Monday, December 24, 2012

Not My Usual Post :-)

This is where I'll be tomorrow!!!

I don't have any family, so I usually stay home on the holidays. But I have a new friend who is as obsessed with Les Mis and Phantom as I am, so we're going to the first screening at 11:30 AM :-) I'm so excited!!!

Have a beautiful Christmas!!!


P.S. In case you happen to see this again, you will notice that I've added this beautiful frame, which Karen posted on The Graphics Fairy a couple of days  after I wrote this! I think it goes perfectly with this image of Anne Hathaway as Fantine! I just had to embellish it!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two More Blogs :-)

Just in case you haven't noticed my Sidebar, I have two other blogs :-)

One is Pink Tree Studio's sister, Pink Trees and Sunshine, where I will post photos with very little processing and very few words :-)

The other is Elaine From L.A., which will focus on photos from my home of 56 years, the suburbs of Los Angeles, as well as a few photos of the suburbs Portland, Oregon, where I have lived since 2006.

I hope you will drop by for a visit and say Hello!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Texture Tuesday :: The Free and Easy eDition

Textures by Kim Klassen :: Warm Grunge and Urban

Just a quick post for the last Texture Tuesday of 2012 over at the Kim Klassen Cafe. This photo is from the Google Plus Photo Walk which was held last April in Portland. We met in the Northwest industrial area of PDX, not quite my genre, but it was fun anyway, meeting other local photographers. 

I wasn't too impressed by my photos, because I used my 50 mm lens. Since then I have come to prefer my 55-200. It's more versatile and I seem to like the results better. Anyway, I like the way these plants are determined to overcome their concrete environment, so I thought this would make an interesting image. Of course, I thought that some texture and text would add a little extra interest to it :-)

Adobe Camera Raw 7.2
~ Make basic edits in Adobe Camera Raw.
~ Adjust White Balance.
~ Decrease Exposure and Contrast, increase Highlights, Shadows and Whites, decrease Blacks and Clarity.
~ Choose Medium Contrast in Tone Curve.
~ Default Sharpening and Noise Reduction in Detail Panel
~ Choose Enable Lens Profile Correction for my camera.

Photoshop CS6
~ Open image as a Smart Object in Photoshop.
~ Drag textures into document from Mini-Bridge.
~ Use one layer of Warm Grunge set to Multiply at 40%.
~ Use two layers of Urban set to Multiply at 40% and Soft Light at 50%.
~ Add Layer Mask to first texture and use soft round black brush to remove texture from the flowers.
~ Copy Layer Mask by holding down the Option/Alt key and dragging it to each of the other two texture layers.
~ Decrease the Layer Mask Density of the of the two layers of Urban to 95% in the Mask Panel.
~ Leave density of Warm Grunge at 100%.
~ To create frame, place guides so the widths of the frame will be equal.
~ Create New Layer from Create New Layer Icon at bottom of Layers Palette.
~ From the View Menu, choose Snap To > Guides, then draw a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee Tool.
~ Invert selection by choosing Select > Inverse.
~ Choose Solid Color from Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer Icon at bottom of Layer Palette.
~ Double click on Solid Color thumbnail in frame layer to access Color Picker.
~ Choose color from Color Picker or use Eye Dropper Tool to sample color from image.
~ Set Blend Mode to Normal at 30%.
~ Font is Stamp Act Jumbled from daFont (I think), set to Color Burn at 90%. Place below textures.
~ Make oval shape using the Shape Tool on a blank layer. Set Blend Mode to Normal at 35%.
~ Place signature on blank layer above oval to make it stand out.
~ Group oval and signature layers so that they can be moved together if necessary.

Here's the Screen Shot of the Photoshop Layers Palette
if some clarification is needed.

As for the text, it's my own reinterpretation of the phrase, "Bloom Where You're Planted," and a tongue in cheek reference to the state of my life :-) If you're a Mary Englebriet fan you will know that she has used it in her artwork, although I'm not sure if she originated it.

This was supposed to be a quick post, but oh, well, I like sharing my Photoshop steps almost as much as I enjoy the Photoshopping :-)

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Mine was quiet as usual. I bought a lot of treats at New Seasons Market and alternated between eating, watching a video on TV and watching a two hour video presentation by Julieanne Kost about many of the new features in Photoshop CS6. I commented on her blog thanking her for the tutorial and she replied to my comment!!! I was so excited!!! I'm such a geek :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Texture Tuesday :: Anything Goes

Last May one of my usually predictable visits to Dawson Creek Park turned into an unexpected treat. Not only did I see "my" ducklings and goslings and a squirrel, but I also saw three creatures that I had only heard about...a blue heron, a nutria and an eagle!

Rather than posting individual photos of each of the critters, I thought it would be fun to create a scrapbook style layout to commemorate such a photographically interesting day. So when I was trying to choose a photo to use for this week's Texture Tuesday, I decided that it was time to see what I could come up with after having the idea rattling around in my head for all these months.

I make no apologies for all the layers...I'm hooked :-) And I won't take you through this layer by layer because it would be overwhelming for all of us...for me to write and for you to read :-/ I'll keep it simple and just list the basic steps I used.

~ Edit background photo in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom
~ Open photo as a Smart Object In Photoshop
~ Crop square
~ Apply a Gaussian Blur Smart Filter to soften image
~ Add Levels Adjustment Layer to lighten image
~ Create template on top of background layer
~ Edit individual photos in ACR or LR
~ Place each photo in Photoshop and clip it to its corresponding square in the template
~ Resize and position each photo within its square
~ Draw a rectangle behind each set of three photos to create a background and frame
~ Fill rectangle with a shade of green sampled from one of the photos
~ Decrease Opacity and Fill to 80% and add a 1 pixel stroke, dark green 30%
~ Make frame using Shape Tool and Solid Color Adjustment Layer
~ Add text, Fairy Dust from dafont
~ Fill text with soft white, add dark green Drop Shadow, set to Multiply Blend Mode at 50%
~ For a final touch, select daisy from another photo, place, resize, rotate, add drop shadow

Here's a helpful technique to simplify the Layers Palette of a multi-layered image. Group similar layers together by using Shift + Click on the layers that you want to group, then click Command/Control + G which will put them in their own little file folder in the Layer Palette. For instance, I grouped each row of photos into its own folder and the daisies into their own folder. Keeps your Layers Palette nice and neat!

This was another fun project for me, so I hope you like it :-) Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

California Dreamin'

Since Texture Tuesday is on vacation this week, I'm using an image that I created for The Dream eDition of TT and posted on my original  Flickr Photostream, Pink Trees and Sunshine, back in July of 2011. 

This photo is from my last visit to my hometown of Torrance, California, two years ago. I am doing some serious California Dreamin' these days as it's back to the weather that Portland is famous for...cold, wet and gray. Sigh :-) 

I'm also thinking about how much fun Kim and a few members of the Groupies of Kim Klassen Group on Facebook are having at the Shutter Sisters Oasis down in Palm Springs, California. Can't wait to hear about their magical adventures and see their beautiful photos!!!

Taken with my humble little Canon Powershot A460, my first digital camera which I dearly love :-)
{mouse-over to see the SOOC}

When I processed this photo I was using CS4, but had not yet delved into Adobe Camera Raw in depth. When I upgraded to CS4, I purchased Scott Kelby's book, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers, and even though I now have CS5, I refer to it frequently for basic techniques. Scott devotes a significant portion of the book to ACR, so I decided that I should become more familiar with it, since it's a part of Photoshop.

So for this image I made all the edits in Photoshop. I made two copies of the background layer, changing the Blend Mode of the first layer to Soft Light at 50% and the second to Screen at 30%. Next, I created a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and adjusted the Hue, Saturation and Lightness as shown in the screen shot above. I masked the sand to brighten it and reduced the Density of the Mask to 70% in the Mask Panel (shown below). Also shown above are the adjustments I made in the Levels Adjustment Layer.

I added a dark green Color Fill Adjustment Layer and set it to Soft Light at 40% to give it a vintage tone. I used two of Kim's textures, Yesteryear (Soft Light at 30%) and Believe (Overlay at 20%). I masked the upper right hand corner of the Yesteryear layer and reduced the Density of the Mask to 50% and Feathered it 5 pixels (shown above). I have to admit, that since I edited this so long ago, I don't remember the reasoning for some of my steps :-/

The font is Clive Barker, from dafont. I changed the Blend Mode of "california" to Soft Light at 60% and "dreamin'" to Multiply at 20% to make each word blend with the sky and at the same time stand out against it.

As you may have noticed, I redesigned my blog layout...again. I have been going back and forth about whether or not to have a sidebar again and this time the sidebar won. While I like the idea of a single column to focus on the photography, I felt that mine was just too minimal. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Texture Tuesday :: The Look Up eDition

For this week's Texture Tuesday at the Kim Klassen Cafe, I managed to Keep It Simple...a photo, a texture and some text. I even started this post on Friday, instead of waiting until the last minute! It's a companion to the photo on my previous post, just edited differently. In my usual very literal way, I had to find a photo that fit this week's theme, Look Up, and use Kim's texture by the same name.

Texture by Kim Klassen :: Look Up

Nikon D3100, Aperture Priority (probably) 50mm 1.8 lens, f/16, 1/80, ISO 3200 (set on Auto ISO)
These settings are all guesswork. I still don't really know what I'm doing :-)

Adobe Camera Raw
As I've mentioned before, I've become accustomed to starting out in Adobe Camera Raw, then opening my photos in Photoshop as Smart Objects so that I can take them back into ACR for fine tuning if I want to. I have Lightroom 3, but I find it easier to just go back and forth between ACR and PS.

In the Basic Panel, I made adjustments to the White Balance, Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness, Contrast and Clarity. I chose Medium Contrast from the Tone Curve Panel and used Noise Reduction in the Detail Panel. Sometimes I don't have any idea of how I want to edit my photo, I just play with the sliders until I come up with something I like! It's the magic of Photoshop :-)

Photoshop CS5
This week, I did very little in Photoshop. I made a copy of the background layer, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light at 30% and masked the adjustment from the telephone pole. The text is a free font from DaFont: VT Portable Remington. I used two layers of Kim's Texture, Look Up. The first layer is set to Overlay at 30% and the second to Multiply at 30%. I also masked the telephone pole on the first  layer of the texture. In the Mask Panel I lowered the Density of the Mask to 80% and Feathered it 2 pixels on both the copy of the background layer and the first layer of the texture

Well, that wasn't too bad, was it? Hopefully I didn't put you to sleep half way through :-)

P.S. I've been using the Reply button to respond to comments, but I'm not sure if an email is sent notifying the person who commented of the reply. Could someone let me know...I wouldn't want anyone to think I hadn't responded! Thank you!!!