This week was Photoshop night – seven techniques used in producing creative images…
Quality Checking Images;
The image below is as shot – straight out of camera before editing.
Same image with white balance adjusted (eye-dropper off the background), exposure increased and medium tone contrast applied. Her skin is free of blemishes. If those had been present I would either heal in Lightroom or more likely export to Photoshop and use the more refined healing tools.
Created from a picture of one of the zebra crossings in the college grounds and a black and white graphic from a mural in the library. I thought a ghostly apparition might work well. The first screen shot shows the two images as layers. The background layer is the zebra crossing and the mural is layer 1.
The second screen shot shows the opacity of the mural layer reduced to 67% to emphasize the ghostly effect.
Black and white;
An edited master image…
with a simple greyscale conversion but the sunglasses are too grey as is the lipstick. I want darker / more contrast.
Same image with colour sliders adjusted to darken the red glasses and the lipstick adding contrast and drama to the picture.
Image re-sizing and cropping in Photoshop
- Re-sizing – The original file is 4032 x 6048 pixels at 300 pixels an inch – a 20 x 13 inch image.
I want the picture smaller for web-use so I reduced the long edge to 1200 pixels and a resolution of 240 pixels an inch producing a 5 x 3 inch image at acceptable quality for web-use.
- Cropping – here I wanted to change the image from a portrait to a square shape. Using the crop tool opens a dialog box with different ratios or the sizes can be entered directly into the fields partially obscured in this screen shot.
Masking & Selection Techniques
Original file opened in Photoshop.
Using the quick selection tool I selected the red rose petals as shown below.
Once selected I created an adjustment layer mask from the selection and adjusted the hue and saturation of the red roses.
For the last masking / selection technique I opened a black and white image in Photoshop and dragged it over the above image as a layer. By using the brush tool (opacity at 20%) and layer mask and the palette set to black and white I could experiment with erasing the top layer (black brush erases) to reveal the bottom layer in a non-destructive way. Should I over erase the top layer I could replace it re-brushing with the white brush (replaces)
Original 3 JPEGs shot with in-camera black & white.
The shots were uploaded to Photoshop as separate images and then with the person on the right side of the pic as the background layer I copied the middle image as a layer and the left image as the top layer. As the pictures were hand held there is some misalignment so I used the auto-align layers function in the edit menu. Once aligned I erased the right two thirds of the top layer and the right third of the middle layer revealing the person in each position.
All that is left is to return to Lightroom and straighten, crop and adjust exposure.
There are several methods to create a vignette. Using Lightroom Develop module is the easiest and the one I use almost exclusively – vignette can be found in the effects menu. It can also be done manually using dodge and burn tools in Photoshop but the method demonstrated here is using the marquee tool; also in Photoshop.
Image in Photoshop with the rectangular marquee tool selected and a rectangular shape drawn onto the image. This selects the inner square but I want the border to be selected so via ‘selection’ and ‘inverse’ commands does that. All that’s left is to create a brightness / contrast layer and using the sliders adjust the border; in this case darken it.