Anything Photoshop or Photography

Archive for July, 2016

Little Fern Flowers

Image of Little White Flowers growing on a Foxtail Fern
This image is of little white flowers growing out of the top of a Foxtail Fern or Asparagus Ferns in my yard. An older Lensbaby Composer was used – set to F/4 and using the Macro +10 lens. In Lightroom Seim’s (see sidebar for website link) Super Super HDR X preset was applied to the image before going to Photoshop. Used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to remove just a little haloing on the edges of the white flowers. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Lucis Pro was applied. (Settings: Assign Original Image Color 31%/69%; Enhance Red 147/Green 87/Blue 47.) See my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordable!) blog for info on this. A black layer mask was added and just the white flowers were painted back. On another stamped layer Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s was opened and my SJ Renoir WC Look preset was applied at 71% layer opacity. (Settings:  Stroke Type 13, Brush Size 0.73, Paint Volume 1.00, Paint Opacity 0.91, Stroke Rotation 0, Stroke Color Variation 0, Stroke Width 0.65, Stroke Length 0, Spill 0.79, Smudge 0.55, Coverage 0.67, Coverage Transition 0.30, Cover center X0/Y0; Color Overall Hue 0.07, Sat 0.15, and Lightness 0; Red Sat 0.50; Orange Sat 0.50; Purple Hue 0.85 and Sat 0.65; Lighting Brightness 0.08, Contrast 0.12, Vignette 0, Light Direction X-0.27/Y0.15; Texture Strength 0.11, Size 1.00, Background Type – solid white, and Background – #b25b41.) On a New Layer used the Smudge Tool to smooth some areas. On yet another stamped layer, the now free Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust the focal point just right. That was it! Was a lot of fun to take the shot and paint the image!…..Digital Lady Syd

The Mighty Ant

Image of an Ant on a dandelion.
For some reason, this dandelion weed has grown to some humongous size by my front door in this major hot summer we are having and the ants are having a ball tromping all over it! I decided to pull out my old Lensbaby Composer set it to F/4 and Macro +4 lens to get this guy doing some kind of balancing act on a bud. This pretty much is how the image looked out of camera. I love the soft DOF you get with the Lensbaby. On a duplicate layer the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened. The Detail Extractor was applied to mainly just the ant and a little bit of the foreground to give it a little more sharpness, and the Vignette Filter was used where a darker green color was sampled from the image to soften the bottom. Back in PS, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects’s Crisp Morning Run preset was applied (removed Adjustments, and added Diffusion panel, changed the Blur to 0.42, then painted back the ants, then set Strength 0.58, Softness 1.00) to get the beautiful turquoise effect in the background. I had not used this lens in a long time so it was a lot of fun to use!…..Digital Lady Syd


Busy As a Bee!

Image of a Bee in a purple succulent plant
This little bee and his buddies were very busy checking out this magnificent specimen of a purple succulent at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. I am not sure what kind of plant this was, but it was a gorgeous color! No wonder the bees were attracted to it! The image was opened in Photoshop and the background duplicated. Next JixiPix Spectral Art’s Dark Lines preset was applied to the layer – see my How to Use the Free Spectrel Art Plug-in blog to download. A black layer mask was added and the effect was only applied to the bees to give a little more detail to the wings. A stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (see my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Now Affordible!) blog) was applied to further sharpen up the bees. Another black layer mask was added and the bees were painted out again and in the Properties bar, the Density was set to 80%. Some clean up was done on a layer. On another stamped layer the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was applied using my favorite grouping of Film Efex: Vintage (set to Film Type 2), Darken/Lighten Center, and Monday Morning set to no Smear, Color Set Sepia, and overall Opacity 56%. On yet another stamped layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was opened up. The Sunflower Fields preset was applied and in the ReStyle Masks section, just the color was painted into the bees – this gives the really pretty golden color in the bees, and in the Basic section, the Detail Structure was set to -0.69 to soften everything but the bees. The last step was to create another stamped layer and apply the also free Nik Viveza 2 to the image to draw more focus to the bees. It always amazes me how these different plug-ins work together to get some great effects!…..Digital Lady Syd

Red Sunflower Saying Hello

Image of a Red Sunflower from the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida
This gorgeous red sunflower image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida (a wonderful place to take flower pix!). I had never seen a red sunflower growing before – grew up around yellow ones! Did a tight crop around the flower first. Next tried out the new Photoshop feature called Select and Mask to remove the flower, buds and stems from the busy background. Works pretty nicely but takes a little practice to get a good result – the  computer runs pretty hard while using it. The selection was applied on a new layer with a mask. Placed one of my Corel Painter textures behind the flower and buds. Next created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top and opened up the now free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 – used 3 of my favorite filters: Film Efex Vintage Film Type 6 and placed several control points around the outside removing the filter effect from these areas – this preserved the texture effect; Darken/Lighten Center; and Monday Morning with 4 control points on outside and 48% opacity. Back in Photoshop the Nik layer was set to 77% layer opacity. That was it! Pretty easy and I like the results – it feels summery to me!…..Digital Lady Syd

Just a Little Flower

Image of painted purple flower
This image was created by painting over a flower taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. The flower was actually selected from its background with Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5 and saved as a PSD file to take into Paintstorm Studio. This program has some beautiful paint brushes at a very reasonable price. Several different layers were painted with different brushes including the watercolor spots before saving as a PSD and re-opened into PS. A bird was added and my Corel Painter Fresh Air texture was used behind the flower. Added a little grass using Frostbo Set 2 Grass 005 brush to add some ground. Used Kyle T. Webster’s free Animator Pencil to draw around the petals a little and the free Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the focal point. It was a lot of fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd

White Ibises Playing at the Sea

Image of White Ibis's at the Sea
This image is of a group of White Ibis at the West Palm Beach Zoo – when someone threw out some treats, the whole exhibit sort of “flew the coop” and came out with everybody walking around on the sidewalks. Totally funny! I decided to make it a more interesting get-away area! Basically just sharpened the birds in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3. Then selected the birds from their background – I used Topaz ReMask 5. With a layer mask several birds were removed where they were partly hidden by other birds. Several layers were added for painting – used Grut’s FX Cloud brushes (love these brushes) for clouds and ground areas, Grut’s Dusky Covert brush for color on birds, Kyle T. Websters Sparse Bristle Watercolor brush for lines on body,  Aaron Blaise’s water brush sb 46 10, and Frostbo’s Grass Set 2 brushes 005 and 009. The newly free Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used to create the final effect (Filters used: Tonal Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Vignette: Lens, Remove Color Cast, Graduated Filters, and Image Borders) – I like to just play around with the different filters to see what happens! This was just a lot of fun to paint – and not that difficult!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Beautiful Room

Image of Flagler Museum's West Room in West Palm Beach, Florida
This image of the West Room is one of several beautiful areas at the Flagler Museum (or Whitehall) in West Palm Beach, Florida. It appears to be one of areas rented out for special occasions. When visiting this museum, it was a pleasant surprise to see all it contained, and with practically no other people around. A photographer’s paradise!

For post-processing, in Lightroom Trey Radcliff’s free preset called A Marshmellow Happysmell was applied – this gives it the warm colors in the image. In Photoshop, Lucis Pro 6.0.9 was applied (AOIC-0/100; R171/G155/B37) and then in a black layer mask, just areas I wanted sharpened were painted back. Created a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and added Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression 2’s Overpaint II preset as is. Next several painting and clean up layers were used to smooth out some of the rough edges. Added Nik Viveza 2 as a last step to emphasize the focal points. I like the effect this Impression preset added to the image…..Digital Lady Syd

Hiding from the Sun

Image of Pear Harvest Sculpture at the Sculpture and Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach, FloridaThis restful place was located at the Philip Hulitar Sculpture and Botanical Gardens in West Palm Beach, Florida. This particular bronze sculpture was called Harvest Pears and was in this building with a fountain and another sculpture called the Monumental Apple Basket – both sculptures are by Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz.

This image used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow on a duplicate layer – using one of my presets called SJ Painterly Wonderland (see my Tidbits Blog called My Glowing Porch Flowers for preset settings). On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) applied Lucis Pro 6.0.9 (Settings were: Assign Original Image Color – 0/100 original and Smooth 4791 and Enhance 45589). The Elephant on the stand is from Design Cuts Elephant Children’s Book Freebie Pack-77. A lot was done to make the elephant fit into the image like softening the edges and adding some defining lines. On another stamped layer Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was added using these filters:  Film Efex Vintage, Glamour Glow, Darken/Lighten Center, Monday Morning, Detail Extractor, and Sunlight. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 to emphasize the focal point. This took a long time to do, but it is always worth it when I take my time on post-processing……Digital Lady Syd