This beautiful horse was in a field outside an old wooden windmill in Belarus. I had forgotten I had taken his pix. Since I did a blog called Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can!, this image was processed in Lightroom using his Wow! Antique 03 preset, which included the framing. Check out my other blog for downloading info of his Lightroom presets. The image was taken into Photoshop and the Burn and Dodge Tools were used directly on a duplicate copy of the background. I would never have tried this if I had not watched a short video on Lynda.com called Black and White with Lightroom and Photoshop by Bryan Hughes O’Neill, Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager who really knows what all the sliders do in these programs. It was very interesting and I learned to use these tools. The main thing to remember is to keep Protect Tones checked. With the Dodge Tool set to Shadows at 50% Exposure, the horses eyes were painted over to make them pop. Burning Tool was used to separate his face from the field using Midtones and Highlights selected. A New Layer was created for the Sharpen Tool – therefore be sure to check Sample All Layers and Protect Detail in Options Bar. The Strength was set to 12% and the effect was built up slowly where sharpening needed to be added. It does not introduce a lot of artifacts this way. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added on top and dragged down in image to get a little more contrast. That was all that was done to get this lovely effect. What a beautiful creature!…..Digital Lady Syd
Thought I would do a quick Lightroom post of an image I did of my very photogenic daughter-in-law on her birthday. She does not love this image, but I really love the vintage treatment. To begin the process, Matt Kloskowsky’s That 70′s Look preset was applied (the new version for Lightroom 4 is in the NAPP preset group but I am not sure where I found it). Three Adjustment Brushes were used on her face: 1) on eye iris the Exposure, Clarity and Sharpness were increased to make them pop a little; 2) the whites of her eyes were painted and the Saturation set to -52 to whiten a little; and 3) her lip color was changed to match her dress by using a little clarity and sharpness and a sampled pink color. In Photoshop all that was done was a little Liquify filter was used to adjust the dress folds. That was it – quick and easy and a beautiful look!…..Digital Lady Syd
Hover over the above image of Westminster Cathedral to see what the original RAW image looked like or (here to see on flickr)- pretty awful! Wanted to show you what Lightroom 5 did with one click of the Lens Correction section’s new Auto button in the Basic Upright area. I was blown away! I did not adjust it any more – it is not perfect but much faster than anything I could get by using Photoshop’s Puppet Warp or filter tools. Check out a short blog by Julianne Kost, one of the Adobe Photoshop Evangelist, that gives some good info on when to use the Reanalyze button. In Photoshop a couple little items were cloned out on a separate New Layer. Nik’s Sharpener Pro 3′s Raw Presharpener was used at default values on a duplicate layer. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to get rid of a little yellow cast the sharpener filter gave to the top of the tower – used a black layer mask and painted back the correct color where needed in white on the mask. Next Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was used and the custom preset called Sepia Grain Border was applied. Just a few little changes were done on the sliders to make the image sharper, but that was all that was done. Pretty nice sepia tone image!…..Digital Lady Syd
Thought I would post my wonderful recent golf experience – we were almost done playing – hole 18 – and then I shot the ball in the water. (That’s how good I am!) Almost clobbered this little sunning alligator, but he did not even move when we pulled the ball out of the water. First alligator I have seen this year, and I would not have gotten the shot if I did not have my cheap Kodak point-and-shoot camera. The image was processed very simply. First I used a Lightroom preset created a while back from a video called True Grit by Michael Rather. (Since I keep referencing it, here are the settings from the short video: Basic Panel – Contrast +100, Highlights -80, Shadows +100, Whites and Blacks sliders to taste, Clarity +100, Vibrance -82, and Saturation -7; and Lens Correction Panel – in Manual tab set Lens Vignetting Amount to -76 and the Midpoint to +19. Use these settings as a starting point and adjust them to taste. My preset actually is set to Clarity of +67 and Vibrance of -82 and were used in the image above.) Next my favorite sharpening plug-in, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3, was applied using the Soft and Dreamy II preset. In the Effect Mask section, the effect was removed from the alligator using the brush strength set to 1.00 and partially on the golf clubs and cart canvas top using a o.21 brush strength. The Overall Opacity was set to 0.87. Back in Photoshop a Levels Adjustment Layer was added setting the middle tab to 0.86. Next a Darken/Lighten layer was created (see my Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog for info on how to do this). The last step involved adding my free SJ B&W Border Frame Layer Style – changed the black color to a sampled green color from the image. It was great to get outside after a pretty cold and ugly winter/early spring and it was fun to see this little guy, even though he was a little scary. …..Digital Lady Syd
Taken the morning after Hurricane Sandy went past Ormond Beach in Florida, this image showed how strong the surf was and how gray the sky appeared even though the ferocious hurricane was not a direct hit. We were so fortunate that the storm did not hit Florida directly.
What I really like about the shot is how sharp the texture in the waves and beach surf is. To get this effect, the image was first processed in Lightroom where just basic slider corrections were made and a custom crop was created. I usually do not do this, but this image seemed to scream panorama to me as the sky was so plain and the main subject is the large expanse of water. Since everything was moving, a several shot panorama was out of the question, so it had to be faked. Click on image to see Lightroom version – it is very flat, not at all how I remember it. In Nik Color Efex Pro 4, a Cross Processing filter using Method C04 at 27% strength, Detail Extractor filter set to Normal (Detail Extractor at 64%, Contrast at 31%, and Saturation at16%) with 6 Control Points to restrict the filter effect to the sky area, and a Lens Vignette filter (Amount -9, toward Rectangle,Size 57% and Brightness -16%). In Nik Viveza 2 the Center was brightened. The Spot Healing Brush was used on a clean up layer, and Contrast was boosted with a Curves Adjustment Layer. The default preset in Imagenomics Noiseware was applied. When noiseware is applied, the image detail will usually get softer – therefore, in a white layer mask, I painted with a soft black brush the waves back so you can see the water mist detail. The last step was to apply my free SJ Thin Double Edge Frame layer style sampling colors from the image. Now I get the result I remember!…..Digital Lady Syd
These flowers were once again taken at the local grocery store with my little Kodak Point-and-Shoot camera. I bought four textures from Melissa Gallo’s Painted Textures website on Black Friday and love them. These are very painterly textures and create a different look! She also has some very interesting tutorial videos on how to apply a texture – keeping the texture on an image and painting in color to remove texture from parts of the image, which is what was done here. Check out her website if you enjoy textures as much as I do.
The biggest change I did on this image was in Lightroom where the White Balance eyedropper was sampled throughout the image until I found something different that I liked – it turned a rather dark fall colored image into a bright red and pink image. Totally awesome! I also used a Lightroom Adjustment Brush to sharpen the yellow centers of the flowers and some of the rose petal edges. Now following Melissa’s tutorial, Shadowhouse Creations Vintage Soft Grunge texture V32b texture in Set 3 was applied using the Multiply blend mode at 84% opacity, along with Painted Textures Taupe Canva using Hard Light blend mode at 35% and Pink Impasto using Hard Light blend mode at 67%. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was added to increase the red color a little in the Highlights and greens in the Shadows. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to lighten the overall contrast of the image.
Totally loved the result!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
For Tidbit Blogs, click on the Texture Category to get several more.
Where to Find Those Cool Free Christmas Card Templates?
How to Create Unique Textured Backgrounds
How to Create Unique Watercolor Background Texture
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Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel Updated!
Tips for Flower Textures
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This beautiful Scottish Church was taken from a train going from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. This is a wonderful way to capture some of the countryside. I am surprised how sharp this image was since the train was moving – my settings using a 18-200mm Nikon lens were F/13, 1/200 sec, ISO 400 using a 45 mm lens. For post-processing, the first thing done was to create three Virtual Copies in Lightroom and set them at different exposure settings – one to about -2, one using the original, and one set to +1. This is a way to get an HDR look using a single image. The first two where then taken individually into Topaz DeNoise 5 (see sidebar for website link) and adjusted for noise issues. The +1 just used a little adjustment in Lightroom since the over-exposed image did not have a lot of noise. All three images were then selected in Lightroom and right-clicked to get menu – Open In -> Merge to HDR in Photoshop. That is how the bottom layer was created. Next by applying OnOne Perfect Effects (see sidebar for website link), the image took on a great look. This plug-in can do interesting things to images – usually when I just can’t put my finger on what I need for a photo, Perfect Effects has a solution. This image uses these filters presets stacked: Black and White->Warm Gray with colors swapped in Effects Options, Detail->Texture Booster, and Borders->Russell with Scale set to 4 in Effect Options. Back in Photoshop Nik’s Viveza 2 was applied to add a little soft color in the sky, sharpen the cupola, and add a little brightness to the front of the church. Then Topaz DeNoise 5 was applied one more time to get rid of some noise created by the plug-in application – this time it was targeted to the sky and water using an Overall Strength setting of .11, and for the lighter areas, Adjust Highlights set to .28. Recover Detail was set to .30 and Reduced Blur to .13. This sounds like it was a lot of effort, but it really was very quick to apply. The hardest part was adjusting the noise in the three virtual copies in Lightroom. …..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Can a Pseudo HDR Image be as Good as the Real Thing? (Part One)
Can a Pseudo HDR Image be as Good as the Real Thing? (Part Two)
Just thought I would try out a couple new tricks. The image was a JPG shot with my little point-and-shoot Kodak camera at Flagler Beach on a beautiful early evening. A short Lightroom video called True Grit by Michael Rather was followed to create a nice gritty effect preset. I tried it on this landscape image (he used an image of a boy’s face) and really liked the effect. Next Topaz released Simplify 4 (see sidebar for website link) so I applied this plug-in to the photo in Photoshop. This is a free upgrade for anyone that has the bundle or has bought the Simpify plug-in previously. Lots of fun here. This was basically just playing around with the settings to get to know the program and getting a nice look. In Photoshop a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added where the Red Hue slider was moved so it was not so bright. I also added a layer mask to the Simplify layer and painted back in just a little of the white wave detail using a soft, low opacity black brush in the mask. The last step is my Black and White Layer Style. …..Digital Lady Syd
This is my “big sky” view above my little lake and what I have been seeing every afternoon this summer in Florida. Beautiful but very scarey! I wanted to try out Matt Kloskowski‘s (one of the Photoshop Guys from NAPP) new free Lightroom presets called Big Sky as a starting point – Strong in this case. After making adjustments in Lightroom, the image was taken into Photoshop and first Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 was applied stacking these filters: Brilliance/Warmth with Sat at 32%, Warmth 49%, and Perceptual Sat 40%; High Key With Dynamic High Key set to 61%; and Pastel Using Method 2. Next two Selective Color Adjustment Layers were created with black filled into their layer masks. One Adjustment layer was for the green grass so in the layer mask I painted back just the green area for that layer and the other targeted for the slight reddish color in the roofs. Next the new Color Lookup Adjustment Layer set to 3DLUT DropBlues.3DL was added – the sky was then painted over with a light gray to soften the change. (To learn more about Color Lookup, see TipsSquirrel’s Richard Hoffman’s short video here.) Next Nik Viveza 2 was used to smooth out the clouds and sharpen the house lines. Finally Imagenomics Noiseware was set to Full Stronger Noise preset. The last steps created a Curves Adjustment Layer for a little more blue using just the Blue Channel to increase the color and set to 70% opacity. Finally my Layer Style frame was used sampling the colors from the image (see DLS Free Layer Style Frames). I liked the way the preset worked – it looks very similar to how it appeared originally in Lightroom without all the adjustments and blue cast. The final result looks a bit like an architectural rendering seen in house brochures. And you got to love the clouds!…..Digital Lady Syd
I have never used Lightroom’s Graduated Filter much as I usually do that kind of adjustment in Photoshop with the Gradient Tool on a mask. Recently I came upon a very interesting blog/videos, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4′s Graduated Filter Controls by David Marx, that discussed how much improved the Graduated Filter is and how to use it get some great landscape effects.
The image above is on the way to Hilo from Waipi’o Valley and shot through a car window???? Still thought it would be a good opportunity to see what I could do with it using this technique since the valley and water were so pretty and the clouds in the sky were a nice addition. This image was first tweaked in Lightroom globally, then 5 graduated filters were added, four for the sky colors and one for the water color coming up from below. I used the Color Wash technique on all four sky filters created, making some quite small to give a nice sunrise feel to the image. Finally it was taken into Photoshop where a layer using BBs Fogs and Mists Brushes were used to create an early morning foggy feel was added (and to cover up some uneven lighting on the valley walls) and for some noise reduction using Imagenomics Noiseware‘s Default setting (you could use Lightroom Noise Removal for a pretty nice result). Here is a small image of the original so you can see what the Camera Raw file looked like:
Once again, a pretty bad image was turned into something that really reminds me of my trip to the Big Island, even though it is not exactly as I shot it???? If you own Lightroom 4, definitely take a look at these very easy to follow videos – the results are quite amazing…..Digital Lady Syd
This is a beautiful little town called Honomu is on the road to Akaka Falls on the Hilo side of the Big Island. I love how this image turned out – the original tonemapped file was totally flat. This image was processed as a 32-bit HDR image in Photoshop CS6′s Merge to HDR program, then brought back into Lightroom 4.1 as a TIFF file where it was adjusted using mainly the Basic sliders, then edited back in Photoshop CS6 as a 16-bit PSD file. From there, Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4‘s was opened and these filters stacked: Detail Extractor at 68%, Graduated Filters using Blue No.1 as the sky was an ugly gray color, and finally the Film Efex Vintage set to Film Type 21. Next Nik’s Viveza 2 was added and that is what really made the difference in this image – the detail was popped in the signage areas but smoothed in the sky. Imagenomics Noiseware was added to smooth out the roughness of the whole image. The frame I used is called SJ Thin Double Edge Frame and can be downloaded at my Tidbits Blog DLS Free Layer Style Frames. The colors for frame were sampled from the image. Once again an image that did not have too much going for it turned out really nice……Digital Lady Syd
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New Lightroom and Photoshop 32-bit Processing Capability
I have not posted a Where Am I in a while, so here goes. This weekend while watching the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, I started reminiscing about my trip to Scotland a few years ago and what a beautiful county it is. This particular day it was raining, rather typical late summer weather in this region. I am standing at the top of the beautiful Urquhart Castle which overlooks Loch Ness. We were on a tour that arrived by boat and it was beautiful in spite of the ugly weather. This is a great castle to visit and explore if you get in this part of the world.
This image was processed in Lightroom on two different virtual copies – one to bring the sky in nicely, and one for the castle and surrounding grounds. The copies were selected and opened in Photoshop by going to Edit In -> Open as Layers in Photoshop so they were in one file. The castle layer was placed on the bottom and the sky layer on top. Added a layer mask to the sky layer and used a Black to Transparent linear gradient so only the sky still showed from the top layer. A composite was made and in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4, the Detail Extractor filter was applied using the Detail slider at 42% and (-) control points applied to the sky and water, a Darken/Lighten Center filter was applied, and a dark Vignette filter. There was quite a bit of noise in the sky so Imagenomics Noiseware was applied at Stronger Luma Noise (I recently bought this plug-in as I found it to be very good.) The Sharpen Tool was used to bring back a little detail in the hillside foliage and the people after applying the noiseware – very subtle change here. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added and Nik’s Viveza 2 – just added that pop in parts of the castle stonework with layer set to 63%.
The results came out very nice and how I remember it – to be honest I think it really was a lot drearier than it appears here but this is how I want to remember it!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Can a Pseudo HDR Image be as Good as the Real Thing? (Part Two)
These beautiful daisies are growing in my front yard – first time I had seen this variety with the navy and orange centers. (Hover over image to see the image as it came from Lightroom.) Got a chance to try out the new Color Section in the Lens Correction Panel in Lightroom 4′s update (Adobe Camera Raw 7.1 for Photoshop) and it worked great! See New Color Fringe Correction Controls for information on this new tool. Next used Nik Color Efex Pro 4 with Detail Extractor, Midnight and Image Borders filters stacked. The Midnight Filter set to Sepia Color Set really gave this image the lovely soft feel. Added a few control points in Nik Viveza 2 to bring out the structure of the flower centers and buds. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer and painted out a few of the distracting light points. That was it……Digital Lady Syd
I occasionally come across a need to take a Lightroom preset and use it as a preset in Adobe Camera Raw. This is not as complicated as it seems. Below are the steps required to accomplish this task.
1. Apply the preset in Lightroom and make sure you know which panels and sliders you used. (If preset not already created, to save preset in Lightroom, on left side of Presets line, click (+) for “Create New Preset.” Name preset.)
2. Right click on image in Lightroom and select Edit in -> Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. The image is opened in Photoshop with the Smart Object icon on bottom right of thumbnail in Layers Panel.
3. Double click on thumbnail and it opens up into Adobe Camera Raw. Go to Presets panel (9th icon over on righthand side under the histogram) and the click folder icon at the bottom of the panel to open the New Preset dialog. Name and click the items you want included in the preset, then click OK. Your new preset shows up in the Presets panel.
You can now use your Lightroom preset anytime you want in Adobe Camera Raw also. I usually start my personal preset names off with an SJ so I know they are mine. It is easy to get presets from many different sources as time goes on so it helps to know which are yours.
The image above is of a miniature mum in my yard. Hover over the image to see how the image looked with just a Lightroom preset I created called Dark Vignette – it makes the background very dark behind the flower. For information on how to create this preset and how the image was finished, see bottom of blog for details.
Hope this helped you get a little more organized…..Digital Lady Syd
To create this preset, changes were made to: the Tone Curve set to Highlights -24, Lights +41, Darks -56, and Shadows -54; HSL – Luminance sliders set to Red -41, Orange -9, Purple -2, Magenta -50 and all others 0, and Saturation sliders set to Red -2, Purple +32, Magenta +59 and all others set to 0; Effects Post-Crop Vignetting Style set to Highlight Priority with Amount -61, Midpoint 33 Feather 0 and others set to 0. To finish, image was sharpened and OnOne PhotoFrames (see sidebar for website link) acid burn controlled 15 was added and reduced in size in the plug in, and then grunge 12 was added on top – in Photoshop petals were painted over frame edge using a layer mask on first acid burn frame.
Image was taken at Lapakahi Historical State Park of one of the homes the early Hawaiians lived in roughly 600 years ago on the western side of the Big Island.
For this image, the steps used were from my my blog Using Color Efex Pro and Texture for a Warm Hawaiian Landscape Effect for the second image. Same Lightroom preset, same textures (using Russell Brown’s Texture Panel (see my blog Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel Updated!), and same adjustment layers. Image was sharpened and a New Layer was added on top where a paint brush set to yellow at 20% opacity was used to paint in the blown out highlights on the roof of the house. (See my blog Getting Rid of Those Blown Out Areas in Your Image on how to do this.) A different OnOne PhotoFrame was added – Taufer_Texture_12. (See sidebar for website link.)
Not very realistic but definitely has that Hawaiian feel and that is okay!…..Digital Lady Syd
This image is one I found in my video I took while watching the dolphin program at the Dolphin Learning Center, one of the activities offered at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. When I processed this image, it seemed no one was paying any attention to the dolphin that is flying out of the water. Really struck me as a very funny shot! Anyway, thought I would share it.
The image was processed using two Virtual Copies of the image in Lightroom, one enhancing the water and dolphin and the other the people and pool. I selected the two Virtual Copies, right clicked and chose Edit In -> Open as Layers In Photoshop. This stacked the two Virtual Copies as layers in Photoshop. The one version layer created for the dolphin was masked out using a black layer mask. Then with a very low opacity white brush, the areas I liked from that version were painted back in on the black layer mask to give a little more contrast to the image. Really liked the result. This is a great way to pull detail out of a single image…..Digital Lady Syd
This whale came to visit the catamaran while I was whale watching (through Hawaii Ocean Sports) – I guess this is unheard of that a whale would come so close to the boat and hang out for 5 minutes like this guy did. Everybody on the boat including the boat personnel were going crazy as the whale would swim under the boat to the opposite side and then swim back under to the other side. He was so close you could almost touch him! He came up at the back of the boat and then turned around and raised his tail at the boat as he left. What a trip! Using my Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V video camera, I was able to get some nice video of the whale although it was hard to be at the right place at the right time with so many people around. What is really nice is that now Lightroom 4 has a limited video editing function. You can actually scrub through your video and select a frame that can be saved as a JPEG (click to open the square to the right of the video timeline and select Capture Frame) which can then be edited in both Lightroom and Photoshop. That is how I got this image.
The Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, and Blacks sliders all had to be reduced and the Contrast was increased to get a good image of his face. In Photoshop Topaz Adjust was opened using the Film Collection Effect Vintage Grunge IV preset. The Detail Strength was lessened a bit, the Warmth slider moved warmer a little, Grain and Vignette turned off, and Transparency slider set to o.25. Back in Photoshop a Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to slightly desaturate and change the Hue in the Red tones on the whale. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to improve contrast. Not bad for a fairly low resolution image. If you like Lightroom and have some video clips, you should take a look and see if you can use some of the frames you captured to add to your photo collection…..Digital Lady Syd