Happy Veterans Day to all who served! While visiting Savannah, Georgia, recently, I was impressed by how patriotic the city is – US flags were everywhere. I found this image to be quite pretty on a beautiful Sunday morning! In Lightroom the NAPP preset called Hang Ten (the preset is referenced in Scott Kelby’s The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers) and Dave Delnea’s Backlight 002 Vertical preset (which creates the beautiful lighting effect) were applied along with the basic sliders. This image used Topaz (see right side for website link) Simplify and Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 in Photoshop. A couple Curves Adjustment Layers were used, one for targeting the flag and the other creating a light vignette effect…..Digital Lady Syd
Well, Happy Halloween from Digital Lady Syd! Got a little carried away with this one but it was so much fun to do! These beautiful Wizard of Oz dolls were in a window of a gift shop in Savannah, Georgia. Unfortunately there were huge reflections coming from everywhere, so it would not process cleanly – but it was not a total loss for some crazy Halloween effects! I was actually pretty upset as I had completed this image and Photoshop CC crashed and did not save my image which I had been working a couple of hours – first time that has happened and made me nervous to do it over, but here it is, all 25 layers. I will just give you a quick recap. Lots of cloning in Photoshop to get rid of a lot of the reflection. Then the image was taken into Alien Skin Snap Art 3 just to give the colors a smoother feel. Back in Photoshop many layers were used to add Halloween object using brushes from : Obsidian Dawn and her free Cobwebs and her Halloween Vector brushes, Anodyne Halloween Skull and Pumpkin Face brushes, and my favorite Cat brush from Altergromit. Different layer styles and opacities were added to get the final grouping. The bat layer was set to Exclusion blend mode to get the weird ghost effect. I love the Halloween Spider font! Overall it was pretty easy to do. Got to love these holiday images!…..Digital Lady Syd
Can’t get over how many wonderful butterfly shots I got this year. I think they really liked out yard since we had so many blooming plants. These mating monarchs were dancing around my plumbago bushes in the back yard. They were moving so fast it was hard to get a shot where they were both in focus, but this one was pretty good. I actually had my ISO set to 800 in full light to get a quick enough shutter speed! In Lightroom I did just basic sliders and sharpened the butterflies using an Adjustment Brush on just them. Then I applied the Retro Vintage preset I created from Allen Mowery’s free preset (for download link and my preset settings, check out my Fun Photoshop Blog How To Add a Little Retro To Your Shots). The Radial Filter was used to created to slightly darken and desaturate the edges. In Photoshop Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was opened and the Impasto Portrait (soft) preset was selected. Three layers were used – one to sharpen the butterflies a little, one for the white flower, and one for the leaves around the butterflies. Back in Photoshop a layer mask was added and a little more of the detail of the butterflies was painted back. The frame is my SJ Double Edge Frame layer style. The colors turned out so beautiful!…..Digital Lady Syd
Had the opportunity to visit the beautiful historic city of Savannah in Georgia, USA. This image of an older house is enhanced, but I just felt like adding some yellow and fall colors to a rather overwhelmingly green and boring image in the original. Everything but the kitchen sink went into this image (it felt that way) but finally I got the look I really liked. So here were the steps in a nutshell:
1. Applied Richard Hale’s Sunnyday preset in Lightroom (see A Summery Lightroom Preset for more info on creating it and free download link).
2. Opened Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity’s Landscape Beach Shore I preset and used as is.
3. Back in Photoshop the ACR filter was opened and just the HSL sliders adjusted to get more of a yellow feel.
4. Used Color Range (How To Use the Color Range Command with CS4 Through CC 14.1 blog) to select the sky and added a small amount of aqua color to it.
5. Added Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3.0 using just the Factory Default setting and Photorealism slider set to 100%.
6. Cropped to straighten a little more.
7. Added Levels to enhance the contrast a little.
It took a long time to post-process this image and get it tweaked the way I liked it, but I love the final product. Lots of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd
Got inspired recently after attending my first Photography Club of Flagler County meeting. They had a wonderful guest presenter, Joe Campanellie, who is a portrait and nature and wildlife photographer. His business is called Campanellie’s Portraits of Palm Coast, Florida – check out the icon under his Home button to see some of the beautiful wildlife images he has created. His eagle images are incredible!
The presentation got me thinking about wildlife photography so I decided to process one of my older images from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. (Here are a couple links from my Flickr site showing a few more of my images: Snowy Egret Chicks, Cattle Egret, and The Birds of the Rookery.) This egret above was cropped in Lightroom to get the head shot. In Photoshop I added a Curves Adjustment Layer to get rid of some shadows on his face I did not like. (See my Using Curves Adjustment Layers to Get Rid of Shadows and Highlights blog for more info on this.) Nik Viveza 2 was used to soften the background a little and sharpen his face. Then Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was applied to give a little different effect to this image. The Oil Paint (dry brush) preset was applied with three layers – one to sharpen the face, one for the hair, and one to darken some of the bright highlights in the background. Another Curves Adjustment Layer was added to give a warmer feel to the image. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3’s Micro Contrast II preset was applied to just sharpen the eyes and some of the feathers. A dark Inner Glow Layer Style was added. Since the image was very small due to the large crop, the image was taken into Perfect Resize (see sidebar for website link) and set to 200%. This program does a great job increasing image size without losing quality of the image. I am now wishing I had gotten back to the Alligator Farm this year – great place to watch the birds!….Digital Lady Syd
Really loved how this image turned out – this is what the Bahamas (Great Guana Cay in this case) looked like to me when just walking around on some of the more deserted areas of the islands. This image was not that great to begin with, even with adjustments in Lightroom, but by adding Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 Photoshop plug-in, it turned into a nice painterly effect. The Factory default preset was applied – I find I like it on many of my images. Using two layers in the plug-in, the focal point at the end of the path was painted with a more photorealistic slider detail and a few items in the foreground were slightly blurred. To finish up I used my free SJ Painter Oil Frame and painted around the edges with Fay Sirkis’s Mixer Brushes (used her Palette Knife Tap n Blend brush and Signature Palette Blender brush – brushes can be downloaded from her Four Seasons painting on-line training classes on NAPP – I think her brushes are the best out there!) to smooth the framing into the image a little more realistically. That was all that I did, but I think I might print this one for my wall……Digital Lady Syd
This pretty Red Chinese Hibiscus Flower was basking in the sun one morning when I decided to snap it. This was a very simple image to post-process – just used Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 and the Factory Default – no changes. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was added to get the color right – only the Yellow to Blue slider was adjusted in all three Tone areas. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to adjust a little shadow tone. The Frame is one that I created following one of Dave Cross’s Kelby Training Photoshop CS5 Finishing Touches for Photographers videos. That was it! Very simple, but very pretty!…..Digital Lady Syd
Yep, this image was processed using the wax crayon brush in Snap Art 3. I totally love the vintage feel to this image. I am adding the Lightroom image as brought into Photoshop so you can see the difference – just click on the image. I really liked the before image as it was processed using one of my favorite presets, GA B&W Infrared 01 preset which gave it a little bit of a blown out look. Jack Davis’s Bluish Split Toning preset was applied after this (the presets use different settings so both can be applied – Jack’s preset can be downloaded from his Facebook Freebies section and selecting his Lightroom Wow 4 Presets.) White rounded corners were created in the Post-Crop Vignetting section using Style: Highlight Priority, Amount +100, Midpoint 32, Roundness -93 and Feather 0. Once in Photoshop the background layer was duplicated and made into a Smart Object. Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was opened and the Pastel (sketch) preset was selected. Three layers were used to adjust the parameters for the Wax Crayon I was using on the image – just basically played around with the settings until I liked them. Since it is a Smart Object, I can always go back and change anything I don’t like. Next 2 Lil’ Owls Studio Color Bokeh Grunge (see sidebar for website link) Sweetness overlay was added using the Subtract blend mode at 58% layer opacity. Curves, Levels and Hue/Sat Adjustment Layers were added to add more contrast and color into the image. The last step used Nik Viveza 2 with a control point on the front of the building to draw attention to this area. That was it – I really like the final result! Not at all what I had in mind, but love it just the same!…..Digital Lady Syd
Just a pretty tulip that cannot decide if it wants to be open or closed. (This link shows some of these beauties in their glory!) This image was converted to a Smart Object and taken into Alien Skin Snap Art 3 and the Oil Paint (dry brush) preset was applied with some adjustments. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was created on top and the layer was opened up in Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Simplify 4 and the Oil Painting Toned IV preset applied. Back in Photoshop a black layer mask was added (ALT+click on layer mask icon to make it black), and just the forward leaves were painted back to add the Simplify filter effect. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase contrast and my SJ Painter Oil Frame was added to give it a canvas feel. You can CTRL+T the frame to get just the amount of brushed effect to add. That was it. Fun to do!…..Digital Lady Syd