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October, 2011

Welcome to my share page. Each month I'll try to bring you an enlightening thought, quote or tip. Questions or feedback is always welcome at: roger@imageinations.com


Edward Weston"Light, balance, expression must be seen, felt as it were, in a flash, the mechanics and technique being so perfected in one as to be absolutely automatic" Edward Weston

Image: At Ted Cook's, 1937

To see more Weson images, click here









I sometimes ask students if they have ever taken a "perfect" photograph. Most people, either in their modesty or comparing themselves to any of the great masters, will reply that they have not. But what is the definition of a perfect photograph? I believe that if you accurately capture the exact vision you had at the moment, you have created a perfect image. The corollary to this is, of course, if you don't have a vision you'll never know how close your final print is. If you're having trouble envisioning an image try picking an image from a photo book or collection of photos, even a magazine ad, and see how close you can come to matching it.

Image: Reilly by Roger Baker







downloadClick on the DOWNLOAD button to download the Clouds BRUSHES folder. Unzip the folder and save it to your hard drive. Follow directions below. For more: http://www.brusheezy.com/Brushes/2187-24-Clouds

Each Photoshop tip is designed to open possibilities and explore options. Even if you never use the exact effect shown, you will find that there are often new ways to do the same thing or new paths to explore. This month we will create SKY RETOUCHING (1). Refer to the sample images at the bottom of the instructions.

1. Open an image that would benefit from a more interesting sky. This might be a sky that is "blown out" (white) or one that is simply all blue and cloudless.

2. Press CTRL-J (CMD-J) to make a copy of the layer.

3. With the layer copy selected, select the sky area. One choice is go to SELECT>COLOR RANGE and then click on the sky. Adjust the Fuzziness slider until all the sky is selected and hit OK. Another way is to use the Magic Wand tool. Adjust the Tolerance value until all the sky is selected.

4. Press Delete to remove the sky from the copy layer. (Click on the EYE icon on the Background layer to hide it)

5. Press CTRL-D (CMD-D) to Deselect the sky area.

HINT: If you still see a little of the sky color clinging to your landscape you can remove it as follows: Hold down layer maskCTRL (CMD) and click on the Layer thumbnail in the Layers pallet. This will select the land area. Now click on the Layer Mask icon (the circle inside a box at the bottom of the Layer pallet). This will add a black and white mask to the layer to the right of the layer thumbnail. Now go to FILTER>OTHER>MINIMUM and enter a radius of 1 pixel and click OK. This will shave off the edge of the land 1 pixel at a time until the sky color is gone.

6. Hold down SHIFT and click the New Layer icon. Holding down Shift will add a new blank layer below the current layer.

7. Go the the Foreground/Background squares at the bottom of the tool bar. Click on the Foreground and when the Color Picker dialog window opens choose a medium dark blue. Now click on the Background and choose a lighter f-gblue.

8. Press G to access the Gradient tool. You should see your Foreground and Background colors in a smooth gradient at the top of the tool options bar. Be sure you have Linear gradient selected from the five choices immediately to the right.gradient tool

9. With the new blank layer selected drag from top to bottom (darker color on top). HINT: Where you stop dragging adjusts the gradient shift area.

10. Now we're ready for some clouds. I'll just add one but you can add as many as you like. Put each cloud on its own new blank layer. That way you can move them, resize them, and change the opacity of each independently. Press B to access the brush tool.

11. In the tool options bar click on the down triangle to open the Brush Preset Picker. Now press the right triangle to see the brushes list. Choose LOAD BRUSHES and navigate to the folder you have downloaded (above).

12. Create a new blank layer above the gradient.fg

13. From the Clouds folder choose any one of the clouds. (Be sure the opacity is 100% by pressing zero) Be sure your Foreground color is white (Press D then X). Resize the cloud to something that works for your image and click once in the new layer. If you like, repeat this process always using a different cloud, each on its own layer.

14. For a little extra cool do this: As soon as you add a cloud to its own layer, immediately create a new blank layer above. Change your Foreground color to a medium gray. Make the brush a little smaller and then click in the same location in the new layer. You'll have a smaller darker cloud on top of your first cloud. Go to FILTER>BLUR>GAUSSIAN BLUR and blur the darker cloud just a little. Then lower the opacity as much a 50%. Your original cloud now has shading on its lower side and has much more depth.

image 1
image 2
Minus Sky
image 3
image 4
Gradient Behind Landscape
image 5
With Cloud
image 6
Shading Added


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