Here is another example of an image that used a Curves Adjustment Layer to adjust the color of the stone in this image of Windsor Castle in England. It turned too brown due to a filter treatment applied to the total image – Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust 5′s French Countryside preset was applied to the image once it was brought into Photoshop – this preset is one of my very favorites but it definitely has a very brown tone to it. Nik Viveza 2 was applied next to selectively sharpen parts of the image. A regular Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase the contrast in the image. Next another Curves Adjustment Layer was added and this time the Blue Channel Curve was adjusted to get rid of some of the yellow tones in the stone. The Layer Mask was filled with black and just the castle stonework was painted back in with a low opacity soft white brush. That is it! I love the final result – it really gives a different perspective on how large this castle really is!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd’s Related Blogs:
Using Curves Adjustment Layers to Get Rid of Shadows and Highlights
I Didn’t Know That! Curves Adjustment Layers
Riding my toy tractor may be the first recollection I have. Since I grew up practically in the middle of a corn field (although my parents were not farmers), my first ride-on toy was a tractor exactly like this one. It was my favorite toy and I put miles on it! I did not have a tricycle, just a tractor. I had to get a picture when I went to the 39th Annual Turkey Run in Daytona Beach, Florida, last fall. Looks like we are missing a pedal here.
Used my basic Camera Raw steps (see How to Use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Lightroom 4 Quickly) in Lightroom 4. Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was applied using Overall Detail Medium II preset first, and then the Soft and Dreamy II preset was applied. The tractor was painted back in a layer mask so just the background was softened. On a duplicated layer Topaz Adjust 5′s Low Key II preset with Transparency slider set to .28 was applied to the layer. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to desaturate the greens and yellows. 2 Lil’ Owls Workbook Bonus Texture 16 was added at 85% opacity. A High Pass Sharpening effect set to 8 pixels was applied and a final Curves Adjustment Layer for added contrast and give a nice orange color to the tractor was added. Lots of fun to work on something from your childhood……Digital Lady Syd
Was looking at some of my older work and came across one of my first texture images from three years ago. I really liked the treatment of this image so I thought I would try to reconstruct how I did it. A very different workflow was used. When the Lightroom adjusted image was opened in Photoshop, I did some clean up to remove some tourist heads. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Adjust’s Spicify preset was applied. Next Nik Silver Efex Pro Antique Plate preset (pretty close to SEP2′s Antique Plate II) was added and set to 42% opacity. Ash Texture 25 was added (it’s a shame but they are no longer available, but Isabelle Lafrance free Decemberpack1 texture 1 has a very similar look) and set to Overlay at 100% opacity. Back into Silver Efex Pro where the Neutral preset was applied – layer was set to Screen at 51%. Next a Curves Adjustment Layer was added using a slight S curve to enhance contrast. Topaz Simplify was applied using the basic BuzSim preset. The last step used OnOne’s (see sidebar for website link) PhotoFrame Dave Cross 15 set to 72% opacity - the PhotoFrames are no long available in the newest release but many are incorporated in the new Perfect Effects 4 module. The final result is really nice – I am going to experiment some more using these plug-ins to enhance my texture effects…..Digital Lady Syd
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
I love how this image ended up with a beautiful soft artistic look – for the image above I used Topaz Adjust (see sidebar for website link) Painting Venice preset with no adjustments made. I have not used this preset before but really love the results. A very similar effect was obtained by using Topaz Simplify’s BuzSim preset (reduced the Simplify Size to 0.10 and increased the Saturation Boost to 1.56) – I could not see a big difference when I tried this. If you would like to compare the images, the Simplify image is in my Fun Photoshop Blog Using Topaz Simplify for That Artistic Feel! blog.The people were painted out just a bit to bring their body lines and kayaks in focus a little more. Using my blog Smoothing Out Those Waterfalls, the Motion Blur filter in Photoshop was set to an Angle of -82 and a Distance of 48. This image was taken at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. Beautiful place to visit……Digital Lady Syd
Thought I would do another Before and After where I show what one of my favorite presets in Topaz Adjust 5 (see sidebar for website link) looks like when applied. This image was taken in full light and I really took the image as a test shot before visiting some of the wonderful historic sites in St. Augustine, Florida. I really love steeples and cupolas on buildings. I had a hard time deciding what to do with it – it was a hand-held three HDR image. I processed it in Photoshop’s Merge to HDR Pro, only checking the Remove ghosts box before exiting to Photoshop (hover over image to see the tone-mapped image). Some image clean up was done, and two curves adjustment layers, one for contrast and one for color tone, were added since the image was not processed in Lightroom or Camera Raw. After much experimentation, I finally settled on using Topaz Adjust 5 and the French Countryside preset. It seems to soften the image just enough, yet retains some detail in the image – the trick is to adjust the Detail tab’s Threshold slider to bring back some of the details. Then I added Caleb Kimbrough Summer 4 Texture – one of my favorite textures to add the red and green tones into the image for that warm feel. (Also check out his site for many other wonderful textures.) The image took on a totally different feel. Try this preset if you have Adjust…..Digital Lady Syd
These are a few of the kayaks that can be rented at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa on the Big Island in Hawaii. I was listening to a webinar presented by Nicole Paschal at Topaz Labs called “Isolating Subjects with Lens Effects” – this webinar should be posted soon at Topaz Labs-YouTube. She presented six or seven different ways to use selective focus on your images using this plug-in.
For this image Topaz Adjust (see sidebar for website link) was first applied just to brighten up the image a little – added the Spicify preset. Next Topaz Lens Effects was opened. Nicole really likes to use the Camera Tilt & Shift effect to selectively isolate her subjects. That is what is applied here. The Tilt Shift Adjustment were set to: Focus Area Width to 0.20, Transition to 0.59, Blur Amount to 0.08 and Angle to 0.89 so that the blur runs across the back of the kayaks. The Image Adjustments were set to Brightness 0.11, Contrast 0.15 and Saturation to 0.03. In the Distortion Adjustments section, Tangential was clicked, and a 1.89 Distortion Scale was applied – this cropped the image centering it on the Tilt Shift Adjustments Blur point in Focus Area section. Each time the blur point is moved, you get a different result. This image ended up with the Effect Position at 560, 612.
There are several other effects discussed in this webinar which are fun to try. Listen to the webinar for more good tips. The above effect may give some very interesting results on different types of images. I will definitely be checking this out…..Digital Lady Syd
Topaz Adjust 5 was just released and here is my first attempt at using it. Hover over the image to see the original HDR image. (Click on sidebar Topaz 4 to go to website.) The interface has been greatly expanded to look like their very popular new plug-in Topaz Black and White Effects. This is a big improvement and I really enjoyed working with the new version of the plug-in. If you own an earlier version of Topaz Adjust, you are entitled to a free upgrade. If not, try out the trial and see what you think. They have added over 100 new presets and also included all of the ones from Topaz Adjust 4. A histogram has been added along with a really nice new Local Adjustment brush called Brush Out where the effect can be removed and a small mask shows how much is being removed (similar to Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush). In the image above, it was created as a Photomatix 4 HDR using 3 images, then brought into Photoshop and processed in Topaz Adjust 5. Just a subtle sunlight feel was placed on the building. (See my blog “Quad Tones in Topaz Black and White Effects Plug-in” for colors used to create the soft sunlight effect in the Tone section.) There are so many choices and the image could be made to look more vivid and moody.
The image above is of the Lamar Life Insurance Building tower with beautiful gargoyles all around it in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a very striking looking building even in this day and age and the clock tower can be seen almost everywhere in the city. Below is a copy of a postcard from 1924 when it was built showing this beautiful building, thanks to Bill Badzo’s Flickr site. He states this about the building “…a close observation reveals it as nothing less than a scaled-down version of New York City’s Woolworth Building.” Interesting observation!
Give this new plug-in a try when you get a chance – you will not be disappointed. Lots of fun ahead of you…..Digital Lady Syd