How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

If your ideas are more than a photo, why not combine two or three of them in a single image? When you want to create something surreal, ghostly or that is just beyond what you can capture in a single shot, then the multiple exposure effect is the thing for you!

This effect comes from analog photography and some digital cameras offer this feature as well. However, we can mimic the multiple exposure effect not only without film and even without a camera, so let’s get creative in Photoshop!

How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Achieving double or multiple exposures in-camera means that you have to do your photos in a sequence, this can be very impractical and therefore limits your creativity.

In Photoshop, you can combine a photo you took today with your smartphone with another one that you made last year with your camera or even add a Creative Commons photo that you found online, so let your imagination go wild!

Method Two – Creating Double Exposures in Photoshop

If you need to kickstart your creativity, try playing with opposites or contrasting concepts. To demonstrate, I’m going to use urban versus nature, I’ll also show the practicality of doing this in Photoshop instead of running back and forth from the countryside to the city, so let’s get started.

First open your first image, the one that will be the base on which you’ll compose your image. When the image opens it is the background layer which is locked. You can always change this but for now, it’s fine to leave it as is.

Duplicate your image by going to Menu > Layer > Duplicate Layer or just click and drag it into the Create New Layer button on the bottom of the Layers panel (or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+J). Now you have two identical images on top of each other, one in each layer.

duplicate layer - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Add your second image

Now drag and drop the second image onto your canvas. I suggest you use this technique instead of copy and paste because this way it gets added as a Smart Object. Therefore you can make it bigger or smaller as many times as you want without losing image quality.

This is always a good thing to have but especially for this exercise since you still need the other photo(s) to see how they will interact to create the final composition. Then click OK and it will be added as a layer. By default it will be dropped on the top, so you won’t be able to see the other image for the moment, but that’s normal.

drag and drop second image - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Click on the layer you just added, the one with the second image, and drag it down so that it’s between the two previously existing layers. Now all you see is the first image again and the new image is hidden, Don’t worry, we’ll get to it in a moment.

Adjust the Blend Mode

The top layer should now be the copy of your background, click on it to select it. Now open the drop-down menu from the top of the Layer panel which contains the Blending options. Select Screen Mode and as a result, you’ll see a mixture of the two images.

Keep in mind that the results will change drastically depending on the colors of your images as this information is what Photoshop uses to make them interact.

For example, with black, it leaves the colors unchanged while screening with white produces white. In any case, don’t worry if your image doesn’t look like the example I’m using.

screen mode - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Adjust to your liking

The result you’re looking for is rarely achieved by just doing this, so click on the layer that contains your second image, and modify it until you’re happy.

You can change its size by going to Menu > Edit > Transform. Then drag it with the Move tool from the top of the Toolbox. Add some filters by going into Menu > Filters or adjust its settings by adding Adjustment layers by clicking on the button from the bottom of the panel. Play with it until you’re satisfied.

transform - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Mask out unwanted bits

Once you’ve decided on the final image position, create a layer mask on that layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the panel. Making sure that the mask is selected, use your Brush tool to paint in black in the areas where you don’t want the image showing.

It behaves like an eraser but without actually losing your pixels. That’s the great thing about masks, it just hides things. If you make a mistake all you need to do is change the brush to white and paint it back in.

layer mask - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Repeat the process with as many photos as you want to add. If you don’t want one image to be predominant but instead you want to have a blank canvas on which to put many smaller pieces, first open a blank canvas that will be your “negative” where you are going to combine your images.

You can do this by going to Menu > File > New and just set the size and resolution that you want and click OK. Then follow the steps above normally. Have fun!

final image #1 - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

A Trendy Twist, Method Two

As many vintage things, double exposures made a comeback and became trendy just by adding a little twist to it. You’ve probably often seen images of multiple exposures that are silhouettes with the second image inside it. Here’s how you can do that with the same technique as before just by adding one more step.

So, open your first image in Photoshop and duplicate the background layer once again. On this copy, select your background with the tool of your choice depending on your image.

If you have a white background you can quickly select it with the Magic Wand while a more busy background might require the Pen tool or a mix of different ones.

selection - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Once you have your background selected then go to Menu > Edit > Fill, choose white and click OK. Drag and drop your second image just like you did in the first part of this tutorial so that it becomes a new layer. Drag it and put it in between the background and the background copy you created.

layer order - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Now it’s totally covered, so click on the background copy to select that layer and change its blend mode to Screen.

result #2 - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

Modify your second image and create a layer mask to paint with black whichever you don’t want in the composition and that’s it.

black and white - How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop

You can use images with a lot of contrast or monochrome to create different effects. Try them out and share your results with us in the comment section below.

The post How to Create a Multiple Exposure Effect in Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Set Up the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

You wouldn’t start cooking dinner and go to the supermarket each time you need an ingredient, that wouldn’t be very efficient, right? For any activity you want to undergo in life it’s always best to have everything you’re going to need before you start, don’t you agree? With the Photoshop interface, it is the same.

You will be able to work more efficiently if you set up your workspace according to what you need right from the beginning.

Photoshop interface - Get to Know Your Interface Setup Your Interface

The Photoshop Interface

In order to set up your workspace, you need to know what tools are available to you, how they behave, and what are the options. All of these things combined are called the interface, so let’s get to know it.

The big central area is called Canvas.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

What is in the canvas area

This is where your image will be displayed, therefore it’s quite an important component. All around the canvas area you’ll find tools and information to help you manage your image.

On the right-hand side, you have the panels. There are tabs here that provide you with information about what you have on the canvas. Which tabs are there is entirely up to you as it is completely customizable, but I’ll get to that later on.

On the left-hand side, you’ll find the Tool box which, as the name suggests, contains the various tools you can use to modify your image. I’ll show you later how it can be moved but as a default, you’ll find it here.

On top, there’s the Option bar which provides the setting options for each tool that you select from the Tool bar, therefore it is constantly changing.

And on top of that, you’ll find the menu bar with many options to control your canvas, file, and interface.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

When you put together these sections you can transform your workspace. Now that you know what everything is and where to find it you can start personalizing it according to your needs. Let’s get to it.

Personalizing your workspace

The very first thing that catches your eye, and therefore is something you want to decide, is the color. If you go to Menu > Photoshop > Preferences > Interface you’ll find the options.

You’ll notice on the image below that I have used the lightest shade of grey. But the choice is completely personal, try all of them and see which suits you best.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

No matter which one of those you choose, you can change the color of the canvas any time because each photo may need a different background.

For example, if you are working on a black canvas and you start working on a black photo you might not be able to see the edges of the image. Just right-click anywhere on the canvas area and choose any of the default colors or make a custom one.

I’ll make it a really evident green, not because it’s something I would recommend using, but because I want you to be clear on which area is changing with this option.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

Usability and function

Now that you fixed the look of your Photoshop interface and workspace, it’s time to move to the practicality aspects.

As a starting point, you can use any of the default workspaces that Photoshop has built-in. To find them just go to the drop-down menu on the top right corner. Feel free to try them all out.

However, since you are reading this in a Digital Photography School article, I’ll suggest you start with the Photography Workspace and we’ll start building up from there.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

To start personalizing, it’s worth knowing that most panels can be detached and dragged anywhere on your workspace. You can just click on the top of the panel where there is a dotted line and let go wherever you want the panel situated.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

However, this can get very messy really quickly. So if you want to move the panels around, I suggest you still attach them into another available slot. To find them just hover over the workspace and look for the blue lines as they indicate snapping points.

Panels

Let’s now focus on the panel area as it’s the most flexible of all. In here, you have different information windows in tabs that can be grouped or stacked. You may think that it would be helpful to have all of them open but that would take away space on the canvas for your image.

So it is actually much more practical to have as little as possible opened at one time. Therefore, let’s start by closing the ones you don’t need from the default setup. To close a tab just go to the top right corner of the tab and click on the drop-down menu, from there choose “Close”.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

You’ll notice that the panel area is divided into smaller boxes. This is because tabs can be grouped. To move tabs from one group to another just drag them. And to close an entire group just choose Close Tab Group instead of Close from the drop-down menu.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

Editing the Panels

If you need a panel that didn’t come with the default preset, you can access it by going to Menu > Window and select the desired option. It will be dropped into the collapsible column on the left of the panels which is a collapsible extension of the panels.

If you need it open all the time, like the Layer panel for example, then you can have it on the right so it displays all the information all the time. But if it’s something you need just on occasion, you can keep it collapsed on the left and just click on it when you need it.

If you don’t need a panel at all you can always make it disappear from that column just by right-clicking it and then choosing “Close”.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

This column can also be customized to show the icon and name of the panel or just the icon. Just click on the arrow at the top to choose.

While I’m on that, let me tell you that the Tool Bar has a similar feature by giving you the choice of one or two columns. Keep in mind that expanding it means losing Canvas space, so I like to keep it in the slimmer version.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

Finishing up

Now you know how to customize your Photoshop interface and workspace.

But, if you work on different projects (i.e you’re a photographer but also do design) you may need different workspaces according to each specific needs. Or if you use a shared computer with another family member or a co-worker then you also might need different workspaces for each of you.

This is why you want to save your customized workspace so you can come back to it easily each time without the need for repeating this process.

To do this, go back to the drop-down menu of the top-right corner and choose New Workspace. Name it and go back to it any time you need.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

Furthermore, if you are in your workspace but still find that are some changes from how it’s supposed to look, just click reset and everything will be back to normal. One last tip, from the bottom of the Tool box you can also choose the screen mode you want to use.

How to Setup the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency

Okay, no more procrastination, get to work!

The post How to Set Up the Photoshop Interface and Workspace for Maximum Efficiency appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Pros and Cons of Chimping – What is it and how it can hurt or help you?

Whether you are an amateur taking photos with your smartphone or a pro using a DSLR, if you make digital photographs, you do chimping. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard the term or not it could be hurting your photographic practice so keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of chimping and how to use it (or stop using it) to your advantage.

Chimping Tutorial Intro - Pros and Cons of Chimping - photo of a DSLR camera screen

What is chimping?

There’s no doubt that digital photography has many advantages. One of them is being able to see the result of your shot immediately instead of having to wait until you got your film developed. This practice is commonly known as chimping, since Bryan Peterson coined the term and it became popular.

However, it’s not all good. If used without much thought you may not be taking full advantage of it or even worse, it could be working against you.

So, chimping is simply the act of checking your images on your camera’s LCD screen. It doesn’t necessarily imply what you do after that. You may delete some photos, you may do some adjustments to your settings for the following shots or you may even stop taking any more photos because you’re satisfied with what you’ve got. That’s where it gets tricky.

Pros and Cons of Chimping

Pro #1

If you change the conditions dramatically and need to readjust your settings it’s very helpful to find out immediately if you got the shot right. Here is an example.

It was a bright sunny day so I was photographing outside with an ISO of 100, f-stop of f/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/250th. When I walked inside a room it was obviously much darker. But because I was looking at the beauty of the walls and the play of the elements and design I just snapped a photo without thinking about the change of lighting. Needless to say, it came out extremely dark.

Fortunately, however, I did some chimping, realized the issue and adjusted the ISO to 400.

Chimping Tutorial Outside Inside - Pros and Cons of Chimping - comparison of two photos

Con #1

Things look very different on your camera’s small screen as compared to the big screen of your computer. You might think the photo you just took is perfect but that’s not always the case. For example, this image looked good when I was chimping on the camera when I shot it, but once I downloaded it back home I realized the focus was not really sharp.

Chimping Tutorial Soft Focus - Pros and Cons of Chimping

When zoomed in on the computer this image is clearly out of focus, but it looked sharp on the camera.

Pro #2

If you are looking for a really concrete shot or effect you can immediately know if you are achieving it or what you need to adjust in order to get it by chimping and reviewing the image on the camera.

For example, I wanted to capture the movement of these ice skaters. This is always a tricky effect because you need to set the right shutter speed so it doesn’t freeze the subject or leave just a smudge if it’s too slow. If you are interested in learning how to do this I invite you to check out my tutorial, “How to Have Fun with Shutter Speed and Added Motion Blur”.

You also need to move the camera (panning) at the same speed of the subject so this is an exercise where you need to try many times and definitely do some chimping.

Chimping Tutorial Slow ShutterSpeed Blur Movement - Pros and Cons of Chimping - skaters

Con #2

Another con of chimping is you can miss out on the perfect moment, that once-in-a-lifetime shot because you were looking at your screen instead of paying attention to the scene.

Here, for example, I wanted to capture the elephant throwing the dirt with its trunk. But I looked at my screen (and snapped) a second too late and all I got was the dirt cloud and the trunk almost all the way down.

Chimping Tutorial the Decisive Moment - elephant

Fortunately, elephants do this a lot, so I just had to wait a little bit longer (without taking my eyes off them this time) and got the photo.

Chimping Tutorial the Decisive Moment2 - elephant spraying dirt

Tips

If you have some time to review your photos and you’re sure you’re not going to be missing a once in a lifetime opportunity, then go ahead check, but do it well. Zoom into your image especially on any risky parts, like the shadows and highlights, to see they still have detail as well as your focus point to see that it’s sharp.

Chimping Tutorial Critical Points Zoom Review

Use the Histogram

When you are chimping, check your image but don’t forget to review the histogram as well. It should have a good range from black to white with many grey tones (unless you purposely went towards one end of the spectrum).

Most DSLR cameras have this feature integrated. On mine (a Canon 70D), for example, you access the histogram by playing the image, then clicking on the info button and it gives you the histogram by color channel and the general histogram.

Chimping Tutorial Histogram In Camera Review

Even after reviewing your photos and deciding you have what you need, do some extra shots. For example, I went to photograph a temple so it was mostly about architecture photos. After walking around it and shooting every angle on the outside, I went inside and did some shooting there as well.

I figured I had all I needed to head back to the city. Fortunately, I never put away the camera when I’m out for a shoot, especially in a new place. So when I was walking down the stairs I found this little girl in a traditional costume just resting from all the tourist attention she was getting. Never close the door to possibilities!

Chimping Tutorial Extra Shot

Finally

One last thing, reviewing and deleting the photos you don’t want can save you space on your memory card but having the screen on consumes a lot of battery so make sure you keep a good balance. No use in having lots of battery life if you don’t have space for more photos and equally useless to have an empty card but no battery to shoot!

So chimping is not a good or bad thing in itself, it’s more about how you use it. Let us know in the comments what are your chimping habits and share some of your tips!

The post Pros and Cons of Chimping – What is it and how it can hurt or help you? appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Pros and Cons of Chimping – What is it and how it can hurt or help you?

Whether you are an amateur taking photos with your smartphone or a pro using a DSLR, if you make digital photographs, you do chimping. It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard the term or not it could be hurting your photographic practice so keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of chimping and how to use it (or stop using it) to your advantage.

Chimping Tutorial Intro - Pros and Cons of Chimping - photo of a DSLR camera screen

What is chimping?

There’s no doubt that digital photography has many advantages. One of them is being able to see the result of your shot immediately instead of having to wait until you got your film developed. This practice is commonly known as chimping, since Bryan Peterson coined the term and it became popular.

However, it’s not all good. If used without much thought you may not be taking full advantage of it or even worse, it could be working against you.

So, chimping is simply the act of checking your images on your camera’s LCD screen. It doesn’t necessarily imply what you do after that. You may delete some photos, you may do some adjustments to your settings for the following shots or you may even stop taking any more photos because you’re satisfied with what you’ve got. That’s where it gets tricky.

Pros and Cons of Chimping

Pro #1

If you change the conditions dramatically and need to readjust your settings it’s very helpful to find out immediately if you got the shot right. Here is an example.

It was a bright sunny day so I was photographing outside with an ISO of 100, f-stop of f/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/250th. When I walked inside a room it was obviously much darker. But because I was looking at the beauty of the walls and the play of the elements and design I just snapped a photo without thinking about the change of lighting. Needless to say, it came out extremely dark.

Fortunately, however, I did some chimping, realized the issue and adjusted the ISO to 400.

Chimping Tutorial Outside Inside - Pros and Cons of Chimping - comparison of two photos

Con #1

Things look very different on your camera’s small screen as compared to the big screen of your computer. You might think the photo you just took is perfect but that’s not always the case. For example, this image looked good when I was chimping on the camera when I shot it, but once I downloaded it back home I realized the focus was not really sharp.

Chimping Tutorial Soft Focus - Pros and Cons of Chimping

When zoomed in on the computer this image is clearly out of focus, but it looked sharp on the camera.

Pro #2

If you are looking for a really concrete shot or effect you can immediately know if you are achieving it or what you need to adjust in order to get it by chimping and reviewing the image on the camera.

For example, I wanted to capture the movement of these ice skaters. This is always a tricky effect because you need to set the right shutter speed so it doesn’t freeze the subject or leave just a smudge if it’s too slow. If you are interested in learning how to do this I invite you to check out my tutorial, “How to Have Fun with Shutter Speed and Added Motion Blur”.

You also need to move the camera (panning) at the same speed of the subject so this is an exercise where you need to try many times and definitely do some chimping.

Chimping Tutorial Slow ShutterSpeed Blur Movement - Pros and Cons of Chimping - skaters

Con #2

Another con of chimping is you can miss out on the perfect moment, that once-in-a-lifetime shot because you were looking at your screen instead of paying attention to the scene.

Here, for example, I wanted to capture the elephant throwing the dirt with its trunk. But I looked at my screen (and snapped) a second too late and all I got was the dirt cloud and the trunk almost all the way down.

Chimping Tutorial the Decisive Moment - elephant

Fortunately, elephants do this a lot, so I just had to wait a little bit longer (without taking my eyes off them this time) and got the photo.

Chimping Tutorial the Decisive Moment2 - elephant spraying dirt

Tips

If you have some time to review your photos and you’re sure you’re not going to be missing a once in a lifetime opportunity, then go ahead check, but do it well. Zoom into your image especially on any risky parts, like the shadows and highlights, to see they still have detail as well as your focus point to see that it’s sharp.

Chimping Tutorial Critical Points Zoom Review

Use the Histogram

When you are chimping, check your image but don’t forget to review the histogram as well. It should have a good range from black to white with many grey tones (unless you purposely went towards one end of the spectrum).

Most DSLR cameras have this feature integrated. On mine (a Canon 70D), for example, you access the histogram by playing the image, then clicking on the info button and it gives you the histogram by color channel and the general histogram.

Chimping Tutorial Histogram In Camera Review

Even after reviewing your photos and deciding you have what you need, do some extra shots. For example, I went to photograph a temple so it was mostly about architecture photos. After walking around it and shooting every angle on the outside, I went inside and did some shooting there as well.

I figured I had all I needed to head back to the city. Fortunately, I never put away the camera when I’m out for a shoot, especially in a new place. So when I was walking down the stairs I found this little girl in a traditional costume just resting from all the tourist attention she was getting. Never close the door to possibilities!

Chimping Tutorial Extra Shot

Finally

One last thing, reviewing and deleting the photos you don’t want can save you space on your memory card but having the screen on consumes a lot of battery so make sure you keep a good balance. No use in having lots of battery life if you don’t have space for more photos and equally useless to have an empty card but no battery to shoot!

So chimping is not a good or bad thing in itself, it’s more about how you use it. Let us know in the comments what are your chimping habits and share some of your tips!

The post Pros and Cons of Chimping – What is it and how it can hurt or help you? appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Quick Beginner’s Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw

Do you shoot RAW but then open it without processing? When you take a photo in RAW format, regardless of the name each brand gives to it, what you’re doing is saving a bunch of data without processing it inside your camera. This way you have more information to work with during your post-production stage.

But having too much of something can sometimes seem daunting when you don’t know how to approach it and as a result be a limiting factor instead of opening up your possibilities.

Adobe Camera Raw – Processing Raw Files in Photoshop

This quick introduction guide explores the basic tools of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) so that you can step into post-processing this digital “negative” and understand its possibilities but also its limitations, as not all can be fixed.

ACR Raw Post-processing Photoshop Basic Adjustments

Whenever you open a RAW file in Photoshop it won’t open in the interface that would normally go to when opening a JPG or a TIF file. It will open it in a window known as Above Camera Raw (ACR). Here you’ll see a lot of options that can look intimidating and give you the impulse to just click open and work directly on Photoshop.

However, if you do so then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities, most importantly its non-destructive qualities. Please note, that I’m not going to explain the tools in the order you’ll find them in the ACR panel because some of them are related to each other and therefore it’s clearer to explain them together regardless of their position.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw

EXPOSURE

The first slider you will see is Exposure. This would be the equivalent of changing your shutter speed or f-stop settings up to five steps up or down. What this does influence the brightness of your entire image. Look at the example below to see how far you can push it in either direction.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw - exposure

CONTRAST AND CLARITY

The next slider you’ll find is Contrast, this refers to the relationship between the lighter and darkest areas of your photo. If you slide it to the right you will increase the contrast which is why a plus sign (+) will appear next to the amount. Moving it to the left will decrease contrast, therefore a minus (-) sign appears. This will flatten the image as there will be less tonal range in between dark and light tones in your image.

A few sliders below Contrast you’ll find Clarity. This is a tool I really like because it gives a nice punch to your photos but it’s easy to overdo it and having them look unnatural, so just be careful. I am mentioning it here because it also adds contrast but this is only to the mid-tones (technically it finds and enhances edges in the image), plus it gives a sharp/unsharp effect to the image.

Note: Clarity is not an actual sharpening tool.

Here’s an example pushing both tools to the limit in either direction so you can see that even if they are related, the result is not the same.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw - contrast and clarity

HIGHLIGHTS AND WHITES

Then there is the Highlights slider which I’ll explain together with another one, Whites. I’m doing this because they are closely related. The names are actually quite accurate but somehow their use is still difficult to grasp. Having said that, I’ll try to make it more clear.

The Highlights slider controls the tonal range from the lighter parts of your image, like this:

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw - highlights slider

The Whites slider should have its name in the singular to make it more clear because what it does is set the white point of your image, in other words, the brightest pixels.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw - whites slider

So if you move the white point of the image, it will have an effect on the range of the highlights. Let’s see them work together.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw - highest highlights

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw

SHADOWS AND BLACKS

In between those sliders you’ll find one called Shadows which together with Blacks works the same way as Highlights and Whites, but in the other side of the light scale.

Therefore, the Blacks slider sets the black point of the image and affects a wider tonal range than the one affected by shadows that refers to the darkest parts. Check the example below to have an illustration of how they work.

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw

SATURATION AND VIBRANCE

Saturation is the next slider on the list. It has an impact on all the colors of your image so keep an eye on the entire image while you are applying it and not just on a detail or a zoomed-in portion. If dragged completely to the left you’ll lose all color and leave your image black and white. Dragged all the way to the right, Saturation can reach very intense colors.

However, if you only want to affect the colors that are dull, to begin with instead of the entire image, then you should use the Vibrance slider. This one can also have a big effect, to the point of reaching unnatural colors so be careful. Look at the difference:

Quick Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw

When you’re happy with your image, you can just save the changes and leave it as is or you can open the image in Photoshop to continue working on it.

However, if you’re choosing the latter I suggest that instead of just clicking Open Image, press the shift key so that the button changes to Open Object. This way you’ll open your image on Photoshop as a Smart Object and you can come back to these ACR options and make some more adjustments later if you need to.

To learn more about it I invite you to check my tutorial How to Create with a Good Workflow Using Smart Objects in Photoshop.

Conclusion

I hope this makes it more clear for you. Remember that ACR offers other menu possibilities and there are various menus and tools that were too much to cover in this quick, beginner’s guide. So use this as a base and then keep exploring!

The post Quick Beginner’s Guide to Processing RAW Files in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Two Ways to Replace the Sky Using Photoshop

There are many things that you can control when shooting a photograph, but the weather is not one of them! If you have a great landscape or architecture photo but the sky is too dull it will bring down the entire image, so just keep reading to learn how to replace the sky with Photoshop.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial before after - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

“Give the clouds an assignment.” said photographer Werner Mantz.

He was right, sometimes you can have the best weather and end up with a flat blue sky. Even worse if you have a horribly cold day that gives you a dull grey sky. Either way it can be the win or lose element of the image. No need to panic though, you can composite two photos into one perfect shot and replace the sky with a better one.

Method #1 – Sky Replacement in Photoshop

Most importantly you need an image from a cloudy sky that matches the mood of the image onto which you’re going to paste it. I’m going to work with a vertical shot so it’s better if the one from the sky has the same format. The subject is a ship aground in iced waters so my sky should be ideally from a stormy day.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial subject clouds - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

With the image of the subject open, make a selection of the sky that needs to be covered by the new one. For this you can use any tool with which you feel comfortable. I usually start with a broad selection using the Magic Wand and then get closer with the different types of Lasso tools. You’ll see a dotted line (marching ants) around the area that is being selected.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial selection tools - https://digital-photography-school.com/3-ways-make-sky-selection-photoshop/

Refine the selection

I find it’s also useful to go into Menu > Selection > Edit in Quick Mask. This will show the parts that are not selected in a red mask, so you can paint with the Brush tool what you want out and use the Erase tool to include in the selection.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial quick mask selection- https://digital-photography-school.com/3-ways-make-sky-selection-photoshop/

Now open the sky image and select it all (Cmd/Ctrl + A), then go to Menu > Edit > Copy. Turn back into the first image and go to Menu > Edit > Paste Into. Notice that it becomes a new Layer and it has a Layer Mask with the shape of the selection you made, therefore you can now scale it and move it around and your subject won’t be affected, you’ll see the new sky directly as it would be fit in the image.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial transform - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

Once you’re happy with the montage, you can add some adjustment layers so that the two parts have the matching brightness, tone, etc., and the result seems as natural as possible.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial before after - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

Method #2 – Sky Replacement in Photoshop

When your landscape has a diffused horizon line like one with trees, for example, especially if you just need the sky to have a few more clouds instead of completely replacing the original sky then this technique is much more efficient because you don’t have to do the precise selection needed in the previous method. So go ahead and open both images on Photoshop.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial before sunny day - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

In the image of the sky go to Menu > Selection > Edit in Quick Mask Mode and then choosing the Gradient tool draw a line from bottom to top, this will make the image appear with a red mask, faded gradually from one edge to the other.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial quick mask selection gradient - Two Ways to Replace the Sky with Photoshop

Now go back to Menu > Selection > Edit in Quick Mask Mode and click again, this will turn the Quick Mask off, and you’ll see a rectangular selection on your image without noticing the gradient. But don’t worry, it’s still there.

Now pull the tab of the image to the side so that you can access the two images simultaneously, then drag the sky selection and drop it on top of the first image.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial drag subject clouds

Now pick the Eraser tool and with a soft brush start erasing the part of the new layer that is covering the subject. You can also decrease the opacity of the layer so that it blends in a bit more smoothly.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial erase opacity

There you go, you can do the final touches with adjustment layers so that levels and colors match.

Paste sky Photoshop tutorial after sunny day

Conclusion

So there you have two methods to replace the sky using Photoshop.

Have you tried this technique before? Please share your questions and comments about it below.

The post Two Ways to Replace the Sky Using Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Three Ways to Apply Tonal Effects in Photoshop

We are used to thinking about photography in terms of color or black and white, but before we arrived here, though, there were a series of processes that resulted in images being monochrome. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get those looks so you can think outside the box and achieve different tonal effects that will make your photos unique.

Intro Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Adding a tonal effect can give your photos from different collections a unified look. It can also help to set the atmosphere of a scene, or simply give a nostalgic and antique look. Before photography became as we know it to be today, there were many experiments and formulas chemists used that became popular throughout history.

Many of them had a particular color. The most popular are sepia and cyan and now it’s possible to achieve these and any other tonal effect with just a few clicks. I’ll show you three different ways to achieve it so you can choose which method suits you best.

#1 – SOLID COLORS

First of all, you need to work with a black and white image. There are many different ways to achieve this in Photoshop. The one I’m choosing is Menu > Image > Adjustments > Black and White because it gives you a lot of control.

Three Ways to Apply Tonal Effects in Photoshop

Once you have your starting image as black and white, you need to add a solid color adjustment layer. To do this go to the Layers palette and click the adjustment layers button on the bottom and choose the Solid Color option from there.

A pop-up window will open where you can choose the color you want for that layer. There’s no right or wrong here, it’s a matter of taste but for a sepia tone go somewhere in between the yellow and the red and when you’re happy just click OK.

Solid Color Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Now the color should have covered the entire image, which is normal as you added a solid color. But you still need to merge it with the image, so open the blending options menu from the top of the Layers palette and choose Soft Light.

Solid Color Soft Light Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

You can also check out the other blending possibilities to see if there’s something that suits you better, but Soft Light usually works best for me. You can make a final adjustment on the layer opacity if you think it needs tweaking and that’s it!

Sepia Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

#2 – ADJUSTMENT LAYERS

To achieve a cyan tone on your photo you need to start with a black and white image the same as the previous process, so I’ll use the opportunity to show you another way of converting your color photo into black and white.

Go to the Layers palette, add an adjustment layer. and from the drop-down menu choose Black and White. On the Properties window, you’ll have the same adjustments as the previous method as I used above.

The difference is that now you’ll have the black and white adjustment on a different layer so you can come back and tweak it or change the opacity at any time.

Adjustments Layer BlackandWhite Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Next add another adjustment layer, this time choosing Levels from the menu. In the Properties window, you can see a histogram of your image that shows you the blacks, whites, and mid-tones in your image and a corresponding slider to each of them for you to adjust.

Start moving the sliders to increase the contrast of your image as this will give a better result when you apply the cyan color to it.

Adjustments Layer Levels Histogram Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

The final step you need to do is to add a third adjustment layer, this time using the Hue/Saturation option. On the Properties window move the Hue slider towards the blue end until you find a tone that you like, around the 215 is usually pretty good. If you feel the blue is too intense just decrease the saturation value a little until you are satisfied with the result.

Adjustments Layer Hue Saturation Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Now you have a snowy photo with a nice cold tone to boost the mood!

Cyan Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

#3 – DUOTONE

If you are thinking that sepia or cyan are very nice effects but it would be even better if you apply both or even more, you don’t have to worry. Photoshop has thought about that too.

First, you have to open your black and white image (or convert your image to black and white as we did above). Then go to Menu > Image > Mode and choose the Duotone option. This is correct even if you want three or four tones, you will modify that later.

Duotone Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

A pop-up window will open where you can choose the number of inks (tones) that you want in your image just by clicking on the drop-down menu. For this example, I’m choosing Tritone so three fields will be available to choose the inks.

Triotone Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

You can set the color of each ink by clicking in the second square which will open a pop-up window with a color picker. So just click on the tone you like and hit OK. Then name it in the field to the right of the ink. Repeat this process for each ink color.

Duotone Color Picker Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Now the colors you selected are all covering the image in the same way. But you can modify that by choosing which ink will affect more which tones. For example, I choose the magenta for the darkest tones and the yellow for the lighter tones, but you can choose any tone and any adjustment you want.

Just click on the first square which will open the Curves window. By default, it will have a diagonal straight line that goes from 0 (black) to 255 (whites) you can experiment moving it all you like until you get the look of your image right.

Duotone Curves Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial

Because of all the possibilities, this is the hardest technique but also the more personalized one that will give you a very unique result. Try it out and let me know in the comments how it goes!

Duotone Tonal Effects Photoshop Tutorial jpg

Your turn

So there you have three methods for applying tonal effects using Photoshop. Do you use any of these for your images? Which method do you prefer? Do you have another technique you like? Please share your tonal effects images and ideas in the comment area below.

The post Three Ways to Apply Tonal Effects in Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Practice Your Photography Skills by Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Do you ever get trapped in the marketing frenzy? Is the lack of professional equipment or fancy subjects preventing you from improving your photography? It’s easy to make excuses, but it’s better to get creative.

Keep reading to see that you don’t need to go any further than your own kitchen to practice and level up your photography skills. In this article, I’ll show you some tips and tricks to improve your shooting and lighting using things you find in the kitchen.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial

Exposure settings: f/22, 1/60, ISO 4000, focal length 55m.

The basic knowledge you need to understand and master in photography is exposure. This refers to finding the correct amount of light for your photograph. There are three variables that you need to take into account when making a photograph. They are known as the exposure triangle as they are always connected; they are the aperture, shutter speed, and the ISO.

Since they are linked, when you are adjusting one leg of the triangle you have to compensate with one of the others. Having said this, you can also do the exercises I’m proposing even if you are not yet familiar with shooting in Manual Mode.

Aperture and Depth of Field

As I was saying, the correct exposure depends on three related factors, I’m going to start with aperture, but keep in mind that whatever you move here you need to compensate equally with one of the others.

If you’re not confident yet doing this manually, you can set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode (A or Av) and that way your camera will decide the correct settings to fit the aperture you want.

Aperture refers to a hole in your lens through which the rays of light come together and pass towards the sensor. Obviously, the bigger the hole the more light goes in and vice versa.

However, it also has an impact on the depth of field so you need to learn and practice how to control it.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial depth of field

Left image: f/2.8, 1/2500th, ISO 1600, 55mm
Right image: f/11, 1/125th, ISO 1600, 55mm.

When you are closing the aperture, the f-number goes up (like f/16, f/11) which results in a bigger depth of field. As you can see in the examples.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial depth of field aperture

Left image: f/2.8, 1/1000th, ISO 1600, 55mm.
Right: f/11, 1/60th, ISO 1600, 55mm.

Remember that the distance between the camera and the subject as well as the focal length also impact the depth of field, so try out different settings and keep practicing.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial depth of field fstop

Exposure: f/2.8, 1/250th, ISO 1600, 55mm.

Exercise to practice

Try shooting different objects in your kitchen using different aperture settings. See how it looks at f/2.8 or wide open, compared to using a smaller aperture of f/11 or f/16. You may need a tripod to keep the camera steady.

Shooter Speed and Motion

Another factor is the shutter speed. As its name indicates, it’s the speed at which the shutter opens and closes when you take your photograph. This is more straight-forward to understand than the aperture. The more time the shutter remains open, the more trajectory from the moving object will be captured resulting in a blur. The faster you set your shutter speed, the moving object will be sharper as it will appear frozen.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial shutter speed motion

Left: f/11, 1/640th, ISO 5000, 50mm.
Right: f/11, 1/80th, ISO 400, 50mm.

If you’re not confident shooting in Manual Mode, you can set your camera to Shutter Priority (Tv or S). This way your camera will decide the correct settings to fit the shutter speed of your choice.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial shutter speed

Exposure: f/8, 1/125th, ISO 1600, 50mm.

Exercise to practice

Try finding some moving objects in your kitchen; flowing water out of the tap, have a friend pour a liquid into a cup for you, a fan blowing, etc. Shoot it at all kinds of different shutter speeds and see what it looks like at 1/30th versus 1/2000th. Remember to stabilize the camera when using a shutter speed less than your focal length to maintain sharpness.

The last exercises are about controlling the resulting image with the light that you have to work with, but the next step to level up your photography is about manipulating the light. That’s the idea for the next activities.

Quality of light: Hard versus soft

Depending on the distance and size of the light source, as well as the type of bulb or accessories (light modifiers) that you use with it you can have either hard or soft light in your scene.

Hard light is created by direct sunlight, for example. Or if you’re talking about artificial light it refers to small light bulbs with no light modifiers that are placed farther from your subject. It results in dark shadows with clearly defined edges as well as contrasted colors. It’s not necessarily flattering for portraits, but in still life scenes, it can create a very special mood.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial hard light

Exposure: f/8, 1/30th, ISO 400, 50mm. Notice the hard, well-defined shadows of the kitchen tools here. This is hard lighting.

Soft light is therefor the opposite. It casts diffused shadows that fade away gradually instead of having a defined edge. When you’re working with natural light this is what you get on a cloudy day because the clouds work as a giant diffuser.

However, when you are working with artificial light there are many different ways to soften it. You can move the light closer to the subject or use a bigger light source (or modifier). But talking about hacks you can do in your kitchen, you can simply put a sheet of oven paper (also known as baking paper) in front of your light like I did here to spread out the light (diffuse it) and make it softer.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial soft light

Exposure: f/8, 1/15th, ISO 400, 50mm. Notice the lack of well-defined shadows here, this is soft lighting.

Exercise to practice

Pick a subject in your kitchen and photograph it using both hard and soft light. Window light through curtains or which is not direct sunlight is a good source for soft light. A flashlight or bare light bulb can make for a hard light source – try both.

Lighting style – high key

While on this subject, there is a particular style of lighting with soft light called high key. These are images with mostly light colors and white with soft or no shadows in the image. You can also overexpose the white background a bit to enhance the effect.

A quick trick from your kitchen to achieve this look is to use the light from the extractor hood above your stove. Most stoves have one and it usually gives a diffused gentle light. I find this very useful to do high key images:

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial high key lighting

Exposure: f/22, 1/125th, ISO 100, 167mm.

Try creating a high key look at home with items in your kitchen.

Reflection

Another way of diffusing light is by using reflectors, however, they can also serve other purposes. In this case, I was using the natural light from the window coming in from behind the bottle and placed a chopping board as a black background, this brings out the contours of glass objects.

The problem was that the lime wasn’t getting much light and this flattened the entire image. By using an aluminum BBQ-oven cooking tray I bounced the light back into the front of the lime and gave the final result that subtle, but needed punch. Look at this before and after.

Improve photography skills creative food photography tutorial reflector

Left: f/8, 1/30th, ISO 400, 50mm.
Right: f/8, 1/30th, ISO 400, 50mm.

Try it at home

So try a few of these in your own kitchen and see what you can learn by playing around and practicing.

As you can see you don’t need any professional equipment or even cooking skills, you only need to be creative! These are just some examples of what you can do but you can also work on your composition, cropping, colors, contrast and much more.

Share any other kitchen hacks or exercises that help you improve your photography in the comments section below.

The post How to Practice Your Photography Skills by Getting Creative in the Kitchen appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Simulate Venetian Blinds Lighting Using Photoshop

When you’re having a romantic dinner you light it with candles and not a bright reflector, right? That’s because light contributes to forming an atmosphere. When you’re making a photograph, measuring the right exposure is not the only thing that matters. Wouldn’t you agree that manipulating that light is what makes it or break it?

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to simulate light coming in through a window, so that your photo has a warmer ambiance.

Venetian Blinds Lighting Effect Photoshop Tutorial Intro

Getting started

In this case, we’re going to make the effect of sunlight passing through a window with Venetian blinds. This is why the first thing you need to do is delineate the spacing in between the blinds. To make this task easier you can turn on the rulers, just go to Menu > View > Rulers so you can make the spaces more evenly.

Make a new empty layer by going to Menu > Layer > New Layer. Then select the Rectangle Marquee Tool and start tracing. They don’t have to be perfect just try to keep more or less the same width and the same spacing in between. The amount is up to you, for this example, I’ll do 8.

NOTE: Hold the Shift key down to add multiple rectangular selections.

Marquee Selection Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial

Adding the light

Next, you need to fill the selections with white. You can either select the Paint Bucket Tool and click inside each of the rectangles, or you can go to Menu > Edit > Fill which will bring out a pop-up window. Just make sure the content is set to white and all the selected areas get colored at once when you click OK.

Edit Fill Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial jpg

This doesn’t look very realistic yet, but don’t worry, we’ll make it better. To start, you need to give it some perspective to make it fit your image. For this, you can go to Menu > Edit > Transform > Perspective. Find the real light source and make the light (the white bars) smaller on that side. Then turn it and drag it until it feels as if the strips are coming out from that source.

Free Transform Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial jpg

Tweak the light beams

Once it fits you need to make the white bars look more like light beams by smoothing them using a blur filter. Go to Menu > Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

A pop-up window appears and you can set how blurred you want it by dragging the Radius slider. Make sure the preview option is checked so that you can see how your adjustment looks before you apply it. I’m leaving it at around 50 pixels but this is up to you. When you’re happy just click OK.

Gaussian Blur Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial jpg

Then change the blending mode of the layer where your stripes are so that it integrates better with the background image. You can do this in the drop-down menu on top of the layers panel. Open it and select Soft Light blend mode.

SoftLigh Blend Mode Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial

Apply a gradient

It’s already looking much better, there’s just one final touch that needs to be done. Because the light will obviously be stronger closer to the source and slowly fade away; you need to apply a gradient to achieve this effect.

Add a Layer Mask by clicking on the button that looks like a rectangle with a circle in the middle, located at the bottom of the layers panel. While the mask is selected, go to the Gradient Tool that is hidden behind the Paint Bucket Tool. Then from the top sub-menu, choose the one that goes from black to transparent.

Apply the gradient by dragging your mouse across your image. Follow the lines and make sure the white part of the gradient is at the end of the image where you want the light the brightest. If it’s not, you can just invert the layer mask, or undo it and try again.

Graded Layer Mask Venetian Blinds Through Window Light Photoshop Tutorial jpg

Finishing up

There you go, light passing through Venetian blinds from the window onto your subject without even needing a window!

Venetian Blinds Lighting Effect Photoshop Tutorial After

Applying the effect to the background only

This, of course, works if your subject is lit by the same source as the background, but what happens if you have two different light sources? Let’s do an example where we want only the background to receive the light from the window and the subject will be lit by a different light source.

Venetian Blinds Lighting Effect Photoshop Tutorial Before2

Start by doing exactly the same as you did in the previous example. When you’re done with that you have to add one more step. Duplicate the subject that you want to be in front of the Venetian blinds lighting effect.

You do this by selecting the object. It doesn’t matter which tool you use. In this case, I used a combination of the Quick Selection tool refined later in the Quick Mask. Once you have your selection go to Menu > Layer > New > Layer via Copy. A new layer will be created duplicating the subject that you selected onto an empty background; drag this layer to the top.

Venetian Blinds Lighting Effect Photoshop Tutorial Duplicate Layer

That’s it, your subject will be in front of the lighting effect and therefore won’t be affected by it. Give it a try and show us your results in the comment section below.

Venetian Blinds Lighting Effect Photoshop Tutorial After2

The post How to Simulate Venetian Blinds Lighting Using Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Make Fake Shallow Depth of Field Using Photoshop

Do you see your photo and wish the subject stood out a bit more? Does your photo look somewhat flat? Or maybe the background has people or objects that are unappealing? All of these can be fixed with one simple thing: a shallow depth of field.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to achieve this in post-production using Photoshop.

Fake Depth of field tutorial

Let’s start by clarifying that depth of field is the area of your photograph that is in focus, it’s also called focus range. There are three factors that affect your depth of field.

First is the aperture or f-number. The smaller the number, the smaller the focal range and vice versa, so f/5.6 will have a shallower depth of field than f/22. The second and third factors are very linked together; the focal length and the distance to the subject.

If you are using a telephoto lens and you can, therefore, stand farther from the subject you’ll have a shallower depth of field than standing closer with a wide-angle lens. You can learn more about this relationship and its effect on depth of field in my previous tutorial, How to Use Still-life Subjects to Understand Focal Lengths.

However, if you didn’t manage to set up these things when you were shooting, or you still need more (blur in the background) you can also fake the effect of shallow depth of field in post-production. Here are two techniques to do it using Photoshop.

Technique #1 – When the subject and the background are separated

Before Focus Range Fake Depth of Field Tutorial

Before image example.

With your image already opened in Photoshop, start by duplicating the layer by going to Menu > Layer > Duplicate Layer, then make the canvas bigger. You can do this by going to Menu > Image > Canvas Size.

It doesn’t matter the size of the canvas or the direction because you’ll be cropping it later. However, it’s important that there’s enough room for your main subject to be dragged into it on the next step.

Duplicate Layer Canvas Size Blur Background Tutorial

Then select your subject. It doesn’t have to be precise so you can simply use the Lasso tool and draw a selection around it. Now change to the Content-Aware Move tool which you’ll find hidden behind the Healing Brush on the tools panel. Next, drag your selection out of the image into the empty canvas size that you created before.

Content Aware Move Tool Blur Background Tutorial

Once you drag it out, Photoshop’s algorithm will fill the space you’re leaving empty with the information from the surrounding area. If you skip this step and blur the background with the subject still on it, the colors will spill out so it’s important that you do this part.

Drag Content Aware Move Tool Blur Background Tutorial

Now you can crop out the extra background, including the subject you dragged out and change the canvas back to its original size. Your background is now ready for you to blur it. Go to Menu > Filter > Blur > Field Blur. When the blur applies, a wheel appears in the center with a percentage on how strong the blur is. Adjust it to your liking.

Field Blur Filter Fake DepthofField Tutorial

With this blurred layer still selected, add a layer mask to it by clicking on the button that looks like a rectangle with a circle in the middle on the bottom of the Layers Panel. Then paint on the mask with a black brush, over the subject you want to keep sharp from the original image.

Layer Mask Fake DepthofField Tutorial

The part that you painted black is now transparent so the layer beneath it, which is your original image will be visible. Finally just flatten your image and you’re done!

After Focus Range Fake Depth of Field Tutorial jpg

Technique #2 – When the objects are closer together

The technique you just learned is very useful if your subject is separated from the background, but what happens if you want a shallower depth of field because the objects are closer together? Or because it’s the same subject but you only want a part of it in focus?

In these cases, you need to create an effect that is graduated (fades from one end to the other). To do this here is another technique.

Before Shallow Depth of Field Tutorial

First of all, you need to duplicate the layer by going to Menu > Layer > Duplicate Layer like you did in the previous example, or use the shortcut by dragging the background layer into the Duplicate layer button on the bottom of the panel (or hit Ctrl/Cmd+J).

Then apply a Layer Mask to the new layer by clicking on the mask icon. Inside the mask, you will use the Gradient tool to mark where you want the sharp areas. In this case, I used the circular one but you can use a linear one or whichever is best for your image. I turned off the background layer so you see what I mean.

Grading Layer Mask Fake DepthofField Tutorial

Now go to Menu > Filters > Blur > Lens Blur and a new window will pop-up. Here you’ll see your image with the filter applied and a panel for adjustments on the right side.

Lens Blur Filter Fake Depth of Field Tutorial

It’s important that you set Layer Mask as the source, that way the gradient selection that you did before is what will determine how the filter gets applied.

Once you do that, the Blur Focal Distance slider will be enabled and you can start adjusting it to your liking. I also adjusted the radius and blade curvature, but you should move all the settings to get a feeling for the effects until you’re satisfied.

Finishing up

Hit OK to apply and flatten the image to finalize the result. That’s it!

Remember that every image will need a different treatment to look realistic because there are many things that determine the depth of field so keep experimenting and show us the results in the comments section.

The post How to Make Fake Shallow Depth of Field Using Photoshop appeared first on Digital Photography School.

1 2 3