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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Using Photo Filters -- in Photoshop

Look at these two images. One is just a little bland, and one is much warmer.

It may be too warm for some tastes, but it illustrates a point. Photoshop provides a group of Photo Filters (in film days, you had to screw these onto the front of your lens). With digital photography, Photoshop has become your digital darkroom (there are other image manipulation programs available. Some are very good, but Photoshop is the choice of most professional and serious amateur photographers).

Back to the images. The first is straight out of the camera. The second has been warmed up in Photoshop.

Open Photoshop (either version CS or CS2 – this will probably work on CS3, but I haven’t used CS3, yet).

Open an image – for this example, use a headshot/portrait.

Now, on the Layers Palette, create a new Adjustment Layer.

A popup menu will appear. Select Photo Filter. Make sure the Preview box is checked, then scroll through the filters, looking at the effect they have on your image.

Also, notice that you now have the Adjustment Layer, and it is labeled Photo Filter 1. We are only going to use one Photo Filter, but if you plan to use several, you can click on the words, and change the text to something more meaningful.

In this example, select Warming Filter (85). You can adjust the Density using the slider.

When you are satisfied, click on OK.

Duplicate your original image layer. You can do this by dragging it onto the Sticky Note icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette.

Drag your duplicate layer (background copy) to the top.

Change the Blending Mode by using the menu at the top of the layers palette. Select Overlay. The default is Normal.

Decrease the Opacity – on the duplicate layer – with the Opacity Slider, until you have the effect you want.

Finally, Flatten the image.

You can download a PDF version of this post, complete with screen captures.

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