24 October, 2012

Sculpting Light & Freebie

it's been a while since I gave away a texture, but today I have a wonderful freebie that helps you add a nice vignette to your photos. I needed a texture for a close-up of a bird I shot on La Palma in March and I couldn't find one that I liked so I altered & changed an older texture.

To demonstrate what I did let me first start with a before and after of my photo:
Move the mouse over the pic to see the change!

Raven Portrait
I used two of my free textures -
First a new one, that is the main texture in my picture:
Click on the picture to download it from Picasa!!

Violet Feathers Texture
Aus Free textures
The other one is an older freebie, you'll find it here :
Click on the picture to download!

Forest Light Texture
Aus Free textures
To make it easier to follow how I processed this picture I'll post the Photoshop layers for your information:

The background was very bright, almost white, so I used the texture twice.
The multiply - layer added a subtle structure to the background. As it made my subject too dark I erased the texture on the bird using a layer mask.
The second overlay-layer made the texture more visible and crisp.
I already had a nice vignette around my bird. I wanted to have a bid more light from the left so I added the forest light texture, which accentuated the bird's head and reduced the vignette in the top left corner of the image. I didn't need the green tones, so I changed the texture to b&w using a clipping mask.

Sculpting light with textures tips

- You can influence the existing light in a picture, but you can't create plausible light sources with textures
- you can strengthen parts of a picture, e.g. you can point to the main subjet (composition)
- use layer masks to erase parts that are disturbing or soften these parts using the blur tool
- use textures that provide a frame or a vignette or have a kind of light direction (from the sides, from above)
- try to invert very dark or very bright textures to see what they do
- experiment with blending modes
- use a light texture to brighten parts of a picture that are a bit too dark (using Soft Light / Overlay blending mode)
- use darker textures, e.g. to darken the sky or any other desired area ( e.g. by using Multiply or Color Burn blending mode)

I hope I gave you some ideas what can be done with textures when it comes to the manipulation of light.

Texture Promotion

My texture packs are still 15% off if you enter the Coupon code


Just follow one of the various links on this blog to the textures on my Homepage!
Promotion ends October 31, 2012!!!!

Thanks for reading!


11 October, 2012

Autumn texture promotion & fall impressions

I added some new textures (soft & grungy ones) to the build-your-own-texture-pack and also edited some of the existing textures and made them smoother and easier to work with.
You can take a look at them by following the above link.

You can also get a 15% discount on all textures by entering the coupon code


at the check out!!

This discount is only available until October 30, 2012!

Enough of promotion back to photos of autumn & its inspiring colors & moods:

All following pictures were processed using textures from one of my various packs.

Let's start with a shot I took last Sunday morning. When I became aware that I was unable to see a prominent TV tower on the hill outside of my window, I knew I had to get out to take some photos in the morning fog. This time I wasn't too lazy to take my tripod with me, so I am in some of the shots as well & of course could take longer exposures at a better ISO setting.

The light was fantastic with the rising sun coming through the trees. Still there was a light mist hanging in the forest. I also liked the contrast between the dark red leaves on the ground and the still green trees.

enjoying autum
After processing the picture in lightroom I used three of my newly added textures  to enhance the atmosphere. The textures I used were Gold Dust, Snake and Fog Screen. The latter one is perfect for strengthening already misty landscapes, forests with the blending mode set at "Normal". 
Please check the last post for more information!

As always, please have a look at a screenshot of the PF layers. 
The path in the foreground was missing some fallen red leaves, so I added some color on a separate layer above the background and painted it with a soft brush using the exact color of the leaves. To make it smoother I also applied a Gaussian blur (50%) on this layer.

Enjoying autum layers

 Some more autumn impressions:
Moody River

At the River
Autumn Morning Forest

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me!

Enjoy autumn!!!