Wednesday, 16 July 2008

A break from lightrooom

As most (if not all) of the free downloads I have offered have been related to lightroom I thought it was about time I included one for our friend photoshop.
A friend asked for a Christmas card template but didn't really think anyone would appreciate that quite yet so went on to develop this thank you card. The text is customisable, as is the image and colours used. As this was put together in CS3 I can't guarantee it will work will earlier versions, enjoy! For the free download click the title link.

Monday, 14 July 2008

And sometimes its not...

After a horrible shock when I picked up my D300 yesterday and the AF had stopped working I had renewed motivation to go out & shoot, of course I have 2 children so what I did (after changing lenses in dis-belief a few times and fiddling enough to get it working) is stay in & shoot of course...
This was one of the resulting shots, the others were of flowers that I got for my birthday this week. This was shot with my 50mm f1.8 lens, my favorite lens of all time but doesn't quite do its capabilities justice. As I was infact shooting the real-life 5 year old daughter and not a stuffed version she moved all the time so rather than shoot at f1.8 like I'd like to I shot at f4 to give me a slightly deeper DoF and some error room for the endless 5 year old shuffle.
To edit this shot was all about layers. I liked the original so to preserve it exported from lightroom as a TIFF to PS and used adjustment layers to make sure I didn't do anything I couldn't get rid of.
First layer: sharpening. Duplicate the background layer + run high pass filter at 2 pixels. Then add an inverted layer mask and paint in the sharpening to the areas of the image you want it (white a soft white brush). In this case I painted in over the feather. Then switch the blending mode to hard light or soft light, whatever your preference.
Second layer: black + white conversion. In this image to enhance the contrast I lightened the yellows and darkened the reds, but only very slightly.
When I was happy with these the image was flattened and the background duplicated again. The duplicate layer I set to a blending mode of colour dodge which vastly enhances the highlight areas of the image, too much in fact. I added an inverted layer mask and using a soft white brush set to 35% opacity and 40% flow painted in the highlights I wanted to emphasise.
So all in all for a fairly simple black and white image it took much longer to edit than a standard portrait!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Sometimes its best to leave alone...

Editing is all about flattering your subject, sometimes you can spend hours adjusting colour balance, removing blemishes making eye sparkle, converting to black & white, using textures, frames and adding fantasy effect. And sometimes the best editing is none at all.

This little one had such a perfect pose that the best way to flatter her is to leave portrait exactly as it is. No editing required.