28 October, 2011

Adding mood & fog with textures

today a short post on how I sometimes enhance and intensify an already misty scenery and how I added/ enhanced the picture's atmosphere.
Using textures is again a very simple way to achieve this.

Here's the final result:

Stranger in the Fog

And this is the picture I started with:

Original SOOC

I used two textures from my latest pack. One is a mixture of a cloudy sky and a wall, the other one has a green wood structure:


Green Bench

And here's how I used them in Photoshop:

Though the graphic suggests something different, I first added the cloud layer and was immediately satisfied with the result, because the fog became much more intense.
I wanted the whole picture to be a bit more spooky, so I decided to add a green texture. I also wanted to lessen the contrast between the green grass and the soft foggy part of the image.
The first green texture layer added structure to the picture, but did not so much with regards to the fog's colour, which appeared to be still very white. So I copied the layer and turned the blending mode to "Darken" which satisfied me, because the fog became a cool green glow. Unfortunately there was too much of the structure now. The solution was to blur this layer using Gaussian blur at 50% and I was close to my desired outcome.

Minor additions were:

- darkening the edges of the picture with a curves layer
- lighten up the fog by adjusting the levels
- finally I wanted to have a lighter green, which I achieved by extracting black out of the yellow          colour  with a Selective colour adjustment layer.

Now I had the picture that gave a quite good recollection of the mood I encountered on that early September morning at the river.

Thanks for reading!

21 October, 2011

Selective Focus & Creating a Vintage Look with Textures


Today I'd like to show you one way to process a vintage look by using textures. Furthermore I want to explain to you how I created an artificial selective focus by using a Photoshop filter.
I came across a photo I took back in summer of a field of barley. I chose a low angle, because I wanted the feeling of being in the field.

Creating a vintage look isn't hard to do. Three of my recently created textures work quite well for this kind of image.

Creating a selective focus

I wanted a stronger focus on the track, so I decided to apply a Photoshop filter: lens blur.
I like this filter very much, because you can do amazing things with it. 

To achieve a soft blur gradient you first have to copy your background picture and hit the "Q"- key to get a layer mask. Then you have to click on the gradient tool. Make sure to select the "reflected gradient" type. If you draw a short line from left to right on the copied layer, you get a vertical red area (a "mask") which will later be your selection, if you hit the"Q- key" again.
Just try until you achieve a mask that covers the area you want to have blurred.
To apply the blur to your selection go to Filter - blur - lens blur. I usually choose octagonal and play around with the radius setting,  everything else I usually leave at "0".

Here's a before & after:

Version without blur

With lens blur filter

Vintage look with textures
I used three of my new textures for this:

1. light fabric / 2. light grunge / 3. backside paper

Here is a screen shot of the layer settings that shows you how I applied the textures. I also hope this makes it easier for you to follow my work flow.

Of course you can always play around with the layer settings and blending modes to get the look that you like. I played around for a while - added textures, didn't like them and erased them again later - and tried different blending modes. Working with textures has a lot to do with trying things out
(Which for me is a big part of the fun)

I like to use a dark blue layer to change the appearance of the colours. At this setting the effect is that white becomes a light yellow tint and the blacks a light blue one.

Here is the final result:

Field Track

Have a great weekend!
If you have questions or suggestions please don't hesitate to ask!


07 October, 2011

The making of a texture & how I used it

Its autumn and I must admid I love the moods that light, fog and nature create in that season. I wanted to make a post about the creation of a texture and yesterday I found myself in a situation where I ended up altering a texture for a shot I took on a foggy morning last November.

It is a photo of an meanwhile dead hawthorne tree full of red berries.  Of course, the original file wasn't that colourful and I wanted to give a real warm autumn feel to it. So I made my first corrections in Lightroom enhancing the red of the berries and using the colouring tool to give it a yellow tint:

Lightroom export

I also felt that the foggy parts on the pic's left side lacked interest, so I searched my archives for a suitable texture but couldn't find one that I was completely satisfied with.

I chose a texture I started to make some time ago and made some adjustments & alterations to get the one I finally used. I originally started with the folllowing picture:


Of course, I wanted the texture to be much finer so I decided to make a copy of the background layer and rotated it by 180° and got this:

Two layers, 2nd rotated 180°

Now I had a much finer pattern. I decided to add two layers of brush strokes to make the picture lighter and add some more structure to it.

Brush strokes

I copied this layer and set the first layer at 80% opacity / 100% fill - soft light, the second layer settings were 20% opacity / 100 % fill - hard light resulting in this:

First version of texture

I found the greenish leaves & branches  in the upper right  and the down left corners disturbing so I used Photoshop's patch tool to soften them. I also adjusted the colours and enhanced the red and yellow tones. I also added a dark red border and was finally satisfied with my new texture:

Autumn Leaves Texture

This texture will be part of a new texture pack I am working on, but you can download a higher resolution version here: 
Download Autumn leaves texture

I'd love to see what you used it for. If you are a flickr member you can submit your work to my group

dyrkwyst texture central

Thanks for reading!