Monday, September 30, 2013

look deep into my depth

Depth of Corn Field

As a photographer, I am very attracted to pictures with a dramatic depth of field. It makes the subject pop, making the photograph more artistic. When I shoot, I try to create this effect by using a large aperture. It blurs my pictures quite nicely.

If you did not capture the image's depth of field the way you envisioned it while shooting, you can still make that happen using your Photoshop. It's super easy.

I found an image that I thought would look cool with a little more depth to it. I chose a piece from my monster series. This photo is of a fire monster. A corn field near my house caught fire and the scorched stalks and charred land made a nice backdrop for this sultry element.  

After I applied a color balance layer to lessen the sunset's amber glow, I made a duplicate layer of the image by right clicking on the background image under the layers column, and then choosing DUPLICATE LAYER.

Now I am working on the copy.


I changed the radius to look a little more blurred, and hit OK. The whole copy looks blurry now.

Then I created a mask on the blurred copy (the mask icon is the circle inside rectangle, like a little camera).

I selected the GRADIENT TOOL. It's a square shaped icon in your tools.

Then I clicked on the side I wanted most blurred, in the corm example it's the top of the picture down to the burnt ground.  And then I drew a line to the point I wanted to be in focus.

That's it, beautiful depth of corn field has been created!

To see more of my art:   

Monday, September 23, 2013

Compliments to the Duotone

My, That's Nice

Just because we contrast-
doesn't mean we can't be complimentary!

Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Green and red, both beautiful colors, happen to compliment each other. 

In this self-portrait, I am channeling my inner reptile. My cold green skin pops against the red curtain.  

1.  I started the process by cropping down my image.

2.  I used my selection brush to select my image. My face was already painted green.   

3.  I created a layer of color balance (the little scale icon). And then I shifted over the color to both green and blue to create this beautiful reptilian skin. The curtain was already red. 

4.  I turned up the saturation just a tadpole.  


This is a picture taken by Rich Bruce (my hubby) with the House of Dig (our art photography). There was a nice light shining in the room. My house was already destroyed by a pillow fight, so I jumped in the feathers and threw on some wings and makeshift veil. We like the photo, but the light was casting an orange glow on my face and also the blue walls looked more white.  

 I used curves to bring out the highlights and bring out the shine from the sunlight on my face. 

I made a color balance layer, moving towards blue and towards cyan. This brought out the blue of the background wall behind me, and took away some of the orange cast off my face. 

Then I created a layer of brightness and brightened it slightly to make the picture seem angelic and sweet.

Now the image looks soft with the pretty pinks and blues of reality.

bearly noticeable

Duotone is my new favorite thing in Photoshop. It is an image made up of just two colors. The images are rich with vintage tones.You can really enhance or change the feeling of a photograph. There is a nice tonal range to choose from.  People look especially flattered.    

 A typical day at our old apartment in Alameda.
This photograph just needed a special sort of something bear before the Duotone was applied.

To add the bear:

1.   I used the rectangular marquee to capture the bear. 
2.   I hit control "C" to copy the image. 
3.   I went to the living room photo and click "V" for paste.
4.   Hit the button that says "Refine edges."
5.   Cleaned up the edges a bit by changing the radius and feathering a bit. 
6.   Hit control "T" to transform, or change the size of the teddy bear and move him to the chair.

    There's your Bear in Chair

but then ... the Duotone. 

After I fiddled with the brightness and contrast I:

       -   Went to Image, Mode, Grayscale.

       -   Went to Image, Mode, Duotone.

       -   Went to Custom and picked my poison.

Why black and white when you can Duotone?

*** But remember: You have to change it back to RBG before you can save it as a JPEG

To read more about Duotones in Photoshop by Adobe   click here