Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop’

Simple Way to Get Rid of Noise using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above is a photo of a black cap chick that I took the other day. It was very overcast and the lighting wasn’t good at all, but I decided to take the shot anyway. It’s very grainy because I had the ISO on my camera set to 800 and the lighting conditions were poor. What I’ll do is hit CTRL-J on my keyboard to make a duplicate layer. It will be called “Layer 1″. Just double click on the word and change it to whatever you’re working on. I’m going to call my layer “Bird”. The next thing I’ll do is go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. The dialog box for the Gassian Blur will come up. You don’t need to get crazy with the blur, unless you have a lot of distractions in the background. In this case, I just want to get rid of the noise behind the bird where it’s most obvious. Here I set the blur to 4.0. When you’ve decided how much blur is good for your photo, then click OK. Now it’s time to put a mask on the “Bird” layer. Using the mask will make it easier to bring back the sharpness into the bird and still keep the noiseless background untouched. I’ll then click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette. You’ll see the mask box appear in the “Bird” layer. Now all I have to do is paint back the parts of the photo that should be sharp. Make sure that you click on the mask box in the layer to make it active. You’ll see a border go around the small white box when it’s active. I’ll start painting with a black brush to bring out the original image. If you make a mistake and paint the wrong thing, no problem. Switch to the white brush to bring back the blurred layer. Don’t forget you have total control over the brush. You can lower the “Opacity” of the brush while you’re working. Then you can bring back some of the original image. For example, when I brought back the branch the bird is standing on, I used 50% opacity. The main focus is the bird. I don’t want a blurry branch, but at the same time I don’t want the graininess of the branch to pull the viewers eye away from the bird. The opacity brush is located on the tool bar at the top of your screen when you are using the brush. When you are finished you can save the layers as a .psd file, or you can flatten the layer by going to Layer, Flatten Image. Here are the before and after images. You don’t want what you’ve done to be obvious; you want it to be subtle. If you overdo the blur, your photo will looked worked on and you don’t want that. Here I zoomed in closer to the backgrounds so that you can see the difference between the before and after. You can definitely see the difference between the two. The original photo on the top is very grainy and the fixed one under it isn’t grainy. Try this with some of your photos and see how it works for you.

Making Black & White Photos “POP” Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above, I have a photo of my neighbor’s cat. I turned it into a black and white photo, but it’s not quite right. It needs a little “pop” to make it more interesting. There are a few simple ways to do this without getting too crazy. The first way is very easy. First I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Exposure: Here the Exposure dialog box comes up: I grab the slider that’s called Offset and bring it slowly to the left. You can see the darks in the image getting pronounced. Then I go to the Gamma Correction and bring that to the left just a little bit. Already you should see a difference. Then I go to the Exposure slider and bring that to the right to brighten the photo. Here are the settings I used for this image: Look at the before and after to see the difference: Here I’ll use a different method, with a shot of my family room that I turned black and white: First I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Selective Color: Once the Selective Color dialog box comes up, I go to the top of the box and pick the color black: The only slider I touch is the last one, the black slider. In this case I’ll make it a +10: Then I’ll pick white from the color selections and again I’ll only use the black slider. The white slider I’ll bring to the left, making the whites whiter. For this I use a -8. Then I’ll click OK: Next I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast: With the Brightness/Contrast dialog box open, I’ll push both sliders to the right. Try not to have a heavy hand. Just a little should do it. For this image I use a +11 for both brightness and contrast. Then I’ll click OK: Here are the before and after pictures: Try both methods and see which one works best for you. Remember every picture is different. The numbers that work for me might be different for you. So, play around with the sliders. Have fun and keep playing with Photoshop.

Creating Lightning in an Image using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above, I have an image of the Portland Headlight that I already turned black and white in Photoshop. I think lightning shots look more dramatic in black and white. The first thing I do is drop the image into Photoshop. Next I go to the brush icon on the tools palette: Then I go to the top of the screen to the options bar. Click on the arrow that’s pointing down to open the brush menu: Here’s the open menu box: Next I’ll pick a lightning brush that I’ll give away at the end of this tutorial. The number of the brush is 445. Make sure that the color picker box is set to white in the foreground, so that the lighting will be white: The next thing you’ll need to do is to make a new layer. Just click on the layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette, and rename layer 1 to “Lightning” by clicking on the word “Layer 1”: The next step is to apply the brush. Hover the brush over the image without clicking. See where you want to put it. It will most likely start out to small. Make the brush larger using the [ ] bracket keys on your keyboard. When you’ve decided where to put the lightning, click once. Don’t move the mouse in case you’d like to give the brush a second click to make the lightning streaks a little stronger. I had to use it twice with two clicks of the mouse: Now that the lightning is on its own layer, you have the option to move the lightning. You might decide to move a little to the left or right, or even up and down. If you just used the lightning brush on the image without having it on its own layer you wouldn’t have the option of moving it around. Now that that lightning is on its own layer you can you can even transform the scale of the lightning. Let’s say you like the lightning the way it is, but you wish it was just a little longer or a little wider. It’s easy. Go to Edit, Transform, Scale: You’ll see the transform box appear around the lightning. Just grab the little square boxes and drag the mouse slowly to see how the lightning fits into your image: Then click the check to apply the transform: Here’s the finished image: Have fun trying this on your own and don’t forget to download the lightning brush here.

Replacing a Color in Photographs Using Photoshop

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Below, I have a photograph of a tulip that I had taken not too long ago. I like the color of the tulip, but for this tutorial I’ll change the color of the tulip using the Replace Color tool from the Adjustments menu in Photoshop:


The first thing I’ll do is drop the image into Photoshop. Next I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Replace Color:


Here the Replace Color dialog box comes up:


Let’s concentrate on the top part of the box for now. In my photograph I want to change the color of the tulip, which is the red part of the image. When I hover my mouse over the part of the flower I want to change, I can see an eyedropper appear in the box. This is telling me, pick the color I want to change.

Here I clicked the eyedropper once over the red part of the flower. It’s only capturing one specific shade of red. I want it to pick all of the red:


What I need to do is go to the top of the Replace Color dialog box and pick the eyedropper with the + next to it:


Once I have the positive eyedropper selected, I’ll go back to the highlighted tulip and click around. Take your time, one click at a time and see how much of the color is being selected. In this example I want to get all of the different shades of red. If I miss any, I won’t be changing all of the red in the flower. Notice how all of the red is selected. Compare the next image to the one above to see the difference:


I literally had to click around 14 times to get all of the different shades of red.

Now it’s time to do some color changing. The first slider I’ll go to is the Hue slider. Here I’ve decided to make the tulip blue:


I can see that the base of the tulip still has some red, and I want to get rid of it. If you want or need to get just a little more or a little less of the color you’re selecting, go to the Fuzziness slider. This is where the Fuzziness slider comes in handy:


So, I’ll go to the Fuzziness slider and bring it to the right until I’m happy with the results. Here I brought the slider to 134 and I like the way it looks:


Now I can go ahead and play with the Saturation and Lightness sliders. These sliders have nothing to do with changing the color. They just enhance the color being changed. These were my final settings:


Here is my end result:


This blog post is dedicated to Bobby.

How to Create Motion in an Image

Posted in Photography, Photoshop

Above is the finished product of this tutorial. Here I have an image of some children playing soccer. I used a fast shutter speed while taking this image, to freeze the action. At this point I think I’d like to put some motion into the image: The first thing I do is drop the image into Photoshop. I’ll make a selection around the boy who is ready to kick the ball. He’s the main focus of this image. To make the selection I’ll use the lasso tool in the tool bar: When I make the selection around the boy, I’ll make sure to feather the selection so that the boy doesn’t look selected with a hard edge. To feather the selection, I go to Select / Modify / Feather: For this image I think I’ll feather at 45 pixels. Then I click OK: The next thing I need to do is to inverse the selection. Right now the boy is selected. I need to have everything around the boy selected. This is why I’m going to inverse the selection. I’ll go to Select / Inverse: Then I’ll go to Filter / Blur / Motion Blur: This is where you have to decide how much motion blur you want. For this image I think I’ll use a motion blur of 171 pixels and keep the “Angle” at 0. I make sure the preview box is checked in the Motion Blur dialog box. Then I click OK: On my keyboard, I hit the keys CTRL-D to deselect the selection. For any reason you see something else in the image that you wish you didn’t blur, you can always go to the history brush and bring it back. Here I decided to bring back the ball, but not 100%. I’ll go to the history brush and I’ll also make sure the history is marked off (the little paintbrush next to the Open step in the image, below) in the History Palette to the point I want to go back:         Here I’m going to bring the opacity of the history brush to 35%. I brush the ball to see how I like how it comes out. If I want to see more of the soccer ball, then I just brush over it again: Here’s the finished image: Have fun!
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