Photoshop tutorial – pt.1

23 Mar

I know it’s been a while now since I last posted a blog… but I’ve been posting on flickr regularly for my 365 project. Recently I posted this image for Day 76 – stating that I would soon do a tutorial on how to do this effect in photoshop. I think I’ll start a series on some things in photoshop that I have learned how to do…. and I think that since this is a relatively easy process… I would start here. So here goes! =D

**I would like to mention at this point that the version of Photoshop I’m using is CS3…. if you’re running a different version of photoshop…. some of these steps/menus might look a little bit different for you!**

First, you want to open your photo that you would like to apply this effect to. I think that lit images [of people] with some shadows tend to look like those Nike adds you see around…. so that’s what I’ll be using here. But you can try using this effect on any image really… and just see what you get. Playing around with all your photos is really the best way to get a feel for photoshop anyway. IMHO. =)

So here’s my starting point:

Second step for me was to go in and get rid of any blemishes that I didn’t want in the photo with the heal brush. There wasn’t much for me to touch up really with this photo – mostly because I wanted that kind of look.

Third step was to do a levels tweak (command + L for mac users like me) to black out that background the rest of the way and to make the image a little more true to what I was looking for. I followed that up with using the burn tool set to shadows at around 20% strength with a good sized brush to go in and black out the remainder of the background to make it totally black. I have some pictures up on the wall behind Parvati and the couch behind her was still kinda visible – so that’s what I hit with the burn tool.

So now you end up with this:

Next you’ll want to create a duplicate layer (command + J) and then desaturate that layer (command + shift + U). So you end up with this:

Next step is actually going for that Nike look – Go up to Filters > Other > High Pass… This is where and what it looked like on my screen:

When the next little menu thingy opens up you should have a screen that looks something like this:

You’ll note on the screen that I have this set up pretty high…. around the 80 range is usually pretty good for that Nike-Ad look. Hit “OK”….

Next step is to go over to the bottom right of the screen and set that layer to “Overlay”.

So once you have done that you should have an image that looks something like this:

Looking good so far, right?! You could easily end the tutorial right here… but there’s one last thing that I did to this image involving Parvati’s eyes.

Create a new “fill or adjustment layer” with a mask. In the screen cap below on the bottom right hand side where you see all your layers and whatnot…… there are some little buttons down there at the very bottom. It’s the circle-looking icon down there. When you click on that you go up to Levels and click to create. Now you have a new layer where you will adjust the levels – PAYING ATTENTION TO THE EYES ONLY – adjust those levels until the eyes look the way you want them.

**I know this is adjusting your whole image, but don’t worry! We’ll about to fix that!!!!**

So once you have that adjusted… you see how there’s a white rectangle attached to that layers adjustment you just did? Click on that so that the next thing you do effects that rectangle… now color the whole thing black with you paint bucket. Now it should look something like the menu below:

Now you just select the paint brush tool and make sure it’s set to paint in white…. and choose the appropriately sized brush so as to only paint over the iris (eye color portion of the eye). You can do this with 100% opacity on the brush and go back on the whole layer (via that menu on the bottom right) and set the opacity to something you prefer.

I left it at 100% on this image. But it’s a personal preference.

My final image ended up looking like this:

The last bit there with the eye is really a pretty subtle difference…. and doing that step, again, is a matter of preference.  If you would like to see the finished product a bit larger, feel free to visit the flickr page! Also, if you liked this tutorial…. or if you have any questions… please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you! =)



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6 responses to “Photoshop tutorial – pt.1

  1. EPC

    March 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Love it! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂 I’ve been playing with some of the free actions, and I’m feeling better about them. Seemed like a whole new world that I wasn’t ready to get into, but I’m getting out of my comfort zone.

    thanks a lot and keep them comin!!!!!!

    • squeekphoto

      March 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      Glad you liked it! =) I’ll be working on another soon…..

  2. ranggamauliza

    April 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

    nice effect,
    thanks for the tutorial, adding my knowledge of using high pass.

  3. louise (looby d)

    July 24, 2010 at 4:42 am

    Thanks for the tutorial, the effect is great!
    I’ve just come from your flickr site and wondered if this is the same treatment for Evonne’s running shot?
    I’ve tried something similar with the high pass filter but with a hard light blend, with the opacity then reduced to about 30%. It gives a slightly different look. I guess there’s oodles of variations to try, but I really like the subtlety that yours gives.

    • squeekphoto

      July 24, 2010 at 9:57 am

      yeah…. it’s the same basic effect. The biggest thing that I did differently was that when I created the duplicate layer and changed it to grey, I then did a levels tweak (bringing up fill basically)…. set that layer to overlay and then did my hi-pass filter on it. I think I kept her images around 70 (the ones on the seamless) with that hi-pass filter. I went back over some of the areas that were a little too dark for my taste (on the hi-pass layer) with a 50%grey brush at 20%opacity…. and slowly painted to bring those areas back to normal just a bit. When all that was done I brought back a little color on the overall photo because I found once I ran hi-pass everything seemed a little desaturated. That’s about it for what I did. Hope that helps you out.

      I would recommend just playing around with the effect. That’s how I learned everything I know in photoshop. Tutorials here and there and then just a lot of playing around. lol. =)


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