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PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: VIGNETTE

Greetings Internet,

It has been many a moon since I have written a tutorial so I figured I’d give it another shot. This time I plan to show a very simple and effective technique that can help enhance your photographs. There are many different ways to create vignettes, and since I have been using custom vignettes a good bit recently, I thought it would be a nice thing to share.
Vignette 1
My dog loves to have her picture taken, so I decided to use the photograph above for the lesson. With the file open in Photoshop, the first step is to create a new layer for the upcoming vignette. You can click the new layer button, or use the keyboard shortcut, Command + J.
Vignette 2
With the new (empty) layer selected, we are going to grab the elliptical marquee tool (you could also use the rectangular marquee tool) and drag a selection right around the dog’s face which will be our main focal point.
Vignette 3
Then, we need to invert the selection by going to Select, and then Inverse, or by using the keyboard shortcut, Shift + Command + I.
Vignette 4
With the inverted selection, the next step is to feather the edges of our selection. There are a few ways to do this, however my suggestion is to use the Refine Edge option with the Magic Wand Tool selected. Depending on the size of the image you are working with, the values will differ, but in general you want a pretty decent feather. I used 150 pixels because I was working with a fairly large image.
Vignette 5
Now that the edge of our selection is feathered, it is time to fill that empty layer. I generally just use pure black for this, but you are welcome to experiment.
Vignette 6
Vignette 7
As you can see, it creates a very heavy vignette and really draws the viewers’ eye to the focal point of the dog’s face. I like to then lower the opacity of the vignette layer to fine tune it to my tastes. Here’s how it looks if you back the vignette off to 50% opacity.
Vignette 8
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this tutorial on creating vignettes in Photoshop. Thanks for reading 🙂

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PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: PANORAMA WITH PHOTOMERGE

Today we want to focus on a really neat feature inside of Adobe Photoshop called Photomerge. With this tool, you can combine multiple photographs into one panoramic image very easily. It is best to go out and take the photographs yourself to learn this process, however if you would like to follow along, you can grab the images I took here. 1 2 3 4

Here are some quick tips for taking the photographs yourself if you want:

-Use a tripod (make sure it’s level)
-If you do not have access to a tripod, keep steady and turn your torso to capture the images
-You can line up markings in the area that you are capturing
-Try to get a little bit of overlap in each image you take
-Before merging, be sure that any color/lighting corrections have been made

Photomerge works wonders with more images, so if you can, take many photos. Below you can view the 4 images I’m using, and the final product.

All Four Images

Final

Alrighty, so now we’re going to try out Photomerge. Open up Adobe Photoshop, and click File>Automate>Photomerge. Here, we have a lot of options. Photoshop is going to take the photographs you choose and use its best judgement to seamlessly combine them for a panoramic photo.

Step 1

You can select from Auto, Perspective, Cylindrical, Spherical, Collage, and Reposition Layouts. For the sake of the images we are working with today, I am going to simply choose Auto. There are times where you will need to experiment to see which layout settings work the best for your photos.

Step 2

Now I need to show Photoshop where it can find the images I want to use, so I am going to click “Browse” and find them on my harddrive.

Step 3

With the correct photographs selected, Photoshop can now begin to merge my images seamlessly. This requires some processing power, so depending on your computer, you may have to wait a little bit.

Step 4

Step 5

Now that Photoshop has finished processing the images, you may see something that looks a bit sloppy. Don’t worry, the combined photos are just in need of a crop. Photoshop should have combined them seamlessly, and now you just need to get rid of the “crazy” edges.

Step 6

So use your Rectangular Marquee tool, and drag out a selection that you like. Then go to Image>Crop to get your final product.

Step 7

As you can see, we now have a finished panoramic photograph by using Photoshop’s unique Photomerge option. Thanks joining me for this tutorial, and be sure to check back for more.

Final


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PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: VINTAGE PHOTO EFFECT

Greetings websters, and thanks for tuning in again for another installment of my Photoshop Tutorials to get your learn on! Today I would like to discuss how to accomplish a vintage photo effect.

To start, we are going to need a photograph. I grabbed mine from Stock.xchng, you can pick that up here if you would like to follow along in Photoshop.

The goal here, is to change this photograph in a manner so that it will appear older than it actually is, and to add a subtle sharpness to it that is not present in the original photo. Below you can view the before and after images.

before

after

First things first, open the image in Adobe Photoshop and go ahead and double-click on the “background” layer to unlock/rename it. With that done, we now need to start using a few adjustments layers to get the effect that we want.

Step 1

Click on the New Adjustment Layer button in the layers panel (you can also do this by clicking Layer > New Adjustment Layer), and select Levels. Basically we want to bring in the lights and darks closer to the middle by using the sliders to carefully adjust these settings. Don’t go overboard here, we just need subtle changes.

Step 2

Step 3

Next, we need to add another adjustment layer, this time Photo Filter. Click on the “Filter” drop box and select Sepia, and drag the density adjustment slider over to around 95%.

Step 4

Step 5

And now we need to add a Curves Adjustment Layer. These are also VERY subtle changes, so pay attention to what I’ve done in the image and be sure to not go crazy with these settings either.

Step 6

Step 7

Now we can see that the image is really starting to shape up and look the way we want it to. There’s another very helpful effect that can be applied to bring out this image even further. It’s as simple as using the Sharpen filter. I however, like to use the Smart Sharpen option as it yields more settings and refinement possibilities. So, as in the other steps, pay attention to what I’ve done in the image to get the same sort of effects I got in my final product.

Step 8

Step 9

Now we have a sharp, and vintage looking image. Thanks for joining me for this tutorial and look forward to more helpful techniques & effects in the near future.

after


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PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: SOFT FOCUS PORTRAIT

PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: SIMPLE SOFT FOCUS PORTRAIT

after

Greetings everyone, today I would like to share a simple and effective Photoshop technique for portraits. Below you will learn how to create a soft focus portrait.

To begin, you need a photograph of someone. You can take your own, or visit a royalty free stock photo website to find one that will work. I like to use Stock.xchng, and for the sake of following along in this tutorial, that is where I grabbed the image we will be working with.

You can find it here

Now that you have the photograph, open it up in Adobe Photoshop. The first thing we want to do is double-click the background in the layers panel to unlock and rename it. You can name it whatever you desire, but I chose to just call it “Background.”

Step 1

Next, we need to duplicate this layer. To do that, you can either drag the layer to the “new layer” button, or simply press Command+J with the layer selected. I went ahead and renamed this layer (by double-clicking the layer name) to “Soft Focus.”

Step 2

Now that we have a duplicate layer on top, we can start to apply the soft focus effect. Go to your Blend Modes in the layers panel, and change it from Normal to Soft Light. As you can see this has already added a lot more pop to the portrait, however we are not finished yet.

Step 3

The next step is to blur out this “Soft Focus” layer just a little bit. So with that layer selected, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. The amount of blur can vary depending on the resolution of the image, but if you have not changed the image in any way since grabbing it from Stock.xchng, then I’d say a blur of about 4 pixels will work nicely.

Step 4

This final step does not always have to be done for the soft focus effect. Sometimes at this point the portrait and the intended effect are looking perfect. But for the sake of showing something else that can be done to sometimes enhance it, I’ll apply it to this portrait. Every now and then, the “pop” and the blur can be somewhat overwhelming, so if you simply decrease the “Soft Focus” layer’s opacity just a little bit, it will help greatly to reduce the exaggeration that can sometimes happen.

Step 5

Below you can view the final product & the original photograph. Thanks for joining us for this tutorial, and look forward to more tips and tricks from the studio.

before

after


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PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS: DEPTH OF FIELD

Depth of field is basically a way of describing what is in focus versus what’s not. Or in other words, the part of an image that is sharp & crisp compared the blurred area around it. A lens can focus on a single distance rendering a sharp focal point in an image, with slight blurring further away from that distance. Photographers enjoy playing with the focus in their photographs to achieve different effects. This is commonly referred to as “depth of field.” Today, I want to share ways of manipulating what is in focus in post-production with image editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

To begin, you need a photograph. You can take your own, or visit a royalty free stock photo website to find one that will work. I like to use Stock.xchng, and for the sake of following along in this tutorial, that is where I grabbed the images we will be working with.

Croatia Photo

And below you can see what our image is going to look like when we are finished.

Before:
Before

After:
After

To begin, we are going to open the image in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1

What we want to do now is isolate the background and alter it so that we can draw more of a focus towards the foreground. To do that, you need to select the pen tool (p) and trace along the buildings as shown below. I purposefully selected a photograph with buildings because they are a fairly simple thing to select due all of the rectilinear lines. Don’t be worried if your selection isn’t perfect, this is only an exercise to demonstrate an effect. It also helps a lot to use the zoom tool (z) to be able to see what you are doing up close.

Step 2

Once you have the background “penned” in as shown, you can then click the “paths” tab in your layers box. Here, you can Command-Click the path icon to select your path, or right click and go to “Make Selection.”

Step 3

With that section selected you can press Command-C and then Command-V to copy and paste that section as a new layer above your background. This way we are not editing the original background. Now you can Command-Click this new layer to select it all, and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian (Lens Blur gives better/more options, so try it out later). The amount of Blur you want to apply varies with the resolution of the images you are working with, for this particular image, 6 pixels seems to work just fine.

Step 4

Step 5

As you can see now, the foreground pops out much more than before due to blurring out the background. If you would like to, you can repeat this process again for a small portion of the right-hand foreground to add some more pop. This is how I achieved my end result.

Step 6

Final

And below you can see some other examples I’ve produced that show ways of playing with the focus in an image to achieve different depth of field effects.

1-1 Before

1-2 After

2-1 Before

2-2 After

3-1 Before

3-2 After

Thanks for joining me for this tutorial on Depth of Field and be sure to stay tuned for more tutorials, reviews, and updates 🙂