On this page you will find some helpful tutorials on how to do things I do in Photoshop CS3. I hope to add more stuff to this page soon, camera setting tutorials, and behind the scenes stuff. As always, if you have any questions regarding any of my posts just ask! firstname.lastname@example.org
Skin Tones and Sparkly Eyes
How I get the smooth creamy skin and the sparkling eyes in my photos. This is just the post processing. A lot goes into getting the photo looking good to begin with. Great catchlights, correct exposure, focus on the eyes, etc. I use the keyboard shortcuts a lot in the video. Mostly to invert masks and selections. I use ctrl+i.
Gaussian Blur Layer Mask Effect
Make sure you have your curves layer mask (the one that controls the brightness of the photo) selected
Double click on the curves icon to open it for editing
Change it to make the surrounding area of the photo darker
Again make sure mask is selected
Select the round selection tool from the toolbar
Draw a selection around your subject, the area you want to be lighter
Hit control+backspace (also make sure your color palette is white on top of black as shown) This will make a cutout in your mask
To make the edges softer go to gaussian blur
Go all the way up to 250 and say ok
The following steps are optional. Its to give the greenery an extra kick. Its all pretty self explanitory, just make sure you follow up with the masking method shown before… we dont want the baby any darker now do we?
Using Gradients Within Layer Masks
This method allows for some dramatic effects. Use it to alter the way the lighting looks in your photo by masking out some of the brightness.
With your image open select your curves layer (one that you have used to lighten your photo to your liking). Make sure the mask is selected.
Then select the gradient in your tools on the left side. At the top of the screen open the gradient and make sure you have foreground/background selected and that your colors are white and black. Click ok….
First be sure you are using the second gradient option, the circle, at the top of your screen. Put your pointer at the center point of where you want your lighter area to be and drag it down, doesnt matter which direction. Play with it over and over again, no need to undo, just try again, till you like it. Be sure that in the layer mask the black area is the majority and the white is a smaller white circle, if it is opposite then switch your colors and try again.
The finished product. It should be brighter in the center and darker towards the edges. I started using this method originally with landscapes. You can use this method with the linear gradient and make a Photoshop Nuteral Density Filter! Make the sky darker while keeping the ground brighter or vise versa.
Fixing White Balance on a JPG Image
Here is my newest tutorial. It doesnt even seem fair to call it that, it took me two seconds to do this.
To correct white balance in Photoshop on a JPG image simply follow these two steps. Doing this can possibly save you lots and lots of time editing.
Open the curves layer mask. Select the gray eye dropper (circled) and then click on the white of the eye. Click around the white until you have the WB you want and say OK.
Now the top photo is much closer to the bottom photo by comparison. It only took two seconds!
How to make a photoshop brush/eraser
I thought this was the coolest thing ever when I learned it. Now you can include handwritten things in your photos, cards, or whatever!
Take a picture of something you drew, wrote, or had your child draw for you and get it into photoshop. You can also take a picture of a particular pattern you like and use that.
Select the magic wand tool
With the magic wand select everything you want to be a part of the brush. You might have to hold the shift and keep selecting if it doesnt get it all at once
Then go to edit, define brush
Name your new brush and preview what it will look like
Your new brush is at the bottom of your list of brushes
Making Blacks Black
Sometimes even when you think you have all your blacks black enough when you get a print back there may be a few white spots or colored spots on your background. How aggrevating! This has happened to me before so I asked someone on Flickr a while back how to fix it and this is what I was told to do. It is so beyond perfect you’ll do it everytime!
Here is how to do it…. There may be some highlights hidden in there and they will show when you go to print. The best way to make sure all the highlights in the black are black is to show the clipping… This will get rid of any white spots that your monitor may not show you.
To make blacks black open the curves and select the show clipping box
When you select the box it will turn the photo white
Select the black dropper and start clicking on the white places in your background
Keep going until all the white spots are gone
Click ok when you are done and you can see your photo again with the blacker background.
With a soft black brush you can paint over your subject in the curves layer mask (circled) where they got too dark and lighten them up again.