the riders – the older group on the top row and youngsters having a blast below! This was taken a few years ago of the Manta Roller Coaster at SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida – short video of actual ride. Lots of filters here – Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust on just the sky edge, Topaz Clarity on the people, Lucis Pro 6.0.9 for overall sharpness, Topaz Detail for a final sharpening, and the now free Nik Viveza 2 to reinforce the focal point. Lots of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Dressing Table

Image of a Dressing Table at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach
This is an image of a dressing table in one of several bedrooms at the Flagler Museum (Whitehall) in Palm Beach Florida. I really loved the effect of the furniture in the mirror – real vintage flavor here! Basically this image used several filters to get this result. Started with Lucis Pro 6.0.1 (AOIC 0/100; Red 207, Green 207, and Blue 79) (See my Fun Photoshop Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog.); Topaz Detail 3 to sharpen it up a bit; the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 using Film Efex Vintage Film Type 11, Pro Contrast, and Midnight using Color Set Neutral and overall opacity at 64%. Darken and Lighten Curves Adjustment Layers were added. (See my Fun Photoshop How To use Curves Adjustment Layers to Dodge and Burn an Image blog.) Then on top a Vintage Film was used for the old frame opening. A Pattern Adjustment Layer was clipped to the frame (ALT+click between layers) and set to Color blend mode and a Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer set to a brown tone was also clipped. Last step was to add a Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer. (See my Fun Photoshop How To use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect blog.) That was it – it was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd


Spotlight on the Canna Lily

Macro image of a Canna Lily with Rain Drops
This is a macro image of a Canna Lily in my front yard taken after a recent rain. It was taken at F/2.8 with my Nikon 60 mm Macro Lens with a Bower 0.5 x High Resolution Digital Lens with Macro added to the lens.In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Simplify using BuzSim preset, the currently free JixiPix Spectral Art Dark Lines preset, and free Nik Viveza 2 to drive the focal point home. Last step was to add my free Cat Painting Canvas set to Overlay blend mode on top. That was it. Really simple image but I love the water drops!…..Digital Lady Syd


My, What Big Eyes You Have!

Image of a building in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image was taken from my car – I just loved the color of the building. Who knew it actually looks like a bird face in the windows. I actually thought it would make a nice image to paint, so I did. This time it was painted in Photoshop using Lori Jill’s class called Turn Your Photos Into Paintings Using Photoshop, which uses Photoshop’s default action called Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Setup and her brushes. Lori is the only person I know teaching how to really use this action effectively.  For finishing steps, 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) After the Rain texture was applied and Topaz Lens Effects (see sidebar for website link) Gold Reflector filters was added. It was a lot of fun to paint again……Digital Lady Syd

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Fountain Grass

Image of Fountain Grass
This image is of Hameln Fountain Grass that is growing in my front yard around my, of all things, dolphin fountain! This image was taken with my older Lensbaby Composer at F/4. Kim Klassen’s free Truegrit Lightroom preset was applied before bringing image into Photoshop. The Background was duplicated and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s Cezanne II preset was applied as is. A layer mask was added and parts of the grass were lightly painted back to bring in some detail on the stalks. On a stamped layer, the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened and three filters were stacked. First the Darken/Lighten Center filter, Monday Morning filter set to Color Set Neutral and overall opacity at 53%, and the Vignette Filter and sampling a darker color in the image to blend nicely. The last step involved adding a Black and White Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity to bring out the colors just right. I really like how Impression 2 is worked so well with this image!…..Digital Lady Syd


Little Fern Flowers

Image of Little White Flowers growing on a Foxtail Fern
This image is of little white flowers growing out of the top of a Foxtail Fern or Asparagus Ferns in my yard. An older Lensbaby Composer was used – set to F/4 and using the Macro +10 lens. In Lightroom Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Super Super HDR X preset was applied to the image before going to Photoshop. Used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to remove just a little haloing on the edges of the white flowers. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Lucis Pro was applied. (Settings: Assign Original Image Color 31%/69%; Enhance Red 147/Green 87/Blue 47.) See my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog for info on this. A black layer mask was added and just the white flowers were painted back. On another stamped layer Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s was opened and my SJ Renoir WC Look preset was applied at 71% layer opacity. (Settings:  Stroke Type 13, Brush Size 0.73, Paint Volume 1.00, Paint Opacity 0.91, Stroke Rotation 0, Stroke Color Variation 0, Stroke Width 0.65, Stroke Length 0, Spill 0.79, Smudge 0.55, Coverage 0.67, Coverage Transition 0.30, Cover center X0/Y0; Color Overall Hue 0.07, Sat 0.15, and Lightness 0; Red Sat 0.50; Orange Sat 0.50; Purple Hue 0.85 and Sat 0.65; Lighting Brightness 0.08, Contrast 0.12, Vignette 0, Light Direction X-0.27/Y0.15; Texture Strength 0.11, Size 1.00, Background Type – solid white, and Background – #b25b41.) On a New Layer used the Smudge Tool to smooth some areas. On yet another stamped layer, the now free Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust the focal point just right. That was it! Was a lot of fun to take the shot and paint the image!…..Digital Lady Syd