Anything Photoshop or Photography

Archive for July, 2012

Little Girl Statue at Lightner Museum

If you follow my blog much, you know I am a big fan of the Lightner Museum. It is not that fancy and not that big, but totally interesting with their wide range of the late 18th and early 19th century items – lots of fun to just drop-in for an afternoon. And of course St. Augustine is a great city to visit as there is a lot to do, even just walking around is fun! This little girl is one of the beautiful statues that is located in the museum – I have no information on who created her but she has a wonderful expression.  (To see a different view of this statue, see my Fun Photoshop Blog Getting that High-Fashion Desaturated Look.)

I initially was going to give a the whole image a painterly effect. I decided I liked just having the background with the artistic feel and keeping the actual statue very detailed but with a softer color. I was trying to follow the Photoshop Workbench – Watercolor Composite by Mark Johnson (his tutorials are great!) but I changed a lot of the steps for this image as I did not like the way it was turning out. Textures were added using using Russell Brown’s Texture Panel (see Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel Updated!) – Sarah Gardner’s Blush Cherry set to Overlay Blend Mode at 100% Opacity, Princess of Shadow Texture 3 Hard Light at 43% Opacity, and Shadowhouse Creations Oil Painting-2 set to Overlay at 49% Opacity. Then painting was done above for them to get the colorful background using Mark’s tutorial.

Just goes to show that Photoshop is so much fun! And it is fun to remember the beautiful art that I run across……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs (all links related to Lightner Museum)
Lidden Urn from Carl Thieme
The Art Corner: Little Girl Knitting – A Mystery Sculpture!
Black and White Photo or Not? Give It a Try on That Difficult Image
Cafe Alcazar and Vintage Topaz Adjust
Photoshop’s CS6 (and Pixel Bender’s) Oil Paint Filter
Where Am I?

Enhancing Works of Art with Nik Color Efex Pro 4

I really loved how this image captured the Buddha statue through the window with the musical sculpture and bell that is protected in the the 1-mile walkway that goes between the hotel buildings at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. I do not have any information on these pieces of art, but they are very interesting.  Nik Color Efex Pro basically brought this image to life with four filters stacked: Film Efex Nostalgic using Film Type 4; Pro Contrast to brighten it up a little; Darken/Lighten Center placing the center towards the window; and Image Borders Type 12. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added back in Photoshop and that was it. The texture in the girl’s skirt is beautiful and the wall art was nice too!…..Digital Lady Syd

Hawaiian Bliss!

Every now and then I have to post another image from this wonderful resort! I know, a lot of people may consider it a little touristy, but I guess I am just a big tourist at heart and totally loved it!. This of course is the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. A three shot HDR image was taken, processed in Photoshop’s Merge to HDR with no changes – just Remove Ghosting checked, then Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 (stacked these filters: Film Efex Vintage – Film Type 11, Detail Extractor using overall strength of filter to 86%, and Image Border – Type 11), and Nik’s Viveza to darken the corners a little and bring out the detail in the center of the image. Not very difficult but then when it is as beautiful as Hawaii, it is pretty easy to get great pictures!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd’s Related Blogs:
Nik’s Viveza 2 Plug-In – A Hidden Gem!
Whale Watching with Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 & Viveza 2
Using NIK’s Color Efex Pro 4 and Viveza Together

The Old Course at St. Andrews

In honor of the British Open being played this week in Lytham St. Annes, England, I am posting one of my favorite images from my trip to Scotland. It was a real thrill to actually walk on The Old Course at St. Andrews. Wish I could have played a round. To be honest, I processed this image so long ago that I am not sure what all the steps were. It was not originally an HDR though…..Digital Lady Syd

Where Am I?

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)

Using photoFXlab v1.1

These sculptured fish mark the entrance to a huge breakfast buffet at the Hilton Waikoloa Village where you can have breakfast with several hundred of your closest tourist friends! Since I have been trying out Topaz photoFXlab v1.1 (see sidebar for website link), I thought I would try it out on this image that was adjusted in Lightroom first. Since it has a comical appearance to it, I thought the Topaz Simplify Cartoon preset would suit this shot. Basically some minor adjustments were made to the preset and then the Adjustments tab in photoFXlab was opened and these sliders were used:  Dynamics (the Topaz Adjust HDR slider and is really a great new addition) was set to 56, Sharpness 44, Highlights 49 and Shadows -34. After application of the plug-in, a Curves Adjustment Layer was added in Photoshop along with OnOne PhotoFrame lines 04 (see sidebar for website link) with color sampled from the image. That’s it! Pretty fast and I really like it. Also it did not need any more sharpening or clean up.

Not all images work out this easy in the plug-in, but it really is nice once you start using it……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1

Corel Painter and Photoshop Together to Create a Pastel Painting

I just finished my first attempt at creating a pastel in Corel Painter 11. I tried to create one in Photoshop using pastel brushes, and just could not get the hang of it. Painter is great for converting your digital images into beautiful works of art. I have found the best book to use if you are just learning is Martin Addison’s Painter 11 for Photographers (if you are using or trying out Corel Painter 12, check Amazon for the updated version of this book).

The image was created by first using the Auto Painting part of the program (this is explained in his book) and a brush from the Smart Stroke Brushes category called Pastel Tapered using the brush default settings. My computer took forever to do the auto-painting – this program is a real memory hog! After getting almost all the painting covered using this technique, I created a New Layer in Painter and used a smaller brush (17.2 pixels) at 54% opacity to fill in the white holes and some of the details I wanted brought back into the image. The layer was set to 78% opacity after finishing. Saved the image as a PSD file and opened it up in Photoshop where I could clean it up more. The first thing I did was create a New Layer and used the Clone Stamp Tool at 70% opacity to clean up some of the ragged looking strokes – it did not need a lot of touch up. Next I added a Curves Adjustment Layer to lighten up  the front door texture since it came out very dark in the Painter rendition – the layer mask was filled with black and only the door was painted back in at 60% opacity. I had put a large white edge around the image in Painter so it could have a soft painted framing – I did not like the look of it. In Photoshop on a composite layer (CTRL+ALT-SHIFT+E) and using the Quick Selection Tool, the white frame was selected and a layer mask added. The layer mask had to be inverted (CTRL+I on mask) so the frame was turned black to conceal. Next a texture, in this case a free one by Sarah Gardner called Blush Ginger (it is no longer available but there are many free texture resources – click on my Textures category on right for other blogs with links) was added below the image and set to 50%. It matched the image very nicely and has a great texture to it. Finally the top image was highlighted and a Inner Glow Layer Style was added to soften the edges of the image to match the texture underneath – the Color was changed by sampling the texture color and setting the Blend Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 88%.

Corel Painter is an expensive program but they do have great Education discounts if you are a student. I love the program but find I do not use it that much, especially since Photoshop CS6 has made some great strides towards achieving some of these same painterly effects. On the other hand, the Auto Painting function is very realistic and the program has so many more choices for brushes and styles of painting that I do not believe Photoshop will ever be able to completely compete in this area. Painter is definitely for those with the artistic flair……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Adobe Photoshop CS5′s Mixer Brushes
Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 6 – Try Something New!

Blue Flowers and Layer Style Frame

This image is actually of my pink and white Jazze Rose Frost Alestroemeria (see my blog Magnificent Macros with Nik Plug-Ins) but the colors were changed to purple and blue. I first tried this in a blog called Purple Lily Pads! using a slightly different technique with similar results. Just couldn’t resist posting again how easy it was to do this. First I applied the Topaz (see website link in sidebar) Simplify filter to get the soft petal look. I used a Simplify Size of .85 and Feature Boost of .78 to get a really painterly feel. In Nik’s Viveza (my favorite overall plug-in), the color sliders were changed to get the blue and purple colors. Control Points were added to adjust the background and parts of the flowers to get good detailed structure. The frame was created by just making a Photoshop Layer Style.  In the Stroke tab the Size was set to 54 pixels, Inside Position, and Fill Type Pattern – just select any pattern that fits your image colors. I am using a pattern from Victorian Dreams by Princess of Shadows – texture 10 at a Scale of 1000. In the Inner Shadow tab set the Size t0 70. It is very easy to make frames for your images this way since there are so many patterns available to use. Anyway, it was a lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

Pseudo HDR Using an Old Image

I am not in the habit of using other peoples images but I just had to try a little “pseudo HDR” on this image from a junkyard in 1942. Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints has the best historical images you will ever see, including this recent one. They obtain most of their images from the Library of Congress (I searched for salvage depot and found other interesting images like the above). Shorpy’s website  is on my list to visit on a daily basis. Most of his older images are not in color, but they are always interesting.

For this example the low res jpg image was used. Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 with these filters were stacked:  Detail Extractor, Film Efex Nostalgic Film Type 4 at 68% strength, Midnight using the Neutral Color Set and Blur at 4% and Overall Strength set to 50%, Vignette, and Image Borders. This image does not have any restrictions for use according to the Library of Congress so I feel comfortable showing it. It was fun trying different effects on this image. Go to either resource and see what you can find!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Little Green Frog’s Makeover Using Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4!
White Daisies! Using Color Efex Pro Midnight Filter