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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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.

 

Many Versions

 

I enjoy using Smart Photo Editor to come up with new looks for my images. Sometimes I just get an idea by browsing their extensive library of over 6,000 effects and then make my own version in Photoshop… other times I like exactly what it does in their software.

This program operates on its own, so you do not need Photoshop or Lightroom to enjoy it.

The software is $29.95 and you can get an additional 10% with my code of LL1914.

All of these images were photographed with my Canon 5D Mark II and a Tamron 90mm macro lens.

The upper left is the original photo using a background of greenery I photographed defocused to get the blur of color. I printed the image and mounted it on foamcore to use indoors or in the garden.

The flower is a Frizzle Sizzle pansy.  I was buying some plants at a local nursery and they were getting ready to dump a whole flat (18 – 4″ plants).  Lucky me… she gave me the whole flat!  The plants needed a some cleaning up but it didn’t take me long and they now surround my mailbox.  Love the ruffly edge.

 

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.

 

 

Gold Lettering

Icy Branches Gold

I love using gold lettering around the holidays.  If you are familiar with Photoshop layers, give this a try.  Otherwise it might be more difficult, but you can do it!!

I used the font Blacksword for this card, but use whatever you want. The effect will be more pronounced on thicker font styles.

Type your words using the Text tool. Photoshop will make its own layer for the text.

Double click on the T in the text layer and choose a warm orange color. You can change this later.

Now click on the Text layer outside the “T” box to get Layer Styles.  Click on Bevel and Emboss. Be sure to click on that option to get all the adjustments.

Depth – 225

Size 8

Gloss Contour – use 2nd option on the 2nd row – Ring Contour

And there you go!

Gold lettering

 

 

Triptychs

Triptychs can be so much fun and make for beautiful wall hangings.  SmartPhotoEditor software makes it really easy.  Under Borders is a Triptych option. You can adjust the image in this feature.

SmartPhotoEditor has many standard editing adjustments plus over 6,000 special effects. These range from painterly effects, sharpening, borders and much, much more.

It is currently 1/2 off at $29.99 and works as a standalone program, so you don’t even need Photoshop to use it.  You can pay a bit more to have it as a plugin for your Photoshop.

Use code LL1914 for an extra 10%.  So much fun!!

Reworking a Photo

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The original image (below) was very busy and the light was backward of what I wanted. In simple steps, this is what I did.

  1. Cropped image.
  2. I used the Content Aware Fill tool in Photoshop to remove the pipe on upper right. There were other little spots to fix with this tool and the Clone tool.
  3. Added a 50% gray layer and low opacity dark brush (8%) to darken the foreground.
  4. Used the 50% gray layer with low opacity white brush (8%) to lighten the water. You could also achieve Steps #3 and 4 with the Radial Filter in Lightroom.. thanks to Tony Sweet for sharing that tool in his recent ebook. I do most of my work in Photoshop but this is a super option and easy to use.
  5. Finally took the image into Topaz Impression and used Impressionistic by Erin Applebee Photography.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is actually a tiny waterfall in a beautiful woodsy area.