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Photoshop Tips & Tricks- A Few Easy Ways to Make Your Subjects Pop!

These are very basic and very well known tricks you can do in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to tweak images in one way or another.

1. Easy colour and contrast pop:

Mouse over image to see results

Mouse over image to see results

Duplicate background layer, from top menu select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, set amount to about 20, click OK. Go to blending mode drop down list in the layers palette and select overlay. Finally adjust opacity of this overlaid blur layer down until the effect looks tame enough to just add some pop to the colours and contrast in the image. If you would like to go further and confine the effect only to certain parts of your image, you can use the eraser tool (try playing with the opacity settings for the tool if you want a more subtle touch) and “paint” over the areas in which you want to remove or selectively tone down the effect. Just make sure you have the effect layer selected when you do this, not the background/original layer.

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P.O.T.M. #11 – Don’t Look at Me

Jimmy’s always amping up the creativity in his images- using a lot of textures, brushes, and great subjects to produce a gritty, grungy feel to his images. Here’s one from the f8photo flickr group that I really like as it includes a rare human element- it’s not often Jimmy focuses on people- and it is done very well, capturing a great expression/moment. The lighting, colour treatment, etc all work so well together in this image. Nice work!

What Was I Thinking?

Discipline and routine are totally not my strongest suits. I’m only 8 days into my 365 photo project and I see imminent failure. The weather’s been shite here, and will only get worse as we head into our long Canadian prairie winter. Bleh! This means day after day I’ll have not much to shoot but stuff around the house, unless I wanna freeze my nards off. Heck, even outside there’s not much to capture during winter except bare trees, white snow, and dirty streets. I can see that by day thirty-something I’ll be shooting a calculator on my desk or an old shoe just to keep up the project. Typical me, catching a whiff of the near inevitable failure, I’ve debated it in my mind along the lines of “screw this- who’s really gonna care if I bail on this silly endeavour anyway?” The little angelic guy on my left shoulder advised, “But you’ve been posting the images to Flickr and Facebook as well as your Blog- you’re gonna look pathetic.” To which the cynical little red guy on the right shoulder replied “yeah, that totals about a dozen people, and most of them already know I’m lame. F-it!”

See my new, more realistic project that is taking place of the 365-er here. I call it my Fifty-Two Project, because it’s a photo a week, but all shot at 50mm and f/2

Fifty-Two Project, Week 2

50mm @ f/2, Pentax K100D with Pentax-M 50/1.4 lens, ISO 1600

The Whimsical Image

Tripods are for pussies!

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