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How to Create a Reflection Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Here is the end result of this tutorial:


Here I have a scenic photo that I’ll add a reflection to:


The first thing I’ll do is extend the canvas where I want to add the reflection. I’ll go to Image / Canvas size:


Here the Canvas Size dialog box comes up. I’ll click on the top arrow because I want the added canvas to be at the bottom of the image. Where it shows the Height, I’ll add a few inches. The Height I’ll make 18. Here is the box when it first opens:


Here is the Canvas Size dialog box after the adjustments. Then I’ll click OK:


Here is the image with the extended canvas:


The next thing I’ll do is use the Magic Wand tool to select the white canvas:


I’ll click once on the white canvas to make the selection:


Now I’m going to pick a greenish color straight from the image. I’m using a greenish color, because it just happens to suit this image to give the water a greenish, murky color. I’ll use the Eye Dropper tool from the tools palette. I’ll just hover the dropper over the color I want, and click. I’ll be able to see the color I choose in the color picker box:


The next thing I’ll do is use the Brush Tool to paint in the color green into white canvas:


Here is what the image looks like so far:


Now I’ll hit CTRL+D to deselect the green section of the canvas:


Now I’m going to make a copy of the background layer. I’ll hit CTRL+J on my keyboard. Here’s what it looks like in the layers palette:


The next thing I’ll do is use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the top part of the image. I will not be selecting the solid green section of the image. While using the Rectangular Marquee tool, I usually start at the bottom left or right corner and drag up to the opposite corner, then release the mouse:


Now I’ll go to Edit / Transform / Flip Vertical:


Now I’ll use the Move Tool to drag the flipped image down so that it covers the extra green canvas:


This is what it looks like at this point:


In “Layer 1” I’ll lower the Opacity to 60%:


See the results:


Next I’ll use some filters. The first filter I’ll use is Gaussian Blur. Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur:


Here the Gaussian Blur dialog box comes up. I’ll use a Radius of 3.7 pixels:


The next filter I’ll use is the Wave filter. Filter / Distort / Wave:


Here the Wave dialog box comes up. The settings I used for this are: Number of Generators: 24, Wavelength: Min. 6, Max. 29, Amplitude: Min. 6, Max. 20, and Scale: Horiz. 6%, Vert. 6%. The Type I’ll keep at “Sine”, and the Undefined Areas I’ll keep at “Repeat Edge Pixels.” Then I’ll click OK:


Now I’ll add a layer mask to “Layer 1”. I’ll make sure that “Layer 1” is selected and then I’ll click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette:


Next I’ll go to the Gradient tool in the tools palette. I’ll choose the Linear gradient. I’ll set the Opacity to 50%:


Now I’ll drag the Gradient tool, starting at the top center of the reflection and ending at the bottom center of the reflection:


Here is the end result:

Custom Shapes in Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Below is one of the results you’ll get by following this tutorial. I also show other examples at the end:


Here I have a photograph of a horse and rider jumping that I’ll drop into Photoshop. It’s a nice shot, but I want to get a little creative with it, so I’ll add a custom shape to make it interesting:


I’ll make sure to change the name of the background layer by double clicking on the word “Background” in the Layers palette. I’ll do this because I want to unlock the layer:


I’ll rename “Layer 0” to “Original Background”. Then I’ll click OK:


Here is the Layers palette at this point:


Now I want to add a new layer below the original background layer and fill it with white. To do this I’ll click on the “New Layer” icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, while at the same time I’ll hold down the CTRL key on my keyboard:


This is what the Layers palette looks like at this point:


To fill “Layer 1” with white, first I’ll click on the double arrows on the color picker in the tools palette and make sure that white is the foreground color:


Now I’ll hit ALT+Backspace on my keyboard to fill “Layer 1” with white.

This is what the Layers palette looks like at this point:


In this step I’ll make sure to click on the “Original Background” layer to make it active. When a layer is highlighted in blue, then you know it’s active:


Now I want to add a “Vector Mask” to the “Original Layer Background” I’ll go to Layer / Vector Mask / Hide All.

Note: When you finish this step, the white fill will cover the photo. That is what’s supposed to happen.


Now it’s time to pick a shape. I’ll go to the custom shape tool in the tools palette. At the top of the screen I’ll make sure that the “Add to Path” button is selected:


Here I’ll click on the drop down menu to see all the custom shapes. I found a great web site that offers free custom shapes. It’s www.ladyoak.com. This is where I got the custom shape that I’m using for this tutorial.


Now that I have a shape selected, I’ll just drag it across the white box. I usually start from the upper left hand corner and drag down to the bottom right hand corner. I’m a lefty, so if you feel more comfortable going from right to left then do whatever is easiest for you.

If I need to move the custom shape to the left, right, up or down for a fine adjustment, I’ll click on the path selection tool in the Tools palette. Then I’ll click on the shape and drag the shape to the position I want:


This is the shape I chose for my photo, and this is what it looks like so far:


And this is what my Layer palette looks like at this point too:


The next thing I want to do is give the shape a drop shadow. So, I’ll click on the “Layer Style” icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:


Here the Layer Style menu comes up, and I’ll click on the Drop Shadow option:


Here are the settings I chose for the “Drop Shadow”. Blend Mode is set to “Multiply”. Angle is set to 129, Distance: 39, Spread: 17 and Size: 3:


I also decided to do a “Bevel and Emboss”, so I’ll click on the words “Bevel and Emboss” to bring up its own dialog box. Here are the settings I used in the Structure portion. Style: Inner Bevel, Technique: Smooth, Depth: 100%, Direction: Up, Size: 5 and Soften: 0. In the Shading portion I used Angles: 40, Altitude: 30, Highlight Mode: Screen, Opacity: 75%, Shadow Mode: Multiply and Opacity for the shadow mode: 75%. When I’m finished I’ll click OK:


Here is what the Layers palette looks like in the end:


And here is the finished image:


Here’s one last step you can do, if you want to add a color to the background. Make sure “Layer 1″ is selected:


Click on the paint bucket in the Tools palette:


Then go to the Swatches palette:


When I click on a color, the color that was chosen will appear in the color picker in the tools bar:


I’ll just hover the paint bucket over any part of the white background and click:


Here are some other shape examples:








Again, thank you www.ladyoak.com for all the free custom shapes and so much more.

How to Make a Simple Collage Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Below is the final result of this tutorial.


Here I have a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ll use the same photo to make a simple collage.


The first thing I’ll do is hit Ctrl+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate layer:


Then I’ll make the background layer active by clicking on it. I’ll also click on the “eye” of “Layer 1” so that it’s not visible:


Now I’ll go to Image / Adjustments / Hue and Saturation:


When the Hue / Saturation dialog box comes up, I’ll bring the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to +51. I’m not going to touch the Hue slider; I’ll just leave it at 0. This will give the layer a subtle washed out look. Then I’ll click OK:


Now I’ll go back to the layers palette and click on “Layer 1″ to make it active. I’ll also click the box where the “eye” should be so that I can see the layer:


Now I’ll go to Edit / Transform / Scale:


At this point I’ll see a border around the photo with four small boxes at the corners. With my mouse I’ll grab one of the corners and bring it down across the photo while I hold down the SHIFT key on my keyboard. Holding the SHIFT key keeps the scale proportional. I’ll decide how large or small I want the inner photo to be.



Note: While holding the shift key make sure you let go of the mouse before you take your finger off the shift, otherwise it won’t work. Here I think this size looks ok:


Now I’ll click on the check mark on the options bar at the top of the screen to commit to the transform:


Now I’ll click on the “move tool” in the tools palette to center the inner photo:


This is what it looks like at this point. Just a few steps left:


While “Layer 1” is still active, I’ll go to the layer style, “FX” at the bottom of the layers palette, and click on the Stroke option:
     

Here the Layer Style dialog box comes up. I want to set the size to 8, and make the Position “Inside”. I’ll keep the Blend mode set to “Normal” and Opacity set to 100. I also want to change the border around the photo from black to white, so I’ll click on the color box:


When I click on the black box, the Select Stroke Color dialog box comes up. I’ll just click on the top left hand corner of the box to select the color white. When I’m ready, I’ll click OK:


Here I still have the Layer Style dialog box open. The next thing I want to do is to add a drop shadow. I’ll check the drop shadow box by clicking on the square box and the words “Drop Shadow” for the drop shadow box to come up:


In the Drop Shadow section on the right, I have the Blend Mode set to “Multiply”, the Opacity set to 75%, the Angle set to 131, Distance 63, Spread 14, and the Size I have set to 27. When I like how it looks I’ll click OK:


Here is the finished collage:

Using Topaz Adjust in Photoshop

Posted in HDR, Photography, Photoshop

Above is an example of what you can expect from following this tutorial. Here I have a photo I took recently in Kauai. Its ok, but I can get artistic with Topaz: Topaz Adjust is a program that installs right into Photoshop as a plug-in. Once you install the Topaz Adjust program into Photoshop, it will go into the Filter menu. To open, I’ll go to Filter/Topaz Labs/Topaz Adjust 3: This is what the interface looks like: I can pick one of the presets that are on the left side of the screen, or I can use the control panel at the bottom of the screen. I prefer to use the controls: With the first example, I’ll give this image a grungy HDR look. Here are the Exposure settings for this image: Here are the settings for Details. The details controls are what really gives the grungy look: Here are the settings for the Color: With this photo, since I’m going for the grungy look, I won’t use the last tab — the Noise tab. When I’m finished and I like how the photo looks, I’ll click OK. The photo will open in Photoshop, where I can make more adjustment if I want to. At any time, if I should change my mind about a setting, all I have to do is hit the Reset Tab button. This resets only the individual tab like the Exposures, Details, Color or Noise. If I were to hit Reset All button, all the tabs that I used would be reset to the original photo: Here is the before and after: Now I’m going to take the same photo and give it a painterly effect. Here are the Exposure settings: To give this image a painterly look, I’ll use the Details tab opposite of the way I used it to give the image the grungy look. I’ll bring the Strength slider to the left, giving the image less details, and the same with the Boost. Play around with all the sliders and see the effect it has: Here are the settings for the Color tab: Next I’ll use the Noise tab. This tab gives an extra soft look. When I use the Noise tab, it zooms in on the photo. To look around the photo, I’ll just hover my mouse on the image, then click and drag the photo to see effect on different parts of the image. Here is the setting I used for the Noise tab: Here is the before and after of the painterly look: Here are other examples of what can be done with this photo in Topaz Adjust:         Topaz has 30 day unlimited trials on all of their products, if you want to try this out.

How to Customize Text Into a Photograph Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Below is the result of this tutorial. I show other examples of what could be done at the end:


Here I have a photograph of a cat that I’ll use in this tutorial:


The first thing I’ll do is go to the text tool in the tools palette:


When I click on the “text tool”, I’ll be able to see all of my options on the tool bar at the top of the screen. For the text font I’ll choose “Impact” and for the text size I’ll choose “400pt” and I’ll leave the rest at the default settings. This is what it looks like:


Now I’ll type in the word “CAT”. When I’m finished, I’ll click the check at the top of the screen to make the application active:


The text tool will create its own layer:


Now I’ll take the “move tool” and position the word where I want it on the photograph:


This is what it looks like at this point:


Now I’ll change the name of the background layer to unlock it. This way I’ll be able to reposition the layers. I’ll name it “Original Background”:


Next I’ll drag the top layer named “CAT” under the “Original Background”:


Now that I’ve done this, the word “CAT” is gone. That’s ok. To get the word back, all I have to do is hold the ALT key on my keyboard at the same time I’ll hover my mouse over the line between the two layers, and click. I’ll be able to see the cursor turn into a circle with a black ball in it. That’s when I’ll click:


Here the background disappeared, leaving only the text:


At this point, I’m going to give the word a drop shadow and a little bevel and emboss. At the bottom of the layer palette, I’ll click on the “Add a Layer Style” icon:


Here I’ll click on Drop Shadow:


These are my setting for the Drop Shadow:


And here are my settings for Bevel and Emboss. This part is a matter of taste. See what suites your photo. When I’m happy with my results I’ll click OK:


Now I’ll click on the “Original Layer” and hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a copy. Then I’ll drag the “copy” layer to the bottom of the layers stack. This is what it should look like at this point:


And this is what the photo looks like at this point:


Now I can do whatever I want to the background. I can blur it, swirl it, and paint in a color or just paint in white.

While the copy layer is active, I’ll go to Filter/Blur/Radial Blur:


Here the Radial Blur dialog box comes up. I’ll set the Amount to 77, Blur Method to “Zoom” and Quality I’ll leave at “Good”. Then I’ll click OK:


Here’s the final effect:




Here are some more examples of what you can do with this:






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