Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adding a Sunset background

     Today we are going fix a sunset. This picture of Jenny and Dixie was taken on Lake Michigan late in the day. We didn't get to stay there and watch the beautiful sunset so I'm going to improvise.  I'm going to replace this grey day with a sunrise shot that was taken elsewhere on one of my trips.
     First I've taken the time to retouch out any unwanted items, sharpened the image and then cropped it to my finished size, a 5x7.
     I've opened up the sunrise shot and drug it over the top of this image. Sized it to fit so the horizons matched up pretty well. You don't have to be exact on this one. Just be sure it look believable.

     Then I masked this layer using the mask button on the bottom of this layer palette. (third one over from the left) This will bring up a white box next to the sunrise picture. We are going to paint on this mask with the black paint using a medium soft round brush. Don't worry is you make a mistake because you can always use the white paint to eliminate the areas where you went too far.

     Your layers palette should look like this now. I've blended the sunrise and the beach with a very large soft brush so there isn't any harsh lines. And we've got our new sunset.
     For a few extra touches try one of these to the sunset layer......
                     changing the blending mode in the layers palette
                     changing the opacity of this layer
                     changing the saturation

     As always.....have an artful day!

Textures and Backgrounds will be available soon from my website. Keep a watch out for Artiste Backgrounds.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Announcing Artiste Backgrounds

     Over the past two weeks I've shown you how easy it is to combine an image, a texture and a background. That got me to thinking about how I could make this even easier for you.The quick and easy answer, of course, was to make the backgrounds for you. I quickly went to work experimenting with background colors and brushes.  I now announce The Artiste Backgrounds collection.
     The image behind Megan is just one of a set of twelve backgrounds you'll be able to download and use with your artwork projects. I'll even include the master copy so you'll be able to change the color to whatever color will best match your image. I'll also include the step by step instructions on how to use them.
    I have a little more learning to do on website downloads but I'll be sure to let you know when I have the Artiste Backgrounds available on my website. www.anartistview.net

Monday, February 13, 2012

Editing a candid shot of a child

     Today I'm going to show you how to edit a child portrait. Here is a picture of my granddaughter Avery. She has such a beautiful smile but boy can she move. Like most kids, taking pictures of them is always on the run and you'll need to take hundreds of them just to get one descent shot.
     Let's start with cropping. I'll set my cropping tool to 8x10 at 300 resolution. I find if I work on an image at a larger size then when I have it printed at a smaller size it looks even better.
Now drag your cropping guide from the top left corner to the bottom until you get it right where you want it. I'm making mine a verticle to crop out Emma in the background.

     I need to adjust the image since the whites are a little muddy.  I'm going to use the curves tool. Press the Control +the  M key to bring up the curves palette. Looking at it shows my blacks on the left and whites on the right. My graph is not touching the right side so I'm going to slide the slider over to the left until it touches the first point of my graph. Press OK to apply your changes.

Now lets do a little editing. With children you shouldn't need to do too much since their skin is usually flawless. But Avery was running and playing so her face is a little red and there is a scratch on her neck to remove.  Using the cloning tool, set the mode to lighten, opacity at 25% and the flow at 100%. I'm also going to use a very soft round brush so I don't get any lines around where I'm retouhing. When you set the mode to lighten it will only lighted the areas that are darker then what your selection area is. You might want to try setting the mode to darken in order to darken some highlights if you need it.

     After Iwe even up the tones in her face, I like to use the unsharp mask. It's located under the  sharpen filter.

     For her eyes lets use the burn tool with a soft brush, range set to shadows and the exposure to 10 or less. I'm going to use this sparingly to go over her lashes and the dark areas in her eyes just to make them pop. One last thing, on a seperate layer I used a soft paint brush around the corners to create a slight vignette.
                     And there we have it. A finished portrait made from a candid shot.

Visti my website for more free tutorials.  www.anartistview.net

Monday, February 6, 2012

Adding a texture to an image

     Last week we started working on an image of a rose. We went over how to use a little dodging and burning to add that extra dimension. Today we'll go one step further and add a background texture.

     Let's open last weeks image. I'm using Photoshop CS4 but you can also use Photoshop Elements.

     I'll be using some textures I downloaded free from the internet. There are thousands out there and I love to have several to choose from. I keep them in a seperate file called textures so they are easy to find. I'll be using two today. The first one is called Aqueous_sun_textures_v2_027. It looks like a water splattered pattern. Now let's simply add it over my rose as another layer and set the layer style as screen  with the opacity to 50%. You'll probably need to transform the texture so it fits all the way over the rose layer using the transform tool. Sometimes I'll even make it bigger then the layer underneath if I want to use just a portion of the texture. Ok now that we have the texture above the rose, we'll need to mask out the part that is over the rose. You may want to leave it over the rose but for this print I want to elemenate it so that the rose stands out.
     Make sure the texture layer is highlighted and click on the layer mask icon on the bottom of your layers palate. A small box will show up next to it and we'll use this to mask out the texture with our black and white paint using the brush tool.

     Select a round brush with the hardness set to about 65%. I'm sure you'll want to adjust this as you go along the edge. The opacity should be set to 100? Using the black paint on the texture mask will hide the texture over the rose. If you make a mistake, don't fret over it because switching to white paint will bring it back. You may even try using a shade of grey to leave just a little bit in.

The texture looks good but I want to add another so over the top of this texture layer I'm adding another texture called aqueous_sun_textures_v2_023. This layer style is set at Pin Light and the opacity is set to just 35%. Then I did the same masking on this layer. This is how my layers palette looks now.

     One more thing...make sure you save your file before you flatten it. Then save it again as a finished print. That way you will always have a working file just in case you find you want to change something.
My final image looks a bit antique. How about yours? Any questions on this project or any others please feel free to ask. You may also reach me on my website, www.anartistview.net or join me on Facebook.
Have fun!

Hideaway Hilda

Hideaway Hilda