Thursday, July 31, 2014

CoffeeShop "Cherry" Digital Paper Set!


Today I have a brand new digital "Cherry" paper pack inspired by the pounds and pounds of cherries my family has been eating this summer.  If only we could grow cherry trees in Texas…  I used a beautiful cherry graphic from The Graphic Fairy.

These papers can be used for website/blog backgrounds, cards, Facebook covers, headers, frames, etc.  Have fun playing with them and don't forget to post your creations over at my Facebook page. I love to see what you have done with my freebies.

Download the CoffeeShop "Cherry" paper pack. 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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CoffeeShop Color Pop 3 Photoshop/PSE action!


I wrote the CoffeeShop ColorPop 2 action years ago and I have quite a few people ask me to update it, so today I present to you the CoffeeShop ColorPop 3 action!  This action eliminates the step that creates a duplicate image for the edit, and I also removed the vignette function to speed up the action.

There are two color pop layers, one vivid pop and one with a punch of color/contrast. Turn on your favorite Color Pop layer and then if needed adjust the opacity and/or use the layer mask to remove any unwanted color (especially important on skin).

I found this amazing photo on Pixabay.  All of the images there are public domain and many of them are just stunning.

Download the free CoffeeShop ColorPop 3 Photoshop/PSE action.  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 27, 2014

CoffeeShop "Grace" Digital Paper Pack!


Today I have a beach-themed paper pack, perfect for your summer designs!

Download the CoffeeShop "Grace" Paper Pack.  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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

CoffeeShop Facebook Cover & Website Header Set 18!


Today I am posting two Facebook covers with clipping masks and frames so you can easily add photos and also a simple website/blog header.  These were made with a photo of a rose I took just this week.  You can use these anywhere you like, no attribution necessary.  :-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I hope to have a new action coming out in the next day or two.

Download the free CoffeeShop Facebook Cover and Website Header Set 18.  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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

CoffeeShop Photoshop/PSE Tutorial: Baby Portrait Rescue!


Sometimes there will be a particular image in your photoshoot that you love, but unfortunately the lighting conditions or settings on your camera were not optimum.  However, you really want to save the image (because of course the baby's mother loved that image best; why oh why did you ever show her that one!) yet you are not sure how to go about the edit.

Today I want to show you how I would edit this adorable baby image with some lighting issues and make it photo-album worthy.


This is a SOOC image sent to me from Engelhart Photography.  I told her I would write a tutorial on editing this image and post it on my blog.  I love when readers send me images to "fix" and also suggestions for new posts!!!  I want to post things that interest you.

There are many ways to go about this edit, and I will show you one way I would approach it, this time without using any actions.  :-)  There is no particular order you have to do all of the steps, and I just captured screenshots as I edited.

Baby Portrait Rescue Retouch Tutorial for Photoshop/PSE:


1.  Add Peach Color:  I added a color fill layer of ivory peach (#f6e3d1) on top of the image.


Put this layer in Soft Light.  I clicked to select the layer mask and used a soft black brush to remove the color from her bow.


2.  Sharpen:  I wanted to sharpen her eyes and bow so I duplicated the background (Ctrl-J) and ran a Filter/High Pass filter on it.  Just dial up the Radius until you see her eyes outlined.


Put this sharpen layer in Overlay Blending mode and fill the layer mask with black.  Then use a soft white brush with the layer mask selected to add some sharpness to her eyes, bow/hair, nostrils, and lips.


3.  Smooth Skin:  I wanted to make her skin really pretty, so I added a blank layer above the Sharpen layer and used the eye dropper tool set at 3 by 3 and clicked on a section of clean bright skin.  Then I painted over her skin with a soft brush in this color.  Instead of messing with a low opacity brush, I set the brush to 100% and then lowered the opacity of the layer to taste (28% in this edit).  Keep the layer in Normal blending mode.

Use the erasure tool to remove skin paint off her eyes, lips, and nose.

This is one of the best ways to smooth skin when your portrait has reddish skin tones/imperfections.


5. Lighten the Image:  I wanted to brighten the midtones, so I added a Level's adjustment layer on top of everything and brought the middle gray slide to the left (1.24).


6.  Blanket Fade: I did a "quick and dirty" blanket fade.  Simply copy the background layer and run a gaussian blur over it and add a layer mask.


Then click to select the layer mask and use a soft white brush and remove the blur from your baby, leaving it on the top and bottom of the image.  You can use different opacities of the white brush to remove the blur in a gradient (more blur on edges).

7.  Flatten and sharpen your image for print or the web and you are done.

You can see the before and after in the images below. In just a few steps (and no actions!)  I was able to rescue this image.  Isn't this baby adorable?



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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Best Day Of My Life" According to Duke


Yesterday my niece came to visit us for a few days.  The boys were in heaven as Maddy is one of their best friends.  When she is here I pretend she is my daughter.  I think she thinks I am weird.  ;-)

They organized the day's entertainment on their own.  It started with a Mentos and Diet Soda geyser.  We had two bottles of cheap diet soda and a few packs of Mentos, nothing we would ever ingest ourselves (YUCK!), but mixed together work magic to form a huge explosion.  

Two bottles of soda for three kids caused a minor argument as only two of them could pull the cord to create the chemical masterpiece.  I stayed out of it and they worked something out.  I think it involved me going to the store today and buying more soda, but I really wasn't paying attention.


The 20-foot geyser was very well received. Both times.


While they were making my lawn a sticky, smelly mess I took some time to photograph the few roses left in my rose garden.  Even though we live in town close to a busy road, we still have some deer in the area and they have used my roses as a tasty buffet.  This tiny red one was a fighter.


Next on the entertainment roster was a water balloon fight.  Duke was the only one who changed into a pair of swim trunks.  He has always been one to think ahead.


Blackberry hung out in the lawn watching them fill the balloons.  She had no idea that her peace (and dryness) was about to be shattered.  She puts up with a lot considering she is the only girl in our family (other than me of course).  


I took a chance that my camera would not get any water damage and I continued to photograph a few surviving roses.  The scary angel/cupid statue in this photo came with the house.  I was going to get rid of it but it weighs a ton and it has grown on me.  It looks like something you would see in a spooky cemetery.


Here is little Imp, covered in sweat as it was over 100 degrees and incredibly humid.  What a little innocent angel.


Oh, that is right.  He is an avenging angel.  Watch out Duke!


Yeah, Imp is getting out his frustrations of being the little guy in the family.  And he has wicked aim.  You can't tell in this photo, but Duke is calling him some really obnoxious names right now. Probably on the lines of "stinky poopy head" or "smelly tooter".  Duke's name-calling usually has a theme involving stinky poops or toots.

Maddy is busy filling the balloons.  Poor dear, they used them as fast as she made them.

After the kids picked up a million tiny balloon pieces from all over the front yard they jumped in a shower and then played with Legos.


See the Lego mess?  They must have been working on something really huge and amazing, right?


Here it is, a mini-golf range.  And not quite finished.  And quite small without many bricks.  That is because there are thousands of bricks usefully strewn all over Imp's room.  Arggggh.

Finally, they had dinner and spent an hour playing video games.

Soda: $2
Mentos: $2
Portable Pumping Station for Water Balloons:  $10
-------
Total Cost:  $14

Entertainment Value = "Mentos geysers, water balloon fights, Legos, and video games; this was one of the best days of my life."  Duke, 9 years old.

There is nothing like a free-range child-centered summer day.  Did I mention after photographing a few flowers I then read a book and watched an Amazon Prime video?  It was one of the best days of my life too.  :-)

Summer ROCKS!

I need to get off the computer.  My parents brought all three kids to the museum for the day and I need to get some housework done (read a few books), weed the flower bed (watch a movie), and go grocery shopping (take a nap).  I can tell it is going to be a productive day already.

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. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CoffeeShop "Afternoon Tea" Website/Blog Design Set!



Today I am posting a peachy-pink blog/website design kit.  It comes with a top header with customizable logo (add your own studio name and tagline), two backgrounds, a set of social media buttons, and a post and/or sidebar divider.

I used Freebooter Script for the studio name and Cochin for the tagline. Both can be completely customized by you.  You can also drag-and-drop in your own ready-made logo.

You can use these design elements on anything you want, no  attribution necessary.  :-)  I plan on doing a series of these designs, so if there is something specific you would love to see me post, just leave a comment below and I will see what I can do.  :-)  I love reader feedback/suggestions.

If you need a custom website/blog/website-blog combo design, my designs are only $99 right now and include a custom-designed site with drop-down menubar and full installation.  I absolutely love website design and I will walk you through the entire process to create your perfect site.  I also send instructions for you to maintain and update the site on your own, and I am always around for questions. My website design helps fund my addiction for posting on this site.  ;-)

Here are a few samples of my current designs.  Please don't hesitate to email me with any questions.


Download the CoffeeShop "Afternoon Tea" Blog/Website Design 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 20, 2014

CoffeeShop Pink Portrait Tint and Texture: A Photoshop/PSE Tutorial!


Today I am posting a tutorial for Photoshop and PSE on how to add a soft pink tint and texture to your portraits.  This is a completely adjustable edit and can look so incredibly beautiful on portraits of girls and women.  I think this type of editing technique makes the image almost resemble a painting.

CoffeeShop Portrait Pink Tint and Texture Photoshop/PSE Tutorial:


1. Fixing Backgrounds:  Start with a portrait that is already edited for contrast and color.  If you want to see how I edited this lovely photo, you can follow along the edit with me on this post. I used the CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express action on this edit.

I love this image as-is, but I think it will be fun to create a dreamy version.

The upper left side of this image is bugging me because it doesn't have any texture like the rest of the background.  That will be my first fix.


A quick way to do this is to duplicate (Ctrl-J) the image to a new layer and use the Clone Tool (S) to clone the background from the left side over to the right.  Then add a layer mask and paint over it with a soft black brush to remove any unintended background off of your portrait.  In this case I removed some from her hair.


2.  Add Texture:  Add your texture(s) of choice.  I used a beautiful texture called "Heather" from the FlyPaper "Spring Painterly Set".  I also love using textures from Shadowhouse Creations.  

I removed all color (ctrl-shift-U) from this texture so it wouldn't interfere with my final image coloration.


I put the texture layer in Overlay blending mode and added a layer mask.  I used a soft black brush in normal mode at 30-100% opacity to remove all texture from her face and hair.


3.  Add Pink Tint:  You can add a pink/peach color fill layer to girly portraits for a wonderful soft result.  This edit is not for every photo, but it can really create lovely works of art with the proper images.

On this image I added a Color Fill layer with hex#debeb4 (a pink). You can use any pink/peach color you want.  I usually play around with the color fill layer after painting on the layer mask (next step).


I keep this in Normal Blending mode and dial down the opacity to 15-35%.  The opacity really depends on how much softness/pink tint you want in your edit.  I really like to bring out the eyes, lips, and hair; so I use a soft black brush in normal mode at 20-50% opacity on the Color Fill layer mask and paint over them to remove some of the hazy tint.  In this edit I used around 50% opacity for her eyes, 40% for her lips, and 30% for her hair.


4.  Add Contrast (Optional):  If you want to add a bit of contrast to make the darks "pop", add a Levels adjustment layer (without making any changes to it) and put that layer in soft light blending mode and set the opacity to 30-50%.

I hope you enjoyed following this editing tutorial.  If you want to have additional editing fun on your images, please visit my tutorial page and action page.  Please post your before and afters on my Facebook page, I love to see your images!



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.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

CoffeeShop "Coffee" Digital Paper Pack!

Today I have a new paper pack I wanted to post for free download.  I am surprised I haven't posted a coffee-themed paper earlier since I have a bit of a coffee addiction.  ;-)  You can use these papers on anything you want, even commercial work, and you don't have to worry about attribution.  Just have fun with them!!!

Download the CoffeeShop "Coffee" Digital Paper Pack.  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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CoffeeShop "Portrait Retouch" Step-By-Step Tutorial for Photoshop/PSE: Part Two!



Today I am posting Part Two of my portrait retouching tutorial in Photoshop/PSE.  You can read Part One and see how I adjusted contrast, fixed color cast issues, and removed blemishes on the unedited image seen above.  You can also find the download of the image I used in these tutorials there.  I really love retouching and it is so nice to share my editing techniques with you.

You will need the CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express action to follow along with the tutorial today.  I always get questions about which of my many retouching actions I use the most, and I don't have an easy answer.  I use them all at different times on different images, but this particular action is one of my favorites as it includes auto-skin smoothing.  I love saving time and not having to paint the smoothness in manually.

If you are new to using layer masks (which are a must to use this action), I posted a nice little Layer Mask tutorial here.



If you finish this tutorial and want to take the edit a step further with a textures/soft color tint, I just put up the tutorial.


CoffeeShop Portrait Retouching Photoshop/PSE Tutorial: Part 2 (using Perfect Portrait 3 Express):


This is my "after" image from Part 1 of this tutorial.  This is a cute photo, but I want to turn it into a stunning portrait.  Note: I am going to slightly overdo the retouching on this tutorial so you can see the changes on your browser (which might be on a tiny smart phone).  You can use this action to do a very subtle retouching job on your own  images.  


1. Run CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait 3 Express on the image.  When the Replace Color pops up, simply click on a clean bright area of the skin and then move the Fuzziness slider until all of the skin is selected.  This step automatically softens the skin and you can make further adjustments after the action finishes.


2.  This is what the image looks like after the action runs. Now I will go and paint on the layer masks to make further adjustments.  I have highlighted each layer with blue in the screenshots so you can see where I painted on each layer mask.


3.  I usually start at the top and work my way down.  On the top Smooth Skin layer I adjust the opacity to taste.  I don't like plastic baby-doll skin but I want it to be soft and pretty.  Feel free to paint on the layer mask with a soft black brush to remove softness and a soft white brush to add softness.

Bright Eyes:  After adjusting the Smooth Skin layer, click on the Bright Eyes layer and zoom in to the eyes.  Grab a soft white brush (in normal mode) at 100% opacity and paint over the iris (it is ok if you paint over the pupil).  Do not go over any other part of the eye!  Then lower the opacity to taste. This really emphasizes the color of the eyes and also brightens them.


4.  Eye Define:  Click on the Eye Define's black layer mask to select it and paint over the entire iris with a soft white brush at 100% opacity.  You can also paint over the eye lashes and eyebrows.  Do not paint over the skin surrounding the eyes.  Adjust the opacity to taste.  If you make a mistake and want to remove some of the layer's effect, use a black brush and paint on the layer mask to remove it.


5.  White Whites:  Click on the White Whites black layer mask and paint over the whites of the eyes with a soft white 100% opacity brush.  Advanced Trick:  To see exactly where you are adding the effect, click on the layer mask while holding down shift and alt (option).  This will turn areas that are masked (hidden) red.  You can see I added the White Whites only to the whites of the eyes.  Click on the layer mask while holding down shift and alt (option) again to remove the red.

Adjust the opacity of this layer to taste.  Be really conservative when editing eyes, you don't want them to look like marbles.  :-)


6.  Urban Grit: I use this layer to add some sharpness to hair. Click on the black layer mask to select it and use a soft white brush set to 25-50% opacity and paint over the hair until you like the effect.  Then adjust the opacity to taste.


7.  I skipped White Teeth and left the Sharpen and Boost layers alone.  You can play with the opacity of those layers if needed.

Vivid Color: I like to add color to the hair, eyes, and lips.  Click on the Vivid Color's black layer mask and use a soft white brush at low opacity and paint over the hair, lips, and irises until you are satisfied with the color saturation.  You can also bring out color in the background and on clothing.  Adjust opacity to taste.


8. Remove red from skin:  I clicked on the Remove red from skin's black layer mask and used a soft white brush at low opacity and painted on her forehead, around her eyes, nose, chin, and neck to remove a hint of redness in her skin. I avoided her rosy lips and cheeks.  

All of this took just a few minutes thanks to the action.  

I hope you enjoyed this retouching tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.  And I would love to see your own retouching before and afters posted 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.