Welcome to EarlK Design!

The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shall We Go Soaring Together?

My son-in-law took some photos for me on his iPhone last summer while they were at the beach. I loved this photo with the seagull soaring on the winds and the airplane leaving a contrail in the sky. I had to do something with this photo to make it mine.

Here is how the original photo looks. To my mind, the image is perfect for what I want to do. I love the one seagull and one single airplane contrail in the same image.

And, this is how it looks after my processing.

This is how I got from the beginning to the end.

Step 1.   I opened the image in a new document and it became my background layer.

Step 2.  I duplicated my background layer.....Command / Control - J, to create my second layer. I right clicked on the Layer 1, the duplicate image layer, and selected to Convert to Smart Object. I can tell it has become a Smart Object by the little image that appears on the Thumbnail of the image in the Layers Panel. I converted to a smart object since I want to be able to use Smart Filters which allow me to change them later if I want to. Then I clicked on the menu item Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur. If you don't have Smart Objects, no matter, just go to Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur. You just won't be able to change it later. After the Gaussian Blur dialog opens, click your mouse cursor over the image of the bird in the photo. This will put the bird into the dialog image. And, I gave the blur an 8.0 pixel radius. 

The dialog opens with a 100% image size. This is so you can tell what is happening a full resolution. However, if you want to see at a different image size you can click on the - or + symbols on either side of 100%. For example, I clicked on the - sign three times and that reduced the image size to 33% and I can see more of the area around the seagull.

Also, another little trick in this dialog is if you want to see the image before the blur is applied, just click your cursor in the image in the dialog. As long as you hold the click, it will show you the before, and when you let up on the click you see it with the blur. Another little tip is that when you are holding the mouse down you get the hand cursor. While you are holding down with the hand, you can move the image inside the box. And, you can move the hand outside the box to get to where you want.

After applying the blur, my image looks like this.

It is hard to see in this image, but everything becomes a little blurred. This can sometimes give you a little smoother image over large areas of similar color, such as the blue sky. This image was taken with a cell phone camera and there is a little digital noise in the solid blue areas. But, blurring the image smoothes the noise and gives a nicer image. Also, it gives an overall softer image. 

But, I do not want the seagull to be blurred. I want it as sharp as in the original image. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the layers panel to add a layer Mask to this layer. The mask is a white mask allowing all to show. I selected a soft round Brush....made sure the mask was selected by clicking on it....l made sure the foreground color was black....and painted over the seagull in my image with 100% Opacity black to hide the blurring over the seagull....and I now have this.

Step 3.  For my next layer, I brought in Kim Klassen's kk_sunkissed texture. Here it is at Normal mode and 100% Opacity. For this nice blue sky image, I thought the name of the texture is just perfect. 

Then I changed the blend mode to Pin Light and reduced the Opacity to 50%. 

Step 4.  Then I duplicated the kk_sunkissed texture, Command / control - J, for my next layer. I inverted the texture, Image / Adjustments / Invert. or Control / Command / I, so the texture now looks like this at Normal mode and 100% Opacity.

That may look a little scary....what have I done....no need to worry....change the Blend mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 50%. And we get this....

Step 5.  The image is now a little more dark and mysterious. But it needs to be desaturated a little to make it even a little more mysterious. I clicked on the Create new adjustment layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and selected Hue / Saturation.

I decreased the Saturation to -21. While I was in this dialog, I also changed the Hue to -30. This gave me the image I wanted for my vision of this layout. I wanted something a little soft and hazy....with the bird flying over the shore....and an airplane leaving a contrail behind it....going who knows where.

Step 6.  Next I added a title in my layout. I used the font Microsoft Yi Baiti. This is in my fonts. I assume I got with with my Microsoft Office software. My title is "Soar." I modified text in the Character Panel. I made the text size to 80 pt....adjusted the Tracking to 120 to make the characters farther apart ....adjusted the Vertical Scale to 130% to make the characters taller than normal....and, selected a color for the text from the white cloud area.

Step 7.  Then I added my journaling layer. I used the font Prestige Elite Std. Prestige Elite is a font that was used on typewriters. I used it at 14 pt and selected a color from the seagull for the font color. This is my final layout.

Here is what my Layers Panel looks like at the end.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I did this editing of the photo.

That's all for now.

Live life fully and enjoy.



Maboe said...

Thank you, I¨ll try this!

PrairieJill said...

Beautiful result! As always, I enjoy learning how you created the effect.

Mona's Picturesque said...

Gorgeous image and texture work! So glad you shared the step by step recipe!!! Thank you.

Pieni Lintu said...

Beautiful editing!

Kathryn said...

Love the image and the saying, beautiful work.

Marilyn said...

Lovely image - great tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Lovely image.

Nikki said...

A wonderful image Earl. Thanks so much for sharing your steps.

Currie Silver said...

Are you always this generous, Earl?! I love how you break it down and explain it all so well. I wish I could borrow you for an hour or two... You are an extraordinary teacher NO MATTER WHAT Learning Style we're talking about. That, my friend, is a gift!!

And the image, I love it. So BEautiful...

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