From Nothing to A Horror Scene (or at least a try to)

Most shots that appear to you have been Photoshopped, so that they don’t embody reality, but merely the vision of the photographer.

Last weekend I took a walk and I came across the path in a park. The path is very small and is all the way covered between reed at both sides.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This really gave me the feeling of some bad horror movie, where monsters come out of the swamp, and so I took this shot, with in mind turning it into a horror scene.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I just made a first attempt, and it’s not yet as I had in mind, but it’s already much closer than in real life, so much more like my vision.

Just one more thing, don’t trust everything you see, you always see what the photographer wants you to see.


Simple Video Editing in Photoshop

Making a video to tell your story is a very powerful way. But also a very time consuming.

Luckily for everybody who already uses Adobe Photoshop, it is not so difficult to create a nice video anymore, since you can make a video within Photoshop.

To get started, open up the Timeline via Window -> Timeline. Then it’s just like any other video program, so you can drag around and shorten the clips as you like.

The really cool part, however, is that you can also use any of your normal photoshop techniques to adjust color for example. By adding your adjustments as a layer, they are put over the video, thereby changing the looks of the video.

As simple as that. And in this way you can also very simply add titles etc., since you can also just add text as you would do normally.

If you’re interested and want to see a video with the possibilities, check out this YouTube video by Terry White (one of the Adobe Gurus).


Adobe Creative Cloud

Hello and Welcome back everybody. As every year I had to renew my subscription for my Adobe applications. And since I really like their programs and like all the things I can do with it, I renewed my subscription and went over to the Creative Cloud.

My first impressions with installation of the software are that it has become very easy to only pick the apps that you want and install these. With the Adobe CC desktop app it becomes very simple. You log in using your Adobe Id, after which you can just simply click on the install buttons of the apps you want to download and install.

Do mind however, when you don’t buy directly from Adobe, but for example via your university, that Adobe wants to renew your subscription automatically after one year, at the costs of a regular subscription. It only works when they know your credit card number, but please, be aware when you insert your serial number that you don’t say yes to everything.

That’s all for me today. On wednesday I’ll be back with a new Site in the Spotlight. In the mean time, Enjoy.


Quick Lightroom Presentation Tip

Hello and Welcome back everybody. One of the less used functions in Lightroom (at least by me) is the print module, though it has a very nice feature in it to get another way of presenting your shots.

The packaging of several photos on page is a simple way of showcasing multiple shots on one page. In Lightroom you can find several of these pre made packages in the print module.

Now that you’ve made such a package, you can do two things with it, straight from there. The first and obvious one is to print it on paper, but you can also set it to output it to a jpg file.

You can set this on the right set of panels, at the print job panel. At the top of the panel you can choose to either output it to a printer or to a jpg file, which you can then further use for anything you like, including your website.

McD Dubbel

That’s all for me today. On monday I’ll be back with more from me. In the mean time, Enjoy.


Site in the Spotlight 158

Schermafbeelding 2013-09-11 om 18.07.31Hello and Welcome back everybody. With the days becoming shorter and the evenings longer, the time we get to spend behind the computer grows as well. One of the things you can do in this time is grow your Photoshop skills.

There are a lot of places online where you can find new ideas and tutorials. One of the better ones, I think , is PSDbox.com.

On this site you can find an enormous amount of tutorials on Photoshop. From a simple HDR to a one hour video on how to make good composites, you can find it on this site.

I’ve said enough, time for you to check it PSDbox.com. On friday I’ll be back with more. Until next time, Enjoy.


Urban Photoshop Look

Hello and Welcome back everybody. Photoshop is an amazing program to take the best out of your shots. One of the things you can do with it is fake HDR shots, like I did for this shot.

The before shot

To this shot I applied two different techniques. First of all, I faked the HDR using a tutorial by Bas van Kuijck that I found on Flickr. The percentages that are used for the opacity are all depending on your shot, and I decided to take out the sky of the lightening layer for more impact.

After that I applied this sharpening technique to the shot to give the details some more pop. Et voila, there’s your Urban photoshop look.

The after shot

That’s all for me today. TIme for you guys to give it a try at one of your shots. On wednesday I’ll be back with a new Site in the Spotlight. Until next time, Enjoy.


It’s Big and It’s Yellow

Hello and Welcome back everybody. Today two more special photos from last weeks wedding. The trip to the town hall was done in a Big Yellow School bus. These are extremely rare in the Netherlands, but they look very cool, especially when you decide to take all the color out of the image, except for the yellow bus.

Another cool thing is that anyone can rent this bus, or an old English Double Decker or other old timers. The people from www.autoantiek.nl rent out all sorts of antique cars, busses and carriages. So if you’re looking for something special for either your wedding day, or just as a special attention for company or a photoshoot, go check out these great people.

That’s it for me now. Check back on monday for more from me. Until next time, Enjoy.


Trying Lightroom Presets

Hello and Welcome back everybody. We all take a lot of shots, and some of them are instant winners, but others need a little bit of extra help. Using the built-in presets in Lightroom it’s very simple to give an ordinary photo just the pop to fix it.

For example, take this shot, fairly simple, and not much excitement going on (I did this as a kind of test shot, and I still have to go back to take the shot I wanted to, but that’s something else).

But by applying the high – contrast BW preset, the photo becomes much more interesting, since this brings it back to the lines which make up the shot.

Another way to try this out is to just click a number of presets, and take a good look at what happens on your screen, like I did here. I like this high contrast, backlit-idea. But I only got to that point after just trying it.

So next time you’ve got a decent shot, but you want to make it something special, just try the presets in Lightroom. And when you start to like them, do a small search on the internet to find many more of them.

That’s it for me for this week. I’ll be back on monday, until then Enjoy.


Overlays – The Photoshop Tutorial

Image 1: The end product.

As I promised last monday, a tutorial on how to make these “artworks” of your photo’s in Photoshop. So, what do we need to create this kind of shots?

The Thinking Part

Image 2: The original

We start off by just taking a look at the photo and by asking ourselves,: “Will this photo benefit from these technique, and if so, what kind of structures do I want to use on this photo?” So to to start off, take a look at image 2 (click on the images to enlarge), which is the regular portrait, edited with the bleach bypass setting of Lightroom. This photo gave me an urban feeling, so to enhance this photo I started looking for images of structures which I could use. For the structures I personally use www.textureking.com, which offers an enormous amount of royalty free textures.

 

The Photoshop part

Image 3: The Layers panel

Now the real fun begins. To start, open the photo you want to edit in photoshop. For this photo I chose first of all this texture, which I copied with the right-click menu, and pasted, on top of the photo in Photoshop with Cmd-V. When you open up your layers panel (bottom right, or by going to Window => Layers) you should see image 3.

 

Image 4

Since you now only see the upper photo (image 4) we’re gonna change a few settings. The real magic behind this technique is the use of blending modes, opacity and layer masks. The first thing to do to see the original photo through is change the blending mode (see image 5,6). There’s isn’t a golden setting which always works, all I can say is just give it a try. In this case, I settled for the Hard Light setting, which shows the texture, but still in a bit harsh matter.

Image 5

 

Image 6

After that, we can change the Opacity to show more or less of the layer. This setting can be seen at the top of the layers panel (see image 7) which, when you click on it gives you a slider with which you can change the setting. This all has to be done by feeling, so once again no golden rules. In this case it felt right by 71%, after which the photo looks like image 8.

 

Image 7

Image 8

Layer Masks

Image 9

The most noticable right now is the large crack on top of the model. To get rid of this we’re gonna use Layer masks. First of all click on the layer in the Layers panel, and after that click on the small square with a circle in it icon at the bottom of the layers panel (see image 9). This creates a mask with which we can hide and reveal certain parts of the image. To remember what a layer mask does, the rule is pretty simple. Black hides, white reveals. So any part of your layermask which is black hides that part of the layer, while any white parts are visible in the layer. Gray is also possible, which is partially revealing.

Image 10

To hide the crack make sure that the mask is filled with white (use the paint bucket tool with white as foreground colour), so that you can see the entire layer. After that select a large brush, and make sure that the foreground color is set to Black. Now it’s really handy to have a Wacom tablet at your hands, since we’re gonna paint away the concrete layer over the face, by brushing white over it. Keep on painting until you’re happy. When you think you’ve painted away too much, switch the foreground color to white to show certain parts of the image again. When finished, it should look like image 10.

As an additional setting I’ve tamed down the colors of the concrete somewhat by adding a black and white layer. To only apply it to the concrete layer, right click on the adjustment layer, and click on Create Clipping Mask . In this way the layer only applies to the layer directly beneath it.

Again with another textured layer

Image 11

Image 12: The Layers panel at the end

After that I added this texture, set the Blending mode to Lighten (after trial and error) and also used a layer mask to brush away certain parts. (See image 11) Also I changed the color using a hue saturation mask to give it a bit more friendly look, and made that into a Clipping Mask. When you’ve done all of that, your layers panel will look like image 12.

And that’s all there is to make it all happen. So now you know how to do it, make it happen for yourself. Pick one of your own images and give it a try, be as creative as you can, and when you’re finished, share it with us in the comments section.

All that’s left to say now, Enjoy the weekend, and check back monday for more.


Quick Photoshop Tip: Gradient Map

Welcome, today I want to show you a quick tip, which can bring another dimension to your photo’s: the gradient map.

One of the many ways to use the gradient map.

What is it and how does it work? The work behind this tool is fairly simple, photoshop identifies 256 different levels of lightness in your photo. After that photoshop applies a gradient which is also divided in 256 parts and gives the correct color to each of the 256 levels.

So with this you can create black and white images, but also more artistic stuff where you use Orange instead of white, and blue instead of black. Or any variation you can think of, just as easy.

Where to find it? Under the Layer menu, go to New adjustment layer, and select Gradient map. Click ok to make it happen, and the rest works just the same as the regular gradient tool.

That’s it for today, happy Photoshopping, and check back wednesday for a new site in the spotlight, with more Photoshop.