Calling For Spring + Another Freebie

I enjoy taking photographs as much as I enjoy processing them in Lightroom and Photoshop. During the winter months, when laziness take over, I spend my free time going through old files, processing and re-processing photos that have been taken some time ago. I take a lot of floral shots, and most of them were being processed the same way in Lightroom, so I created some presets which helped cut down processing time. I am sharing 2 of them here today. Continue reading here

Tulips in panorama

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Occasionally, I find myself enjoying and loving the snow. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I take advantage of the rare moment of insanity and go out in the snow. I remember doing just that in January, as soon as it started snowing. I received a few odd stares from strangers because while everyone was rushing inside to hunker down until the storm passed, I braved the cold, wrapped the camera with my scarf and wandered around outside taking photographs. I did walk away with a few keepers that day. The building with a dome that you see on this photo is the Marche Bonsecours located at the Old Port in Montreal.

This photo was edited in Lightroom 4. I created a preset called Golden Sunset, which I used on this image (I will give it away as a freebie in the next few days, so stay tuned). Click on the photo to see the transformation.

Marche Bonsecours

Marche Bonsecours

Topaz B&W Effects 2 Is Out

As you all know, I am very fond of the Topaz plugin.  Awhile back, I purchased the whole bundle because I knew I will eventually end up using all of the plugin. Part of that bundle was Topaz B&W Effects, a nifty little plugin which I often use to convert my images into monochrome. Today, the new Topaz B&W Effects 2 came out and I was really excited because the upgrade is free to existing owners.

Two major improvements that I’ve noticed right off the bat.

 

  • The user interface has been revamped to give way to a much cleaner and user-friendly workflow.
  • The preset preview area is much bigger now and in my opinion is a much-needed update (the earlier version has a very small square preview window above the preset list).

I did process an image using the new plugin. This is a photo of the Montreal Olympic Stadium. This image is the unaltered version.  Click here to see the transformed version of this image.

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

{Texture Tuesday} The Downtown eDition

One of the joys of processing an image in Photoshop is the ability to work with layers and textures. It is incredible what you can can come up with when you mix an image with a texture. It is something that I enjoy doing because  the possibilities are just endless.

For today’s Texture Tuesday, I processed a photo which was taken during Fall. It was first processed in Lightroom 4. I usually do my adjustments there. Continue reading here.

Church textured with kk_edith

Church textured with kk_edith

Converting Color to Black and White

I thought I’d do something different today. I figured I would start documenting my post processing workflow and share them here. I am hoping someone reading my blog would find it helpful.

I found a photo of a pink rose that I took a while back. I wanted to covert the image into black and white, and I wanted it to have that soft look, which I think is appropriate for this subject.

Old Rose

Old Rose

Since I shoot in RAW, I “developed” the file in Lightroom 4. I fixed the white balance and adjusted the exposure. I wanted to overexpose it a little to achieve the look that I want. I then exported it over to Photoshop Elements to continue with the editing. The plan was to use Topaz BW Effects to convert the image. Here is my Photoshop workflow:

  • Duplicate background layer
  • Cleared some of the stray water drops using Spot Healing Tool in Photoshop
  • Flattened the layers
  • Duplicated the background layer again and renamed it Topaz BW
  • Launched Topaz BW Effects from the Filter tab in Photoshop Elements
  • In the Topaz BW Effects plugin, I chose Milk Memories from the Opalotype Collection
  • Played around with the strength of the effect until I am satisfied with the outcome
  • Back to Photoshop Elements, I created a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, pushed the Saturation slider all the way to the left to remove the remaining hint of color
  • I flattened the layers, then created Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to adjust the lightness to +14  (I needed to adjust the lightness because I wanted to lighten the background more)
  • Finally, on the Hue/Saturation layer mask, I brushed over the flower to bring back the details on the petals.

Et voila! The final image is now a soft black and white.

Black and white rose

Black and white rose

 

 

 

Autumn Veil

Autumn Veil

Autumn Veil | ISO – 100 | 60 mm | 1/350 sec @ f/5.6 | Edited with Topaz Lens Effects      (Click on the image for a better view)

Pardon me for posting another Autumn landscape, but I was going through some photos that I took last Fall and I realized there are a few that had some potential. This is a shot of Village Tremblant, which was taken as I was standing at the Summit.

"Autumn veil" original You must know that the fog on this image was added during post, since my purchase of the Topaz Bundle some time ago, I haven’t had the chance to play with Topaz Lens Effects and I thought this was a good candidate. I knew I wanted to add “veil” to the landscape, so, after the adjustments on Lightroom 4, I fired up Topaz Lens Effects in Photoshop and added the “Fog” effects” to the water and a little bit to the ground.

This was the original image after Lightroom 4. As you can see, the landscape was pretty clear with no fog in sight. I do like the original, but I’m sure a little creativity never hurts anyone.

So, what do you think?