Tutorials

How I Did It – Part 7

Time for another tutorial, but this time something different. Instead of an HDR tutorial, how about a Texture tutorial? I’ll show you the textures I used and how I used them to turn this:

into this:

So here I am starting in photoshop:

I’ve already finished my normal adjustments for contrast, noise, sharpness, etc. I’ve covered those in each of my past tutorials, so check them out for those types questions. Just because this shot is not HDR does not change those basic adjustments.

So after getting to this point I decided that this shot just didn’t have enough excitement. I enjoy playing with textures and have posted photos here before with textures applied. So I decided to try to add a couple to see what I can come up with. The thing with textures (as with most editing in my opinion) is there is no right or wrong. It’s all subjective, what do you like?

There are soooooo many textures available online for free (I’ll show you some links at the end of this tutorial). Over the last few years I have collected a few that I really like and I tend to use the same couple of textures most of the time. This time however, I immediately thought about adding some “bokeh texture”. I looked through the textures I had downloaded and found this one:

This texture was downloaded for free from HERE. This site has many textures available.

After pulling it up in photoshop, I grabbed the MOVE tool and clicked and dragged the texture onto my bird photo. You’ll see that it automatically adds it as a separate layer. Now, the texture layer is smaller than my bird photo so I go to “EDIT” => “FREE TRANSFORM”

Now you can grab the corner of the texture and drag it out to the corner of the bird photo. Now all you’ll see is the texture and this is where the creativity really begins. The main 2 adjustments to remember are “Blend Mode” and “Opacity” – see below

Here you can see the texture completely covering the bird photo. The circles are circling the “Blend Mode”, “Opacity” and my Layers window (so you can see that the texture layer is the top layer). Clicking the drop down menu for “Blend Mode” I select “Overlay” and I leave the “Opacity” at 100%, and this is what happens:

Not bad! But, needs something else….

So I grab another texture:
This is one of my favorite textures to use. I downloaded it from flickr but I don’t believe it is still there. I’ve searched for the image and creator to credit but can’t come up with anything.

Using the same steps as above, drag the next texture onto the photo and adjust the Blend mode and/or Opacity:

Here you’ll see that I used “Multiply” blend mode (which darkens) and I backed off the opacity just a tad, down to 91%.

Looks good, let’s add another!
The next texture I tried is my other favorite. I often use it with the previous texture.
You can find and download this texture for free HERE

Again, drag it onto the photo, free transform and change the blend mode and or opacity:
This one put in Overlay and left at 100%.

Now I liked the texture it added but I didn’t like the color it added. I didn’t want the final image to be so yellow, so I add a hue/saturation layer and desaturate it:

Now, I didn’t want to desaturate the entire image, just the previous layer. So I right click on the hue/saturation layer and click on “Clipping Mask”:
This will make the hue/saturation layer ONLY effect the layer below it, in this case the “yellow” texture. Here is the final result of texture number 3:

With me so far?
Let’s add another
Grabbed this one:
This is another texture that I downloaded from flickr a while ago and cannot find it now to give credit.

Drug it over the photo and adjusted the blend mode:
This one I put in “Overlay” and brought the opacity way down.

Now at this point I was thinking it was a little dark and I wanted a little blue added to it. So, I grabbed this texture:
This one came in a set that you can download for free from HERE

This one brightened up the bird a bit too much so I added a mask and masked out the bird. Do this by adding a mask to the texture layer and paint with a black soft brush over the area that you don’t want the texture to show. The red shaded area shows where I painted.

And that’s it! Here is the final:

As I said, this could have gone in a million different directions. You can apply as many or as few textures as you like. The types of textures could also vary wildly. There are many to choose from all over the web, or you could try creating your own.

Just keep messing with them. Different opacities, different blend modes. Even changing the order of the textures makes a difference. You’ll add some that you won’t like, and end up deleting from the photo. Just keep playing with it until you’re happy with it!

http://shadowhousecreations.blogspot.com/search/label/Textures
http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.com/2010/12/coffeeshop-baking-with-mom-ethereal.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/borealnz
http://www.flickr.com/groups/textures4layers/
http://www.plaintextures.com/
http://www.texturelovers.com/
And on and on and on…..

Here are some of my other textured images:

This Week at the Lake 5/52

More Canons

Amy and Bob

Hope this helps, now go turn some ordinary photos into works of art!

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How I Did It – Part 6

Time for another tutorial!

In this post I’ll show you everything I did to turn this:

into this:

Really not that different is it? But I actually spent a lot of time on those “minor” changes.
This is an HDR, so that means I started out with 3 separate exposures by bracketing the camera at (-2, 0, +2). Here are the 3 exposures:
-2

0

+2

First thing to do is open these 3 RAW images into Photomatix

Once Photomatix has finished processing, I’ll tonemap it using the “Details Enhancer” option

(just noticed my screen grab cuts off the top of the settings, the two that are cut off are Strength @ 100, and Saturation @ 82)

Now we head to Photoshop…

So here we are, and the first thing I want to do is get rid of all that yellow. I thought I liked the saturation levels in Photomatix, but changed my mind – so I open a saturation adjustment layer and decreased the overall saturation quite a bit:

Next I open a Levels adjustment layer:
Here I clicked and dragged the little black triangle on the left in until the “mountain” started. I also wanted to lighten the image some, so I slid the gray triangle to the left some.

Next I add a typical Curves adjustment layer to slightly increase contrast:

There are so many different ways to do the same thing in photoshop. I was really trying to lighten this image so I did a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. I increased both amounts a little. This really has a similar affect on the image as a curves adjustment or a layers adjustment.

Now, I still was not happy with all the yellow in the ceiling so I opened another saturation adjustment layer:
Notice that I used the drop down menu and selected “Reds” – this will desaturate only the reds in the image. I also desaturated the yellows by the same amount (not shown). Also notice that I didn’t want to desaturate all of the image. So after I made the adjustment, I filled the layer mask with black. I then grabbed a soft, white, low opacity brush and “painted” white back on the layer mask over the areas that I wanted desaturated.

Next, I still wanted the image brighter in some parts so I opened a new layer and filled it with 50% gray. Once you do that, put the layer in “Overlay” blend mode. You’ll see that the gray “disappears”. Now, grab a very low opacity (for this I usually set it to less than 10%) and paint on the layer with white or black. White being areas that you want to lighten and black being areas that you want to darken.

Next I wanted to increase saturation to enhance the stain glass windows. So, open a saturation adjustment layer and slide the saturation to the right. Fill the layer mask with black and paint over the windows with white (making sure you are painting on the layer mask).

Now I want to straighten it by going to Filter, Lens corrections:

Now it’s looking better!
Only a few things left. The next thing I did was run a noise reduction filter. I use a plug in from Imagenomic

And finally I sharpen using Filter, sharpen, unsharpen mask:

And that’s it!
Here is the final product

Thanks for looking! I hope you found this helpful. Please ask questions if you have them, I’ll try by best to answer.

See all my other tutorials HERE

I’m on Facebook! Check it out and become a fan!

Remember,
If you want to know “How I Did It” for any photo on my flickr photostream, leave me a comment on this page or send me an email. I’ll be glad to make it my next “How I Did It” entry!

Also, as I mentioned in my first How I did It post, here are some helpful links for learning more about HDR:
Stuck in Customs
HDR Exposed
HDR (a flickr group)
Tutorial Collection at My First HDR flickr group

Helpful links for learning more about Photoshop:
Photoshop Support Group
Photoshop Tutorials by Allan Gengler
Actions by Allan Gengler
CoffeeShop Actions


How I Did It – Part 5

I have another RFI as we call it in the construction industry, or a Request For Information. Someone asked how I processed a particular image, so I promised a tutorial – so here go…..

In this tutorial, I’ll show every step I took to turn this:

into this:

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Obviously, this one is an HDR image. Unlike some of my other tutorials, there is realy not much processing involved after photomatix. The only difference here (and it’s an important one) is the number of exposures used. For this shot, I used 5 exposures instead of my normal 3. The reason for this is the huge difference in light from the inside of the hotel room and the outside sunrise.

The 5 exposures I used were (-4, -2, 0, +2, +4)
Here are those 4 images:
(-4)

(-2)

(0)

(+2)

(+4)

You can see how the images gradually get brighter and end up encompassing the entire range of the scene. These 5 RAW images were then loaded into Photomatix

Once Photomatix created the HDR image, I tonemapped using the Details Enhancer option:

On a side note – My Detail Enhancer settings are available to be viewed for EVERY photo in My HDR set on Flickr – here’s how

On the photo page, click on the top right where it tells what type of camera was used:

That will take you to the images “exif” info:

Scroll down, and you will see a section that looks like this:
These are the Photomatix settings, they are automatically embedded in the files information. Cool huh? So now you know…..

Back to the image in question, here we are starting in Photoshop CS2:

The first thing I always do it a “Levels” adjustment layer:

Then a “Curves” adjustment layer:

And then I use Imagenomic for noise:

Here is the final result:

And that’s all there is to it for this one! Piece of cake!

Now go out and shoot some HDR and let me know how they turn out!

See all my other tutorials HERE

I’m on Facebook! Check it out and become a fan!

Thanks for looking! I hope you found this helpful. Please ask questions if you have them, I’ll try by best to answer.

Remember,
If you want to know “How I Did It” for any photo on my flickr photostream, leave me a comment on this page or send me an email. I’ll be glad to make it my next “How I Did It” entry!

Also, as I mentioned in my first How I did It post, here are some helpful links for learning more about HDR:
Stuck in Customs
HDR Exposed
HDR (a flickr group)
Tutorial Collection at My First HDR flickr group

Helpful links for learning more about Photoshop:
Photoshop Support Group
Photoshop Tutorials by Allan Gengler
Actions by Allan Gengler
CoffeeShop Actions


How I did it – Part 4

Another Tutorial! Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the photo posts soon!

I’ve had another request for a tutorial. This time someone would like to see how I convert to black and white. Believe it or not, there are TONS of ways to convert an image to black and white. However, there is one particular method that I use often. I believe I got it from a Scott Kelby photoshop book for CS2 purchased on Ebay. It’s a very easy process that makes for a great action.

Here we go…..
Here is what we are starting with:

Now, this is an HDR image and I am already finished with my normal processing. You can check out my other tutorials to see those steps. So now I decide I’d like to see it in black and white.

First step is to convert the image to LAB mode — Image, Mode, Lab Color:

Next, in the “Layers/Channels/Paths” box, click on the “Channels” tab. You’ll see all the channels are selected, select the “Lightness” channel (which turns the others off)

With the “Lightness” channel selected, we want to convert it to grayscale — Image, Mode, Grayscale

It will ask you if you want to discard the other channels, say yes:

Now, back on the “Layers” tab, do a CTRL+J. This duplicates the layer. Put that top layer in “Multiply” blend mode and adjust the opacity to taste:

And that’s it! Black and white complete. If you write this as an action, leave the opacity at 100%, that way you can adjust it differently for each image you convert.

An alternate to changing the opacity, you could add a layer mask:

and then grab a soft black brush:

And paint the areas that you think are too dark:
(this image shows where I have painted)

Here is the final result:

Now, to answer the question that was posed regarding my First Tutorial. If you’ve read that one, you’ve seen that I often layer a black and white image on top of a color HDR image to make it dark and achieve a dramatic look. When I do that, I do not copy the layer and put it in “Multiply” blend mode. After I convert to grayscale, I copy that layer and paste it on top of my color image.

Hope this provides some useful information.

Here are some helpful links for learning more about Photoshop:

Photoshop Support Group
Photoshop Tutorials by Allan Gengler
Actions by Allan Gengler
CoffeeShop Actions


How I Did It – Part 3

I had a request from a fellow photographer for a “How I Did It” post. For this tutorial, I’ll show you everything I did to turn this:

into this

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Once again, this is an HDR or High Dynamic Range Image. To create an HDR image you need to take multiple exposures (usually 3 but can be us many as you want) of the same scene.

To do this, I put the camera mode in Aperture Priority and set the auto bracket to (-2, 0, +2). This will make the camera take 3 consecutive shots, one exposed properly, one underexposed by 2 stops, and one overexposed by 2 stops.

Here are the 3 shots with their exposure values:

0 ev 0.6 seconds @ f/8


-2 ev 1/6 seconds @ f/8


+2 ev 2.5 seconds @ f/8

Always ISO 100 and always a tripod when shooting HDR

These 3 images are opened directly into Photomatix
You are then presented with “Generate HDR – Options” – here is what I choose:

I always use the “Details Enhancer” option. Here are my settings there:

It’s important to remember that while I used these settings on this image, they may be completely different for my next image. You really need to play with the sliders and get a feel for what they do to your image. Then you can make adjustments that suit your taste. It’s also important to remember that is doesn’t stop here! There are many things that need to be corrected/adjusted in photoshop.

At this point I save it as a .tiff and head to photoshop……….

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now we are in Photoshop, here is what we have

Not too bad as it is, but could look a lot better!

As in my other tutorials, I start off with a levels adjustment:

I found that this adjustment blew out the Joe’s Crabshack sign so I grabbed a black brush and painted over the areas (on the layer mask) that got too bright. This image shows where I painted:

By doing this, you are applying the levels layer to the entire image EXCEPT where you painted on the layer mask.

Next I’ll do a curves adjustment layer:

Next is one of my favorite adjustments to do, a slight color balance adjustment for the shadows and highlights:

You can see I click the “shadows” dial and set it to -5, 0, +5. This adds a bluish tone to the shadows. In the case of this image, I also did the same adjustment to the “Highlights” dial. This helps get rid of some of the reddish, orange colors.

Next I did a saturation adjustment layer where I desaturated the yellows.

Again, I didn’t like what this did to the sign so I painted on the layer mask with black in these areas:

Now I do a “Stamp Visual” or CTRL-SHFT-ALT-E. This adds a new layer at the top of all the previous adjustment layers.
On this layer I run an Unsharpen Mask

Normally at this point I would run a noise reduction software, however, on this particular image I did not mind the noise. It’s a dark image (certainly a lot darker than an HDR could have been) but I liked it that way. This is because I wanted the big Joe’s Crabshack sign to be the focal point. I actually set the 0ev exposure for the sign. I knew it would be a dark image overall but that is what I wanted.

So, that’s it!
Here is out final result:

Thanks for looking! I hope you found this helpful. Please ask questions if you have them, I’ll try by best to answer.

Remember,
If you want to know “How I Did It” for any photo on my flickr photostream, leave me a comment on this page or send me a flickr mail. I’ll be glad to make it my next “How I Did It” entry!

Also, as I mentioned in my first How I did It post, here are some helpful links for learning more about HDR:
Stuck in Customs
HDR Exposed
HDR (a flickr group)
Tutorial Collection at My First HDR flickr group

Helpful links for learning more about Photoshop:
Photoshop Support Group
Photoshop Tutorials by Allan Gengler
Actions by Allan Gengler
CoffeeShop Actions