Anything Photoshop or Photography

HOW TO ADD A DARKER BACKGROUND IMAGE FOR A DIFFERENT EFFECT

Two image of a lioness at the Jacksonville
This week I thought I would just show a creative way to present your subjects if you get tired of just using a single image. The above image is of a beautiful Lioness at the Jacksonville Zoo. This was supposed to be a sepia tone but after a lot of iterations, the cool tones looked the best to me. By using two images, it displayed her different expressions. These kind of composites can be really beautiful and are fun to do, especially if you have a couple images that compliment each other.

Here are the steps to get the above look: This image was originally post processed in Lightroom as a color image and settings were pasted between the images so they looked similar in tone. Then in a New Document in Photoshop a black background layer was created and the images were added. For the top face, Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReMask was used to select the lion as a nice result could not be achieved with Photoshop’s Select and Mask command. For the foreground Lion, the Pen Tool was used to select her. I tried using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert this image to black and white, but it just did not work – the image looked degraded. Instead I used Topaz Studio’s Black and White filter – it has an Orange slider which really worked with a lion image (also Topaz has had the best color sliders since they started), Precision Detail, a Color Overlay using a charcoal blue color (#2e4e62), and Precision Contrast. Still needed something else, so Luminar (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) Flex’s Image Radiance filter was added for the soft effect – it just popped this image. In the filter mask, the faces were painted back to retain the detail. A spotlight effect and rim lighting on the right side of both faces was added in Photoshop. Some Mixer Brush magic was used on the upper image to blend her neck into the background, and a Gradient Tool was used on a new layer to slightly darken the top face. This image took some manipulation to get the look I liked – luckily I like to play around with all the different filters! But I think the results can be quite outstanding.

*****

Image of white day lilies with some green leaves in the background
For a slightly different look, these Day Lilies taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens were put on a black background just like above, but this time a leaf image was added to the upper right edge to add a very subtle feel. (See my Beautiful Leaves Tidbits Blog for the original leaf image.) To get the flowers to light up so much, the Lighting Effects filter in Photoshop was used. A little spotlight effect also helped and some leaves were drawn in to fill them out a little. Next Viveza 2 was used to blend the two images together seamlessly. A Curves Adjustment Layer was used at the end to get the final look.

*****

Here is an older image taken several years ago in Arizona with yet a different way of using this kind of effect. In this case a box was added on top of the image where another image could be inserted. A Color Lookup Adjustment Layer was used to give the background image a really darker feel.

Image of Tonto National Forest and Superstition Mountain in Arizona

The above is actually a really simple technique. It used to be more popular and was used a lot in wedding photography. It is still a nice way to achieve a different effect.

Well hope you give this one a try – it is a lot of fun and if you have several good shots of something you like, it might look really nice. Will chat at ya soon!…..Digital Lady Syd

9 responses

  1. Ann Mackay

    I like the daylilies and leaves together…something similar to ideas I have for mixing photos with other art. (In my case it’s been printmaking so far, but I’d like to try other things.) The Photoshop lighting effects filter looks very interesting – must have a play with it!

    06/30/2019 at 12:51 pm

    • The Lighting Effects filter has been updated a few times since I started using PS. It now can do some pretty nice things. I think you will like it.

      06/30/2019 at 5:01 pm

      • Ann Mackay

        Sounds like fun – I need some time to play. (Though my version is old now – CS3.)

        07/01/2019 at 6:18 am

  2. Love the effect of the dark background on the subject. The cool tone in the first image looks stunning.

    07/03/2019 at 6:31 am

    • Thanks Inese – it surprised me that a warm colored animal would look so nice in a cool colored rendition.

      07/03/2019 at 12:01 pm

      • Yes, a silver lion 🙂 Very mysterious.

        07/03/2019 at 2:35 pm

  3. Pingback: DIGITAL LADY SYD’S BEST PHOTOSHOP TECHNIQUES FROM 2019 | Digital Lady Syd's Fun Photoshop Blog

  4. Pingback: GETTING THE JOEL SARTORE LOOK ON YOUR ZOO IMAGES | Digital Lady Syd's Fun Photoshop Blog

  5. Pingback: HOW TO GET A SOFT BLACK AND WHITE LANDSCAPE EFFECT | Digital Lady Syd's Fun Photoshop Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.