Lighting

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Lighting adjustments

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Original

 

 

I photographed this little house at Brookgreen Gardens recently in midday light.  The flowers that frame the scene were quite bright and the house darker than I wanted. In just a few minutes I created the image I had in mind, highlighting the house.

Open Image and crop if desired

Add new layer – create new layer icon on Layers pallet next to garbage can

Edit – Fill – 50% gray and change the Blending Mode to Overlay

Clicked on the brush and using black and white paint on the 50% gray layer I darkened around the edges and brightened the house.

 

Very simple and non-destructive on its own layer!

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Sailboat

Sailboat at Sunset

I photographed this sailboat at sunset a few years ago on the Outer Banks. It was such a peaceful scene but I’ve never really had the same feeling I had that evening. (see original below)

Today I brought it back to Photoshop and used a cooling filter and now feel the serenity I felt that evening.

You may have some favorites on your computer worth revisiting too!

Original

Sailboat at Sunset original

 

Photoshop Glow

This is an easy method to add mood to your images.

Duplicate Background Layer

Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur – I used 100-130 on these images but it depends on the look you want, so have fun experimenting

Then change your blending mode on the Layers palette to Multiply. You may want to reduce opacity on the top layer.

This can work on scenes too.

Light colored subjects can give a nice, ethereal impression.

 

Finishing Touch 2

Last week I showed you how to add keylines to your greeting cards or other images. This week I’m showing you an easy soft white border.  Your printers generally do not print within 1/4″ of the edge, so this border takes away any issue with that!

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Use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and type 10 px in the Feather box on the top toolbar.  This will soften the edge and give you rounded corners.  This is for a 5×7… if your image is much larger you will need to feather more. Draw a box within 1/2″ of the edge as shown by the marching ants below.

Soft border

Now Cmd/Ctrl Shift I to invert your selection so just the border is selected.  Edit > Fill > White 100%. You will see the feathered edge towards the center.  Ctrl D to deselect the box. You can make a wider border if you like.

Soft border final

 

Greeting Card Finishing Touch

Dilemma: your printer adds a 1/4″ white border on your greeting cards. It looks okay but there are ways to add a more polished finishing touch.

Finishing touch GC

 

In Photoshop, go to Image > Canvas Size and add an inch or more to width and height in White.  Then use the Magic Wand (shortcut W) and click in the white border. Now Ctrl/cmd I to invert the selection and the marching ants should be around the photo area.

Canvas

Edit > Stroke > 6 px > click in color swatch and you can click a color in your image to use. I use Inside to make sure it prints within my printer’s ability. If you choose outside you may lose part of your stroke depending on the width of your white border. This is called a keyline.

Stroke

 

Here is the final look (the black line is just to show you the border)Stroke final

You can add much wider borders of course and experiment with different colors.

 

Detached keyline

Outer Border start

For a detached keyline I create the stroke in a different way.  Let’s say your image is 5×7 and you do not want to add canvas size, making cropping more difficult sometimes.

First, click on the padlock on your image layer. It will become Layer 0.

Add a layer filled underneath your image (Ctrl/Cmd and the new layer icon will add the layer underneath your selected layer.  Edit > Fill > White.

 

Outer

On your Image layer – Edit > Transform > Hold down Shift Opt/Alt and pull a corner handle towards the middle slightly leaving a white border.

Use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw a box in the white area. Then Edit > Stroke > pick your color and size and hit okay.  ( The outer border is to show you the whole card area. You do not add that.)

Outer Border final

Mirror Images

Open image you want to mirror

Crop as desired – I try to use easy numbers like 4×6 for the math!

Image > Canvas Size > put in the height or width that you are doubling depending on whether a vertical or horizontal shot – for instance, if you have a horizontal 4×6, then put 6 in the width and click on the left or right pointer in the center row of the position tool.  I use white for the extension color but it does not really matter as you will fill that in.

Screen

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Photoshop will add extra space below the image in this case.

 

Click in the white space to select.

Ctrl/Cmd Shift I to inverse and select the bridge photo.

Ctrl/Cmd J to put a copy of the bridge on another layer.

Drag the new image to the white area.

Edit > Transform > Flip Vertically.

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You can also flip both layers vertically again to get a different look.

On the layer with the white, use Magic Wand W to select the white and delete those pixels with Ctrl/Cmd X.

If you have trouble with the background layer, double click the lock to make it editable.

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Beautiful Abstracts

 

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Final abstract

You can use this technique on a lot of different photographs with beautiful results. I’ve posted before, but worth repeating. Start your new year off right with fun and creativity!

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Original

1. Choose an image that has symmetry for best results and a defined center.

2. Crop the image to a square format, ie. 6”x6”

3. Make a copy of the Background Layer by selecting it and clicking Ctrl/Cmd J.

4. On duplicate layer – Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Polar to Rectangular

5. On duplicate Layer > Edit > Transform > Rotate 180 degrees

6. On duplicate Layer >Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Rectangular to Polar

7. On Layers palette, click the dropdown and select Flatten Layers.