Anything Photoshop or Photography

Archive for June, 2013

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Try Again!

Love how this image turned out with a beautiful texture added to it. This is a very sentimental favorite plant for me since it came from my parents home in Indiana many years ago – it loves Florida. It is a Dieffenbachia, which is a poisonous plant around animals and kids so not the plant for everybody, but is very pretty in your home.

This image was processed using my basic Lightroom workflow. (See my How to Use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom 4 Quickly blog.) Once in Photoshop, Karen Burn’s Day’s End texture was added on top (check out her Flickr account – great textures and images here), flipped (CTRL+T), and set to Normal blend mode at 58% layer opacity. A white layer mask was added and using the Photoshop Charcoal brush set to 250 pixels and a low opacity 12% brush, the leaves were lightly painted back in the mask – this brush gives a bit of a gray rough edge result that blends with the background nicely. I use it a lot for this effect. Just keep painting over the area you want the focus of the image to be. I was not really happy with the overall pastel feel of the image, so a Curves Adjustment Layer was added and the Blue channel and Red channel curves were adjusted to get a better colors. I still was not happy with the color so a Selective Color Adjustment Layer was added on top and in the Reds selected – Cyan was set to -48 and Yellows +46, in the Cyans – Cyan was set to +60, in the Blues – Yellow was set to -46, and in the Neutrals – Black was set to +19. That really made the color sing – sometimes it takes several different methods to get the look you are after. Overall, with just a little effort, this rather average image was turned into something quite stunning!…..Digital Lady Syd

I Didn’t Know That! Use A Pattern Fill Layer to Add a Painted Texture

Love my Day Lilies! This was a yellow lily but using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity, I was able to turn it to this pretty pink color. (My preset I call Crazy Color Palette settings are: Clarity Section – Dynamics: Micro Contrast -0.36, Low Contrast 0.39, Medium Contrast -0.36, and High Contrast -0.39; no Tone Level settings; HSL Filter Section settings: Hue – Red -1.00, Yellow -1.00, Green +1.00, Blue +1.00, and Magenta -0,52; Sat – Red -.50, Yellow 0.27, Green -0.09, Blue -0.03, and Magenta +0.59; and Lum – Red -0.03, Yellow 0.41, Green -0.23, Blue -0.20. All not mentioned are set to 0. Then I changed to Micro Contrast slider to 0.55.) Apply and then go back to Photoshop and opened Topaz Simplify and apply Oil Paint preset. A layer was added on top and Fay Sirkis’s 03 Palette Brush Blender was used to smooth out the flower rough edges from the Simplify. A old Florabella Action (that is no longer for sale) was run on the flower and and Kim Klassen’s Cloth & Paper Prague texture was also applied at 15% opacity. The flower was painted out so the texture did not affect it, only the background. Created a New Layer using the Sponge Tool to saturate more in the flower itself. A little burning and clean up was done on the flower. A Curves Adjustment layer was added to add back a little contrast. Then a Pattern Fill Layer was added with one of the patterns in Jack Davis’s Wow Patterns (see my blog Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! for download link) and set to Soft Light blend mode at 59% opacity. I have never used the Pattern Fill Layer to add a painterly texture to an image, but it turned out really nice……Digital Lady Syd

Painting a Dragon

This was the head on a wood boat pulled up on the sand in front of the Rainbow Tower at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. Recently I did a blog called Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! where his Wow Smart Object Painting1 Action was applied to several images. This image uses the same action to create a nice basic painting. A darken layer was added above to show emphasize the edges for the dragon from the background image (see my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique blog). At this point I thought it looked pretty good, but the background was competing with the dragon in color, so I decided it needed to be pulled back some. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black and White Effects was used to soften the background. Several of the presets created really interesting looks due to the canvas effect being applied in the action first. I settled on an old wedding preset I had created back in version 1. (If you are interested, here they are: Conversion – Basic Exposure: Contrast 0.04, Brightness 0.10, Boost Blacks 0.35, and Boost Whites 0.01; and Finishing Touches – Silver and Paper Tones: Tonal Strength  0.44, Balance 0.96, Silver Hue 5.81, Silver Tone Strength 0.85, Paper Hue 77.42, and Paper Tone Strength 0.38; Transparency – Overall Transparency  0.80. A white border was then created around edge using Right Edge Size  0.11/Edge Exposure  -1.00/Edge Transition  0.09; Left Edge Size  0.14/-1.00/0.08; Top  0.20/-1.00/0.09; and  Bottom  0.09/-1.00/0.16.) Back in Photoshop a New Layer was created and the Clone Stamp was used to even out the border just a little around the image. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to add contrast to the dragon and further separate it from the background – then the layer mask was filled with black (CTRL+I in mask) and just the dragon was painted back in white to reveal it (see my Using Curves Adjustment Layers to Get Rid of Shadows and Highlights blog). The last step was to add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to further adjust the background saturation (Saturation was set to -41 in Master) – but this time the dragon was painted in black to hide adjustment on it. This really turned out how I remember this image……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz Black & White Effects 2.1

Meeting a Belarusian Horse!

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 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

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Using Old Wallpaper for a Vintage Look
My Favorite Adobe Lightroom 5 Features

Clarity with Texture!

I love how this image turned out – totally me! This is a beautiful pink variety of a Day Lily – huge beautiful blooms that I bought at WalMart! Nothing was done in Lightroom other than the checking Enable Lens Profile and Remove Chromatic Aberration, and adjusting the Crop. In Photoshop the layer was duplicated and the new Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity plug-in was applied using the settings shown below. Note that the Red Hue slider was set to -0.59 along with the other settings in the screenshot.

These settings bring out the pink a little more in the flower. A burn layer was created using my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog, and a paint clean up layer to make the stamen stand out more. Now what really made this image pop was using the beautiful Texture 86 by Lenabem-Anna – check out all her fabulous textures on Flickr that can be downloaded for personal use. It was duplicated and on the bottom layer a layer mask was added where the pink flower was lightly painted out. I did not want to completely cover up the background purple flowers in the image so the opacity was set to only 61%. Since I wanted the flower to have some texture but not pick up the color from the it, two steps were performed: 1) the texture layer was duplicated and a black layer mask was added where the flower was lightly painted back. This time the layer as set to Hard Light and the layer opacity was only 35%;  and 2) a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer was clipped to the texture (ALT+click between the layers) and the Saturation slider in Master was set to -100 and Lightness +13. Now the texture color only appears in the background. Totally loved the final result! …..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Getting a Nice Painterly Landscape Effect with Topaz Simplify and Texture
Where Am I?
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz Clarity

Pretty in Pink! with Topaz Clarity

I do love to photograph my gerberas – they are always so pretty. This time I really changed them up. I think they are as pretty in pink as they were in yellow! So I was really just playing around in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) photoFXlab just to see if the new Topaz Clarity plug-in would work nicely with it. I didn’t even keep track of the changes I made exactly in Clarity, but I did use the Hue/Sat/Lum section to turn the flowers pink. I just kept fooling around with the sliders until I got a color I liked – used the Overall sliders on each of these sections and also adjusted the Clarity section too. Back in photoFXlab, adjusted the Dynamics slider a little to the right. Created a +From Stack Layer and opened up Topaz Simplify 5 where the Paint 5 preset was applied. Back in photoFXlab, the Mask tab was selected and the centers of the flowers were painted back so the detail from the Clarity layer remained. Exited the plug-in and did some basic flower clean up. Created a couple New Layers and used two of my free Cloud Brushes (Brush 6 and 9) to add some interest to the background. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer and evened out some of the petal color. Then added 2 Lil’ Owls Color Bokeh Grunge Set (see sidebar for website link)-2 overlay to the image (set to Normal at 100% opacity). Next the text was added using the free font Ruthie. Kim Klassen‘s Square 3 border was added last and set to 52%. The last step added another Curves Adjustment Layer to enhance overall contrast. That was it. I just love playing with my flowers in Photoshop!…..Digital Lady Syd

PS: Check out my Fun Photoshop How to Create an Overlay Out of a Texture blog to see the frame it was put in.

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz Clarity
Topaz Simplify Artistic Workflow
Digital Lady Syd’s Review of Topaz photoFXlab v1.1

Using Old Wallpaper for a Vintage Look

Just another pretty image of my zinnias growing in my front yard. In Lightroom a preset I created from Jack Davis’ video (see my Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! blog for link) – this was another part of the video where he shows you how to make an Antique Looking preset in ACR, but it can be done as easily in Lightroom. (It is also in his Facebook link for Lightroom presets download.) Once brought into Photoshop, a New Layer was created and the Mixer Brush was pulled out to define the leaves more, especially the ones in front. Fay Sirkis Four Season Classic FX Highlilghts #1 was used along with her 03 Palette Knife Blender brush, downloaded from her webinars on the NAPP website. She just completed a series of four videos where she goes over each season – wonderful videos if you want to learn to paint! Eventually this layer was set to 82%. On top of the Mixer Brush layer, Caleb Kimbrough vintage wallpaper2 was added (he has several free wallpapers to download) and set to Darker Color blend mode at 39% opacity. A layer mask was added and the flowers painted back into the image. Next an Overlay created from Kim Klassen’s Cloth & Paper texture Touch was applied and set to Multiply blend mode. A medium green Color Fill Layer was added, clipped to the overlay, and set to 70% opacity to add a little green tint to the edges. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer was added to get just the right color of red/magenta in the image. Then a Vibrance Adjustment Layer was added and set to +100 to add back a little color. The last step involved sharpening using a High Pass Filter, setting the mask to black, and painting back just the center of the flower and little bit of the wallpaper. Really loved the final vintage feel to the image……Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 10: Use What You Know!

Just thought I would remind everyone that you do not have to keep changing every workflow to incorporate that new technique into it. Sometimes it is better and faster to use what you know, especially if you are just doing a little processing of an image. That is exactly what I did on this image. I like this image of the Tower of London because you can a little boy peaking out at the sidewalk and the Thames River. There is also part of another little boy in the guard house. So much going on in London!

I really wanted to do a black and white, and it looked good with a slight sepia tone on it, but when I took this image into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Black & White Effects 2, my Sunny preset brought out the colors the way I liked them. In Lightroom there was just the regular slider adjustments going on (see my How to Use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom 4 Quickly blog) and the Upright Adjustment was also used to straighten the image out (see my Lightroom 5′s New Upright Adjustments Section blog). Once in Photoshop, I went into Black & White Effects and just applied my preset, that’s all – for all the settings for this preset, see my Sunny Preset for Topaz Black and White Effects blog. (This is one of my favorite presets for the program.) Did some clean up on a New Layer. Then created two New Layers, a Darken and a Lighten layer, set to Overlay for dodging and burning (see my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog link). That was it.

As you can see, I really do use the techniques I present. Everything in this blog is what I normally look at when post-processing an image. Hope it gives you ideas on how to do your images too!…..Digital Lady Syd