Friday, July 13, 2007

Photoshop Friday #1

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting another blog focused totally on Photoshop. But since I don’t have the time right now to keep it up, I decided to do a mini Photoshop tutorial every Friday instead.
People often ask me how I achieve certain effects with the program, or how I put everything together. Sometimes a finished image will have up to twenty layers, so it’s hard to remember what I’ve actually done most of the time. Basically I just keep experimenting until I achieve something I’m happy with. This doesn’t always work though. I have an image of five pieces of toast that I’ve done nine different versions of, and they all look terrible.
Anyway, for this digital ATC called Agnes Rising Up, I used scans of a necklace I like and an old photo (see above). I like the necklace bezel because it’s pearly and crackly, and I knew it would scan well. The photo of Agnes is not a good one, but she fascinates me. Because of the clothing she’s wearing, I’m pretty sure she must have been a servant, and one eye is smaller than the other.
In order to use Agnes just on her own, I would have been forced to do some heavy-duty rescue work in Photoshop, but I decided not to. The only thing I touched up were the whites of her eyes. I used the Eraser tool at 25 per cent opacity on the brush setting so her eyes would stand out more, yet not be too startling.
I dragged the scan of the necklace bezel into the Agnes file and then chose Darken in the Layers palette so Agnes could show through. I went back and forth between the two layers playing with Saturation, Contrast and Levels (under Images> Adjustments) in order to intensify the color.
It wasn’t hard to do, and took me about fifteen minutes. I’m not completely happy with Agnes because she looks a little muddy, but I did take her as far as she could go—given my level of skill and understanding. When it comes to Photoshop, my motto is always: “Go forth and experiment.”


Godelieve said...

Interesting mini tutorial. Thanks for showing the pieces you used too. I think the result is gorgeous.

jeanne said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for starting this. I know I will benefit enormously.


juneh said...

fun idea!, was she(Agnes) a servant because her one eye was smaller than the other??!?!? [snicker,snicker]

A bird in the hand said...

Thank for for starting this. I'm still such a novice. I think you're right about Agnes; she seems to be clad like a maid.

irenka said...

Thank You Thank You Thank YOu!

Ginny Bettendorf said...

thank you -- learning so much experimenting, following ideas you explain so well. a question -- is there a way i/we could use the necklace bezel in our photoshop?
thank you either way!!!