Thursday, March 5, 2009

Texture on Photographs

Thank you everyone for your emails about my photographs. Many of you have wanted to know how I made Claire's pictures have that "texture" look on them. Since the technique is very similar to my previous post, I will do a quick tutorial about it; sorry that I am not returning each of your emails, this will just be faster for me. And a quick note, I think this tutorial works best if there is a big background and a small subject. For instance, you see Claire, and then there's a big wall.

Okay, so this tutorial is to teach how to get your pictures to make this transformation:

1. Start by opening your picture in Photoshop.
2. I always like to play with the levels of the photo to bring out the colors more vividly. To do this, make sure your picture is highlighted in the layers section. Then click "Image", "Adjustments", and finally "Levels." (Steps 2 & 3 you do not have to do; I just like to.)
3. Move the little buttons around like I've shown in the diagram. No one has ever taught me the correct way to do this, but I always start at the right with the white tab and I move it slightly to the left. Then I go all the way over to where the black tab is on the left, and I move it slightly to the right. And finally I play around with the middle gray tab. When you are done, if you want to you can "uncheck" the box next to the word "preview" and that will show you what your picture originally looked like. It amazes me how much gray my pictures always start out with.
4. The next part I am not going to type in detail because I already did it in my previous post, starting with step number 4. For this tutorial I am using an image that I found here:

Follow steps 4 through 9 from my previous post. I will post pictures here but will not go into detail:

5. We're almost finished. I personally don't like to texture on my baby's face and skin, so I want to erase that part of the texture.
6. I like to zoom in closely when I fine tune these details, so I will use my "Navigator" tool and slide the button to the right to zoom in to Claire's face. If your Navigator tool is not showing, then on your menu options click on "Window" and then "Navigator."
7. Erase the texture on her face and skin. On the smaller areas (like her legs) I changed my brush size from the "100" down to about "50." When you're done, slide the "Navigator" button (from step 6) back to the left so you can see your whole picture again.
8. The last step is to darken the edges. I do this by using the "burn tool" which is one of my all-time favorite tools in Photoshop. I use it when I create so many of my papers and I just love the look that it does. If you can envision taking a paper, lighting a match to it and watching the edges burn, that is exactly what this tool does. For this tutorial I will once again use that same soft round brush that we used for the "eraser" tool. But you can get creative with this and use other brush shapes as well. For instance, on this image I had done with her, I used a scroll brush at the bottom of the picture using the burn tool:

9. And now, just go around the edges of your picture. Hint: if you want to keep it going in a straigt line, then hold down the shift key at the same time.

I hope you have fun with this. Get creative. Try all sorts of different textures. Good luck!