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Inside Photoshop, January 2015 Issue
by Renee Dustman
If you’ve sprawled out on the living room floor with your big box of 64 crayons lately, you’re probably in the minority. But crayon art projects offer such an elusive, fun, free feeling that it’s a shame to let them fade from your portfolio permanently. Well, here’s a way you can bring back some of that whimsy into your work. We’ll show you how, with Photoshop’s Art History Brush tool, you can create a fun and impressionistic piece of art, as illustrated in Figure A.
Choose your subject
The first step for producing any type of artwork is choosing a subject. A suitable image for this technique is one with a simple subject that has well-defined lines and is full of color, such as the original image of the hot air balloon, shown in Figure A.
Create an outline
Once you select an image, you can begin to transform it into an outline drawing ready for coloring. You’ll start by rendering a sketch of the image. Luckily, you don’t have to really draw it. Instead, you’ll use the Find Edges filter in Photoshop to convert the image into outlines. Then, you’ll use Levels to refine them.
To convert a photo into a line drawing:
by Stephen Dow
While some reflections can certainly distract from your central subject, others are so interesting that they can become the subject themselves. Just as avoiding reflections in your digital photography takes some careful shooting, capturing a reflection in pixels also has its own set of techniques. In some ways, it becomes more difficult, as you must not only capture the reflection, but represent the reflective object as well. Photographing reflections can yield some very rewarding images, and digital cameras are perfectly suited to get the job done.
The physics of reflections
Simply put, a reflection is light thrown back from a surface. The quality of the reflection depends on the strength of the light source (called incident light), the smoothness of the reflective surface, and the strength of the reflected light. Essentially, b light sources that bounce off smooth surfaces produce good reflections, while rougher surfaces produce more diffuse reflections. Of course, a perfect mirror image isn’t always the goal, as the abstraction that a weaker light source or rough reflective surface adds to the reflection is often more interesting than the original scene.
Planning a reflective shot
When considering capturing a reflection, you should first think about what the central subject of your photograph is. Is it the reflection or the reflective object you’re after? As we’ll explain later, your choice not only affects how you frame your image and focus your camera, but it can be the difference between an everyday image and an exceptional one.
For example, consider the image in Figure A. While we usually avoid printing our less-than-successful images, this one offers a good lesson on shooting reflections. There were two ways to approach this shot, by focusing on the reflection of a carousel on the glass or on the people eating in the 50&
by Stephen Farnow
Your pixels never did anything to hurt you, did they? You, on the other hand, are likely roughing them up every time you enhance an image. Directly adjusting color, contrast, or focus—all staples of image digital enhancement—physically alters your original data (i.e., munches your pixels). Now you may not really care all that much about your pixels now, but you will when you realize you’d like a “do over” and they shrug and say, “so sorry.” Fortunately, Photoshop has a whole host of techniques that fall under the category of non-destructive editing or NDE. These techniques allow you to make all the changes you want without ever touching your original data, and you can always go back and do touch-ups later.
1. Don’t slack! Make sure you back up your file
The simplest start, of course, is to make a backup of your file before the pixel plundering process begins. We highly recommend this practice, irrespective of whether you follow the remaining suggestions in this article. Next, always duplicate your background layer by dragging it onto the Create A New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel before doing anything else. By preserving that background layer, your Photoshop file will always contain the original pixels.
2. Love adjustment layers
You can find Photoshop’s image enhancing commands under Image > Adjustments from the main menu bar, as shown in Figure A. There are adjustments to fix contrast, color, exposure, convert to black and white, etc. This last adjustment, Black & White, is a great example of a problem with these adjustments. When you select the Black & White adjustment, Photoshop, with some settings from you, converts your image to black and white, throwing away all of the color information. Not only is the color information gone, but the conversion settings are also history.
by Amy Gebhardt
Photoshop comes equipped with a variety of color modes. When working on an image, the most common color modes used, as you mentioned, are RGB and CMYK. However, working in Photoshop’s Lab Color mode can be a lot of fun, especially when you want to experiment with color changes within an image. At first, working in Lab mode may seem tricky, but after you read this article you’ll be able to take full advantage of this powerful image-editing feature.
Explaining Lab mode
The Lab Color mode consists of three separate color channels, as shown in Figure A. The first channel is Lightness (L). The Lightness component, otherwise known as luminance, can range from 0 to 100. A Lightness value of 0 equals black and a value of 100 equals white. The higher the value, the more vivid the color. The other two channels, a and b, represent color ranges. The a channel contains colors ranging from green to red, and the b channel contains colors ranging from blue to yellow. Figure B shows how our original image is broken down within each channel.
by Jim Whitcomb
Like fashion and sports photography, food photography is a specialty of its own. Those who concentrate on food shots typically have a customized studio designed specifically for food photography. Often the setup includes a food prep kitchen, a vast collection of tableware, flatware, accessories, and backgrounds. In addition, photographers many times use food stylists who manage the arrangement and look of the food in their setups.
That’s all well and good if that’s what you do full-time. But if not, you can still get a fabulous shot, as shown in Figure A, by using a number of the techniques stylists use to make the food in their shots so appealing. For our image, it involved some tricks for working with whipped toppings.
Nothing adds interest to a scene better than dramatic lighting. One great way to accomplish this is by adding a diffuse glow to your image, as shown in Figure A.
Figure A: ORIGINAL
by Amy Palermo
If you have a folder of images that you want to put into one Photoshop document, Photoshop comes with a preinstalled script that will make this job a snap! Simply choose File > Scripts > Load Fi
by Amy Palermo
If you’re printing with spot colors along with or instead of 4-color inks, you’ll probably need to designate spot channels in one or more of your Photoshop files. You
by Amy Palermo
As you ring in the New Year you’re probably anticipating a fresh surge of creativity in your designs. If so we’ve got just what you need—a super sweet chocolate text effect with a hint of dazzling foil, as shown in Figure A. Whether you follow our example to the T or customize it to make it your own, you’ll be well on your way to kicking off a creative new year!
Lay the foundation
To get started with this technique, you need to create a new canvas and add some text. A bold font works best for this technique, but you can experiment with different fonts to see what suits your design needs.