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Posts tagged ‘Tutorial’

Using Textures

So after quite a few people asked me how to make textures, I have attempted to do a video tutorial on how to apply a texture to an image.  I am going to post, but you need to be warned it isn’t very good.  My computer did not behave and Photoshop wouldn’t work properly.  I don’t know what the issue was, but hopefully you will get the general idea that the trick to using textures is all about blending.

I hope you can work it out, but remember that the library of textures is growing at Public Domain Textures, and you also see some work by people who have used some textures from the site.  So if you want your work shown, put a link to the texture you used so we get a pingback.

As I said the video isn’t great, a few problems there, I am also not sure about the quality, I tried to get as good as possible.

Doing Some Trees in Infrared – Tutorial

Over the weekend I received a request from Jim.  He wanted to know if I could help him with a couple of images.  He had taken some of lots of birds in tree tops. He was thinking black and white, and maybe infrared.  I have never does this before, but I was up for a challenge.  I had an idea of what I could do, looked up some tutorials, but in the end did it my own way.

tute1I started by opening the image up in Camera Raw, I like the different changes you can make in there.

tute2Hopefully you can see the changes I made there.  I have lightened it up a lot, and I tried to lighten the shadows as much as possible.

tute3The image was opened in the Photoshop CS6 and saved, image 1.

tute4The next step was to click on the Invert Adjustment Layer, it will do this to the image.  This was saved as well, image 2.

tute5Both versions were opened, then image 2 was selected, copied (Ctrl A, Ctrl C) and then pasted (Ctrl V) on top of the image 1.

tute6The image was blended with Multiply, that is just above the layers there on the right.  I also reduced the opacity of the inverted layer, but not by much.

tute7A Levels adjustment layer was opened and the image lightened a bit.  The only problem was the tree ended up too light.

tute8To correct this, a Curves Adjustment Layer was opened, and I darkened the tree, and lightened the sky, look at the curve, I have put arrows where I adjusted it.

tute9I then clicked on the Channel Mixer Layer, there I ticked the Monochrome box, and selected the Black & White Infrared in the pull down menu that has Custom written on it.

I have put some red dots on the image because I wasn’t completely happy with how those areas were.

tute10I used the Content Aware tool to make those areas better.  It took a few attempts.

The Trees - 1I also added a little gradient to the edges.  I am not sure if this is totally what Jim wanted, but it is hard sometimes trying to interpret what someone else wants.

I did another one as well.

The Trees - 2This one came out much better, and I like the atmosphere of it.  I hope you like it too Jim.

It was an interesting process.  I learned some new things about Photoshop, which is always a bonus.  I have had a request for a tutorial on Gradients, so I might incorporate that into next weeks tutorial.

Editing Venice – Tutorial

Looking for photos to edit and my friend saved me by sending some photos of her recent trip to Venice.  At least I think that is where they are from.  The image was opened up in Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6.  I’m sorry I have done this tutorial in Photoshop again, mainly because I wanted to use some things that you can’t do in GIMP, though there isn’t a lot.

One of the first things that struck me with this image is all the shadows and how dark the bottom half of the image is.  It needed some light and life put into the bottom of it.

In Camera Raw the shadows have been lightened up, and the blacks have been lightened as well.  The image doesn’t look as dark now.  There is more interest in the water right now.

Once the image was opened into Photoshop the Levels were adjusted.  You can see what I have done in the image.

Since the water was becoming the focus of the image, I used the Quick Selection Tool to select the river, and to help with the uneven edges and all the boats, the feather tool was used.  I only selected 2 pixels, that is enough for this.

The difference isn’t great, but you can see the differences in the Curves window.  You might need to click on it and enlarge it to see exactly what I did.

Finally, the Hue/Saturation adjustment was used.  I felt the orange was a little over the top, so I wanted to tone it down a little, and it was done only by a small amount.

The Gradient tool was used to make the bottom edge a little darker as well.  When I first looked at the final image I thought it looked the same, and couldn’t work out whether it was better, but when I compared it with the original I could see that it was improved a lot.  Hopefully you agree the image is brighter now.

This image has been put through Color Efex Pro 4, using the Classical Soft Focus, then back to Photoshop CS6, once here I thought putting some colour into the sky might be interesting.  I used the colour picker to get a colour from the image, you can see where I got the colour from, then I changed to the gradient tool and used it to put that colour into the sky.

This is the final image.  I see people doing this all the time, adding colours to the image that you know can’t possibly be real, but some how it seems to work.  What do you think?

This time it was opened up into Color Efex Pro 4 again, but this time I used the Graduated Filter filter.  I used the orange colour and made a few changes.  I haven’t really used this one before.  I can see the benefits of it, but I like the previous one more.

Sandra hasn’t seen these yet, I hope she likes them.  No doubt I will get a directory full of images so that I can edit them for her.  I’m her personal editor.  Actually editing images is something I love doing.  I love starting with something plain and seeing what I can do to it.  Though, I have to remember that what I would do to my images is not what others would necessarily want done to theirs.

HDR Darkroom 2

Remember a couple of weeks ago I did a post on different software packages for doing HDR images.  HDR Darkroom came out pretty well, and would be great for people who are new to HDR images but don’t want to outlay too much money to see if they like it.  It’s good beginners software.

If you are interested in purchasing it then now is a good time.  I’ve received an email saying they’re giving people a 30% discount on the software until Christmas.  If you want to take advantage of the discount then use the coupon code “XMAS2012″ to get 30% off on your upgrade to the full version without watermarks.

That’s Melbourne or Not

I just has a call from them, I had asked if they would be interested in advertising on my blog, but apparently what I do to market Melbourne for them is not good enough, so if you want to visit Melbourne after seeing the photos I do of it, I don’t know that I could recommend them for information.  It is so frustrating, I think I do a lot for advertising this city and I can’t get any help with it.

I did have their logo on my blog for a while once, and it had some problem and it turned my blog upside down, so maybe it is just as well.  I had to remove it, I wouldn’t recommend them now.  I should see what other options there are for people who would like to come to Melbourne.

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.

Amish Wagon being Exposed – Tutorial

Recently I was sent an image to edit, the image was of Amish people in a horse and carriage going down a road into a sunset.  Because of the sunset, the foreground was very dark, so the trick was to see if I couldn’t lighten up the foreground.

Now, I have to explain, I used Photoshop for this tutorial because a lot of what I did to it, I haven’t been able to work out in GIMP.  This is a more complicated tutorial than what I normally show you, but I think it is good to show you what is possible.

So the image is open up in camera raw.  Even thought the image is a jpeg, it can still be processed in camera raw.

Here you can see that I have made a lot of changes.  One of the main ones, I moved the shadows slider more to the right, this way I could bring out more light from those.  I toned down the highlights and the whites, and did the same to the blacks as I did to the shadows.  Just have to be careful doing this, you don’t want to to go too far.  It still needs to look natural.

Still in camera raw I changed the shape of the image, I wanted to get the carriage more over on the left.  I also used the distort button to get rid of the lens problem.

I also cropped the image.  I know cropping isn’t always ideal, but sometimes you just have to do it.  This image was quite a large file, so it should still be alright.

I made use of the third lines when I was doing this.  The sunset ends on the top third line, and the carriage is on the first third line in.

Here you can see what I was saying.

Once the image is cropped I can work on different sections.  The first thing I wanted to do was to get rid of the refection on the road.  It is too distracting and as we want the carriage to be the main point of focus, the reflection had to go.

First of all I used the content aware tool.  I have circled it in red, then circled the area that I wanted to change.  Press Backspace then enter.  Photoshop then replaces that area with what is around it.

You can see here with this enlarged view, that the reflection is gone, but the area still doesn’t look great.

Next I used the patch tool.  The area I want to change was circled then you click inside the area and move it to another area that you want to replace it with.

I did this several times until I was happy with the area.

There is the road, and I hope you agree with me that it looks much better.

I wanted to see if I could make the carriage a little lighter, so I used the lasso tool to mark an area around the carriage and the ground, I am sure you can see the area I am talking about.  Next I got the feathering out and said 50 pixels.  You need to feather the edges so you don’t get a sharp edge to the area you are making lighter.

Then you click on curves and lighten it slightly, have to be careful doing this, it can start to look weird.  I probably went overboard a little, but it was done for effect for you.

Next, and lastly, I wanted to add some gradient.  You could do a vignette, but I find gradient more subtle and you have more control over it.  I wanted to tone the sky down some, it is very bright, and with the blown out bit where the sun is, there is nothing you can do with that, but putting a gradient tone over the top will take out some of the brightness.  I also did it to the road, you want to do everything you can to bring the focus to the carriage.

The gradient tool is used by clicking outside the image, hold the left mouse button down and then going over into the image and then releasing it where you want it to stop.

So here is the final image.

It is always going to be hard working with an image like this, and sometimes you can’t do anything to them.  This isn’t bad, and I know the woman who I edited it for was quite happy with the end result.

Something I have been considering, mainly through comments and stuff, is offering some online classes, or rather using something like skype on Google+, with Google+ I can give a tutorial and you will be able to see my desktop and what I am doing and ask me questions.  I will be able to demonstrate how I do the work.

Before I organise anything, I need to know first of all if people would be interested.  At first, I will do them for free, the first one or two, as I am sure there will be problems, and things will have to be sorted out.

Once the problems are sorted out I will charge for them, though, depending on how many people want to do them, but at this point I am thinking of charging around $10 per person.    I will also do a couple of different times, since we are all in different parts of the world.  I have a great website that tells me the time everywhere in the world and I will give that link to you as well.

So if you are interested let me, you can either leave a comment here or send me an email


I have once again been nominated for some awards.

I have received two nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award,

by Relative Perfection

and Frozen Moments

I have also received a nomination for the Very Inspiring Blog Award as well by Patriciaddrury,

Thank you very much to the three blogs, it is always lovely receiving nominations and I hope you will all go and check out their blogs.

Saving in GIMP – Tutorial

A couple of people have pointed out that I haven’t told you about saving your files, or rather making sure you don’t lose the original file, so I decided today, that we should really go back to basics.  So please forgive me if this is too basic for you.  I have also decided that I would process an image for you, it is basic, but it is something I would do just to put up an image.  I will explain it as I go.

We start by opening GIMP, then right click, File, Open, and find the image you want to work on.  I have chosen an image for you that I took on that very early morning to Point Lonsdale, but this is taken at Barwon Heads, if anyone was a fan of the Australian show Seachange then you might almost recognise this as Diver Dan’s shed.

The original file name is _LC28016.xcf, a silly file type that GIMP uses.  Normally, in most processing, you would simply go to File, Save As and change the name of the file to something else.

You can see there, the image name has now been changed to barwon-8016.jpeg.  However, in GIMP in Windows to save it as a jpeg, you will need to right click on the image go to File, the go to Export.  You save the image in exactly the same way, but change the file type to jpg, and then change the name of the file and export it.  It is rather annoying, but it is the only way you can save your image as a jpg when you use GIMP in Windows.  If you are using Ubuntu, which I normally do for GIMP, then you do go to Save As and GIMP does the exporting for you, I don’t know why the same can’t be done in Windows, probably has something to do with the developers hating Windows.

After saving/exporting, close the image and open the image with the new name.  Now the original image is protected, so it doesn’t matter what you do to this one, if you ruin it, then you can go back to the original and start over, just don’t forget to Save a new copy.

Now we have a copy of the image that needs to be processed.  I don’t know if you noticed, but the image was crooked. My images are ALWAYS crooked, I don’t know why, but I have a knack for making them crooked.  Unlike Photoshop, you have to straighten your images in GIMP using your eyes, and the rotate tool.  The rotate tool is located in the toolbox, I have circled it in red, then the Rotate Box comes up.  Using the slider, move it until you think the image is straight, then click on Rotate.  Straight image.

Now the image is straight, but will need cropping.  The crop tool, is also located in the toolbox, circled in red.  Once it is clicked you stretch the rectangle over the image to where you want  the crop to take place, then double click on the image, or press return.  You now have a newly straightened and cropped image.  You could save it now, though I tend to wait until I have done what I want.  That is probably not a good thing, so please save your image here.

Next, I want to change the levels, it is usually one of the first steps I do, right click, Colors, then go to Levels.  In the window that opens, you can see the sliders and I have circled them so you can see where I moved them to, then I pressed OK.

I did hear from someone today, that I shouldn’t do vignetting, but I gotta say, I love doing it, though I am not really a huge fan of really heavy vignetting.  What I do tend to use a lot is the gradient tool.  In GIMP the gradient tool is located in the toolbox, again circled in red.  I also turn down the opacity, it is the second circle there, I have turned it down to 20%, I want the gradient to be subtle.  I also made sure the gradient I would be using was foreground to transparent.  Then I put some on the sand in the front and some in the sky, not much, but I like my edges to be darker.  You can’t see it here, but I hope you will be able to tell in the final image.

I don’t know that I will do that much more to the image now, so time to save it, in my case export it, so right click on the image, press File, then Export, when it comes up Replace, then press Replace, you do want to replace the image, the copied image that is, and not the original.

There is the image, the gradient is very subtle, I hope you agree, the image is straighter, I hope.  Though I do love the ruler tool in Photoshop, it is so much better.

I thought, since we were doing some basic things, I thought I might show you another way to make an image Black and White.

This time I opened the Adjust Hue/Lightness/Saturation, you do this by right clicking on the image, go to Colors, then click on Hue/Lightness/Saturation. You can see the sliders in the bottom half, they are all in the middle.

All I have done here is moved the Saturation slider all the way to the left, this takes out all the colour in the image.  I don’t know if this is an excepted way of doing a black and white, but it does keep your image as a RGB file, so if you wanted to add colour to it later on you could.  Now press OK.

So, as we did last week, I have opened the Brightness/Contrast and up the contrast some to make sure I get my blacks and my whites, remember the black card and the white card.  Once you have it where you want, then just press OK.

The image is then saved again, but this time, you have to make sure you save it as something else, or you will lose the colour version as well.  I simply put bw at the end of the file name, so now my image is barwom-8016bw.jpg.  If it was done with sepia, then I would put sep instead of bw.  It is important to come up with a file system that works for you.  If people are interested I can demonstrate mine at some stage.

There are so many ways of converting images to black and white.  I have recently downloaded a trial of Silver Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software to see what it is like.  I will talk about it in another post.  This is just another way.

Back to my image files.

So here is the directory with my photos from Point Lonsdale, I have circled the two images we have been working on, you can see them there in there finished state.

Here is the image in the final black and white state.

The thing I really wanted you to learn from this tutorial, is always make sure you save a copy of the image, don’t do anything to the original.  I do work on the original image, but when I save it I save it as something else, but I would recommend to those of you who are just starting out, save a copy at the beginning, then you will always feel reassured that the original is safe.

Have fun.

Black and White in GIMP – My Way

A request was made about converting some images into black and white.  I have spoken about converting images before, but I have never done a tutorial on it.  I have decided to use GIMP again, though if people want, I am happy to do one in Photoshop another time.

As always we have to choose an image to convert.  I decided that I would make use of the images that I took last Friday.  These have a lot of clouds, and I think the images that work best in black and white are ones that have more drama.  The more mood the image has the better it can look in monotone.

So, my image is open, remember, right click, press file, then open.

Next the image needs to be converted to black and white, or grayscale.  Right click on the image, then go to Image,  click on Mode, then click grayscale.  It will go like the image above.  Many people stop right here and don’t go any further.  This is only the first step.

The image is a little dark, so I used Levels to lighten it up some.  The area circled in red is where I moved them too.

When printing images in the darkroom, I was told to have two pieces of paper with me, one white and one black.  The pieces were used to make sure that my image would have white in it and black in it.  You can do a similar thing in GIMP, I just opened two new images and filled one with black and one with white.  It is important that your image has the full range, otherwise they look washed out and not very good.  I have seen so many images like this on the internet.  If you are one of them now, you won’t be after this.

Next I always adjust the contrast and brightness.  Right click on the image, go to Colours, then click on Brightness-Contrast.  I have already moved the sliders.  When you move the contrast one, especially to the right, you will also need to add some brightness, though, this isn’t a rule and should be done on an image by image situation.  Keep in mind your blacks, and your whites.

Hopefully you can tell that it looks a lot better.

Here is the final image as a black and white image.

Not every image is going to be as easy as this one.  Sometimes they are not so co-operative.

Here is the image from Friday’s post.  I have lightened this up a lot.  I wanted it to be fairly light.

The image has been changed to grayscale, and you can see by putting the white image and the black image on top, that we have plenty of white, but really no black.  So we need to get black.  You probably could also get it using the levels and just darkening the image again, but what if you image is just like this and you can’t do that.

I have used the contrast to bring up the blacks and to give it more contrast.  Contrast is the difference between black and white.

We have lost some of the sky detail, but the image doesn’t look so gray.  The final image from the above way.  Of course if I didn’t lighten it up at the beginning it would have been much different.

This version is better, the sky isn’t so blown out.  It is still crooked.  There is a lot more detail in the sky now.  The rocks are quite dark and the best version is probably somewhere in between.

Making images into black and white is easy, you just saw that, but remember that all images should have blacks and whites and a range in between.

An almost award.

Lovely (Blog) Or Not

An interesting take on the whole blog awards, I hope you go and take a look.

I would like to say thanks for the recognition.


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