Tag Archives: Image Editing

High pass an Old Man

The high pass filter is often overlooked as a method of sharpening in Photoshop perhaps because it is not grouped with the other sharpen filters hidden away as it is in the “other”  section of the filter menu.  Of course sharpening really is increasing the contrast of neighbouring light and dark pixels. The typical implementation of the filter is to duplicate the background layer apply a low pixel radius high pass filter and change the blending mode of the layer to overlay and adjust the opacity of the layer to taste.  The soft light blending mode has a less harsh sharpening effect and hard light and linear light have harsher effects.  I find the filter useful for sharpening images that have well defined edges already such as architectural images and less so for portraits as it can be quite unflattering, incidentally an inverted high pass filter is useful for portraits for a quick smoothing of skin (used with layer mask and low opacity layer).  In the example here I used the filter to exaggerate the lines on the old mans face, I duplicated the high pass layer a few times and also used a number of other blending mode techniques to desaturate and tone the image.  As with all blending modes a little experimentation can yield pleasing results……




Cheers Colin

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Posted by on May 26, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop, Retouch


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Bleach beach Girl

I found this contemplative portrait of a young girl on a beach on the free stock site  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………

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Posted by on May 3, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop, Retouch


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Studio Retouch

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…..

Daniel Photographed by Stuart McNamara

Daniel Photographed by Stuart McNamara

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Posted by on March 16, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop, Retouch


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Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop

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.
Part One:
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 – 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.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Image Editing, Photoshop



Graffiti A Wall with Vanishing Point

When adding an element, such as text, to an image you can use the transform perspective command to match an existing plane within that image, however an easier and more accurate method is to use the vanishing point “filter”.  It’s under the filter menu but it doesn’t act like a filter, it’s more like a match perspective tool.  The tool is very useful if you wanted to superimpose an image onto a laptop screen, particularly if that screen is at an angle.  In the following example I will superimpose text (spray graffiti) onto the side of a building, CFC free.

  1. Open the image you want to be your background.  Use the type tool to type your graffiti.  Format the text as close to the final size as possible, I chose a font called Newrus.
  2. Once you are happy with the size and spacing of your text, rasterize the text, note you will not be able edit the type after this stage.
  3. Choose Select > Select All, and then Edit > Copy.  You can now delete the text layer as you no longer need it.  Create a new blank layer.
  4. Under the Filter menu go to the Vanishing Point filter.  Using the Create Plane tool define the Plane or perspective you want to match by selecting the four corners of that plane.  The Plane grid turns blue when the plane is a valid one.vanishingpoint2
  5. Now paste the rasterized text (Ctrl/Apple V), use the transform plane tool to place the text where you want it, you will notice that once you move it close to your defined plane it will snap into the desired perspective, scale your text as needed . Hit OK.
  6. You can now blend to match your background using a blending mode, the mode I used here was the overlay mode.  You could also apply a texture to it to blend it further.  Flatten your image.  vanishingpoint2a

Posted by on July 14, 2009 in Image Editing, Photoshop


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Dodge The Dodge Tool

Working non-destructively in Photoshop is central to effective retouching. One of the most destructive tools (or tool sets) in photoshop is the dodge and burn tools (the sponge tool is also very destructive tool and also to be avoided). I try to avoid these tools as much as possible and if I use them it would only be on a mask and never on the background layer. These tools are non too subtle that add noise and nasty artifacts. This was the case with CS3 and earlier versions, now however in CS4 things have improved dramatically with the protect tones option for these tools. I prefer to use the following method for burning and dodging :

  1. Add a new Layer with and fill it with 50% Grey.
  2. Change the blending mode to Soft Light.
  3. If you want to dodge or lighten the image set your foreground colour to white and use a soft brush (B) with  a low opacity (under 10%) to lighten the image.
  4. If you want to burn or darken the image set your foreground colour to black and use  a soft brush (B) with  a low opacity (under 10%) to darken  the image, you can do this on a different layer if you wish.
  5. You build up the burning and dodging effect by brushing repeatedly in the same area.
  6. You can change the opacity of these layers to reduce the effect, if you wish to increase the effect simply duplicate the layer.
  7. Painting with a 50% grey brush brings the image back to it’s original tonality.

DogeAnd Burn
This method can be very effective in reducing wrinkles in a subtle way by painting out the wrinkle gradually, using it in conjunction with a wacom tablet gives you better control of your brush strokes.

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Posted by on June 27, 2009 in Photoshop


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