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I’m Just a Little Kitty Cat

Image of a tiger washing his paw
I just love to photograph the big cats – they are so interesting and beautiful! This tiger image had fencing all over it and the Healing Brush in Topaz Studio (see sidebar for website link) actually took almost all of it out of the image – I was totally surprised. They have just recently added it into the program. For me to get it to work well a very small size of 0.03 was used and by dragging the brush first over the color that you want added in, it tends to fill in with that color. Then just a Curves Adjustment Layer for color adjustment and then a Levels Adjustment Layer for contrast correction for a bit of a vintage matte feel. A Color Look Up Table set to the TealOrangePlusContrast preset and the opacity to 29%. Topaz Detail was used to sharpen the face. A Red Luminosity Curve was used to add a little more contrast. A left side yellow-orange light leak was added to the image to lighten it up a little. Created a composite layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), made it a Smart Object (right click on menu and select), and opened the Camera Raw Filter. Went to the HSL sliders and adjusted mainly the orange and yellow colors in all the sections to get the tiger color and background just right. Last step was to add the text – used the Streetlight script font. What a cool tiger!…..Digital Lady Syd

Night at the Museum


Image of the Kenan Pavilion at night at the Flagler Museum

Had some fun creating a night scene out of this image. The image was darkened in Lightroom using Serge Ramelli’s American Night Darker preset to start and adding radial light effects on all the different lamps. Once in Photoshop the cat was added from an image by Graphics Fairy and then his outline was smudged to give it some hair effect. Some whiskers were drawn in and a shadow was added underneath his body. Some text was added using the Green Light Bold Inline Grunge font. A 50% gray layer was added and set to Overlay blend mode where the lights were painted in at 20% layer opacity to get the correct flare effect on the walls behind. That was it. A lot of fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd

Just a Pretty Flower

Image of a flower from New Zealand
This pretty flower is from an old album called Illustrations of the New Zealand Flora (Plate 139) published in 1914. It was just a black and white line drawing and I added the color and texture. The image was removed from a page on the downloaded PDF file using the steps in my How to Create Vintage Text for Images Fun Photoshop Blog -just go towards the end for steps to pull images. I am afraid I took a little color liberty here as the volume says the flowers are actually white, but I liked the pink color. The flowers pink color was created by using a Curves Adjustment Layer’s  individual Red channel with the layer mask filled with black (CTRL+I in the mask) – just painted in the pink on the petals – layer was set to Color blend mode.  On a separate blank layer under the outline, painted in the green textures using Grut’s I Qwillo (I love this brush for drawing and painting!) and a Mixer blender to paint in the leaves and stem. Below that but above a white background layer a texture was painted – just experimented with a couple of my brushes and took just the texture layer into Topaz Studio. The Radiance filter was applied so the fine lines showed up – I thought it matched the line drawing effect of the flower. The font is Viner Hand ITC and an Outer Glow layer style with a Contour change was used to make the text stand out. The original outline was set to 15% layer opacity at the top of the  layer stack. That was it. Lots of fun. I really enjoy looking at the old volumes of animals and plants. ….. Digital Lady Syd

Happy 4th of July!


Image of 4th of July Fireworks

Just a quick Happy 4th of July blog – hope everyone in the US are enjoying the fireworks. I created a similar image in a blog from several years ago. (See my Faking Fireworks Fun Photoshop Blog – some good fireworks resources in this blog.) The fireworks are from freeimages.com and Jai Johnson’s Fireworks Overlay Collection. The letters were scanned using some inexpensive letter templates and then layer styles using Shadowhouse Creations free Patriotic Pattern set. Used a different one for each letter by placing each letter on a different layer first. A Levels Adjustment Layer was used to add some contrast back. Then it seemed like there was not enough smoke in the background that fireworks always generate. Therefore Phlearn’s free Fog Brush set to light blue and 11% opacity was applied. A Gaussian Blur was then applied to the layer to soften the edges of the fog a little.

Hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday! Happy Birthday America!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Very Unusual Place!

Image taken in New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
This image was taken at New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay, the Bahamas. Had fun playing with several different adjustment layers and filters. On a New Layer above image, a bird brush was created using Aaron Nace’s Creating a Custom Brush video. Just added a little Angle Jitter to it.  The layer was set to Multiply blend mode at 70% layer opacity. Then a Pattern Adjustment Layer was clipped to the birds and a coffee colored watercolor pattern was used – this is how the wings have a tipped color effect. (See my Patterns, Patterns, Patterns Fun Photoshop Blog for more on this.) A Black and White Adjustment Layer was set to Luminosity on top. Next a Levels Adjustment Layer to add some contrast. Then a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. The Color Negative preset was applied with a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer. Next a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added and the Master Hue was flipped to the end to get the color palette seen in the image. The Blend If This Layer black tab was split to 0/145 and Underlying Layer’s white tab was split to 130/210 (ALT click on the tabs to split) to let some of the color leak through. Another Black and White Adjustment Layer was added and set to Soft Light and adjusted to get just the right color effect. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve Adjustment Layer was added. A stamped layer was placed on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Restyle’s Gunsmoke and Jordy Blue preset was applied – in the plugin, Restyle section was set to Screen blend mode at 41% opacity and Basic section set to Multiply blend mode and 64% opacity – a few changes were made to the Tint, Tone, and Detail sections. It basically added yellow where the color was white and really brightened up the image. That was it. Not sure I could do it again, but it was fun to figure out a new look!…..Digital Lady Syd

On the Prowl

Image of a Malayan Tiger from the Jacksonville Zoo
Felt an urge to paint one of my favorite subjects – the large cats. This beautiful Malayan Tiger was romping around at the Jacksonville Zoo, and definitely not stopping for a photo op. Luckily I spotted him and took the shot. (Okay – he was in his enclosure.) So this followed my basic painting workflow. In Lightroom a crop was performed and Serge Ramelli’s Bad Weather Basic preset was used and then adjusted. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link to free program) Studio’s Sharpening Lens Blur filter was used to sharpen the image overall. Then one of my Corel painted textures was added underneath the tiger along with Jai Johnson’s Explorations (10) texture that was set to Linear Light blend mode and 55% layer opacity. On the Tiger layer, a black layer mask was created and the tiger painted and further defined in the Select and Mask panel. After than, just a lot of painting. One of the Mixer brushes that worked well on this image was a free one from Adobe called Munch-Round Ratty and was set to 45 pixels. to  create a nice blend when painted over the edges of the tiger body. Several layers of both regular brushes and mixers to paint him in. An Exposure Adjustment Layer was used for the eyes, and Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw eye to his head. Finished off with a Curves Adjustment Layer to bring back contrast. It was a lot of to paint again!…..Digital Lady Syd

Windsor Castle

Black and White image of Windsor Castle in England
Decided to turn this image taken inside Windsor Castle‘s gates into a black and white as the sky looked really nice with the treatment. It was converted in Lightroom using the Basic Linear Radial Dark preset by Serge Ramelli. Then the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush were all used to fine tune the effect. (He makes some really nice presets.) In Photoshop some clean up was done before a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer set to Foggy Night applied at 63% layer opacity. Nik Viveza 2 was used to even out the shadows and clouds a little. On a stamped layer Topaz Lens Effects Fog filter was added to the top of the image where the sky was still pretty dark – it also smoothed it out a little. I like the slight bluish tone that is in the image from the Lookup Adjustment Layer……Digital Lady Syd

Looking for Love

Image of a girl looking at a ruined castle
Sometimes it fun to just do something different! This actually took a lot of tweaking to get that romance novel or poster effect. Corey Barker offered one of his tutorials, Quick Hollywood – Inspired Illustrated Effect, for free so off I went. This is not quite what Corey’s poster looked like, but it still has a bit of that old movie magic. Several of the tips from his video were used which is how the illustrative look was created. The girl is called Wayra 11 from Liam Stock and the castle in ruins is called Winter Wonder stock 36 by Tigg, both at DeviantArt – must thank them for allowing the use of their images. Actually used Topaz Studio’s Basic Adjustment and Bloom Adjustment. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the focal points in the image. Love the font called Star Full Inline which has eyeballs in it. The other font is called Dancing Script OT. Had to paint the face a little and added light fog on castle from Topaz Lens Effects. Used my snow effect called Snow1 Overlay and painted it off the foreground. On another layer, used Corey’s Particle Universal brush for snow on the girl and throughout. Last step was Topaz Texture Effects were the border was added. I think it is too hot right now and I am thinking of winter!…..Digital Lady Syd

Hiding Out at the Rookery

Image of tricolored heron at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
This Tricolored Heron was trying to be inconspicuous which meant I had to take his picture. He really did not want my attention at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. Therefore he now has a beautiful bright-colored plumage to show off. Felt like getting back to my favorite type of Photoshop – painting and adding a few filters. I have done so many Tri-Colored Herons that adding the extreme color effect was fun to try. A technique by Glyn Dewis was presented in his How to Retouch a Dog Portrait video where he duplicates the background twice. On the first he applies PS Reduce Noise twice using just the Strength slider set to 10 and 4. On the top layer he applied a PS High Pass filter set to just 1 pixel to bring back sharpness. These layers were then grouped. It gives a very subtle painterly feel and gives a good place to start by smoothing over the background. On a couple layers on top, several blobs of color were added on the bird to make him more color. The layer opacity was set to around 50% and Overlay and Vivid Light blend modes. Had to clean up the background and fill in some holes. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) the Camera Raw Filter was opened where several Radial Filters were used to direct light. On another New Layer new hair was painted in to fill out the color on the birds lower body. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer was used to add a bluish tint into the image. On a clean up layer, some of the too sharp leaves were painted to soften their effect. Then on two stamped layers, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was applied using on one layer the Rum Purple preset (set to Multiply blend mode at 45% layer opacity) and the Wedgewood Blue and Tan preset (set to 55% layer opacity) on the other. A layer mask was added to the Wedgewood layer and parts of the bird were painted back even more. An Exposure Adjustment Layer was used to sharpen the eye. On a New Layer set to Overlay blend mode and 71% layer opacity, a Spotlight effect was created to emphasize the face a little more. Nik Viveza 2 was used to further enhance the focal point. A subtle vignette using How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog was added. Last step involved adding a Lens Blur Noise effect on a stamped layer (see my 10 Now so Well Known Photoshop Tips blog – first tip). That was it. Got to love these beautiful herons!…..Digital Lady Syd

Fog Rolling In

Composite image of the Golden Hinde in a fog
This image was created using several elements and textures – just a lot of fun to do! I have been sailing when the fog comes rolling in and I wanted that eerie feeling when it happens. The original boat element is one I took in London several years ago – it is an actual replica of the Golden Hinde – Sir Francis Drake’s galleon he sailed in 1578. In Lightroom the ship image had been converted to black and white before opening in PS. Next a New Document was created in PS and this image was loaded into it. The ship image was cropped and moved to the left side. Next Distressed Textures’s The Artist’s Palette Moody Earthtone texture was placed underneath at 25% opacity, and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was set above to make the texture less saturated and more of a blue-green tone. A Levels Adjustment Layer was clipped to the ship image (ALT+click between the layers). The lighthouse was added using some old clip-art from the Old Fashioned Nautical Illustrations book (#371). On a New Layer Obsidian Dawn’s Light Beam set Lighthouse Beam 1 was applied at 51% opacity. On another New Layer Lavender Designs Birds Nest Brush was applied – the two birds sitting on the sails. Jai Johnson’s Flybirds png2 was placed on another New Layer at 27% opacity – a layer mask was added and some of the birds were painted out. Then in the Properties Panel, the Density was set to 61% and Feather to 2.3 so the look like they are disappearing in the fog. Four Adjustment Layers were added: Hue/Sat for the yellow in the beam, Color Lookup Pastel 8 Hues set to 25% opacity, Levels to add contrast back, and another Color Lookup at 69% opacity using Blake Rudis’s preset Vintage Baby Blue. On another New Layer set to 26% opacity I used my old Cloud Text & Smoke Brush to add in more fog and haze. Using the Adobe Paper Texture Pro already supplied textures, 3 were stacked: Brush Rose set to Overlay at 67% opacity, Caspian set to Overlay 89%, and Touchtone set to Difference at 25% opacity. A Curves Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity blend mode and 61% opacity and was added to put contrast back into the image. Felt something was missing so I added 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) texture Cosmos 14 set to Multiply blend mode and 67% layer opacity – her star textures are some of my favorites! On a New Layer some of the spots from the texture below were painted out using my SJ Pastel 3 brush (see my How to Create My Favorite Brush blog). Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Fog filter was applied and set to the bottom right corner – in PS it was set to 66% layer opacity. Add a Red Channel Luminosity Curve. Then Nik Viveza 2 was opened and the final focal point was adjusted. I decided that I just did not like the way the fog looked, so with two brushes, Cloud Billoway and Cloud Heft from Gruts FX Cloud Set were both increased to a very large size and dabbed down to get the fog effect – then the layers were set to a very low layer opacity to give the dreamy fog effect. Clipping Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers to each allowed for some color variation. In the last step I added one of my frame layer styles setting colors from the image. This turned out to be quite a project!…..Digital Lady Syd