Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CoffeeShop Photographer Storyboard Set 28, Five 5x7 Boards for Print or Web!


I know this must sound weird, but I have fun designing these simple but practical photographer storyboards.  It relaxes me. :-)  Today I created a set of five 5x7 storyboards that you can use printed or  posted on your website.

This set also has an optional logo circle.  Add your logo/text to it, or turn if off if you would rather not use it.  Group a color-fill adjustment layer to it to customize the color.  I like to grab a color from the images.

I used some new beautiful images from Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay) on the example storyboard above.

If you are new to storyboards and need a tutorial or want to download my really helpful "Group It" action to make loading storyboards a breeze, please visit this post.

Download the "totally free with no strings attached" CoffeeShop Photographer Storyboard Set 28.  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

CoffeeShop "Adjust the Light" Photoshop/PSE Action!




Happy Sunday everyone!  Today I have a brand new action called "Adjust the Light" that I think you will find very useful.  This should be run on an image that has already had some basic editing yet would benefit from some subtle to dramatic lighting adjustments.  You can use the dodge/burn brush on your image, but this action allows you to adjust the light nondestructively to really add drama to your image.

Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay) actually is the one that encouraged me to write this new action. I love getting great ideas!!!

This action also have a bonus "Define" and "Magic Light" layer.  The Define layer lets you selectively sharpen and the Magic Light layer allows you to add light only to the highlights without affecting the shadows. I paint this layer on skin.

CoffeeShop "Adjust the Light" Photoshop/PSE Action Tutorial:


I started with this image of Imp and Des (my nephew) enjoying our backyard pool.  It is actually the dog's pool but they kicked him out. I found the background a bit distracting and wanted to really make the boys the center of focus.


Run the action. Your image will look unchanged until you start painting on the layer masks (layer mask tutorial). You can also adjust the opacity of each layer to taste.

Add Light layer:  This layer lightens your image. Just paint on the layer mask with a white soft low opacity brush. I also use this layer to paint over the iris to make them "pop" and also to add some highlights to hair.

Darken layer:  This layer darkens your image.  Just paint on the layer mask with a white soft low opacity brush. You can also use this to add a natural vignette to your image.

Magic Light layer:  Turn this layer on and adjust the opacity to just add light to the highlights without affecting the shadows.  I love adding this layer to portraits to add brightness to skin without affecting lips, eyes, and hair.

Define: This layer adds definition to your image. I use a soft white brush and paint it on eyes, hair, and in this image the water spray. Make sure you click on its layer mask before painting on it!


I turned on the Magic Light layer and adjusted the opacity to around 20 to brighten their skin. This one has an auto-mask so you don't have to worry about  having an unintended glow around your person.


I burned (darkened) the background by painting on the Darken layer with a white brush.  I clicked (shift/alt,option) on the layer mask so I could see red where I wanted to mask (remove) this layer's effect. You can see in the screenshot above that I don't want to darken the boys, just the background.  Click that keystroke again to remove the red.


I clicked on the Define layer mask and zoomed in and painted on their eyes, hair, mouth, and on the water.


Finally, I wanted to add some light on the center of the image to really direct your eyes onto the boys. I selected the Add Light layer and grabbed a soft white brush with low opacity and clicked on the middle of the image.  Then I changed the brush to black (x) and removed that layer's lightness from their skin (see top layer mask on screenshot above).


I think this image really "pops" now with the dramatic lighting.


If you love the very popular low-contrast "Matte Effect" as much as I do, take this edit one step further by adding a Level's adjustment layer on top. Then bring the left shadow slider and the lower left Output Levels slider both to the right (see screenshot above).  Adjust until you are satisfied with the edit.


I love this matte version!

I hope you find this action set useful and I would love to see your own edits using these actions on my Facebook page.

Download the CoffeeShop "Adjust the Light" Photoshop/PSE Action Set. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Friday, July 24, 2015

{Friday Photo Bliss}

Fridays I like to post images I took that week that make me happy. Unfortunately my kids can't always say the same. ;-)

Keep it real, Rita. I adore my boys but this heat turns me into a grouch!!!


Duke, you finished your P-38 Lightening model!  Wow, it looks great!!!

Here, come outside and I will snap a few photos of it for my blog. I need some pictures for this week's {Friday Photo Bliss} post. I know you are busy, it will only take a minute, I just need one decent shot.

Oh wait, can you move the plane, I can't see your face.


No, no!  Look at the camera please. And make sure you smile.


Hey, that isn't a real smile, stop messing around. I only need one good shot for my blog.  Smile or you can't play video games this afternoon.


That is not a smile.  That is a grimace.  I know it is 100 degrees out here and you are sick of holding your model up.  But I have to get one good shot.  So give it to me!


Seriously, you think this is better than the last one?  You look miserable.  I can't post this on my blog, it will ruin my "happy family" image.  Come on, smile.  I just need one good shot.


Argggggh, what in the world is wrong with you???  You think this is a smile?  Here, I am going to zoom in on this photo and show you how miserable you look.  Yes, I know I said I was only going to take one photo but right now I have a whole set of images where you look like you are going to cry.  I can't post those on my blog. People will think I am a horrible mother.


OK, you finally smiled.  Yay...  But your eyes are CLOSED!  Seriously Duke, you are driving me crazy.  I just wanted one good photo, just one.  I am covered in sweat, mosquito- and puppy bites and you are giving me these horrible, miserable faces.  How hard is it to smile, really...

I give up. Go inside and get a drink of water.  Thanks for nothing.  Luckily I am a Photoshop genius and I am sure I can merge shots and get one decent image for my {Friday Photo Bliss} post this week where I don't look like I am abusing you.


There, just as I imagined it.  Perfection.

Now I will go take some photos of my favorite son. 


Puppy, here is a little stick!  You want this stick, right?  I can see you side-eyeing it.  Come on, you can get it!


BITE!

I used the Pretty Presets Milk & Honey preset on these images. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

CoffeeShop "Shabby Rose" Digital Paper Pack!


I love vintage papers and I love roses (especially yellow ones), so today I made a digital paper set that featured vintage roses!  I found the original rose design I used to make these papers on the Graphic Fairy.

I hope you enjoy using these papers on your own design work!

Download the CoffeeShop "Shabby Rose" digital paper set. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

More from Rita:
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CoffeeShop "Magic Tree Carving Set": Includes Actions, Heart Overlays, and Full Instructions!


A few days ago I posted the action-unwrapped step-by-step tutorial on how I digitally carve initials in a tree or piece of wood.  Today I am releasing the action set that allows you to easily automate the process!!!  You can also use this method to write in the "sand" or on fabric.  I posted a sand example below.

I am posting a tutorial on using this action set, but if you have any questions about what is going on "under the hood" please go read the earlier tutorial. The instructions below seem complicated first read, but it is actually very easy once you work through it once.

This action set includes 2 actions, one to create the displacement map and one to apply the displacement map and add further enhancements to your tree carving to make it look as realistic as possible. I also included a set of hearts in the download that you can add to your images. Please follow the instructions carefully or the action won't work properly.

CoffeeShop "Magic Tree Carving" Action Tutorial:


I am using this beautiful couple portrait from B.liss Photography for this tutorial.

1.  Create Displacement Map:  Run the first action called "CoffeeShop Displacement Map Maker" on your image. It might also be called "Tree Displacement Map Maker" in some versions.


This is going to create a high contrast B&W .psd version of your image which you will use to add texture to your tree carving.  Adjust the curve if needed to really bring out the wood texture.  Then press OK.

You will be prompted to save this B&W image as a psd file.  I always save it as a copy of the original.  Make sure you save it to your desktop or somewhere you can easily find it for the next step.


2.  Add Text/Images to Tree:  This part of the tutorial has to be done before running the next action.

Optional if you want a heart:  I included a set of hearts in the download. Select V and click on the heart you want and drag it on your image.


Free-Transform (Ctrl-T) it to fit your image.


Then click on the check mark to accept the changes.


Add your text to the heart. I love the font Annoying Kettle as it is bold and looks hand-written.  Make sure you have the font in black.  Once you have everything the way you like, then save this file as a psd file just in case you want to make changes later.  Once you run the next action it is a pain to go back in history.


IMPORTANT STEP!!!!  Hold Shift and click to select both the text and heart layer and the right-click and "merge layers".  Once they are both on on layer then click on the name of that layer and change it to "text" as seen in the screenshot.  Before starting the next action you have to have two layers, the background and text layer.

If you just added text you don't have to merge anything, just rename that layer "text".

3.  Run the CoffeeShop "Magic Tree Carving" action.  It might be called "Tree Carving Magic" in some versions.


When you see this prompt,  press Continue.


I usually set the Displace filter to 5, 5 for lower resolution images and 10,10 for higher ones.


Then I opened my displacement map image made with the first action.


After adding the displacement map your image will have five layers.

The first thing you should do is make sure you are happy with the amount of displacement filter applied.  If it is not high enough, make sure the "text" layer is selected and rerun the filter (filter, distort, displace).  You can apply this a few times if needed.

If there is too much distortion and you have Photoshop, go to "Edit, Fade" and fade the filter until it looks perfect. If you have PSE you will need to rerun this action using the image you saved previously with the editable text. Make sure you only have the two layers before starting over.

The top two layers are copies of your image in soft light and overlay blending mode (called Add Texture 1 and 2).  These add texture to your text.  You can turn them off or adjust the opacity to taste. I usually leave both of them as they are.


You will need to change the color of the tree carving.  Click on the Color Fill 1 layer and then click on a lighter are of the wood.  Fine-tune the color until the carving looks realistic.



You can also adjust the the text layer bevel and emboss by clicking on the fx on the text layer. I sometimes adjust the Depth and size.  In PSE you don't have as many setting to adjust but it will still look fine.


You can also use this action set to write in the sand.  In this example I used this image and this font.  I lowered the Bevel and Emboss a bit.

I would love to see your results on my Facebook page!  Questions? Post them in the comments.

Download the CoffeeShop "Magic Tree Carving Set". You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

CoffeeShop Photoshop/PSE Tutorial: Digitally Carving Initials on Trees so You Don't Get Arrested!



I am so excited to post my newest Photoshop/PSE tutorial today.  I am going to show you how I carve initials on trees/wood digitally.  This is a really great technique to use on couple portraits and much better than using a knife to deface a real tree.  ;-)

When I used to edit photos professionally for wedding/couple photographers I had many requests to do this type of edit. I wanted to add some initials to a tree recently and went back to the bookmarked tutorial I used years ago and the website is gone. I googled like crazy and couldn't find a tutorial that I loved, so I decided to play around and write my own tutorial and post it up here on my blog to share with you.

Today I am going to walk you through the edit and tomorrow I will post a free action set called "Magic Tree Carving" so you can automate everything. I love using actions, but I also love showing you what is going on "under the hood" in my actions so you can do your own edits without actions if you want.

CoffeeShop Photoshop/PSE Tutorial:  Digitally Carving Initials on Trees So You Don't Get Arrested For Defacing Public/Private Property

This tutorial is written for middle to advanced users of Photoshop/PSE.  If you have questions please post a comment below.  And if you are an editing newbie and find this tutorial confusing or want to automate everything, please come back tomorrow and download my Magic Tree Carving action set.  This action set make this edit fast and simple for everyone, including newbies!!!


For this tutorial I am using this beautiful couple image from B.liss Photography.

The first step I do in this type of edit is create a displacement map. You can make and use these displacements maps in both Photoshop and PSE.

A displacement map is a grayscale version of an image saved as a Photoshop file. The Displace filter then uses the displacement map essentially as an applied texture. The black areas are the low points and the light areas are the high points of the contours of the original image.

This is a great way to make the tree carving blend in to your image so it looks more realistic.


1.  Create Displacement Map: Desaturate your image (shift, cmd-Ctrl, U) and then use a levels or curves adjustment to bring out the contrast on the tree bark/wood surface.  You want to really bring out the wood texture.  Then flatten and save this image as a psd file.


2.  Add heart: Revert your image back to the color version.  If you want to add a heart you can use one of the free ones I made for you and posted here for download.


This heart file is a psd layered file, so just click on the layer that has your favorite heart and click "V" and grab and drag the heart on top of your image.


Free-transform (Ctrl-T) it to fit.


Add text: You will need to use a bold black font so you can see the words clearly.  I like using the Annoying Kettle font. Free-transform the words to fit inside of your heart.  Save this version as a psd file (but not over your B&W displacement map!) right now before going on.  You might want to go back and make changes later so it is always a good idea to save at this step.

Hold Shift and click on both the heart and text layer to select them and then right-click and Merge layers.  Then click to select the new merged layer and right-click and Rasterize (or simplify) the layer.  Now you have two layers, your background and the text layer with the heart.


3. Add displacement map: Now we will add the displacement map we created on the first step. Click on the top text layer and go to Filter, Disport, Displace.



I usually use a horizontal and vertical scale of 5 for lower resolution images and 10 for higher resolution images.  I keep the other settings as seen in the screenshot. You will have to play with these settings for your own images.


Open the B&W displacement map when prompted.



Now the text has texture and looks like it has been incorporated into the wood.  You can repeat the filter if you want more effect.  If it is overdone you can go back (edit, undo) and lower the horizontal and vertical scale numbers.

4. Add Bevel & Emboss

 Photoshop: 






I like to add some Bevel & Emboss to the text so it looks carved in the wood.  In Photoshop go to Layer, Layer Style, Bevel & Emboss and add an inner bevel, direction down and set the depth and size to taste.  Adjust the Shading if needed.

Bevel & Emboss, PSE:



In Photoshop Elements go to Layer, Layer Style and click on Bevel and selection Down and set the size to taste.


Now it is looking so much better, right? If you want your initials to look carved and painted you can stop here.

But if you want this wood/tree carving to look more realistic, I want to show you how to add more texture and change the color to match your image so this looks like it was actually carved into the wood.


5. Add texture and change color: Make two copies of the original image (background) and drag them above your text layer. Group both of these copied layers to the text layer.  Then add a color fill layer under the copied layers and grouped with the text layer.

You should have three layers grouped to the text layer as seen in the screenshot. The top two add texture and the color fill adjustment layer allows you to customize the color of the carving.

I put the top copied layer in overlay mode and the one below that in soft light mode. This adds more texture to your tree carving.  You can change the blending mode or adjust the opacity to taste of these two layers.


For the final step, adjust the color fill layer (normal mode) to bring out the carving.  I usually use a light color from the tree/wood, but you can use any color that looks realistic.


Here is my final edit.  I love how it turned out!  For your own images you will have to play with the setting to get your own perfect edit.  And if this tutorial seems too complicated, don't worry.  Tomorrow I will release the action set to automate and simplify this edit where even a newbie Photoshop-user can do this on their own!

Questions? Please post them below.  And I would love to see your after edits using this technique on my Facebook page!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
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