Category Archives: Photoshop 2009 – 2010

10 Step Painting Effect With PS Elements 5

I opened up a copy of an older photo this morning and played around with a painting effect. I think with a little more tweaking this could produce some fun images.

Here’s the photos and the how tos… enjoy!


Step 1 — make basic corrections and enhancements as you normally would.

Step 2 — copy photo to a new layer and name it “color layer”.

Step 3 — add a Hue/Saturation adjustment Layer, layer->new adjustment layer->hue/saturation. Adjust the hue/saturation and lightness to see well-defined edges, you can make changes to this layer later if you need additional color.

Step 4 — select your “color layer”  and click filter->blur->smart blur. Adjust radius and threshold to smooth out the inside areas and retain sharp edges. Click OK.

Step 5 — duplicate the “color layer” and rename it “outline layer”. “Outline layer” should appear above the “color layer”. Remove color from the image and create contrast, enhance->adjust color->remove color then enhance->adjust lighting ->contrast move contrast slider to increase the contrast in your image.

Step 6 — now create the black outlines, filter ->stylize->find edges.

Step 7 — combine the color image with the black and white image by changing the blending mode. Try different modes to see what works well for your images, such as multiply, darken color, or hard and soft light.

Step 8 — duplicate “outline layer” and adjust contrast as needed and once again find the edges, filter->stylize->find edges.

Step 9 — adjust the contrast and hue/saturation on each layer until you are happy with the final results.

Step 10 — flatten the final image and give it a new name!

I think this would look better if the original image had a smoother texture than the limestone walls of this courthouse. And perhaps if it had been a little better image to begin with. 🙂

You can see a larger size copy of the final image here, it really does look better in a larger size.

If you have tried out a similar painting technique please feel free to post a link to your instruction and final images in the comments!


Digital Photography Master Class -Assignment: Basic Image Enhancement

I spent last weekend visiting family and celebrating my Mother’s 78th birthday. We had a great time 7 of her 8 children made it to her party, #1 couldn’t be there. There were also lots of grand-kids, great-grand-kids, nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, some of the nursing home staff even stopped by. I think she enjoyed spending time with her older sister the most.

There was lots of food, games, movies, music, singing, and of corse lots of picture taking.

I think Mom had a good time.

I got a shot of Mom that I thought was going to be great. But once transferred to the computer I could see it was less then perfect. It should have been a great shot, I had the nifty-fifty on the camera and it was a fairly well lit room, but somehow I managed to mess it up. The focus was off the background busy and distracting and her face was a bit under exposed.

So I decided to use that photo for my next assignment choice. I’m working on assignments from Tom Ang’s Digital Photography Master Class and I thought this shot was a good one for the “Basic Image Enhancement” assignment.

The assignment is to: “start with a photograph that looks promising but is flawed in some way…use basic enhancement tools to make it ‘perfect’…”

Here’s the shot SOOC —


And here’s the shot after a little enhancement in PSE5 —

78th Birthday

And here’s what I did: a little crop, blurred and desaturated the background, a bit of sharpening on her face, some doge and burn, and added a little vignetting to help empasize the birthday girl and take some attention away from the busy background.

So, did it help? Is the photo any better?

1st post on Tom Ang’s Digital Photography Master Class

Assignment: Urban Nature