Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Playing With Photoshop Blend Modes

Today's image is just a little play time thing.  I'd already done a B&W conversion of the original and thought that did fairly well.  Nice black skies and lots of detail in the clouds.  Almost a infrared type of thing there.  It looked "good ", but really lacked something to make it "interesting".  The whole thing had been shot bracketed, hand held, going for an exposure rather than anything for HDR.  The brackets were set to 1/3 stops with a starting point of -1/3 EV.  It was a five shot bracket, so I had -1, -2/3, -1/3 0, and +1/3 to choose from.  The B&W conversion came out of the zero shot, so that was 1/3 stop high for my "normal" shooting.  The color comes from a more typical -1/3 spot shot.  To find out what I did to it and why I like it, hit the "Read More".

The first thing, since the shots were taken hand held, was to bring them over from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (LR4) to Adobe Photoshop CS6 (CS6) as Layers in a single document.  Photo/Open as Layers in Photoshop.  Once there both Layers were highlighted.  Click on one and Shift Click on the other.  Then it went to Edit/Auto-Align Layers.  The shots were taken hand held and it was inevitable that there would be some slight misalignment.  Auto-Align Layers takes care of that sort of thing great. 

With the Layers aligned it was a simple case of clicking through the Layer Blend Modes to see what made something interesting happen.  In this case it was Darker.  Once the Blend Mode was decided on it was back to LR4 for finishing.  Lately images only go to CS6 when there's something that can't be done in LR4.  As far as "finishing" an image goes, there's not much you can't do in LR4 faster and easier than in CS6.  With the price of LR4 being $149.00 list and available for quite a bit less than that online, there's really no reason not to be using LR4 as a DAM (Digital Asset Management) application and for photo finishing.  If you're just getting into playing with your photography, skip Adobe Photoshop Elements and go to LR4.  You can always add PSE later if you start playing with your images.

Once back in LR4 the greens and yellows were pumped up a little.  It got some sharpening and a very slight vignette.  About a -7 with the midpoint brought in and the roundness squared off. 

Here's a tip for applying a vignette in LR4.Under the Effects tab, gGive the image any Amount of negative vignette.  Turn the Feather down to zero.  Make any Midpoint and Roundness adjustments you think you need.  Double click on the word Feather to reset it to zero.  Adjust the Amount slider until you have just enough of a vignette to keep the viewer's eye in the center of the frame, but not enough so the vignette is noticeable.