Photoshop + Pizza = Swimsuit Model

Summary – You’ve read about retouching for ads – not just a model’s face, but body as well. Here’s a humorous example.

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Here is the process in reverse

From model to pizza

2014-03-10_8-06-58

Just another example of

My searching far & wide

To help you improve your photography


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Adobe Photoshop CC – Black Friday Sale

Summary – A limited time Adobe Creative Cloud plan offer. Access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20 GB of cloud storage, and a Behance ProSite. US $9.99/mo. when you sign up for a one-year plan, but you need to join by December 2, 2013.

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This is the special creative cloud package

Adobe created for photographers

Who didn’t need the entire Creative Suite

Until now, it had been limited to

Those who owned a previous copy of Photoshop CS3 or later

That’s changed – Until 12/2/13 anyone can sign up

Even if you don’t own PS

Here is the FAQ from the Adobe site

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I’m skipping this offer

Already own LR and PSE

Don’t need the full PS

However, maybe $120 for a one year plan

This is the deal you’ve been waiting for

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Photographs & Paintings

Summary – Off to the mountains for a day-trip tomorrow. Forecast is rain. Hoping to see some photo-ops like those that led to today’s image – more painting-like than photo-like.

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Odd ball filters, gauze, Vaseline, almost anything

placed in front of your lens can produce

interesting results

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Sometimes almost painterly, in fact

(Used a wet windshield in this case)

Monet Made Me Do It

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

North entrance to Skyland looking south down the drive

Click to enlarge & see the “brush strokes”

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Technical – Nikon D300, Tokina 16-50 @50mm, 1/10 sec, f/5.6, EV=-2/3, ISO400, WB=Cloudy, center weighted metering, aperture priority, RAW capture, circular polarizer, hand-held, LiveView with manual focus

  • Taken through the windshield in a downpour (parked)
  • Hand held and braced on top of the steering wheel
  • I wanted the effect of the flowing water on the windshield visible, and the background soft and painterly – a relatively shallow DOF
  • f/5.6 at 50mm gives a DOF of only a few feet (4′ at a focus distance of 12′ which is about the distance to the tree framing the left side)
  • I used LiveView to see the image more clearly & used manual focus to get what I wanted

Composition

  • Trees trunks to frame left/right
  • Colorful leaves/branch to frame top
  • After zooming my 16-50 to 50, the final “Zoom” was moving the car forward/backward until  the tree framing was right
  • Give the eye a destination – the light area at the bend of the drive
  • Place the “destination” off-center; bulls eyes usually don’t work
  • The car was off the drive at a spot where I could move it safely – but anyone watching would surely have wondered ??

Post-process

1. Photoshop Elements/Adobe Camera RAW for RAW conversion

2. Tonal & color contrast adjustments in Color Efex Pro 4 using my custom designed recipe for basic image post processing

  Step-by-step detailed illustration in this post

3. Added a border using my saved CEP4 custom border recipe

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Combine techniques like this with camera motion and/or multiple exposures for some really painterly results

Or, if not painterly, then definitely non-photographic

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Nik Collection Troubleshooting Tips

Google’s Nik Collection, with its attractive price,

Has introduced lots of new users to Nik software

New users have a lot to learn

My tutorial series is a good place to start

However, occasionally troubles arise beyond normal usage

Troubles with getting the software to run – period

Or – to run correctly

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Here are a few tips to solve problems

Getting Nik Collection programs to run properly

Based on years as a Nik beta tester

Encountered 5 users with problems in just the past week

So I decided to update my 2011 post on this topic

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1. When all else fails – or maybe even before trying anything else – the generic “fix-it” for many problems during beta for many, many testers was

Reinstall the Program

I suspect that once you move to the top of the Google Nik support queue this is going to be the first thing that they suggest

Try it now; save yourself time in the support queue later

1a. Install Order (recent note on test site)

“If you installed the Nik Collection first and then installed LR5, the plug-ins won’t show up

You’ll need to run the installer again”

This likely applies to any Nik Collection host program, not just LR

A specific case of the Reinstall the Program theme

2. Image Quality Issues – Nik programs were “early adopters” in using a video card’s graphic processing unit (GPU)

Not all cards work!

The problems usually show up in the form of image quality problems – odd colors, square patches with different tonality than the rest of the image, etc.

The solution is to open the program’s Settings menu and

Disable the GPU

You must restart the Nik program (& its host – PS, LR, Aperture) after doing this for it to take effect

You may want to try this even if everything seems fine just to see what speed impact using (or not) the GPU has

Much more GPU detail in item #5 below

3. Odd crashes and start-up difficulties – This next tip isn’t a cure-all but may solve your particular problem

The Nik Selective Tool is known to occasionally give problems (this is a little window that pops up over your host program – PS only)

The ST issues arise usually as a result of installing a new plug-in – key word here is install and not the plug-in itself

Maybe (hopefully) since the major (only) change by Google since their acquisition of Nik nearly a year ago was to the install & update routines, this problem has gone away

I don’t know because information to beta testers isn’t as free-flowing as before

4. Speed – Do not allocate more than 55-60% of available memory to Photoshop (go to Performance under Preferences in PS)

5. More on Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) induced problems posted at the Google test site 7/22/13

Even though this was an answer to a Color Efex Pro question, it applies to the entire collection

a.Video Card Drivers

Mac Users: Generally the video card that comes with your Mac will be updated automatically. The exception may be when there has been an additional video card added. In that case the user may need to go to the video card manufacturer’s website to download an updated driver for their secondary GPU. If you are using Mac OS Snow Leopard (10.6) ensure to update to 10.6.6 or higher as this can affect performance. If this does not apply to you, please go to the next section below.

Windows Users: Locate the manufacturer of the GPU as well as the model number. Once this is determined, it is then recommended to go directly to the GPU manufacturer’s website (best option) or if that is not possible to go to the computer manufacturer’s website (secondary option) to obtain an updated video card driver. It is NOT recommended to use Windows Update as in general we have found that these drivers are not updated as frequently. To identify which video card you have please do the following:

  1. Click on Start >Control Panel>System & Security >System >Device Manager and then click on the plus next to Display Adapter, this should display the make and model information.
  2. Go to the manufacturer’s website (you may need to search for it via Google) such as Nvidia.com and with the model number you should be able to search for the latest driver. If you are unable to locate the driver you may need to contact the manufacturer of your computer to obtain an updated driver.
  3. Once the latest GPU driver is located,download and install the new driver.
  4. Restart the computer and try your Nik program once again.

b. Disable partial GPU processing

If after following the above steps you are still experiencing the same issue, the next step will be to either disable the GPU (if possible) or force your Nik Program to not use the GPU (safe-mode). In order to disable the GPU in your Nik Program please do the following:

  1. If you are able to open your Nik program and can see part of the interface, see if you can click on the”Settings” button in the lower left.
  2. In Settings locate the section “GPU” and expand it, in this section you will see a check box “Enable GPU Processing”, uncheck this so the GPU will be disabled, then close the settings window.
  3. Close out of your Nik program (click Cancel), quit out of any and all host applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture), and then relaunch your Nik program to see if this corrects this issue.

c. Disable all GPU processing

If you are unable to disable the GPU via Settings OR if the issue is still unresolved (e.g. your Nik program crashes or the buttons are not displaying correctly), please try the following steps below after quitting out of all host applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture):Mac Users:

  1. Open a finder window (or double click on the Macintosh HD on the desktop) and navigate to:
    Macintosh HD : Users : <user name> : Library :Preferences : Google : Color Efex Pro 4 (or whichever program….)

    • OSX 10.7 or later: hold the Option key and go to Go > Library to access the User Library
  2. Locate the file, ColorEfexPro4.cfg and right-click and choose “open with…” and then click “Choose” and then locate the applications, “Text Edit” to open this file.
  3. At the very beginning (before all the text) of the configuration file, paste the following code below verbatim:

    <configuration>
    <group name=”INTERN”>
    <key name=”UseSafeMode” type=”bool” value=”1″/>
    </group>
    </configuration>
  4. Now save the file, close it and relaunch your Nik Program and see if the issue has been resolved.

If the issue persists please reply with the Color Efex Pro 4 (or whichever) folder underUSERACCOUNT/Library/Preferences referenced above. This contains log and settings files that will help us understand what else may be occurring.

Windows Users:

  1. Click Start and type in the search box below: %localappdata% (exactly as shown with % symbols on each end),when the yellow folder “Local” is displayed in the search list, click on it.

  2. The local folder will open, now double-click on “Google” followed by “Color Efex Pro 4” (or whichever) and locate the file ColorEfexPro4.cfg (or whichever) and then double click to open. Windows will ask you which application to use to open this file, locate and choose “Notepad”to open.

  3. At the very beginning (before all the text) of the configuration file, paste the following code below verbatim:

    <configuration>
    <group name=”INTERN”>
    <key name=”UseSafeMode” type=”bool” value=”1″/>
    </group>
    </configuration>
  4. Now save the file, close it and relaunch your Nik program and see if the issue has been resolved.

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How to Make a Mandala

The other day, I was asked to do a post on

How to make a mandala

For Sarah (who asked & for my Buddhist buddy, Russ)

A Mandala

Click for description & discussion of mandala

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The above mandala began with this following image ( growing in my container water garden)

The transformation, in Photoshop, went as follows –

1. Crop off the bottom to leave a square
2. Duplicate this square 3 times by

  • Rotating 1 copy 90 degrees CW
  • Rotating 1 copy 90 degrees CCW
  • Rotating 1 copy 180 degrees

3. There are now 4 squares, one rotated to each of the 4 possible rotations

  • Place all four on layers in Photoshop
  • Set the blending mode for each layer to Overlay
  • Flatten the 4 layers to make a single image layer
  • Duplicate this new layer
  • Flip the new layer vertically
  • Set its blending mode to overlay

4.  Flatten these two layers

  • Adjust color & tonal contrast to taste
  • Crop to a circle
  • Fill the border with a color that suits

and – it’s finished.

To summarize the above

The final image is a blended composite of all eight possible orientations of the original square image

Easy

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This is my recipe for creating a photo mandala. When I first tried this several years ago, it seemed to be the natural (intuitive?) way to do it in Photoshop (at least for someone who didn’t use PS much).

When writing this post I Googled to see what others did – and was surprised that no one else did it this way (that I found). The “standard” involved cutting a triangular wedge from the starting photo & repeatedly copying, pasting, and moving each new wedge to a position alongside the others

much like if you cut a pie into 12-15 slices, took them out of the pie plate and then put them all back together again. That approach results in something like this –

Whatever floats your boat. 😉

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Here is my first mandala from May 2007 together with its starting image. Same technique as today’s.

Done my way, it’s difficult to imagine the final result. Every one is a surprise. I’ve found that simple starting images like this tree and the flower in the featured image work best – at least for my taste. Busier images end up looking – well, too busy, all a big jumble like this next one –

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For old-timers at this blog –

Yes, you’ve seen this before

On 7/6/11

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Mirror Montage via Photoshop Blend Modes

A Practical Application of PS Blend Modes

The 3rd in a 4-part series on Photo Montages

The Mirror Montage

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ed_k 10_resize

An Overlay of the Identical Image

Flipped Horizontally & Blended Together

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Full screen view of slide show recommended (click bottom right)

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Open Photoshop and give this  a try.

It’s quick & easy

Open the slide show

Open PS

Mimic what you see

As you step slide-by-slide

Experimenting to see which of your photos work & which don’t is part of the learning – and fun.

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Click any image for full screen slide show

 

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Composite Montage via Photoshop Blend Modes

A Practical Application of PS Blend Modes

The 2nd in a 4-part series on Photo Montages

The Composite Montage

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anigif

An overlay of two unrelated images

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Full screen view of slide show recommended (click bottom right)

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Open Photoshop and give this  a try.

It’s quick & easy

Open the slide show

Open PS

Mimic what you see

As you step slide-by-slide

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Subscribe (see sidebar) and don’t miss anything. New posts daily.

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