I had a question today about recoloring the png files I include with my Photoshop brushes, so I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to recolor in Photoshop. I am using Photoshop CC for this tutorial but the instructions will work for any version of Photoshop. For the purpose of this tutorial I am going to use my Clean Watercolor Splodge Photoshop Brushes available in my Etsy store, Clikchic Designs store and Creative Market store.
For this tutorial I am going to use the .png of the brush named Clikchic_ABR_PaintSplodgeClean_03.png.
As you can see, all the .png’s of my brushes come in black as this is the best shade for making Photoshop brushes. It is also more easy to recolor sometimes than other colors.
I am going to recolor the brush stroke to pink, since that is my favorite color. As for most things in Photoshop there are multiple ways to do that. For the purpose of this tutorial I am going to do it using my foreground color picker. On the toolbar on the left side of the Photoshop screen there is a tool where you can select your foreground and background colors. I am going to change the foreground color to the color I want my brush stroke to be.
The foreground color is the black square and the background color is the white square. To change the foreground color, I need to click on the black square, which will bring up the color picker.
With the color picker, I can slide the rainbow scale to the color range I want to work in and then choose the color shade from the resulting screen.
As you can see I have moved the slider up to a reddish pink and clicked and moved the cursor to a mid range pink on the gradient. The color I have chosen appears in the new rectangle.
Once you have chosen the color, click OK and that color will become your foreground color.
Now we have to adjust the color of the brush stroke using the foreground color. To do so we need to go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation
In the Hue/Saturation screen you need to click on the Colorize check box which will change the color tone of the brush stroke to your foreground color. In my example this is a dark shade of pink. The black of the stroke is a much darker shade than the pink so we need to adjust this to get the correct shade.
To do this we need to adjust the saturation and lightness. To do that you move the sliders till you are happy with the shade of your chosen color.
As you can see I have increased the lightness by quite a bit, and have also increased the saturation to get a good depth of color.
This is the end result of the recolored paint stroke.
You now have a gorgeous colored stroke and can now save as a new file so that you preserve the original in black.
Photographic Composition can have a dramatic effect on the impact of your photographs. There are several easy techniques which you can use help improve your photography.
Distracting Backgrounds can spoil an otherwise great photo. For instance, a brightly coloured object behind the subject, say a child, can draw your eye away from the subject. I took a snap of my daughter when she was 2 while she was playing in the backyard. The background was the plain green of the grass apart from one distracting element, a bright red swing in the background. The bright colour drew your eye away from the main subject. It was such a nice natural candid shot it was a shame to have it spoilt by the swing in the background.
Wherever possible it is best to keep an eye out for such distracting elements when taking your image and change your position or recompose. However this is not always possible and in this case I was able to remove the swing with the help of the clone tool in Photoshop.
Fill the Frame
Another way to avoid distracting backgrounds and maximise photo impact is to fill the frame with your image. Because the frame is filled with the subject it draws and holds your eye on the subject. Simplifying the photo further by converting to black and white can also dramatically improve an image, or simply give a different feel or mood.
Depth of field
Depth of field can also help with distracting background elements. Using a narrow depth of field works to keep the field of focus on the subject and details in the background are blurred out. In the case of using long lenses, you might also get bokeh effects which are commonly a pleasing (and currently popular) effect created by the shape of the shutter and sometimes becomes apparent with narrow depth of field and highlights in the background of an image. If bokeh highlights are too bright however, they too can be distracting. You can avoid bokeh effects by using shorter lenses.
Rule of Thirds
It is not always best to fill the frame as sometimes you need to show more to tell the story. Sometimes positioning the subject in a certain way can add tension to the image. A common technique is to use the ‘rule of thirds’. When using this technique you mentally divide the frame into thirds by way of horizontal and vertical (mental) lines. The points at which these lines cross are the best points to position the subject to take advantage of maximum ‘tension’ and compositional ‘correctness’ emphasise the feel or mood.
It can be very tempting to place a subject in the centre of the image. Using the rule of thirds makes an image more interesting to look at and increases tension and balance. Below is a photo of my son being born with him positioned in the centre of the frame. Also shown is the same image cropped using the rule of thirds to add interest to the composition. This format makes the image more interesting to look at and adds tension. Take a look and decide for yourself.
© Robyn Gough 2006, All rights reserved
For the purpose of this tutorial I am going to do a layout where the photo blends into the background paper, and a second smaller, crisper copy of the same photo for a repeated effect.
For some using blend modes in Photoshop is second nature, and it is a relatively simple method but for those who have not yet discovered it, here is a quick tutorial. To start my layout, I have selected a background paper and feature photo.
Next I am going to place a larger version of the image on the background paper, underneath the smaller version of the image.
Next while the larger flower layer is selected, we need to change the blend mode. In your layers palette you will find a little white rectangular box which currently has normal selected, if you click on the drop down arrow, you will see the blend mode options available.
There are several different modes to choose from, and each will have a different effect and are great to experiment with but for the purposes of this tutorial we are going to use Overlay mode.
Once your layer blend mode has been changed to Overlay, your photo will look something like this.
As you can see the look is quite effective and quite vibrant, you can make it look less vibrant by adjusting the layers opacity. This will in turn bring more of the colours of the background through, and soften the colours in the overlaid photo. This option is worth experimenting with to suit your taste.
At this point while I like the effect on the photo, I feel the edges need blending into the background a little more. I like to use layer masks for this purpose to make corrections easier. While your larger photo layer is selected. Click on the Add Layer Mask button.
This will bring up a second thumbnail next to your image in the layers palette. To ensure the mask is selected, click on the mask to show the four corners surrounding it showing it has been selected.
Once you have done this, you can use your black soft brush to remove portions of the image, and the white soft brush to add them.
If you make a mistake, you can simply change the brush colour to white to add back the portion of the picture you wish to. On my layout, I softened the edges two sides of the photo to blend them into the background a bit more.
To finish off the layout, I changed the stroke blend mode around the smaller photo to overlay in the layer styles and reduced the drop shadow to bring it more in keeping with a graphic style layout. I then added the titles in dark brown and changed their layer blend modes to Linear Light at 59% Opacity. I also reduced the saturation of the colour in the background of the smaller photo, to help bring out the pink a little more.
© Robyn Gough 2009 Credits: Cupids Bow by Robyn Gough Font: Vtks Sonho
Here are a couple of blended style layouts I have created with my Floral Fancy Digital Scrapbook Kit and some photos of my daughter at ballet.
I have done a quick video tutorial on how to Install Presets into Adobe Camera RAW! Enjoy and excuse the ums and ahhs!!
These are the ACR Presets I have currently available in my Etsy Store.
If you use Lightroom I also have a video tutorial on Installing Presets for Lightroom.
I have done a quick video tutorial on how to install presets into Lightroom! Enjoy and excuse the ums and ahhs!! I will do another one soon on how to install presets into Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).
These are the Lightroom Presets I have currently available in my Etsy store.
I also have a video tutorial on Installing Presets into Adobe Camera RAW.
Metadata is a method of tagging graphics and photographs in order to record important information, keywords, copyright and sorting information. Metadata is information embedded into your image files.
In Photoshop you are able to view metadata for an image, by going to the file menu and choosing – File Info
This is what the window will look like.
Many people who have Photoshop are unaware that a very powerful file management software is also available at their disposal. Adobe Bridge, comes with Photoshop and is accessible from the File Menu when you click on Browse. There is also a button in the Photoshop toolbar.
Once you open bridge you will have a screen that looks something like this. On the preview below I have it open on a folder that contains a kit I have designed.
On the left there is a favourites column where you can set your favourite folders. Underneath there are keyword filters with which you can filter your viewing options. The middle column displays thumbnails of the folder contents, the viewing size of which can be simply adjusted using slider at the bottom of the screen. The top right column displays the selected items, and the bottom right column can display metadata or keywords. When viewing photos, the camera settings used for the selected photo is displayed. Underneath file properties, a whole variety of information recording options.
If you click on the keywords tab, you are able to view and assign keywords to each image to enable the easier location of your image files.
You can add as many standard keywords as you wish, keyword by basic colours, embellishment types subjects in a photo, and the list goes on.
Next we come to metadata. As you can see by the sample window below, you can create your own metadata templates, say for example one for each of your favourite designers, to record their design information. You could set metadata templates for colours and element types. You could include links and credit information and as much or as little information as you like.
To access this information click on the drop down arrow to the right of the Metadata tab. You will see a menu where you can create and edit meta data templates. You will also see where you can add the metadata templates to your images and graphics. You have the option whether to append or replace the metadata.
You can also manually edit each field in the metadata column as needed. When you add metadata using a template, the information is automatically added to the fields above.
If you are a Photoshop user, it may be worth investigating your keyword and metadata options in Adobe Bridge before deciding whether you need to invest in image tagging software.
© Robyn Gough 2009