Anything Photoshop or Photography


Image of a gray succulent with some color popThis week just doing a quick blog. The image is of a painted Graptopetalum Point Dexter succulent plant. Sometimes it is just fun to do a little “outside-the-box” painting to turn a rather dull photo into something interesting. That is why I thought I would remind everyone of this rather basic tip – invert your image. I have found that when I am stuck with the color in the image, this helps to try a different look. By inverting the image, the complementary colors replace the original colors in the whole image. This technique seems to work best on flowers and objects – I have been having trouble getting a landscape to look correct with a total inversion. There are several ways to get an image inversion – this image was inverted by duplicating the image and just clicking CTRL+I on the layer thumbnail, just like when inverting a layer mask. Also a Curves Adjustment Layer can be used – drag the black tab point all the way to the top and the white tab all the way to the bottom. This option gives a lot of flexibility by dragging the Curve line up or down to get different effects, and doing the same in the individual red, green and blue channels. Also try different blend modes to get different effects for all methods. The effect can be totally localized with a black layer mask and just adding in bits of color where needed. This works great when painting images to just introduce a small amount of new color – it still fits in with the chosen the color scheme.

For this image, in Lightroom the Basic panel was used along with the HSL panel to improve the colors – the blue stems were actually dark purple and the flower petals more of a turquoise-gray in the RAW file. Here is the background layer as brought into Photoshop.
Background layer of image
In Photoshop Lucis Pro plugin (no longer available) was applied to add a little sharpness and detail to the image and then the layer was duplicated (CTRL+J). By clicking in the image thumbnail and pressing CTRL+I, the image was inverted into the complimentary color scheme from the original – this gives the really dramatic color effect in the image. On New Layers above, the mixers and regular brushes were used to smooth and paint the image. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReStyle’s Cream and Plum preset (my favorite) where various sliders were used to get the final color components. One of Kyle T. Webster’s Whisper Impasto Layer Style was used to get the painterly effect along with a couple Pattern Fill Adjustment Layers to add more of a painterly effect.

Give this a try next time you get stuck – it could really help and it is a quick thing to try. Have a good one!….Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
What Does the Difference Blend Mode Do?
Just What Does a Lab Inversion Do?



8 responses

  1. What a great idea, Syd. There are some succulents I always photograph over here. Then, I struggle with them because they are so difficult to process. These turned out gorgeous! Watch for mine in the next two months!

    10/01/2016 at 5:00 pm

    • I can hardly wait Kerry – you always do such interesting things to your images. Succulents are hard to capture so they look nice.

      10/03/2016 at 10:17 pm

  2. This is so unique, and really so beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing here, Syd.

    10/01/2016 at 5:42 pm

  3. I’m a great one for inversion, as you might have guessed!

    10/02/2016 at 5:00 am

    • Hi Sarah – I think you probably dropped the idea for doing this blog in my brain from your recent posts. Thank you!

      10/03/2016 at 10:18 pm

  4. Stunning results. Moving the curve is also fun.

    10/05/2016 at 2:51 pm

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