Here is an image of the Cafe Alcazar that is located in the old swimming pool area of the current Lightner Museum (old Hotel Alcazar) in St. Augustine, Florida – one of the best places to grab lunch if you are in the city. I did very little to this image but apply a Topaz Adjust preset called Daylight to Tungsten II which gave the browns the rich tones, sharpened using my LAB sharpening method and added a Curves Adjustment Layer to increase contrast. Topaz Labs did a nice video on their Film and Vintage Effects with Adjust, B&W Effects and Lens Effects that does a good job of explaining how to get this look. I really love the feel of this image – gives a little of that vintage effect the historic location instills……Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Where Am I? (Cafe Alcazar)
Unsharp Mask Filter In LAB Mode
I Didn’t Know That! Curves Adjustment Layers
Quad Tones in Topaz Black and White Effects Plug-in
This whale came to visit the catamaran while I was whale watching (through Hawaii Ocean Sports) – I guess this is unheard of that a whale would come so close to the boat and hang out for 5 minutes like this guy did. Everybody on the boat including the boat personnel were going crazy as the whale would swim under the boat to the opposite side and then swim back under to the other side. He was so close you could almost touch him! He came up at the back of the boat and then turned around and raised his tail at the boat as he left. What a trip! Using my Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V video camera, I was able to get some nice video of the whale although it was hard to be at the right place at the right time with so many people around. What is really nice is that now Lightroom 4 has a limited video editing function. You can actually scrub through your video and select a frame that can be saved as a JPEG (click to open the square to the right of the video timeline and select Capture Frame) which can then be edited in both Lightroom and Photoshop. That is how I got this image.
The Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, and Blacks sliders all had to be reduced and the Contrast was increased to get a good image of his face. In Photoshop Topaz Adjust was opened using the Film Collection Effect Vintage Grunge IV preset. The Detail Strength was lessened a bit, the Warmth slider moved warmer a little, Grain and Vignette turned off, and Transparency slider set to o.25. Back in Photoshop a Hue Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to slightly desaturate and change the Hue in the Red tones on the whale. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to improve contrast. Not bad for a fairly low resolution image. If you like Lightroom and have some video clips, you should take a look and see if you can use some of the frames you captured to add to your photo collection…..Digital Lady Syd
Every now and then I run into a situation where I want to take one of the layers I am working on in Photoshop and save it down as a separate file. Now it is possible to delete all the files and rename the file, etc., etc., etc. but this can take a while to do and it could cause you to lose the file you are working on if you get careless. This week I wanted one of the sky images I had imported into my image a while back to use again and to put in my Sky folder since I like it. (Hover over image to see sky image created from layer in psd file.) I found out there is a little known script sitting in Photoshop that will accomplish just what I wanted to do in just seconds.
Steps to Export Layer(s) to Files in Photoshop:
1. In your image, turn off all layers you do not want to create images of by clicking on the eyeballs on the left of the each layer in the Layers Panel. (To do this quickly, you can highlight the layer you want to export to a file and ALT+Click on the eyeball – all the other layers are turned off immediately.)
2. Go to File -> Scripts -> Export Layers to Files.
3. The Export Layers to Files dialog appears. Fill out as shown. Be sure to capture all the check boxes or you will get image files for each layer in your file.
4. Click Run and that’s it – really quick and easy!
The image is of the Flagler Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida, where Henry Flagler and his family are buried. Topaz Adjust 5 and Topaz Black and White Effects were used on this image (see sidebar for website link). The sky is the one I moved in from an image I took on the International Coastal Waterway near St. Augustine while sailing.
Give this script a try next time you want to break apart an image…..Digital Lady Syd
I am starting to sort through all the plug-ins that are out there and slowly figuring out what really works for my workflow. This is a really hard process since there are so many great plug-ins and some of them give very similar results. I have blogged on this many times showing how the same images look with the various plug-in effects.
I started working on this image – not one I was totally in love with, but the old Flagler Presbyterian Church is so beautiful to look at that I wanted to create that sensation in the image. I began by manipulating the file in Topaz Adjust 5 (see link to website in sidebar) and hit the “Get Lucky” button just for the heck of it – and this really cool illustrated look appeared that I was not sure what to do with it. (Hover over image to see the Topaz 5 illustrated image.) I decided it needed a new sky so I opened up OnOne’s Perfect Mask (see website link in sidebar) and added a sky I had placed below the image. This plug-in is the best one I have found for replacing skies quickly – check out the little holes in the trees where the sky peaks through. Next several different effects were tried but none made me go “Wow” — that is until I decided to go into the Topaz Black and White Effects plug-in (see link to website in sidebar). It took no time at all – in fact I started with the same settings from my “My Office Friend Ted” image which was a totally different type of image. A few things were adjusted but it still was not quite right. Back in Photoshop a Color Balance Adjustment Layer was added to bring out the blues in the sky a bit more to get the right look. Now it looks like I remember it – but it took some effort. Luckily, I had a plug-in that gave me a great start.
I guess I can honestly say I still love both Topaz Adjust and Black and White Effects – they do have that versatility to turn an okay image around. Definitely great plug-ins and reasonably priced too! And OnOne Perfect Mask is the best for skies – still figuring this plug-in out for other types of selections. I hope to have a page set up soon on which plug-ins have made it into my workflow……Digital Lady Syd
Just listened to another interesting video from Topaz Labs on “Creating Striking Night Images.” If you are using or trying any of their Photoshop plug-ins, Topaz always has some interesting videos for creative uses at their Topaz Lab site. I followed the referenced video steps for processing this nighttime image taken on the Las Vegas Strip of Margaritaville. The video suggests that you first use their DeNoise Filter (this image did not require it), Topaz Adjust where they suggest using the Photo Pop preset was used with Shadow slider setting changed to 0, contrast slider moved left a little, and checking Process details independent of exposure box; and finally Topaz Lens Effects using the Single Tone – Hint of Blue Light and then adding some yellow cast to the mix. (See sidebar to get to Topaz’s site to download trials of these products.) The video also discussed taking long exposure nighttime photos. Since this was not a true long exposure night image, I used my Rick Sammon Spicify Soft Artsy preset using settings from the Topaz video “Rick Sammon’s Top Topaz Tricks, Tips and Techniques.” An OnOne PhotoFrame was added to finish off the look.
This image was a lot of fun to work on and pretty easy to do! I am looking forward to trying this processing technique on a serious nighttime image. Give this video a listen if you want some great nighttime tips…..Digital Lady Syd