I found this contemplative portrait of a young girl on a beach on the free stock site http://www.sxc.hu. Overall I thought the image had a nice feel to it – it was let down by by being too flat and being too warm (overly red). So naturally for a beach shot I decided to cool it down substantially and increase the contrast………
Model Mayhem (http://www.modelmayhem.com/) is a website community for models, photographers and photoshop “wizards” (their term not mine!) etc. On one of the forums people submit sample images for retouching, I happened on the image below from photographer Carol Lee from Texas (Mayhem #1216562) on this thread http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=550304 . The extent of the retouch is quite extreme, I spent a couple of hours on it – but it shows what can be done with less than perfect skin…
Stuart over at Ebony & Pearl photography (great photographer check out their website) gave me a couple of great studio shots to retouch, giving me free reign to play around with as I saw fit, cheers Stuart!. This particular shot I decided to give a grittier look to…..
In this tutorial I will use the brush I created in the previous tutorial to tattoo someone. The image of the bloke who will be my victim can be found on sxc.hu – 493495_92373417 – if you wish to follow along.
1. Open the image and duplicate it, convert to black and white (by whatever means you wish) and increase its contrast a little, save this file in a .psd format on your desktop. This file is what you are going use as a displacement map. A displacement map uses the tones in a grayscale image to distort the pixels of a target to match the contours of the source image.
2. Go back to the original and create a new blank layer above the background.
3. Select the cross brush as created in the tutorial below and paint onto this layer. Position and scale into position.
4. Next select Filter> Distort> Displace, in the resulting dialog box I set both the horizontal and vertical scale to 5 leaving the other option to their defaults. The is no preview with this dialog so you will have to experiment with different settings depending on your image and its resolution, but generally I find a displacement scale of 5 to 10 works well.
5. When you hit ok navigate to the black & whit image you created in step 1 and chose it.
6. In order to blend the tattoo even further it is necessary to experiment with blending modes, which ones you will choose is not set in stone as it depends on what you are blending and to what. I duplicated the layer twice applied a colour blending mode at 55% opacity to the bottom layer, a 60% overlay blending mode to the middle layer, and a 30% mulitply blending mode to the top layer.The colour, overlay, multiply and hard light blending modes work best when trying to blend layers like this.
Creating custom brushes is quite simple in photoshop and in this tutorial I will show you how to define a custom brush and in the second part how to use that brush in conjunction with the displacement map function to apply a tattoo to an image.
Any image or part thereof can be converted into a custom brush in photoshop. Brushes are very similar to masks and the maxim that applies to masks applies to bushes also – black conceals, white reveals – and shades in between have varying degrees of opacity. You don’t necessarily have to use a grayscale image to define a brush preset, once you define a brush preset on a colour image it will automatically be saved as a grayscale bush. In order to control the luminosity of certain parts of your brush I recommend that you convert your image to Black and White first, in that way you can decide what shade of gray (thus opacity) each colour will have. The source for my brush is from http://www.sxc.hu – image ID 412079. The aim is to convert the image on the left to the black and white version on the right.
1. Using the pen tool I traced around the outline of the cross and converted it into a selection (Command click on the path in the paths palette) I then inverted it (Command I) the selection and filled it with white (Command delete). You don’t have to use the pen tool for this, any selection method is fine.
2. I carefully selected the four corners where the the circle of the cross meets the vertical and horizontal branches of the cross and filled these with white.
3. I examined the three channels to select the one with the most contrast -duplicated this channel (red) and then inverted it.
4. Using the apply image command (Image> Apply Image) I applied the red channel to the image using the colour burn blending mode, then again using the screen mode and once again using the overlay mode.
5. You should then have a image similar to the one on the right. Then it’s simply a case of selecting the canvas (Command A) and Edit> Define Brush Preset.. when you name your brush and hit ok your brush will be saved along with your other brushes (the last on the list). Note your brush will be saved at the same pixel size as your document. Increasing the size of your bush when you are applying it will have a detrimental effect on the quality (softness) of the brush.
The floods throughout Ireland in late 2009 provided many a snapper ( pros hate being called this – try it sometime ) with some great subject matter for some amazing “snaps” . It brought to mind a plug-in for photoshop I came across a number of years ago from http://www.flamingpear.com, oddly enough called Flood (they have a number of other plug-ins of varying usefulness, I say varying but I mean you’ll probably use them once ). Like many a plug-in they provide a trial period of a month , thankfully in the case of Flood with no annoying watermarks overlaid on your image. Of course you could do this yourself in Photoshop but sometimes it is easier and quicker to use existing plug-ins, there are no awards for re-inventing the wheel. The plug-in allows you to do all of the adjustments in one easy to use dialog box.
So here is my effort ( I did this about 3 years ago ) The image I chose is one of Áras an Uachtaráin , the official residence of our President…….
Give it a try…
One of the services I provide at Farlco Digital Imaging is the restoration of old and not so old photographs. The level of restoration can vary quite a bit depending on your requirements and the state of the original. Each image presents different challenges, there could be tears or rips in the photo or strong discoloration. This example on the face of it looks quite simple but I spent a couple of hours on it. For more details check out my website www.farlco.com.
This week I was trawling through the images on sxc.hu again looking for images that I could possibly enhance (there are many), I found this one, which when viewed on it’s own looked fine, well exposed etc. Even so, I felt it was a little flat and might look better with a slightly edgier more contrasty look. Hope you agree!While I was at it I did a little skin smoothing and a general retouch…….
Farlco Digital Imaging is now officially open for business! I offer a wide range of professional photo editing services, check out my website – www.farlco.com – for examples and descriptions of these services. Along with photoshop tips and tricks, I will also post examples on this blog of the type of work I can do for you and your clients….
Occasionally I trawl through various stock image sites looking for images that I can adjust and improve on in Photoshop, indeed many of the samples on my website come from this source. Of course on many of the more professional stock sites the images have already been optimized, but www.sxc.hu is a free stock image site – so many of the images have not been adjusted, I found this image on this site , and thought it could do with the with the strong red cast being reduced, while I was at it I would do some retouching – some blemish removal, skin softening etc. Stock sites are a great source for finding images to retouch, particularly faces – asking your wife/girlfriend/friend/significant other could you use their image as an example of retouching and blemish removal is a can of worms I for one want to steer clear of – we all are imperfect, but none of us like this to be pointed out!