I saw this geranium by a wood fence and thought the scene had potential… but I couldn’t get the hot spots off the leaves. The detail had been totally burned out. Hot spots really burn me (pun intended, sadly) but I wanted to salvage this photo somehow. Then I got a spark of inspiration.
Photoshop to the rescue. I have a technique I use that involves layers, the Black & White Adjustment and Gaussian Blur that creates an arty effect. An extra heavy application of the Gaussian Blur step blotted out the hot spots. I’ll have to share how I put together this particular image in one of my occasional “How I Did It” Friday posts.
A few weeks ago, I featured these purple flowers. The process from original photo to the finished picture was actually a pretty simple Photoshop technique and did not take much time.
This is what I started out with. It is actually a pretty nice photo on its own, but I wanted to do something a little arty with it.
After cropping and making some minor adjustments, I made a duplicate layer of the photo.
I used the Smart Sharpen filter to over sharpen the top layer. It brings out the details I’ll want to use as a sort of faux sketch.
I then took the oversharp layer and made it grayscale by going to Image–>Adjustments–>Black & White. You can also get there with Command-Shift-Option-B. I use this way to get grayscale so I can manipulate how the color values appear in black and white. As you can see here, I lightened the blues and darkened the greens by quite a bit!
When I was done with the black and white adjustments, while the top layer was still highlighted, I switched the Blend Mode to Multiply. That combines the two layers to give it the arty effect.
Multiply also darkens the image, so I lightened the parts I wanted lighter with the Curves adjustment.
Almost the finished product! I decided there were a few things I wanted to touch up — the leaf in the upper right hand corner, for example — it was distracting, so I removed it.
These flowers were perfect for this effect. It works best with subjects that have fine detail that can be brought out in black and white.