Seaside Fence

I took this photo near Pacific Grove, CA.  I processed it in Photoshop Elements 10 and Topaz Impression Georgia O’Keefe 1.  I love the soft look that the processing adds to the fence and the flowers.



Color Sketch Tutorial for Photoshop Elements

Here is a fairly simple method of creating a color sketch from a photo.  Let me preface this tutorial by saying that photo choice really has so much to do with the success of different methods of processing.  I certainly am not an expert at this but I hope you will find some use for this tutorial.  I usually use photos that are 3000 by 4500 pixels and 72 dpi.  Just for starters. Step 1:  Pick a photo that does not have a super busy background and has a subject that is quite prominent.  My first step is to adjust Levels and then slightly desaturate the photo through the Enhance/Adjust Color/Adjust Hue and Saturation menu.  Duplicate the layer. Step 2:  Change the photo to b/w by using a plug-in or the b/w processor within Photoshop Elements.  Enhance/Change to B/W.  I usually increase the red setting some to increase the contrast.  You want a nice, contrasty b/w photo.  Duplicate the layer. Step 3:  Run the photo through Filter/Sketch/Photocopy.  I use settings of Detail – between 5-7 and Darkness – between 3-4.   I then use a soft brush on Burn and go over the predominant lines of the main subject.  Exposure is set at about 35% or lower.  You want to make the subject stand out but not the details you don’t want.  Set the Blend Mode on Overlay.  Turn off the b/w layer by unchecking the “eye”.  You should now have a color sketch.  I often use a white vignette around the final product.  Do this on a separate layer by using a large, soft white brush on a lower opacity.  You can always build the color. Here’s a couple of before and afters:



Hope you learned something and had some fun!  Thanks for stopping by!

Afternoon Tree


Well, gee, it’s been so long since I have posted here.  I have been busy with lots of things including beta testing for Topaz Labs products.  There are some super items on the horizon.

This photo was taken in the afternoon in Woodward Park in Fresno, CA.  We don’t have a whole lot of color in the trees here this year.  The drought has really taken its toll.  This shot was processed in Photoshop Elements 10 and Topaz Adjust.  As always, I first adjusted Levels and Sharpened.  The Topaz Adjust layer was set on Screen and applied at 40% over the original.  I love trees and their shapes.  The photo was finally dodged and burned to finish.  Hope you have a great day!

White Hibiscus



This was also taken in Santa Barbara.  It was processed with a levels adjustment, some sharpening and dodged and burned.  The bokeh is natural.  All done in Elements 10. 

I hope to post more of our Santa Barbara trip.  It was so beautiful and the flowers were perfect!  We went to watch a Morgan horse show and I’ll have some shots of that as well.  Hope you like horses!!!

Dogwood In Yosemite


Hi all!  Hope the unofficial start of summer is seeing you well.  It was 103 degrees here in Central California today and supposed to be 107 degrees tomorrow.  That is way too early in the year!!  My roses are tiny and some are shriveled.  Our apricots are getting ripe about a month early.  This doesn’t bode well for an easy summer. 

This photo was taken two weeks ago when we went to Yosemite on a beautiful spring day.  It was processed in PSE10 and OnOne Photo Suite 8.  I used one of their black and white presets and then adjusted a red filter and levels.  I love the dogwood and try to get up the hill to Yosemite early enough in the spring to catch them in bloom.  We were lucky this year!!

Have a great week.

Pink Spring


I love this gladiolus.  Such a cheery spring color.  With this photo I started by cropping and adjusting levels. ( Like always ) The original background was very distracting and I helped it by burning the background and doing a little cloning.   I then proceeded to process it with the help of Topaz Clean.  I hadn’t done much with this plug-in and I have found that it has a great deal of latitude when it comes to different looks and results.  If you like Topaz Simplify, try this plug-in.  It gives similar results with even more range in its possibilities.  I used a cartoon preset on this photo and then applied a spotlight in the Filter section of Photoshop Elements 10.  I lowered the opacity to tone it down.  At this point, I took the photo into OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 8 and used a preset that gave the composition a little more of a diffused glow.   I wanted a soft look on this one as opposed to a super sharp result.  No high pass filter on this one!! 🙂