Usually I try to have a particular theme for my major blog. I have been busy this week but doing all sorts of different things so I decided to just post some of my favorites. The image above is from the Big Island in Hawaii and it was not a first pick when I was processing. After I got a chance to play around in Photoshop with it though, it turned out to be one of my favorites. Sort of represents the kind of terrain that the trees in the area have to contend with and the light was very nice at this spot.
This is a 3-image hand-held HDR shot that ended up with a lot of different steps, starting first with Photoshop’s Merge to HDR to align and remove any ghosting. That tone-mapped image was then taken into Nik’s HDR Efex Pro and one of my favorite presets, Grannys Attic, was applied. Next Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 was applied using another one of my favorite presets, Midnight at 3% blur, which gives the tree more of a silhouette feel. Wow – not finished yet! Next Topaz Adjust 5 (see website link in my Tidbits Blog sidebar) was applied with the Timeless IV preset. But there’s more – one of my favorite textures, Shadowhouse Creations Paper Texture Scratchbox4 which has a golden lower half and a light greenish-turquoise top half set to Overlay at 80%, gives the image the warm vintage tones. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added for some tonal contrast. Finally, my Thin Double Edge Frame was applied (see DLS Free Layer Style Frames blog) – it creates a really nice slim framing and the colors can be changed easily by sampling within the image. Done!
This wall art image is on display in the open-air one mile long corridor that contains all sorts of art at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island in Hawaii. Just one of the very unusual pieces that is available to view on your leisurely stroll about the resort, but this guy means business or else he has some really bad breath!
This time I tried a sharpening technique in Photoshop’s Merge to HDR (see John Paul Caponigro’s blog Creative Sharpening with HDR Software) as a first step. Next, using Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel (see links at end for blog link), two Flypaper textures were added, Paper Texture Creme Anglaise Taster set to Blend Mode Exclusion at 100% Opacity which turned the whole image dark and Paper Texture Touchstone Taster set to Color Burn Blend Mode at 64% Opacity. A slight S-Curve Curves Adjustment Layer was added to increase contrast a little. Finally OnOne’s PhotoFrame (see website link in my Tidbits Blog sidebar) acid burn controlled 04 frame was used with the color being sampled from the image.
Oh no! Where did he come from? Back in my blog again?? – this is my office-mate Ted – had him way before he got famous. Seems to be enjoying himself. Hum! (See my Tidbits Blog My Office Friend Ted.)
Ted was processed using the wonderful Topaz Simplify 3 plug-in (see website link in my Tidbits Blog sidebar) and here are my settings used: Simplify – Colorspace YCbCR, Simplify Size 0.52, Feature Boost 3.83, Details Strength 1.51, Details Boost 1.27, Details Size 0.62, Remove Small 0, and Remove Weak 0.16; Adjust – Brightness 0.01, Contrast 1.07. Saturation 1.03, and Saturation Boost 0.97; and Edges – Mono Edge Fine, Edge Strength 4.47, Simplify Edge 0.39, Reduce Weak 7, Reduce Small 0.07, and Fatten Edge 4.11. A composite was created above this layer (CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E) and set to Linear Light at 37%. Next Sarah Gardner’s texture Blush Cherry was added (the website is no longer offering this texture but ShadowHouse Creations Pastels Texture Set Pastel-10 is very close) set to Soft Light Blend Mode at 100% Opacity lightened up the image. A text layer was created using Sassys Teddys 3 font and a Layer Style with these settings were added to the text layer: Bevel & Emboss set to Contour and Texture, Style Inner Bevel, Technique Smooth, Depth 100, Direction Up, Size 7, Soften 0, Angle 25 wit Use Global Light checked, Altitude 30 and the rest default settings; Outer Glow set to Normal Blend Mode, Opacity 100, color R77/G30/B19, Technique Softer, Spread 0, Size 237 and the rest default settings; and Drop Shadow – just dragged around on screen a bit in Multiply Blend Mode and Black, Opacity 75%, Angle 25 & Use Global Light checked, Distance 29, Spread 0, and Size 7. Whew! Finally the same Layer Style was applied as for the first image using different colors in the frame.
Thought I would finish off with an effect that reminded me of one of my kids favorite books from forever ago, The Berenstein Bear’s Spooky Old House. This old building image I use a lot for practice with the plug-ins is in Jackson, Mississippi and stands under one of the most striking buildings in the area, the Lamar Life Insurance Building (see my Tidbits Blog Topaz Adjust 5 Is Here! First Look!).
The processing for this image was practically all in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 – four filters were stacked: Detail Extractor, Tonal Contrast, Pro Contrast, and Midnight using Color Set Blue and Blur set to6%. These are some of my favorite filters and are used often with various other filters for different looks. Got to love Color Efex Pro! A Curves Adjustment Layer was added for a little more contrast and OnOne’s PhotoFrame Jack Davis 02i. Pretty simple but really cool looking.
Hope you enjoyed some of the images I was working with this past week and hope I did not put you to sleep with all the details. Most of these images did not require a lot of work and the plug-ins gave a really nice boost to the final look in all of them……Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd’s Related Blogs:
HDR Using Photoshop Merge to HDR and Nik”s HDR EFex Pro and Silver Efex Pro? Wow!
Using Color Efex Pro and Texture for a Warm Hawaiian Landscape Effect
Russell Brown’s Paper Texture Panel Updated!
White Daisies! Using Color Efex Pro Midnight Filter
Ever since I got my first copy of OnOne PhotoFrames a few years ago, I have not been able to find anything comparable and as easy to use. There are several other Photoshop plug-ins that do have some very nice finishing frame effects, but nothing is as easy to use and so easy to modify to fit the mood of your image. The palm tree photo was actually put into a template type frame (in Photographic category named Instant Film sx70 5×5) of which there are many choices. (The image was processed using Topaz Black & White Effects.)
PhotoFrames 4.6 Professional (see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog for website link) has many different categories in the Library tab but my two favorites are the Grunge frames and the Gurus frames. The next image is an HDR image from downtown Jackson, Mississippi and the gray frame is perfect for this image. (HDR Photo Merge in Photoshop was used to process the HDR and then Topaz Adjust was applied.) The frame is from the Gurus group and is called Dave Cross 13 (Dave Cross is one of the original Photoshop Guys from NAPP and total Photoshop guru). When applied first, it was just a white color, but by sampling the image in different places, you can instantly see how another color would look. In this case, a neutral gray color was selected. When you first open up the plug-in, your image is already added to thumbnails so you can quickly see what it looks like. You can also add the frame and try different options on it (or delete the frame) before you actually apply it to your image. A preset can be created to save down all the frames (more than one can be applied to an image and appear on their own layers in Photoshop) with options you selected.
The vintage effect applied below (using a combination of Topaz Adjust, Topaz Detail, and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2) created the perfect result for an OnOne PhotoFrame. The frame is in the Gurus section and is called Kevin Kubota Bunko (a great photographer known for his Photoshop actions) – layer was set to a 53% opacity. A greenish color was sampled from the trees for the frame color.
When the frame is applied in Photoshop, the PhotoFrame group already has a layer mask where parts of the frame can be painted away if not needed in your image. Below some of the frame was lightly painted out over the flowers in the layer mask – this is a great example of some of the unique effects the frames can give an image – they do not all look exactly like frames. This one is in the Grunge category and is called Acid Burn Controlled 13.
Sometimes you just want a nice simple frame. Below is one called Weather Wood 18 in the Grunge category which adds just a bit of interest without taking away the main focus of the image.
You can download a 30-day free trial at their website (see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog for website link) or while in website go to the Products header -> Free Products and select Edge and Framing Effects where you can download 30 frames to use for free! Give it a try! There are many times I do not use frames on my images – they can sometimes distract from what you want the viewer to focus on. But there are times when a nice frame can really enhance an image, cover up something that is distracting, add a particular feel or emotion to an image. OnOne’s PhotoFrames has so many choices, and so many different options for adjusting the frames, that it makes it very easy to get the results you need. As I said above, I do not even need to look at other plug-ins, this one does exactly what is needed and in a quick and easy way. Definitely one of my favorite plug-ins!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blog:
Hyacinths and OnOne Frames