Adobe Photoshop is a program that is willing to be just as complex and advanced as you want it to be. Newcomers are able to quickly and easily touch-up, delete red eye, and add glowing light-sabers to any photo they choose—and all without breaking a (virtual) sweat. But the more you learn about the photo editing software, the more you begin to notice that all of those little icons and options sitting unassumingly over to the side actually open up into countless digital rabbit-holes that you can slide down into to discover an entire wonderland of possibilities. Here are five things you might not have known were possible.
Maybe you’ve got a great photo of you from your cousin’s wedding last year. You’re in shape, your clothes are perfect, and best of all, your smile looks charmingly unforced. Unfortunately, your date looks like a train wreck. Well, no worries, because you can still show off this stunning photograph of yourself without having to explain what you were doing eating cake next to a baboon. There are multiple tools available on Photoshop that let you delete objects from the image without having to whip out the scissors. The clone stamp tool, for example, lets you use the surrounding area to realistically cover up anything that you might not want in your picture—even people.
One of the earliest forms of photo manipulation is collage. Seriously, people have been Frankensteining together pictures for hundreds of years (just ask Abraham Lincoln). It doesn’t take much effort or Photoshop know-how to figure out how to copy and paste one image into another. However, once your new image is in place, you might notice that it tends to stand out from the background. No one is going to believe that you got into a fist fight with William Shatner if your face looks like a cardboard cutout floating against his right hook. Well, one way to give your digital lie credibility is to add realistic shadows. This can be done by adding lens flares, copying layers, and doing a host of other amazing, yet not-too complex, actions.
So, you’ve built a digital masterpiece of photo manipulation. But before you send it off into the ether of the Internet, you wonder how ethical it is to include all those unwilling bystanders in a picture that’s been so far removed from reality. Well, take a cue from the FBI and give those faces the “witness protection” treatment. Blurring faces (or license plates, or pretty much anything that shouldn’t end up in the final image) is actually really easy. All it involves is a little area selection and a click or two on the filter option. There. Identities are safe, and you’re ready to shock the world.
It’s a common misconception in photography that black-and-white photos are somehow artsy. That’s OK. If draining the color from an image manages to stir your emotions and set fire to your soul, then good for you. It’s easy enough to accomplish in Photoshop. Just de-saturate the entire image. Bam! Monochromatic. However, for much cooler images you can choose to spare a single area of the picture from decolorization. Let’s say your subject is holding a rose (again, this does not make it automatically artistic). By using duplicate layers and layer masks, one can simply “brush” color back onto an area, resulting in an eye-popping contrast that will be sure to turn heads.
Have you ever tried to take a photo in the rain? It doesn’t always turn out. Sometimes the lighting is too poor, or the drops are too small to show up. Don’t worry about it, because with a little help from Photoshop you can take otherwise dry images and hit them with a splash of inclement weather. It’s simply a matter of filling a new layer with a bit of “noise,” and then blurring that noise, giving it an angle, and reducing the layer capacity. Now you can make that intense game of table tennis seem even more epic. Have you ever played ping-pong in the middle of a downpour? You have now.
Jared Jaureguy is a Technology Consultant for several of the biggest tech companies in the world. You can follow him @JaredJaureguy.
Last week DangerousLee.Biz highlighted a guest blog post titled,5 Nail Trends for 2012. One of the trends is Chipped Nails. I tried it and I don’t dig it! To me, having chipped nails means that you need to get out the nail polish remover and get to work. I also highlighted my “Laced Up” dry nail polish look by Sally Hansen, which is also a nail trend in 2012, one that I like. However, it does not last 7 to 10 days. I also think that if you have hands that look like the ones in the photo that you should do anything to try to make your nails appear more attractive. Chipped nails may be for dainty hands only, but then again Hollywood magic and PhotoShop could also make these fingers look lickable. So, what the hell, do whatever you like. Anything goes in 2012!
I remember looking at portraits when I was little and loving the colorful paint strokes. I was told that I was looking at photographs, but they looked so painted. Then, I learned that the photographer did indeed take a photograph and then painted it to “touch it up.” Of course, this was way before Adobe Photoshop and digital photography. Gazing at Ms. Fiala’s art reminds me of how much I enjoyed these photos when I was a child. But, I must say, Ms. Fiala’s work exceeds even my expectations and I certainly enjoy gazing on them.
When did you first decide that you wanted to be an artist?
I don’t know if there really ever was a moment when I made a decision to become an artist. It was actually something that evolved over time. I guess I’d always been somewhat crafty, but I’d never gone very far with it until I hurt my back. Up until then I’d been very active physically and an avid golfer. After I hurt my back, however, life, as I knew it was over. It was at that time that I picked up a paintbrush. I started by painting small pieces of furniture and glassware and began selling at art fairs and in shops. I then opened my own shop for awhile. I have since closed the shop but continued to learn new things; made jewelry and mosaics and became a fused glass artist.
It was with the advent of digital cameras that I had this desire to move forward. I loved that I could use a photo editing software to make changes, which morphed into digital manipulation and a bigger program, Photoshop. When I became frustrated at not being able to paint with my mouse, I asked for and received a Wacom graphics tablet for Christmas and purchased a painting program called Corel Painter. Voila, I’d found my passion and spent the next year learning everything I could about digital photo painting.
What was your first art creation?
I’m not sure I would call it an “art creation”, but I would take small furniture pieces–sand them down and paint them using very whimsical paint strokes and colors–happy furniture it was called. It was nothing very artistic, but it was considered cute. But, what I did know was that I really enjoyed painting these pieces and it certainly filled the void of not being able to play golf and be the active person I used to be.
What was your first memorable art piece?
Hmmmm, I couldn’t say what piece was considered memorable. The fact that I could actually produce something that brought a smile to someone’s face was, and is, a memorable moment for me.
Please tell us about a “Day in the Life of Jane Fiala, Artist Extraordinaire.”
I’m a fairly early riser and spend an hour having a coffee and reading. My dog, Callie, and I take a long, brisk walk–even throughout the cold, snowy Minnesota winters. Upon my return, I fire up my computer and spend a fair amount of time choosing the photo that I want to paint. This can be a photo that I’ve taken, or one that has been given to me to paint. I make most of my adjustments in Adobe Photoshop and may even combine several images, or parts of other images. I then move the image into Corel Painter and pull up my favorite brushes and begin painting. I will typically spend the majority of a morning and part of the afternoon painting, moving the image back and forth between these two programs until I’m satisfied with my painting. I then move the painting back into Photoshop one last time for final adjustments and a signature. I also save several different sizes and add textures for viewing on the internet. I tend to try to complete a painting all in one day, working until it’s completed. Sometimes I have to close down and finish the next day, but typically I will work all day to complete a painting. I’m fairly compulsive this way. I will spend some time posting the image to the various online accounts and forums that I belong to or prepare to send them to the lab for printing. I don’t, as of yet, embellish the canvas after it’s been printed, but I’m thinking that it’s the next logical step in my art.
What do you do with your art?
As I’m new to this type of art, I’ve had to learn a great deal about social media as a way of showing my work. I’ve recently started a blog that features my artwork. I have certain pieces available on FineArtAmerica.com, and have recently opened a store on Etsy.com. I’ve just completed my second commissioned piece and have also donated my work to a local charity. Part of the proceeds from the sale of my pet paintings on FineArtAmerica will be donated to local animal rescue organizations.
What are your plans in the future?
My plans for the future include continuing to build a body of work, hopefully accepting more and more commissions and, of course, always learning new things by taking workshops and online classes to keep me sharp and updated. As you may know, technology is always changing and programs are always being updated, so I need to stay up to date on all these things.
In Ms. Fiala’s own words, from her blog, “I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, and artist. I work in several different media; glass, bead and metal jewelry, and digital painting.”
|Connecting with Jane Fiala|
|Etsy shop :||etsy.com/shop/JaneFialaDesigns|
|Fine Art America :||fineartamerica.com/art/all/Jane+Fiala/all|
|Facebook Page :||facebook.com/jlfiala|
Are you an artist who would like to be featured? Contact me!