Just a very quick post.
I pulled out one or two of my previous images tonight to have a play around in Photoshop and Lightroom, using layer techniques and presets. I’ve been using this software now for around a year with expertise gained from self-instruction and as I’m focusing on a career in web design, it’s essential for me to know this software inside out.
I’ve always been a fan of two-tone images, or in this case B&W backgrounds with the focus on a foreground subject remaining in colour. In actual fact, it’s pretty easy to do this in Photoshop. It’s not to everyone’s tastes though, but it’s the sort of techniques magazines use and often TV advertising.
The technique is straight forward, if you know how. Just duplicate the original image in Photoshop, then add a layer mask to the duplicate then de-saturate this so the entire ‘top’ image is in black and white. The second stage is to select the brush tool, with quite a hard edge, setting the foreground colour to black and just painting over on the layer mask the areas you want to bring back the colour. It does this by sampling the layer directly underneath your duplicate image. Ideally, you need to zoom in pretty close to the image so you can do a neat job. If you make a mess by bringing out background colour, change your foreground colour back to white, and paint over the areas you messed up. Then, change it back to black and continue. It can be quite a painstaking process!
I then save each image as a TIFF file and import into Lightroom. I applied just a couple of presets, adding some ‘pop’ to each image by increasing detail. This introduces what’s known as noise (unsightly graininess), so I pull this back whilst maintaining the sharpness. Bearing in mind that the two images with my bike in were taken with my point-and-click Fuji Finepix, which can only shoot JPEG (JPEGs are heavily compressed and a lot of detail is removed in camera, whereas a RAW file does not do this). But as I consider myself a very competent photographer, I can still take images with it to a good standard and edit them to improve them further. Finally, after adding vignette (darkening of corners) I’ll export them with no additional sharpening whilst adding my watermark, which I’m also in the process of re-designing as an image, instead of text.
Anyway, here’s the three images. Thanks for looking :)