04 April, 2014

Making of WILD MOMENT

Hello,
sometimes I really like to challenge myself, meaning I'd like to change something really ordinary into something special...which isn't always easy as you can imagine.

In case of the work at hand I had a vague idea what type of original photo I would need. Thankfully I remembered that there are some rather weathered birches close to where I live. So I went out, took some shots of them and returned home to begin with my work.

Please move over the picture to see the before/after, thanks!


One Wild Moment
I liked the white bark of the birches and also liked the other trees in the background, because they provided some darker texture, that I knew I could use later.


Step by Step description


Layers One Wild Moment

- First I made a layer copy of the original picture.
I wanted to have an overall dark appearance with only hints of colour. As the sky was very bright I had to find a way to darken it. 
- I chose  a texture to achieve this. I selected the bright parts of the sky and only applied the texture on that part (Multiply , around 70% opacity).
- I then merged the copy of the background layer and the texture and chose a motion blur with an 90° angle and a Distance of about 250 px.
- I think it is quite boring to have a blurred picture like that and so I added a layer mask and started to paint black on that mask to bring out the trees and parts of the underlying background. For this task I usually choose a very low brush flow of app. 3-5 %, which gives you a lot of control.
- The sky was still too bright for my taste, so I again took the texture and plaid aroud with blending modes and a layer mask until I was satisfied. (see layer 3)
- Layer 4 added blue hues ( Curves: choose the blue channel and drag the lower left end of the curve up, that way you get dark blues in the blacks)
- With all the vertical motion I wanted to have a contrasting motion as well - I added an empty layer and selected a bird brush. I placed the bird in the middle and added a horizontal motion blur on the bird.
- Layer 6 function is to set a focus on the middle part of the picture with the bird in its centre. 
- the two other layers I needed to further work on light and contrast.

That is all it need.

Have a great weekend!

Need some textures? Please visit my shop on Creative Market or cose something from the galleries on my Homepage.

Thankks very much!

28 February, 2014

Making of Ever Changing Light / new textures & freebie

Good Day,

it went through my vast collection of unedited and yet not published textures and put together a small collection of green textures. These are now on sale on my






I often use greenish textures on my fog photographs, they add a great mystic tone and atmosphere .

I used several of these textures on this shot:


Ever changing Lights

Making of

I loaded the image I processed in Lightroom into Photoshop and started adding textures.
Usually I play around a lot to see what kind of effect the textures have on the image. With soft foggy landscapes one has to be a bit careful, because  you can easily overpower the picture with the texture. I often start with a texture that I think should serve as the main ingredient in Multiply blend mode and later add other textures to lighten things up in Overlay or Soft Light mode.
If this doesn't work I shift the textures around change the blending modes or use different textures.

Here is a screenshot of the final layer order:

Layers Ever changing Lights
I wanted to have a nice color contrast between the various green hues and the orange/ red leaves. There are several ways to recover/enhance the red tones:

1. I could have used a clipping mask to erase some of the textures that weakened the red tones, but I wanted the textures on the hole picture
2. I could have added a new layer and paint some red on the leaves, but that takes time and sometimes doesn't look so good.
or 3. try to get the red back by adjusting the red tones with the help of the Selective Colors and Saturation tools, which I did.

As usual I made some contrast and brightness adjustments with the last layer, in this case using curves.


Free Texture
You can download a 2000 x 2000 px version by clicking on the picture or on the link underneath!

Aus Free textures

I hope you create great pictures with this freebie ( & with the new green textures from the shop ;-))
If you have any questions sent me an email!
have a nice weekend,
Dirk

17 February, 2014

Stackables app release and midwinter promotion

Good Morning,

over last months I had the opportunity to contribute to an app that allows you to stack effects, such as textures, gradients, filters and geometric patterns on one another. This app has been released a few days ago and is now available in Apple's app-store. The funny thing is, that I am a newbie to smartphones and other modern mobile devices, but that couldn't hinder me contributing approximately 150 effects to the app.

If you want to know more on its features please go to:




So the one of the first things after I came to know that the app is now available was to order an iPhone. It came last Saturday and since yesterday I am taking pics & started to process some of them with the app.

I was very curious to see how it works and whether all the effects and texture formulas work the way I designed them on my iMac. Until now it is just as I imagined it, in some cases it even works better than I thought.

Results

I took this picture of a soccer field in my neigbourhood yesterday and processed it with a formula called "Orange Day" and I must say, I really liked it. This formula consists of 11 layers - 9 of my textures and 2 of the gradients -.

soccer field
I am still amazed how great this came out. Anyway there is a lot more to discover, if you like you can find out for yourself.

I am going to post some more information and pictures over the next days, so stay tuned.



PROMOTION until Sunday February 23, 2014

To celebrate the release of the app I decided to give a 20% discount on all texture packs that are available on my homepage. All you have to do is to go to my


After making your purchase you have to fill in the coupon code

MIDWINTERSALE


to benefit from the promotion. This promotion ends on Sunday February 23, 2014


06 February, 2014

Mexican Memories

Hello dear Readers,
again apologies for not posting more, but frankly I find it increasingly hard to come up with something new with regards to textures and real life demanded much time as well.....

Yesterday I opened a box with old analogue  photos and I sifted through them finding myself captivated by the all the recollections that came up looking at them. I decided to scan some pictures from a journey I made some 14 years ago. At that time I stayed at a friend's in Mexico. At that time he lived a few kilometers away close to the city of Oaxaca de Juarez. The pictures I wanted to show you are from a 5 day hike I made with another friend of mine, that took us into the mountains of Oaxaca in a sparsely populated region. As far as I remember I only chose pictures from our first day. I remember that it was a very exhausting experience making our way through the forests following an indigenous guide, that seemed to want to break some kind of speed record to get to our first stay.

Anyway it was an unforgettable experience.

All pictures were processed with some textures from various texture packs, that are now partly or even exclusively available in my shop on



First I want to show you the pictures and with a second post I'll explain some of my processing techniques...




This was towards the end of the first day we met many people that were on their way home.



I am always fascinated by the old lorries  and cars that you can see in Mexico. This one was incredibly noisy...




On our way  - the white stuff in the trees is usually used at christmas time to decorate cribs.



I was impressed by the diversity of the forests ranging from pine trees to palm trees, yuccas and all kind of other plants.



It was very dry. Spring time is usually the hottest time of the year in Oaxaca with a lot of dried trees and also always the threat of wild fires. But occasionally one encounters something in bloom.



This is the village were we spent our first night. I remember that it was a very quite village. The small pension were we stayed was run by the whole village. As far as I remember we booked this tour in an office that was run by a association of  villages that offered some kind of eco tours.




Housing was made out of a mix of wood, concrete elements often with sheet roofs. I remember that it was incredibly cold at night with the temperatures falling below zero °C and strong winds - as well as leaky roofs and walls that gave access to the cold gusts....

I hope you liked this kind of post from me and I think I will post more like that in the future.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!!

Dirk

06 December, 2013

Time of Crows - smoothen a texture & a freebie

Hello,
time for a new tip regarding the use of textures. Sometimes I produce textures that are rather very grungy, which is fine, but there is always the danger that these overpower a picture quite easily.
In cases that I want to use them but want to avoid them to get too dominant I simply rotate them and use lower opacities while processing.
Before I get to a step by step discription, here is the image I did texturize:


Time of Crows


Texturizing the picture

One of the textures I wanted use on this picture has a really very strong grunge look: 

 
Peeling Paint





Whenever I like the general features of a texture, but think it's too strong I use it on several layers and low opacities and rotate it in 90° steps to make the existing structure/texture smoother. This has been better than using a blur tool, because I still have the texture's structure to work with.

You can download the texture here:

Crumpled Paint texture download


Photoshop Layers 




As you can see I ended up using two textures several times. The first one Never Ending Tale I chose, because I liked the colours. I found out that to use only the Multiply mode at a high setting overpowered a lot of the fine twig structures. I could keep them the way they were by using Darken and then Multiply - this way I didn't have to do a elaborate selection.
I was able to reduce the strong and powerful texture of the Crumpled Paint texture by rotating it twice clockwise and by using Overlay at 10% insted of 30% once.
Adding a bit more subtle texture and brightening the picture was achieved with the last lighter texture as well as with the curves layer.

That's all.

Please have a look at my textures & overlays available here:


Thank you for reading and  have a nice weekend!

Dirk





14 November, 2013

Making of - STILLNESS & use of curves to colorize a picture

Hello,

here I am with  another making of. I used an old foggy landscape to test some textures from the new texture pack to get an idea of their usefullness. I hope I can show how one can use a variety of textures while keeping the essential mood of a picture or even enhancing it.

As usual the before/after:


   

 I wanted to keep the moody hazy feeling of this shot, so I needed subtle textures.


Layers in PS




I chose 4 textures from the new Autumn Haze Pack, that were subtle enough, so that they won't overpower the overall impression of the image. Rose Mist was perfect, because it enhanced the grass red tones and made them glow. I think it is always worth while to seek out elements in a texture, that correspond with elements of the picture you work on.
I liked Never Ending Tale's subtle structure  and the two other textures I selected added great orange/yellow tones.
Although I took 4 textures and opted for more or  less strong opacity settings they in the end didn't dominate the photo. 

Still, I Thought adding more light to the foreground by applying a gradient (from white to transparent) with a setting of 60% Overlay which further enhaced the red tones and brought back the darker reds.

Tinting the dark tones

I wanted to add some blue hues in the dark areas of the picture. I know that there are several ways to do this. I opted for a curves layer - in this case the blue channel.


The only thing I did was dragging the end of the blue straight line a bit upwards - this way one only the dark hues turn bluish. BTW if you drag the upper end of the line a bit down you tint the lights yellow. This wasn't necessary because I was satisfied with the warm yellow tones that the textures added

Thanks for reading!!


Be creative,
Dirk




08 November, 2013

New texture pack - AUTUMN HAZE

Hello,
 I' have just released a new pack of fine art textures that I have developed over the past couple of weeks. The tones were inspired by the various autumn moods.
I already used these textures on some of my recent pics and hope they will be perfect for your photos as well.


Autumn Haze Pack

You get 30 High-Res textures for 25,90€ here:

Autumn Haze Pack

Examples:

Ghost Hike

Exit Color

afloat

drawn curtains

useless

With these new pack finished I can turn back to do some tuts. I am planning some cool formulas that should especially appeal to texture beginners.

Thanks,
Dirk