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.
Here is the original image which I am going to use as an example in the following manipulations:
First let's create this soft look that gives kind of a misty feeling and mood. This soft look works very well for portraits of people, I would even say for the ladies. It removes blemishes and softens the wrinkles, as well it is very suitable to they nature and pleasant to our eyes.
To create such a soft look you have to create a layer with a copy of the image atop of the original image and apply some blur filter, and changing the opacity of the layer you control the softness. So here are the steps:
This was the very basic approach to achieve the soft look, but the following sections will tell you how to use the soft look as a magnet to the eye, which will draw the eye to the subject or/and the eyes.~ Top ~
Our next step is to make the soft look uneven, so it would become thicker to the borders and thus drawing the attention into the frame, preventing the eye to leave the photograph. To do so we will use elliptical marquee and feathering to create a mask for the blur layer.
Here are the steps you should take to achieve it:
You may want to increase opacity of the blur layer to thicken the blur on the borders and softing the main subject.~ Top ~
Sometimes you want to remove blur for small parts of the image. It could be the eyes of the subject, or some other part where the utmost attention is required. It could be done easily, just select a brush in the toolbar (better if the brush would be with soft edges), set the foreground color to pure black and just paint on the layer mask over the part you want to be clear.
In my case I would have the layer tab look like this:
Where the small black dot on the mask is what I painted with the brush.~ Top ~
The final section of this article covers some interesting manipulation, which I discovered by playing with Photoshop. It's very simple but it could add that missing touch to the photograph.
First let's take a look at the final image:
At first glance the result looks like I adjusted the contrast to the image. It's correct by only in one part. I adjusted the contrast, but only to the blur layer. It sunken the dark areas in even deeper shadows and brought up more of the highlighted areas. But the main point here is that even very strong contrast applied to the blur layer will not remove the details from the image, and it creates spots of light and shadow within the frame. The thing is that the blurred layer doesn't have fine details; it's more about spots of light and shadows, so by changing the contrast you accentuate those areas and attract more attention to them, without loosing the details. As well it a bit enhances this misty mood of the image.
So here are those simple steps:
Well, that's it. I've done with my article and you have new techniques to create new looks for your images. Have fun.~ Top ~