All posts tagged Photoshop

Having been in the graphic business for over two decades, I look at things differently than your average guy would, I guess.
And I’ve seen quite a few weird and bad Photoshop jobs pass my desk.
Sometimes you wonder “but… but… HOW??? WHAT were they thinking??” Also sometimes you look at something and you simply KNOW there’s something odd, but you can’t really put your finger on it, because it’s not all THAT clear from the start.

Yesterday I was flying from Denpasar to Manila, a 4 hour flight. Cebu Pacific (excellent company, I’ve flown with them many many times!) has their own in-flight magazine, as many carriers do, and of course there’s plenty of advertising in it. I finished my book, so I had plenty of time to scrupulously go through the whole magazine. And really, when you look at things closely, there’s a surprising amount of really shitty Photoshop work out there.

There was one with a swimming pool, where people and chairs were copy-pasted in, with reflections and shadows in every which (wrong) way, dwarfs and giants living harmoniously together, there were really REALLY bad masking jobs, and so on.
I picked out one of many for you that caught my eye specifically.

This one, supposedly a very upscale real estate company, hired one of Philippines’ most famous models to pose in their imagery. Look how she’s holding on tight with one hand on the railing of the speed boat and with the other hand on the glass of wine.
Oh, but hang on…

Real estate advertisement

Real estate advertisement, copyright belongs to the respective owners.
Snapshot of the advertisement page in Cebu Pacific Air’s in-flight magazine.

Details of the real estate advertisement

Details of the real estate advertisement

So basically every element in this adverts is copy-pasted to make this composite of images. And it’s done badly.

I kept on snickering when I paged through the magazine. The people sitting next to me probably thought I was pretty weird ๐Ÿ˜€

I found another good “victim” for the cross-processing.

Cross-processing a door

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

Then into Photoshop:

Screenshot of Photoshop

Four different Hue/Saturation layers with different blending modes...

… gives us this end result:

Cross-processing in Photoshop

The end result after cross-processing

Although temperatures are dropping, it’s still fall. In all it’s glory.
I promised I’d give you some more. I’m not going for all the colorful leaves this year (yet, at least). You’ve probably seen plenty of that.
The other day, when I was driving home, I noticed a whole bunch of mushrooms in a garden patch right out front the building. Had planned to go take some pictures of it, but the weather’s been so crappy that I never got to it. Last Sunday was such a glorious fall day, though, that I finally got to go out and shoot them. Plastic garbage bag a-ready, because I was sprawled out on the wet grass on my belly, getting down and dirty, and up close and personal. I missed all the funny looks from passers-by, but that’s ok. I had some pretty cool views myself.


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

But the coolest thing… shows that you should SO shoot in RAW to retain as much image detail as you possibly can… was this one:


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 90mm macro, off-camera SB-800

What’s so special about this, you’d probably wonder… Well, I didn’t think of it much first. It’s a funky image with the mushrooms like this and the detail “under the hood”, but when I had it open in Lightroom I noticed the mosquito. Here’s a cut-out of the original:

Cutout of the original

Partial close-up of the original

As a silhouette the mosquito isn’t all that bad either, but I opened it up in Photoshop and went to see how much detail there really was recorded in the RAW file. So with a few adjustments in exposure and curves, and a pixel-perfect mask on the mosquito

The layer mask for the mosquito and the (adjustment) layer panel in Photoshop

The layer mask for the mosquito and the (adjustment) layer panel in Photoshop

the whole thing turned out to be a surprisingly sharp image of the mosquito (lucky focusing there, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). No additional sharpening has been done here. The SB-800 was lying upside down in the dirt to the left (upside down, because I wanted the flash to flash upwards under the cap of the mushroom) and I guess there was so much light bouncing back off the stem and cap of the mushroom that it lit up the mosquito completely. It almost looks like it’s transparent or something. Really cool. Anyway… Ramblings of a biased photographer.

Mushrooms with mosquito

Partial close-up of the adjusted image

By the way… If anyone knows what mushroom this is, feel free to drop me a line. I suck in recognizing plants and other vegetables and Google isn’t much help in this either ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m not one of those fanatic guys who’s got one of his old camera bodies converted to an infrared camera, I’m using an infrared filter.
Which I hadn’t used in aaaages, I must add. It was nice to dig it out and have a go at it again, even if it almost cost me my camera, because a big wave came rolling in while the camera was balancing on a rock (without tripod, where are they when you need them??) during the 76 seconds exposure time and almost took me and the camera back in.

Here’s the out-of-camera shot:

Infrared photography

D700, ISO200, 76 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Tiffen 87 Infrared filter

That lens flare was annoying, but there wasn’t much I could to about it with the image that I wanted to take, so… But with a bit of post-processing, conversion, dodging and burning in Photoshop it came out quite ok:

Infrared photography

Same specs as above, but with some additional work in Photoshop.

A lot of things make good test objects, and sometimes it’ll turn out to be really funky (at least I think so ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
So we were out hiking and came across this branch. I thought it may look good in black and white, with the patterns on the stem and everything. Tried some things when I got home, but it was basically a boring image without much potential. Until I started messing around with it in Photoshop.
So here’s the original:


D700, ISO200, 1/8000 sec @ f/1.4, Nikkor 50mm

Quite boring, no?
But then, after like 10 adjustment layers in Photoshop it turned into this:


Same as above, but with "some" adjustments in Photoshop.

A suitable door is all it takes.


Door before metamorphosis

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

Oh, and of course a tad bit of Photoshop:

Screenshot Photoshop

Screenshot Photoshop, what you can’t see: the Hue/Saturation layer is set to blend mode Overlay.

Which then results in:

The door after post-processing

The door after post-processing

To get away (at least temporarily) from the single colored landscape we’re vacating in at the time I thought I’d throw in a little bit of Photoshop.
Photography basis, with a twist.

Macro close-up of a flowering tulip

Formerly known as "tulip"

The procedure is very simple. Open up a (suitable) image in Photoshop. Go to View -> Show -> Show Grid. Make a selection on the background layer. You can either copy-paste it onto a new layer or work on the background layer (not recommended). Free transform (Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) T), flip horizontally or vertically, depending on the direction of your selection. Repeat with equal spaces between the sections. And that’s it ๐Ÿ™‚ Creative variations/combinations possible.
Gives some funky effects if you have the right picture.

Drop me a line if you want more details on the how-to.

Same shoot as the post from yesterday. This is a panorama stitched together from 5 images.
(The sky was totally weird that afternoon, can’t really put my finger on it, but it just looked odd).


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm, 5 images stitched together in Photoshop (original file size 11955 x 2778 px)

Even with the white balance on daylight the originals came out totally blue. I had to do some serious color tweaking and desaturated the blues almost completely to get this look like a clean snowy landscape.

Laundress Lane

Unedited original, D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm

Yeah, I know… There are some pictures that everyone probably has taken. In that sense I’m a tourist like everyone else.
But then… In many ways I’m not just a tourist, so I probably tend to do things from a different angle (pun intended) than most of the people. So here’s the recipe:

  • 1 over-photographed street sign in Cambridge
  • Lightroom
  • appr. 5 cms crop (it doesn’t have to be that exact, but don’t overdo it!)
  • a pinch of exposure correction
  • two cups of fill light
  • 250 gr tone curve adjustments
  • Photoshop
  • a splash of HDR (two instances of the same image, with different highlight settings)
  • 1 tablespoon curves for good contrast
  • 1 teaspoon curves for over-all enlightenment
  • some cloning
  • add noise to taste
  • (and back into Lightroom) add some post-crop vignetting and split toning for seasoning
Laundress Lane

After 20 minutes in the oven...

Anyone who wants can have a piece of the pie. Prints available, prices depending on the size and material.
Inquiries via photos [that funny symbol here]

Every now and again (risk of the job) I come across one of those “over-beautified” images. I’m sure everyone’s seen the Dove viral which has been going around the internet in the past years. I haven’t seen such an obvious example on the “local” market before, though.


Elongated neck...

Apologies for the bad scan, but you can still see what I’m aiming at. On the original you can actually see, half way the neck on the left side, from where they started extending, and on the right side some repeating cloning patternsย  ๐Ÿ˜€
And to be honest, she really does look like a giraffe here.

Owwell… I guess most people won’t even notice…