Photography, Tutorials

Editing Rialto’s Reflection – Tutorial

The image that was up yesterday has been given a lot of praise by so many, so today I thought it might be nice to do a post on how I edited the image.  I haven’t really done that much, so I hope you don’t think this is self indulgent.

There is the image again.  As stated yesterday it was a HDR image, five images were used and it was processed in Photomatix Pro.

The image was opened in Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6, and most of the adjustments were made in there.  The image was also manipulated to correct the problems that you get with wide angle lenses.  You can see how the image is below.

The image was opened into Photoshop.  Did you notice the large triangle of concrete in the left hand bottom corner?  It is too big and needs to go.  The content aware tool was used.  I drew around the triangle, then pressed backspace and enter.

Hey presto, it is gone.  Some more work needed to be done, because a slight line appeared, so the content aware was used on smaller sections to help get of this.

The image was cropped, not a lot, but to make the image go to all the edges.  Once the selection was chosen, I used the mouse to double click and the image was cropped.

The next part I don’t always do, but it seemed to work really well for this.  Two duplicate layers were added.

The last layer was highlighted, then filters was opened, go to Other, then High Pass.  You have to play with this a bit to work out what is best.  I try different levels, undo and do another one until I get one I like. With this image it was 10.

Doesn’t look good, but go to the Blending Modes, circled in red (it is usually on Normal), press Soft Light.  The Image reappears, and whilst there isn’t a huge difference, if you click on the eye next to this layer to hide it, you should notice that the image is now sharper.

The image needed to be saved next, closed, and then reopened.

Next, I went to the plug in for Color Efex.

This is Color Efex, the Classical Soft Focus was selected on the left, circled in red, and over on the right you can see the default settings for it.

I did change some of the settings. I wanted to make the soft focus stronger.

Once the image was open again in Photoshop, I then added a very light gradient to the bottom and even lighter at the top.

Here is the image as it was done today, not exactly the same, but that is okay, it will always be the one done for the tutorial.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing how I process an image.  Of course, every time I do one, it is done a little different.

I am finding it hard to always come up with ideas for these tutorials, so I thought I might see if any of you have an image that you might like me to do a tutorial on.  If you do, then please email me and send me a low resolution of the image, or a link to the image if it is on the web.  If I decide to use your image I will contact you and ask for a high res copy, and once I have edited it and done the tutorial I will send you the edited version back to you.

If you would like this, please put in the subject line Image for Editing, that way I can filter them.


I have been nominated for some more awards.

Patricia from patriciaddrury has nominated me for the REALITY BLOG AWARD

and the the Reader Appreciation Award

Over at Tiny Lessons Blog I have been nominated for the Liebster Award

I would like to thank both of them and to invite you all to take a look at their blogs.


  1. Hi Leanne
    Am just reading thro your tutorial …I’m afraid I still have to get to grips with Layers in PSE properly so forgive my probably rather dense question .. I see you duplicated 2 layers and can see one is Background Copy and the other Background Copy 2 . Did you do Levels on 1 and then Blend on the other ? I was wondering why you said that you don’t always do that but it worked for this image .
    What a lovely offer you have made ..someone out there is going to be really lucky for you to do a tutorial on their image ! ;-D

    • No, I didn’t do anything to that other layer, I am just following something I saw on another blog a while back, I should work out if you even need it. You can probably get away with just one duplicate layer.
      I often forget to do this to my images, there are so many things that I do to my images, that I forget some processes sometimes. I do like this one and use when I remember. Someone else taught me another trick, I might do something on that tomorrow.
      It would be good if someone did, I don’t really know what tutorials people want. What version of PSE do you have? I’ve downloaded a trial version of PSE11.

      • Sorry a bit late with reply Leanne .. thanks for that I’ll probably just use the one background layer then. I have ye olde PSE 7 which to be honest has up until now been fine for what I have wanted ..however I gather later versions have a VERY handy Mask facility which could be very useful in some creative way I should like to try so I might have a think about @ upgrading at some point. I’ve downloaded the trial Silver Efex you gave us info for and demo and look forward to having a play ! Cheers :-)

      • It could be worth upgrading, PSE11 looks really good and I was surprised that it wasn’t that expensive. I love the mask facility. I hope you have lots of fun with Silver Efex, I have. :)

  2. Truly outstanding photo and editing work, out of the long line of amazing work you post. For serious, you’re like the empress of HDR and it’s so rad that you take the time to explain some of your editing techniques. Really, thanks.

    • Thank you Dave, I don’t know about empress, but I do a lot of work to get the best out of my HDR images, I am glad you like them.

    • Fascinating that you are so in tune and experienced with the image software. Seems like you should be hired by ad agencies etc. I’ve been fantasizing about your improving one of my orb photos, but I don’t think there would be as much detail for you to play with as a photo that has more color variations.

      • I am still learning about all about the different software, and every time I think I know all that is out there, I get told about a new one. I really enjoy the computer side, so that helps. Maybe you could try a photo, see what happens. Thanks

  3. Good morning, Leanne, I like your tutorials and every time I learn something. I look forward finding a photo for you.
    Greetings from Susanne

    • That is great Susanne, I wonder if people find them really useful. I look forward to seeing what you send me. Thanks

  4. This is such an amazing photo and it is so educational to see how you arrive at the end result… I intend to purchase photoshop early next year and this series has been so fantastic, that a lot I have highlighted to be able to return to… but this photo is beyond belief… it is really amazing….

    • That is great to hear, you will love photoshop, so be scared off by it. It was a great photo to start with and it is always easy when that happens. Thanks

    • I don’t think clever is the right word, perhaps more experienced. I try lots of things, I hope you do have a go.

  5. You’re a fantastic with sharing your tips – great stuff. Only that I think there is so much cheating today when it’s about photographing – but that’s only the development – so I have to accept it.
    When I see a great photo those days – I think how much alterations has gone into this ???

    • Thank you viveka, I don’t understand the idea of it cheating. you know the first HDR image was done in 1850 and Ansell Adams did them as well I believe. He also was a master of putting images together and dodging and burning, so we have to ask ourselves was he cheating? If I am doing what he was in the darkroom, but in a different medium and if what I am doing is cheating, then didn’t he also cheat.

      Painters, what I consider the first photographers, cheated, they changed the environment to suit their paintings, images have been manipulated for hundreds of years, so I don’t understand why it is only now considered cheating.

      I am sure you weren’t expecting all that, but the reality, I am just making the best possible image I can, with what I have available, it starts with the camera, I manipulate that, and ends with the computer.

      So I don’t think it is cheating. I hope I haven’t upset you with this, it is a great question, and one I have been struggling with answers for for a long time, you have helped me sort that out, so I thiank you. :)

      • Not at all … I’m not getting upset by your answer – why, everybody does it and and as you said done it for years.
        Airbrushing and … manipulating with images – still I think it’s a cheating – and I have enhansed my own photos too. So I’m not judging anyone for use adjusting their photos.

        Somebody has said that we don’t take photos – we borrow quitely.

  6. Seeing how Photoshop was able to remove that triangle of concrete is almost worth purchasing it! I did get the Adobe product called Lightbox … perhaps I’ll have to load it up and see what it can do. Instructive AS ALWAYS. Keep ’em coming! D

    • Thank you Dave, I don’t know that Lightroom has that function, but check it out. It is a great tool. I use it a lot.

  7. Content Aware is really marvelous, Leanne…to bad it wasn’t part of CS4! Fascinating tutorial, learning an awful lot…and it makes me, when ‘Shopping, work a bit more to make my images better looking…quite the challenge when using three yr old software!

    P.S.: The shot was great to begin with…kudos to you for the insight and talent to make it even greater!

    • I LOVE LOVE content aware, I use it a lot. That is shame, about CS4. I am honoured that you may be learning from me, that is so lovely of you to say. I find your work does the same for me.

      Thank you 1000, sometimes it can be so much easier when the original shot is good.

  8. Once again a great blog. You are my inspiration to keep improving my own work until I can reach a level that you were most probably on many years ago! Keep it up.

  9. to improve your workflow and save some time, after you applied the “high-pass” filter, you don’t have to save, close and re-open the image. just go shift+CTRL+E or shift+CMD+E (depending on your OS) to merge all the layers and can work from there ;)

    • Are you using Mac? That is a great idea, I do do that sometimes, but it is good for other people to know, thanks for sharing your tip.

      • yes, i am a mac user (that’s the reason i posted both short-cuts) but i find much faster to merge the layers than to save-close-open again. and even with all the layers merged, if the file is saved as a psd, one will be able to retain all the steps and all the layers ;)

  10. I always read your posts – and also your tutorials – with great interest. And every tutorial takes me a bit closer to buy and explore the tools you use.
    If you want – you may use one of my photos from for a tutorial :-)

    • Thank you so much Truels, you are so kind to say that, I love hearing that I inspire people.
      I will definitely take a look at your work, but would prefer is you picked one that you thought might have some potential and I will see what I can do, if I can do anything. I will contact you.

  11. Stunning output sir….great tutorial…..Im still not expertised in Photoshop, such tutorials helps with some real life examples. Thanks! Following your blog for all the great content :)

    • Thank you Naresh, we all have to start somewhere and it doesn’t take long. I’m still learning heaps and this blog has taught me heaps as well. I hope you enjoy my blog.

  12. This tutorial is very helpful for me and thanks to share this post. I hope from this post, reader should learn how to make their pictures cool. Once again nice post :)

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