Saturday, October 21, 2017

New York, New York

New York City Skyline

New York, New York

Bright lights and big city. New York, the biggest city in the United States since 1790 and one of the biggest cities in the world. Home of Broadway, the Yankees, and the Statue of Liberty.

Once called New Amsterdam, New York was settled in the early 17th century by the Dutch. The city was later seized by the British and given its name by King Charles II of England, who gave the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. As one of the largest natural harbors in the world, New York welcomed flocks of immigrants via Ellis Island and has served as a major world power and trading city since its beginning.

A city rich in culture and vibrant night life - the lights are always on!!!

Be Blessed and be a blessing!

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard

Friday, October 20, 2017

Impact and Creativity


Adding Impact and Creativity

Today, we’re going to look at a couple of techniques that add impact and creativity to your images. Sharpening for Portraits and the creative Pencil Sketch Effect used to transform an image to look as if it were drawn in pencil. Both are fairly quick and easy – you don’t need to be Leonardo Da Vinci to create a masterpiece.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are many ways to accomplish any single task and sharpening is one of them. I like the High Pass filter because it can be give a subtle effect if not pushed to the extreme.

The first technique is Sharpening for Portraits

Open your image > duplicate the background (Ctrl + J) > Filter > Other > High Pass > Radius 2 – 6 pixels. This image I set the pixels at 4.3; then change the Blend Mode to Overly > Flatten Layers > Save

For the Pencil Sketch Effect you can either use the same image or open a different image; then duplicate the background layer and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. On the tool bar, click Image > Adjustment > Invert (Ctrl + I) > Filter > Other > Minimum and set Radius between 3 – 6 pixels > Flatten Image. 

Then, duplicate the background layer again, set the Blend Mode to Multiply, Flatten the Image and Save. And there you have it!!!

Be Creative and Create!

How you see yourself determines how you see what you are doing. ~ Keith Craft

So, do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly reward. Hebrews 10:35

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fake a Blur

How to Get a Blurry Background

There a time when you’d like the background of your image to be blurry. There a few things you can do on your settings to help get that blurry background or get more blur. Here are just a few:

First, increase the focal length, the longer the focal length the more blur you can achieve.

Second: Aperture – Set it Wide. By opening your aperture, you’re setting your photo up for a blurry background.

Third: Position – position your subject away from the background; distance also help get more blur.

Here’s how you can get blur and/or more blur in Photoshop

Duplicate the background (Ctrl/cmd + J). On the toolbar select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set it at ~80-90 pixels or to taste. Add a Layer Mask and then select the Gradient tool along the left side make sure black is set as the foreground, check the linear gradient box. With the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the image drag it up toward the subject’s face.

Then with the brush tool, brush over the subject’s face and any remaining areas you do not want affected by the gaussian blur; brush with black and a small brush.

There you have it, a Fake Blur!

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You – I, whom You have redeemed. – Psalm 71:23 NIV

Great is His love toward us. And the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  – Psalm 117:2 NIV

Be Blessed and be a blessing!

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Remove Fringe

Defringe Selections

Today’s post would be considered Part 2 of Replacing the Sky and can also be used when or if you replace backgrounds.

Defringing selections is a “must do” for natural looking composites. The fringe on your selections can be a dead giveaway, so get rid of it. You’ll want to Defringe your selection to remove the white edges when replacing skies and/or backgrounds, which gives away the fact that you’ve done something to the photo.

Here’s how to get rid of fringe…

On the picture layer Ctrl + click, this put a selection around the person or object. Then on the menu bar Select > Modify > Contract > Contract by 1 pixel to start. Next, Select > Inverse – this selects everything including the white fringe but not the person or object. Then click delete, this removes the white fringe; when you’re done Select > Deselect to remove the marching ants.

Now the Selection Edges look good!

Be Blessed and be a blessing!

"Attitude is the mind's paintbrush; it can color any situation." Barbara Johnson

Replacing the Sky (add link)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Replacing the Sky

Replacing the Sky in Photoshop

There are many ways to replace a sky in a Photoshop. It’s not something I do all the time but occasionally you’ll have a really great image with a really dull sky. A sky without clouds just isn't exciting to look at.

The technique described here is only one of a multitude of ways to replace a sky in Photoshop.

Add drama to a dull sky


Open both your dull sky (main) image and your new sky. Choose something that won't look out of place or just plain odd. Try to pick a sky with similar conditions and shot from a similar perspective Copy and paste main image as a layer in the new sky image. 

  1. Use your preferred selection method (in this example, I used the quick select tool) to make the selection that isolates the sky, then from the menu bar to go Select > Invert selection.
  2. With the selection active, add a layer mask to the foreground layer to hide the bad sky (invert the layer mask after adding if necessary, depending on how you created your selection)
  3. Use the Select and Mask tool in Photoshop to refine the edges of your layer mask for all those fine details
  4. Use curves adjustment layers to brighten the sky and darken the foreground until the balance between the two looks natural.
The new sky is in place, making the overall picture more interesting. 


The sky's the limit...Never suffer a dull sky again!

A habit is a combination and overlapping of  knowledge, skill and attitude. A habit is an internalized principle.

Strive to be better than yesterday.

Be Blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick and Easy Fix

Quick and Easy Photo Editing

Fix Skin Tones in Lightroom

Here are a few easy steps to quickly correct artificial and radioactive skin tones using the Hue, Saturation and Luminance sliders. The image below is straight out of the camera before any editing, looks a little too warm. Let’s fix it…

Step 1: Do the usual exposure and white balance corrections. These basic edit elements will help even skin tones:

White Balance – slightly take some warmth away.

Contrast – reduce contrast to “smooth” out skin tones.

Clarity – a small reduction in clarity will also aid in “smoothing” out skin tones.

Step 2 – Skin Tone Color Adjustments to correct skin tones that are too “orange”

Raise – the Red, Orang e “Hue” sliders slightly

Lower – the Rad, Orange “Saturation” sliders &

Raise the Red, Orange “Luminance” sliders.

Just be mindful that each photo is different in terms of how much you should move the sliders to get your desire result – a more natural looking skin tone.

Here’s the before and after…

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Digital Noise

Noise – You CAN See It…

Digital Noise – What it is and How to Correct it

In photography, the term digital noise refers to visual distortion. Noise can distort the visual detail of your photo and can give it a grainy appearance. Noise looks like tiny colored pixels or specks in your photograph.

3 Things that can affect digital noise – higher ISO settings, sensor size and long exposures. Once you can pinpoint where the noise is coming from, you can take steps to avoid it. But, there are times when  may not be a bad thing, it can give an image an artistic appearance

These are a few ways you can prevent large amounts of noise:

Lower the ISO: Higher ISOs produce more noise, so it helps to shoot with the lowest ISO that you can while still maintaining proper exposure. Most of the newer DSLR cameras can shoot at higher ISOs without producing noise.

Try opening up the aperture first and slowing down the shutter speed down to the minimum acceptable speed for the subject you are photographing before increasing ISO.

Larger Sensor: The size of a camera’s sensor plays a large role in the final image quality, including the level of noise in a photograph. Your camera’s sensor contains millions of “photosites,” or light-sensitive spots used to gather and record the information brought in through your camera’s lens. Larger sensors have the ability to gather more information. Crop-sensor cameras produce more noise in images at increased ISOs than full-frame cameras. Therefore, the larger your camera’s sensor, the better the image quality and less noise.

Expose Properly: When a photo is exposed properly, there is less introduction of noise into the image. By getting your exposure right in camera, you can avoid unnecessary noise.  Exposing your images properly in camera goes a long way to preventing undesirable noise.

Correcting Noise

Some cameras have built in noise reduction, which could be helpful. There are times when high ISOs are necessary and noise can be easily corrected in post-processing. In Lightroom’s Develop Module, you can reduce the appearance of noise in your images by using the Luminance slider in the Details panel. Simply move the slider to the right to reduce noise, using caution to not take it too far. Too much noise reduction can result in loss of detail in your images, giving them a “plastic” look.

There are many downloadable apps available that will calculate depth of field, exposure and light meter apps; lots of them are FREE. These can help calculate proper settings and thereby reducing noise in your images.

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard

Featured Post

New York, New York

New York City Skyline New York, New York Bright lights and big city. New York, the biggest city in the United States since 1790...

Popular Posts