30 Days of Creativity: Day 7

Saxon tackles a dragon!

My latest experiment is the result of a curious creativity surge and a Saturday evening with nothing else to do.  I wanted to work exclusively with Photoshop Elements®, also known as ‘Photoshop Lite’ by some.  I also wanted to do some work with layers and masking, neither of which I really know much about.  I do have a great book called Layers (2nd edition) by Matt Kloskowski, which helps to understand how to do a lot of cool things with layers.  However, you do have to poke around Elements a bit to find how to set the layers.  (Go to your layers stack, click on the layer of interest, then select what type of layer you want – Normal, Multiply, Dissolve, etc. – from the drop down menu.)

Likewise, I didn’t know how to set up a mask and I couldn’t find it from the main drop down windows.  However, this is where Matt’s book really helped me out – and thank you to Adobe® for putting this power into Elements!  There is a little button on the bottom on your layers stack that looks like a square with a circle cut out of it.  This will add a mask to your selected layer so you can work with it.

Naturally, I picked something nice and difficult to work with, like my furry cat.  I masked out the background (my window shades) and eventually had to copy the resulting image into its own layer.  I tried fill layers, but they kept showing me the background, so I grabbed an image off the internet.  This image is the Skyrim© dragon.  It made a nice backdrop and it looks as if Saxon, my cat, is trying to catch a dragon! 😉

Basement cat killz ebil dragon

Now, as for the colors… no, my cat is not purple.  He is actually black.  But I had taken the image inside so the white balance was off and he looked brown with yellow eyes.  (His eyes are green-yellow and look green more often than not.)  To to correct the white balance, I used the function Enhance>Adjust Color>Remove Color Cast.  Well, a purple cat is about as far away as you can get with this function, so I decided to leave it as not only a lesson learned, but because I thought it was fun. 🙂

I used another layer (select, copy & paste) to make the blanket green, just for contrast.  His eyes were the only serious thing I did: Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation.  Now, it isn’t a perfect match, nor was it a perfect selection (zoom in on his left eye and you can see the flaw) but this is a little closer to his natural eye color – still yellowish, but green at the same time.  I know the selection around the cat isn’t perfect either, but I liked the back lit look so I didn’t try harder to fix it.

All-in-all it is a very “Photoshopped” image, but it was fun to make – and that’s the idea, isn’t it? 🙂

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 6

Zebras

As you can probably tell, I am still running through my zoo photos.  I have so many good shots from that shoot that it’s difficult not to just work completely with them.  Especially since there is a “no sale” photography clause with the zoo, so I can’t put the pictures up on Etsy or anyplace like that.  I wonder if I can still enter them into contests?  Something to look into.

I started working with this zebra shot by adjusting the white balance and tweaking it as a color photo.  But then, just for the heck of it, I turned it black and white.  Zebras take on a very interesting look when shot in black and white.  You know they are black and white creatures, so when you see the image with a black and white background, it gives a whole different feel to the animal’s presence, in my opinion.  I think they stand out more as opposed to less, even if they “blend in” with the background.  What do you think?
As for the second shot, I worked with the image in both Lightroom® and Photoshop Elements®.  Most of the image manipulation was done in Lightroom®, including the split-toning (giving it that blue-grey look) and adding grain to make it look more like a film shot.  To emphasize the “film look” I used Photoshop Elements® to put a film frame around it.  It was fun and a little different, and I like the final product.

I realize I sound like an advertisement for these programs, but that is not my intention.  I wanted to share with you how I go about my editing to achieve the final look.  I am usually satisfied with my results, and photography is one of the few things that I have a little bit of self-confidence in.  I still have a lot to learn but I am slowly getting there. 🙂


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 1

Avril’s Shoes

At least, I think they are Avril’s shoes. I went through some old photographs of when I was in Toronto and found these from the Bata shoe museum. It’s quite an interesting place – more so than you might think from hearing it’s a shoe museum. They had a great exhibit on the 1920s going at the time.

They also have exhibits where famous Canadians have donated their shoes to the museum. These are from Avril Lavigne (I think). Honestly, it’s been a while, but it was in that group of stars so I think they are hers.

What I did for creativity is mask the black and white layer so that I could allow the color to shine through. I loved the color on these shoes, but the background was horrible. So black and white it went with a nice blur to get rid of the distraction and highlight the shoes.  I’m still getting the hang of working with layers properly so this was easier said than done. 😉

I’m going to a friend’s house tonight to do some crafting, so we will see what I come up with next!


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.