Anything Photoshop or Photography

Archive for December, 2015

Happy New Year!

Image of an Egret celebrating New Years
Just one of my favorite birds, the Great Blue Heron, celebrating along with everyone the coming new year. Actually a lot of was done to this image that was taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. He was painted in Photoshop with mixers and regular brushes and the background was painted in Corel Painter. Just my basic painting workflow. Separate layers used Confetti and Streamer brushes from Morgan BW on Deviant Art. The last step used Nik Viveza 2 – always the perfect final touch. Happy New Year from Digital Lady Syd…..See ya next year!

Santa Believing!

Santa Believe Ornament image
Had to post this little image of a Santa ornament that is very appropriate while I am struggling to get my new computer loaded up and ready to use. Windows 10 is really turning out to be a big learning experience for me after coming from Windows 7. Anyway, this guy is how I am feeling – I Believe I will get it up and running!!!

I actually did this as my first image on my new computer with practically nothing added to PS CC. All I did on this image was to use the ACR in the Bridge to do the initial image adjustments since I do not have Lightroom going yet. Next one of my Corel Painter textures was added in layer above and a layer mask applied. By using a watercolor brush set a soft edge and low opacity (20%), the Santa was softly painted back using a black foreground color in the mask. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to adjust contrast, and on a New Layer a Glitter brush was used to add some structural interest into the background (see end of my Some Christmas Cheer and Resources blog for settings to make brush). The image was sharpened using a High Pass Filter set to 5.8 radius and then on a New Layer above, the Sharpen Tool was applied just to his face. Last step was to use two Radial Filters in the Camera Raw Filter to get soft vignette effect and direct focus to the Santa. Felt good to get back to working on images!…..Digital Lady Syd

Merry Christmas!

Painted Christmas Card of a winter scene
Merry Christmas and hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Enjoy the season!…..Digital Lady Syd

Underwater Fantasy

Underwater image with fish
This image took a lot longer than I expected to complete – but still a lot of fun to do. I had the image of some coral in a case at a SeaWorld Orlando store and wanted to use it in an underwater adventure image. It turned out totally different from what I expected but that still is a lot of fun to just see what happens!

Basically the coral was cut from the image using Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5. It did a fair job and a lot of touch up of the layer mask had to be done once back in Photoshop due to the complexity and similar background color to the coral in the image. My next step was to add a couple PixelSquid fish into the image (see my How To Use the PixelSquid Add-On in Photoshop blog). One of my spiral textures was used for the background and the layer was taken into Topaz Impression where the Turner Sunset II preset was applied. The fish and coral layers were grouped, duplicated and top group merged to create a single layer. This layer was then taken into Topaz Impression and Edward Hopper II preset was applied to it. Some bubbles were added using using the Glitter Brush created in my Some Christmas Cheer and Resources blog was used to add some softening effect around the coral, and on some separate layers, Fay Sirkis’s Bubble Wrap Highlights Mixer brush was used to add in the more obvious bubbles. Next the eyes were sharpened using the Exposure Adjustment Layers. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Topaz Lens Effects was opened and the Reflector filter brightening the left side of the image and the Graduated Neutral Density Filter to darken the bottom part of the image was applied. Last step used Nik Viveza 2 to direct focus to the main fish. Whew! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!…..Digital Lady Syd

Viera Wetlands

Image of Viera Wetlands
This image was taken at the beautiful Richard Grissom Memorial Wetlands (also known as the Viera Wetlands) in Brevard County, Florida. In Lightroom very little was done except to apply Trey Ratcliff’s  free preset called Venice Canalman that came December 2015 preset package (scroll down) he gave away with his newsletter  – I have used this preset a couple of times and really like it. The focus point could be adjusted by going to the Radial Shift that he used in the preset, and moving it a little right to include the birds.

In Photoshop Jai Johnson’s free Flying Birds png was added as a layer on top. Since the birds looked flat in the image, a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer was clipped to the image (ALT+click between the layers) – tried several and ended up using a gold and reddish watercolor pattern, which matched the tones of the LR preset that was applied. This pattern can be dragged around in the image to make the birds look just right and the adjustment layer was set to 62% layer opacity. An Outer Glow Layer Style (double click on layer to open) was set to Normal Blend Mode, white color, Opacity of 34%, Noise 13%, Spread 8% and Size 144 Px – this softened the birds so they blended into the sky just right and the layer was set to 68% layer opacity. The last step was to apply Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression’s Seurat Afternoon III without any changes to the whole image. His pointillism strokes added a really interesting effect to this image. Impression is really a fantastic plug-in that can add such a beautiful effect to an image as in this case…..Digital Lady Syd

Deserted Roller Coaster

Image of a roller coaster at Daytona Beach, Florida
I guess this image definitely indicates winter is on its way – very desolate looking Roller Coaster at the beach in Daytona Beach, Florida. Wanted to show another example of Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects using the preset I created and uploaded onto the Community site. (See my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz Texture Effects Fun Photoshop Blog.) In Lightroom Dave Delnea’s Custom Tone oo2 was used and the DeHaze slider in the Adjustment Brush added a little foggy effect at the top of this image. In Photoshop Topaz Detail 3 was applied to darken and soften the image a little. Then on a stamped layer, Topaz Texture Effects was opened and my SJ Soft Pastel Effect preset with some changes (Basic Adjustments turned off; Diffusion – in Mask brushed out the center of the large palm and part of the wood structure in top of the roller coaster with brush Strength of 55. Vignette – Strength 0.42, Size 0.01, Transition 0.32, Roundness 0.18, Color Black and set Center towards the right; Split Tone – removed; Border second row first border – Size 1.09 with Keep Aspect Ratio on No.) I am starting to really enjoy this plug-in!…..Digital Lady Syd

Foggy Day on the ICW

Foggy day on the Halifax River in Ormond Beach, Florida
Can you tell whose Lightroom preset this is? It looks so classic Trey Ratcliff to me and yes, it is one of his new ones called Venice Canalman that came in a free December 2015 preset package he gave away with his newsletter. I bought some of his presets a couple years ago and have used them frequently. This image was taken in the park across the street of The Casements on the Halifax River (Intracoastal Waterway). In Photoshop a person was removed from the walkway on a separate layer. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was used to just sharpen the piers in the distance – layer mask filled with black and just the piers were painted back in white. Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw the focus to the far right boat cover. Anyway, I really loved the way this preset worked on this image……Digital Lady Syd

Full Moon Rising

Image of a full moon in an Aspen Tree forest
This image was painted using some of Karen Bonaker’s Painter 2016 Holiday brushes that she is graciously giving away to us Corel Painter lovers! I have to be honest and say I had to tweak the brushes quite a bit to get the correct effect (in her downloaded brush she had the Damping set to 60%, not 33% like the default in the Options Bar) – mainly changed in the Liquid Ink panel the Ink Type to Ink Plus Color from Ink Only and tried different settings for the various slider like the Volume and Jitter sliders. Also unchecked Continuous Time Deposition box and set the Boost to 38%. Went into the Particles-Common panel and tried different settings for the Chaos, Smoothness and Damping sliders. Several brushes were created using different settings and I think I finally got some decent trees! A background I had created in Painter was added behind the image. The image was saved as a psd file and taken into Photoshop where I got this night effect – set an adjustment curve to the Negative (RGB) preset.  The moon was stamped in using Fantasy Brushes Moon 2 brush. Did a lot of manipulation to get the moon to look correct. Some clone clean up and that was it. Lots of fun to do and I wish to thank Karen for always giving us the most fun brushes during the holidays!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Lemonade Cart

Image of a painted Lemonade Cart
I have been wanting to use this image of a Lemonade Cart taken a couple years ago at the Annual Turkey Run in Daytona Beach, Florida, but it was too hard to select all the “stuff” around it. That was until Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 4/5 was released. This time, it took a little effort, but overall it came out pretty fast. Once I had the cart on its own layer, it was opened in Topaz Impression and the Renoir II preset was selected with no changes. This blended the cart nicely into my Corel Painter background. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), the layer was opened in Topaz ReStyle and the Native Dancer preset was once again applied (see my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog.) Several layers of painting with both regular and mixer brushes were used to make sure it did not look like a “canned” painting – I am very sensitive to this so I always try to add some of my own strokes if I use Impression. The bird is from Midnightstouch Egret brushes – these are great for that little extra touch – just be sure to paint them some to blend them into the image……Digital Lady Syd

Feeling Spiffy!

Image of a painted Cattle Egret
The reason I like this photo is that it was really sharp out of camera even though this Cattle Egret was trying to stay a little hidden in a very green tree covered area. He just seemed to need a nice background, so here it is. It was painted Corel Painter and matched the color in his beautiful beak. Since I wanted some of the original background to show through around his feet, the texture was placed above the bird and the bird’s layer mask (from Topaz – see sidebar for website link – ReMask 5) was used so the bird appears. Then I could use a low opacity brush on the bottom of the bird layer mask to paint in some of the grass detail where he was standing. Several layers of painting before Topaz Texture Effect’s  Soft Warm Breeze preset was applied on a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E). (I changed the Overlay color from orange to black and Diffusion Strength to 0.62.) The eyes and beak were sharpened and Nik Viveza 2 was used to finish up the overall effect. Really fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd