How to Create Snow In A Photograph Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above, I have a photograph of a deer that I took in my backyard. It had already snowed the day before, so there’s snow on the ground. I’d like to add falling snow to this photograph to make it more interesting: The first thing I’ll do is hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate copy of my image. Then I’ll call it “Overcast Background”. I’ll double click on the word “Layer 1″ to rename it: The next thing I’ll do is to give the photograph a feeling of an overcast snowy day. I can see the sun on the branches behind the deer so I’ll dull it down by going into Selective Color. Go to Image, Adjustments, Selective Color: The Selective Color dialog box will come up. Looking at the photo I can see that the color red is the color I need to tone down. These are the setting I used for the reds. Before I click OK, I’ll make some adjustments to the “Yellow” colors too. Then I’ll click OK:     Now it’s time to add the falling snow. I’ll make a new layer at the bottom of the layers palette, and fill it with black. To fill the layer with black I’ll make sure that the foreground color in the color picker is black, and then I’ll hit ALT-DELETE on my keyboard to fill the layer with black. This is how everything should look at this point: Now I want to add specks to the image. So I’ll go to Filter, Noise, Add Noise: Here the Add Noise dialog box comes up. For this image I’ll set the Amount to 100, Distribution to Gaussian, and it’s very important to check the Monochromatic box at the bottom. If I didn’t, I’d be able to see a lot of colored artifacts in the specks. Check the box on and off to see for yourself. Then click OK: The next thing I want to do is blur the specks. I’ll go to Filter, Blur, Blur More: There are too many specks. To get rid of some of them I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Levels: Here the Levels dialog box comes up. These are the settings I used. Then I’ll click OK: To get rid of the black and only leave the white specks, I’ll go to the layers palette and look at the area where it says “Normal”. This will bring up the blending modes. I’ll click on the “Screen” mode: Here is what the photo looks like so far: Now it’s time to add some motion to the snow to make it look more realistic. I’ll go to Filter, Blur, Motion Blur: The Motion Blur dialog box will open up. I’ll set the Angle to -65 and the Distance to 7. Then I’ll click OK: The next thing I’ll do is make a duplicate layer. I’ll go to, Layer, Duplicate Layer. When the dialog box comes up I’ll click OK:     The next thing I’ll do is make the snow look like it’s falling downward. I’ll go to Edit, Transform, Rotate 180°: Then I’ll go to Edit, Free Transform: When I’m in Free Transform, I’ll go to the top tool bar and click on the lock to maintain the aspect ratio. I’ll make the Width 200% and the Height will follow at 200% because I clicked the lock. I’ll click on the check to accept the transform: Here is the photo and palettes at this point. Almost finished: The next thing I’ll do is go to Filter, Pixelate, Crystallize. This will make some of the snowflakes bigger than others, for a more realistic look: The Crystallize dialog box will come up. I’ll make the Cell Size 16. Then I’ll click OK: The next thing I’ll do is take the eraser tool at a low opacity and clear away some of the snow around the deer face and a little at the bottom of the photo: When I clean up with the eraser tool, I go from “Layer 1 copy” to “Layer 1″, because they both have snow. Here is what the Layers Palette should look like: The last thing I’ll do is blur the “Layer 1 copy” just one more time. I’ll keep the same setting as before, when the Motion Blur dialog box comes up. Then I’ll click OK:     Here is the before and after: Enjoy!

How to Make Easy Decorative Frames Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above is the result of this tutorial. Here I have an image of a young girl enjoying a snow day. I’d like to put a decorative frame around it to make it more interesting. Maybe make a holiday card out of the photograph. The first thing I’ll do is use the crop tool: I’ll select the whole image with the crop tool: Then I’ll hold down the ALT key and drag the crop outside the image. First on the top of the image, then on the side of the image: Here is what it looks like before I click the check box on the options bar: Now the image has a white frame around it. To make it more interesting, I’ll make the frame black. To do this, I’ll use the paint bucket. I’ll make sure the foreground in the color picker is black. Then I’ll click once with the paint bucket on the white frame to fill it: Next, I’ll use a snow flake paint brush to make the black frame decorative:        I’ll use the bracket keys on my keyboard to make the snow flake brush the right size for the frame. I can choose any color I want from the color picker. I think I’ll make the snow flake white. I’ll just hit the “X” key on my keyboard to switch the black foreground to white: Here’s the finished image. I used five different snow flake brushes from a set of 27, which I’ll give you to download at the end of this tutorial. I overlapped some of them into the photograph, and some I kept in the black frame: This tutorial is very easy, made for beginners. There are no layers or masks. Just remember, NEVER work on an original photograph. Make a copy first. Then you can play all you want without the worry of destroying your original. Here are the snow flake brushes to download. Have fun!

How to Colorize an Old Black & White Photograph

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to colorize a black and white photo into the above image. Here I have a photograph of my grandmother taken when she was 16. It has a sepia cast which I’ll need to get rid of to do a proper colorization of this photo: The first thing I’ll do is turn this photograph black & white. I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Black & White: The Black & White dialog box will open up. Since the photo is sepia, most of the sliders will do nothing. Just the red and yellow will make a difference. I’ll move the sliders to the right to lighten the photo just a little, then click OK: The next thing I’ll do is make a new layer. This is the layer I’ll use to paint on. I’ll name this layer “Overalls” and I’ll make sure that I change the mode from Normal to Color: Now I’ll pick a color from the color picker palette. I’ll choose a blue color for the overalls: The next thing I’ll do is add a mask to the “Overalls” layer. I’ll click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette: I used the mask to clean all around the overalls. Remember black reveals and white conceals when you’re painting with the mask: Here’s the photograph so far: I decided to lower the opacity of the blue overalls; this is how the layers palette looks at this point: Now it’s time to add some skin color. This can be tricky and it’s a matter of taste. I’ll make a new layer like I did for the overalls and I’ll label it “Skin Color”. I’ll remember to change the mode from Normal to Color. I’ll pick a light brown color, and when I’m finished painting the skin I’ll just lower the opacity to give it a more realistic look: Using the same method as above, I’ll make the hat and scarf yellow. Here’s what the layers palette should look like. It’s hard to see anything in the hat and skin layers because the colors are light. But they are there: Here’s the finished photograph: This post is dedicated to Katie. I hope this helps you.

Creating a Glamorous Girl

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above, I have a photo of a model that I had taken in Amherst, MA. This shot is straight out of the camera and needs some work. The first thing I’m going to do is go into the color balance to correct her skin color: When the Color Balance dialog box opens up I’ll put in (-6, +2, +13) to take out some of the orange cast to her skin. Then I’ll click OK: Now I’m going to zoom in close to her eyes. The first thing you look at, for most people, is a person’s eyes. I’ll brighten them up and make them stand out. I’ll brighten the eyes using the Dodge Tool: I’ll pick a small soft brush and slowly dodge around the whites of her eyes at a low exposure of about 17%. I’ll set the range to Highlight: See the difference between the left eye that was dodged and the right eye that wasn’t touched yet: Now that the eyes are done, it’s time to make her lips a little redder so they stand out. For this step I’m going to pick a color that’s already her lip color. I’ll use the Eye Dropper Tool from the tools bar. I’ll click once on her lips to capture the color: Here, I’ll use a soft brush, and it’s important to have the brush mode set to Color. I’ll use a 50% opacity: I deepened the color of hers lips and dodged her teeth, and I also dodged the highlights in her lips: Now it’s time to work on her hair. I’ll pick a bright highlight color from her hair the same way I picked a color for her lips, using the eyedropper tool. Here is the color I selected: I want the color to be brighter than the color I selected, so I’ll double click on the color that’s in the foreground of the Color Picker box. This will bring up the Color Picker dialog box. There’s a white circle, which represents the color chosen. I’ll just drag it up a little to pick a color that’s brighter. Then I’ll click OK. I’ll adjust the opacity of the brush as I paint around her hair: The next thing I’ll do is to brighten the image overall. To do this I’ll use the curves: When the Curves dialog box opens, I’ll just grab the center of the line and drag it up just a little to brighten the image overall. Then I’ll click OK. The last thing I’ll do is just run the history brush across her lips to make them darker and stand out. I’ll set the history brush one step before the curves in the history palette:            Here are the before and after shots. The fixes are subtle, but make a big difference: I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Surrealism – Bringing Fruit to Life

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above is the result of this tutorial. Here I have a photo of a red pepper. I think it needs a little life. I’ll take it and drop it into Photoshop: What I need to do is get a photo of eyes and a photo of a mouth. Here I have a photo of eyes that I’ll start with. Family members are good victims for this: I’ll try to make this as easy as possible. For this project I’ll use the clone tool. So, the first thing I’ll do is select the clone tool from the tool box: Before I start to do any cloning, I’ll make a new layer to put the cloned eye onto. Click the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette: I’ll rename the layer to “Left Eye”. To do this I’ll just double click on the word “layer” and type in the words “Left Eye”: Then I’ll click on the eye photo to make it active. I’ll place the clone brush over the left eye, hold down the ATL key on the keyboard to make the selection. One click should do it. Then I’ll click on the pepper photo and start cloning in the eye: The next thing I’ll need to do is to add a mask to the “Left Eye” layer. To do this I’ll click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette: Now I’ll start painting back the pepper around the eye using the paint brush. It’s important to know the when you’re painting using the mask. Black reveals and white conceals: Here I painted back the red pepper around the eye using low opacity. I used an opacity of 45% and I left the mode to normal: Now I’ll follow the same steps to do the right eye: Here I have a photo of a family member’s mouth. I’ll follow the same steps for the mouth as for each of the eyes: Here is what the layer palette should look like at this point, and here is the happy pepper. I’m not quite finished yet though: The next thing I’ll do is combine the layers. To do this without flattening the image, hit CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E at the same time on your keyboard to create a “composite” layer. This will merge the layers together into a copy of the combined layers, leaving the original layers untouched. I’ll name this layer “Merged Layers”: The next thing I like to do is put the photo into the liquify filter to make the eyes bigger. I’ll make sure that I’m on the “Merged Layers” layer: Here is the Liquify dialog box: Once I’m in the Liquify dialog box, I’ll use the bloat tool to puff up the eyes: I’ll just click on the tool and then hover over the eye. At this point I’ll click on the center of the eye and I’ll be able to see the eye puff up. I just want to puff it up a little, not too much. See the difference between the left eye that I bloated and the untouched right eye. When I’m finished I’ll click OK: Here is the finished “Happy Pepper” photo: It’s not over till it’s over. There’s still a lot of things I can do to this image to enhance it. It’s fun to play with filters and other tools to see what more could be done. So, take photos of apples, pears, bananas or whatever fruit you like and have fun with it. Enjoy!
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