Photoshop Tutorial Mine : from image to flickr

This post is a guest post by Lara Zankoul.

I’ve always been attracted to the tones of Lara’s pictures so I tried to talk her into sharing with us her retouching techniques and here goes her first tutorial.

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Photoshop Tutorial: step-by-step Ville d’Avray

PasTut 10

This Photoshop tutorial is brought to you by Pascal Khattar and the picture is by Toni Abi el Hessen

Today we are going to use Adobe Photoshop to fix a bad exposed shot and make it look much better in all ways.

First of all open the picture in Photoshop

PasTut 01

Tip: double click in the empty area of Photoshop it will brings the open dialogue

Straighten the picture

Now that we have our document opened, first we will start by leveling the photo, as you see the scene is rotated slightly counter-clock wise (CCW) will fix that with the help of the river line as a guide to our horizontal level.

  • Select the “Ruler” tool PasTut 02.jpg or press “Shift + I” to cycle through available tools
  • With the ruler selected draw a line on the edge of the river from side to side
  • Now go to Image -> rotate canvas -> arbitrary you will see that in the dialogue box that appear will display the angle at which the photo is rotated just leave CCW (counter clock wise) selected & click OK
  • Now we have our image rotated and leveled based on the ruler line we’ve drawn

As you see now a white areas are showing at the corners due to the background color selected and rotated image, this can be cropped quickly.

  • Select the “Marquee” tool PasTut 03.jpg by pressing “M
  • Press Ctrl+A to select all
  • Right click in the middle of the scene and select transform selection, on the top toolbar input W:96% H:96% and ensure that the white areas are outside our selection
  • Select Image -> Crop
  • Press Ctrl+D to deselect.

Fixing the sky

We notice from the photo that the sky is overexposed and it has no details. Since we cannot treat all the image based on the bad exposed sky, we will isolate it and make it separate layer and will post process it to give much more realistic look sky and maybe add some artificially clouds.

  • Press “L” to select the “Lasso” tool PasTut 04.jpg
  • Draw a selection over the sky don’t worry if it’s not accurate
    PasTut 05
  • On the toolbar click select -> color range click on the eye drop tools (it will be selected by default) and click on the scene inside the sky, hold Shift then add another point (click) on the sky or while holding the shift draw an imaginary line across all colors of the sky.
  • On the fuzziness input “100” and click OK, now you will see how the selection is more accurate over the edge of the tree
  • Now go to layer->new-> layer via copy or simply press “ctrl+J” now we have a new layer based on our selection in the layer palette
    Tip: Press F7 to show the layer palette
  • Now select the new layer and double click it’s name and change the name to “SKY”
  • Click the “D” to reset the colors
  • Ctrl+click the small thumbnail to the left of the name sky to bring the selection of the sky
  • Now from the toolbar select render->clouds
  • Press “Ctrl+U” to bring the Hue Saturation dialogue box, select colorize input Hue:220 Saturation:85 Lightness:50 and press OK
  • Optionally step: you can add an artificial sun with the selection still active choose Filter->Render->lens flare select 35mm prime and brightness around 150% and click inside the dialogue box image to position the sun, I choose top left corner
  • Press Ctrl+D to deselect.
  • Now select the Erase tool or simply press “E” with the layer “SKY” selected a soft edge large brush (around 70) & erase the borders of rugged edges where the sky meets the trees.

Note how now the sky has more details in it.

Adjusting the main image

  • Select the background in layer palette
  • Press “Ctr+L” to bring the level dialogue and input the values as shown and press OK, we are increasing the contrast of the picture
    PasTut 06.jpg
  • Select the “Marquee” tool PasTut 03.jpg by pressing “M
  • Press Ctrl+A to select all
  • Hold down “Alt” and draw a window around the river to remove it from the selection, now we have all the scene selected without the river
  • Select filter->sharpen->smart sharpen input amount : 100% radius 1.0pixel and select OK
  • Press “Ctrl+Shift+I” to invert the selection, now we have the river selected
  • Press “Ctrl+J” to make a layer from the selection
  • Double click the newly created layer and name it “RIVER”

Fixing the River

Now we will work on the RIVER to give it more details and colors

  • With the RIVER layer selected Press “Ctr+L” to bring the level dialogue and select the Blue channel and input the values as shown and press OK
    PasTut 08.jpg
  • Now the river reflect a blue light due to our new created sky 🙂
  • Press “Ctrl+U” to bring the Hue Saturation dialogue box, select Yellows instead of master color & input Hue:10 Saturation:-20 Lightness:40 and press OK
  • Press “Ctr+L” to bring back the level dialogue now for the master colors and input the values as shown and press OK, now we have more realistic look on the river.
    PasTut 09.jpg

This was a basic process on how to manipulate a scene to add more details and give it a realistic look.


Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, have a good day.

145 Free photoshop Easter brushes

Easter being around the corner, I am trying my best to gather resources that would make it easier for all of us to prepare before the holiday rush keeps us busy.

So here is a collection of 145 free Adobe Photoshop brushes that I was able to find. I made sure to diversify the sets to include different styles and elements. You will find egg, chicken, Easter woods, vintage Easter eggs, traditionally religious brushes, baskets, bunnies and even Easter grass.

Enjoy the collection, put it to creative use and most important if I missed some interesting barushes please share them with us and remember that the original websites contain a lot of other free brushes so make sure to visit them
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Add vignettes using Photoshop in 6 simple steps

In photography vignetting, or light fall-off, is the loss of brightness at the borders of an image and it is a lens characteristic or weakness.

Usually vignettes are not desired however it is not uncommon to add them during post-processing for example to draw the attention of the user to a particular portion of the image or to give it an aged look.

I am going to show you how to add vignetting to your image using Adobe photoshop in just a few simple steps.

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Photoshop tutorial: Stacking star trails pictures

Trails (2008-10-19_ 40D_100-0746)
Picture by Antoine Khater

In the last tutorial we discussed how to shoot star trails pictures and we agreed that, in digital photography, you’d better go for multiple shots of 30 seconds each rather than one long shot to keep the noise under control.

So you’re back home with a handful of pictures, let’s see how to turn this exposures into one star trails pictures using Adobe Photoshop CS3.
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