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Greetings All,

Today I’d like to share with you a simple technique using a camera raw image. Normally people combine 3 (or more) images of varying exposures to get the HDR (high dynamic range) toning you see in many photographers’ works. I’m going to show you how to simulate this type of toning with a single image, and also by only adjusting settings within the camera raw options when opening an image. Below you can see our original image, and then what it will look like when we are done.



I find this works best with an over exposed image, so I took a photo of my dog with harsh sunlight hitting her. The next step is to open the raw image in Photoshop.


Now we are simply going to adjust some of the settings here to achieve our HDR toned image.


First, lower the exposure to around -1.


Next, bump the Fill Light up to around 100.


Then, raise the Contrast to around 60.


Next, bump the Clarity all the way up to 100 to bring even more detail to the image.


Finally, add a little bit of Vibrance to the image by raising it to around 50.


Now we have a very detailed and toned HDR image with a very simple technique. Also, we only had to bother with one image instead of multiple. Note that the exact numbers for these settings may vary according to the photo, experiment to see what works best for your image.


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Greetings, and welcome back back for another tutorial! This time, I plan to focus on using Adobe Illustrator’s Blend Tool. The Blend Tool is an incredibly useful asset inside of Illustrator and can be used to accomplish a number of unique and interesting effects. Today, we are going to use it to achieve an effect commonly seen on the web using one simple curved line.


To start, I have made a new document in Adobe Illustrator in a landscape orientation (yours does not have to be landscape to follow along). I then decided I wanted simple background gradient, so a grabbed the rectangle tool and drew out a background and applied a gradient. Feel free to make yours different, or just use a solid color.

step 1

step 2

Now, for the next step, I selected the pen tool (p) and drew out a curved line from the top to the bottom. Your curved line does not have to look just like mine, something similar will be just fine. Once you have the curved line, you need to give it a small stroke (1 pt in my case), and I chose a light green for the stroke color.

step 3

step 4

Next, we want to make a copy of this line. So, click down on the line and then hold the alt/option key to drag out a copy and then position it slightly to the right of the original. Now we want to blend these two lines, so double click on the blend tool (w) so we can make some changes to the default blend options. We want “Specified Steps,” and 12 of them.

step 5

step 6

Next, with the blend tool still selected, all you have to do is simply click on both paths and Illustrator makes the blend between the two objects based on the options you edited. Now that your objects are blended, you can edit those curved lines to get some really unique effects.

step 7

step 8

Select the direct selection tool (a) and start playing with the paths to achieve different effects. I grabbed a couple anchor points and tried moving them and altering the curves to get these effects.

step 9

The blend tool in Adobe Illustrator is an incredibly versatile tool, and can be used to create all sorts of neat looks. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and that it helps you get started in exploring this awesome tool!

Until next time…