Sunday, 26 August 2012

More trials with Photoshop

This time I have been experimenting with a few edits which will allow me to improve on my poor photographic skills - and my impatience when taking photographs.

This image is of the house at Lites - Carey Manor near Yeovil. Not a very sunny day - note the sky! What sky you might say? Well it is there but grey cloud covering the whole sky. We did get some good weather on this trip, so the first task was to find a photo with a decent blue sky with some interesting clouds if possible.

This shot of Glaston bury the following day looked very promising... So now I have a photo without a sky, and a photo of a sky. Will they match?

The following steps were taken to put the two together:-

  1. Select the sky in the first image with the magic wand (a single click since all the sky is the same colour). Now from the select menu choose INVERT.
  2. Copy the image except the sky and paste into a new image.
  3. Select a rectangle from the sky in the second image; copy this selection and paste as a new layer into the new image from the last step.
  4. Select the new layer and then choose from the edit menu, TRANSFORM. Select SCALE
  5. Expand the sky image until it fits behind the buildings without the background showing.
  6. I was not finished yet.
  7. First of all, for good measure, I flipped the image horizontally (Image/Rotate Image)
  8. I then wanted to make sure the chimney was vertical. So I rotated the image in one or two steps to achieve this.
  9. Now the roofline of the adjoining chapel was wrong.
  10. I selected the whole of the chapel with the magnetic lassoo tool. Again, using the transform function I rotated the chapel to achieve a horizonta roofline.
  11. This left gaps with the background showing thru around the chapel. These were filled in with the clone stamp tool.
And the resulting image:-

Mmmm, I may have overcompensated for the angle of the chimney, but otherwise I have learnt a few tips and the image is considerably better. Don't you think?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Removing unwanted artefacts in a photo, using Photoshop

Ever taken a photograph and decide it was a real winner; before noticing that small object which you hadn't seen in the camea's screen (we'er talking digital obviously) before pressing the button. I know I have many with which I wanted to illustrate articles, etc.

What is wrong with these:-

Answer:- The people just coming into view through the entry

Answer:- The visa card advert.

Answer:- The power lines running across the tower.

Answer:- The small lamp in the lower left corner.

Answer:- The wheelbarrow, how could I have missed it?
There were even gardeners working there at the time.

Most of these issues I solved using the CLONE STAMP TOOL in Photoshop. A very useful editing tool if used carefully. I have recently written a tutorial on Squidoo, which shows how I used this to clean up the examples shown above. You can find it at:-

You can also see the results of the editing process, a set of much better and more appropriate photographs which I can feel proud of. The only one that I didn't edit by this method was the first. There was no background to speak of that I could have cloned to remove the figures. In that case I selected the open at the end of the entry and deletd it. I then added a second layer beneath the original photograph and adjusted its position to give a pleasing result. I had to carefully select a suitable street shot and re-size it to look natural in the edited photograph. But no problems really. I will include a link to this edit, asap.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Colours in a black and white photo

I love that effect where you see a single colour in a black and white photograph. I saw an example again yesterday and decided it was time to learn how to achieve it.

I used Photoshop to manipulate the image. I don't think I could do it with my free version of Photoplus (V8) but if you know different please let me know.

After a few dead end experiments, I finally came across this method of using the colour replace feature. Not absolutely workable for all images as you will see below but good enough.

The photo was not particularly brilliant but does show the effect. So I tried it out on a couple of other images to make sure I could do it properly.

I liked the example with the fuchsia, it did seem to work quite well. The example with the tulips did show the one issue with this method. I could not change the red foliage in the background. Maybe with a lot of tweaking it would be possible but in trying to select the red foliage the tulips were always partly selected. However to try and make it easy I had selected a high fuzzy value, this decides how broad the range of selected colours will be. So doing it with a low fuzzy value should be the answer. I will experiment and let you know how I get on.

So what did I do?

With the image in the active window, select image / adjustments / replace colour.

I set the Fuzziness as indicated above to about 170.
Select the colour picker, on the left of the 3 dropper icons.
now click on the image to select the colour to replace. If you select the middle icon you can add other colour values near to the initial colour .
Now reduce saturation as much as required, and adjust lightness if required.

Repeat this for any colours you need to desaturate.

You should now have an image with just the colour you wish to preserve in a black and white background.

I love this software I am experimenting and learning all the time. Lots of clever tricks have tutorials written for them but I need to know the simple effects that are possible. Walk before you can run is my motto.