They say eyes can tell you about the sole. I’ve collected the most stunning close-up photos of human eyes for your inspiration. You see eyes have unique colors and textures. They are just beautiful. Enjoy!
An intermediate level Photoshop CS tutorial teaching how to use the Gradient Map color toning to get an effect of a faded colored photo. I strongly recommend that you use your own shots for learning the techniques—it is more interesting to see the effect on your shots and you can share your results with us.
- Open your colored image in Photoshop CS.
- Click the Create New Fill or Adjustment icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Channel Mixer.
- Select the Monochrome checkbox at the bottom of the Channel Mixer window and click OK.
Step 2. Adjusting the image color
- Click Create New Fill or Adjustment and select Hue/Saturation.
- In the Hue/Saturation window, Select the Colorize checkbox.
- Drag the Hue slider to the right or left till you get the desired hue.
Step 3. Gradient Map color toning
- Click Create New Fill or Adjustment and select Gradient Map.
- In the Gradient Map window, select the desired gradient or use the Gradient Editor to create a new gradient and click OK.
- Click the mask of the Gradient Map layer and use the Gradient Tool (black to transparent gradient) to hide colorization at the corners of the image.
Download the PSD file for this tutorial.
I learnt about this technique from Lee Varis. The skin tone is the most important color in any portrait so we just have to get it right.
I have this candid image of my sister. As you see the skin color in the image has too much magenta and cyan.
Yes, I know the background is overexposed. This is a common problem when shooting on a bright sunny day. We will take care of the background later. For now let us correct the skin tone.
Sampling the skin tone
To evaluate the skin tone, we need to place a sampler. Select the Color Sample tool (under the Eyedropper tool) and place the sampler on the skin. Make sure your sample size is not Point Sample, as you do not want to sample only the noise in the image.
In the Info palette (Window > Info), you see the info about the pixels you sampled. By default, you see the RGB values. Click the little Eyedropper icon near the RGB info for your sample and select CMYK from the drop-down menu (see the screenshot on the left).
A good skin tone for a Caucasian has about 35% magenta, 40% yellow and only 10% cyan. Well our sample has 40% magenta, 27% yellow and 37% cyan. You see we have a little bit too much magenta, a way too much cyan and not enough yellow. Let’s try and fix it.
You have to take it for a rule to use a new layer for each adjustment. This gives you a chance to back off if you do not like anything about the final result you get. It can save you lots of time if the client does not like something in the image and you have to tweak it again.
Create a new Curves Adjustment layer (click Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Curves; you can see the icon hints when hovering over them with your mouse).
We will be correcting individual channels—red, green and blue. So select Red from the Channel drop-down menu. Hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys on the keyboard and click on the color sampler in the image to get the point for the skin tone on the curve (see the screenshot on the right).
We have a curious situation here. Our sampler values are in CMYK while our channels allow us to edit RGB values. However, this is not a problem. Remember:
- To reduce cyan, you add red.
- To reduce yellow, you add blue.
- To reduce magenta, you add green.
And vice versa:
- To add cyan, you reduce red.
- To add yellow, you reduce blue.
- To add magenta, you reduce green.
It is not that difficult as it may look. When you click the point on the curve, you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move it up or down. These are the final curves for our Red, Green and Blue channels.
The screenshot on the right shows the result we’ve got.
Then we used the Healing Brush to lighten up the shadows under the eyes and the Spot Healing Tool to remove some skin defects. Of course, the image needs more retouching, but we will do this in another tutorial. For now, just look how much you can improve an image by adjusting the color of the skin tone.
See you next time.
Three tutorial DVD set shows the image editing techniques described in the book Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies (click here for the book review).
What is covered in volume 1
- Photoshop CS3 User Interface. Shows you how to arrange palettes and customize menus to make your workspace more convenient.
- Image adjustment tools:
- Curves. Learn how to remove color overcast and adjust the most important color in the image—the skin tone.
- Hue-saturation adjustment. Learn how to make reddish skin look healthier. A great technique for healing acne.
- Basic Retouching. Covers tools to do typical flaw removal retouching:
- The Spot Healing brush. Helps to take out little defects.
- The Healing brush.
- The Patch tool. Helps to clean out background spots. Works pretty good on even backgrounds.
- The Clone tool.
- Dodge and burn technique. Helps to retouch little wrinkles.
- Rebuilding skin. Learn how to preserve the real skin texture and avoid creating too smooth spastic-looking skin texture. Recreate the skin texture to cover up skin defects.
- Storing texture libraries as patterns.
- Limiting the depth of field to throw the background out of focus. Learn how to achieve a realistic looking limited depth of field.
What is covered in volume 2
- A technique to add a soft diffusion glow in the image to get a classic portrait look.
- Advanced sharpening techniques.
- Getting the foreground figure away from the distracting background by adding more contrast and shape.
- Converting color images into back and white. Taking advantage of the channel structure of a colored image.
Beyond Skin: Going Deeper With Photoshop CS3 is a great training program for a photographer who needs helps understanding image retouching and enhancement techniques.
Fire looks like a great subject to photograph. We are fascinated by fire, and it is very tempting to try and capture images that would convey warmth and subtlety of the flame. However, we forget that it is not the flame itself that creates that warm, cozy and romantic feeling we enjoy in front of the fire place in the evening.
Just a fire shot
Have a look at the image on the right. While it was fun to shoot, there is nothing I like about the image. Let me try to explain what I mean. The image has nothing to offer to the viewer: it is like a thousand other fire shots out there. At first sight you may find it visually appealing, but it does not convey the right feeling, and you get bored with the image the next minute. Would you hang it on a wall in your room? No way! There is nothing to look at.
What to shoot when shooting fire
When shooting fire, try to shoot not the flame but the details such as burning wood, candles or matches, fireplace and people around. Details always make more interesting shots. Think of composing your image before you press the shutter button, and you will get more visually strong images.
Good luck and happy shooting.
Have a fire shot to share? Make sure you post a comment below.
The book’s subtitle: The step-by-step secrets for how to make your photos look like the pros’! Great for point-and-shoot digital camera owners, too!
Who should read this book
If you have recently bought your first digital camera and you like reading digital photography blogs—and chances are that you do like photo blogs—this book is for you. The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby is actually a blog on paper. Let me explain what I mean. Each page of the book contains a photography tip and a photo to illustrate it. On the next page you get the next tip and one more illustration. This is not a comprehensive photography guide but a quick how to book.
Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I shoot a panorama?" Here you are. You just read through the table of contents and you get tips for shooting panoramas and steps so easy that even a beginner photographer can follow them.
"How do I get great light indoors?" No problem, Scott Kelby helps you with this too. You do not have to read about all kinds of reflectors and how to set them up. As I told you, this is not a book for professional photographers who have all kinds of photography equipment. You do not have your own photo studio, and this book teaches you how to get great shots with what you’ve got (of course, a few photo accessories such as a tripod would not hurt, right?) So to shoot a portrait indoors, just position your subject near the window. If all your windows get direct light, try to pin a thin curtain to diffuse light. Make sure the subject is getting side light—not direct light—from the window and press the shutter.
Scott’s writing style is not what we usually see in books, but it is fine for a blogger. Scott uses simple words, conversational style and somewhat quirky humor. You may find his jokes distracting if you got used to more formal writing.
What is in the book
Chapter 1. Pro tips for getting really sharp photos
It quickly covers photographic gear you may find useful for getting sharper images—tripods, ballheads, cable releases, digital lenses—as well as some easy Photoshop sharpening techniques.
Chapter 2. Shooting flowers like a pro
- How to choose better angle and get more visually interesting shots.
- How to put the background out of focus to keep it from distracting the eye.
- Three ideal times to shoot flowers.
- How to get the perfect soft light for indoor flower shots.
- How to shoot flowers if the wind is blowing.
Chapter 3. Shooting weddings like a pro
- The trick for low-light shooting in a church.
- Getting soft diffused light with your flash.
- How to use a fill flash to eliminate harsh shadows on sunny days.
- What details to shoot.
- How to pose the bride with other people.
Chapter 4. Shooting landscapes like a pro
- How to use the Aperture priority mode of your camera to get the background in focus or out of focus.
- How to use foreground to compose great landscapes.
- How to shoot waterfalls to get that silky stream affect you often see in professional photos.
- Getting more interesting mountain shots.
- Tips for shooting and faking panoramas.
Chapter 5. Shooting sports like a pro
- How to stop the motion and keep your shot sharp.
- How to show motion.
- How to compose your shots.
Chapter 6. Shooting people like a pro
- How to get the background right.
- Where to position the camera.
- How to position the subject in the frame.
- How to get soft light for portraiture indoors and outdoors with reflectors or without them.
Chapter 7. Avoiding problems like a pro
- How to avoid white balance problems when shooting indoors.
- When to use backup batteries and why.
- How to set up your tripod on an incline so that your camera does not topple over.
- Why do pros use a lens hood?
- How to back up your photos on the spot.
- How to avoid red eye and how to remove red eye if you was not able to avoid it.
Chapter 8. Taking advantage of digital like a pro
- How to keep an efficient digital photo workflow.
- How to take advantage of the blinkies.
- How to avoid accidentally erasing your memory cards.
Chapter 9. Taking travel & city life shots like a pro
Top things you learn from this chapter:
- Shoot kids on simple backgrounds.
- Shoot old people after establishing a little rapport and talking with them.
- Hire a model. It is not that expensive as you may think.
- Look for bold and vivid colors of the city.
- Shoot the details.
- Shoot the signs.
Chapter 10. How to print like a pro and other cool stuff
- Printing lab-quality 8x10s, 13x19s and 16x20s.
- Which paper to use for printing.
- How to calibrate your monitor.
Chapter 11. Photo recipes to help you get "The Shot"
The chapter contains step-by-step instructions on getting the shots featured in the book.
So if you are new to digital photography, you will find The Digital Photography Book to be a valuable resource. Make sure to get your copy of The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby. You will enjoy seeing how just some simple tricks make a significant difference.
A beginner level tutorial that shows you how to convert your images to back and white, improve them and restore detail. Also, the tutorial explains why Image > Mode > Grayscale is not the best way to convert your images to back and white.
- Channel Mixer
This is our original image. The obvious problem is the sky—the lack of detail and the sky color. In the image we see an abandoned house and a lonely tree—a very sad view—at least it must be sad but the image fails to convey the feeling. The happy overexposed color of the sky ruins the impression. Colors only destruct us; they have nothing to add to this particular image. Let’s convert the image to back and white and see what we will get.
I guess you got used to Image > Mode > Grayscale command to convert images to back and white. Let me show you a better way. You will be glad you learnt it. Moreover, this tutorial is an easy and short one.
Let us start with examining the Red, Green and Blue channels of the image. Select Window > Channels from the top menu. Here is what the Channels palette looks like:
You can make channels visible or invisible by clicking on the Eye icon.
|Red channel||Green channel||Blue channel|
As you see, the red channel has the most detail in the sky area while the blue channel has no detail at all.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer and select the Monochrome checkbox at the bottom of the Channel Mixer window. Remember, to get a natural look, all the Source Channels sliders must add up to 100%. let’s set the Red and Green channels to +100 and Blue channel to –100.
Compare it to a Grayscale conversion below. See the difference? We got darker more detailed sky and lighter grass—exactly the effect we were after. The beauty of Photoshop is that it gives you a great control of your images. Keep shooting and happy black and white conversions to you!
This is a beginner level tutorial to show you how to frame your photos for publishing them on your blog, personal web site or photo gallery.
- Canvas size
- Rectangle path tool
- Brush tool
- Stroke path
Difficulty: Easy. You can use your own images for this tutorial. Any image will do.
Canvas area matte
Open your image in Adobe Photoshop.
Create your canvas area matte (Image > Canvas Size). I use light gray for the canvas color to make the fish look brighter.
Select the Rectangle Path Tool and draw just inside the image.
Select the Brush tool . You can choose any brush you want and the effect you get will depend on the brush you choose. Try to experiment with different brushes and brush sizes. Make sure the matte color is the foreground color of your brush. Now you are ready to stroke the path.
If you do not see the Path palette, select Window > Paths from the top menu. Click on the little triangle icon in the upper right corner of the Path palette and select Stroke Path.
See you next time. Make sure to come back for more tutorials.
- Canvas size
- Layers and layer styles (stroke, gradient)
- Polygonal lasso tool
- Pen tool
- Transform and Gaussian Blur (for shadows)
Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced, but do not be scared–if you do not get a step, post a comment and I will clarify it. As always, at the end of the tutorial, there is a link to download the PSD file so you can see what we have done to get the 3D-photo effect.
This is what we will get when we finish this tutorial.
Here is our original:
Click the image, save it to your drive and let’s get started.
1. Let us add some workspace around the image (Image > Canvas Size).
2. Create a new layer (Layers > New > Layer). Double-click the layer in the Layers palette and name the layer "Frame".
3. Use Polygonal Lasso Tool, which is under the Lasso tool in the Tools menu, to draw the frame for the photo.
5. Press Ctrl+Back Space on the keyboard to fill the select area with color (any color will do at this step).
6. Click on the Add a Layer style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Stroke (click the screenshot below to enlarge). Our stroke color is #2b4729.
7. Click Add a Layer style and select Gradient Overlay. Our gradient settings are as follows (click the thumbnail to enlarge):
Here’s what we’ve got so far
8. Create a new layer and name it "Inner frame".
9. Use Polygonal Lasso Tool again to draw the inner frame. With the inner frame shape selected, click on the main layer that has the original photo and press Ctrl+C on the keyboard to copy a part of the image. Then select the Inner Frame layer and press Ctrl+V to paste the part of the image.
10. Add stroke to the Inner Frame layer as we did in step 6.
11. Hide all the layers except the Original Photo layer.
12. Create a copy of the Original Photo layer and use the Pen Tool (P) to select the upper part of the mushrooms. Then click the Add a layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette or select Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection from the top menu.
13. Make the layers visible again.
14. Hide the Original Photo layer. Create a new layer, drag and drop it down in the Layers menu and then fill it with the help of the Gradient tool (G).
15. All we have to do now is add shadows. Use the Brush tool (B) to draw a shadow over the top of the mushrooms. Use the Opacity slider in the Layers palette to make the shadow more transparent.
16. For the shadow under the frame, we duplicate the Frame layer, and fill it with black.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
When thinking of categories for posts on this site, it occurred to me that it would be convenient to use photographic genres for categories. However, the question is What are the major photographic genres? Of course, everyone can name a few like portraiture and landscape photography, but how do these genres correlate with travel photography for example? Are portraiture and landscape photography included into travel photography or not?
You cannot classify a photo only by the subject photographed. A food photo can be made for advertising food or for a wedding album (for example, a wedding cake) or to depict traditions of a land or to tell a story. Therefore, in the first case it is commercial photography, in the second case it is wedding photography, in the third case—travel photography, and in the forth case—photojournalism. We need different criteria for our classification. The purpose of the photo may be the criterion we are looking for.
Having the photo’s purpose in mind, let us see what classification we can get:
- Travel photography—portrays a land, its people and culture.
- Landscape—depicts scenery such as mountains, rivers, and forests
- Plants and animals
- Street photography—depicts people in candid situations randomly and often without their knowledge.
- Architectural photography
- Family photography—depicts history and rituals of a family
- Event photography
- Wedding photography
- Baby photography
- Children photography
- Senior photography
- Pet photography
- Event photography
- Photojournalism—makes images to tell a story.
- Documentary photography—provides a record of social and political situations.
- Art photography
- Abstract and surreal photography
- Black and white photography
- Commercial imagery
- Advertising photography
- Product shots, tabletop
- Food and drink
- Fashion photography
- Boudoir photography
- Advertising photography
There is not much info on photographic genres on the web. If you know a good classification or have any suggestions, please be so kind as to post a comment.