Author: Rod Lawton

Three things you can do with a Photoshop Elements Gradient Map

Photoshop Elements Gradient Maps can create a wide range of effects from black and white conversions to sepia toning and colour tints, so how do they work? Gradient maps take the brightness values in the picture and ‘map’ them on to any gradient you choose, and this is actually rather useful. Let’s say you pick a straightforward black-white gradient – the tool then maps all the pixels in your picture onto the different shades of grey along this gradient according to their original brightness. In this instance, you’ll get a black and white conversion of a colour original, which...

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Create a dirty Kodachrome with Perfect Photo Suite!

Photographers are never happy. We couldn’t stop complaining about our dirty, faded colour transparencies when they were all we had, and we couldn’t wait to swap to nice, clean, everlasting digital images… only now they’re the norm, we miss our grubby old transparencies. So I’m going to use Perfect Effects to try to recreate that old transparency look, complete with the characteristic round-cornered Kodachrome frame, some random dust and debris, faded colours and even a minor light leak for good measure. I’ve started with a Pentax D-SLR image I shot in Bruges a couple of years ago on a...

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Get an HDR effect from a single image in Color Efex Pro

There are so many filters in Color Efex Pro that it can take a long, long time to work out all the things that it can do. Some of the tools are obvious, like Levels and Curves or Graduated Filters, but some are less so, and the Detail Extractor is a prime example. It sounds like a tool for making your images sharper, but it’s actually something else entirely. It’s a kind of localised contrast adjustment tool which brings out details in both shadows and highlights with the kind of power and simplicity that you might wish your favourite...

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How to copy adjustments across images in Capture One

Capture One, Aperture and Lightroom combine image cataloguing, browsing and non-destructive editing in a way that makes it possible to enhance whole batches of images both quickly and consistently. In particular, they let you choose the perfect set of adjustments for a single representative image in the batch, then copy them across wholesale to all the rest – or as many of them as you want, because you can apply changes to images individually to with just a single mouseclick. This walkthrough shows you how to do it in Capture One. At the same time, it shows how simple...

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Using Lightroom 5’s Radial Gradient tool

The editing tools in Lightroom 5 are steadily improving to the point where many photographers won’t need any other software for their day-to-day image enhancement, and the new Radial Gradient tool in the Develop module takes this one stage further. It offers a way to quickly highlight the focal point of your pictures, subdue backgrounds and improve the composition with a subtle (or not so subtle) framing effect. Incidentally, some of the most important new features in Photoshop CC are the extra editing tools in Adobe Camera Raw, which is also the processing engine behind Lightroom – so if...

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