26 January, 2012

Frosty Morning - Selective Texturizing

Hello,

today I have chosen a photo of a very frosty and cold winter morning from last year. It is a suitable example of how I texturize my pictures these days. I more & more use Photoshop's opportunities to selectively apply my textures using layer masks, different blending modes and gradients.  To keep it simple and for you to better follow what I have done, I have limited myself to essentially three easy techniques in this photo (usually it is a lot more work....)

The final result:

Frosty Morning

Creating a Vertorama

To create this view I stitched these two pictures in Photoshop and created a vertorama. Here are the two photos before I combined them in PS:



FM 1
FM 2

The vertical panorama that was the start for my further processing looked like this:


What I really like about stitching photos is, that you get a very large photo to work with. This is about 25 mp large!


Processing with Textures

There is no colour to speak of (and this is not a b&w conversion!) and the sky was just plain white or the clouds were not discernible. So I wanted to add some structure to the sky. Browsing through my texture files I came across my Light Grunge texture that I wanted to have for the sky:


Light Grunge




I selected only the sky and the bright parts of the tree tops and erased the rest of the texture to get some structure to the featureless white sky.

Next I chose my "overcast" texture, because I hoped to brighten the middle part of the picture, especially the trees and the bushes.
Overcast
As this texture provides a vignette ( a brighter middle) I was satisfied with the effect it had by using only a blending mode (overlay). I didn't have to erase any parts of the texture - so sometimes selective texturizing can be achieved simply by chosing the right blending mode and texture.

But the picture still looked a bit dull to me and I wanted to have some cold blue/green hues as well as a subtle vignette. Instead of adding a colour gradient I thought of achieving this by using a texture. My eye fell on another one from my texture pack:

paper & stone

Tone & texture seemed perfect for a vignette.  So dragged it on to my picture and added a layer mask. I chose a soft brush and erased (painted away) the middle of the texture. (Please take a look at the layers)

Next I had to balance the green tone of the whole photo and added a colour layer. Finally I enhanced the contrast a bit and the picture was almost done. I couldn't resist to add two birds using brushes. Once again I am indebted to the brushes that Shadow House Creations provides:

Bird Brushes

Please check the copy of the layers to see how I blended everything and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Layers Frosty Morning



As mentioned before, the textures I have used are part of my Build your own texture pack .

Thanks for reading!


11 January, 2012

Tutorial - How to create the Orton Effect

Hello to my first post this year!!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and will have a wonderful creative year 2012!

Let's start!

Every now and then I like to apply a trick that you can create in Photoshop to give your pictures a nice soft glow and somewhat out of focus look. It is called "Orton Effect".



purple grass and fog

I used the effect on this picture, because I wanted to add a sublte soft glow to the red grass. On other pictures the effect creates sometimes a dreamy atmosphere.

Here are two other pictures where I used it:





Tutorial: How to create the Orton Effect

Step 1:

First you have to copy your background picture.

purple grass & fog original
 Step 2:

Then I go to Levels and brighten the copy of the background. I usually set the slider for the mid-tones up to about 1,5 and the slider for the highlights from 255 down to about 230.


That resulted in a much brighter overexposed copy:



Step 3:

Next you have to go to Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur
I usually set the blur somewhere about 60 to 70 pixel.  And that results in a very blurry pic:


Step 4:


Next thing ist to set the blending mode of the background picture from Normal to Multiply!! If the effect is too strong you might reduce the fill or the opacity of the layer.

That is all concerning the effect.


I did some additional processing such as adding textures and correcting the light and the colours. As usual you can take a look at the levels to see what I actually did.



In the case of this picture I had to brighten the foreground (the grass) in several steps, because I lost too much detail with the blurred background copy. In fact all layers that follow including the textures helped to subtly brighten the foreground.

Btw, I used these two textures from my Build your own texture pack:

Carrara

White Canvas Brushes



Here are two links on the Orton Effect:

www.digital-photography-school.com/the-orton-effect-mimicking-darkroom-processes-in-photoshop
www.naturephotographers.net/articles0106/dw0106-1.html


Thanks for reading!