Anything Photoshop or Photography

Topaz Studio

Countryside Contentment

Image of countryside near Bath, England
This image was take on the highway to Bath, England. I did not realize what a beautiful sky was in the image so I had not looked at it in Photoshop. Now I think it looks rather idyllic. This image actually took a lot of layers to get it looking the way I wanted: Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio was used to bring the contrast into the image and the Radiance Adjustment was used to get some very precise lines. Some spotlight effect was used to direct the eye and Nik Viveza 2. To warm the sky a Light Gradient using clear, yellow and pink colors was added to warm up the whole image. Blake Rudis’s gradient map vignette technique was used to finish up the image. (See my Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog.) Overall a lot of fun to do!…..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


Going to Windsor Castle

Going to Windsor Castle
Enjoyed working with this image of a little shopping and restaurant area that led into Windsor Castle in England – lots of different tourists. I find this kind of image totally entertaining! Will just go over the basics as a lot of work went into this image. Mainly did basic adjustments in Lightroom including converting it to black and white. In Photoshop the image was taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio where Precision Detail, Color Theme where some color was added back in some different gray color tones, and Impression where the default was used and the Painting Progress slider set to 0.43 – that is why it is not overly painterly. Added a little pink color, a Nik Viveza 2 filter to clean up some of the lighting issues, several Curves Adjustment Layers, and a Color Lookup to add more pink tones in. On a stamped layer applied Topaz ReStyle’s Wedgewood Blue and Tan preset set to Color blend mode and a Levels Adjustment Layer for final adjustment of contrast. It took a lot of tweaking as the people looked too crisp with some of the settings. I just really liked the feel created by the glass dome and all the activity. Lots of fun…..Digital Lady Syd