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Posts tagged ‘Tutorial’

UfD: Black and White Photography My Way

A few people yesterday expressed an interest about me doing a tutorial on how I do black and white images. There are so many different ways of doing this, and so while I’m going to show you what I do, this is only part of it. This is going to be an easy way, I hope.  Just a few steps, though the first part you can do and leave it there if you choose.

Here is the final image and then I will show you how I did it.


The first step is alway going to choose the image. The best types of images are ones that have lots of contrast, which is lots of darks and lights.  If you choose one that is very colourful but with little contrast it won’t convert to monochrome very well.

I choose an image that was taken in at the Docklands recently of the Melbourne Star. I have opened it in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), which you can do by using the o Browse in Bridge. Click on the image then go to the file menu and press Open in Camera Raw.

You can see the basic processing I did in the image below.


Everything that is done is ACR can also be done in Lightroom.

In the panel on the right, the area above the red oval in the image above and press the fourth icon from the left, as in the image below. Check the box to Convert to Grayscale. You can see the sliders for the different colours or tones that are in the image.  Try playing around with them and watch what happens to the image.


Each colour will give you a difference effect.  Be careful with Aquas and Blues.  They can make skies very pixelated and make them look unnatural.

The image was opened in Photoshop CC 2015. There were some marks on the edge of the image so a new layer was opened and the spot healing tool selected. Make sure the Sample All Layers is checked in the tool options under the main menu at the top.

image-3If you do the changes on a separate layer then you are starting to work non destructively so you never have to do anything to the original image.

To make a new layer you go to the panel where the layers are and down the bottom are a series of icons. Click on the one next to the rubbish bin and it will open a new transparent layer.
image-6You can also open a new layer by going to the Layer Panel in the main menu at the top.  Click new and then okay.

Add a Curves Adjustment Layer. (I don’t know why but sometimes on my computer Curves is upside down, so you might have it up the other way.)  If you click on the triangle at the lighter end and move it along it will increase the highlights a little. Be careful doing this that you don’t blow the highlights out.


Open a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer. Move the contrast to the right, again be careful that you don’t go too far.  Go to where you think it looks good, then go further so it looks horrible, then go back until it looks better again.


Add another new layer (1). Go the tool box and select the gradient tool (2). Up in the tool options turn the opacity down so it isn’t strong (3).  Then add some to the top.  Make sure the gradient is set to Foreground to Transparent.(Do this by with the long icon/window in the tool options bar.)  Click outside the image at the top, then do the same inside just down from the top. You will see where the gradient has been applied. Take a look at the image below. Make sure that black is set as the foreground colour.


A new Curves Adjustment Layer is added and the image is made a little darker. With the lasso tool (located in the tool box) make a selection around the middle of the image. Though this can be done for any part, depends on your photo.

You need to feather the selection, click Shift F6. In the Feather Selection window change Feather Radius to what you would like, I chose 200 pixels.  Press OK.


Add a new Curves Adjustment Layer. In the layer mask, the square that is normally all white now had some black in it. You can see that in the image below. In the curves panel make the image lighter.


You should have noticed that it only happens in the area that you selected.

You are going to add a tone to the image now, but to do this you have to convert it back to a colour image.  If you don’t whatever tone you add will look like a shade of grey.

In the Main Menu at the top click on Image, then Mode and select RGB colour. You will be asked to do a couple of things, pick the don’t do it for each option.


You will need to select the Paint Bucket Tool (1below). If you can’t see it then click and hold on the gradient tool and a window will pop up. In that you will see the tool.

Click on the foreground colour (2) and the window below will appear and you can select your colour. A blue tone was chosen for this image. Press OK


Add a new layer and with the Paint Bucket Tool click on the image, make sure the new layer is highlighted. The whole image will go blue. In the image below you can see the drop down menu that was opened, these are the blending modes.  Go to Color and select it.


Once you have selected it you should see your image have that tone. Look at the image below.


It may be too strong and  you will need to change the opacity for the colour layer. Use the opacity slider at the top of the Layers Panel. Look at the next image.

image-14Here is the final image again.


You don’t  have to do all of these, but it gives you an idea of what I do.  Please remember that, it is what I do, and lots of other people will do different things. I’m sure that we will get lots of ideas for what else you can do to Black and White photos.

Good luck with your own black and white images.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Another Week Passes

Things are happening and it is great to have plans and ideas.  I have another article that has been published on Digital Photography School, the magazine is coming along and so are my online classes.

Digital Photography School

I have had another article published at the Digital Photography School, it is Applying a Texture Overlay to Your Images to Create an Antique Look. I do hope, and ask you, to go and take a look, then if you would share it with people you know or on leannecole-ocean-ant7567your social media that would be wonderful.  I also hope you learn how to use textures, if you don’t know already.

The Magazine

The name has been decided, I believe, and I know I am very happy with it.

Dynamic Range

I like it, it is not gender biased and won’t look silly if a man reads it.

With the name decided it is now time to start looking for women to write for it and make sure we get some great articles. Looks like I have people already, but might need to find another couple of people. So if you are interested, let me know and I think what I will do first is get you to write a guest post for my blog, for the Friday posts.

leannecole-antiquemalle-7197The next step is working out what people want to see in the magazine. What sort of articles do you want to see? I am open to suggestions. I was thinking perhaps interviewing some women photographers. Perhaps some tutorials and reviews. I would like to hear from you and what you would like to see or read in it. I can’t promise that I will be able to do everything that is suggested, but I would still like to hear.

The other thing that I think that people need to be aware of is is that it isn’t going to be fancy. I hope it will get a lot better, but to start with, it’s going to be pretty rough.

Online Photography and Editing Lessons

I just wanted to remind you that I do offer Online Editing and Photography Lessons.  They are individual and designed to leannecole-antiquemallee-8961suit what you need.  Each session lasts for an hour to two hours, and I can record the sessions so you have a copy of what we do. I don’t claim to know everything, but what I don’t know, I know how to find out for you.  I do make sure that you understand and I am always happy to explain things in different ways to help you understand.

They are also a way for you to see how I edit my photos and learn many of the tricks I use.


I chose the photos today because they go well with my tutorial on Digital Photography School.  They are lots of photos that I have done using textures, and if you want to know how they were done, then go over to the article Applying a Texture Overlay to Your Images to Create an Antique Look.  There is even a video there to help explain it.

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.


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