Anything Photoshop or Photography

Posts tagged “Nik Viveza 2

Going to Windsor Castle

Going to Windsor Castle
Enjoyed working with this image of a little shopping and restaurant area that led into Windsor Castle in England – lots of different tourists. I find this kind of image totally entertaining! Will just go over the basics as a lot of work went into this image. Mainly did basic adjustments in Lightroom including converting it to black and white. In Photoshop the image was taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio where Precision Detail, Color Theme where some color was added back in some different gray color tones, and Impression where the default was used and the Painting Progress slider set to 0.43 – that is why it is not overly painterly. Added a little pink color, a Nik Viveza 2 filter to clean up some of the lighting issues, several Curves Adjustment Layers, and a Color Lookup to add more pink tones in. On a stamped layer applied Topaz ReStyle’s Wedgewood Blue and Tan preset set to Color blend mode and a Levels Adjustment Layer for final adjustment of contrast. It took a lot of tweaking as the people looked too crisp with some of the settings. I just really liked the feel created by the glass dome and all the activity. Lots of fun…..Digital Lady Syd


On Safari

Image of a display at Universal Studios
This image was taken at Universal Studios-Florida in a gift shop. I thought it was a very interesting display. Just followed one of my basic image workflows for this one. First selected the display from the background. Then added underneath a Texture from 2 Lil Owls (see sidebar for website link), a texture I created a long time ago set to Darker Color at 46%, and an object of just vertical lines on top of it set to 46%.  The actual cut-out layer was opened in Lucis Pro to get the almost illustrative effect. Then some clean up layers and Nik Viveza 2 to direct the eye properly. A Red Channel Luminosity layer, Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle’s Ash Gray and Eggshell on another layer, and a Camera Raw Filter to add grain were the final steps. That was it. I really like the overall effect…..Digital Lady Syd


Abandoned Texaco Station

Image of an abandoned Texaco gas station from 1937
I found this image of an abandoned gas station in 1937 on Highway No. 2 in western North Dakota at Shorpy’s Historic Photo Archive but downloaded the original as a tif file from the Library of Congress. Seemed like a perfect candidate for colorizing in the new Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio. When working with these vintage black and white images, you always need to first adjust the resolution and resize it in Photoshop by going to Image -> Image Size command – set to a resolution of 300 by unchecking the Resample button, inserting 300, then rechecking the button to change the size. Next duplicated the layer in PS and opened up Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Studio and selected my SJ Colorize Black and White Image preset (it is up on the Community Site). Then added: Reduce Noise Adjustment and painted out the foreground in a mask so it only affected the sky; Dehaze Adjustment set to a Strength of 0.39 and Suppress Artifacts to 0.82; and Impression Adjustment using the Default settings changing the Stroke type to Stroke 09 and set the Painting Progress slider to 0.27. Back in Photoshop just did my normal workflow although it took a little more work. Used Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the overall image and several painting layers to smooth out the sky. Lots of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd


Watching the Sky

B&W image of a Siamang Ape
This Siamang Ape lives at the Palm Beach Zoo – he has just finished his breakfast and is getting ready to run to the top of the trees and announce the opening of the Zoo for the other animals. The technique used in this image was presented in a video by Glyn Dewis called Use Photoshop to Take a Picture from Good to Great in 5 Steps – it is based on an effected created by wildlife photographer Nick Brandt. One of my Corel Painter backgrounds was used as a background placed under the ape image. Then used a layer mask to remove the original background. Then basically sharpened the image and then blurred the image in selected areas of the image. Last step involved adding grain into the image. The video goes through most of this. This was a lot of fun to try! Thank you Glyn Dewis for showing us how to do this!….Digital Lady Syd


Beautiful Clouds at Stirling Castle

View from Stirling Castle in Scotland
This image was taken at Stirling Castle in Scotland. The sky was so dramatic that there were many different ways to process the clouds, but I settled on a less dramatic and more sunny feel to the image. It was actually quite an overcast day when this image shot. There was not a lot done to this image. Biggest problem was some noise – both Luminance and Color so Adobe Camera Raw was used to clean it up. I can’t remember the last time I had color noise so this was unusual. On a stamped layer, Lucis Pro was applied and the clouds were painted out in a layer mask to keep them from being too crisp. Nik Viveza 2 and a Red Channel Luminance Adjustment Layer was added. Then I realized I had a slightly crooked image so PS Adaptive Wide Angle Filter was used to straighten it up just a little – worked perfectly! (See my How to Use the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter blog.) Then a border was created using single line rectangle, selecting the outside, adding a layer mask to a stamped layer, and clipping a Black & White Adjustment Layer on top. That was it. What a wonderful place to visit!…..Digital Lady Syd


Feeling Happy

Image of Alice in Wonderland
This is a composite image that I created using stock images and a texture I had created in Corel Painter. The beautiful Alice is from Faestock on DeviantArt. The first step was to create a New Document set to 8 inches X 8 inches at 300 dpi. Next the stock image of Alice was added and the girl was selected and removed from the white background. On this cut out image, an effect used by Corey Barker at Creative Live during the 2017 Photoshop Week was applied. I cannot seem to find another source for this effect but Corey has used similar effects in Photoshop User Magazine and a Kelby One blog. Anyway, the basic effect gave Alice a rather gungy look using different brushes in layer masks. The Alice layers were put in a group. Then the texture was added underneath the group. Selective Color Adjustment Layers and a Curves Adjustment Layer were used to blend this all together. Nik Viveza 2 was added to draw focus to her face. The font is the Old Printing Press Free Version. It is fun to make just a care-free image that makes you smile!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Whisker Cactus

Macro image of a Whisker Cactus
A local hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, labelled this a Whisker Cactus – the red spikes are at the top of the stalk. They had this wonderful cactus garden with several different types. Unfortunately I did not have my macro lens with me, but this image has a pretty nice macro feel to it. A lot of the post-processing was done in Lightroom using the Bad Weather 8 preset by Serge Ramelli with adjustments to the Gradient Filters and Radial Filters. In PS, Lucis Pro (no longer available) was used to just add some texture and sharpening into the cactus only. Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the plant colors. Matt Kloskowski’s technique was used to create a vignette. (See my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog.) On another layer the Sharpen Tool and Blur Tool was used selectively and a 50% gray Dodge and Burn layer was used on the focal point areas. That was it. These cactus are pretty but incredibly sharp!…..Digital Lady Syd


Enjoying a Flower

Image of an Orange-Banded Butterfly
Love this Julia Longwing Butterfly – have never seen one like this around my home. The image was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo which is much further south in Florida. This male butterfly actually lives several months and loves the Passion Vine. The image was cropped way down to emphasize the butterfly. Then Lucis Pro (no longer available) was opened to sharpen up just the butterfly. On separate layers the wings were painted mainly using Gruts (see sidebar for website link) NM Pans Attic brush. 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Dream freebie texture was set to Hard Light at 70% layer opacity. In a layer mask the butterfly was painted back. Kim Klassen’s 2170 with Script texture (not sure it is available anymore) was used around the butterfly. Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust the coloring in the image. Next Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Diffusion filter set to Moderate was applied. A black layer mask was added and just the diffusion effect was applied to the wings and flowers. A Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was added and the Crisp Winter preset was selected. It was set to Hard Light and 27% layer opacity. I decided the color palette was not quite right, so on a stamped layer Topaz Restyle was opened up. A preset was made of the image and then the colors in the palette were just slightly adjusted to get the final look. (See my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog.) Wish these little beauties were in our local…..Digital Lady Syd


Bird of Paradise

Image of a painted Bird of Paradise flower in my yard
I currently have a couple Bird of Paradise blooms on my plant so had to get a few images. This one was extracted in Photoshop and then painted in Corel Painter before bringing back into Photoshop and finishing up the detailing of the flower and adding texture. One of my Pastel textures created in Painter was placed under the flower. Then several layers were placed above using several of my SJ-3 Pastel brush variations (see my How to Create My Favorite Brush blog) and Grut I Qwillo brush (or see sidebar for link to all his brushes) to create the outline. 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set-3 was added and the flower painted out on a layer mask. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the focal point. Did not like the painted strokes completely, so added a few more layers and used Grut NM Tick Tumble to smooth out color in several places. A Sebastian Michaels edge was added. It is fun to paint these beautiful blooms!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Golden Dragon

Image of Nano Lopez's Little Devian Sculpture
I had never seen a Nano Lopez sculpture until my recent visit to St. Augustine where the James Coleman Gallery had it displayed- this piece is called Little Davian. I shot this beauty through the front window in bright daylight so it took a lot of cleaning up to get rid of the reflections . I thought that the dragon was singing into a microphone but he is actually eating a “Dragon Berry” ice cream cone! Need to check out all Nano’s work – it is amazing! I will give you a quick run down of what was done to the image, but many steps were involved to get an effect I liked. First the dragon was run through Lucis Pro (no longer available) to get the edges defined better – it does not really sharpen but gives a similar look. Then PS Select and Mask command was used to extract the dragon from the background. To get the interesting cyan texture on the right side, a grunge type object created in Corel Painter was placed behind the extracted dragon, set to Soft Light and 52% layer opacity.  A Hue/Sat Adjustment Layer was clipped to the layer and set to a Cyan color. A Darken/Lighten 50% gray layer was added. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the color and tone throughout the image – this helped fix the glass reflection problem. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Clarity was used on just the dragon. A Spotlight Layer set to Overlay blend mode was used on the dragon head. 4 Light Leaks were used on the edges – top and bottom set to a little dark red color, right side cyan and left side a warmish orange. 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set – overlay 6 was set to Divide blend mode at 40% layer opacity to darken the edge of image. The font is called Chiller. Last step involved adding Topaz Detail 3 – just gave the overall image some sharpening and emphasized the background texture. Obviously my image does not do justice to the actual beautiful piece created by the artist, but it was a joy to work on the image!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Red Lion in the Tower

Image of Alcazar Hotel Tower's clay red lion face
Took this image recently in St. Augustine of the back of the Alcazar Hotel (Lightner Museum) showing one of the beautiful red clay lions. Henry Flagler had these lions placed over both this hotel and the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) exteriors. To begin in PS, a free action by Chris Spooner called Engraved Effect Medium was used on the whole image. Lots of clean up with a mask. Then Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impressions2 using a Van Gogh preset was applied and the effect was painted off back in PS on the lions face. Melissa Gallo’s Painted Textures Mist on the Lake (no longer available)) was applied twice – one set to Normal and one to Linear Burn at 55% layer opacity. A Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to adjust the color. Then a stamped layer was created (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was placed on top and taken into Topaz ReStyle using the Cream and Plum preset (one of my favorites) was applied to the image and set to Hue blend mode at 76% layer opacity. On another stamped layer Nik Viveza2 was applied to adjust the contrast just right. Last step added just a simple line border.  That was it. I love these beautiful clay lions – they are so striking!…..Digital Lady Syd


Hitching a Ride

Image of a small gorilla hitching a ride on the back of a larger one
This image was taken at the Jacksonville Zoo – this little guy was hitching a ride across the large field for the Lowland Gorillas. The image was first processed in Lightroom using Seim’s Magic – Harsh Sun Fixer preset and then adding Dave Delnea’s Backlight 002 Horiz preset to it to give the interesting lighting effect. Dave’s preset was adjusted before sending the image to Photoshop. Adding this kind of lighting can really pop a boring image. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Detail 3 was applied using my Little Med Large Detail preset – added a black layer mask and painted back the detail just on the back of the gorilla and the little gorilla. On a stamped (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) layer, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was added using these filters:  Darken/Lighten Center, Color Effex: Vintage set to Film Type 2 and 82% overall opacity, Brilliance/Warmth set only to Warmth at 32%, and Glamour Glow to soften the image a little. Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the lighting on the gorillas. I love post processing and painting images from the zoo!…..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


A Pink Orchard

Image of a Pink Orchard
This orchard image was taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida – a wonderful place to take flower images if you are in the area. This image was started several weeks ago so I am not completely sure what I wanted as an end result. This flower began as a purple orchard, but Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 was opened and the Citronella Lily was applied with several adjustments. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Impression’s Fine Brush Scumble was applied. On another stamped layer, Topaz Detail 3 was applied, another composite layer and Lucis Pro was applied, and finally on yet another stamped layer, Topaz ReStyle’s Rustic Red and Orange preset. Sort of amazing all the Topaz effects in this little flower! I used my favorite line brush, Grut’s Ink Pin Clinger – to actually draw around just a little around the petals. Two textures were added: Kim Klassen’s August Trio Traverse blend mode set to Vivid Light at 18% and her Fav Collection Cinnamon set to Multiply blend mode at 65% layer opacity. A couple Curves Adjustment Layers and a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer set to Foggy Night at 55% layer opacity. Another stamped layer was created and Nik Viveza 2 was used to adjust the lighting in the image. A Red Channel Luminosity Curve was applied as a final step. Lots going on here……Digital Lady Syd


The Mighty Bat Flower

Image of Bat Flower at Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando
This unusual Bat Flower taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, is an image I have wanted to post-process for a long time. I keep expecting a little Batman to come flying out of its center! It was a little tricky since it has such unusual antennae-like strands coming out of it, and there was a lot of light issues on the original image. The actual flower has a more brownish tone. I originally post-processed it set to the actual color, but it looked pretty boring. Therefore, I took a little artistic license and changed it to some of the purple shades already in the original image to give it a little pop.

There was mainly just a lot of clean up on this flower. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer and a Color Balance Adjustment Layer were used to adjust that color discussed above. Nik Viveza 2 was used to get the highlights on the flower just right and to darken the edges. A Green Channel Luminosity Curves Adjustment Layer was set to Luminosity blend mode at 73% layer opacity to mainly adjust the contrast on the actual flower. A Matt Kloskowsky Vignette (see my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog) was applied as a last step. Not that much – just a lot of clean up! I think this is one of the most interesting flowers I have ever seen!…..Digital Lady Syd


Just Hanging Out with His Buddies

Image of Alligator visiting with his buddies at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Just thought I would add this image of a bunch of alligators enjoying hanging out at The Rookery at St. Augustine Alligator Farm waiting for that egg that happens to fall out of a nest. Sad but true–sigh! Just my basic workflow here – some Lucis Pro, Camera Raw filter and Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the focus. Some Dodging and Burning, and Luminosity Curve and Black & White Adjustment Layers. Just a lot of fun here!…..Digital Lady Syd


Here comes the Sun!

Image of berries in my back yard
This is an image of some berries taken in my yard recently using my Lensbaby Composer, which give the soft effect. Mainly just a lot of work in Photoshop. This image actually uses three of one of my favorite texture people, French Kiss Textures (see sidebar for website links), to get this pretty effect: Atlelier Musing, Centre Ville, and Bohemian. Her textures are always beautiful and painterly. Lots of my standard adjustment layers were needed to get this effect along with a final adjustment in Nik Viveza 2. Also many layers of clean up and painting. Lots of fun but it took forever! Still, it is reminiscent of the Beatles song…..Digital Lady Syd


An Engraved Leaf

Image of a cement leaf on a walkway at the Ormond Memorial Gardens
This image was taken at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens of a pattern drawn into the sidewalk. The texture in the image was so nice, I decided to add a little pizzaz to it. First Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle preset Loulou and Mandy was applied. This gave it the bright orange and turquoise colors. Three adjustment layers were stacked: Color Lookup using Fuji F125 Kodak 2395, Levels, and Photo Filter using Cyan at 52% density. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Texture Effects2 was applied using a Dingy Cream preset. On another stamped layer, Nik Viveza 2 was applied to adjust corners. A Vibrance and Saturation Adjustment Layer was used. Then I decided to create a brush from the texture of a section selected using the Marquee Tool, turned to black and white, then painted out some more areas, and went to Edit -> Define Brush Preset. Now used the brush to paint in some added texture over the feather and flower and in blank parts of the image to add more texture. I really like the brush I created and hope to use it some more!…..Digital Lady Syd


The Pond Fairy…is always watching you

An image of the Pond Fairy
The Pond Fairy was a lot of fun to create. The original image was a lily pad pond image taken at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens. The sun appeared in the water as a brilliant white glare where the face is located. The fairy face is made from a brush I created from a model’s face. Corel Painter’s ParticleShop Photoshop plug-in was opened and the Cluster brush set to a bright yellow with the Glow checked and was painted on the plant on the left side and little on the tips of the lily pads. A texture from 2 Lil Owl (see sidebar for website link) called Mosaic Set Aqua Grunge – this is one of her best sets in my opinion – was applied and set to Subtract blend mode at 19%layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Diffusion filter was applied to really soften up her face and some of the sharp lily lines. Then it was removed in part of the image with a layer mask. Topaz Restyle was opened and a preset was made of the image at this point. Then the actual image sliders were changed to get a little bit different color palette. This is a great way to get the colors just like you want them, especially if they are pretty close to what you like. The other presets just did not work with this image. (See my How to Use a Topaz ReStyle Trick for Improving Your Image blog for how to do this.) A few splats were placed on a New Layer to give a little fairy dust and water bubble look. On a composite layer on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and opened Nik Color Efex Pro 4 – used Detail Extractor, Glamour Glow and Midnight filters. This layer was set to Multiply blend mode and 24% layer opacity. A group was created for the face layers where the eyes, cheeks and lips were painted. Also the clover hat was added to her image here.  This was from my favorite object site – PixelSquid. The fish are from an image taken in Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It was layered on top of the water lily image, then free transformed to fit the pond area. A Black and White Adjustment Layer and Levels Adjustment Layer were set to get the correct tone and color in them. A layer mask was used to fine tune the fish into the area. Nik Viveza 2 was opened to adjust the focus. The text is a free font called Viner Hand ITC. Quite a few steps but lots of fun. So next time you look into a pond, check out The Pond Fairy who will be watching you…..Digital Lady Syd


Bird in Paradise

Image of a Tri-colored Heron at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

This male Tri-colored Egret is actually retrieving nesting material for his beautiful red-eyed female from a few posts ago. He would fly into the water, find a stick, run back to the nest, give it mate, then take off again to the same spot. I thought he was rather brave since there are alligators in the water at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. This image was not altered as far as what the setting looked like – just added a couple textures, darkened down the image, and finished up with Nik Viveza 2 to even everything out. He definitely had a beautiful wing spread. The frame is from Shadowhouse Creations – Borders CM1 set (could not find a link) where the frame was taken into Select -> Color Range and just the frame was selected. Then placed on its own layer (CTRL+J), bottom layer deleted, and saved as PNG file. Now it can be placed on any image using any color or patterns. A Bevel and Emboss and Satin Layer Styles were used to give a dark wrought iron effect. Overall it turned out to look like a pretty serene place to be!…..Digital Lady Syd