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Photoshop-aholic

::nigelmoore
11/07/08 7:59 PM GMT
I want to start a thread for people to post our favourite Photoshop recipes. There are so many tips and tricks out there and I'd love to collect some of them in one place. Apologies if this has been done before - I've combed the threads and can't see that it has been.

I'll go first. Here's one of my favourites.

PUNCHING UP DRAB COLOUR

1. Go under 'Image' then 'Mode' and click on 'Lab Color.'

2. Create a duplicate layer of your image by pressing <Ctrl> J.

3. Go under 'Image' and click on 'Apply Image'.

4. In the dialog box that appears, change the blending mode to 'soft light' (unless the default 'multiply' mode looks good to you).

5. You now have a choice of three different effects. Click on 'Channel' in the dialog box and see what the 'a' and 'b' channels look like in addition to the 'lab' channel. Generally the lab channel looks best, but sometimes one of the others does.

6. You now get to determine how intense the colour is. The 'Opacity' setting in the dialog box lets you reduce the strength of the effect. Just play around with different numbers. EDIT: You can also change the opacity in the layers panel, which is to the bottom right of your screen. You'll see the two copies of the image you've created there, with the top one - the one you've applied the changes to - highlighted. Clicking the 'eye' icon to the left of it on and off will show you the difference between the original image (background) and the changed one (layer 1). Well, just above the images you'll see the opacity slider. With the top image highlighted, just click on opacity and slide the slider around until you get a degree of colour change you're happy with.

7. When you're happy with the way your image looks, you need to flatten the image. Click 'OK in the dialog box and then either do <Ctrl> E or go under 'Layer' and then 'Flatten Image'.

8. Finally, convert the image back to RGB color. Go under 'Image' then 'Mode' and click on 'RGB'.

Hope that works for you! Let me know if anything's not clear - and I'm looking forward to seeing all of your favourite recipes here too.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange

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::JQ
11/14/08 12:12 AM GMT
ohh this is a cool thread, heres a tip from me, passed on to me by les/bob, but i use this method to sharpen 99.9% of the time now.

high pass sharpening

open your image
go to the layers palate and duplicate your image
change the blending mode to overlay (you can also use hard light or soft light, but i ususlly stick to overlay)
your image will go really strong colours and contrasty, but ignore the colours and go to filter/other/highpass
the preview window will show a grey picture, adjust the slider
- i usually use between 1 and 3 pixels, but you will be able to judge on your picture how it looks.

if you decide you want the sharpening to be less after you have applied the filter, you can adjust the opacity with the slider in the layers palate.

when you are happy with the results, flatten your image.

this is good for sharpening with far less noise than the usual methods.

ahh i just noticed after id posted this that bob has posted a version too!! opps!!
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::nigelmoore
11/14/08 6:40 PM GMT
Thanks Jan and no worries that it's similar to Bob's recipe. One of the things I'm really interested to see here is how different people do similar things in different ways!
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::tigger3
11/14/08 10:04 PM GMT
I want to keep checking back on this. I wish I had something good to share. =^..^= sandi ♪
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Nature in all her glory is my uplift on life and so is my love of photography. ♪ ♫ ♪sandi ♪ ♫ ♪
.CallieAnn
11/14/08 11:02 PM GMT
Awesome. I am going to try out many of these this weekend, and see what I can come up with! :) This thread will do wonders! haha

-Callie
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Don't worry be happy now :)
::nigelmoore
11/15/08 3:43 AM GMT
Ok here's another one I seem to have been using quite a lot lately. It's the Orton effect, which has had lots of press on Caedes, but tamed slightly.

TAMED ORTON

1. Open your image and create a duplicate layer by pressing <Ctrl> J (<Command J> on a Mac).

2. Repeat step 1 to create another duplicate layer.

3. Go to the 'layers' panel (bottom right) and change the blending mode for this new layer from 'Normal' to 'Screen'.

4. Press <Ctrl> E to merge this layer into the previous one, or go under 'Layer' and click on 'Merge down'.

5. Now press <Ctrl> J to duplicate this layer.

6. With this new layer highlighted, go under 'Filter,' click on 'Blur' and then 'Gaussian blur'. In the dialog box that appears, choose an 'Amount' setting, usually between 15 and 20. You want a strong blur but the shapes should still be visible. When you've got this, click 'Ok'.

7. Now go to the layers panel and change the blend mode from 'Normal' to 'Multiply'. If 'Multiply' is too strong, choose 'Soft Light' - I use this one most often.

8. The previous steps give you your Orton effect, which can be quite overpowering. To tame it, go to the 'layers' panel (bottom right) again and lower the opacity of this dark blurred layer until you start to get a level of blur you're happy with. I like to get a kind of 3d effect without it being obvious that I've used Orton.

7. As you lower the opacity on the blurred dark layer, the image will start to get too bright. To remedy this, click on the middle, bright, layer. Adjust the opacity down from 100% until you get a level of brightness you're happy with.

9. Keep adjusting these two layers (the top dark, blurred layer and the middle bright layer) until you're happy with the effect.

10. To finish, flatten the image by going under 'Layer' and clicking on 'Flatten image'.
0∈ [?]
"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::bean811
11/15/08 4:01 PM GMT
I'll definitely have to try that one...I've been messing around with ways to "tame" Orton's (mostly adjusting levels and sharpness), but haven't been happy with it. Thanks, Nigel!!
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Check out my website
::bean811
11/15/08 6:27 PM GMT
A lot of times I am torn between whether or not I like the blue cast in a image when I shoot in the shade or with a polarizer, etc...sometimes I keep it, sometimes I don't. It all depends upon the situation.

But, if I don't like it...here is how I take it out using selective color adjustments:

1. First, if there are other blues in your image that you do not wish to affect, make a selection of the areas you wish to remove the blue cast with the magic wand or the lasso tool. If, not go right to step 2.

2. Go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color

3. Select "Cyan" from the Colors drop down menu. Set Cyan all the way down to -100% and set Yellow all the way up to 100%

4. Next, select "Blue" from the Colors drop down menu and set Yellow all the way up to 100%. Don't adjust the Cyan settings here...it will render the color purple.

5. Click OK and you'll see that the blue cast is now more of a neutral gray color, which works very well for shadows on rocks, snow, etc.

It all depends on your personal preference, but I usually repeat the steps 2 or 3 more times until the blue cast is completely gone.
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Check out my website
::Con_
11/16/08 1:16 AM GMT
Thank-you Nigel for starting this thread... your recipe for Punching Up Drab Colour threw a knockout punch at one of my hangers-on photos. This thread should never find its way into the Elephant Graveyard! :o)
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MGBWYA
::phasmid
11/16/08 3:53 AM GMT
I just had a thought. Would it be okay to post links to PS tutorials that one finds especially interesting and useful?

???? :)PJ
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We don’t make art to show someone what something looks like. All this requires is eyes (or a lens). Art is supposed to have meaning, emotion, power, or magic. Alan & Mario "FourThirds"
&mimi
11/16/08 5:06 AM GMT
Anyone may link to the PS tuts that they have. :)
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~mimi~
::JQ
11/16/08 3:10 PM GMT
how to make your signature into a brush in photoshop

first you need to create a new blank document... i made mine 115 by 50 pixels but thats going to depend on how big your signature is....

next using your mouse, or if you are lucky enough to have a tablet which makes writing so much easier, sign your name in a 1 pixel brush

next select all

next go to edit/define brush preset, a window comes up so you can name your brush ....
click ok, and voila, your signature will be in the brushes palate... you can use it as a normal brush, small, big, change the colour etc, tis cool! :-)
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.boremachine
11/22/08 11:35 PM GMT
an addition to Jan's 'high pass sharpening' tutorial:
Jan mentioned 1-3 pixels, and if you use this setting and it's not enough, just duplicate (Ctrl-J) the high pass layer to double the effect. I used three layers with setting at 2 pixels :o)
0∈ [?]
Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time                    © Patrick Di Fruscia
::nigelmoore
11/23/08 5:50 AM GMT
Time for another one I reckon. This is less an effect and more a technique - I use it when I want to do something to part of an image but not the whole thing. To keep it simple I've imagined you want to lighten part of the image for this example.

WORKING WITH LAYER MASKS.

1. Duplicate the image by pressing <Ctrl> J.

2. In the layers panel bottom right change the blending mode from 'normal' to 'screen'. The image will look over-bright, but don't worry.

3. Now we're going to mask this bright layer with a black mask. This stops it showing through. Hold down <Alt> and click on the layer mask icon - it looks like a little rectangle with a hole in it, at the very bottom of the layers panel.

4. Your bright layer should disappear and, when you look in the layers panel, you should see a black rectangle next to the bright image layer.

5. Now you can 'paint' in the brighter bits. Press 'B' to get the brush tool and choose a suitable size brush from the brush options top left.

6. Press 'D' to set your background colour to black and then 'X' to set it to white. You can check this by looking at the two overlapping squares towards the bottom of the left hand side. The top one should be white. If it's not, press 'X' again. Now you're ready to paint in white over the black layer mask, which will expose the brighter layer underneath.

7. Now carefully paint over the parts you want brighter. You will need to zoom in close at times and use a small brush (tip - you can make the brush bigger and smaller by pressing '[' and ']' on the keyboard). If you make a mistake and paint over a bit you didn't want brighter, press 'X' to set your background colour to black, then paint over it again to conceal the brighter layer.

8. The painted-over bits might look a bit too bright, but you can deal with this easily. When you've finished painting, adjust the 'opacity' in the layers panel until you get a level of brightness you like.

9. One more tip. To see the bits you've painted in on the layer mask, <Alt> click on the black rectangle in the layers panel. This shows you any bits you've missed and makes it very easy to paint them in. To return to the image, just click on it. But if you're going to do more painting, don't forget to click on the black rectangle again to select it or you'll end up painting in black or white on the image.

10. When you're done, flatten the image by pressing <Ctrl> E.

That's it! It might sound complicated but it's not. I've used painting in brighter bits as an example here, but you can use it for all kind of things. Sharpen an image then paint in only the sharp bits you want; darken an image by changing the blend mode to 'multiply' and painting in only the darker bits you want; even punch up the colour using my recipe at the top of the thread, then paint in only the bits where you want the colour punched up...and so on.

One last comment. In this version I've used a black layer mask and painted the changes in. You can do it the other way round. Instead of <Alt> clicking on the layer mask icon to create a black mask, just normal click on it to create a white one. This way the new layer will show through and you can paint the changes out where you don't want them by painting over them in black.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
&purmusic
11/27/08 1:38 AM GMT
Way ... wayyyyyy ... too much to read. I'm a busy guy. Any Reader's Digest versions out there?

:oD


Here is one. Think Orton's meets illustration.

Here we go:

The 'illustrative' technique, simplified:

Duplicate your Background layer twice. Hide the top layer (named Background copy 2 if you haven't renamed it).

Working with the Background copy layer selected (again, if you have not renamed the layers ... and you are well advised to do so):


Go to (in CS2 Photoshop) ... Filter >> Smart Blur ... and for the drop down menus; namely 'Quality' ... select ... 'High'. And then for that of 'Mode', select ... 'Edge Only'.

Bit of experimentation with the Radius and Threshold values/settings is involved. Try the default settings. And/or, play around with the values yourself. The preview window will inform you as to how much detail you are pulling out of the image. It will appear as a negative.

Then ...

Go to ... Image >> Adjustments >> Invert. This will convert the negative image. Now, you should see black lines on a white background.


Then ...

Go to ... Filter >> Artistic >> Cutout.

Again, a bit of expermentation is involved. Suffice to say that the following settings work reasonably and generally well:

Number of Levels: 7
Edge Simplicity: 4
Edge Fidelity: 2


Then ...

Unhide your top layer; Background copy 2 ... go to ... Filter >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur.

Here, and with regards to the value/setting of the Radius ... you want to 'blur' enough of the detail and fine lines, but, not overdo it. Experiment.


Then ... and without doing anything else in the interim, or you lose the ability to 'Fade' the blur results applied ... change the Blending mode to 'Darken' (go to ... Edit >> Fade..).

Depending on the image you are working with, adjusting the Blending and/or Opacity can provide an assist to the treatment or effect, if you will.

Add a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment layer ... make adjustments via the slider controls ... annnnnd ... done.


The key to producing a post worthy or enjoyable image is experimenting with the Radius and Threshold settings. That, and identifying an image that 'works' with the above technique. Something ... I, er ... am working on meself. :oP
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
::rp64
12/05/08 1:47 PM GMT
Ok Photoshop-aholics...a challenge for you. Not much of one probably, but it's got me stumped. This one was given good comments for its composition, but universally hailed as having the snow over-exposed. No matter what I do I can't 'turn down' the snow, without losing detail in the water. If anyone wants to take a run at it and let me know how they did it, it would be much apprecated!

Rich
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You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
.boremachine
12/05/08 4:48 PM GMT
@Rich:
Here's my try:
Like a River That Don't Know Where It's Flowin'...
I used PS:
* click Select/Color Range
* click Image
* click the brightest white
* click Selection
* turn Fuzziness to about 30
* click Select/Modify/Smooth
* Sample Radius to about 5
* press Ctrl+C to copy selection
* press Ctrl+Shift+N for new layer
* press Ctrl+V for paste the white area into new layer
* at layers turn mode to Multiply
* press Ctrl+J to duplicate new layer (several times till its still white but not too dark on the edges)
That was just a quick demo, you also can copy different areas by selecting different values at Color Range/Fuzziness ;o)

Chris
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Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time                    © Patrick Di Fruscia
::rp64
12/05/08 6:09 PM GMT
Thanx Chris...I wish I could say I love it...but I can't open it or even download and save it.

Rich
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You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
::casechaser
12/05/08 7:33 PM GMT
Thanks Chris, that's excellent instructions. I will give it a try, too.
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.boremachine
12/05/08 8:21 PM GMT
Hey Rich!
Try this jpeg version:
http://boremachine.xail.net/gallery/
upload/images/rp64-1228447405.jpg

Regards
Chris
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Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
::rp64
12/05/08 8:53 PM GMT
Wow! That did it! And that looks great...I'll have to try it myself! Thanx Chris!!

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
.boremachine
12/05/08 8:57 PM GMT
my pleasure ;o)
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Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
::rp64
12/06/08 12:06 AM GMT
BTW, Chris, feel free to post your version to 'reworks' if the spirit moves you!

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
::0930_23
12/06/08 12:09 AM GMT
Great rework Chris and thanks for the "How to"

Tick
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I'll meet you at the edge of the sunlight, just behind the shadows. Anyone who does not like clouds, does not like to dream. The Ghost
::rp64
12/06/08 4:51 AM GMT
Chris - just followed your directions step by step...excellent, thanx again.

Opinion pls. I suspect many of you that have posted tips here are far more advanced than the average user here. If I, or others, have specific questions, like the one Chris just helped me with, should we post them here, or should I start start a new thread called "How do I..." ?

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
::nigelmoore
12/07/08 12:30 AM GMT
I like the idea of 'how do I' questions Richie, please go ahead and post them. Thanks to Chris for answering your last one and showing me a new technique too.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
.boremachine
12/07/08 12:40 AM GMT
I'm happy if I can show you something new.
It's all a matter of give and let give ;o)
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Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
::rp64
12/07/08 11:02 PM GMT
This is where a "works in progress" gallery would come in handy. I have a post with the opposite proble, where the snow is to grey...would love to have somewhere here to post it where other could go and have a run at it and then upload their result for others to work with/build on.

~~Hint, hint Mr Big Eye in the Sky~~

;-)

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
.boremachine
12/07/08 11:26 PM GMT
Hey Rich, hand it over. I'll see what I can do ;o)
0∈ [?]
Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
::rp64
12/08/08 3:11 AM GMT
Appreciate the offer - again. How about this. Dro me your e-mail and I'll drop it to you. Play with it, shoot me the instructions for what you did...let me play with it to, and then we'll trade end results ? I learn best by doing, so I think to follow the instructions without having seen your end results would be beneficial.

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
.boremachine
12/08/08 3:22 AM GMT
mail is in your pm :o)
0∈ [?]
Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
::nigelmoore
12/08/08 3:52 AM GMT
I've just been inspired by one of Jimbo's shots to post this recipe.

FAKE INFRARED

1. With your image open, click on the adjustment layer icon (bottom right in the layers panel, it looks like a half black, half white circle) and choose 'channel mixer' from the menu.

2. In the dialog box that appears, click to place a tick in the box next to 'monochrome'. Your image will turn black and white.

3. Now type the following numbers in the boxes next to the colours: Red -50, Green +200, Blue -50.

4. That's all there is to it. Now you can adjust the sliders as you like to get the infrared effect that you want. When you're done, click 'ok' to close the dialog box and then <Ctrl> E to flatten the layers.

For an even easier infrared effect, you can just go to channel mixer as above, then click on the 'preset' field at the top of the dialog box and choose 'Black and White Infrared (RGB)'.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
.SatCom
12/08/08 1:10 PM GMT
Thanks Nigel...I've been looking for something like this for Infrared.....and this outdoes anything I have read.

Also thanks to all of you pro's who have posted tips....You have made this little hobby for people like me more enjoyable than I ever could have imagined.

Paul
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Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter. - Ansel Adams....... My Gallery
::Dunstickin
12/08/08 2:33 PM GMT
Here's another from the 'Owd Sod'

Making Brush-Edge Frames

Quick & Easy

Open up a new blank file..white background.

Click on your rectangular marquee tool, and draw a rectangle all around the white background, about a quarter of an inch inside the edge.

Fill the inner box with Black....(Edit > Fill >)

Now you will have a white border and a black rectangle.

Remove the 'marching ants' (Ctrl+D or Select > Deselect)

Take the 'brush' tool..and using a soft edge....Gentle 'rub' away the edge of the Black, next to the white border!

This will now give you the 'Faded Edge' look...

Different variations of this are, changing the size of the brush, or the hardness!

Once you are satisfied with how it looks, then it is ready for use!

Leave this on screen. go back and select an image of your choice.

The two are now on screen. making sure the 'Image' is selected...select the 'Move Tool'..click on the image, and 'drag' it over onto the 'Frame'..Resize in the 'frame' so it fits ..

Go to the layers palette, and click on the arrow for the drop down box (Where it says 'Normal)

Scroll down to and click 'Screen'!...and your image will fit inside the frame!...

Using the 'Move' tool...move and resize the image around to your satisfaction!...

When happy..Flatten...'Layer > Flatten'

NOTE:..this is the basic way to do this… a lot of variations are on offer, like different settings in the brush tool palette and even ‘different’ brushes can be used too!

Another way, you can 'swap' the colours around..ie 'Black Border - White Inner;

Have fun!

OB
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* To Believe in myself and have faith in my Photography * OwdBob'sGallery
::jeenie11
12/08/08 2:43 PM GMT
this is very cool. i feel like i'm being let in on secrets. i wish i had a secret to share. to those who have shared, thanks so much!
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i am always extremely grateful for the kind comments and suggestions that you make. sorry i'm so far behind in my comments! Please Visit My Gallery
::0930_23
12/08/08 7:12 PM GMT
Thanks Owd Timer for the information on making brush edge frames. I am like Jen, I appreciate all those that let us in on how to do various things. If anyone wants to know about deer hunting, give me a call. lol

Tick
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I'll meet you at the edge of the sunlight, just behind the shadows. Anyone who does not like clouds, does not like to dream. The Ghost
::nigelmoore
12/12/08 11:18 AM GMT
Here's another really simple one that some of the images I've looked at recently made me think of. Lots of you probably know this already but in case you don't:

SHADOW / HIGHLIGHT TOOL

This is really useful for those shots where you need to 'open up' the shadow on what you're photographing. It works better on some file formats than others - Jpegs will of course stand less tinkering than RAWs.

1. I always do this on a new layer so that I can tone it up or down without affecting the original. So as before, press <Ctrl> J to create a new layer.

2. Go under 'Image' then 'Adjustments' and choose 'Shadow/Highlight'. At the bottom of the dialog box that appears is a tick box with 'Show More Options' next to it. Tick it!

3. The default setting with this tool is 50%, so the shadows in your image will now have been lightened. It generally overdoes it and makes the image look 'milky,' so set the 'Amount' slider under 'Shadows' back to zero.

4. Gradually push the 'Amount' slider across to the right until the shadows open up as much as you want. Don't worry if the image starts to look milky again, you can fix that next.

5. Now grab the 'Tonal Width' slider and move it from left to right - left will turn the image darker, right will turn it lighter - until you remove any milkiness and get a look you like.

6. Now grab the 'Radius' slider and push it up to about 300. That usually works for me, but you can play about with it until you get a setting you like.

7. You can do the same thing with the highlight sliders, which will crunch down the highlights in your image. I use this one less, but sometimes it's useful to help the subject of your photo really stand out from the background.

8. Finally, and this slider can really make a difference, go down to the 'Midtone Contrast' slider at the bottom. I just move this a fraction to the right and left, watching what it does to the image. Again you'll see that it helps your subject stand out from the background - just leave the slider at a position that works for you.

9. That's it. Click 'OK' to close the dialog box. Now of course, because you've done this as a layer, you can go down to the layers panel and adjust the opacity to tone it down if you want to. And if you want to be really smart, you can even add a layer mask (see the recipe I did earlier) and paint in the shadow/highlight layer only where you want it.

10. Once you've got the image looking the way you want it, press <Ctrl> E to flatten it (or go under 'Layer' and click 'Flatten Image'.

I use this on pretty much every image I edit. I hope you find it useful!
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::nigelmoore
12/14/08 10:47 AM GMT
At the risk of this becoming a monologue, Tick has inspired me to post this one today:

CHECKING HOW YOUR IMAGE WILL APPEAR WHEN POSTED

Lots of times here I've seen people saying that their image was darker or less colourful when it appeared on Caedes than it is on their own screen. It used to happen to me, so I researched it. Here are two ways to check how your picture will look when posted.

METHOD ONE - PHOTOSHOP

1. With your image open, go under 'View' then 'Proof Settings' then 'Windows RGB'. For a Mac do the same and choose 'Macintosh RGB'. This sets the proofing colour space to the same one that will be used when the image is displayed in a web browser.

2. Now go under 'View' again and click on 'Proof Colors'. The image will be displayed using the proofing colour space, Windows or Macintosh RGB.

3. I try to remember to do this when I start work on an image so that I'm working on it as it will appear. I've yet to find a way of opening the image using the proof colour space as the default, so if anyone knows how to do it please let me know.

METHOD TWO - WEB BROWSER

1. This couldn't be simpler. Navigate to the image you want to check using the file browser (not Photoshop or other image editing programme).

2. Right click on the file, select 'Open With' from the menu that appears, and then click on your web browser.

3. The image will be displayed in your web browser as it will appear when uploaded.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::rp64
12/14/08 4:40 PM GMT
Nigel - the wealth of information you are sharing is SO very helpful please don't worry about this becoming a monologue. Another thank you to everyone who has shared their knowledge here.

Rich
0∈ [?]
You never get old until your regrets outweigh your dreams...
::0930_23
12/14/08 6:03 PM GMT
I echo GBBx3's thanks. Everyone who has shared their knowledge is to be commended. Thanks Sir Nigel for doing so much. If you can teach me how to do something, you have special skills. lol

Tick
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I'll meet you at the edge of the sunlight, just behind the shadows. Anyone who does not like clouds, does not like to dream. The Ghost
::biffobear
12/18/08 7:55 PM GMT
Some of our members have asked how i get my images to look as they do.Well basically it's the Orton Effect with a little tweaking here and there.

Not all images are suitable for this treatment,But landscapes,Nature and suprisingly portraits are.So here goes



Step 1 open the image you wish to work on.

Step 2 Duplicate it and close the original image.

Step 3 Image..Apply image in the blending mode select screen then OK
this will lighten the image.

Step 4 Duplicate the image on the filter tab select Gaussian Blur and use the slider to adjust this to about 20 pixels,
From the toolbar select the move tool,Press and hold down the shift key at the same time drag the blurred copy onto the original and release.This ensures both images are perfectly alligned

Step 5 On the layers pallet in the drop down box select Multiply.

Step 6 flatten the image.You can now adjust hue saturation,Highlights shadow or even sharpen it a little if you wish.It's all a matter of taste.

Step 7 This is how i manage to bring out the grasses etc:,As in the Alnmouth Bay shot.On the toolbar select the brush tool make sure it's the dodge tool set it to about 20 any more and you will get overburn and anyway if you just keep rubbing you will eventually get the required effect.Then save the image and wallah that's it....Happy Rubbing...Richie.
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Schizophrenia beats being alone.
::jeenie11
12/19/08 3:46 AM GMT
thanks, richie. you're another generous member of the group!
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i am always extremely grateful for the kind comments and suggestions that you make. sorry i'm so far behind in my comments! Please Visit My Gallery
::0930_23
12/19/08 5:03 AM GMT
Thanks again to all of you and welcome with your helping hands Biffo.
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I'll meet you at the edge of the sunlight, just behind the shadows. Anyone who does not like clouds, does not like to dream. The Ghost
::nigelmoore
12/19/08 8:55 AM GMT
Ah so that's how you do it! Thanks Richie, I feel some more experiments coming on.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::verenabloo
01/29/09 12:14 AM GMT
The recipe to make my "liquefy" creations is so very simple. But here are
some steps for trying it. It's relaxing and fun and I have a lot to learn
yet, many more things to do, but this is a "simple beginning" for those
who would love to give it a try.

1.Open Photoshop and open IMAGES.
2.Scroll down to Liquefy, click on it.
3.That takes you to the window where your photo is able to be
worked with artisticly.
4.On the left are the "tools" to use for the shapes you will want to try
out for your creation.
5.On the right are tool options, you can choose whatever brush size
you wish, and the pressure put on by the brush.
6.If you are not happy with how your creation is looking, just click on
REVERT and you will have the original creation appear in this window.
7.When you are totally happy with the creation, just click on OK and
then you will be taken back to Photoshop. It will show you the new
creation when done.
8.Save it to wherever you wish, I go from there to Paint Shop and do
framing and other work there. I like the designs Paint Shop has. But
you can do whatever you like at this point.
9.I hope this helps a bit.It's worth a try, and if I can help a little more,
please feel free to PM me.

This is a awesome idea, this thread of your Nigel! I am always wanting
to try more Photoshopping...but never know just what to do, so maybe
now more avenues will open for me. Sure am going to save this to a special folder and make some hard copies too. Thanx a million for this
whole idea of yours!

Try it.......you'll for sure like it!!...Verena
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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
::jeenie11
01/29/09 3:48 AM GMT
thanks so much verena. i've always loved the way you do this with flowers. now i can try!
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AVATAR BY PJ............... i am always extremely grateful for the kind comments and suggestions that you make. Please Visit My Gallery
::nigelmoore
01/29/09 6:47 AM GMT
Great stuff Verena, thanks so much for the recipe!
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::JQ
01/29/09 10:14 PM GMT
heres another recipie for ya...

how to isolate an object and put it on a white background.
first, select the edges of your object carefully, be as acurate as you can, i have been experimenting with the pen tool, which you can then convert to a selection in the paths palate. then go to select, refine edges, in there you can smooth the edges, feather or contract the edges in or out a pixel or so and just generally tidy up the selection , you can preview what you have just done in the window. after you have clicked ok, next go to selection/invert selection, then selection/modify/feather by one or two pixels, and then, and heres the clever bit, press the delete button on your keyboard, and wham bam, your background disappears and leaves you with a nice clean white background and your object isolated! takes patience and playing around a bit, but its the easiest way to isolate an object that i have found so far

hope all that makes sense!
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::Dunstickin
01/30/09 8:46 AM GMT
Can I add another way to Jan's excellent tutorial!..

I love doing this kind of thing, but with a scanner!...

Before beginning, cover the scanner base with a clear protective plastic/cellophane sheet, (Available cheap at stationers!)
This is so the surface won't be marked or scratched!

Take a subject..(Jan's flower and petals, for instance!) and place them face down on the 'sheet' and arranged to your satisfaction!....cover these with either white piece of card/paper for a 'high-key' look...or black card/paper for a black background!....(Just lay the card on top of your chosen item)
leaving the scanner lid open..scan at it's highest resolution into your imaging programme!...and 'Viola'!!!
The scanner actually gets a better picture than most modern cameras!....

Subjects to use are endless for this project!...I have even used a small whole fish in the past, a bit smelly and messy...hence the protective covering on the scanner screen!...but the finished picture was a stunner!...(Sorry, I don't have that one now!)

The bonus is, that you can do this at home when the weather won't let you out with your camera!...

try it and see!...
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* To Believe in myself and have faith in my Photography * OwdBob'sGallery
::JQ
01/30/09 1:16 PM GMT
make sure you have an adult's permission to carry out the above task kids! wet fish and electricity can be dangerous. :-) grin.
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::Dunstickin
01/30/09 7:17 PM GMT
Or...you can used a box of popcorn eh!....
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* To Believe in myself and have faith in my Photography * OwdBob'sGallery
::nigelmoore
01/30/09 8:47 PM GMT
Fish recipes? Well I never expected to see any of them here ;-)
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::verenabloo
02/02/09 1:36 AM GMT
Something I've done with my scanner is to lay out whatever you wish, and then take off the scanner lid...top...and instead place on top of your objects lay down either pretty paper, a scarf, fabric such a satin, silk etc., or anything that will lay over your treasures, it will show up very nicely and make for a different background altogether. Verena(gosh I love all this new creative stuff!!!)
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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
::LynEve
02/08/09 4:02 AM GMT
This is all great stuff! - read but not fully digested yet.

I am steeling myself to crank up my PS and once again for possibly the 100th time try to make sense of layers.
I have this mental block with them :) I think I am a one layer person lol

Thanks to all contributors to this thread - it is a great idea.

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The question is not what you look at, but what you see ~ Marcel Proust
::nigelmoore
02/08/09 7:40 AM GMT
Thanks for the great scanner idea Verena. When I was younger we used to do something similar with the photocopier at work. Only we didn't use fabrics or scarves etc ;-).
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
::verenabloo
02/10/09 1:14 AM GMT
I am bad about layers too, but now maybe I can do it.We used to put our hands and the kids hands on the scanner, made a copy and kept it for the time years later, when they've grown up and have kids of their own. Pretty special that was. We don't seem to do that anymore. It's so great to have this thread tho. Thanx a ton for your idea Nigel. And for others bringing in their wonderful "recipes." Anyone for a bit of delicious chocolate cake now?!
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There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying things which are beyond the power of our will.
::LynEve
02/10/09 3:02 AM GMT
Is it a chocolate layer cake Verena ?? :)
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The question is not what you look at, but what you see ~ Marcel Proust
.Ramad
02/11/09 7:01 PM GMT
Here's one that may be helpful to someone: (Sorry if it has been mentioned before).
How to remove fog in a photo or glare due to photo having been taken through glass.
1. Ctrl J to make a new layer.
2. Go to Levels - New Adjustment Layer - Levels
3. Click OK on the window that appears.
5. Now a diagram appears with a slider mark at the bottom.
6. Slowly move the slider to the right. The fog just vanishes! Slide till you are satisfied that the picture is just right.
7. Flatten image.
I also do this when I use lighting effects and the picture turns greyish with too much light.
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If practice makes perfect and nobody is perfect, then why practice?
::verenabloo
02/13/09 1:49 AM GMT
ACtually, it's chocolate layers with dark cherry and almond filling. Sound good? And the "frosting" is Nutella!! yummmmm
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Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.
.Ramad
02/21/09 2:30 PM GMT
Re.my above entry - if only part of the image is foggy, mark it off with the lasso tool or the marquee as required and carry out the same procedure. If the image gets too dark when you remove the fog, merge the layers in the dark condition and try adjusting the brightness and contrast in the normal way.
0∈ [?]
If practice makes perfect and nobody is perfect, then why practice?
::rp64
04/03/09 2:58 AM GMT
A bump to the top. Even with nothing new to offer, there is so much good stuff here it deserves to remain near the top.
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.SatCom
04/09/09 1:35 PM GMT
I don't know if this is a technique or more of an added extra.

How to get more reflections or "pop" out of your water images.

1. Work you image to the point of being finished...however and whatever process you are using.

2. Then in PS or Elements, choose the brush tool with a fairly large brush. Then choose color burn (Background set to black).

3. Set you opacity somewhere between 3 and 6 (6 works well for me).

4. Then brush over the water giving it a slightly darker more reflective image.

5. Play around with it a bit to find what suits your taste and I hope this helps and have fun.
You can do this with just the image or with a layer added...if you choose the layer route, you might have to set the opacity at a higher level.
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Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter. - Ansel Adams....... My Gallery
::rp64
05/28/09 2:52 PM GMT
So much great stuff here...just a bump to the top...
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up and totally worn out, screaming "WOO HOO - What a Ride!"
::nigelmoore
06/23/09 7:08 AM GMT
Here's a new one that I want to post after reading some of the comments on my 'lemur' shot. It's a technique I use fairly often, but is only suitable if you're working with RAW files. Like some of the other posts here I learnt this from a book, but I'm not sure I'm allowed to say which one. It involves working with layers, so you might want to read my post on that before reading this one, if you haven't already. This is really only suited to images with edges that will take a lot of sharpening (cars, buildings, rocks etc) or where part of an image will take a lot of sharpening, like the eyes on my lemur. It will make a mess of shots with soft edges, like foliage or people!

LAB SUPER SHARPENING

1. When you've finished editing your image and flattened it, change the mode to lab colour (go under 'Image' then 'mode' then 'lab').

2. Now press <Ctrl> <J> to create a new layer. Or go under 'Layer' 'New' and 'Duplicate layer'.

3. Now, in the layers panel bottom right, click on 'Channels' and then 'Lightness'. Your image will change to black and white.

4. Now open the 'unsharp mask' dialogue box - 'Filter' 'Sharpen' 'Unsharp Mask'. Enter the following settings: Amount 500, Radius 1, Threshold 3. It looks like this is an impossible amount of sharpening, but trust me and click 'OK'.

5. Now open the 'unsharp mask' dialogue box again and enter the same settings again. Your image will look horribly over-sharpened. Click on the 'Amount' slider and drag it all the way across to the left (0). Now gradually slide it back to the right, watching what it does to your image, until you get to a point where it just looks a little over-sharpened. On the right image this will be somewhere between 20 and 50.

6. Click on 'OK,' then change the mode back to RGB colour ('Image' 'Mode' 'RGB'). A box will flashup asking you if you want to flatten the image, just click 'Don't flatten'.

7. Now you will see the colour version of your sharpened image. Sometimes the image will look right just as it is, but most of the time there is a bit more work to do. Down in the layers panel bottom right you can now lower the 'Opacity' slider to reduce the amount of sharpening until it's as you want it. If you find an opacity level that works, you're done.

8. If you only want part of the image sharpened however, you can now mask the sharpened layer and 'paint in' the sharp bits. For this bit you need to read my 'Working with Layer Masks' post higher up in the thread. That technique will work with an ultra-sharp layer as well as any other type of layer. In my 'lemur' image I applied super-sharpening, adjusted the opacity till the eyes were sharp but natural looking, applied a black layer mask then 'painted in' just the eyes.

I hope that all makes sense - let me know if you try it and have any questions!

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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+philcUK
06/23/09 9:13 PM GMT
I'm not sure about this Nigel - LAB is a specific colour module and as regular sharpening algorithms rely solely on framinng pixels in monochrome borders the colour formula would actually make little or no perceptible difference. if you want really good sharpening clarity you should either use some good glassware or sharpening software other then the regular USM function. photoshop's own smart sharpen is better the USM and there are many third party shapening tools better still than that.
0∈ [?]
A smart bomb is only as clever as the idiot that tells it what to do
::nigelmoore
06/23/09 10:02 PM GMT
Thanks for the message Phil, good to hear from you. The point of using Lab is that you avoid the artefacts or 'halos' that come with sharpening a colour image. This technique comes from Dan Margulis, and I use it very often. Personally, I only apply any form of sharpening at all in Lab mode, having compared the amount of sharpening I can get away with in Lab and RGB on many, many occasions. I can sharpen a lot more in Lab without ruining the photo. The technique works for me, but each to his own - I am quite keen to share the techniques that work for me here, but that doesn't mean there aren't other, better techniques for the same thing. That's kind of the point of this thread, we already have different ways of doing similar things posted here and it's good to learn how to do what I do better. Are there any techniques you would like to share that you find particularly effective on your own photos?
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+philcUK
06/24/09 6:53 AM GMT
i try to avoid any sharpening if i can once the image has been converted from RAW. if i have to then i tend to stick to using smart sharpen with a 100%/0.4 radius setting or the NIK sharpening software which also works quite well.
0∈ [?]
A smart bomb is only as clever as the idiot that tells it what to do
::nigelmoore
06/24/09 7:05 AM GMT
Haven't tried NIK but I'll have a look at it. I wouldn't sharpen in anything other than RAW though, no, I agree that all the sharpening should be done before the file gets converted.
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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+philcUK
06/24/09 10:16 AM GMT
As a general note - I know that a lot of photoshoppers extol the values of working in LAB, ProPhoto etc. but you must also remember that every time you switch between colour modes you are compromising the actual image data slightly – even in 16-bit to a lesser degree – as is also the case when applying filters or adjustments. Consequently, any benefits that you see in the changes you make could be lost in the conversion process back again. The same is true of colour alterations that you make in LAB mode, as the chances are that they will be out of the gamut of the space you convert back to finally and maybe clipped resulting in unwanted banding or artefacts. The best rendering intent to use in these circumstances would be Perceptual.
0∈ [?]
A smart bomb is only as clever as the idiot that tells it what to do
::fogz
06/26/09 2:43 PM GMT
I am a little confused about all this colour stuff but I guess I will get the hang of it eventually. Regarding doing any sharpening before converting from RAW, from any Photoshop instruction videos that I have watched they always say to put the sharpening back to zero before converting, as sharpening is the very last thing that should be done - and bearing in mind that most people will work on an image after changing basic settings in RAW and converting to use in Photoshop, using dodge and burn etc., then it makes sense to sharpen after that has been done. That is not to say that is correct, but it just shows that there are 101 ways of doing any process in Photoshop. Just don't ask me how to do anything though, because my methods are totally by trial and error and probably not written down anywhere! lol!
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..thanking you in advance for your comments. Please know that all your comments are appreciated....." Live well, love much, laugh often!" .... mygallery
::100k_xle
06/26/09 5:01 PM GMT

Way Number 102 Patti.
I always do Noise Reduction last. I've found if I've oversharpened an image and missed it then it helps take off the double image blurring sometimes occured with over sharpening. My eyes aren't that Great anymore. Probably not the Best last step to take but what the Heck. Different PhotoStrokes for Different PhotoFolks! LOL

E J
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This Image GRABBED my EYE. That's Why I Stopped By. Thanks For Sharing ! Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
.Ramad
09/23/09 10:27 AM GMT
Removing fog : I use Photoshop elements 7 and photofiltre studio for my photos. I have found that the best way to remove fog or haze is to use a coloured layer of very pale grey and invert it. Photoshop Elements doesn't have the "invert" function for colored layers but Photofiltre has it. Most photos taken in very bright sunshine will look better after this treatment. I think you don't need Photofiltre Studio for this function but just the free version of photofiltre will do.
0∈ [?]
If practice makes perfect and nobody is perfect, then why practice?
.boremachine
09/23/09 4:40 PM GMT
Hi Raj!
Which type of blending mode is that?
Soft Light?
Greetings, Chris
0∈ [?]
Take Nothing But Pictures - Leave Nothing but Footprints - Kill Nothing But Time --- © Patrick Di Fruscia
+purmusic
09/24/09 12:00 AM GMT
Dovetailing on Raj's post above ... a tutorial for removing the 'blue haze' that sometimes occurs, particularly and with respect to images that have some inherent elevation depicted:

Lunacore Photoshop Training - "Remove a Blue Haze"


For more on removing haze, local contrast adjustment, etc ... go here.

(/\ ... :oP )
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"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
.Catharina1
09/24/09 10:34 AM GMT
Wow, I can learn a lot from all you experts... but I need more time ; ) Gr Mich
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::egggray
09/24/09 1:15 PM GMT
I am going to buy Photoshop Elements 7. It is on sale at Amazon for $66.00, plus a $20.00 mail in rebate, total cost $46.00. I know Elements 8 is coming out next month also. I will come back here and try some of these ideas, Great thread, Thanks.
0∈ [?]
If you wish to purchase framed photos, prints or greeting cards of my work please visit my website .http://www.redbubble.com/people/ziggy7
.Ramad
09/29/09 12:46 AM GMT
Answer to Chris's question : Sorry I did not see it earlier. In photofiltre you can adjust the intensity of the coloured layer (minimum 10%) and you only need to click on invert to get the result. Change the shade of grey on the colour diagram as you like and intensity of the layer after that as mentioned above.

Thanks a lot Les - I get often this blue haze especially around treetops when it is sunny. I had been trying to remove it by reducing the blue saturation but with "Levels" it works beautifully. Have learned something today!

0∈ [?]
If practice makes perfect and nobody is perfect, then why practice?
+purmusic
09/30/09 12:26 AM GMT
Raj ... for photographic editing and post processing tips provided, please send cookies to:


Me

c/o Caedes.net
**P.O. Box 02
The Art of Here and Now, Caedesia

And insure your parcel, please. Crumbs are good, still ...

:oP


(** - *caedes got dibs on the 'P.O. Box 01' ... I drew a shorter straw >:o| ... :oP)
0∈ [?]
"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
::nigelmoore
09/30/09 3:37 PM GMT
Ok let's see if this one gets me any cookies. I have bribed the postman to divert P.O. Box 2 to me.

PERFECTIONIST'S WHITE BALANCE CORRECTION

This one is for Curves adjustments in Photoshop, where you need to identify neutral grey to set the white balance properly. Sometimes it's hard to find the grey, so here's a way of doing it.

1. Create a new layer. Go under 'Layer' and click on 'New.' When the dialog box appears click 'Ok'.

2. Now go to 'Edit', click 'Fill' and under 'Use' in the dialog box that appears click '50% gray'. Your photo will grey over.

3. Now go to the layers panel bottom right, click on the little arrow next to normal and change the blending mode to 'Difference'. Your photo will now look very odd.

4. Now click on the 'Create a new fill or adjustment layer' icon in the layers panel bottom right (the half black, half white circle) and choose 'Threshold'. A dialog box will appear with a graph in it and your photo will black out.

5. Now drag the slider in the dialog box all the way to the left so that your photo turns entirely white. Then drag it slowly across to the right until some black bits start to appear. Those black bits are where your neutral grey is.

6. Now press 'I' on the keyboard to select the eyedropper. Hold down the 'Shift' key and click once in one of the small black areas that has appeared. A small circle will show on the photo so that you can identify where you have just clicked.

7. Now click 'Cancel' in the dialog box. Go the layers panel, click on the solid grey layer and drag it to the waste bin bottom right to discard it. Now you are ready to perform the Curves adjustment.

8. Click on the 'Create a new adjustment layer' icon again (it's half black, half white) and select 'Curves'. Click on the middle of the three eyedroppers that appears (this one sets the neutral grey) and click once in the circle that you've just marked on the photo. This will accurately set the white balance and remove any colour cast in the photo.

9. You can go on to set the white and black points if you want to. For black, click on the left hand eydropper and click on something that should be black. For white, click on the right hand one and then click on something that should be white.

Now you can close the curves adjustment box by clicking ok. As always, if the effect looks a bit too strong you can adjust the opacity of the layer by clicking on the arrow next to 'Opacity' in the layers panel and adusting the slider until it looks right.

That's it. Cookies to P.O. Box 2 please. I'll just keep the chocolate chip Les. I'll send the rest on to you, although I can't guarantee they won't be slightly nibbled.

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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+purmusic
10/01/09 10:12 AM GMT
"The 'Les's Than and Far From ... A Perfectionist's Approach to White Balance Correction"

Employing as Nigel does in his above instructions, a Curves Adjustment Layer.


1. Create a new layer.

2. Using the Magnifying Tool or Zoom ... shrink your image such that the image rests in the middle of your work area.

3. Using the Eye Dropper Tool ... click on the middle of the three eyedroppers that appears (this one sets the neutral grey) and click in the grey area contained in the work space outside and surrounding that of your image/layer.


I can haz more cookies now? plox?

:oP
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"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
::nigelmoore
10/01/09 10:26 AM GMT
Clever clogs. I never thought of that! Oops, silly me. I accidentally trod on all the cookies.
0∈ [?]
"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+purmusic
10/01/09 10:35 AM GMT
O.O

Ooohhh noooooess!!


Lol. And for those of you reading along at home, Nigel's method is far, far superior than the silliness suggested by yours truly above. :o)

(*goes outside ... in the rain ... and waits by the mailbox for cookies to arrive ...*)

Nigel told me they were on their way ... soon?

(*opens umbrella ... just in case*)

;o)
0∈ [?]
"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
::nigelmoore
10/01/09 10:51 AM GMT
Mmm. Soggy broken cookie powder. Yum.

Anyway what if I turned my work space pink ;-)

And for everyone reading at home, Les's method does what mine does but in three sentences instead of three pages.

Send the man some cookies!
0∈ [?]
"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+purmusic
10/01/09 11:09 AM GMT
"Les's method does what mine does but in three sentences instead of three pages."

/\ I truly thought that I would never live long enough to see the day, in which someone noted brevity as a facet of one of my posts.

And ... comparatively speaking, that is. :oP
0∈ [?]
"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
.Ramad
10/02/09 3:22 PM GMT
That was truly a good, short and sharp tip Les. also very brief :) Cookies sent by DSL (Delivery Sometime Later)
0∈ [?]
If practice makes perfect and nobody is perfect, then why practice?
+purmusic
10/03/09 3:17 PM GMT
"I'm still .. waiiiit -ing ...", he uttered, while hunched under an umbrella out by the mailbox.

(*eyes mailbox wooden post ... estimates it's BTU's ...*)

:oP
0∈ [?]
"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
::nigelmoore
10/13/09 5:27 AM GMT
Having posted the neutral grey finder above it occurs to me that there's nothing here about how to do a Curves adjustment. So here goes.

CURVES ADJUSTMENT

First off, what's it for? Well a Curves adjustment increases contrast and sets the white balance, removing any colour cast in a photo. It will work best on RAW files and is most useful where white isn't set to 255 and black isn't set to 0. If that means nothing to you, when you open the curves adjustment layer, these are photos where the graph that appears doesn't start at the beginning and/or end of the scale. Don't worry, all will become clear when you try it. There are three ways of doing it, so here goes. These instructions are for CS3, but it won't take much to work out the differences in CS4.

Method 1: Using the Eyedroppers

1. In the layers panel click on the 'new adjustment layer' icon. It's a half black, half white circle. Choose 'Curves' from the menu that appears.

2. Click on the left eyedropper, which is half full of black. Click on something that you know is supposed to be black in the photo. This sets the black point.

3: Next set the white point. Click on the right eyedropper (it's half full of white) then on something you know is meant to be white.

4. Finally, set the gray point. Use the middle eyedropper to click on something that's supposed to be gray. It can be tricky to find something gray, which is where the 'finding a neutral gray' trick above comes in handy.

That's it, you've set the black, white and neutral gray points. Now you can lower the opacity of the adjustment layer if you want to by using the 'opacity' slider in the layers panel.

Method 2: Using the sliders

This is my preferred method!

1. Click on the adjustment layer as above and choose 'Curves'.

2. Holding down the 'Alt' key if you're using a PC - I think it's the 'Option' key on a Mac - click on the white triangle on the right hand side of the slider under the curves graph. The entire photo will turn black.

3. Keeping the 'Alt' key held down, drag the slider in to the left until it reaches the start of the curve and/or a very small amount of white appears in the photo. This will be somewhere around or just after the start of the curve in the graph. Now carefully drag back to the right again until the white has just about disappeared. Of course you can leave the slider where it was or push it still further, depending what looks right to you. This sets the white point. The white that appears when you drag the slider shows is the point where it will start to 'clip' or burn out.

4. Repeat the step above for the left hand slider. This sets the black point. This time the photo will turn white and black will appear as you drag.

5. Finally set the gray point. There is no slider for this so you have to just use the eyedropper tool as above.

That's it. Now you can adjust the opacity of this layer by using the 'opacity' slider in the layers panel as above.

Method 3: Using presets

This is the easiest method!

1: Click on new adjustment layer in the layers panel and choose 'Curves'.

2. Click on the little arrow next to the drop down box labelled 'presets.' Try clicking on each of the presets in turn until you find one that looks right to you.

3. For an even easier adjustment, you can just click on the 'Auto' button on the right hand side in the dialog box. But that's too easy, right?

That's it! I know that many people use the 'Levels' adjustment to achieve the same thing, but personally I prefer Curves for the greater amount of control it gives you.

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"A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange
+purmusic
03/16/10 10:48 PM GMT
"I know that many people use the 'Levels' adjustment to achieve the same thing, but personally I prefer Curves for the greater amount of control it gives you."

Agreed, Nigel.


And on that note ... sort of, kind of ...


~ le bump for a good good thread ~
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"There is always something waiting at the end of the road ... if you're not willing to see what it is ... you probably shouldn't be out there in the first place."
::jeenie11
03/18/10 3:31 PM GMT
i've never learned how to do Curves. i can't wait to put nigel's instruction to work.
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AVATAR BY PJ...............i've been visiting a friend who has a "sometimes connection". so sorry for the lack of comments. i am always extremely grateful for the kind comments and suggestions that you make. Please Visit My Gallery
::0930_23
01/25/11 12:12 AM GMT
This forum really has some good techniques in it. I thought I would bring it back to the first page.

TicK
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Cameras are like people--sometimes they lose focus.
::cynlee
03/21/11 10:40 PM GMT
HERE is a link to GEEK CHEAT SHEET (say that fast three times) for Photoshop CS5. May work for other versions of Photoshop as well.
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MANNING/CROWLEY Controversy: Truth tellers beware.
.Tootles
04/21/15 6:17 PM GMT
Realized the following must class as one of my favourite Photoshop tutorials, as I've used it in two wallpapers already:

Fire Tutorial by Anuwolf.

It can be problematic if you're also using non-fiery colours in the image. In my last wallpaper I was trying to slide a non-fiery cloud background behind the fire.

That was where I started to become unstuck...

The trouble lay with the colour balance layer and the need for a plain back background under the semi-transparent flames -- how do you put the cloudy layer behind that, and still have it show through?

In fact, I couldn't do it, and ended up placing the cloudy background *above* the fire, masking areas of it. Some selections had to be semi-transparent so that cloud could show evenly though the glows and flames.

This is an easy and useful method for creating fire but has certain issues...
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+purmusic
08/25/16 7:51 PM GMT
There's some gold in these e-hills.. so..

~ le bump ~


Feel free to add to the body of image editing (and techniques) information here.. tips, advice, whichever and whatever.
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::Constance52347
08/25/16 10:36 PM GMT
This is great!
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::gr8fulted
08/26/16 2:19 AM GMT
Although I do realize that Adobe seems to have cornered the market on photo processing, I would just like to let people know, there ARE alternatives to Adobe, a company which I do not use.

One such is On1 Photo 10, which I use on every photo I take. Also, the most prevalent portion of that suite is Effects, and the On1 folks offer a free version of that (note: the free version is less comprehensive).

If you google it you can also find alternative versions to each of the Adobe products, some of which are entirely free, for both PC and Mac. Just sayin'.
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+purmusic
08/26/16 3:13 AM GMT
In case anyone is interested.. here's a link to the software that Ted refers to above..

"Effects 10 Standard Edition includes a select number of stackable filters, presets, borders, and textures from ON1 Effects 10. Plug-in to Adobe® Lightroom® and Photoshop® or work as a standalone application."

There's also a chart on the above linked page showing the difference between: "Compare Effects 10 FREE & Photo 10".


Thanks, Ted.. did not know about this one.

... ...

And.. in case anyone might have missed this post in the Photography section, here are some more free image editing software programs:

"The best free photo-editing software 2016"
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+purmusic
10/30/16 12:22 AM GMT
~ le bump ~
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::Tootles
07/04/17 1:47 PM GMT
If you create your own Photoshop Actions, it's worth making sure you manually save them as action files, otherwise you have to go through the following kind of rigmarole when your computer crashes:

Where are My Photoshop Actions?

I don't know if it's the same in Photoshop CC. I have an old version of Photoshop, and most information on this topic seems old.

I thought I was well backed up, and was surprised that my custom actions weren't easily located in the Presets folder. The only one there was Rainy Day -- a free action downloaded from the internet and still available. Ironic... that the ones most important to me, that I'd put a lot of work into, were the very ones I couldn't find.

All you need to do, they say, is find your old Actions Palette.psp file and slot it back in, then you're in business -- but that's not how it was for me. I found the old one and slotted it back in... and my custom actions were still missing!

Since I had these folders open and was looking at various old settings from my backup, I thought I might as well put them all back in... preference file, swatches, brushes, textures, patterns... after which I opened up Photoshop and there was my old swatch palette... awwww!

I rarely use it, finding it confusing and laborious (kind of like brushes, gradients and everything else that you have to save in sets), but it was homely.

My home-made actions were also back, somewhat mysteriously, but thank goodness for that.

Can't say I'm impressed with the way they designed that, but there it is... my scary story might save someone else a bit of hassle in the future. :-)
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::Tootles
07/08/17 1:32 PM GMT
Just had this link pop up in my Pinterest feed. What it says is true! There's something disheartening about the idea you have to get things right first time, and probably it's often (though not in all cases) purely artistic spin.

The Secret to Amazing Coloring.
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