I take a lot of photos of flowers. Many of them are taken at the Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, Nebraska. Here are several images of the gardens.
The photo I am using is that of a bougainvillea that was taken at the Lauritzen Gardens.
Layer 1. Opened the image in Photoshop. I am using Photoshop CS5. I took the photo with my Canon EOS 40D. I was using the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Double Glass Optic. I used ƒ/4 aperture, 1/100 sec, ISO 200. The Lensbaby with the Double Glass Optic gives you sharp focus (Sweet Spot) in the center of the image and increasing out of focus away from the center.
Layer 2. I duplicated Layer 1. I set the Blend Mode of Layer 2 to Soft Light and reduced tyne Opacity to 70%. Soft Light makes lights lighter and darks darker. This increases the contrast in the photo. I reduced the opacity to bring back some detail in the dark areas.
Layer 3. For this layer I added a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add an Adjustment Layer and selected Gradient Map (Not Gradient). The Gradient Map Adjustments panel opens. Since my foreground / background colors were black / white, the gradient comes up black to white.
But, that is not what I want. I clicked on the gradient and this opens the Gradient Editor.
Then I clicked on the black stop on the bottom of the gradient and set it to a light pink and moved it to the right a little. I then clicked on the white stop on the bottom of the gradient and moved it a little to the left.
Then I clicked OK and OK again. This gradient gave me what I wanted for this image. Kim in her example used a similar pink gradient. This pink gradient lightens up the image and gives it a softer look.
I reduced the Opacity to 40%. I left the blend mode Normal. This grayed down the image a little.
Layer 5. I added a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer by clicking on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. I reduced the Saturation to -26. This reduced the saturation just a little in the overall image.
This ends the recipe that Kim showed us for modifying the image. Next Kim showed us a little type trick to add a little interest to your type, especially something like a title. The technique is to have just a stroke around the characters and then to offset the stoke from the original word.
Layer 6. This is my title layer. I used Myriad Pro font. I resized it to about what I wanted by using the Free Transform. Then in the Character Panel, I set the Tracking to 50 to move all the characters a little father apart, I decreased the Vertical Scale to 70% to make the characters all a little shorter, I increased the Horizontal Scale to 125% to make all the characters a little wider, and I clicked in the color chip which opened the color picker and sampled a pink from the flowers to use for the font color. In addition to all these little tweaks to the characters, I changed the kerning between some of the characters to make the space between two characters a little larger or smaller so the overall appearance of the word looked better, at least to my eyes. I did this by having the layer selected and the type tool selected. I put the cursor between the two letters I wanted to adjust their spacing. If I wanted more space between them, I would hold down the Option / Alt key and press the Right Arrow key once. That would move them s little father apart.If I wanted them closer together, hold down Option / Alt and press the Left Arrow key. Then, I set the layer Opacity to 70% so that a little of the underlying images shows through the text.
Now this is the trick that Kim showed us.
Layer 7. Duplicate ( Command / Control - J ) Layer 6 for this layer. With this duplicate layer, Layer 7, selected, click on the ƒx button at the bottom of the layers panel and select Stroke.
I selected a 3 px Size, Outside, and by clicking on the color chip, I selected a very light pink from the flower for the stroke color. THEN, I reduced the layer Fill to 0% ( not the Opacity ). Then I turned off the visibility of Layer 6 (click the eyeball in front of the layer) so you can see that you now have just the stroke around the letters.
I turned the visibility of Layer 6 back on. I am still on Layer 7. And I used the arrow keys to offset the stroke from the word in Layer 6.
And, this is my finished image.
For those of you that use Photoshop Elements, you do not have Fill. But, you can do the same thing in a different way with Elements.
I will have to show you using Photoshop CS5, but I am sure you will be able to see what to do in Elements.
Layer 6. Everything up through Layer 6 will be the same. It is the text treatment that is different. So on your Layer 6 you have your text just the way you want it. With your Layer 6 selected, hold down the Command / Control key and click on the thumbnail of the layer. This will put a selection, marching ants, around the letters.
Layer 7. Create a new layer above Layer 6. Make Layer 7 the active layer. You will see the marching ants on Layer 7. Now, instead of using the ƒx button, go to the main menu and select Edit / Stroke to open the Stroke Panel.
I made the Width 3 px, Outside, and the color a light pink. I turned off the visibility of Layer 6 so you can see stroke better.
I turned the visibility of Layer 6 on again. On Layer 7, I used the arrow keys to offset the stroke from the the word. And we have the same as before.
And that is what we did for Day 41 Beyond Layers with Kim Klassen. I hope that you enjoyed seeing what we did.