Monday, June 27, 2016

CoffeeShop "Portrait Luxe" Photoshop/PSE Portrait Action!



Today I am excited to release my newest portrait action for Photoshop/PSE. This action is called "Portrait Luxe" and adds beautiful saturated color, skin smoothing, contrast adjustments, vignette, and gorgeous color tints to your  outdoor portraits. "Portrait Luxe" is completely adjustable like most of my actions.




This is the "before" and "after" image. This beautiful image is from Adina Voicu and you can download the original image here if you want to follow along with my tutorial.

CoffeeShop "Portrait Luxe" Photoshop/PSE Action Tutorial:


Open your image. This action looks best on outdoor portraits, but you can also run it on other types of images.


Start "Portrait Luxe". The first prompt will allow you to soften the skin. Adjust the radius and threshold to taste. You can make further adjustments to this layer after the action finishes running.


This is the image after "Portrait Luxe". I usually go in and adjust a few layers.


I lowered the "Luxe Skin" layer's opacity a bit. You can also click on the Color Fill box on that layer and tweak the color setting.


I also lowered the "Contrast Pop" layer's opacity.


I clicked on the "Blue Luxe" layer mask and used a soft black brush to remove the blue tint from her hair and eyes (100%) and skin (50%).


I wanted to add more red to the background, so I clicked on the "Red Luxe" layer to open the Levels adjustment, selected Red in the pull-down menubar on top, and then adjusted the mid (gamma) slider under the curve and the Output Level to add some more red to the image.


I want "Red Luxe" applied to the background only so I painted most of that layer off her face and skin.


Finally I adjusted the "Vignette" layer to taste.



I love this edit!!! I would love to see your own before/afters using "Portrait Luxe" on my Facebook page.

Download the "Portrait Luxe" Photoshop/PSE Action, here, or in my huge action download pack.

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, June 24, 2016

{Friday Photo Bliss}

On Fridays I like to look over the snapshots I took during the week and post a few of my favorites. 


We went to a Civil War Reenactment last weekend and it was amazing!!! The skirmish took place at the location of a Confederate Powder Mill during the Civil War. The mill blew up in 1864 and unfortunately killed several of the local boys.

When we were kids my sisters and I used to go swimming right there in the creek. That was before the internet and the horror stories posted about flesh-eating bacteria, brain parasites, and giant hungry alligators.

We were so blissfully unaware and thus incredibly happy those days. ;-)


Guns and cannons were going off and the soldiers were running around like crazy. The poor Union soldiers had on wool coats and the heat index was 105F. The Confederate soldiers looked much more comfortable in their cotton.

I automatically started rooting for the South (I am a native Texan and love my state), but then I realized I was rooting for the wrong side so I switched to rooting for the North. But then I decided to root for all of them since this was just a reenactment and the actors where all amazing.


I am a mess at taking selfies. That is my mom on the left. My dad was there too, riding around in the park golf cart. We were too healthy and had to walk everywhere. Did I mention the heat index was 105F? Gotta love Texas summers.


Duke grabbed my camera and took this one. It is slightly better.


On Father's Day we headed out to Bernhardt Winery for an outdoor concert. They have them every Sunday night, spring through fall. The winery is gorgeous, the wine is tasty, and the music is always wonderful.

My mom was also there but my dad refused to go, he was still recovering from his incredibly hot golf cart ride at the reenactment the day before.


This huge anvil something or other cloud (my pilot husband told me what it was called and the big glass of wine I had made me forget) was incredible. It was a perfect summer evening.


The boys had VBS with their best friend this week. I had the mornings off since they were gone and I was able to get so many things done.

OK, I can't lie, I went to the library and checked out a pile of books, and read for hours and hours and hours.

Yeah, my house is still a mess...


Last night was Paul and my 29th year anniversary of meeting each other so we celebrated with a romantic walk around the subdivision. This is what you do when you are old and gray and you want to celebrate a huge milestone in your relationship but are too tired to go out (because you are old and gray). Or because you just remembered it was your anniversary at the last minute (because you are old and gray) and it was too late to get a babysitter.

That is my sweetie "Jumping Jack Paul". He is so darn adorable.


When we got back to the house this was our view. Another perfect (and incredibly hot) summer evening.

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:
Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

{Friday Photo Bliss}

On Fridays I like to look over the snapshots I took during the week and post a few of my favorites. 


We went to a Civil War Reenactment last weekend and it was amazing!!! The skirmish took place at the location of a Confederate Powder Mill during the Civil War. The mill blew up in 1864 and unfortunately killed several of the local boys.

When we were kids my sisters and I used to go swimming right there in the creek. That was before the internet and the horror stories posted about flesh-eating bacteria, brain parasites, and giant hungry alligators.

We were so blissfully unaware and thus incredibly happy those days. ;-)


Guns and cannons were going off and the soldiers were running around like crazy. The poor Union soldiers had on wool coats and the heat index was 105F. The Confederate soldiers looked much more comfortable in their cotton.

I automatically started rooting for the South (I am a native Texan and love my state), but then I realized I was rooting for the wrong side so I switched to rooting for the North. But then I felt guilty for all of those young men fighting in the South who never had slaves so I decided to root for all of them since this was just a reenactment. ;-)


I am a mess at taking selfies. That is my mom on the left. My dad was there too, riding around in the park golf cart. We were too healthy and had to walk everywhere. Did I mention the heat index was 105F? Gotta love Texas summers.


Duke grabbed my camera and took this one. It is slightly better.


On Father's Day we headed out to Bernhardt Winery for an outdoor concert. They have them every Sunday night, spring through fall. The winery is gorgeous, the wine is tasty, and the music is always wonderful.

My mom was also there but my dad refused to go, he was still recovering from his incredibly hot golf cart ride at the reenactment the day before.


This huge anvil something or other cloud (my pilot husband told me what it was called and the big glass of wine I had made me forget) was incredible. It was a perfect summer evening.


The boys had VBS with their best friend this week. I had the mornings off since they were gone and I was able to get so many things done.

OK, I can't lie, I went to the library and checked out a pile of books, and read for hours and hours and hours.

Yeah, my house is still a mess...


Last night was Paul and my 29th year anniversary of meeting each other so we celebrated with a romantic walk around the subdivision. This is what you do when you are old and gray and you want to celebrate a huge milestone in your relationship but are too tired to go out (because you are old and gray). Or because you just remembered it was your anniversary at the last minute (because you are old and gray) and it was too late to get a babysitter.

That is my sweetie "Jumping Jack Paul". He is so darn adorable.


When we got back to the house this was our view. Another perfect (and incredibly hot) summer evening.

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:
Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Pretty Preset "Summer Limited Edition Set" SALE! Only $39


The only Lightroom presets I use besides my own are the ones from Pretty Presets. :-) So I wanted to let you know that the Pretty Presets "Summer Limited Editing Set" is on special right now for only $39. I have this set and love it!

And if you haven't checked out the Pretty Preset Blog, please go visit when you get a chance. I have learned so many Lightroom editing tips and tricks from there.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Topaz "Impression 2" is here and it is on SALE for 40% off!!!



Topaz just released their newest version of my favorite editing plug-in/stand-alone program called Impression 2. This update is free if you already own Impression, but if you don't it is 40% ($59.99, originally $99.99) until July 7th with the coupon code: 2IMPRESS.



I use the Impression filter in Photoshop all of the time. It easily loads into your Filter menubar and you can use it like any other filter in Photoshop/PSE. It really blows away all of the artistic filters that come with Photoshop/PSE. I use Impression to design custom artistic textures that I add to my images, or I apply it to my photos to get painterly effects.

You can use Impression very subtly to add a bit of texture to your photos or completely change your photos into artistic works of art. You can also use Topaz Impression to design  beautiful custom papers and textures that you can use on your own work or sell commercially!

I just downloaded this new version and I will write a review as soon as I finish playing with it. :-)

Read all about it below!


----------------

Topaz Impression generates natural painterly effects by painting brushstrokes one at a time. (It just does this very fast!) Impression can paint over 10,000 brushstrokes in less than a second, all while completely following your artistic direction, making truly personal art that you can call your own.

Click here to buy it now!

NEW FEATURES If you’re already familiar with Impression, the updated release of Impression 2, gives you more powerful processing with a completely redesigned framework and the following additional features:

 • 30+ New effects - Impression 2 now comes with over 140 effects!

• Larger Brush Panel - no more squinting to find the brush you need.

 • Masking - Impression 2 now includes masking in application! Using a brush, color range, luminosity range, or spot masking, the masking panel even includes our color aware tool.

 • Topaz Community - now you can share your created effects with the other users of Impression 2 with a click of a button. Not seeing an effect you like? Browse the Topaz Community to surf an ocean of custom user made effects.

 • New brush customization options: - “Number of strokes” options to change the number of strokes applied to the image. - “Large Brush Volume” that adjust paint volume in large areas of color to help focus on the details. - “Stroke “Rotation Variation” to add randomness to your effect strokes.

• Highlight and Shadow control in the lighting menu.

• Support for High DPI (4k) monitors in Windows 7/8/10

Click here to read more!




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CoffeeShop "Charcoal" Fine Art Texture Set!


Today I have a beautiful new set of fine art textures that make your image look like a charcoal drawing. I included a dark and light texture  in this set. Try soft light, overlay, and screen blending modes for a beautiful fine art edit!

I created these textures using my favorite Topaz Impression Photoshop/PSE plug-in (app).

I used a beautiful portrait from Sarah Mak Photography and a floral still-life in my example above today.


On this original image I ran my "Sweet Vanilla Custard" action and then added the light Charcoal fine art texture twice in Soft Light blending mode. I reduced one of the texture layers to 25% opacity.

Download the "Fine Art Charcoal" Texture 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.


More from Rita:
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Monday, June 20, 2016

CoffeeShop "Artistic Light Leak" Photoshop/PSE Action!


Today I have a new beautiful action called "Artistic Light Leak".  This action applies three different gorgeous colored light effects (orange, pink, and purple) and some slight haze on your images and is completely adjustable.  I love adding this effect to still life and landscape images and portraits. 

I also have an action that applies a customizable top light leak, you can grab it here.



In this post I used two floral images from Bloom Photography, two portraits of a "lady in white" from Adina Voicu, and a little girl at a picnic portrait from Sarah Mak Photography.

CoffeeShop "Artistic Light Leak" Photoshop/PSE Action Tutorial:


Today I will show you how I edited this beautiful portrait (original).


I wanted to brighten this image before adding the light, so I ran my "Caramel Velvet Luxe Mini" action on the image.


I turned "Caramel Velvet Luxe" down to 40% opacity.


Then I ran "Artistic Light Leak".


The whites were a bit blown out, so I turned down the "Contrast Boost" layer to 50% opacity.


I wanted to slightly reduce the colored light leaks, so I turned on the "Reduce Artistic Light" layer and dialed the opacity down to 16%. I could also have gone into each light layer and adjusted it manually if I had wanted.

I hope you enjoy using this new action! I would love to see your own edits using freebies from my blog on my Facebook page.

Download the CoffeeShop "Artistic Light Leak" Photoshop/PSE Action. You can also download it here or grab it with all of my favorite actions in one download 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.


More from Rita:
Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter