Anything Photoshop or Photography

Photoshop Filter

A NEW LOOK AT CHROMATIC ABERRATION

Image of the Carousel at Jacksonville ZooThought I would share a tip that can really improve your photos, especially landscapes. Wikipedia says “Chromatic aberration manifests itself as “fringes” of color along boundaries that separate dark and bright parts of the image.” This seems to be very apparent in blue skies in landscapes with lots of trees. The above image was taken at the Jacksonville Zoo of a vintage-looking carousel (see my Only in Florida! Tidbits Blog for a closer look). Just a few Basic panel adjustments Lens Corrections (checking just the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration boxes) were done in Lightroom before opening up Photoshop.

This technique was passed along by one of my favorite Photoshop people, Blake Rudis (who says he learned it from Steve Perry), at his f64 Academy in a video called The Color Blend Mode – there is a free downloadable action here to do this technique. The image had some empty branches against the blue sky along with was some real blue-cyan chromatic aberration. In Lightroom the Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox did not remove this and to be honest, I did not  notice it until I was in Photoshop since only the upper corners were affected. Below it can be seen what a subtle difference the technique makes – you can definitely see the cyan color shift due to the Chromatic Aberration in the sky. It is hard to see, but the branches on the right side image look a bit darker and sharper, especially where the larger branches are present. This was also true on the upper left side of the image.

Image showing with and without Chromatic Aberration

So here are my steps to get rid of this ugly blue edging in this case but it will work on any color of chromatic aberration.

  1. Duplicate the Background layer (CTRL+J) and turn it into a Smart Object by right clicking on the layer text area and selecting Convert to Smart Object. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) could be used and duplicated if in the middle of post-processing.
  2. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set the Radius somewhere between 6 and 20. I used 6.8 for this image.
  3. Change the layer blend mode to Color – now the whole image is blurred.
  4. Click in the Smart Filter layer mask and CTRL+I to turn it black. With a regular soft round brush, paint with white just in the areas you want the blur to correct the chromatic aberration.

Blake does not use a Smart Object, just applies the filter and adds a black layer mask – then paints back areas that need correction. This technique also works if the chromatic aberration is not completely removed when using the Camera Raw filter. What is really useful is that this is a localized correction and only affects the part of the image that needs the correction. The Blur does not affect the whole image! I find this gives a very subtle and sharp result to the bad areas. Here is a link to one of my Tidbits Blogs called  Defringe that Nasty Blue Edge from Trees On a Bright Blue Sky! done a while ago where 4 other ways to remove Chromatic Aberration are presented if you would like to try out some other techniques.

There were lots of steps used for final processing in this image – Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Glow, Topaz DeNoise, Photo Filter Adjustment Layer, Vignette, and clean up layers. Overall I was pretty happy with the final results.

Give this Chromatic Aberration trick a go, especially if you have cyan blue going around those branches in trees. It works really great! Also check out Blake’s f64 Academy website as he has lots of great ideas on improving pictures. Well, back to my organizing until next week…..Digital Lady Syd


APPLYING A FILTER TO OBJECTS ON A LAYER

Image of giraffes on painted background Still working around my office, but thought I would post a picture showing a little group of giraffes taken at the Jacksonville Zoo. The basic technique is that you can apply a filter to a layer without applying it to the whole image to tie it all together very easily.

The giraffes were selected in Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) ReMask 5 but any method works fine, then the resulting  layer mask was applied in PS. Next one of my Corel painted textures was placed underneath the giraffe layer. Topaz Impression was opened on the giraffe layer and the Van Gogh I preset was applied with no changes. The small giraffe’s head was too dark so it was lightened by adding a Curves Adjustment Layer to lighten the head (ignored the rest of the image) – then filled the layer mask with black and painted back with a low opacity soft round white brush just the head. On three separate new layers above, the free Frostbo’s Grass Set 2 brushes were used to add the grass – just change the size and add Color Dynamics for brush variety. These layers were put in a group and the group duplicated.  Turned off the original group and with the duplicated group, right clicked and selected Merge Group. Topaz Impression Van Gogh I was also applied to the grass which really give it a nice painterly effect. 2 Lil’ Owls Studio’s (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Light It Up overlay in mini set 5 was placed on top and set to Color blend mode at 85% layer opacity. This warmed up the image a little. Topaz ReStyle was added at 47% layer opacity to give a bit of color back into the giraffe bodies. Dodging and Burning was done with Overlay layers using a black or white brush set to 15% brush opacity. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Nik Viveza 2 (now free – go get it!) was used to emphasize the focal points and add a slight vignette feel in the corners. That was it.

Hope you got a few tips here – the best thing to understand is that you can actually apply a filter just to a layer that contains objects only for some pretty nice effects – it does not have to be applied to the whole image……Have a great week!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO USE THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH – REALLY IMPROVED NOW!

Image of a Malayan Tiger at the Jacksonville ZooOnce again, had to share something I think is rather cool. I usually do most of my post-processing in Photoshop CS6 because I do most of my painting with it. (I have my favorite brushes saved in the Tool Presets, I can use my own Flash panels, and the Mixer brushes paint faster.) But that does not mean I do not like Photoshop CC 2015. Adobe has greatly improved the Spot Healing Tool from earlier versions of CC and it seems CS6 and I just wanted to show how good it now is. The above image of a Malayan Tiger (I think) was taken at the Jacksonville Zoo inside a room with large bars in front of his beautiful face – they were doing a little tiger demonstration for the visitors so so you could see them up close. I really loved the expression on his face, so I decided to experiment in PS and see  if I could get a good image from the original – the left image below.

Before and After of Spot Healed image.

By selecting the Spot Healing Brush and setting the Options Bar settings to Mode Replace (This mode works best for me – per Adobe it preserves noise, film grain, and texture at the edges of the brush stroke when using a soft‑edge brush), Type Content-Aware and Sample All Layers, I was able to remove the bars completely – no other tools or cloning needed! I found that using short strokes was most useful and going over it a couple of times was sometimes needed. Apparently the Tool will learn how you want the area filled. I used a brush that was slightly larger than the chicken wire bar to be removed to help with the fill in information. I also used a layer above to make my corrections on so if something was really messed up, it could be erased and redone in just that area. See the right image above for spot-healing results. Obviously it was not totally perfect, but not bad at all!

Finalized the image by creating a stamped layer, and applying Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Detail 2 to sharpen the face. One of my textures created in Painter was added underneath the tiger. A Black and White Adjustment Layer was added to the texture – sliders were adjusted and set to Tint using a beige color. This darkened the texture quite a bit. A layer mask was added to the stamped layer so the texture could be used for the background. Another stamped layer was created and Topaz Impression’s Photo Painting III preset was applied as is and set to Saturation blend mode. A layer mask was added to bring back some of the whiskers and facial detail. A little painting was done on a layer for clean up of the face. The eyes were sharpened using an Exposure Adjustment Level.  Nik Viveza 2 was used to add focus to the face – everyone can do this now that the plug-in is free! The last step was to add two Curves Adjustment Layers set to Luminosity blend mode – used to darken the image and one to lighten. Fill layer masks with black and paint back to dodge and burn. That was it.

Such for not blogging, but I was so surprised how good the Spot Healing Brush is working over the one in Photoshop CS6 and wanted to share – anyway, have a great week!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening in Photoshop
How to Use Curves Adjustment Layers to Dodge and Burn an Image


HOW TO MAKE A BASIC COMPOSITE IMAGE

Image of a little girl thinking of her favorite things!The above is a pretty good example of a composite. Just one new image of this beautiful little girl this week as compositing takes a while to do correctly. She was looking through a chain-length fence at some flowers outside the Jacksonville Zoo in very bright sunlight, so I had to put her in a more suitable place. Last year I did a blog called How to Use the PixelSquid Add-On in Photoshop that was an example of creating a composite image using their 3D components. This image used various elements from Scrapbook sites that provide so much wonderful content.

I think the hardest thing about doing a composite is to make it look like all the elements fit together even though they come from different sources. Since the sun was very strong on the little girl, I decided to use her lighting throughout the image. First the little girl was removed from the original image using Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) ReMask. It was not a perfect layer mask as her hair was a little rough, but for this image the color contamination blended in just fine. The next thing was to find a nice background to place her in. This is one I call Bright Fall Leaves that was created in Corel Painter a while back. With backgrounds it just takes a lot of experimentation to find the one that creates an effect you like. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was actually applied to the background to make it more saturated (+39) and childlike. I liked the way it looked as if there was a little trail she could follow out of the image.

After this, some really cute elements were added in. Note that when using scrapbooking websites, usually the individual person who creates a set of elements requires some form of link back to their sites. Check out these scrapbooking sites as they have some wonderful free sets to practice using and many inexpensive sets for creating some fabulous designs. The E-scape and Scrap Pinkish Frog is from FS Pinkish Scrapbook; the Mr. Whiskers Bird, Deer, and Plant on left are all from a really cute set called Hollewood HappyUnbday by Lorie Davison of scrapbookgraphics.com; the Bug in her hand is also by Lorie called sendingalittlehappinessyourway-littledragonfly1: and the Flowers on the right are from Algera Designs. All these elements needed either a Topaz Lens Effects right side reflector filter preset or a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. It is important to get all the elements blending together and I find both these choices work best for me.

I still was not happy with how everything was blending together, especially the girl’s skin, so I decided to try a technique that seems to be rather popular on images. Many creatives are taking their images into Topaz Impression and applying a preset. Then back in Photoshop they are either lowering the blend mode so it barely applies to the image, adding a layer mask and just using the preset for softening the backgrounds, or changing the blend mode of the filter plug-in to get some different effects. For this image, a stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Impression’s Ethereal Glaze by Blake Rudis was applied. Now the girl’s skin just blended into the image beautifully and the tone was really nice. But it took a lot of the interesting detail out of my background texture. Therefore a layer mask was added and a soft round brush set to 30% layer opacity was added. Just built up areas where I wanted my rough effect showing through by painting in black. The major elements were slightly painted back to make them stand out a little more in the image. The last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 to balance out the brightness in the image to get that balanced sunny feel throughout.

So what I discovered is that for some basic compositing, use a reflector filter effect to even out the lighting in all elements. Topaz Lens Effects or Nik Color Efex Pro both have filters that will do this nicely. I have not tried out PS Lighting Effects, but that might work just fine. Also Color Balance Adjustment Layers work nicely to even out color tones since they can be adjusted in Highlights, Shadows and Midtones. Several were used to blend in the elements. Then try out a paint plug-in like Topaz Impression or Snap Art 4 to blend elements together into something that looks quite natural. And do not forget those shadows – either lighten them up or add them in when needed.

Image of an some Victorian young ladiesThis image is from my Tidbits Blog called A Victorian Visit. Similar steps were used to create this effect. It is so much fun to create images this way. Compositing is a nice technique to learn if you are into the design world. Experimentation can give some of the best results so that is what I recommend to get some really creative results. Check out the blogs below for a couple other examples. Hope you get a chance to try some of these tips!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Related Blogs:
How to Create an Image From Nothing!
Springtime Wishes from Betsy


HOW TO CONVERT LIGHTROOM PRESETS TO CAMERA RAW PRESETS

This week I am reposting one of my Tidbits Blogs from 2012 that is just as relevant now as then. I am constantly wanting to change my Lightroom presets to Camera Raw presets – I have so many new ones, but the basic method still works pretty good. There is only one limitation to this process – there is currently no way to save the Lightroom pin settings for the Radial Filter Tool, Graduated Filter Tool, and Adjustment Brush, which so many of the very new presets contain. The pins will have to be added in manually when using those settings in Camera Raw. But at least the basic effect can be applied.

So why would you want to do this? Since the Camera Raw Filter can now be opened within Photoshop, it is nice to have access to some of your favorite presets. Now the preset effect can be applied to any layer, not just the Background layer, and it is easy to add a Layer Mask to localize the preset effect. And the layer’s blend mode and/or opacity can also be changed to give a different look.

So here is my earlier blog as follows:

I occasionally come across a need to take a Lightroom preset and use it as a preset in Adobe Camera Raw. This is not as complicated as it seems. Below are the steps required to accomplish this task.

1. Apply the preset in Lightroom and make sure you know which panels and sliders were used to create the preset. (If preset not already created, to save preset in Lightroom, on left side of Presets line, click (+) for “Create New Preset.” Name preset.)

2. Right click on image in Lightroom and select Edit in -> Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. The image is opened in Photoshop with the Smart Object icon on bottom right of thumbnail in Layers Panel.

3. Double click on thumbnail and it opens up into Adobe Camera Raw. Go to Presets panel (9th icon on right-hand side under the histogram) and click the folder icon at the bottom of the panel to open the New Preset dialog. Name and click the items you want included in the preset, then click OK. Your new preset now shows up in the Presets panel.

You can now use your Lightroom preset anytime you want in Adobe Camera Raw also. I usually start my personal preset names off with an SJ so I know they are mine. It is easy to get presets from many different sources as time goes on so it helps to know which are yours.

The image above is of a miniature mum in my yard. For information on how to create this preset and how the image was finished, see bottom of blog for details on Image 1.

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Image of a Suit of ArmourNow back to today’s blog which shows an example of combining the presets on different layers using the Camera Raw Filter. This Suit of Armour was in front of the Royal Mile Armouries Store near Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. With this image the Background layer was duplicated (CTRL+J), set to a Smart Object (right click on layer and select Convert to Smart Object), and the Camera Raw filter was opened. Trey’s (Radcliffs) Free Packs A Beautiful Release (from Jan 2015) preset was applied – I had previously followed the procedure above to add the Lightroom preset to my list of Camera Raw presets in the Presets tab. It does not include the Graduated Filter Tool or Radial Filter effects that are part of the the Lightroom preset. (This is because the New Preset dialog does not have an options to save these settings.) Next a stamped layer was created above (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Impression’s Urban Street Art II preset was applied as is. Since I did not like the brick effect running across the armour, another identical stamped layer was created, placed on top, and Impression was opened again. Urban Street Art II was applied again but this time the Texture slider was set to 0 so no texture was showing. Back in PS, a black layer mask (CTRL+I in white layer mask) was added. With a white brush, just the armour was painted back showing the texture now removed in that area. Next the Background layer was duplicated again, moved to the top of the layers stack, and converted to a smart object. The Camera Raw Filter was opened and another preset was applied – one with a lot of HDR for emphasizing the edges of the armour (see Image 2 at end of blog for preset settings). A black layer mask was added and this time just some of the sharp lines in the armour were painted back softly to emphasize the armour effect just a little – used a brush set to 20% brush opacity and 30% Flow. To make the image just a little darker, here is a little trick – instead of duplicating the layer and setting it to Multiply, just add any adjustment layer making no changes and set it to Multiply – keeps the file slimmer and does exactly the same thing. Here a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer was set to Multiply blend mode and the layer opacity was set to 49%. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 to even out the tones in the helmet of the armour. Since these steps are a little confusing, here is what my Layers Panel looked like showing two Camera Filters using two different presets.
Screenshot of Layers Panel for Suit of Armour ImageIt really is easy to convert the Lightroom preset into Camera Raw presets – I hope Adobe is considering adding the Radial Filter Tool, Graduated Filter Tool, and Adjustment Brush pin settings in the New Preset dialog. It would really help to get the exact look from the newer Lightroom presets that are now available. At least the results can be mimicked if you have the Lightroom preset, just takes longer to copy the effect exactly. It still is great to be able to combine the preset effects and there are many possibilities for additional creativity here. Hope you give this a try! …..Digital Lady Syd

To create Image 1 preset, changes were made to: the Tone Curve set to Highlights -24, Lights +41, Darks -56, and Shadows -54; HSL – Luminance sliders set to Red -41, Orange -9, Purple -2, Magenta -50 and all others 0, and Saturation sliders set to Red -2, Purple +32, Magenta +59 and all others set to 0; Effects Post-Crop Vignetting Style set to Highlight Priority with Amount -61, Midpoint 33 Feather 0 and others set to 0. To finish, image was sharpened and border was from OnOne (Photo) Effects (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) – in Photoshop petals were painted over frame edge using a layer mask on first acid burn frame.

Image 2 SJ HDR Split Tone Preset settings: Basic Panel – Highlights -100, Shadows +100, and Clarity +73; and Split Toning Panel – Highlights Hue 52 and Saturation 64, Balance +49, and Shadows Hue +215 and Saturation 50.

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
How to Get a Localized Blur in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw
How to Create a Blown Out Effect Preset in Lightroom or Camera Raw
How to Use the DeHaze Slider in Lightroom and Camera Raw


CREATING WINTER WONDERLAND EFFECT!

Image of a wintry landscape with deerThis week turned out to be a little strange as my prepared blog needs some permission clarification before posting. Therefore, I decided to pay tribute to my kids and friends up north who were blanketed with over 20 inches of snow. I found this beautiful free stock image on pixabay (original image linked) and added my own touch to it. The deer that is photo bombing the image was supposed to go in the background, but he just so looked so natural in that spot, so that’s where he remains.

Here is a quick run down of how I achieved this sort of old-fashioned look. In Lightroom Trey’s Free Packs A Beautiful Release (from Jan 2015) preset was applied to the original downloaded image – an Adjustment Brush was used to paint the blue color out of the trees from the gradient in the preset.  In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Clarity was opened where a Basic Tone Preset by Blake Rudis (here are the settings: Micro Contrast 0.13, Low Contrast 0.28, Medium Contrast 0.16, and High Contrast 0.26) was selected. A black layer mask was added once out of the plug-in and just the center area of the image where the creek turns was painted back for more detail. A New Layer set to Overlay blend mode and a soft round black brush set to 12% opacity was used to burn in a little contrast in the tops of the short trees in the middle. (See my The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog.) A Curves Adjustment Layer was put on top. A stamped layer was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and the Nik Viveza 2 plug-in was opened to adjust the color tone in the center and soften the outer trees. On another stamped layer Nik Color Efex Pro 4 filters were stacked: Midnight Neutral at 67% opacity, Reflector Efex Silver to add light from the left, and Vignette Blur using Shape 2 and Type 1. This is when I got the great idea to add a deer – this little beauty is an image from Tara Lesher that she graciously let people use.  The deer was removed from it’s background using Topaz ReMask 5 and placed in this image. Two Exposure Adjustments Layers were used to sharpen the eyes and the nose. (See my How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening in Photoshop blog.) Two free snow overlays were added: one by Shadowhouse Creations called Snow Overlay 11 set to Screen blend mode at 74% layer opacity, and one by me called SJ-Snow2-Overlay-slightly blurred, which is a png file, set to 20% layer opacity. Last step was to add Kim Klassen’s Downtown Collection Edith texture (unfortunately I do not believe her textures are available anymore, but 2 Lil’ Owls (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website) has some very similar vintage effect textures) on top set to Overlay at 50% layer opacity. And that is my winter wonderland image.

Image of wintry landscape with a barnHere is another wonderful wintry landscape from pixabay. Just screamed HDR effect to me, although it really is more of an illustrative look. This image used another Trey Radcliff’s free Lightroom preset in the package linked above called Xmas Pants Asunder. That is about all that was done to the image in Lightroom. The background was duplicated (CTRL+J) and Photoshop’s Oil Paint Filter was applied. I usually do not use this filter as it looks so canned, but it does one thing really good – it makes snow look fabulous! Also always set as a Smart Object (Smart Filter) so you can go back in and adjust the settings if the effect gets “over-the-top.” (Here are the settings: Stylization 0.8, Cleanliness 8.3, Scale 0.99, Bristle Detail 9.5, Angular Direction -151, and Shine 1.5 – remember to adjust them if the resolution of you image is very high or low.) The trick is not to use too much Shine, but if you do need it stronger, just paint out the areas that have too much striping effect going on in the filter mask. In this image, some of the snow had a little strip-look going on and it was painted out with a black brush in the mask. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was opened up as a Smart Object and three filters were stacked: Tonal Contrast using Balanced Contrast Type, Darken/Lighten Center using Shape 2 and centering effect on the barn, and Vignette Filter using Shape 2 – sampled a whitish color from the image and set the Opacity slider to 81%. Nik Viveza 2 was used to draw focus to the main little building in the front. My SJ Snow1 Overlay from same link as above was added on top and set to 20% layer opacity.

These were just some very easy winter looks that can be added to give your winter shots a very unique feel. Do try out the Oil Paint Filter on snow – the settings I used worked pretty well on a couple of different images I did. Also check out pixabay if you need a new image to work with – they have a great assortment of free stock images. Stay warm until next time!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO CREATE AN ORTON EFFECT

Image of the Memorial Gardens, Ormond Beach, FloridaFor a long time I have heard about the Orton Effect, but did not really know what it was. This week I thought I would do a short blog on what it is and how to apply it in Photoshop. Michael Orton created the effect in 1980, and it involved using two photos of the same place, one in focus and one out-of-focus. The result is a dreamy surreal look. It is mainly used on landscapes, but there was a time that it was popular to use with portrait shots.

Two different images can be stacked as layers in Photoshop after processing in Camera Raw or Lightroom, or just one image and adding a duplicated layer can be used, which is what was done with all these images. On method uses the Image -> Apply Image command to accomplish this effect. The image of Memorial Gardens in Ormond Beach, Florida, used this effect on two different duplicated layers to get the dream-like quality in the image. Once the Apply Image is done, the result is supposed to be set to Screen blend mode. I decided it looked better with one layer was set to Multiply blend mode at 44% layer opacity and the other Screen blend mode at 31% layer opacity, so experiment with the blend modes. A layer mask was used on the top layer to remove the effect in the middle of the image where the focal point is. Jimmy McIntyre, one of my favorite landscape photographers, made at his Shutter Evolve website a very short video called Quick Photoshop Secrets 7: How To Create A Dreamy Orton Effect which shows the steps to apply it manually. In one of his blogs (How to Create the Orton Effect), the Orton Effect action can be downloaded. It also contains these two great tips:  Try to be selective in how you apply the Orton Effect as it tends to soften important textures and fine details; and watch the color effect as the result will become strongly saturated, especially the greens. By adding a layer mask and using a black brush set to different opacities, paint away where the effect is too strong. Jimmy also has a free Easy Panel for CS5 and above that contains an Orton Effect button and does the same thing as the action.  He has a great weekly newsletter. For this image a Selective Color Adjustment Layer was added and the Reds, Yellows, and Neutrals were adjusted just a little. A Blue Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was placed on top and set to Luminosity blend mode at 25% layer opacity to tone down the yellows a little more. I really wanted a softer look in this image.

Image taken at the Viera WetlandsHere is another example of the Orton Effect using OnOne’s (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Effect 10 (was called Perfect Effects) plug-in used on an image taken at the Viera Wetlands. The Glow Filter called Orton Hears a Who preset with changes to the Warmth slider (92), Saturation (-4), Amount (88), and Halo (33). Also the Tone Enhancer Filter Midtones Lighter preset was applied on another layer (Tone 19, Contrast 48, Blacks -22, and Highlights -20, and then the Big Softy Vignette. (There is also an Orton Clean preset that was not tried.) On a New Layer above, my free SJ-Clouds 14 was added at 45% layer opacity into the sky. Obsidian Dawn’s Grouping 5 birds were also added to the scene (then highlight bird layer, go to Select -> Color Selection and select Shadows -> OK, add layer mask to add selection,  then right click to apply layer mask). Now a Gradient Fill layer was clipped (ALT+Click between the layers) to add some softer tone to the birds. I believe OnOne did a good job of creating a nice Orton Effect and it was much easier to do.

Image of a Palamedes Swallow Tail ButterflyThis time this beautiful Palamedes Swallow Tail Butterfly from my front yard was brought into Photoshop Elements 10, which actually has an Orton Effect filter effect. So this is how it was done since it is not obvious where it is in Elements: Go to Edit -> Guided -> Create Orton Effect. There are three sliders – my setting were: Increase Blur to under the “n,” Increase Noise set to under the “c,” and Apply Brightness under the “i”. Apply Orton Effect and then Done. Go back to Edit -> Full. A Layer Mask was added to the blurred layer and the butterfly and near flowers were gently painted out with a black round soft brush set to 15% brush opacity. The layer was then set to 85% layer opacity. Next a Levels Adjustment Layer was added to increase the contrast a little bit. A light pink Solid Color Fill layer was added on top and set to Color Blend Mode at 20% layer opacity to offset the overwhelming green color. That was it. A real dreamy effect that is pretty nice on something other than a landscape.

This is definitely a rather nice effect, although I am not sure I would want it on every image. It is actually hard to really understand what it does until you run the action or follow the “Apply Image” steps. I am more into the sharper look, but it still is nice for a change and fun to try. Hope you enjoyed this and try it on some of your images. Until next time, keep smiling!…..Digital Lady Syd