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“ H O W -T 0 ” M A G A Z I N E ›
Craft a composite that creates the
illusion that part of a photo is coming
right out of your smartphone’s screen
Learn how to use displacement
maps in unique ways to create
dispersion and particle effects
Adding finishing effects
to your images will have
your clients screaming
for more
Markus Gollner | KelbyOne Member
Watch How Zach Got the Shot
The Rapid Box™ Duo
Portable Speedlight Modifier
Watch What’s Trending on the
Photoshop Buried Treasure, #2: B&W Conversions Using Calculations
Buried Treasure in Camera Raw:
One Key Super Zoom
Photo Tip Friday: Dave Clayton
“Photoshop Templates”
Lightroom Mobile & The Two Finger Tap
Lightroom Tips | Photoshop Tutorials | Photography Tips
“Photo Tip Friday” Quick Tips | Online Class Trailers | Full Episodes of The Grid
Adobe Stock; BLT Communications; Layout: Jessica Maldonado
[ P H O T O S H O P U S E R • J u n e 2 0 17 • V O L 2 0 • N O 5 ]
to his Photoshop toolbox for finishing his composites. From custom brushes to layer styles to
HDR Toning, these special effects will help unify the elements in your composites and add that
wow factor that will impress your clients and viewers. More importantly, these techniques are a
©Adobe Stock/Zsolnai Gergely
springboard for you to experiment and come up with your own amazing finishing touches.
Over the years as a designer, Corey Barker has added a plethora of quick-and-easy effects
A Few Finishing Tricks to Get that Movie Poster Look
Craft Your Own Set of Energy Wings
Removing Distracting Objects
Bringing Smartphone Screens to Life
Blend Mode Magic
Working with Type in Photoshop
Using the Displacement Map for Particle Effects
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> A Note from Scott
details as we get closer. Congratulations, Melanie! We
can’t wait to share your wonderful work with the world.
One more thing, and then I’ll let you get to the mag. If
you’re not visiting the KelbyOne Insider blog (the link is in
your dashboard), you’re missing out on lots of cool stuff.
One thing that’s really resonating with our members is our
Member Challenges—you have to check it out on the site
(go to page 12 to learn even more). While you’re on the
site, check out the latest member discount from Macphun.
They just added a 15% discount on their Luminar plug-in
(that’s what I’ve been using since my Nik Collection started
to die, which has been happening to a lot of folks lately).
Sadly, Google announced that they wouldn’t be updating
the software any longer for people who can’t get it to work.
In short, it’s dead, but I have a new class on how to use
Luminar coming out at the end of June, so you can make
an easy-and-painless jump from the old to the new.
Whew, that’s a lot of stuff, and I’ll have a whole lot
more next issue. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who
tells their friends about KelbyOne, who gives us a shoutout
on social, or is active in the Community. You guys rock!
Now you can check out the mag—it’s a pretty good one. ;-)
All my best,
Scott Kelby
KelbyOne President & CEO
Editor & Publisher, Photoshop User
I have lots of cool things to share this issue,
so let’s get to it! Last issue, I talked about
our new KelbyOne Mags app for reading
this magazine and our sister publication,
Lightroom Magazine, and it’s been an overwhelming hit with our members. I wanted to
share a quote from one member who went
on Twitter and wrote: “I downloaded the
app last week. What an improvement. I had
pretty much given up reading the magazines
because it was so inconvenient, but I have
already read the latest issue and [am] going
back to earlier issues. Great job! Actually, it is
the best reading app I have used!”
I wish I could take the credit, but it was
Chris Main and Erik Kuna who worked to
make this app a reality, and then take it further than any
of us imagined it could go. But we actually have more app
news: The all-new, from-the-ground-up version of our
other app. (Yes, we have two apps—one for reading the
mags, and one that lets you take KelbyOne courses offline
so you can watch them when you don’t have Internet
access, or really slow access, like when you’re on a flight.)
Well, we’ve been testing the new app internally (and yes,
it’s for iPhone and Android), and it’s stable enough to
start having beta testers look at it.
To find beta testers, we’re looking to the awesome
members involved in the KelbyOne Community section
of the website. These folks (the most helpful folks in the
world) are totally engaged with their membership and us,
and I know they’ll put this baby through its paces in a
big way before the full release to the membership. So if
you’re an active member of the Community, keep an eye
out for your beta release invite for the new KelbyOne app.
In other news, we’re very, very excited to once again
announce the winner of our contest where one talented
KelbyOne member (and a guest) will be flown to Florida for her own solo gallery showing at “The Gallery at
KelbyOne.” We had members enter from all over the
world, and I’m thrilled to announce that our winner is
KelbyOne member Melanie Kern-Favilla. Her stunning
images of flowers absolutely captivated the judges, and
we can’t wait to see her images hanging on the walls of
the gallery. Her gallery show opening is at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 21, and we’ll be broadcasting a live, one-hour
interview with Melanie at 8 p.m. that evening from our
events theater. Keep an eye on your email inbox for more
Kalebra Kelby
[ 7 ]
J U N E 2 0 17 • V O L 2 0 • N O 5
Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief
Chris Main, Managing Editor
Kim Doty, Associate Editor
Corey Barker • Peter Bauer • Bruce Bicknell • Dave Clayton
Michael Corsentino • Kirk Nelson • Kristina Sherk • Colin Smith
Lesa Snider • Scott Valentine • Erik Vlietinck • Jake Widman
David Williams
Jessica Maldonado, Art Director
Margie Rosenstein, Senior Graphic Designer
Angela Naymick, Senior Web/Graphic Designer
Adam Blinzler • Jacque Johnson • Rachel Scott • Kleber Stephenson
Melissa White
Adam Frick • Curt Husting • Yojance Rabelo • Aaron Westgate
Scott Kelby, Publisher
Kalebra Kelby, Executive V.P.
Jean A. Kendra, Business Manager
Jeanne Jilleba, Advertising Coordinator 800-201-7323 ext. 152
U.S. Mail: 118 Douglas Road East • Oldsmar, FL 34677-2922
Voice: 813-433-5000 • Fax: 813-433-5015
Customer Service:
Letters to the Editor:
Help Desk:
Photoshop User was produced using Adobe Photoshop CC 2017
and Adobe InDesign CC 2017. Korolev was used for headlines and
subheads. Frutiger LT Std for text.
Each issue we feature
cover art by a KelbyOne member!
This issue´s cover image is by Austria-based artist and photographer Markus Gollner of
Markus Gollner Photography. Markus is an autodidactic photographer with a passion
for surreal art and fast-paced action. Whenever his job as an airliner allows, he covers rock
concerts or ardently dedicates his time to create new surreal and dreamlike images. His art
is emotional and teasing. Markus´s long-term goal is an exhibition and to get recognized
for his artwork. To learn more about Markus and to see more of his work, turn to page 14.
All contents ©COPYRIGHT 2017 KelbyOne, LLC. All rights reserved. Any use of the contents of this publication without the
written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Photoshop User is an independent journal, not affiliated in any way
with Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered
trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned
belong to their respective owners. Some of the views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of the
publisher. ISSN 2470-7031 (online)
is an award-winning designer and illustrator. A featured instructor at the
Photoshop World Conference and an Adobe MAX Master Instructor, he has
produced numerous training titles for KelbyOne. Look for his latest book
is an Adobe Certified Expert that does computer graphics consulting for a select group of corporate clients. His latest book is
Photoshop CC for Dummies. He was inducted into the Photoshop
Hall of Fame in 2010.
is an award-winning digital artist, photographer, and lecturer
who has authored 19 books and has created a series of training
videos. Colin is also the founder of the online resource and president of
is the founder of Digital Blue Productions. He has been an
instructor on Adobe’s in-box training, and is an instructor at His clients include Time Inc., NFSTC, DTCC, and
magazines that include People and National Geographic..
is the author of Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for
Photographers: Classroom in a Book (2016), Photoshop CC: The Missing Manual,, more than 40 video courses,
and the “Creaticity” column for Macworld.
is a KelbyOne instructor, designer, and creative specialist with
more than 30 years experience. He specializes in creating branding projects and logos and has been published by Peachpit and
KelbyOne. He’s also an Adobe Influencer and ACA in InDesign.
is a member of Adobe’s prerelease team, an Adobe Community
Professional, and Photoshop author. His books include The
Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers and The Hidden Power of Blend
Modes (both by Adobe Press). Keep up with him at
is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer,
Photoshop and Lightroom expert, author, columnist for Shutter
Magazine and Resource Magazine, and speaker and international
workshop leader. Learn more at
founded IT Enquirer in 1999. A J.D. by education, Erik has been
a freelance technology editor for more than 22 years. He has
written for Macworld, Computer Arts, and many others. He also
contributes to UK-based Red Shark News and Red Shark Sound.
is a professional graphics artist in the Washington, D.C., area. He
has a B.A. from George Mason University and is an Adobe Certified
Expert in Photoshop. Kirk’s career has touched on a broad range of
subjects from logo design to animation. He can be reached here.
is a writer and editor who lives in San Francisco. He’s been
covering the intersection of computers and graphic design for
about 25 years now—since back when it was called “desktop
publishing” and Photoshop was just a piece of scanning software.
is a high-end retoucher based in D.C. and has worked for clients
such as Time Inc. and Hasselblad. She loves “translating” Photoshop
for people and has written for Shutter Magazine, as well as authored
KelbyOne courses and PhotoshopCAFE’s Fashion Retouching DVD.
is a well-seasoned, UK-based travel photographer with internationally published work and a passion for sharing his knowledge
of Adobe software. Dave lives by the mantra, “Lend me your
eyes and I’ll show you what I see.”
Photoshop Tricks for Designers.
[ 09 ]
> Benefit Spotlight
[ 10 ]
We recently released KelbyOne Mags for both iOS and
Android devices. This new app is perfect for reading Photoshop User and Lightroom Magazine on the go. And the library
is stocked with back issues. Photoshop User goes all the way
back to January 2014, and the entire collection of Lightroom
Magazine is available in the app. That’s more than 60 issues.
If you’re on a Wi-Fi or cellular network, just tap the cover
of the issue you want to read and start reading. If you know
you’re going to be somewhere without an Internet connection, download a few issues directly in the app, and then
you can read them offline! (We highly recommend that you
download issues over Wi-Fi, unless you have unlimited data.)
But that’s not all. The app also gives you instant access
to the KelbyOne Community. Have questions, comments, or
suggestions about the magazines, online courses, or anything to do with photography, Photoshop, or Lightroom?
Visit the Community and start interacting with other members, instructors, and writers. There are tons of people there
ready to help. Plus, you can access the new KelbyOne
Insider. This blog is for members only and will keep you up
to date on everything going on at KelbyOne.
And finally, you can access our Facebook and Twitter
feeds directly in the app to give you even more ways to
interact with KelbyOne. You can find out more about the
app right here on the Insider. We also have a dedicated
topic for the app on the Community. So go ahead and
download KelbyOne Mags today and visit the Community
to let us know what you think.
> KelbyOne Community
Inspiration, information, and member musings to fuel your creativity
Ready for a Member Challenge?
We’ve always known our members are talented, but
when the Gallery at KelbyOne slammed that message
home with countless incredible bodies of work, we
decided we had to do something more to show off
your work. So what did we come up with? Weekly Member Challenges!
What’s a Member Challenge? It’s a mini-contest
that’s announced via both the Insider and the Community. In those posts, we pick a topic or theme with
which to challenge our members. Member Challenge 1
consisted of landscapes. We asked our members—that’s
you guys—to submit their very best landscape photographs (only one entry per person). And boy did you
deliver! Our first winner was Scott Chandler with this
beautiful shot of the Moeraki Boulders at sunrise in New
Zealand. Here’s the link to the Insider post announcing
the winning image.
In Member Challenge 3, we asked members to submit their best wildlife images, and once again, we were
impressed by the number of amazing images that poured
in. It really does make it tough to pick a winner. This time
around, Doreen Lawrence took the top spot. Check out
the Community to see all the great submissions, and the
Insider to see the announcement of the winning image.
All Member Challenge winners not only get to be
featured on the Insider with a post dedicated to their
winning image for all other KelbyOne members to see,
but they also get an exclusive T-shirt—only available to
Member Challenge winners. Member Challenges will
take place every Friday with winners being announced
the following Thursday. Keep an eye on the Insider for
your next chance to win!
The winner of Member Challenge 2, which was photos with a summer theme, was Svetlana VanKempen.
Here’s the link to the Insider post announcing her winning image.
[ 1 2 ]
Special Guest Rob Foldy
We had another visitor at KelbyOne headquarters, and this
time he was someone a bit more local, Rob Foldy. Based out
of Miami, Rob is a professional sports and portrait photographer. He’s shot for Getty Images, ESPN, and Sports Illustrated.
Wondering why Rob paid us a visit? Two reasons!
Reason #1: Rob was a special guest on episode 285 of
The Grid. Scott and Rob discussed what it takes to get paid
as a photographer. So if you want to start making some
cash with your work, you need to watch that episode.
Reason #2: Rob was filming two new sports photography
classes for KelbyOne—feel free to jump out of your seat
and do the wave!
To see some of Rob’s work, visit his website, Rob Foldy
Photography. You can also get to know Rob on Twitter,
Facebook, and Instagram.
› › K E L BYO N E C O M M U N I TY
Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community
Markus Gollner is an Austria-based artist with a passion for surreal art and fast-paced action. His art
is emotional and teasing, and his long-term goal is an exhibition and to get recognized for his artwork.
From my youth I was always creative, and at the same time interested in technical stuff. I did mostly painting, as at that time,
I had no computer or Photoshop. At the age of 15, I got my first
camera and I liked it instantly. It’s a combination of technique and
vision, and I got a result quicker than in a slow painting process.
Don’t ask me why, but at that time photography wasn’t on
my radar as an occupation. After my bachelor’s degree, I started
aviation training, and today I’m captain of an Airbus 320 flying
in Europe. I did take photos nevertheless, and photography in a
professional way became interesting in my mid-thirties. At one
point I was bored with the “normal stuff“ and was keen in going
a new and different way, covering subjects that aren’t everyday. My entry into that field was to cover the Special Operations
Unit COBRA, the Austrian Police Special Forces, publishing
a photo book about them. That led to the “Jagdkommando,“
the Austrian Army Special Forces. Next came “Kommando
Spezialkräfte“ of the German Army.
You have a quote on your website that reads
“Make Visible What, Without You, Might Perhaps
Never Have Been Seen.” What made you start
experimenting with fantasy style images?
My first fantasy style image was “Vampires.“ At that time I was
covering action—Special Forces, sports, and music. I loved that
and still do, but I was looking for something new and different.
Nowadays, we’re flooded with zillions of images every day, which
we rarely look at consciously or remember later on. I wanted to
create images that stand out, catch you off guard, make you stop
and engage.
Where does the idea start for a new project,
and do you aim for one image or a series?
Every shoot has a theme, mostly surreal, dark art. Around that
theme the models come up with ideas, outfits, and stylings, and
I add my input and stuff I have available. I always make a series
of images—different poses and angles, with and without
accessories, etc.—to cover all corners. Then I have the essential
flexibility in the postprocessing part.
Do you work out of your own studio?
I have a studio at home in Ebreichsdorf, near Vienna, Austria.
But I work out of town, as well, when it’s more efficient for
me to get there, instead of having a lot of people come to me.
Who or what inspires you?
A great source of inspiration are painters and artists from earlier centuries, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Lawrence
Alma-Tadema, and Picasso, as well as modern artists, such as
Gottfried Helnwein and other hyper-realistic painters. I learned
a lot from fellow photographers, especially Bernhard Moestl
and Stefan Gesell. Additionally, literature and movies about
science fiction, fantasy, and comics!
You seem to enjoy the compositing side of your
work. Do you shoot your own backgrounds?
A good part of my work is collecting backgrounds, textures,
and the like. Whenever I come across some useful stuff, I take
images of it.
What kit do you use and what is on your wishlist?
My first camera was a Canon AE-1 and I’ve been using Canon
for the last decade, currently owning a D5 Mark III and a 1D X.
Recently, I bought a Fuji X-T20 and haven’t touched my
Canon gear since that day. The Fuji is like my old Canon,
but with the modern technology of today. Now I’m seriously
considering a transition to Fuji with the Fuji GFX on top of
my wishlist.
What’s your history with KelbyOne, and what advice
would you give to anyone who isn’t a member?
About 12 years ago I got a Canon D20 and the logical consequence was to start using Photoshop. With no knowledge
at all, it was a difficult trial-and-error process. Then I came
across Scott Kelby’s The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital
Photographers and that was a game-changer for me. Other
books followed, as well, such as Light It, Shoot It, Retouch
It; Photoshop Classic Effects; Photoshop Killer Tips; and
Photo­shop Down & Dirty Tricks. I wish every teacher had the
ability to teach his students like Scott does. He shows you in
a simple, but effective way how to achieve something. If my
teachers had been like him, I suppose I’d be a little rocketscience-Nobel-Prize genius. So it was just a matter of time
to sign up with KelbyOne and suck up the different courses
like a nerd.
My advice for others is: Go for it! Look in your heart,
where your deepest love for a subject or a field of work is,
where your passion lies, and what brings you the most joy.
Then go pedal-to-the-metal. Pick your courses, learn, try, fail,
get up, and never stop having fun and being curious. If you
love it, the rest will follow. n
Please tell us a bit more about yourself and what
made you start in photography?
[ 15 ]
> Heard on the Tweet
A Quick Glance at Some Highlights from our Twitter Feed
[ 16 ]
KelbyOne and Scott Kelby on Twitter!
[ 17 ]
Here Are Your Late
Every week, we publish at least one new training c
Designing Graphics for
Social Media in Photoshop
Learn how to use Photoshop to help get your message out on social media! Join Dave Clayton to get
a designer’s perspective on using your images to build your brand awareness on Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube, and Instagram. With Dave’s Photoshop templates and techniques you’ll be well on
your way to creating a cohesive message tailored to each platform.
[18 ]
Deconstructing Design
in Photoshop
Take inspiration from good design and make it your own. Join Dave Clayton as he demonstrates in
Photoshop how you can start with an existing design and build on top of it to make something completely
unique, as a tool to help you learn and improve your craft. Learn how to find inspiration, extract from PDFs,
add vector images, work with templates, as well as tips and techniques for adding all the final touches.
est Online Courses
course. Check out these brand-new courses below:
Just One More Flash
Sports Photography: Make
Your Pee Wees Look Like Pros
Photograph your kids sports like a pro! Join Rob Foldy, professional sports photographer, as he teaches
you the basic photographic principles that will make your subjects proud. Rob shows you how to configure
your camera for the best results. You’ll also learn the importance of storytelling and how being prepared
before you go to the game will help you take your photographs to the next level.
Learn how to add one more flash to your portrait lighting with Scott Kelby! Building on the foundation you gained
in Just One Flash, Scott teaches you the why, when, and how of adding a second flash to your Speedlight
setup. Whether you want to create separation between your subject and the background, add a fill light, or
change the look of the background itself, you’ll be amazed at all the great things you can do with a second flash.
[ 19 ]
This time around I thought we’d revisit a favorite topic of mine,
and that’s movie posters. I wanted to show you a few handy
finishing tricks you can add to your own design to get that cool,
gritty, movie poster finish. We’ll do this by way of a mini project
creating a poster for Sherlock Holmes.
[ 2 0 ]
a young man in the image of Sherlock
Smoke on black background
Tower Bridge in London England
Step One: Begin by going into Photoshop and
creating a new document (File>New) in which
to build the final design. Make it 945 x1400
pixels at 100 ppi to work with the Adobe Stock
images. For high-res images, you’ll want to
make it 1350x2000. Whatever size you choose,
just be sure to keep the proportions to a movie
poster format. Set the Background Contents
drop-down menu to Black, and click the Create
button in the New Document dialog.
Step Two: Start by opening the Sherlock
image. If you downloaded it to your Libraries panel, simply double-click it in the panel to
open it. You’ll see the subject is shot on a dark
backdrop and selecting it would be rather tricky.
In this case, however, we don’t need to make
a selection because we’re going to utilize the
dark background.
©Adobe Stock/Ruslan Solntsev
To obtain the stock images used in this exercise so you can follow along, download the
watermarked previews from Adobe Stock,
or add them directly to your Libraries panel
(Window>Libraries) by clicking on the link for
each image below. When the Adobe Stock
webpage opens, make sure you’re logged in to
your Adobe account, then to the right of each
image, you’ll see the option to Save Preview to
My Library (you can click on My Library to select
a different library or download option). Click on
the cloud-with-an-arrow icon, and the preview
image will automatically be downloaded to your
Libraries panel in Photoshop.
[ 2 1 ]
› › HOW TO
Step Three: Switch to the Move
tool (V) and drag the Sherlock
image over to the main document
that we created in Step One. Hold
down the Shift key before you
release the mouse button so that
the image lands centered in the
canvas. Press Command-T (PC:
Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform to
scale and reposition the image to
fit better in the composition. Hold
down Shift-Option (PC: Shift-Alt)
as you drag out a corner handle to
scale the image larger (Shift maintains proportions and Option [PC:
Alt] transforms it from the center
outward). Then, just click-and-drag
inside the bounding box to reposition it. Press Enter to commit the
transformation when done.
Step Four: In the Layers panel,
lower the Opacity of the Sherlock
layer to 75%.
[ 2 2 ]
Step Five: Click the Create a New
layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a new blank
layer above the Sherlock layer. Then
set the layer blend mode near the
top left of the Layers panel to Overlay and drop the Opacity to 75%.
Step Six: Select the Brush tool (B)
in the Toolbar, and then click on
the panel icon in the Options Bar
to open the Brush panel. Choose
a simple round, soft-edged brush,
and make sure that there are no
other brush features turned on in
the panel. If you’re using a pressure-sensitive tablet, click on Transfer and set the Control drop-down
menu under Opacity Jitter to Pen
Pressure. If you’re not using a tablet, just set the brush Opacity to
around 50% in the Options Bar. Set
the size to around 250 pixels.
Step Seven: Press D to set black
as the Foreground color. Then start
painting in the darker shadow areas
of the subject to crush the shadows
even more.
[ 2 3 ]
Step Eight: Now create another
blank layer and set its blend mode
to Overlay and its Opacity to 50%.
Press X to swap the Foreground
and Background colors, making
the Foreground white. Using the
same brush as before, paint over
the brighter highlights of the subject. This will enhance the detail and
even add a soft glow to the subject.
[ 24 ]
Step Nine: Now that we have the
subject in place, let’s begin adding
the special effects. We’ll start with
a smoke element for the pipe in his
hand. Open the Adobe Stock smoke
image. You’ll see it’s a simple smoke
element on a black background.
To quickly extract the smoke from
the background, open the Channels panel (Window>Channels)
and hold down the Command (PC:
Ctrl) key as you click on the RGB
channel thumbnail. This will create
a luminance-based selection, and
since it’s simple white smoke on a
black background, it will select all
the smoke.
©Adobe Stock/Deyan Georgiev
› › HOW TO
Step 10: Now go back to the
Layers panel and create a new
blank layer. Then, press OptionDelete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill
the selected area with white, which
is your current Foreground color.
There. You’ve perfectly extracted
smoke. Just use the Move tool to
drag it to the main design.
Step 11: Use Free Transform (Command-T) to scale the smoke down,
and then drag it into position over
the pipe in the subject’s hand. Press
Enter when done. Finally, drop the
layer Opacity to 50%.
[ 2 5 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 12: Now we’re going to use
a texture image as an overlay that
will add some texture and contrast
to the image. If you’re a KelbyOne
member, you can download this
image from the magazine page
(see link below). Using the Move
tool and holding the Shift key, drag
this texture to the main design and
make sure the layer is at the top of
the layer stack. Then, change the
layer blend mode to Multiply and
drop the layer Opacity to 75%.
[KelbyOne members may download the texture file used in this
tutorial at
/magazine. All files are for personal
use only.]
[ 2 6 ]
Step 13: Now let’s add a cool type
overlay. Select the Type tool (T)
from the Toolbar, and then starting
at the top-left corner of the canvas, drag a text box over most of
the canvas area. Go to the Options
Bar and set the font to Trajan Pro
or something similar. Feel free to
play with other fonts, as well. Also,
set the Size to around 30 pt (I used
50 pt for my high-res version). Click
on the color swatch in the Options
Bar to open the Color Picker, set it
to white, and click OK. In the Paragraph panel (Window>Paragraph),
select the Justify All option (last icon
at the top right).
Step 14: Go under the Type menu
and select Paste Lorem Ipsum to fill
the text box with filler text. (If you
have text of your own, you can go
ahead and paste the text in the text
box.) Place your cursor in the text
and press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A)
to select all. Hold the Option (PC:
Alt) key and tap the Up and Down
Arrow keys to adjust the leading
(space between lines) until you have
something that looks like this. Place
the cursor at the end of the text
block and run Paste Lorem Ipsum
again to fill the rest of the image
with the text.
Step 15: Go to the Layers panel
and set the Type layer’s blend mode
to Difference and drop its Opacity
to 10%. Hold down the Option (PC:
Alt) key and click on the Add Layer
Mask icon (circle in a square) at bottom of Layers panel. This will add
a mask filled with black, which will
hide the type layer from view.
[ 2 7 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 16: Select the Gradient tool
(G) in the Toolbar. In the Options
Bar, click the gradient preview to
open the Gradient Editor, choose
the Foreground to Transparent
preset, and click OK. Back in the
Options Bar, set the gradient type
to Radial and the tool Opacity to
50%. Press D to set white as the
Foreground color. Also, in the Layers panel, drag the Type layer below
the texture layer.
Step 17: Drag out one of the
bottom corners of the document
window so you can see the canvas around the image. Starting just
outside the document bounds,
drag a gradient in toward the subject. Continue to add gradients
around the image to reveal the
text texture. Remember, this is nondestructive editing, so you can press
Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) to undo
a gradient, or even refill the entire
layer mask with black if you need
to start over.
[ 2 8 ]
Step 18: Now let’s add a background image with a cool shot of
the Tower Bridge. Open this Adobe
Stock image from the Libraries
panel and drag it to the main
design. In the Layers panel, drag
the Tower Bridge layer below the
Type layer. Press Command-T (PC:
Ctrl-T) to activate Free Transform,
then scale and position the image
in relation to the subject, keeping
in mind which areas you want to
keep visible and which areas you
want to hide. Don’t commit the
transformation yet.
Step 19: Here’s another cool trick
when it comes to compositions.
Once the image is in place, Rightclick on the object and choose Flip
Horizontal from the pop-up menu.
This angle works better for this
design. Often backgrounds like this
are abstract enough so that you
can’t really tell they’re flipped, especially with the other effects we’ll be
adding. Now you can press Enter to
commit the transformation.
Next, press Command-U to
open the Hue/Saturation dialog.
Check on Colorize and use these
settings to put a blue cast over the
layer. Click OK.
©Adobe Stock/clayllama
[ 2 9 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 20: Now drop the layer Opacity to
75% and add a layer mask. We’re going
to use the same radial gradient as before
but this time we’re going to press X to set
the Foreground color to black and set the
Opacity in the Options Bar back to 100%.
Add gradients in the middle of the layer
to hide the bridge and reveal Sherlock. In
some areas it may seem like it’s ghosting
the image a little; that actually looks good
for this project. This happens because the
bridge layer is above the subject layer in the
Layers panel. We added gradients in the top
corners, as well.
[ 3 0 ]
Step 21: Now for another favorite effect of
mine, which involves using HDR Toning. This
adjustment, however, can’t be applied to a
layered image, so go to the Image menu,
choose Duplicate, and click OK. Once the
duplicate is created, go under the Layer
menu and choose Flatten Image.
Step 22: Go under the Image menu, to
Adjustments, and choose HDR Toning. You
can use these settings here to start but feel
free to play around to see the range of
effects you can get. You’ll want to be sure to
drop the Saturation at the bottom to –100.
Click OK when done.
Step 23: Using the Move tool and
holding the Shift key, drag this
image back to the original document and place the layer at the
top of layer stack (it’s important
to hold the Shift key so this layer
is aligned with the original layers).
Then, set the blend mode to Overlay and drop the layer Opacity to
50%. You can see it adds more
contrast to the scene.
Step 24: You can also use this HDRtoned layer to change the temperature of the image. Press Command-U
(PC: Ctrl-U) to open the Hue/Saturation dialog again. Check on Colorize
and use these settings here to add a
subtle warm cast to the layer. Click
OK when done.
Step 25: All that’s left is to add
some text, and you can see how
I added the text shown in the final
image by clicking here to watch
a video tutorial. Remember to experiment with these effects and see how
they can be useful by themselves,
or combined, to create your own
custom movie poster look. [For
more on creating finishing effects
for your composites, check out
Corey's feature article in this issue
starting on page 70.—Ed.] n
[ 31 ]
The camera shutter is devised to capture a single moment in
time—a snap that freezes movement and records a split second.
Yet when used over an extended period of time, the whole idea
changes dramatically. One of the most fun experiments you can
do with a long shutter exposure is to create light streaks. This
is somewhat similar to the effect our eyes see when somebody
waves a sparkler through the air. By using this technique to
create light streak resources, we can then use Photoshop to
draw out more complicated elements with those resources.
[ 3 2 ]
In this project, we’ll give a ballet dancer a set
of glowing wings that seem to be comprised of
pure light energy. We fully encourage you to create your own light streak resources, but if you
don’t have the time or available resources, feel
free to use ours!
Step Two: To create the light streaks, the general principle is to adjust the shutter to stay open
while you wave the glow sticks in front of the
camera. The exact settings will depend on your
setup, but these images were taken in manual
mode with an aperture of f/4.8, ISO 500, and
shutter speed 2 seconds. If the background is
clearly visible, reduce the aperture or ISO. If the
streaks are too dim, try a longer shutter speed
and move the glow sticks more slowly.
Step One: Crafting your own light-stream
effects is fun and easy to do. Glow sticks are
ideal for the task. They’re readily accessible at
most party stores and inexpensive too. Having
a variety of colors is a fun addition, but certainly
not required. It’s important to use a dark room
with a solid background. A tripod is essential to
keep the camera steady during the long shutter
[KelbyOne members may download the
light-stream files used in this tutorial at http:
// All files are for personal use only.]
[ 3 3 ]
Step Three: To obtain the stock image used
in this exercise so you can follow along, download the watermarked preview from Adobe
Stock, or add it directly to your Libraries panel
(Window>Libraries) by clicking on the link for
the image below. When the Adobe Stock webpage opens, make sure you’re logged in to your
Adobe account, then to the right of the image,
you’ll see the option to Save Preview to My
Library (you can click on My Library to select a
different library or download option). Click on
the cloud-with-an-arrow icon, and the preview
image will automatically be downloaded to your
Libraries panel in Photoshop.
Ballet dancer-action
Step Four: Open the image in Photoshop either
through the File>Open menu command, or by
double-clicking on the image in the Libraries
panel. Then, grab the Crop tool (C), and drag
the top-center point up to extend the canvas
upward. Lengthen the canvas until the lower
third is approximately even with the neckline of
the dancer’s dress. Press the Enter key to commit
the crop operation. Press Shift-G until you have
the Paint Bucket tool in the Toolbar, then press D
to set your Foreground color to black. Click once
in the extended canvas area to fill it with black.
[ 3 4 ]
Step Five: Go to File>Place Embedded and
select the LightStreak1.jpg image. This brings
the image in as a smart object. Change the
blend mode near the top left of the Layers panel
to Linear Dodge to render the black areas completely invisible. Use the transformation handles
to move, scale, and rotate the light streak to
roughly form the upper outline of a wing from
the dancer’s back.
©Adobe Stock/Zsolnai Gergely
› › HOW TO
Step Six: To further shape the light into a shape
that more closely resembles a wing, go to Edit>
­Transform>Warp. Pull on the warp grid points
to bend the top area of the wing to form a
smooth curve. Pull down on the bottom corner
points to expand the light curve downward to
fill in more area for the wing. Press Enter to
commit the transformation.
Step Eight: Place the LightStreak2.jpg image
into the composition in the same fashion. This
one will be used for defining the outside curve of
the wing as it slopes inward from the top edge.
We rotated it to the left to around –115°. Be
sure to use the Linear Dodge blend mode and
warp the light shape as needed.
Step Seven: Place the LightStreak5.jpg image
into the composition and change the blend
mode to Linear Dodge. Use Edit>Transform>Flip
Horizontal and then rotate it to form the bottom
curve of the wing. Use Edit>Transform>Warp to
further refine the curve to fit the proper shape.
Press Enter.
[ 3 5 ]
› › HOW TO
Step Nine: Use the LightStreak3.jpg image to
fill in the central portion of the wing. For this
streak, choose Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical, and
then rotate, resize, and warp it. Pay attention
to how the light “flows” from one texture into
another. The goal is to get a seamless illustration
of the wing so it isn’t apparent where one light
streak begins and another ends.
Step 10: Use the LightStreak4.jpg image to add
definition to the outside edge of the wing shape.
Again, use the Linear Dodge blend mode and
the warp transformation to craft the shape. Then
add a layer mask with Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal
All. With the mask active, use the Brush tool (B)
with a Soft Round tip and black paint (press the
letter D then X) to remove any stray marks from
this texture along the inner edge of the wing.
[ 3 6 ]
Step 11: With the top light streak layer still
active, select all of the other light streak layers
by holding down the Shift key and clicking on
the thumbnail of the bottom light streak layer
in the Layers panel. Then go to Layer>Smart
Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Double-click
the name of the resulting smart object and
rename it “Light Wing 1.” Even though the individual layers had a specific blend mode set to
them, the combined smart object reverted to the
default Normal mode. Change it to Linear Dodge
to render the black areas completely invisible.
Step 12: Add a layer mask to the Light Wing
1 smart object and use the Brush tool again to
paint out any light streaks that appear out of
place. Make sure none of them cross over the
centerline of the model, as it will conflict with
the second wing that we’re going to create in
the next step.
Step 13: Duplicate the wing layer by pressing
Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J), and rename the duplicate “Light Wing 2.” Go to Edit>Transform>
Flip Horizontal to flip the wing, and then use
the Move tool (V) to drag it to the other side
of the dancer.
[ 3 7 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 14: The two wings should be almost
symmetrical, but not perfectly so. There should
be some slight variation for realism. First, delete
the mask from the second wing by Right-clicking on the mask thumbnail and selecting Delete
Layer Mask. Then use the warp transformation on
the second wing to create a slight deformation
difference. This alteration
should be subtle, so use
very small movements on
the warp mesh.
Step 15: We removed the layer mask in the
previous step, not because it wasn’t needed,
but because we needed to warp the wing first,
and the warp transformation doesn’t like linked
masks. Additionally, this wing should have its own
unique mask. So add a new layer mask and use
the brush again to remove stray light elements.
[ 3 8 ]
Step 16: Use the Shift-click method to select
both wing layers and group them together with
Layer>Group Layers, or press Command-G (PC:
Ctrl-G). Rename this group “Wings” and hide
the group by clicking on its Eye icon next to it in
the Layers panel.
Step 17: Go to Select>Color Range and the
Select option should be Sampled Colors. Click on
the black background area in the image to sample it and the preview in the Color Range dialog will show it as completely white. Adjust the
Fuzziness until all of the background is selected,
somewhere around the level of 28 should be
fine. This will select some of the dancer as well.
Click OK to create the selection.
[ 3 9 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 18: Reveal the Wings group again by clicking where its Eye icon used to be, and use the
Add Layer Mask icon (circle in a square) at the
foot of the Layers panel to use the selection
as a mask on the group. This will conceal the
portion of the wings that were in front of the
dancer. If there are areas
where the selection isn’t
correct, touch up those
areas by using the Brush
tool set to black. Tip:
Option-click (PC: Altclick) the mask thumbnail to view just the mask
in the image so you can
see if any areas on the
dancer need to be filled
with black. Option-click
(PC: Alt-click) again to
return to the regular
image view.
Step 19: Hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key
and go to Layer>Merge Group to create a
merged layer of the Wings group, and rename
this layer “Wings Glow.” This merged layer also
inherited a layer mask. Right-click on the mask
thumbnail and select Apply Layer Mask. Then
drag this layer beneath
the Wings group in the
Layers panel.
[ 40 ]
Step 21: Click on the background image layer
in the Layers panel to make it the active layer
and go to Filter>Convert for Smart Filters. Next,
go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects, set the
drop-down menu at the top of the Properties
panel to Point, and drag the center of the light
to the center of the frame. Hover your cursor
over the outer edge of the light until it turns
yellow, and then click-and-drag to resize the
light (as shown here). Click on the Color Swatch
in the Properties panel, set the color to a pale
green (RGB values of 203, 252, 99, respectively), and click OK to close the Color Picker.
Set the light Intensity to 20, Exposure to 10,
Metallic to 67, and Ambience to 54. Apply the
effect with the OK button in the Options Bar.
Step 20: Let’s soften the glow layer with a
blur using Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, and in
the dialog set a Radius setting of 5 pixels
(I used 10 pixels for the high-res version of
the image), and click OK. Now, go to Image>
Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and check the Colorize option. Set the Hue to 50 and Saturation to
67, and click OK to give the layer a bright-yellow
color. Then set the layer blend mode to Screen
and reduce the Opacity to 50%.
[ 4 1 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 22: Add a new layer called “Sparkles” at
the top of the layer stack. Grab the Brush tool
and open the Brush panel by pressing F5. Start
with the Soft Round tip. Reduce the Size to 5 px
(30 px if using the full-resolution image), increase
the Hardness to 64%, and then set the Spacing
to 350%. Engage the Shape Dynamics and set
the Size Jitter to 70%. Engage the Scattering,
check the Both Axes option, and set the Scatter
amount to 800%. Hold
down the Option (PC:
Alt) key to temporarily
switch the Brush tool
to the Eyedropper, and
click to sample a brightgreen color from the
wings. Use the Brush to
softly paint in sparkles
along the wings. If the
specks seem too bright,
reduce the layer Opacity
as needed.
[ 4 2 ]
Step 23: Add another new layer
called “Bokeh” and set its blend
mode to Screen. In the Brush panel,
increase the brush Hardness to 65%
and the Size to 300 px (1,000 px if
using the full-size image). Reduce the
Spacing to 33%, and in the Shape
Dynamics, reduce the Size Jitter to
11%. Press D then X to set the paint
color to white, set the brush Opacity to 20% in the Options Bar, and
paint in some large bokeh blooms.
Reduce the layer Opacity to 19% to
make the blooms very subtle. And
you’re done! n
[ 43 ]
Photoshop excels at removing distracting objects in your photos. If you do the removing on new,
empty layers, you won’t harm the photo or bloat your document with a slew of duplicate layers.
In this column, you’ll use the Patch tool, Clone Stamp, Content-Aware Fill and the Spot Healing Brush to
zap power lines and more.
Step One: Choose File>Open and navigate to the Santorini photo shown here. If you’re
starting in Lightroom, select the photo and then choose Photo>Edit In>Adobe Photoshop
CC. Press Shift-Command-N (PC: Shift-Ctrl-N) to create a new layer. In the resulting dialog,
enter “power lines” as the name and click OK.
[KelbyOne members may download the files used in this tutorial at http://kelbyone
.com/magazine. All files are for personal use only.]
Step Two: Zoom into the photo by pressing Command-+ (PC: Ctrl-+). Press-and-hold the
Spacebar and drag to reposition the photo so you can see the power lines at the upper
right. Activate the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and drag to draw a rectangular selection
around the top of the power pole and the five power lines.
[ 4 4 ]
Step Three: Press Shift-J until the Patch tool is active
in the Toolbar. In the Options Bar, set the Patch dropdown menu to Content-Aware and turn on Sample
All Layers. Click within the selection and drag it
upward to a clear area of sky. Release your mouse
button and Photoshop performs the patch—don’t
deselect yet! In the Options Bar, experiment with
the Structure and Color sliders. To preserve more
of the texture of the area from which you copied
pixels, increase the Structure slider; to preserve less,
decrease it. To perform more color blending between
the two areas, increase the Color slider; to perform
less, decrease it. As you experiment with these fields,
keep an eye inside your selection and you’ll see the
pixels change (values of 7 and 3 were used here).
When you’re finished, choose Select>Deselect.
Step Four: Switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool
and draw a selection around the remaining power
lines. Switch to the Patch tool, and drag the selection upward to a clean area of sky. Experiment with
the Structure and Color fields in the Options Bar,
and then choose Select>Deselect. Repeat this step to
remove the tallest plant next to the building.
Tip: You can also use the Quick Selection tool (W)
for selecting, and then switch to the Patch tool. To
make the Quick Selection tool work on an empty layer,
turn on its Sample All Layers setting in the Options Bar.
[ 45 ]
› › HOW TO
Step Five: Create a new layer and name it
“power line clean up.” Zoom farther into
the image and activate the Clone Stamp
tool (S). Since this tool doesn’t perform
any blending, you won’t create blurry
areas near the building’s hard edges. In
the Options Bar, click on the brush preview on the left to open the Brush Preset
Picker and set the brush Size to around
20 pixels and brush Hardness to around
75%. Then, choose All Layers from the
Sample drop-down menu in the Options
Bar. Set a sample point by Option-clicking
(PC: Alt-clicking) the area of the sky from
which you want to copy pixels. Release
the modifier key and brush down the side
of the building to remove the remaining
plants. Reset the sample point as needed
as you go.
[ 46 ]
Tip: If the sky within the area you fixed
looks blotchy in color, use the Spot Healing Brush as described later in this column.
Note: The Healing Brush tool works the
same way in that you need to set a sample
point first; however, it does automatically
blend pixels.
The photo looks a lot better without
the distracting power lines and plants,
as illustrated in this before and after.
If you have plenty of similar background
pixels surrounding the object you want
to remove, start with the Fill command’s
Content-Aware option. Like the Patch
tool, this method is quick and automatically blends pixels; however, you don’t
pick from where Photoshop copies pixels;
it uses the pixels just outside the selection.
Step One: Open the photo of the pyramids. Duplicate the image layer by pressing
Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J). (The Fill command
doesn’t work on an empty layer, so the
only way to use it without harming your
original photo is to use it on a duplicate
image layer.) In the Layers panel, doubleclick the duplicate layer’s name and enter
“shadow.” Zoom into the photo and reposition it so you can really see the shadow at
the lower right. Press Shift-M until the Elliptical Marquee tool is active in the Toolbar,
and draw a selection around the shadow
that extends off the document’s edge.
Make the selection a little larger than the
item you’re removing. You can press-andhold the Spacebar while you’re drawing
the selection to reposition it.
Tip: The Fill command only works on
single layers. If you have multiple layers,
activate the topmost layer and press ShiftOption-Command-E (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E)
to create a new layer that contains the
content of all visible layers. Then use the
Fill command on that layer!
[ 47 ]
› › HOW TO
Step Two: Choose Edit>Fill and, in the resulting dialog,
choose Content-Aware from the Contents drop-down
menu, turn on Color Adaptation, and click OK. You get different results each time you use this command, so you may
want to undo it by pressing Command-Z (PC: Ctrl-Z) and
then run it again. Choose Select>Deselect when you have a
result that you like.
Tip: If you still don’t like the result, try using a different selection tool, creating a tighter or looser selection, or
both. For example, if you first used the Elliptical Marquee,
you may want to try the Lasso tool (L) in order to make the
selection shapelier.
Step Three: To remove the car, reposition the photo
onscreen so you can see it, add a new empty layer, and then
press Shift-J until the Spot Healing Brush tool is active in the
Toolbar. In the Options Bar, turn on Content-Aware and
Sample All Layers. Set the brush size to around 30 pixels and
then brush across the car to remove it. Alternatively, you can
increase the brush size until the entire car fits within the
cursor and then click once.
[ 4 8 ]
As you can see, a combination of ContentAware Fill and the Spot Healing Brush greatly
improved the photo. Until next time, may the
creative force be with you all! n
Discuss this Issue
[ 49 ]
> Dynamic Range
In this project, we’ll take a London city scene that features a tall object (in this case, it’s the Elizabeth
Tower, or St. Stephens Tower, or Big Ben, or Jubilee Tower, depending on who you ask) and composite
it with an image of a smartphone. We’ll manipulate the two images in Adobe Photoshop to create an
effect where it appears that part of the building comes to life and emerges from the smartphone.
Together, we’ll blend the desired elements of both images to create the composite.
[ 5 0 ]
With this tutorial, I’ve provided you with the
files you’ll need to follow along, but here’s
what you need to know to use your own
images: You’ll need one photo focused on
the phone set at a depth of field that causes
the background to be knocked out of focus.
In this case, I shot at f/2.8, but you can use a
narrower depth just as effectively to achieve
the necessary effect.
The second shot needs to be the exact
same scene with the same exposure settings,
but without the phone, and focused on the
main feature of the shot. Use your tripod to
ensure your composition remains consistent.
The composition and alignment of
the phone is important because you must
ensure that only the desired element—the
Elizabeth Tower—can rise from the phone
when we get to postprocessing. The rest
of the building to the right of it must
remain below the limits of view masked by
the phone. If you don’t do this, you’ll be
left with an awkward situation whereby
the roofline of the building to the right
(which, if you’re interested, is Westminster
Hall) would have to be chopped off at the
limitations of the screen edge, and so you
wouldn’t have a clean image. To ensure
that you don’t land in this situation, it’s
important that you position the phone
in such a way that you fully consider the
final result.
[KelbyOne members may download the
files used in this tutorial at http://kelbyone
.com/magazine. All files are for personal
use only.]
› › D Y NAM IC R A N G E
Step One: We need to load both images into
Adobe Photoshop to work on them simultaneously. We’ll be switching back and forth between
them and using different elements from each.
Step Three: After we’ve selected the majority of
the tower, we can refine the selection to capture
some of the thinner details. With the selection
still active, click on Select and Mask up at the top
in the Options Bar to open the tools that allow
us to refine our selection. I find that the Overlay View mode, which is enabled by pressing V,
works best to see my selection easily. This makes
the selected area appear normal and the area
outside the selection has a red overlay by default.
To catch the finer details in this image, expand
the Edge Detection section in the Properties
panel and adjust the Radius of the selection to
68 px. This will select the finer details surrounding the bulk of the tower, aside from the very tip
(again, we’ll deal with that later). Click OK at the
bottom of the Properties panel.
Step Two: Within the image of the focused
tower, using the Quick Selection tool (W), select
the tower. As you draw inside the tower with the
tool active, Photoshop will automatically find the
edges to make an approximate selection. When
using this tool, the algorithm Adobe Photoshop
uses to find the edges is pretty spot on, but it can
miss certain thinner details at the edges. Also,
notice that it may limit itself at pronounced lines
within the limits of the tower, so be sure to check
that all the inner areas are selected. You can add
areas to the selection by clicking on them or by
painting over them, and you can remove areas
from the selection by doing the same while holding the Option (PC: Alt) key. You can also change
the size of the brush with the keyboard shortcuts
of the Left Bracket key ([) to decrease, and the
Right Bracket key (]) to increase the size. Don’t
worry about selecting the element at the very top
of the tower for now; we’ll take care of that later.
[ 51 ]
› › HOW TO
Step Four: It’s good practice to save your selection (so you don’t lose it): Go to Select>Save
Selection and you’ll be presented with a dialog
where you can name your selection. In this case,
we’ll name it “tower.” Note that when you save
a selection, you can save it under any of the currently open documents—this may be useful to
remember for later.
Step Five: With the tower dealt with, we can
move on to the phone image. We’ll make a selection within the phone to mark out the screen
using the Polygonal Lasso tool (press Shift-L
until it’s active in the Toolbar). We’ll estimate a
screen area in this image from which the tower
will rise. With the tool selected, click one corner
of the screen as a starting point, and then click
the next three corners to demarcate the limits of
your screen. With each click, a straight line will
be drawn until you reach the starting corner. As
you get close to the starting point, the cursor will
change to include a small circle, and when you
click, the line will automatically join up with the
first point to create the selection.
[ 5 2 ]
Step Six: We need to save this selection, as
well, using the same method as we used for the
tower in Step 4. Name this selection “screen.”
› › D Y NAM IC R A N G E
Step Seven: Now we need to load the screen
selection in the tower image. Switch back to the
image with the focused tower and navigate to
Select>Load Selection. From the Document dropdown menu under Source, select the filename of
the screen.jpg image. This will allow us to open a
saved selection associated with that open file. The
Channel drop-down menu should automatically
switch to the screen selection since that’s the only
selection saved in that file. Click OK, and we now
have the selection that we just made in the phone
image loaded into the tower image.
Step Nine: Now we need to switch back to the
other image again. Make sure the screen selection is still active, and press Command-V (PC:
Ctrl-V) to paste the copied tower content into
our phone’s screen.
Step Eight: With our screen selection loaded,
copy the selected area with Command-C (PC:
[ 5 3 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 10: The next element to move across to
the phone image is the tower. Go back to the
image with the tower in focus and load the
tower selection, as we did with the screen selection, by navigating to Select>Load Selection, but
this time choosing the tower.jpg document and
the tower Channel. Click OK to close the dialog,
and then press Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy
the selected tower.
Step 11: We can now switch back to the image
with the phone and paste the tower into the
image. If you shot both images on a tripod as
I did here, you can go to Edit>Paste Special>
Paste in Place and the tower will be pasted in
exactly the same position from which you copied
it, which will line it up perfectly with the copied
portion of the building in the phone. If the
alignment is off, you can easily align the pasted
layer by lowering its Opacity in the Layers panel,
zooming in, and using the Move tool (V) to line
it up correctly. Return its Opacity back to 100%
when you’re done.
[ 5 4 ]
Step 12: Looking at the pasted tower, we’ve
fallen outside the edges of our phone screen, so
our next task is to erase the edges of the tower
that fall outside the screen. To do this, we need
to load the screen selection again the same
way we did in Step 7, but in the next step we’ll
be working outside the screen, so we need to
invert the selection with Shift-Command-I (PC:
› › D Y NAM IC R A N G E
Step 13: Using the Eraser tool (E) set to a hard
brush, we can now simply paint over the bits that
have fallen outside our screen, safe in the knowledge that the selection will protect what’s inside
the screen from the Eraser tool. Start with the
portions that fall below the edge of the screen.
Step 14: With the bottom edge dealt with, we
can now remove any unwanted copied areas
from the top edge of the screen, being careful not to touch the tower itself. Adjust the
size of the Eraser tool using the Bracket keys
as necessary.
[ 5 5 ]
› › HOW TO
Step 15: The last touch to our tower is the very
top piece that we left earlier. As the tower
itself sits against a relatively simple blue-sky
background, we can do this quite easily. Go into
the image of the focused tower, and using the
Rectangular Marquee tool (M) draw a small marquee around the edge of the tip, making sure
to select some of the sky around it. Once this is
done, click on Select and Mask and adjust the
Feather to 20 px, which will give a gradual but
useful fade between the focused and unfocused skies. Click OK and copy the selection
with Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C).
[ 5 6 ]
› › D Y NAM IC R A N G E
Step 16: Switch back to the final image one
last time and paste in the selected tip using
Edit>Paste Special>Paste in Place. If it doesn’t
line up perfectly, align it to its correct position
at the tip of the tower using the same technique
we used in Step 11.
And now we’re all done! Just be sure to save a
PSD of your layered file so you can go back and
make changes anytime you need. n
[ 5 7 ]
> Retouching Magic
Layer blend modes are a great way to experiment with your images to get tons of different effects in
a nondestructive way. The featured image below, which is on my website’s home screen, periodically
prompts conversations about the process I used to create the rainbow effect on the lips. Since it’s been
a while since I created that image, I decided to jump back into the file and rediscover the steps I took
to create this look.
[ 5 8 ]
The first thing to do with
any beauty image, especially
macro images, is clean up the
image. My beauty retouching
flow typically involves
skin smoothing, frequency
separation, and correcting
the skin tone. For this specific
image, it also including touching up the golden lip color.
Next, I added depth to the finger area, which I thought
needed a little more dimension. For my dodging and burning, I held the Option (PC: Alt) key while clicking the Create
a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to open
the New Layer dialog. In the dialog, I named this layer “dodge
and burn,” set the Mode to Soft Light, turned on the option
to Fill with Soft-Light-Neutral Color (50% Gray), and clicked
OK (the thumbnail in the Layers panel will be gray, but you
won’t see gray in the document because it’s set to Soft Light).
On the dodge and burn layer, I used the Brush tool (B) set to
black with a low opacity to paint over the fingers, gradually
adding shadows and highlights. (In the image below left, I
changed the blend mode on the dodge and burn layer from
Soft Light to Normal so you can see the brush strokes.)
Before we get to the rainbow lips effect and how I got from
the gold to rainbow, I’d like to give a brief explanation of
each of the different blend modes. Changing a blend mode
on a layer changes how it interacts with the layer below it.
Adobe Photoshop has 27 different blend modes and these
can be a little confusing, but Adobe has categorized them
into six groups to help clarify them a bit. These categories
and blend modes are:
Normal Modes
ormal: Doesn’t change the way the active layer
effects the underlying layer
issolve: Transparent and partially transparent
pixels in an irregular pixelated pattern
Darken Modes
Lighten Modes
arken: Darker pixels of active layer are
kept in image; lighter pixels turn invisible
ultiply: Multiplies luminance levels of active
layer and underlying layer. (Think about what
a photograph would look like if it were printed
with ink on a regular piece of paper; the dark
colors would be very “wet” and dark. This is
the effect this blend mode gives to layers.)
olor Burn: Similar to Multiply but darker and
more saturated
inear Burn: Less saturated than Color Burn
but still darker than Multiply
arker Color: Close to the Darken mode but
it’s applied to the RGB composite channel instead
of individually to the RGB channels
Contrast Modes
Inversion Modes
Cancellation Modes
Component Modes
[ 5 9 ]
› › HOW TO
ighten: Lighter pixels of active layer are kept in
image; darker pixels turn invisible
creen: Lightens luminance levels of active layer
and underlying layer
olor Dodge: Similar to Screen mode but brighter,
more saturated, and more contrast
inear Dodge (Add): “Adds” luminance levels;
less saturated and intense, but brighter than Color
ighter Color: Close to the Lighten mode but
applies to RGB composite channel instead of RGB
channels individually
verlay: Combines Screen and Multiply. Screen
brightens light pixels and Multiply darkens dark pixels
Soft Light: Similar to Overlay mode but with a
“softer” look
Hard Light: Combines Linear Dodge on light pixels
and Linear Burn on dark pixels; similar to Overlay but
with a “harder” look
[ 6 0 ]
ivid Light: Combines Color Dodge on light pixels
and Color Burn on dark pixels; more contrast and
more saturated
inear Light: Close to Vivid Light but combines LinL
ear Dodge and Linear Burn with a more intense effect
in Light: Combines Lighten and Darken blend
modes. Lighten works on light pixels and Darken on
the dark pixels and removes all midtones
ard Mix: Converts each channel to black
and white, then keeps the darkest shade of red,
green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow. The result
is often very intense highlights, shadows, and
saturated colors
ifference: Subtracts color from either
underlying layer from active layer or vice
versa, depending on which is brighter
xclusion: Effect is similar to Difference
but less contrast
ubtract: Subtracts color from active layer from
underlying layer; similar colors cancel each other
and become black
ivide: Divides color from active layer from
under­lying layer; black stays black
• Hue: Adds color and hue from active layer to
underlying layer; luminance and saturation from
underlying layer
aturation: Adds saturation from active layer
to underlying layer; hue and luminosity from
underlying layer
olor: Adds color from active layer to underlying
layer; luminance from underlying layer, hue and
saturation from active layer
uminosity: The inverse of Color, adds luminance
from active layer, and hue and saturation from
underlying layer
[For even more on blend modes, visit Adobe Help and
the PhotoBlogStop.]
Now that we have a basic idea of what each of the modes
do, we’re on to the fun stuff!
Step One: In order to create the rainbow colors on the lips,
I needed to start with a “clean” lips layer, so I pressed ShiftOption-Command-E (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E) to create a merged
layer at the top of the layer stack. I started by desaturating the
normal color from the lips using a Hue/Saturation adjustment
layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue Saturation). In the
Properties panel, I pulled the Saturation all the way down
to –100. Then, I created an empty new layer and painted
some funky colors, slightly overlapping each other. You can
see that colorful layer, at the bottom of the previous page.
Step Two: The next step was to apply the rainbow colors
only to the lips, so I added a black layer mask (hold down
Option [PC: Alt] when you click the Add Layer Mask icon
[circle in a square] at the bottom of the Layers panel). Once
my black mask was created, I painted the lip area of the
black mask with white to let the color show through. To get
the desired effect from this layer, I decreased the Opacity to
60% and changed
the blend mode to
Vivid Light. I also
copied the layer
mask to the Hue/
Saturation layer to
remove the blackand-white effect from the rest of the image. To copy a layer
mask to another layer, hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, and
click-and-drag it to the layer to which you want to copy it.
Since the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer already has a
mask by default, Photoshop will ask if you want to replace
the mask. Click Yes.
Step Four: Then, as with most images that I retouch,
I added a High Pass layer with the blend mode switched
to Soft Light to sharpen the layer. I also desaturated (ShiftCommand-U [PC: Shift-Ctrl-U]) the High Pass layer so as
not to change the colors in the image. To create a High
Pass layer, create another merged copy of the image at
the top of the layer stack using the Shift-Option-Com­
mand-E (PC: Shift-Alt-Ctrl-E) shortcut, then go to Filter>­
Other>High Pass.
Step Three: The steps to complete the transformation of this
image was to add a few Curves adjustment layers (Layer>New
Adjustment Layer>Curves) to accentuate the highlights and
shadows on the lips, giving them a more three-dimensional
appearance. (Be sure to copy the lips layer mask from one of
the other layers to the Curves adjustment layers.)
[ 61 ]
› › HOW TO
Next, I’m going to play around
with a few adjustments to the
lips using other blend modes to
demonstrate some of the different looks you can achieve. First,
I created another merged layer at
the top of the layer stack, added
another new Hue/Saturation
layer, set the Hue to –134 in the
Properties panel, and copied the
lip layer mask as described above
from the rainbow color layer to
this new Hue/Saturation layer.
Now that I have the Hue/Saturation layer set up and masked,
I can play around and see what
happens as I switch between
blend modes. Here are the ones
I used: Normal, Darken, Linear
Dodge (Add), Soft Light, Exclusion, Divide, and Hue. (Note: For
some of them, I played around
with the Blend If sliders in the
Layer Style dialog. The sliders
give you even more control over
how the two layers blend with
each other. To access the Blend
If sliders, double-click to the right
of the Hue/Saturation layer’s
name in the Layers panel. To split
a slider into two parts, Optionclick [PC: Alt-click] it. Splitting
sliders will give you smoother
transitions.) Each of the example
images looks significantly different, even though they all have
the same Hue/Saturation layer.
That’s the magic of exploring the
different blend modes.
[ 6 2 ]
Soft Light
I hope this inspires you to play
around with layer blend modes.
As you can see, they create very
versatile looks. Now get out
there and have some fun with
your images! n
Linear Dodge (Add)
[ 6 3 ]
> Photoshop Proving Ground
Since this issue focuses on special effects, I thought it would be fun to pull out one of Photoshop’s
more enigmatic tools and breathe some life into it. The most popular use of displacement maps (let’s
call them D-maps for short) is to distort and warp one image so it better fits the surface of some object
in another image, such as logos or text on T-shirts, or textures on faces. It’s a really easy way to
blend things in a natural way. Let’s take things further and build a popular dispersion effect using a
slightly hidden power of D-maps: channels.
The core concept of a D-map is that it uses gray values
to determine from where to copy pixels in your base
image: 50% gray means nothing moves around, while
100% (white) pulls image pixels from one direction, and
0% (black) pulls from the opposite direction. Typical
D-maps are grayscale images, where white on the map
copies from the lower right, and black copies from the
upper left.
3x3 Map showing before/map/after
[ 6 4 ]
When you apply a D-map (Filter>Distort>Displace),
you get the following options: To control the Horizontal and Vertical Scales by percentage; a choice of
stretching or tiling the D-map to fit your canvas; and
whether pixels at the edge of your image should be
repeated or taken from the other side (Wrap Around).
To make things more predictable for this article, we
won’t be using these options because our map will
be the same size as the original image. The percentage values are really handy, but they don’t affect the
size of the map; they affect where the map reaches out to
your image for pixels.
The grid example is built so that each square is 128 px,
and it’s done on purpose because D-maps evaluate gray
value as “distance away from zero.” White and black mean
“Go 128 px away, grab a copy of the pixel there, and bring it
back here.” Being in the middle, 50% gray doesn’t go any
distance away; it samples from and copies to right where
it is. When you apply a percentage value in the Displace dialog, you’re changing the distance of the sample, but not the
placement. Applying 200% in both vertical and horizontal
directions means a white pixel on the map reaches out 256
pixels down and to the right; 50% pulls from only 64 pixels
away. You can also use negative values, and different values
in each of the horizontal and vertical fields. This example
uses the same map applied at different horizontal values.
It’s important to point out that the values used by the
D-map are fixed pixel values, not scaled, which means that
with larger documents you need to adjust the percent values
to get more displacement. (Note: D-maps only work with
8-bit RGB or Grayscale images. In the following example, my
base image is 8-bit, but if it were 16-bit, I’d have to convert
my D-map to 8-bit before applying it.)
Now there’s one more thing to know before we can really
do some cool stuff. D-maps use channel information, not
just gray values. The Red channel works horizontally, and the
Green channel works vertically. On the Red channel, white
pulls from right to left, and on the Green channel, white pulls
128 px
256 px
512 px
128 px
256 px
512 px
128 px
256 px
512 px
128 px
256 px
512 px
128 px
256 px
512 px
Examples of 50, 100, 200, 250, and 300 percent displacement
[ 6 5 ]
© Scott Valentine
Linear grad D-map and result
© Adobe Stock/Alexander Y
from bottom to top. The third channel is not used, which is why it’s
blue. (Ha ha! Well, I thought it was funny.) Anyway, use the Blue
channel to make notes or sketch boundaries when you get to really
detailed D-maps, but for now we’ll ignore it.
There’s an interesting gotcha using channels, though. Remember
that channels get blended together, so if you paint with pure RGB red
on a regular layer, the Red channel gets pure white, but the Green and
Blue channels get black, and that will affect our D-map! The way around
this is to work directly on each channel independently. If I open a document with a single layer filled with 50% gray (see images above), I can
go directly to the Red channel and apply a black to white linear gradient
from right to left, and on the Green channel from bottom to top. The
result will look expanded. Reversing that causes everything to squish.
We now have everything we need to start making a dispersion effect.
I’m using this dancer from Adobe Stock because it has a relatively uniform background and will make things much easier to see. To obtain
the stock image used in this exercise so you can follow along, add
it directly to your Libraries panel (Window>Libraries) by clicking on
the link for the image on the next page. When the Adobe Stock
webpage opens, make sure you’re logged in to your Adobe account,
then to the right of the image, you’ll see the option to Save Preview to
My Library (you can click on My Library to select a different library or
[ 6 6 ]
download option). Click on the cloud-with-an-arrow icon,
and the preview image will automatically be downloaded
to your Libraries panel in Photoshop. Double-click the
image in the Libraries panel to open it.
the dancer
[KelbyOne members may download the brushes used
in this tutorial at Simply
double-click the .abr file to load the brushes into Photoshop.
You’ll find them at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel
(Window>Brush Presets).]
Step Two: Right-click on the brushed layer in the Layers
panel, and choose Duplicate>Layer. In the dialog that opens,
select New in the Document drop-down menu, and click OK.
Step One: In order to work more accurately, I like to paint
my basic D-map into a blank layer above my image by clicking on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Select the Brush tool (B) and make sure your Foreground/Background swatches at the bottom of the Toolbar
are set to the default Black/White by pressing the D key on
your keyboard. In the Brush panel (Window>Brush) use the
Spatter brushes at 100% Opacity around the subject, reducing Opacity (to about 30%) and Size (using the Left Bracket
key on your keyboard) as you get closer to the subject. I used
black here to make it more visible, but we’ll change that in
the map itself.
Step Three: Still in the new document, click on the
brushed layer to make it active, then open the Channels
panel (Window>Channels). Select the Blue channel, and
fill it with 50% gray.
Brushed layer
D-map showing brushed layer over 50% gray
In the new document, click the Create a New Layer icon,
and drag this new layer below the brushed layer in the
Layers panel. Fill this layer using Edit>Fill. In the Fill dialog,
set Contents to 50% Gray, and click OK.
[ 6 7 ]
Step Four: Click on the Red channel and press G to load the Gradient
tool. Click on the gradient preview thumbnail in the Options Bar and
choose the Foreground to Background preset (the first one), and then
choose the Linear Gradient icon in the Options Bar. Press D to set Black/
White as your Foreground/Background colors. Drag from the right edge
of the canvas to the left, which will fill the brushed marks with the gradient, but won’t affect the transparency.
Step Five: Repeat the gradient on the Green channel, but drag from the
lower right to the upper left.
Step Six: Click the RGB composite channel, and check out the colors.
Step Seven: Save this file, which is your map, next to your base image in
the Finder (PC: Windows Explorer). I like to use the same name as the base,
but with “_DMap” at the end, so Photo.psd becomes Photo_DMap.psd.
D-map Red channel
[ 6 8 ]
D-map Green channel
D-map composite (RGB)
Final image
Final variation
Step Eight: Back in the original image of the dancer, turn
off the visibility of the brushed layer by clicking on its Eye
icon in the Layers panel, and then duplicate the Background
layer (Command-J [PC: Ctrl-J]). With the Background copy
active, choose Filter>Distort>Displace. Ensure the Scale percent values are 100%, and then click OK. Navigate to the
DMap you just saved, and click Open.
Step 10: Repeating the same displacement (ControlCommand-F, [PC: Ctrl-Alt-F]) two more times yields the
“Final Variation” image above.
Step Nine: Turn on the brushed layer on and off to compare the map with the results. Not every brush mark you
made will be filled with pixels from the subject, so you may
have to Undo the filter (Command-Z [PC: Ctrl-Z]) and try
again with larger percent values. Alternatively, you can
simply repeat the filter, but I recommend starting with the
largest percent displacement and working down to smaller
values. Voilà! Particle displacement!
Some things to note: The process is destructive, so work on
duplicate layers. If you create multiple duplicates of your
Background, then apply the D-map to each, at different
percent displacements, you can selectively blend them
with masks. Also, because of the nature of D-maps, you’re
likely to get pixelated edges.
Finally, remember that the gray values of your map
represent specific pixel distances. The pixel dimensions of
your document will affect the apparent movement of your
D-map, so experiment with the percent values.
As always, be sure to share what you come up with,
especially on the new KelbyOne Community forums! n
[ 6 9 ]
By Corey Barker
Tips & Tricks for Creating Special Effects for Your Images
I have to admit that I grappled with how I was going to approach
this feature on finishing effects. I was going to discuss the theory
behind finishing effects, and cite examples, but then I realized
that approach would just leave you wanting to know how to
create those effects. I decided that, since this is a magazine on
Photoshop techniques, I’d give you just that: a collection of some
of my go-to finishing effects that I use every day. You’ll be amazed
how adding a few simple little touches can be the cherry on top
[ 70 ]
of your composites.
Once you go through the steps in this article, you’ll have the tools
to experiment with new effects that you can add to your library
and use right away. Before we go into the techniques, I’d like to
discuss briefly the world of finishing effects.
Fortunately, most of us aren’t designing
feature film posters (though some of us would
like to), nor do we have to endure a drawn-out
review process; however, we can take advantage
of some of the techniques that finishers use to add
pizzazz to our own work. It just might be the thing
that makes the difference in getting that next job.
(Trust me, because this has happened to me.)
So, in this article, we’ll explore some finishing
effects I developed over the years that owe their
existence to other effects I learned from other
designers. Once you understand how an effect
works, you can play around with other ways to
use it, which leads to discovering a whole new
world of effects. I encourage you to experiment
with the following tips to come up with your own
effects. So enough chitchat; let’s get into it!
If you’re curious
to see some incredible
finishing work, visit
BLT Communications,
one of the premiere
agencies for feature
film design. Check out
their site and you’ll see
a lot of work done for
some of the biggest
feature films ever. I visit
this site often to see what’s
new, and to get inspired.
Look at it this way. When a house is built, it
starts with an architect who creates the original concept, followed by someone who builds
that design, and finally someone comes in at the
end to paint and landscape to make the final
house presentable. In entertainment design,
such as a movie poster, the concept is presented
by the art director, a designer creates the initial
concept, and then the finisher adds the final
effects. There’s even an entire industry built
around designers who only do finishing effects.
You know those posters you see in theaters?
That’s the result of a long process of concept
and approval at numerous levels until it reaches
the finisher, and even then it goes through the
wringer a few more times before you have the
final movie poster.
[ 7 1 ]
Brushes & Layer Styles Are Always
There When You Need Them!
Before we get into the techniques, let’s talk
about a couple of key features you should get
familiar with if you want to get the most out
of custom finishing effects: brushes and layer
styles. You may be saying to yourself that you
already know how to use brushes and layer
styles, but do you really? Have you exhausted all
that’s possible with these two facets of Photoshop? I’ve been using both features since they
first arrived in Photoshop, and I’m still discovering amazing things to this day.
The trick is to look beyond what they’re
called and concentrate on what they do. This
always reminds me of one my favorite quotes
from the movie Apollo 13 in which Ed Harris’s
character says, “I don’t care what anything was
designed to do; I care about what it can do.”
So look beyond what something was designed
to do and play with all the settings to see what
it can do. You’ll be amazed at what you can
achieve with just layer styles when you combine, mix, blend, and vary the settings. Yes,
many of these features were designed by engineers for a very specific function, but you have
to look at these features as an artist. They go
way beyond what they were engineered for. It’s
up to you to discover those possibilities. I hope
these tricks give you a good start.
[ 72 ]
Create a Custom Particle Brush
Let’s do a couple of exercises to help you think
differently when it comes to using brushes and
layer styles. These are finishing effects I use
often, and once you follow through these steps,
not only will you have a better understanding
of custom brushes, but you’ll also have a cool
particle brush you can use right away.
Step One: Start by creating a new 1000x1000
pixel document at 100 ppi.
Step Two: Press D to set the Foreground/
Background colors to their default black/white,
and then go to the Filter menu, to Noise, and
choose Add Noise. Set the amount to 400%,
Distribution to Gaussian, and check on Monochromatic. Click OK.
Step Four: Now open Levels by pressing
Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L). Push the highlight and
shadow sliders below the histogram toward the
center to where they almost touch. The closer
they get, the more contrast you’ll see in the
noise in the image. Here you can see that pushing the sliders to the right of center spaces out
the particles even more. Click OK when you get
the amount you like.
Step Three
Step Three: Go under the Filter menu to Blur
and choose Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to
3 Pixels and click OK.
[ 73 ]
Step Five: Press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to
invert the image, making the particles black
and gray and the background white.
Step Six: Select the Gradient tool (G), and in
the Options Bar, click on the gradient preview
strip to open the Gradient Editor. Choose the
Foreground to Transparent preset and click OK.
Select the Linear Gradient icon in the Options
Bar. Press D then X to set the Foreground color
to white. Proceed to draw a gradient from each
side of the image toward the center of the canvas to fade the edges of the particle effect.
Step Five
Step Six
Step Eight
Step Seven
Step Seven: Press Shift-Delete (PC: ShiftBackspace) to open the Fill dialog. Set the Contents to Black and Mode to Overlay. Click OK.
This will darken the lighter particles that remain.
Step Eight: Go under the Edit menu and
choose Define Brush Preset. Name the new
brush when prompted, and click OK.
[ 74 ]
Step Nine
Step Nine: With your brush defined, let’s
change its behavior. Select the Brush tool (B) in
the Toolbar and your new brush should already
be selected. If not, just click on the Brush Preset
Picker in the Options Bar and locate the brush
at the bottom of the list of brushes. Open the
Brush panel (Window>Brush) and click on
Brush Tip Shape. Go to the bottom of the panel
and increase the Spacing to around 25%.
Step 10: Click on Shape Dynamics to activate it and set both the Size Jitter and Angle
Jitter to 100%. Also check on both Flip X
Jitter and Flip Y Jitter near the bottom for
more randomization.
Step 11
Step 10
©Adobe Stock/alonesdj
Step 11: Finally, activate Transfer and set the
Opacity Jitter to 100%.
Now just paint on your image to add random particles. Use the Bracket keys on your
keyboard to change the brush Size for larger or
smaller particles. Also play with different colors.
Set the brush to white for snow or black for
dust and dirt effects.
[ 7 5 ]
Corey Barker
[ 76 ]
But why stop there? You know those coollooking, slightly blurred spark elements you see
in movie posters? This brush, combined with
layer styles, can achieve this easily. First, turn
off the Shape Dynamics and Transfer options
in the Brush panel, and make the brush a fairly
large Size, about the width of the document.
Add a new layer and click once to add one
instance of the brush. Activate the Warp feature under the Edit>Transform menu and use
the grid to manually stretch the particles,
resulting in a sense of movement. Press Enter
to commit the Warp.
Finally, go to Layer>Layer Style>Inner Glow
and play with the settings to turn the particles
yellow, then click on the Outer Glow option in
the list of Styles on the left of the Layer Style
dialog, and play with the settings to create
a darker orange glow around each particle.
Position the particles in the image. Done!
This demonstrates how the discovery of one
effect can lead to another. You’re essentially
being inspired by your own work. Weird but
cool! Let’s move on.
©Adobe Stock/rybindmitriy
Custom Lens Flares
One of my favorite brushes is the flare brush.
A flare is a great finishing effect when the
occasion calls for it. Remember there’s no need
to add a flare just because you can, but it’s nice
to have some lens flares at the ready when you
need them. So here’s how to create your own:
Step One
Step One: Find an image of a lens flare on a
stock site or even do a Google image search for
anamorphic flares. Doing the latter is more of a
gamble, as there’s no guarantee that the image
will be a usable size. You want an image that’s
at least 1000 pixels at its widest dimension.
Normally, flares will be on a black background.
Step Three: Open Levels by pressing Command-L (PC: Ctrl-L) and click on the left
eyedropper in the group of three eyedroppers. This eyedropper sets the black point in
your image. Click on the background somewhere close to the flare itself and click OK.
This will convert some of the areas around
the flare to black. Now press Command-I
(PC: Ctrl-I) to invert the image, making the
flare black on a white background.
When defining a brush, Photoshop reads
black as opaque, gray areas as semi-transparent,
and white areas as completely transparent. This
means the background needs to be pure white.
You can use Levels once again to push the highlights up a little to convert areas that you don’t
want included in the brush to pure white.
Step Four: Now just go under the Edit menu
and choose Define Brush Preset. Name the brush
and click OK. Voilà! You have a flare brush.
Add a new blank layer to your image, press
D then X to set the Foreground color to white,
and click once with the Brush tool to add a
flare anywhere you want. Don’t forget to add
an Outer Glow layer style to match the flare to
the color in the scene.
Step Two
Step Three
Step Four
Step Two: Open the image in Photoshop and
remove the color by pressing Shift-CommandU (PC: Shift-Ctrl-U).
[ 7 7 ]
A Simple 3D Trick
While there are myriad cool things you can do
with 3D in Photoshop, here’s a cool little trick
you can do with the flare brush we just created.
Again, this demonstrates how one effect can
build on another.
Step One: Start by creating a new 1500x1500
pixel document at 100 ppi. In the New Document dialog, set the Background Contents to
Black and click OK.
Step Two: Create a new blank layer, switch to
the Brush tool (B), and select the flare brush we
just created. Use the Bracket keys on your keyboard to size the brush to about two-thirds the
width of the document. Press D then X to set
the Foreground color to white, and then dab a
few instances at the bottom area of the canvas.
Step Three: Go under the Filter menu to
Distort and choose Polar Coordinates. Make
sure Rectangular to Polar is selected and click
OK. You’ll see the flare turn into a circular flare.
[ 78 ]
Step Four: Go to the 3D menu to New Mesh
from Layer and choose Postcard. You won’t see
any change other than the fact that the circular
flare is now in 3D space.
Switch to the Move tool (V), and in the
Options Bar, choose the Orbit the 3D Camera
tool in the 3D Mode section.
Step Five: Open the 3D panel located under
the Window menu and make sure Current
View is selected. Then, just click on the canvas
and drag to change the angle of the flare.
Step Six: You can also add a layer style to
a 3D layer in the same way as a regular layer.
For this effect, go to Layer>Layer Style>Outer
Glow, and experiment with the settings. click
OK to close the dialog.
[ 79 ]
©Adobe Stock/Scree Graphics: d1sk; Woman: Studio Kwadrat
[ 8 0 ]
Here’s an example where I used
this very effect on a movie-poster
design as a special light effect.
I even added a Drop Shadow
layer style. In the Layer Style dialog, I set the Drop Shadow to a
light color, the Opacity to less
than 10%, and the Blend Mode
to Dissolve, yes Dissolve. This created the effect of small particles
around the glowing flares.
Be sure to experiment with
different types of flares and
glow colors. These can be easily catered to your images. You
can also get extremely dramatic
angles by modifying the Camera
settings in the Properties panel
HDR Toning: A Different Use
Now I want to tell you about what has become my “secret sauce” for
finishing a composite. It involves using the HDR Toning feature but in a
way for which it wasn’t necessarily designed. But then again, how many
great things in history owe their discovery to venturing outside the box.
So if you have a composite image comprised of multiple layers of images,
graphics, and effects, this effect will help unify the overall look, while
adding some overall contrast.
Step One: HDR Toning won’t work on a layered document, so you’ll
need to flatten the image; however, you don’t want to flatten your working image. So instead, go under the Image menu, choose Duplicate, and
click OK to create a copy of the composite. Now you can go under the
Layer menu and choose Flatten Image.
Step Two: Once the image is flattened, go under the Image menu to
Adjustments and choose HDR Toning.
Step Four: Go up to the Tone & Detail section and increase the Detail
amount. This tends to brighten the image a little too much in some
areas, so dial down the Exposure slider a little to compensate for this.
Depending on the image, you can also increase the Gamma a little to
soften the highlights.
Step Three: Go to the bottom of the HDR Toning dialog and set the
Saturation to –100% to remove all the color, as it will tend to muddy
the image with oversaturation. Since this will be an overlay, it doesn’t
need color.
[ 81 ]
Step Five: Next, go to the Edge Glow section
and check on Smooth Edges. Then, nudge the
Radius and Strength sliders a little to the right,
depending on how strong an effect you want.
Click OK when done.
Step Six: Using the Move tool (V), hold the
Shift key and drag-and-drop this image back
into the original layered file. The Shift key will
center the HDR image, aligning it with the
original image. Drag the HDR toned layer to
the top of the layer stack. Set the layer blend
mode in the Layers panel to Soft Light and
drop the layer Opacity to 50%.
You can, of course, try other blend modes,
depending on the image. Remember that every
image will react differently to this effect, so
think of this example as a springboard to get
you started. Experiment with various settings to
get a better idea of how they work, and this will
open even more creative possibilities.
[ 8 2 ]
©Adobe Stock/Militiaman: Mark J. Grenier; U.S. Flag: Daniel Thornberg; Declaration of Independence: lawcain; Parchment: Scisetti Alfio; Map: Sergey Kamshylin
I hope you’ve been inspired to look beyond the
obvious and endeavor to expand your special effects
skill set, and that when it comes to special effects in
Photoshop, you won’t be so much concerned with
what a feature or tool was designed to do, but what
you can do with it. n
©Adobe Stock/snaptitude
A Final Word Regarding Textures
Another secret weapon for finishing effects is
textures. You’ll benefit tremendously by building your own library of textures either by taking
pictures of them yourself or purchasing stock
images. As you start using textures, you’ll discover
that there are some you’ll use over and over. Since
textures are abstract, you can use them in variety
of ways.
You can use them as a simple texture overlay to
add some grit to a photo, or you can define them as
patterns and then apply them as a layer style, which
you can then combine with other layer styles to create a whole new look. You can turn a texture into
a custom brush and paint an effect on a layer, then
add a layer style to that layer, and apply the original
texture as part of the layer style. Oh yeah, you know
what I’m talking about!
The point is that textures can play a key role
in finishing an image. Just look at composites and
even movie posters; some have very obvious texture effects, while others tend to be subtler. Like the
HDR Toning effect, textures have a tendency to help
unify all of the elements in the composite. In fact,
you can think of the HDR Toning effect as a custom
texture created from the image. How about if you
ran the HDR Toning effect on an image of texture?
I’ve actually done this, and it does a great job
of pulling gritty detail from a texture you didn’t
even know was there. Many would never think of
applying an HDR effect to a texture, but it’s that
kind of thinking that prevents people from discovering what lies on the other side. All you have to
do is try it! (Check out my “Down & Dirty Tricks”
tutorial to see some of these techniques in a stepby-step poster project on page 20.)
[ 8 3 ]
> Designing in Photoshop
Using Photoshop for creating graphic design projects is really simple. If you don’t have InDesign but
you want to create content with lots of text, then here’s a few type tips you can use in Photoshop
to give you more control over your type options. Photoshop has many great type effect options but
[ 8 4 ]
There are two ways to add text in
Photoshop: point or paragraph
text. If you simply click on the canvas with the Type tool (T) and start
typing, then you’ll create point
type; but if you click-and-drag out
a frame for your text, you’ll create
paragraph text. Point text will stay
on the same line until you press
the Return key; paragraph text
will wrap to the next line when it
hits the edge of the frame. Both
of these are useful, and the good
news is that you can always change
them later. You can convert a point
text into paragraph text and vice
versa at any time using the Convert
to Paragraph/Point Text option in
the Type menu. This option will be
grayed out if you have your cursor
inserted in the text, so commit the
type first before making the switch.
The same applies to converting
horizontal and vertical text, which
can be created with either the Horizontal or Vertical Type tools found
in the Toolbar. To convert them,
look for the Toggle Text Orientation
icon on the left side of the Options
Bar. It’s the T with an arrow pointing down on the left and an arrow
pointing to the right below it. You
can also go to Type>Orientation.
With horizontal or vertical type, it’s
okay to have the cursor inserted in
the text before you convert it.
©Adobe Stock/sborisov
these few tricks may help your workflow and keep you creating!
Turning a text layer into a smart object will keep the text
ask if you’d like to Rasterize the text or Convert to Smart
editable inside the smart object, and it will allow you to
Object. If you want to change the text without having to
apply filters nondestructively to the text. Any filters will be
reapply the effects, just double-click the thumbnail of the
added as smart filters, making it easy to revert or change
text smart object in the Layers panel. This will open a temthe text. To convert the text to a smart object, just Rightporary file with your text. Change the text, close and save
click on the layer’s name in the Layers panel and select
the temporary document, and when you return to the PSD
Convert to Smart Object. But even if you forget to convert
file, you’ll see the changes apply to the text but the effects
the text before you select a filter, Photoshop will politely
are still the same.
2. C
Converting a text layer into a vector shape layer means
to Shape. This is usually done to create a type effect, such
that you’ll no longer be able to edit the text; but you’ll
as a logo mark. Using the Direct Selection tool, drag points
be able to use the Direct Selection tool (A) and the Path
to manipulate the text shapes, elongating or shortening
Selection tool to make custom modifications to the
parts of the letters. You can marquee over two corner
characters. Keep in mind this conversion can’t be reversed.
points to select them and use the Up or Down Arrow keys
You can either Right-click your text layer in the Layers
to elongate or shorten that part of the letter.
panel and choose Convert to Shape, or go to Type>Convert
[ 8 5 ]
› › HOW TO
Whether you’ve set point text or
paragraph text, you can distort the
text and still have live, editable text.
With your type cursor inserted in
the text, press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key, and you’ll see
a Free Transform-like bounding box
appear around the text. If you hover
the cursor below any point of the
bounding box until it changes to
a white arrow, you can click-anddrag to skew the text box to how
you want it. All the text inside will
remain editable.
Sometimes the obvious tips are
still unknown! You can also clickand-drag any point to resize the text
(hold the Shift key to maintain proportions). You can check this in the
Character panel or Options Bar to
see that the point size has changed.
Plus, you can click-and-drag anywhere outside the bounding box
to rotate the text. (Note: With paragraph text, you don’t have to hold
the Command [PC: Ctrl] key to
rotate the text.)
[ 8 6 ]
To change the color of your text to a color from your image,
just click on the Foreground color swatch near the bottom
of the Toolbar, click a color in the image to sample it, and
click OK to make it the Foreground color. Then, select the
text you want to change with the Type tool, or double-click
the T in the Layers panel to select all text, and then use the
shortcut of Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to change the
text to the Foreground color.
depending on which panel you’re in. You can now apply
the character styles to any selected part of your text, but
applying paragraph styles will affect the whole paragraph.
You can experiment with mixing the two types of styles
together. You can also double-click the name of the styles
in the panels to edit them.
If you then wanted to change a single word or a selection of words within that text to a different color to highlight
something, you can set the Background color the same way
by clicking its swatch in the Toolbar. Highlight the specific
piece of text you want to change and then use CommandDelete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to make it the Background color.
5. C
Character and paragraph styles can save you a lot of time
when you need to use the same styling of text in the same
Photoshop document. You can find both panels under
the Window menu. Once you’ve formatted your text the
way you want, click on the flyout menu of either panel
and select New Paragraph Style or New Character Style,
[ 8 7 ]
› › HOW TO
You can change the font family, font size, or
color of multiple type layers at once by simply
selecting all the text layers that you want to
change in the Layers panel (Shift-click to select
contiguous layers; Command-click [PC: Ctrlclick] to select non-contiguous layers). Then,
simply make the adjustments in the Options
Bar or Character panel.
If you want to change the style of the text
quickly, you can either choose the font family options in the Options Bar, or in the Character panel you have a line of icons which
allow you to bold, italicize, make all caps,
underline, strikethrough, and some other
options. Be aware, however, that the bold
and italic options in this section are referred
to as “faux” because Photoshop is faking
these attributes.
[ 8 8 ]
9. T
Start by creating a path. In this instance, use
the Ellipse tool (press Shift-U until you see it
in the Toolbar), set it to Path in the Options
Bar, and hold the Shift key as you drag out
the path to create a perfect circle. Now select
the Type tool (T). Hover the cursor over the
outside of the circle, and you’ll see a wavy
line appear, which means you can start
typing on the outside of the shape. You can
change the font, size, color, etc. You can also
drag the type around the shape with the Path
Selection tool (A). This is great for making
logos in Photoshop.
Plus, you can use the Path Selection tool to
drag the type to the inside of the circle. You
may need to change the tracking (spacing)
between the letters in the Character panel to
“unsquish” the text.
With the Type tool active, Right-click on the
type and choose Check Spelling. The Check
Spelling dialog will find misspelled words and
give you the option to change them, along
with suggestions for the correct spelling.
You can change single instances of a word,
all instances of a word, or just completely
ignore changing it altogether. If only more
people would do this. Better yet, get your
work proofread!
Go to the Edit menu and choose Find and
Replace Text. Type in the word you want to
change and then type the word with which
you want to replace it. Click Change All and
it will change all instances of that word.
You can change the size of the font previews
in the font drop-down menus in both the
Options Bar and Character panel. Make sure
that you don’t have the cursor inserted in
any text, and go to Type>Font Preview Size
and select the size for your preview (Medium
is the default). The larger you set the preview, the more memory you’ll use.
[ 8 9 ]
› › HOW TO
It’s really easy to place an image inside live text. Just type your
text and then place a suitable image directly above the text
layer. Position the image over the text to make sure it covers it.
In the Layers panel, hold down the Option (PC: Alt) key, hover
the cursor between the two layers until a small square with
a downward arrow appears, and click. This not only clips the
image inside the text but it also allows you to change the text
and move the image around inside the text.
What better way to end this article than with a bunch of useful shortcuts to edit text quickly in Photoshop?
[ 9 0 ]
J ump between words: Command-Left or Right
Arrow (PC: Ctrl-Left or Right Arrow)
lignment: Shift-Command-L (PC: Shift-Ctrl-L) for
Left, R for Right, C for Center, and J for Justify
J ump between paragraphs: Command-Up or
Down Arrow (PC: Ctrl-Up or Down Arrow)
ll Caps: Select text and press Command-Shift-K
(PC: Ctrl-Shift-K)
Select characters: Shift-Left or Right Arrow
elect words: Command-Shift-Left or Right Arrow
(PC: Ctrl-Shift-Left or Right Arrow)
erning/Tracking: Insert cursor between two
letters and press Option-Left or Right Arrow (PC:
Alt-Left or Right Arrow) to change kerning; select an
entire word or words to change the tracking.
Select lines: Shift-Up or Down Arrow
elect paragraphs: Command-Shift-Up or Down
Arrow (PC: Ctrl-Shift-Up or Down Arrow)
eading: Select at least one line of text and
press Option-Up or Down Arrow (PC: Alt-Up or
Down Arrow)
elect by clicking: Two fast clicks will select a
word, three fast clicks will select a line, and four fast
clicks will select a paragraph
aseline Shift: Select at least one letter and press
Option-Shift-Up or Down Arrow (PC: Alt-Shift-Up or
Down Arrow)
elect or Deselect all: Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A)
or ESC, respectively
tyles: Command-Shift-I (PC: Ctrl-Shift-I) for Italic,
-B for Bold, -U for Underlined
tart typing on new layer in Photoshop:
Make sure your type cursor isn’t inserted anywhere
in a current type layer and Shift-click in the document
window with the Type tool (T)
ize: Command-Shift-. (PC: Ctrl-Shift-.) to make
it larger; use the Comma key instead of the Period
to make it smaller; include Option (PC: Alt) for
larger changes
pecify size of text frame in Photoshop:
Option-click (PC: Alt-click) in the document window
with the Type tool. n
You’ve Updated Photoshop ,
Now Update Your Photo Editing Skills!
The photographer’s workflow in Photoshop has evolved greatly over time, and in the latest
edition of The Adobe Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers (2017 Release) by Scott Kelby,
you’ll wind up doing a lot of your processing and editing in Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw
(whether you shoot in RAW, JPEG or TIFF—it works for all three). That’s because, for years
now, Adobe has been adding most of Photoshop’s new features for photography directly into
Camera Raw itself. Since today’s photography workflow in Photoshop is based around Camera
Raw, nearly half of this book is about mastering Camera Raw like a pro. If you’re ready to learn
all the “tricks of the trade”—the same ones that today’s leading pros use to correct, edit,
retouch, and sharpen their work—then this is the book that will get you up to speed!
fuel for creativity
> Photoshop Tips
It’s my favorite time, time for more tips. I mean it’s always time for tips, right? Because they save
you time. Okay, enough of the bad jokes. What’s not bad, though, is this nice collection of Photoshop
tips. Enjoy!
When you’re adjusting the brightness of a photo, there’s
a point where the image “clips.” Clipping means that
brights become 100% white with no visible detail, and the
darks become 100% black with no detail. As a rule, you
should avoid clipping your images. When you’re making a
Curves adjustment, if you hold down the Option (PC: Alt)
key while moving either the white or black triangle below
the curve, your image will show only the areas that are
clipping. This clipping preview helps you to avoid “over­
correcting” or clipping details in your photographs.
When you’re applying type, you need to apply or commit
the type. Enter commits the text. (You may have inadver­
tently found that hitting the Return key starts a new line.)
You can also apply your text by clicking the checkmark in
the Options Bar, or choosing a different tool in the Toolbar.
You can also use the ESC key to apply your text. The first
time you use the ESC key with text, Photoshop brings up
a dialog asking if you’d like “to use the ESC key to commit
text or cancel the text entry.” Choose Commit Text. If you’re
creating a design with a lot of text, this is a good option to
use. You can always change it later in Preferences by going
to Photoshop CC (PC: Edit)>Preferences>Type and turning
off the Use Esc Key to Commit Text option.
[ 9 2 ]
There are certain things that require you to convert the back­
ground into a regular, editable, floating layer, such as add­
ing masks, smart objects, etc. There have been many ways
of doing this in the past, such as Option-double-clicking (PC:
Alt-double-clicking) the Background layer’s thumbnail. Now,
there’s an even faster way (it’s actually been there for a cou­
ple of years now). Simply click the padlock to the far right
of the Background layer in the Layers panel and, voilà, you
now have a floating layer. What about changing it back to
a background? (Huh?) Just choose Layer>New>Layer from
Background. There you go—round trip!
The Spot Healing Brush tool (J) and the Healing Brush tool
have revolutionized retouching because they’re so easy to
use. Here’s a little tip: Don’t heal directly on your photo or
image layer. Instead, create a new blank layer on top of the
layer stack and name it “healing.” By doing all your healing
work on that layer, it’s easy to undo or edit corrections later.
The trick to healing on a blank layer is to make sure you turn
on the Sample All Layers option in the Options Bar, or you’ll
be healing nothing.
Have you ever looked at the top of your Photoshop docu­
ment, saw something like “Untitled-1 @100% (RGB/8)*,”
and wondered what it all means? Well, the first part is the
filename and the @ symbol followed by a percentage is the
magnification level you’re currently viewing. This is impor­
tant because you always want to be at 100% when retouch­
ing or sharpening. The term (RGB/8) means that you’re in
RGB color mode and working in 8 bits per channel. And
the last part, the “*,” is really important. This means that
there are some changes to the document that are unsaved.
Bonus, if you’re working on a layer or mask, it will also dis­
play which layer or mask is currently active; for example, if
you’re working on a mask on Layer 1, you’ll see (Layer 1,
Layer Mask RGB/8).
You may have discovered that Curves are the best way to
target specific tones in your image. They’re very powerful
and let you make very precise adjustments. What some
people don’t realize is that Curves can also be used for very
specific color adjustments too. Where it says RGB (or CMYK
in CMYK mode), you can choose the specific color channel:
Red, Green, or Blue (or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, or Black).
Once you’ve chosen one of those options, you can use
curves in the same way as usual, but now you’ll be adjusting
the specific colors in the tonal range of your choosing.
Why are your channels (Window>Channels) always dis­
played in black and white? Aren’t they supposed to be in
color? Well, yes, they are color; however, Photoshop displays
them as grayscale to make it easier to see the pixels and
the effects of your masking and other work. White means
more density on that channel, while black is the absence of
that color (unless you’re in CMYK, then it’s the opposite).
If you like, you can display your channels in color. Go to
Photoshop CC (PC: Edit)>Preferences>Interface. Near the
bottom of the dialog, under Options, you’ll see a box that
says “Show Channels in Color.” Guess what? (You already
guessed, didn’t you?) Check that box and you can view the
channels in color in the Channels panel. You don’t even
have to restart Photoshop to see these changes.
all of this for you, including the math, and you don’t have to
drag out a single guide. Sound promising? Go to View>New
Guide Layout. Choose a preset, or enter the number of
Columns and Rows you want, as well as Gutters (spacing
between rows or columns) and margins. When you do this,
don’t forget to save it as a preset, so that you can reuse
these settings in the future. Just select Save Preset from the
Preset drop-down menu at the top of the dialog.
There are lots of ways to make paths in Photoshop, but the
most flexible way is by using the Pen tool (P). Sometimes
you may want to resize your path, or reshape it slightly. It
would be very painful to watch someone drag each point
individually, or even select and drag multiple points. It
would be even more painful to do this yourself, knowing
there’s a better way. Here’s how: Choose your path with
the Path Selection tool (A). Tap Command-T (PC: Ctrl-T) for
Free Transform. Now you can use Free Transform to scale
or rotate your path. Right-click, and all your transforming
“friends” are there too, including Skew, Distort, and even
Warp. “Whaaa? Free Transform works on paths? I didn’t
know that,” you say. Yeah, you can also transform selec­
tions (Select>Transform Selection)—try it. n
When you’re creating a new document (File>New) in Photo­
shop, you’ve probably noticed the new giant New Document
dialog that pops up, which is packed with useful presets and
templates. You may love this new dialog, or you may not. If
you don’t like it, the good news is that you can make Photo­
shop work like it used to. All you need do is go to Photoshop
CC (PC: Edit)>Preferences>General, and check the box that
says Use Legacy “New Document” Interface.
Guides are a pain. I mean, they’re really useful, but they’re a
pain to set up. Say you want three columns: First, you have
to divide the page into thirds, but what if you want to add a
little margin around the edges? Wait, you’ll need a calcula­
tor for this. Stop the madness! You can make Photoshop do
[ 9 3 ]
> Design Makeover
Eva’s Phoenix
home design
[ before ]
[ 9 4 ]
Eva’s Phoenix is one of three facilities operated by Eva’s
Initiatives for Homeless Youth in Toronto, Canada. The
organization is named for Eva Maud Smith, an immigrant from Jamaica who worked as an educator and
youth worker. In those roles, she saw the challenges that
homeless­ness presented for many students, and how shelters intended for adults didn’t offer the special services that
homeless youth need.
As a result of Smith’s efforts, the youth shelter Eva’s
Place opened in 1994. Over the next 10 years, it was joined
by Eva’s Satellite, another emergency shelter, and then Eva’s
Phoenix, which provides longer-term transitional housing,
as well as educational support and employment and independent living skills for ages 16 to 24. “Up to 50 youth can
live here at one time,” says Alanna Scott, Eva’s director
of development and campaigns. The facility comprises
10 townhouses that accommodate five residents each.
“Residents get a private bedroom and their own key,”
continues Scott. “They can live here for up to a year.”
A couple of years ago, Eva’s Phoenix got the opportunity
to relocate to an unused municipal building; but before it
could do so, the organization had to come up with $12.1
million to renovate the structure into the living spaces
needed. That meant appealing to corporate and financial
donors, who would expect some kind of recognition for
their generosity. Eva’s old facility had a list of donors on the
wall, but the organization wanted something more appealing for the new place.
At about the same time, the organization undertook a
logo redesign. “We had a primary-color logo that looked
like it came out of the ’80s,” says Scott. “We had a company come in and redesign the brand pro bono.” The new
donor recognition signage, whatever it turned out to be,
would also reflect the logo redesign.
Eva’s Phoenix opened its new location in September
2016, with a new set of plaques to recognize donors.
Original donor wall
makeover submissions
We’re looking for real-world makeovers for future installments of the “Design Makeover,” so let us know if you recently had a branding makeover or if you did
a branding makeover for a client that you’d like us to consider. We cover everything from product packaging or labels, print advertisements, websites, logos, and
magazine covers that are currently in the marketplace. So if you’d like to be considered, send us an email at
Eva’s Phoenix
Early versions of plaques on architects’ renderings
For the donor-recognition signage in its new space, Eva’s
Phoenix wanted to find someone to “interpret our brand
look-and-feel into something that would work in our
facility,” says Scott. Each of the 10 townhouses would
be named for a donor, and a sign on the door would
acknowledge the donation. In addition, there would
be five “Pillars of Support”—columns running down
the central aisle of the building, each sponsored by a
donor—a Donor Wall, a Cumulative Wall, and a Brick
Wall, all bearing the names and logos of the donors who
funded the move. “But we didn’t want the interior to
feel like a branded environment,” says Scott. There was
understandable concern that the youth they were serving
wouldn’t feel comfortable or “at home” in a space filled
with corporate logos.
In the summer of 2015, Eva’s put out a Request for
Proposal for the donor-recognition signage. The directors
of the fundraising campaign chose the proposal of Jamey
“Cactus” Vella, owner of Anxiety Attack Designs. “My job
as the designer was to give fair and high-quality recognition
to the many donors, while keeping Eva’s Phoenix a place
that still felt like home to the residents,” says Vella.
Eva’s gave donors the opportunity to include a famous
quote that related to why they supported youth experiencing homelessness. They provided the quotes and the donor
information, along with Eva’s brand guidelines, to Vella.
Aside from that, “they didn’t give me any design direction,”
he says. He proceeded to research the donor recognition
areas of hospitals and corporate spaces, but he didn’t like
what he saw. “A lot of those were very sterile—just text,”
he says. “We’re working here with a shelter for young
people, so you’d want it to be a little more fun.”
about the client
Eva Maud Smith (1923–1993) immigrated to Canada in 1956 from Jamaica and started working in domestic jobs. But it wasn’t long before she became a Toronto community
leader, youth worker, and educator. Through her work, the first youth-focused shelter in North York, Toronto, opened in 1994.
Over the next 10 years, Eva’s expanded with Eva’s Satellite and Eva’s Phoenix, which provides housing for 50 youth aged 16 to 24 for up to a full year in townhouse-style
units. Furthermore, working with business, labor, and community partners, Eva’s Phoenix provides homeless and at-risk youth with educational support and employment and
independent living skills that give them a base from which to move forward with their lives. While at Eva’s Phoenix, youth develop the skills to live independently through
goal-setting exercises, workshops, and hands-on programs that are delivered in a supportive environment.
[ the project ]
[ 9 5 ]
Anxiety Attack Designs
[ the process ]
Early mockup of plaques
[ 9 6 ]
Final designs printed at Eva’s Phoenix’s print shop
Vella’s concept took off from Eva’s Initiatives’ recently
redesigned logo, which incorporated a house shape. “I
looked at it and said, ‘This is the main point of your branding. We can run with this,’” recalls Vella. He started working in Photoshop using the architects’ renderings of what
the final space would look like. “I’d design the plaques
and then put them at the proper angles, with the drop
shadows, to re-create how it would look.” (See images
on previous page.)
By the time they got to the second meeting, Eva’s Capital Campaign Chairperson and Executive Director wanted
to see physical samples. Vella had some printed onto Plexiglas and some onto card stock at various sizes. The original
idea was to have the Plexiglas cut in the shape of the house,
but there was concern that the results had too many sharp
points. “We even got a couple of mockups made so I could
bring them into the donor presentation meetings,” Vella
says. “Everyone was really impressed with them, but we’re
housing 50 young people here, and we didn’t want anything that could potentially cause harm. So we just went
with the square with the image behind it.” The image is
printed on paper (at Eva’s Phoenix’s own print shop) and
sandwiched between two squares of Plexiglas.
That turned out to have an added advantage: on the
cutout version, the only other visual was the donor’s logo.
Placing the donor’s logo inside the house shape meant
Eva’s logo dominates the plaques, increasing their visual
consistency and reducing the branded-environment effect.
That approach brought its own challenges, however. As
new donors signed on, sometimes their logos had a different dimension or shape than most of the others. That
meant Vella would have to rework some completed designs
to maintain their consistency.
In addition to the donor’s logo, “there’s also a quotation chosen by the company about why the donation was
made,” says Scott. The quotation is set in Asap Bold from
Omnibus Type, a font specified in Eva’s branding guidelines.
Anxiety Attack Designs
[ the result ]
“Anxiety Attack took Eva’s brand and the donor brand and
put them together,” says Scott. “If you walk down the
main area, you see these wall plaques everywhere, but
all you really see is the Eva’s logo—a plaque with a blue
background and a white logo. Then, as you get closer,
you see that inside is someone else’s logo.”
According to Scott, many people aren’t aware of how
big a problem youth homelessness is, but they’re interested
in who the donors are. “I lead donor tours with our board
of directors, and I find that people stop to see who is supporting the capital campaign,” says Scott. “It helps when
people see all these prominent companies supporting us.”
The donors appreciate the recognition too, says Vella.
“When we do tours of the building, they usually walk right
up to their plaque, and they usually have a big smile on their
face.” At the official launch last September, with the mayor
and a city councilor present, “everyone was taking photos
in front of their plaques,” Vella says.
He also thinks he accomplished his goal of incorporating the donor’s logos without making Eva’s Phoenix feel
too corporate for the people who live and work there. “The
staff all seem generally pleased with it,” he says. “I think
because there was so much concern about what it could
look like with so many logos in a small space, when it was
all done, everyone was pleased.”
All in all, “I think I did my job well because no one complained,” he concludes.
Final design
Jamey “Cactus” Vella is a Toronto-based freelance graphic designer. He launched Anxiety Attack Designs in 2010.
“I can remember designing my very first event poster back in high school, cut-and-paste style. Armed with scissors and magazines, I utilized the Xerox machine at my
school and meticulously created what I thought was a masterpiece. I also remember a few years later when a friend showed me Adobe Photoshop for the first time. That was
a game-changer! Those were both life-altering events for me.”
Vella is also a husband and father as well as an accomplished musician. (Check out his music here.) “When I’m not working on a design project, you’ll find me spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter or performing on a stage somewhere.”
He calls Aaron Draplin one of his biggest influences. “The guy has created an empire of sorts, and he’s changed the way freelance designers work and promote themselves.” n
about the designer
[ 9 7 ]
> Reviews
Multifunction Light Measurement Control
for Photographers and Filmmakers
Review by Michael Corsentino
Exciting news for light meter geeks everywhere: The Sekonic
L-858D-U Speedmaster Light Meter is finally shipping, and it’s
a game-changer!
The new Sekonic L-858D-U Speedmaster Light Meter sports
the full digital feature set and touchscreen interface common to
Sekonic’s recent mid-tier model makeovers. Its large 2.7" color
dot-matrix touchscreen makes adjusting settings quick and easy,
but that’s where the similarities begin and end.
This light meter is not just a revamped digital version of
Sekonic’s venerable Sekonic L-758 DR, but rather the first meter
able to measure flash duration—a crucial metric when trying to
accurately and predictably freeze motion—and the first that can
Company: Sekonic
[ 9 8 ]
Pricing: $599
measure strobes in High Sync and Hyper Sync modes. You can
even program the number of pre flashes to exclude from the
main exposure measurement. This is a major boon for mixed-light
Rating: portrait photography and for those wishing to freeze action with
Hot:Measures flash duration and strobes in
HSS mode; three optional trigger modules
shutter speed rather than flash duration—both huge advances
Not:Radio modules not interchangeable with
previous model; no sync cable
the 1/1,000 sec. shutter speed top end of most light meters,
in light-meter technology. The Sekonic L-858D-U races past
delivering a future-proof 1/16,000 sec. top shutter speed!
Brandon Rechten
The L-858D-U also has three stops of increased sensitivity for
incident light and two stops for reflected light, allowing you to
measure light down to 0.1 lux. Available ISO settings have been
“This light meter is… the
first meter able to measure
flash duration—a crucial metric
when trying to accurately and
predictably freeze motion—and
the first that can measure
strobes in High Sync and
Hyper Sync modes.”
cameras. In addition to the tried-and-true Aperture and Shutter
Priority modes, a new ISO Priority mode has been added.
Wireless triggering options abound with no less than three
optional radio modules available: one for Pocket Wizard (U.S.
and Canada); Pocket Wizard (International); and Elinchrom and
Phottix (select countries) combined into one module—perfect for
anyone with both Elinchrom and Phottix gear. The Pocket Wizard
modules allow users to trigger any Pocket Wizard wirelessly and
control the power on any Control TL-compatible unit. The combined Elinchrom-Phottix module also offers full Skyport triggering,
Skyport power control capabilities, and complete Phottix Strato
capability. Also included with the Sekonic L-858D-U Speedmaster
Light Meter are: a nylon padded pouch with belt loop, lanyard, AA
batteries instead of CR123A, antiglare screen protector, weathersealed ports, and a three-year warranty; however, there’s no
included sync cable for camera calibration. ■
expanded to include the native ISOs of today’s most popular
[ 9 9 ]
Intuos Pro
Paper Edition
Wacom Combines Professional
Pen Tablet with Paper
Review by Erik Vlietinck
Company: Wacom Co. Ltd.
Price: $549.95 (Medium $399.95)
[ 100 ]
Hot:Surface tactile feel; pen pressure
levels; paper sketching; broad range
of applications
Wacom’s new Intuos Pro graphics tablet is the thinnest (0.3") and
best ever. For my tests, Wacom kindly sent me a large (L) Paper
Edition model (16.8x11.2"). [It’s also available in a medium (M)
model that’s 13.2x8.5" and uses A-5 (half-letter size) paper sheets
instead of A4 (letter size).] The Wacom Intuos Pro can be hooked
up via USB cable or wirelessly with Bluetooth 4.2 built-in.
The newest version of the largest Intuos Pro still has the familiar
eight programmable buttons and Touch Ring that can have up to
four different assignments, but its surface is now a sheet that feels
like sketching paper. The box contains swatches of replacement
sheets that have a smoother or coarser surface. Multi-touch is still
supported, but it can now be activated and disabled using a button on the tablet’s side, which is more efficient than having to go
to any kind of onscreen menu.
I tested the Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition with a slew of
Mac apps, including Corel Painter 2017, OmniGraffle Pro 7,
DxO Optics Pro 11, Perfectly Clear Complete v3, Alien Skin Exposure X2, and even Final Cut Pro X. With most of these apps,
I tested the tablet by drawing and painting—from masks to
brush strokes—with the Wacom Pro Pen 2. This new pen supports
8192 pressure levels, which is four times as many as the previous
pen. It was obvious when testing it with Painter 2017 that there’s
a far more subtle feedback when varying the pressure. You have
much better control over the flow of the paint or effect with the
new pen. The sensation of working with a graphite, lead, or pastel
on paper, as you’re used to, is further reinforced by how thin the
new tablet is. It’s also half the height of a Rhodia dot Pad. Whereas
“…the tablet captures
and temporarily saves
your strokes to its internal
memory, which will store
up to 200 multilayered or
1,000 single-layered drawings
until you connect it again.
Files are then downloaded
to your Inkspace, where they
can then be exported as
editable SVG or PSD files
that can be opened in Adobe
Illustrator or Photoshop.”
previous versions fell short in creating the illusion of drawing on
paper, the new version delivers.
The Intuos Pro is Bluetooth 4.2 compatible, which means that
you can hook it up to any modern PC, Mac, or iPad. You can
connect the tablet with its USB-C to USB-A type cable, as well.
The cable is less flexible than it used to be, but oddly enough it’s
better at lying flat on your desk. The tablet is also ambidextrous.
By the way, the design of the complete Intuos Pro, including
box, pen stand, pen, tablet, etc. is gorgeous! There’s no other
word for it.
Part of the new tablet’s appeal is that you can sketch if you have
the Paper edition. This works with a Paper Clip that attaches
to the top of the tablet to hold sketching paper. You can use
whatever paper you like, but a few Wacom sheets are included
in the box to get you started.
The Wacom Finetip Pen is delivered for sketching. As you draw,
the tablet captures and temporarily saves your strokes to its internal memory, which will store up to 200 multilayered or 1,000
single-layered drawings until you connect it again. Files are then
downloaded to your Inkspace, where they can then be exported
as editable SVG or PSD files that can be opened in Adobe Illustrator
or Photoshop. With Inkspace running, you can synchronize, store,
and export sketches, but you can also have your sketch refresh the
onscreen version in real-time when your tablet is connected via
Bluetooth. I’d like to see this Inkspace feature evolve into a plugin for Photoshop and other hosts. That would make the Wacom
Intuos Pro Paper Edition “sketching party” complete! ■
[ 101 ]
HP Z2 Mini G3
A Mighty Computer in a Small Package
Review by Bruce Bicknell
How does the saying go? Mini is mighty? Well, if that’s not a saying
now, it should be with the new HP Z2 Mini G3 Performance Workstation. I’ve reviewed computers of all sizes and forms from both
sides of the fence (Mac and Windows), but I have to say this one
has totally blown me away. Not only does it have the cool factor,
as it looks like it should be on the desk of a superhero, but it also
has the horsepower and flexibility to rival just about any desktop
(and not just mini form factors)! The ability to hook up six monitors
out of the box is quite a feat for any size box, but it’s even more
impressive considering the small size of the Z2 Mini.
Let’s start with the horsepower and functionality. My test
model is maxed out with an Intel i7-6700, 32 GB (2x16 GB)
Company: HP
Price: $1,946.70 (as tested); starting at $694
[ 102 ]
Hot:Design; up to 32 GB RAM; up to six monitors; size; price; customizable; very quiet
of RAM, and a discrete NVIDIA Quadro M620 GPU with 2 GB
of dedicated video RAM. Storage is provided by a 256-GB HP Z
Turbo PCIe SSD and a 1-TB SATA drive that gives more than
enough space for files, and the SSD launches all of the systems
quickly and efficiently. The configuration really allows this
machine to perform, and it’s amazing that they got all of this
into a small package (8.5" on a side, and less than 2.5" high).
This is where it gets even cooler: the number of features HP
packed into such a small box. If you’re like me, I’m always looking for more ports to connect my devices, as well as the ability
to hook up multiple monitors without jumping through tons
of hoops. Well, this one may surprise you, as you’ll find four
DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, two USB Type-C 3.1 ports, four USB
3.0 ports, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. (Note: There’s also an
Entry-level version of the Z2 Mini that has fewer ports.) I was
excited about the capability of hooking up to six monitors out
of the box. I “only” have four external monitors, but I had them
all up and running in no time, and the video card handled them
“Not only does it have the
cool factor, as it looks like it
should be on the desk of
a superhero, but it also has
the horsepower and flexibility to
rival just about any desktop….“
with ease and no lag between them.
The designers and engineers at HP have created an aesthetically
pleasing case that oozes coolness, as well as being functionally
sound with its performance and cooling capabilities. This machine
stays cool and is ultra-quiet sitting on the desktop. It’s VESAmountable (for Z Displays and third-party stands, arms, and
wall mounts) so it can be mounted out of the way if desired;
but personally, I love the look of it on my desk, as its design is
inspirational (and did I mention that it just looks cool).
This machine performed well above my expectations in both
Lightroom and Photoshop. I think HP has a serious contender in
this market and a much-welcomed alternative to anyone who
needs a smaller, more powerful computer. I’d recommend the
HP Z2 Mini G3 Workstation to any creative pro who’s looking
for a great computer at a reasonable price. (Note: Pricing can vary
based on component costs and promotional discounts.) ■
[ 103 ]
Theodore Kefalopoulos
Alien Skin
Exposure X2
Another Kind of Photo Editor/Organizer
Review by Erik Vlietinck
Is Alien Skin Exposure X2 an alternative for apps such as Adobe
Lightroom? It depends on your needs. With Exposure X2’s latest
Advanced Layers update, the app offers nondestructive RAW
editing and better organization, enhancement, and exporting capabilities.
Company: Alien Skin Software
In this update, Exposure X2’s nondestructive layering not only
Price: $149 (Upgrade: $99)
works with brushed adjustments and effects, but applies to pre-
[ 104 ]
Hot:Unique approach for editing/organizing;
multi-image editing; multi-location
quick export
sets, as well. This means you can apply a preset to a layer, then
quickly remove (or add) effects, or make them weaker or stronger
on another layer—and possibly only in some parts of the image.
The new advanced layering lets you finish a retouching
job much faster; for example, I could first apply a preset that
I tuned down by lowering the intensity and adding several
one-effect-per-layer adjustments. More importantly, I applied
those layered effects on multiple images simultaneously,
all without incurring even the most minor speed drop on my
mid-2011 iMac. While most comparable apps let you export
several images at once, Exposure X2 lets you actually process
them by just selecting them and start adjusting.
Exposure X2 has lots of presets, and with this update it gains
“Another feature that I found
brilliant is the healing brush,
which allows you to adjust
healing areas after the fact,
by dragging them around.”
a new set of bright and vintage presets. The latter provide rich
platinum tones with border overlays that simulate a brushed look
to strengthen the illusion. Another feature that I found brilliant is
the healing brush, which allows you to adjust healing areas after
the fact, by dragging them around.
On the management side of things, Exposure X2 lets you set
metadata, such as ratings and flags. It also allows you to select
matching images and show EXIF data by hovering over images.
The app’s export support has been given a unique twist in that
it offers the ability to simultaneously export multiple images
to multiple preset locations and formats. You can download a
free trial at the Alien Skin website. ■
[ 105 ]
Drive Dock
Use Bare SATA Disks with
a Thunderbolt 2 Mac
Review by Erik Vlietinck
The appeal of a bare drive dock is that you can hot swap and
read two disks simultaneously. The OWC Drive Dock has speed
and expansion functionality to spare with its two Thunderbolt 2
ports and single USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface. It’s an all-aluminum large
Company: OWC Digital
[ 106 ]
square box with independent power switches and LED activity
monitors per drive bay, in addition to an overall on/off switch at
the back of the unit.
The top is made from a robust matte black plastic sheet that
Hot:Speed; ruggedness; design;
per-bay on/off switch
holds the inward-swinging, dust-protection covers. The whole
Not: You can’t mount Atomos disk caddies
switching power supply and, like other drive docks, accommodates
thing is built like a tank. The Drive Dock also has a built-in auto-
both 2.5" and 3.5" drives.
I’ve been testing the OWC Drive Dock as a backup and offload
device, and I also tested the dock using two identical WD drives
set in a RAID 0 configuration. It worked like a charm, although
you must ensure both drives are switched on simultaneously to
avoid RAID errors. Finally, I tested the OWC Drive Dock to start
up the Mac. Note: Remember to switch on the active bay just
“OWC’s Drive Dock has
a nice ergonomic design,
and its sturdiness combined
with its performance makes for
a very attractive product.”
seconds before turning on the Mac or you’ll get the dreaded
blinking “System not found” icon.
The one and only thing I could possibly have wished for is the
SATA connector sitting just a bit further from the edge so that
I could use it to mount Atomos’ disk caddies when offloading
video. (It would be awesome if you could!) Alas, the bare drives
must lean against something in order to reduce the risk of
breaking the SATA connector when removing the drive.
OWC’s Drive Dock has a nice ergonomic design, and its
sturdiness combined with its performance makes for a very
attractive product. ■
[ 107 ]
ON1 Photo
ON1 Photo 2017 is a completely new, sophisticated, beautifully
implemented piece of software, delivering a ton of new features
and a fast, state-of-the-art RAW-processing engine and imageprocessing pipeline, ON1 Photo RAW. The interface is still
thoroughly familiar, however, for anyone transitioning from a
Photo Organizer, Editor, RAW Processor,
and Effects App
prior version, and intuitive enough for new users.
Review by Michael Corsentino
addition to the much wider latitude RAW files allow—compared
Let’s talk about RAW and why you need it in your life. In
to JPEG—when making exposure adjustments, the other huge
Company: ON1, Inc.
Pricing: $119.99 (Upgrade: $99.99)
[ 108 ]
Hot: Sophisticated RAW editor; powerful
image-management/filtering tools;
new develop module
benefit of a RAW workflow is nondestructive image editing. The
value of this can’t be overstated. With hard-drive storage and
large-capacity memory cards now relatively inexpensive, RAW
is no longer a question mark, but the only way I’d tell you that
you should be working if you aren’t already.
ON1 Photo 2017 is packed with significant improvements
and useful changes designed to make your life with RAW
workflow easier and faster. New to ON1 Photo 2017 are:
nondestructive RAW image-editing (as mentioned above);
new local adjustments (rejoice!); faster ON1 Effects; a brand-
new develop module—where you’ll do the bulk of your
editing; global presets that can now be applied to images
directly from within the Browse module; a powerful new local
adjustments brush; a new Film Strip View (yes!); and midstack rendering, which allows you to see the effects you’ve
“ON1 Photo 2017 is packed
with significant improvements
and useful changes designed
to make your life with RAW
workflow easier and faster.”
ON1 Photo 2017 also includes the ability to reduce or enhance
haze and fog—a feature I know landscape photographers are
going to love.
The Browse module has gotten a major facelift, too, with
the addition of even more sophisticated filtering and search
features. The powerful new indexed-folder feature makes
managing images quick and easy, and this feature is truly
a showstopper because it allows users to drill down and
browse the entire hierarchy of folders on a directory in just
seconds. This means not only being able to view every image
in a directory super quickly, but you can also search across
multiple folders using myriad user-specified filtering criteria.
Now that’s powerful! ■
applied in real time without turning off those above them.
[ 109 ]
R E V I EWS › ›
Photoshop for Artists:
A Complete Guide for
Fine Artists, Photographers,
and Printmakers
By Sylvie Covey
Review by Peter Bauer
Here’s a book being reviewed by request. It was originally published several years ago (though an update may be coming), but
it works with every version of Photoshop since its publication. I’m
grateful to the reader for this recommendation—it will become
Watson-Guptill Publications
part of my permanent library. The book is divided into four parts:
Understanding the Vocabulary and Logic of Photoshop; Tutorials for Drawing and Painting Digitally; Tutorials for Creating and
Price: $35.00; $21.99 (Kindle)
Developing Fine-Art Digital Photography; and Tutorials Combin-
ing Photoshop and Printmaking. Each of the 28 tutorials is clearly
written and illustrated and the author avoids the use of short-
[ 1 10 ]
cuts so that the very newest beginner can’t get confused. What
strikes me most about this book is the section on drawing and
painting in Photoshop. Some tutorials start with a photo, others
with a blank canvas. You’ll likely also find that the tutorials on
digital transfers give food for thought. n
› › R E V I EWS
How to Photograph Everything:
Simple Techniques for Shooting
Spectacular Images
From The Editors of Popular Photography
Review by Peter Bauer
The “Everything” in the title includes 43 different subjects, ranging from food and animals to fireworks and amusement parks.
I’m sure you can come up with a couple of subjects that aren’t
included (UFOs and alien beings, for example), but if you shoot
it, it’s likely covered. If you want to shoot it, here’s where to
learn. Each section starts with Getting Started, Tech Tips, What
to Shoot, and a very valuable and thought-provoking section
Price: $40; $7.55 (Kindle)
called “Gear Up.” (The section on shooting birds suggests that a
camera with an APS-C sensor may be preferable to a full-frame
sensor for the increased magnification of the lens you choose.)
The examples that follow have informative captions, many of
which provide suggestions for a particular shot, as well as the
name of the photographer who captured that image. If you love
a shot, see the photographer’s website for more inspiration. n
Weldon Owen
[ 1 11 ]
> From the Help Desk
I’m trying to create a panorama, and nothing seems to work: Not Photoshop’s File>­A utomate>Photo­
merge; nor loading the files into layers and using Edit>Auto-Align Layers. I shot the images
using a tripod and overlapped each by about 25%, and the overlap areas include such identifiable
items as windows and the corners of houses. Is there any way to manually create a panorama
in Photoshop? — Rusty
[ 1 12 ]
Yes, sometimes the automated processes don’t read the
Zoom out so that you can see more of the canvas. Use
images well enough to create panoramas. (I’ve seen Photo­
the File>Place Embedded command to add the second
merge take four well-overlapped horizontal images and
image to the canvas, and then press the Enter key to accept
try to stack them vertically, and Auto-Align often mis-
the image’s size.
orders the images.) Creating a panorama in Photoshop
Now for the fun part: In the Layers panel, change the
from a series of overlapping images is certainly possible
upper layer’s blend mode from Normal to Difference (down
and precise, but it takes a number of steps. Here’s how
near the bottom of the menu). Using the Move tool (V),
I do it:
Shift-drag the top layer until the area of overlap turns
Open the first image (left, right, top, or bottom
completely black (or almost completely black, depending
depending on what you’re creating). In this case, I’ll use
on your lens). This ensures that the area of overlap is prop-
the example of creating a horizontal panorama, starting
erly aligned. You may need to rotate the upper or lower
with the leftmost image.
layer a bit to get proper alignment.
With the first image open, head to the Layers panel and
Back in the Layers panel, return the upper layer’s blend
click the Lock icon to unlock the layer. (This isn’t techni-
mode to Normal. With the Hand tool (H) or the scroll bar at
cally necessary, but I prefer to work over a transparent back-
the bottom of the image window, scroll to the right until you
ground rather than white—or whatever the background
see the right part of the second image and empty canvas.
color is during the next step.)
(You’ll want all of the right side’s area of overlap visible.)
Go to the Image menu and select Canvas Size. In the
Place the next image in the sequence of your panorama
three-by-three proxy box, click on one of the three boxes
(and press Enter). Again, switch the top layer’s blend mode
on the left, so that when you extend the canvas, it extends
to Difference and align the area of overlap, then return the
to the right rather than to both sides.
blend mode to Normal.
Switch the unit of measure to Percent. Make sure that
Using the same techniques, add each of the other
the Relative box is unchecked. In the Width box, increase
photos for your panorama. At this point, I strongly suggest
the width according to the number of images in your
saving the image as a layered PSD or TIFF. Of course, it’s
panorama. (If you’re using five photos, for example,
good practice to save after adding each image.
enter 500 in the Width box.) This is more canvas than we
Crop the panorama to remove the empty area to the far
need because of the image overlap, but the image gets
right. If you had to rotate any of the images and you ended
cropped later. Leave the Height field set to 100%. Click
up with transparency in areas, use the Crop tool with the
the OK button to expand the image to the right.
Content-Aware option selected in the Options Bar. n
Richmond, VA | 07.26.17
Nashville, TN | 07.28.17
view more dates
Discover a new way to be true to your vision.
The newly reimagined Tamron F/2.8 fast telephoto
zoom lens with faster autofocus, CIPA-rated 5-Stop
Vibration Compensation* and improved M.O.D of
just 37.4” exceeds your highest expectations.
© Thomas Kettner Focal Length: 200mm Exposure: F/2.8 1/125sec ISO: 400
SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A025)
For Canon and Nikon mounts
Di: For Full-Frame and APS-C format DSLR cameras
*VC Mode 3
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