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Giving Your Photos That Extra Pop

By Maria Holmes -

Two Quick and Easy Techniques for
Giving Your Photos That Extra Pop

For a photograph that’s dull-looking even though you increased the saturation and contrast, try making a duplicate layer of your photograph (click on the ‘Layer’ menu at the top of your screen and then click on ‘Duplicate Layer’). Name the layer ‘Overlay.’ Once this duplicate later is created, set the blending mode to ‘Overlay’ by clicking on the arrow and then on Overlay. (See illustration) Then adjust the opacity to about 50%. (Click on Opacity and then move the slider to 50%). The view the difference this makes, click the eye icon on the layers pallet on and off, and you’ll be able to see the difference this simple yet effective technique makes in the intensity of the colors in your photograph. You can also try setting the blending mode to ‘Soft Light’ or ‘Vivid Light,’ but usually Overlay works quite well.

One easy way to give a photo a dimensional look is to create a duplicate layer of your photo just the way you did in the previous exercise. Name the layer ‘Emboss.’ Then use the Emboss filer on that layer. (Use menu selections Filter/Stylize/Emboss to activate the filter). When using the emboss filter, move the height slider to a value of about 3. Try the amount slider at about 80%. (You can experiment with these values, but the numbers we given your are a good place to start.) You can move the angle adjustment by positioning the mouse over the degree line and holding down the right mouse button while dragging the mouse in a circle. Watch the preview box to see which angle looks best to you. After the filter has run on the photo, again set the blending mode to ‘Overlay’ and move the Opacity slider back and forth to find the most pleasing result. Once again, click on the eye icon on the layers pallet while looking at your photograph. As you click it on and off, you will be able to see the effect this embossing technique has on your image.



About Maria Holmes
A serious photographer for more than forty five years, I am delighted with the enhancements a good photo editing program can make to an image. Many of my photos are worked to give them a painted or sketched look. All are heavily edited. I photograph mainly gardens and trees and flowers, but my camera also never met a cat it didn’t want to immortalize.

My philosophy of picture taking is summed up by Anais Nin when she writes, "It is the function of art to renew perception." I intend that my photographs help others see the familiar more clearly and in new ways.

I sell prints and greeting cards made from my photos at shows in the Southern California area and on the Internet

 

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