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Posts Tagged ‘photo editing’

I am writing this post for one reason.

I’d just like the whole world to know how much I love Photoshop.

Among millions other things it helps me with every day, it is a real hero when it comes to correcting shadows.

Especially in food photography, eliminating the underexposed areas (aka shadows) and showing their true structure and color is a very precious thing. It makes the food so much more appetizing.

Just let me show you something…
 
 

This is the original picture from my recipe for Farfalle with Tomato-Cheese Sauce.

I like the picture, but not as much as…
 
 

… I like this one.

This picture has undergone one simple Photoshop procedure.

As a result, the most wonderful shade of red color I know has appeared. Mere looking at that color has strong therapeutic effect on me.
 
 

This is how to do it:

1. Open the photo is Photoshop (I am using Photoshop Elements 8).

2. Click EnhanceAdjust LightingShadows/Highlights in the upper bar.

3. A smaller window will pop up with the first (Lighten Shadows) slider dragged to 25 automatically.

You should already see that your picture has improved substantially. If you don’t see any change, make sure you have selected the Preview check box.

You can move the first slider left or right to find the right amount of correction.

4. If you are happy with the result, click OK.

And that’s it.
 
 

Just give it a try and enjoy the beautiful changes it brings.

Love,
Petra

(To learn more about my quest against shadows have a look at this.)

 

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Just recently I brought a story about the Photoshop Crop Tool and what gorgeous role it plays in my life.

Surprisingly, the story seems to be expanding into a series.

This is part two…

 
 

This is the original picture with no editing at all.
 
 

And this is my new crop.

Okay, I might be the only person on Earth who thinks so, but that line of ice-cream-licking heads – that’s too cute and funny.

I just love those ladies!
 

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Camera Model: Canon EOS 1000D (EOS Rebel XS)
Lens: Canon 18-55mm
Focal Length: 55 mm
F-number: 9.0
Shutter Speed: 1/3200
ISO: 400
Flash: None

 

The place where we’ve moved recently seems to be inhabited by people who love water.

I keep my eyes wide open to watch the folks since this kind of humans is completely new to me.

Water people.

To get from one place to another, they either use boats or ferries, and if they really need to travel by car, they definitely have their beloved water vehicles of various kinds in tow.

It’s amazing.

But when I think about it, it’s pretty understandable – I have never seen a place with such an amazing water network as here.

As a result, me and my boyfriend spend loads and loads of time just wandering around and taking pleasure in all that beauty.
 

The picture above is loot from one of our gorgeous trips around here.

I took it in the afternoon when it was still rather bright outside. The explanation as to why the picture is so dark is that I pointed the camera focus at the sun reflection. Trying to expose that crazy-bright spot correctly, the camera underexposed the rest of the image.

And I loved it.

(Though, I probably should be just quiet since I have this very faint memory of reading something about not pointing the camera at the sun. So you may as well not listen to me at all.)
 

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I have something to admit.

There are only few things in this world that I love more than this photo editing technique.

I know, it sounds strange, but right now that is exactly what I feel.

Tomorrow everything might change, especially if I find a new, amazing technique that will fill my heart with joy.

But today I feel like applying a vignette to all the photos that I’ve ever made.

Please, somebody, come and stop me.
 
 

This is what my picture looked like before.

It is a lovely tomato from my Mom’s garden. Actually, that’s what my diet consists of mostly these days.
 
 

And this is the same picture after I applied the vignette effect.

Adding a vignette to an image basically involves adding a subtle (or not so subtle) edge effect to it.

A popular vignette technique involves darkening the edges of your image which gives the image a slight border and helps keep the viewer’s eye in the photo.

In other words, the darkened edges make your subject stand out.

Well, who wouldn’t love that?

Let me explain this technique in particular steps – they are very, very easy.

NOTE: I am using Photoshop Elements 8 here (but I suppose that this method works fine with any photo editing program that supports layers and adjusting opacity).

 
 

1. Open your image in the photo editing program using FILE -> OPEN… .

2. Open a new layer using LAYER -> NEW -> LAYER.
 
 

3. There are 3 subsequent steps here:

  • 1. In the right-hand layer palette, make sure you click on the top (newly added) layer (it should be darkened now).
  • 2. In the left-hand tools palette, click the Elliptical Marquee Tool (if the Rectangular Marquee Tool is preset then right-click on your mouse and choose the elliptical shape, though it’s actually up to you which shape you choose).

    Also, have a look at how the ‘feathering’ is set in the upper bar. I had it set to 14. It will determine how strong and defined the border of the vignette will be.

  • 3. Click and drag over the picture to create an oval shape.

 
 

4. Click SELECT -> INVERSE to invert your selection so the border area is selected .

You will see ‘marching ants’ around your picture now.

 
 

5. I am describing another three subsequent steps here:

  • 1. Make sure that the foreground color is set to black (if not then just click the letter ‘D’ on your keyboard).
  • 2. In the left-hand tools palette, click the bucket tool.
  • 3. Click anywhere on the border area to fill it with black.

 
 

6. Now click SELECT -> DESELECT.

 
 

7. And finally, in the layer palette, adjust the opacity of the border layer to any value you like.

(Though I didn’t do that myself now – at this point, if you find the border too hard – you can also choose FILTER -> BLUR -> GAUSSIAN BLUR and use a high radius value to blur the edge of the border and soften it.)

8. Click LAYER -> FLATTEN IMAGE and then save your new picture.

 
 

I like it!
 
 

Hm, what do you think…will you give it a try?
 

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