Saturday, 27 January 2007

New Picture Upload

Here's a new photo you can buy on fotoviva in the Architecture series of images.

This has been enhanced using Photoshop to really show off the gold colours against the gritty walls. It was taken in the quaint town of Lagos in the Algarve which is a really nice ancient maritime town to visit if you go to Portugal. The old town has some fine examples of old school architecture which looks so much better than the bland structures that go up these days. I guess it's all down to money in this day and age where it's cheaper to build plain buildings than make them look individual and with character. I know what kind of building I would like to look at though!

For more information on Lagos go to the wikipedia page.

Create a soft focus effect

Here's an easy way to create the effect of a soft focus filter on your camera using Adobe Photoshop. You may have to adjust the settings to suit your photograph and the resolution but it gives you the general idea.

1. Open your photo in Photoshop.
2. Duplicate the layer by going to the LAYER menu and selecting DUPLICATE LAYER.
3. From the FILTER menu go to BLUR>GAUSSIAN BLUR and apply a setting of 15-25. This is based on a 6MP image. Use a little less for smaller images or more for 8-10MP pictures. This will apply the blur to the duplicated top layer.
4. From the layer pallete, reduce the opacity of the top blurred layer to around 10-40%. Play with the opacity until you are happy with the result. This allows the sharpness of the original layer to show through whilst creating the soft focus effect on the top layer.
5. Go to LAYER>FLATTEN IMAGE to make the photo just one layer and save.

You can play with the layer effects in the layer pallete before flattening to create some special effects. From the blurred layer select OVERLAY or SOFT LIGHT and see how it effects the image. You can create some really interesting effects by choosing how the top layer blends with the original. Play with the opacity again if you choose another blend mode.

Here's an example of the soft focus effect as seen on one of my for larger photograph