During our digital photography workflow we do various manipulations, some of them we do so often that we cannot even see the final photograph without them. And here I briefly describe manipulations I do most often in my digital darkroom.
Recently I was asked a question "How do you convert a photograph into BW?" Of course, we are talking about Photoshop and digital darkroom techniques. The simplest way is to use Mode, Grayscale. But there are several approaches that could be used to achieve different results. And these approaches I am going to cover in this article
Recently I was asked how to create those thumbnails with shadows, which you can see in the galleries. The technique is not too complicated, and I am going to explain what you have to do to get similar results.
In this article I want to cover an alternative way to apply level corrections to a selected area of a picture with fuzzy edges. This technique is based on applying gradient fill to a layer mask, through which we select the content of the layer to correct the levels.
To speed up my work I often use shortcuts (combinations of keys), which invoke certain actions in Photoshop. And here is a short list of most frequently used ones.
On this page I want to describe how you can select a part of the picture based on a specific color(s). It helps a lot when you want to select this sky for further modifications. This technique is very simple and that's what makes it a good one. You don't need any meticulous work to select pixels and the selections is more exact (has a better quality).
This article is covering some operations that intend to improve the color of the sky in the image. If you have a photograph with a cloudy sky, then probably the sky is gray and tasteless. We will try to make it decent at least. We aren't the gods, but we have some powers. And what is interesting, that technique leaves the clouds (if the exist in the image) and makes the sky more contrast and blue.
Another question popped up. This time it was about the soft look you sometimes can see on my photographs. And, of course, it's one of many manipulations in Photoshop, which I am going to talk about in this article.
The goal of the article is creation of the frames for photographs using layer masks. In this article I want to mention one of the function in Photoshop, which help you make sure that outer sides of the images are empty (i.e. the gradient that should lead to "the emptiness" is performed fully). This function is called Equalize.
When you create sellable portraits your goal is to create a flattering image of the client. Many things in such portrait depend on the lighting, pose and other factors, such as props or the environment. Though with some lighting techniques you can reduce or even disguise various imperfections (e.g. blemishes, disproportions and etc.), you can push the limit even further. In this article I want to describe what could be done in Photoshop in order to make the person younger and even add some tan and glow to the skin.
This article is a revised version of the one called "Complex Black and White Conversion". It explains how to select and manipulate tone and contrast compositions in conversion of a color image into a black and white image, and how to add some effects and finally present it. The process may appear to be complex and cumbersome, but it provides a lot of possibilities to control the contrast and tones using a mix of channels and variations of blending modes. This article is somewhat based (expands) the one about Calculations.
There are many times when our workflow could be improved, one of those things is the accessibility to commands and features of Photoshop. Though you may find a whole bunch of tutorials and articles in the Internet with list of shortcuts, sometimes you need to set your own or look for ones, which you don't quite remember. Playing with some of the shortcuts I bumped into a dialog that allows us to set those shortcuts and see what is already there.
Some people asked me about my approach of getting color elements in black and white images. So in this article I am going to describe several approaches to do this and show the benefits and drawbacks of those.
The article could be easily called "Shoot once, Use it twice", because this article explains how to use a single RAW file to get most data out of it. Usually the dynamic range of the camera (or JPG file) doesn't allow capturing all the details in highlights or in shadows. But the RAW files have this information and a few steps would allow us to retrieve and use this information. That's why we are going to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) file using Smart Objects.
After reading one of the issues of magazine "Advanced Photoshop" with a tutorial on some cool effects, I started wondering how to create a cartoon painted image out of a photograph. There are several techniques to achieve similar results (i.e. Cut Out filter, techniques that use Pen tool and etc.), but all of them either were not good enough for what I had in mind or too time consuming, like the Pen tool technique. So, after a few rounds with Photoshop I found a way to do it simpler and good enough.