Anything Photoshop or Photography


I’m Digital Lady Syd aka Syd Johnson.  I love taking pictures and processing them in Photoshop.  I also do a bit of Painter in my work when I have the time. I now have two blogs:  my Tidbits Blog which covers anything I feel like sharing in the Photoshop/Photography field; and a Fun Photoshop Blog, which has developed into instruction and resource based information. My main aim is to show everyone how flexible and fun Photoshop can be. I have been featured in newsletters by filter makers Topaz and Nik Software. Some of my Bahama images were published in the Fall 2012 edition of Marinalife magazine.

I began photography in earnest when my husband gave me a Pentax K1000 film camera in the 1980’s. I did not have a lot of time to learn it, but I totally enjoyed taking pictures on our vacations and of the kids as they grew up. I was introduced to Digital Photography in 1998 when I worked for an engineering firm that used project images for reports and marketing. We used a Sony Camera that saved images down onto a 3 1/2 disk but it was enough to get me hooked. I first learned Adobe Photo Deluxe which taught me the basics and then began using Photoshop at version 5.0. It has been fun to see how the program has changed and expanded over the years and how digital photography has grown. I now have the luxury of being able to take lots of pictures and work on my images.

See more about me at

My Flickr account is at

And check out my smaller Tidbits Blog.

Here I am with my husband Glenn on our sailboat.

Photography takes up a good portion of my time now. I also love to dabble in Astronomy, which I have always loved since I was 12 years old, Sailing, which is a fairly new past time for me, and golf.

22 responses

  1. Brenda

    Just wondering if any of your pictures are copyrighted. I make cards for family and friends and saw one that I would love to use in the front of her birthday card.

    11/21/2012 at 11:49 am

    • I copyright my images – which one did you like? I could send it to you if you send me your E-mail address as long as you are just using it for personal use. Digitally Lady Syd

      11/23/2012 at 12:59 pm

  2. Brenda

    I haven’t forgotten you … I just went back through and can’t seem to find the image that I had thought to use. I ended up doing something else but your designs are beautiful and will keep searching for the image that I liked so well. When I find it, I will send you a note. Thank you so much for your reply!

    12/03/2012 at 2:17 am

  3. Ian "Dusty" Bradshaw

    I could not find anywhere to email to. I love this thoughts and examples each week. However I seem to have dropped off the email list, as I have not received any since the 19th August 2013

    09/15/2013 at 11:12 pm

    • Dusty, Not sure why you are not getting my updates. I try to post every Saturday, and no later than Sunday. Should be able to check the blog weekly or set up an RSS feed to get them. Thanks for letting me know you are having issues. Digital Lady Syd

      09/16/2013 at 2:06 pm

  4. Thanks for the mention, and glad you found the preset helpful! Keep up the great work!

    09/16/2013 at 7:30 pm

  5. Michael Fenton

    I accidentally found your website. Please… at the end of your work flow, would your enlarge the image with Perfect Resize and then sharpen with Topaz Detail, or the reverse. Thank you.

    01/18/2015 at 12:40 am

    • Hi Michael. Good question here. I use Topaz Detail only near the beginning of my workflow and not for output sharpening. Perfect Resize does not need to be used unless you are enlarging you image by more than 300%. So to enlarge using Photoshop, go into Image Resize and check the Resample button – in dropdown, try both the Bicubic Smoother, which is most often used when enlarging, or Bicubic Sharper, which some people prefer – try both. The last step would be the Output Sharpening. I like Scott Kelby,s method using the Unsharp Mask on a duplicate layer for use at 240 ppi (which is a pretty standard resolution) with these settings: Amount 120, Radius 1, Threshold 3, Luminosity blend mode, and 50% layer opacity – adjust until the image looks “a little too sharpened” and do a test print. Hope this helps you with your workflow. Good Luck – Digital Lady Syd

      01/18/2015 at 10:05 am

      • vickpix

        Hi Syd, I have a question about noise reduction and output shapening.Do you prefer photoshop, NIK software or Topaz? Which do you think may have best results? I get a lot of noise in my images (I use Canon 5DMII). I currently have PS and NIk, no Topaz.

        03/29/2015 at 9:21 am

  6. Michael

    Many thanks.

    01/23/2015 at 4:23 pm

  7. Hi Vicki – I get a lot of noise at high ISO’s with my camera also. I find that if the noise is not too bad, just adjusting in Lightroom or ACR does the trick pretty good. You can use the Adjustment Brush to apply the effect just where you need it if you are afraid of softening the image overall too much. When I have a real problem with noise, like a high ISO image, I like Topaz DeNoise really well, but I also use Imagenomic’s Noiseware. If I do not like the results in one, I use the other one. If you have the Nik Suite, Define 2 does a good job too. I am not as familiar with this plug-in, but I know of experts who use it. And it also has a brush capability. I would try that first, then download the trials for the other ones if you do not like the results. Define 2 should do the trick for you. Let me know how it goes. Syd

    03/30/2015 at 9:23 am

  8. Mick Stubbs

    Hi amazing pictures ,I was hoping you might be able to help .I have a photo that I processed a while back to get a painterly type of effect . I think it was an action in Cs5/6 due to upgrades etc and now running CC2015 I cant fro the life in me remember what I used . I was wondering if you would be good enough to take a look at it and see if you recognize any effects ?
    Many thanks

    09/06/2015 at 2:33 pm

    • Hi Mick, I can take a look at it but I do not know for sure if I will be able to figure it out. Do you own any plug-ins that give some painterly effects, like Topaz or Nik plug-ins? Topaz Adjust and Simplify have been popular for a long time and can really give nice painterly effects. Also there are some actions I have written about that you might own. Click on my Categories-Actions and the blogs using them are shown. Maybe you were using one of them. Let me know if you still want me to look at it. Thanks for visiting my blog…..Digital Lady Syd

      09/06/2015 at 3:30 pm

      • Mick Stubbs

        Hi thanks for the reply ,I found the action tucked away on a cd I compiled not sure who created it but its called SS – Painting FX Canvas 1000-3000.atn . So many thanks anyways will keep an eye on your blogs and site there is some really usefull tips and advise to be found here keep it up.

        09/09/2015 at 3:24 pm

  9. Hi Mick – glad you found what your action. I saw one called Realistic Painting Effect v2 by Soda Song that looked really cool.

    09/10/2015 at 5:14 pm

  10. What a talent you have I love taking photos but have no digital art sklils whatsoever so am in awe!

    08/12/2017 at 2:44 am

    • Thanks for the kind comment and for stopping by!

      08/12/2017 at 11:34 am

  11. Dean

    Hello, I look at your website daily along with a few others that I like. I go to your site mainly for inspiration and technique . I greatly appreciate your sharing the details.

    One thing I have wondered though is what brand and model of camera do you currently use, and what lens or lenses do you favor.

    Thanks much, Dean

    09/20/2017 at 7:45 am

    • Hi Dean – I use a D300 Nikon camera. I find it still gives good results and I understand all the settings so not ready to upgrade. My favorite lens depends on what I photographing. When just going out to shoot, I use the 18-200 Nikon zoom lens. For flowers and butterflies I like my Nikon 60 mm macro lens with a Bower 0.5 attachment and a Composer Lens Baby. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      09/20/2017 at 4:52 pm

  12. Hi! I read in one of your posts that you imported some brush from Corel to photoshop.
    I am having trouble importing files from corel into adobe. I made a question about this on adobe forum. Would you please check it out? Any tip would be helpful!
    This is the link

    11/30/2022 at 7:52 pm

    • Converting brushes from PSD to Painter is not exactly the same and changing file formats. I am not real familiar with Corel Draw or Illustrator, but there seems to be a converter that will take a CDR file and convert it to PSD files here: Then once in PSD format, open Illustrator and select File > Open and choose your PSD file. It should open it up. How good it is I am not sure but maybe this will help. Good luck!

      12/01/2022 at 3:37 pm

      • thanks for the tip!!

        12/02/2022 at 9:39 am

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