How to Create a Grunge Photograph using Photoshop Raw

This tutorial was inspired by a video by Matt Kloskowski on the NAPP site.

Here is the starting photo, that I took at a riding competition in Bedford Hills, NY:

For this tutorial all I’ll need is a .jpg file. In Photoshop, go to File/Open As and click:

I’ll pick a .jpg file from this folder and I’ll make sure to open it as a “Raw” file, then I’ll click Open:

Here’s the Camera Raw dialog box before I start to make any changes:

What I’ll do here is bring the Exposure to +20, Recovery to 73, Fill Light to 75, Blacks to 15, Brightness to -9, Contrast to +80, Clarity to +80, Vibrance to +80, and I bring down the Saturation to -50.

Here’s what the image looks like at this point with these settings:

The next thing I’ll do is go to the HSL/Grayscale and click on Luminance. I’ll make the Reds -100, Orange 14, Yellow 18, Green -73, Aquas -94, Blue -60, Purple 11 and Magentas 23:

Here I’ll give the image a little vignetting to bring the focus onto the horse and rider. I’ll go to the Post Crop Vignetting and give the Amount a -30 and Roundness -60:

Here is the finished image:

Now I’m going to save this as a preset, so I’ll go to the Preset tab and then click on the New Preset icon:

I’ll name it “Grungy Look” and then check all the features I used while creating this look. Then I’ll click OK:

Here’s the preset ready to be used for another image:

Here I opened another image in camera raw. I’ll click on the preset icon and then I’ll double click the “Grungy Look” preset to add the effect:

The good thing about doing to this way is that, if I don’t like any specific part of the image, I can go back to the Basic tab and tweak it to my liking:

If you’re into this kind of grungy look, have a great time playing with this tutorial and remember every image is different. The settings I used might be different from the settings you’ll need. Experiment and play around with the sliders. If the first image doesn’t come out to your liking, just try a different image. Not all images take a liking to this effect.

Have fun!

Surrealism – How to Create a Scary Skull Using Photoshop

This will be the end result of this tutorial:

Here I have a picture of a fake skull that I took during Halloween:

And here I have a picture I took of a bloodshot eye. A bad allergy day for him, but a good shot for me. It’s hard to find a good bloodshot eye like this one so I’ll make it available for download at the end of this tutorial along with the original skull.

Now, what I need to do is to “clone” the eye into the skull. I’ll choose the clone tool from the tools bar:

On the clone options bar at the top of the screen, I’ll make sure my clone brush hardness setting is 40%:

I’ll go to the skull image and create a duplicate layer by hitting CTRL+J on my keyboard:

I’ll rename the “Layer 1” layer to “Right eye” by double clicking on the words “Layer 1”:

Now I’ll go back to the eye image and proceed to clone over the pupil of the eye. I’ll hover the clone tool over the pupil of the eye and hit the ALT key at the same time to capture the clone:

Now I’ll go back to the skull image and clone in the right eye.

Next ‘ll make another duplicate layer and call it “Left eye”. This is what the image looks like so far:

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

The next thing I’ll do is go to the burn tool in the tools bar. I’ll darken the bottom teeth just a little:

Now I’ll go to Filter/Liquify:

The Liquify dialog box comes up. This is where I’ll use the smudge tool to create the fangs and to drop down the forehead just a little to make the skull look a little scarier:

This is what the skull looks like at this point:

Now I’ll go to the brush tool in the tools bar and select a “crack brush”, #1547. I’ll include thirteen crack brushes, for you to decide what to use, with the images at the end of this tutorial.

Here is the brushes dialog box with the brush:

Now I’ll go to FX at the bottom of the layers palette to add a layer style. I’ll name it “Cracked Effect”:

This is where I’ll add a “Drop Shadow” and a “Bevel and Emboss”:

Here’s the image at this point:

The last thing I’m going to do, is to take the burn tool from the tools bar and burn most of the left eye out. I’ll make it where you can barely see it, and darken some spots around the right eye to make it look more sunken in. I’ll also darken a few little spots around the skull and by the tip of the right tooth to make it look broken off:

Here’s the end result:

Here’s a ZIP file with the skull image, the bloodshot eye image, and a brush file with the 13 crack brushes.

Have fun!

How to Turn a Photograph Into a Cartoon Effect

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here is a photograph of some flowers I took in my backyard:

The first thing I’ll do is go to Filter / Sketch / Photocopy:

When the Photocopy dialog box comes up, I’ll make the image viewable at 25% by clicking on the (-) at the left hand bottom part of the dialog box. This way I’ll be able to see the whole photo, not just part of it:

In this dialog box, I’ll take the Detail slider all the way to the right, which is 24, and I’ll bring the Darkness slider to about 20. Then I’ll click OK:

The next thing I’ll do is hit CTRL+J on my keyboard to make a duplicate copy of my background layer. I’ll name it “Flowers”. In the History palette I’ll also check the history marker next to the “Open” stage in the history palette.

This is what the palettes should look like at this point:

Next I’ll pick the history brush from the tool bar:

I’ll go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and change the mode from Normal to Multiply:

Using the history brush, I’ll start painting back the color of the flowers at 100% opacity. I’ll put the green background on another layer so that I can change the opacity separately. Using the multiply brush brings out any color cast that might be in the image, and exaggerates it. So, in the layers palette, I lower the opacity to 74%.

Here’s the image so far:

If you need to clean up any edges, you can use the eraser tool in the tool bar:

Here, I show the opacity lowered to 74%. Here’s the finished layers palette:

The good thing about being in multiply mode, is that with every paint stroke you can make the colors richer. I recommend using a soft brush when using this mode.

Here’s the “before” and “after” shots:


Try this out and experiment with different modes. They all do something unique.

Have fun!

How to Create Snow In A Photograph Using 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:


How to Colorize an Old Black & White Photograph

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.

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