I Heart Faces - Angles

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is angles. So, I submit a photo I took at an interesting angle. This photo was taken just after a late spring rainstorm and jumping in puddles and being silly is a lot of fun after it rains. So, I got a lot of fun photos on this particular day.


Photoshop Shapes

I came across a Photoshop Shape Tutorial. Photoshop actually has quite rich shape features. They are a lot of fun to play with.

Here is the link:


Here are some images I made with the technique:


I Heart Faces - Bundled Up

I Heart Faces theme this week is "Bundled Up". This photograph popped right into my mind. It is one of my absolute favorites. I love the rich tones and the sweet moment in time when my littlest girl was all bundled up. Although we had no snow to speak of this year, I think this photo describes that theme perfectly.


Enhancing Skies

Thanks to Marla, I learned a second method for enhancing dull skies. Part Two of this tutorial: http://www.layersmagazine.com/exposure-blending-in-photoshop.html

This technique is also good for high contrast photos that have heavy shadows and heavy highlights. It brings out the details in the photos that are typically missing in deep shadows or bright highlights.

Basically, by opening your RAW image as a Smart Object, you are able to create a second version of your image which you can adjust with Camera Raw. Then you apply a adjustment filter to it, to hide portion where you want to use the original settings from your first Camera Raw version of the photo.

I compared this to the other technique I learned for enhancing skies...which is to add a second layer at 50% grey, apply color burn, and make an adjustment layer to get back your original image for the non-burned layer.

Just for fun, I played around with these two techniques to compare them. I took an old photo from Hawaii and applied the two techniques. Basically, the Camera Raw/Smart Object version seems to restore the actual details of the sky. The Color Burn version seems to be an artistic addition to your photo. It produces slightly unreal colors in the sky...but color popularly seen in digital photography today. Here are the versions...




Camera Raw/Smart Object


Color Burn (again this technique brought out the noise, so I ran the Noise Filter on it when done)

Neat Trick - Enhancing Skies

OK. Here's a neat trick that I read about in one of my Photoshop books. If you have a washed out sky, you can darken or intensify the sky pretty easily. I did notice that it intensified some of the noise of my original picture, but the effect was minimal and my camera typically has some noise with sky pictures.

  • Add a layer above your picture and fill it with 50% gray
  • Choose a Blend Mode of Color Burn. (To get to Blend Mode right click on your 50% gray layer and choose Blending Options. Blend Mode is one of the top pull down menus.
  • So that the rest of your picture isn't darkened too much, make an Adjustment Layer (the "square with a circle in it" icon at the bottom of your Layers Palette) and using a soft black brush, fill in the areas of your photograph that aren't the sky.
  • Adjust the opacity of the 50% Gray Layer as necessary.

Here are a couple screen prints of the process, followed by a before and after shot of a enhanced sky on a photo.




This was the original.


This was the enhanced version.


This was the enhanced version with Noiseware Community Edition run on it.