Author Topic: Add a tip for Photoshop please!  (Read 138239 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #135 on: January 27, 2009, 11:47:46 PM »
Stacking Images or Increasing depth of field

Most of you know that particularly in macro shooting there is the problem that even with a small aperture such as f11/ f13... you still can't get the whole subject in focus. There is a new way in Photoshop CS4 that allows you to combine various images stacked on top of each other as layers- each with a different focus point-and then to automatically erase the out of focus parts of your image. There is also a way to do that in not the newest versions of Photoshop but any other version and in fact also in Elements.

Now before we begin with the darkroom technique - to get this successfully done you need to do the following during the shooting process:

(a) camera must be on a tripod
(b) subject should not move at all during the shooting process
(c) aperture must be kept the same
(d) ideally you work with studio lights/flashes- at least make sure the lighting does not change too much
(e) now the only thing you have to change is the focus ring on your lens. This means switch to manually focussing and start with your first image to focus on a point nearest to you. Your next picture should focus on a point slightly behind the first one and so one. Try not to shoot more than about 5 images or there is a chance that your computer will get hick ups later on... ;)

Let's assume you have done all of the above
Now here ae various ways of doing the stacking- but let's do it the way I usually do it?
(a) open all of your shots at the same time in camera raw and make sure "select all" is ticked once the RAW converter opens up
(b) set the same wb balance for all of them and correct the exposure if needed
(c) don't do too many adjustments in RAW as they can be done later on. So leave stuff like sharpening/ noise reduction and so on for now- don't do that in the RAW converter
(d) once you are done in the RAW converter do not tick open but instead just "done" -> this will close the RAW converter and the images are adjusted in Bridge or Lightroom.

Next step and this differes depending on the version of PS you have- let's go with the newest version of PS
(a) ctrl click all the images in Bridge that you want in your stack > click tools at the top of your screen > Photoshop > Load files into Photoshop layers
(b) now after opening but before you do anything else you might want to change you image mode to 8 bit files depending on how powerful your computer is! Do the following if you want to do that: Image > Mode > 8 bit. Then click the bottom layer in your layers palette- hold the shift key and click the topest layer in your palette- now all of your layer should be selected and "blue"
(c) edit > auto-align layers > click auto
(d) edit > auto-blend layers > tick "stack images" > now here it gets tricky- very much depends on the power of your computer...

If you at this time have a problem that either your program shuts down or anything else- here is a work around:

1. make sure you work with 8 bit files
2. make sure you don't take too many files at once: you can first stack the first two images of your shooting; then stack no 3/4 and 5 and lastly stack the two combined images that you should have flattened and saved by then

Now back to the last step...
(a)Let's assume your computer is still smiling and happy than you should have a bunch of files on top of each other- each with a layer maks created automatically by the program. Check at 100% image size the details of your image. There should be no problem if you did what I have written at the very top...if there is... than click and unclick one by one the eyes next to your layers and check whether this improves the quality. In worst case scenario you have to manually "repair" the mask of that layer or even just delete this one layer.

(b) once you are happy with it- flatten the layers (your file size will be huge at that time!) and save this copy (!)
(c) then and only then adjust your image as usual- preferably in LAB mode- not sure I have discussed this before- if not will come back to that at a later stage.

Now for all Elements users or former CS versions
(a) basically what you need to do is to copy and then paste the images on by one into the first one of you series. You do this by: select > all > edit > copy > click on your first image > edit > paste
(b) no add a mask to each of the layers but the background layer: layer >  layer mask > reveal all
(c) now choose a soft brush and black as colour and paint on the mask to hide the blurry parts of that layer. Once done you can flatten the image and save it.

Anyhow this all sounds much more complicated than it is as long as during the shooting of the image you don't move your tripod or change the position of the subject... then it gets tricky...

Hope this helps- look here for an example:
http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,8501.msg68085/topicseen.html#new

Happy photoshopping!

Stef. :P







Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline steve

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 914
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2009, 10:29:55 PM »
Hi Stef
Wow you are the fountain of knowledge. I think we are all very lucky to have your input on our rather great forum. Keep them coming and thank you very very much.

  Regards Steve

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #137 on: January 29, 2009, 01:13:35 AM »
Steve- thanks for your kind words. I am glad you like it. If you have any question re post-processing pelase put them under:
http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,5035.0.html

It would be actually very useful if you guys out there could do that from time to time (posting questions) as it saves us fishing for what you might be interested in! There is soo much one could write about but sometimes at least I am not sure how useful it is. So if you have any burning question just put them into the above thread and we'll try to answer them.
Stef.
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #138 on: February 09, 2009, 12:59:58 AM »
How to avoid unnecessary noise reduction- or how to apply noise reduction partially

Now I guess you all know that any kind of noise reduction leads to a softer image? I guess you also know that most of noise problems due to high ISO or long shutter speeds occur in the darker/shadow parts of your image.

One way of dealing with avoiding noise reduction and therefore softness in highlights or other parts of the image that do not need noise reduction is by applying it to a duplicated background layer and then erasing parts of the noise reduction on this layer- either with the help of masks or simply by using the eraser tool. The other day I discovered a very neat method to do this much quicker. Imagine an image where you have quite a lot of white houses within a lot of darker trees. To erase (on the noise reduced layer) all those white house so that there is no noise reduction in the highlights takes an enormous amount of time!

Now here is a way of doing this much quicker:

1) Duplicate your background layer
2) Do all your noise reduction on this layer with whatever method you like and apply a mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All or just click the mask button at the bottom of your layers' palette)
3) Select > Colour Range > click the little triangle at the top and choose highlights
4) Feather this selection by Select> Modify > Feather > Choose sth like 2/3 pixels- not too much you got to play around with this depending on your image
5) Click on your mask > Edit > Fill > Choose black

This should already help a lot.
BUT: you can do even better by doing the same steps as above but this time choose midtones and instad filling it with black fill it with mid grey and this will reduce the noise reduction not completely but exactly 50%.

Finish the image off by the edge sharpening method which can be found somewhere else in these tips ;)

I hope this helps?

Happy photoshopping!
Stef. :P
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #139 on: February 24, 2009, 07:47:06 PM »
Sampling Colors

This is a very brief but neat one:

Did you know that you can sample colour with the colour picker from anywhere and anything on your screen- even if it is outside of your document or PS? Just choose your colour sampler tool or in other words eyedropper tool- click first somewhere on your image- then (keep the mouse button pressed) just move the cursor outside of your document and release the mouse button over the colour you want to sample.

Good one- ey?

Happy photoshopping!
Stef. :P
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline Tom F

  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 4638
  • Gender: Male
  • No Rain, No Rainbows
    • @TomJFrederick
    • My Sony Alpha Photos
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #140 on: March 10, 2009, 04:45:25 PM »
Here's one I found in an issue of Popular Photography to add some blue to the sky.

1 Duplicate the Background Layer

2 Go to Select > Color Range and with the dropper click on your not so blue sky.
Slide th Fuzziness Slider until the preview show enough is selected. Click OK.

3 Click the Add Vector Mask button to add a mask.
Then click the layer's thumbnail to select it instead of the mask.

4 Go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter.
Pick Cooling Filter (82) and add as much Density as you desire.
a99 a77 a900

Offline AScot

  • Administrator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • ******
  • Posts: 6042
  • Gender: Male
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #141 on: March 10, 2009, 10:36:36 PM »
Adding see through Copyright information to your photo.

  1} Open your image or images.
  2} Choose the custom shape tool.
  3} Go to the Options bar at the top and choose the Copyright symbol from the Shape tool and select 'Fill pixels' on the third  icon from the left.
  4} Create a new blank layer and ensure your foreground colour is black (hit d).
  5} Drag your copyright over your photo making sure it is round and leave room for your name, date etc.
  6} Go to Filter menu > Stylise > Emboss. Use the Defaults of 135o, 3 pixels and 100% and hit OK. (You can play with different settings for larger Copyrights).
  7} Highlight your new layer 1 (step 4) and change from 'Normal' to 'Hard Light'.
  8} Pick the Type Tool and position it next to your Copyright symbol and type your year and name or whatever.(Size font as required).
  9} Highlight your Type layer, right click on it and choose 'Rasterize Type'. Repeat step 6 and step 7 also.
10} You can play with the opacity of both these layers until you feel it looks correct. Now go to Menu Layer > Flatten Image.

We now have a see through Copyright. You could make an action of this procedure and apply it to all your photos or make it into a brush and stamp it onto photos you choose.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline AScot

  • Administrator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • ******
  • Posts: 6042
  • Gender: Male
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #142 on: March 18, 2009, 03:18:23 AM »
Making a see through Copyright Brush stamp.

This is essentially the same as the above but is a brush that you can resize, make into any colour and change the opacity as desired then stamp it onto your photograph. It will remain in your brush collection for use when needed. You could also automate it and batch stamp any number of photos.

  1} Go to file > New and insert 800 into width and 200 into height, making sure you change inches to pixels. Change 'Background Contents' to Transparent. Click OK. This is your new canvas to work on.
  2} Choose the custom shape tool.
  3} Go to the Options bar at the top and choose the Copyright symbol from the Shape tool and select 'Fill pixels' on the third  icon from the left.
  4} Create a new blank layer and ensure your foreground colour is black (hit d).
  5} Drag your copyright over your canvas making sure it is round and leave room for your name, date etc.
  6} Go to Filter menu > Stylise > Emboss. Use the Defaults of 135o, 5 pixels and 100% and hit OK.
  7} Highlight your new layer by clicking it and change from 'Normal' to 'Hard Light' and click lock:  'transparent pixels'. Smooth the edges by going to Menu Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and insert 3 into 'Radius' and click OK.
  8} Pick the Type Tool and position it next to your Copyright symbol and type your year and name or whatever. (Size font to match the copyright symbol as required).
  9} Highlight your Type layer (which appears when you pick the type tool), right click on it and choose 'Rasterize Type'.
10} Repeat step 6 and step 7.
11} Delete layer 1 in the layer palette by dragging it to the garbage can at the bottom.
12} Choose the Rectangular Marque Tool (2nd icon in the tools menu) and drag it around your copyright, selecting only the copyright and the accompanying words. Go to Menu Edit > Define Brush Preset.  Give your brush a name that you will remember. Click OK.
13} Your brush will now be the last one in the brush menu.

Delete your new canvas and load a photo of any size. We will now stamp your photo with your copyright.

 1} Open a new layer in your photo.
 2} Pick the brush tool and go to the brush: picker at the top, second icon from the left and pick your copyright brush. Resize it to suit and if your photo is dark change your foreground to white (or any colour you like).
 3} Click your brush on the photo to stamp your copyright. Adjust the opacity in your layer palette to make it transparent.
 4} Go to Menu > Layer > Flatten image. Finished.
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #143 on: June 07, 2009, 05:40:22 PM »
Removing Noise


For noise or also for uneven skin (pimpels i.e or wrinkles) or if you want to defocus parts of the image the following is pretty much unbeatable:
1. Open up your image in RAW make all the usual adjustments
2. Hold the shift key and then click "open image" -> this will open the image in PS as an object
3. in Photoshop: layer > smart objects > new smart object via copy => you will have now tow layers above each other with a little symbol in the right hand corner
4. Double click the top layer => this will open the former adjusted RAW file once more in ACR (this is the very neat part!!!)
5. in ACR leave everything as it was but do the following: drage the clarity slider to minus around 50 (You need to try this out: look at the image at 100% and see what it does to the noise/ wrinkles. You can overdo this- we will adjust it in a minute in PS) You can also paly around with the noise slider but I have seen the the clarity slider alone does already wonders!
6. Once done with clarity and noise sliders just click O.K. => you will be back in Photoshop and the image will be very soft - no panic!
7. Layer > layer mask > hide all (now it looks like before)
8. The last step depends on you ;) : either a) take a brush with foreground colour set to white and paint over the offending parts of the image; or b) (this is a very neat one...): select > colour range > where it says "sampled colours" click shadows > then select > modify > feather > choose something around 4 pixels > make sure you click the black mask > edit> fill> white; or whatever else methods you want to use to select the offending parts of the image. The idea is to fill the mask with white where the noise is to reveal the adjustments you havedonein ACR.
9. At the end play around with the opacity slider of the layer to reduce the effect to an extent that makes the image believable.

If you don't have the ACR version that includes the facility to open up a file as a smart object there are ways around even if you have an older version: you just need to do more than one conversion of the same file and then combine them in PS (once you open the file in PS- save it immediately under another name- go back to Bridge and open up the same raw file once more in ACR). As you obviously have no clarity slider in older versions it nevertheless works in a similar way by using the noise slider- in combination with reduction of contrast and increasing of the black slider.

Hope this helps? Would love to know from some of you whether you are actually trying some of my methods out and how the success was. Lately I have not put much under darkroom techniques as I am not sure whether you are actually really interested in that stuff. The above method was already under darkroom techniques- under beauty treatment. If you look into the darkrrom techniques: there are other tutorials regarding noise that might be helpful? You have got to try what works best for your particular image! As a rule of thumb I try at least one new technique in ACR/Photoshop every day...
All the best and happy photoshopping!
Stef. :P
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 02:42:59 AM by Stef. »
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #144 on: August 14, 2009, 07:13:03 PM »
Toning the “Correct” Way:

O.K. I have not added a new tip in a long time and thought it is high time to do so. I suspect that most of you just use the hue/saturation adjustment layer set to colorize when you want to tone your image let's say to sepia? Hehe- that's not how it should be done. In the traditional darkroom (and yep I am that old...) toning usually only affected the midtones. So the hue/saturation is not the best way to go as it will tone your whole image regardless of highlights and shadows.

Here is what you should do:
(a) Open you image and convert it to b+w
(b) Make sure the colour space is RGB: image > mode > RGB
(c) Create a "colour balance" adjustment layer: layer > new adjustment layer > colour balance
(d) set the blending mode of this layer to “colour”: in the layers palette where it says “normal” > scroll down and set it to “colour”

Now as already mentioned above: in the traditional darkroom the toning process usually only affect the midtones. So make sure that your click under “tone” > “midtone”. Now it is up to you to experiment with the sliders until you get the toning that you like.

Important: If you want to duotone your image than leave the midtones alone and click first “shadows” > choose a colour and then afterwards: “highlights” > choose another colour

If you want you can lower the opacity of the colour balance layer to soften the effect.

On a general note: Don’t overdo the toning- keep it real!

All the best and happy photoshopping!

Stef. :P

P.S. Have just seen: this thread has over 30000 hits so it must be worth it ;)
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline fother

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 7846
  • Gender: Male
  • Michael
    • MichaelFoth
    • au.linkedin.com/in/fother
    • fother
    • MichaelFoth
    • my index site
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #145 on: August 15, 2009, 12:41:38 AM »

P.S. Have just seen: this thread has over 30000 hits so it must be worth it ;)


Never doubted it - thanks for the toning tips - will be using that :D

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #146 on: October 27, 2009, 08:21:54 PM »
Sharpening- particularly for out of focus eyes

I came across this tip the other day and must say it does work quite well particularly in cases where in portraits the eyes are slightly out of focus.

1. Make a copy of the background layer
2. Filter- sharpen - unsharp mask: amount 500% (!); radius 1 > click O.K.
3. Filter - other - high pass: radius 20
4. Set the layer from normal blending to overlay and the opacity to 50%
5. Layer- add layer mask - hide all => this will hide the whole effect
6. Set the foreground colour to white and paint just around the iris of the eye to make them sparkle. You can paint over all the other parts as well that you want to make sharper. Be careful not to overdo it and play around with the opacity of the brush when painting with white.

Hope it helps?

Happy photoshopping :P

Stef.
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #147 on: January 26, 2010, 12:34:27 AM »
Making selections using channels

This just came up in another thread and I thought it might be useful for everybody here ;)

I assume that you came across the problem of making a selection before? Quite often the foreground object is too similar in colours to the background to i.e. use the magic wand tool? Or have you ever tried to select a person's hair...

Here is what you can do to make your life easier:

1. Open your image in Photoshop -> in the layers palette -> click on channels -> then click on each individual channel to see where the object differentiates most from the background- in other words where the contrast is the highest between subject and background.
2. Duplicate this particular channel by dragging it down to the little duplicate sign at the bottom of your channels palette
3. Now increase the contrast by going into image - adjustments - levels or curves ( do NOT use an adjustment layer) and really increase the contrast so that you end up pretty much with solid blacks and whites
4. Now make your selection by using the magic wand -> click i.e. on the background
5. Next: drag the duplicated channels layer to the rubbish bin as you will not need it anymore
6. Click on RGB in the channels palette and go back to your layers

You should now end up with a much cleaner selection than you would have if you had chosen the background layer to begin with?

Hope this helps?

Happy photoshopping :P
Stef.
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline fother

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 7846
  • Gender: Male
  • Michael
    • MichaelFoth
    • au.linkedin.com/in/fother
    • fother
    • MichaelFoth
    • my index site
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #148 on: January 26, 2010, 12:06:38 PM »

Never thought of that - Brilliant!!

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: Add a tip for Photoshop please!
« Reply #149 on: January 29, 2010, 08:44:48 PM »
Increase contrast - the easy way

This is a very easy way to boost contrast in an image and always worth a try:

1. Open your image in PS
2. Duplicate your background layer
3. Click: image > adjustments > desaturate
4. Set the blending mode of this layer to soft light and play around with the opacity.

Happy photoshopping :P
Stef.
Stef.'s photographs

[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"