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Using LAYERS to add DRAMA to skies.

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  • Using LAYERS to add DRAMA to skies.

    Another Isac Images tutorial as promised on adding a bit of drama to clouds in landscape photos.

    After opening your image, follow the guide in the image below.
    Click image for larger version

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    TO ENHANCE THE BLACKS IN THE CLOUDS:
    Press “D” to reset the colours to BLACK/White. Select a Large Soft Brush with HARDNESS at 0.
    Select “Layer 1” and with BLACK as the foreground colour, paint over the DARK parts of the clouds. (See below).
    It does look a bit odd but that will be fixed next.
    Click image for larger version

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    Right click on “Layer 1” and select BLENDING OPTIONS.
    In the BLEND IF (Gray) section you will see 2 gradient sections with a shape on the 4 ends like this.
    Click image for larger version

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    If you hold down the ALT key you can then select the LEFT or RIGHT sections to separate them from each other.
    Use this method and drag the RIGHT side sliders (white end) on the UNDERLYING Layer, to about 25 / 200 as in the image below.
    Click image for larger version

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    On the Layers Palette, set the layer mode to Overlay. You can experiment with other modes (Multiply - Soft Light etc.)
    Next, change the Opacity and Fill to get a look that you want. See below as a guide.
    Click image for larger version

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    Now we need to adjust the WHITES

    Make a NEW LAYER above the “Layer 1” and Press “X” to swap the foreground colour to WHITE/Black.
    Select a Large Soft Brush with HARDNESS at 0.
    Select “Layer 2” and with WHITE as the foreground colour, paint over the parts of the clouds that need brightening.
    (See below). This also looks a bit odd but that will be fixed next.
    Click image for larger version

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    Right click on “Layer 2” and select BLENDING OPTIONS.
    We will now blend “Layer 2” using the same method as “Layer 1” but this time using the sliders on the LEFT of the UNDERLYING Layer.
    As before, hold down the ALT key, select the LEFT or RIGHT sections to separate them from each other.
    Use this method and drag the LEFT side sliders (black end) to 184 / 247 as in the image below. You can adjust any of these slider settings to suit.
    Click image for larger version

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    On the Layers Palette, set the layer mode to Overlay. You can experiment with other “Lightening” modes.
    Next, (as before on the black layer) you can change the Opacity and Fill to get a look that you want.
    Below is the finished image with the clouds showing a lot more drama.
    Click image for larger version

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    I hope you enjoyed this Isac Images tutorial.

    The PDF version of this tutorial will be available within 24 hours, on my website in a new section called Tutorials.

    Last edited by Isac; 05-03-2017, 05:08 PM.
    IShootACanon

    Web: isacimages.com.au
    Why do they put expiry dates on cartons of sour cream?

    My Gear
    Proudly supporting Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre

  • #2
    Good work Isac. Thanks for a most helpful tutorial.

    I use Lightroom rather than Photoshop. The Lightroom tools do much the same thing.
    Charles

    My indecision is final, I think.


    Comment


    • Isac
      Isac commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Charles. I suppose there's lots of software and different ways to get the same effect but it's all good fun. I did use Lightroom but Photoshop to me had much more to offer a guy like me who loves to dig deep and experiment.

  • #3
    You have been busy. Thanks Isac.
    Wasted a few hours yesterday with trying to place a layer from one image over another gave up in the end. Will find it in a book and try again.
    Better a full bottle in front of me
    than a full frontal lobotomy.
    Hans

    Comment


    • HansE
      HansE commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Isac
      Partly solved I do have a question but i need to formulate it so it makes sense. It is concerning the clouds tutorial.

    • HansE
      HansE commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Isac.
      Can you talk me through why you make a group and then work on a layer below it? I have completed an example had to just about turn the opacity off. I suppose an experiment with the blend settings would be in order.

    • Isac
      Isac commented
      Editing a comment
      Sure Hans. By applying a mask to a GROUP, changes made to the layers only apply to what is inside the mask. As we only wanted the sky to be affected, we actually masked out the water. By hiding the group, you will hide all layers inside the group as well. I hope that's what you were after. Cheers.

  • #4
    Originally posted by HansE View Post
    You have been busy. Thanks Isac.
    Wasted a few hours yesterday with trying to place a layer from one image over another gave up in the end. Will find it in a book and try again.
    The experts will probably laugh at my way of doing things.. but it's simple (and needs to be for me). With the background page on screen I just open the other image over the top of it. select the whole image (if that's what I need or part of it). Under edit.. I copy it then close the image and paste it back in. This automatically creates the second layer and I then make a mask and do the usual blending/painting with the brush. If you paste in only part of the image you can move it around with the move tool or change it's size, rotate it or whatever you need to do with the transform option under edit.
    It's the little things!

    Cheers, Greg C.

    Comment


    • HansE
      HansE commented
      Editing a comment
      I will read that a couple more times. I think I have it and can visualise it. I will do something with that it sounds useful.
      Thanks Greg.

  • #5
    I had a look at some instruction what I was doing wrong was using the hand to try and move the selection instead of the plus arrow. I was faking a reflection for the competition but don't like this result so far.


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    Better a full bottle in front of me
    than a full frontal lobotomy.
    Hans

    Comment


    • Isac
      Isac commented
      Editing a comment
      Very easy to do that type of reflection Hans. Just change the mode on the flowers layers to HARD LIGHT and lower the OPACITY to suit. I'll do a little tut for you later on.

  • #6
    Here's what I mean Hans. There's no need to use the blending options
    Click image for larger version

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    IShootACanon

    Web: isacimages.com.au
    Why do they put expiry dates on cartons of sour cream?

    My Gear
    Proudly supporting Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre

    Comment

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