Tag Archives: adobe photoshop cs6

Creating an orb in Photoshop

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I use Photoshop CS6 for most of my photo editing work — adding contrast, sharpening, correcting exposure, bringing back highlights, cropping, and so much more.

Once I finish editing, though, it’s fun to find out what other things Photoshop can do.

To me, Photoshop filters are the most fun, and recently I learned how to create an interesting orb, like this:

Flower orb

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not everything makes a good orb. The more little things in the picture, the better looking the orb will be.

Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Open your picture and crop it to a square, or a ratio of 1:1. Click on the crop icon. In your crop options bar, it probably says “Ratio.” Click on that and change it to 1:1 (Square). Your crop marks will move to the center of the image to create a square from your picture. You can move the crop area around if you want it somewhere else. (Click on the image below for a larger image.)

Crop in Photoshop CS6

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next, click on Filter ► Distort ► Polar Coordinates…. ► Polar to Rectangular ► Okay

My flower now looks like this:

Photoshop distort polar coordinates

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That creates an interesting item in and of itself, but we’re going to go further.

Now click on Image ► Image Rotation ► Flip Canvas Vertical. That gives me this:

Photoshop Flip Canvast Verticle

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Again, you could stop there and have something interesting. We’re still going further, though!

Click on Filter ► Distort ► Polar Coordinates…. ► Rectangular to Polar ► Okay.

That gives you an orb!

If you don’t crop your picture to a square, you won’t get an orb. Instead, if your picture is wider than it is tall, you’ll get an oval on its side. If your picture is taller than it is wide, you’ll get an oval on end.

Have fun!

Lastly, guess who is in this orb?

Zoey the Cool Cat in an orb

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I would approve this post
if I wasn’t dreaming of catching birds.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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How's the view?

Talk bubbles in Adobe Photoshop CS6

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the past couple of decades I have been doing my photography editing and graphics work in Corel programs. Currently I’m using DRAW! X6, PaintShop Pro X5, and Photo-Paint X6. Give me a graphics or photo project and I can do it in those three programs.

Since around this time last year, I set out on a mission to learn Adobe Photoshop. In addition to the Corel programs, I had used Photoshop and PageMaker in the ’80s and ’90s because of my work. When my work no longer required them in 1994, I quit using them and quit upgrading them.

I know that the current version of Photoshop, CS6, can do everything that the three Corel programs can do, but the masses say that the learning curve is pretty steep. I’m here to tell you that the learning curve is, indeed, steep. But it sure is fun!

Today I’ve been learning to do callouts and talk bubbles in Photoshop CS6. The process is intuitive, but because things show up on different layers, getting things to come together, especially if you just want to edit text or change a graphic, can be frustrating. Once you learn how things work, though, it becomes much easier.

Here is a picture that I added two talk bubbles to.

How's the view?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It took me about an hour (and a couple of margaritas, a plate of nachos, a BLT sandwich, and a beer) to do that. However, once I understood how things worked, it took just a couple of minutes to do it again on a different picture.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Look this way! Please look this way!

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On a recent hike in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, I found three house finches sitting on a wire. I took five pictures before they flew away. My intent was to get all three of them looking at me, or at least looking forward. They refused to cooperate. There was always at least one bird that was looking the other way. Begging all three birds to “look this way, please, look this way!” didn’t have any effect on them.

I got up the courage to do something about it as I was looking at the five pictures this morning. Originally, I was going to simply replace the one bird that wasn’t looking at me with one that was. Then I thought, why stop at three birds? After playing around, I came up with a nice picture of six house finches:

House finches at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me which three birds originally were not in that picture. Let us number the birds 1 through 6 from bottom left to top right. And as all good teachers would do, I require that you “show your work,” i.e., explain your decision.

My wise old grandmotherThis little exercise reminds me of my wise old grandmother. She carried her Kodak Instamatic camera in her purse everywhere she went, and she didn’t hesitate to pull it out and snap a picture. Once she got home she took all her pictures and mounted them in her scrapbooks and photo albums. However, she didn’t hesitate to crop them, cut them in two, whatever, in order to make the pictures better or make them fit the theme of her pages.

She used to always tell me, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.” It’s still like that, so if you aren’t using Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Serif PhotoPlus, Photo Studio, PaintShop Pro, Photo-Paint, ACDSee, Gimp, Picmonkey, etc., you’re missing out on a lot of fun. The ones I use are Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4, Photo-Paint X6, and PaintShop Pro X5.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pinnochio

I lied (must mean I’m a Republican)

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In a recent post of mine (Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the continental U.S.), I lied! I was misleading to my readers. I’ll let you decide if I should be punished by having to vote for Romney & Ryan.

Pictures in my post:

Tijuana Estuary National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Imperial Beach, most southwestern city

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Original, unaltered pictures:

Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Imperial Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I thought the original pictures were too cluttered so I tried to clean them up using Photoshop CS6. Cluttered….. Hmmm. Sounds just like politics, doesn’t it? What’s my punishment?Liar!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Motor Transport Museum, State Route 94, San Diego County, California

Motor Transport Museum of San Diego

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

During yesterday morning’s adventure beyond the boondocks, I found many subjects worthy of photography. One of them was the Motor Transport Museum of San Diego. It’s a huge factory from decades ago, too big to fit it all into my 28-300mm lens. Keeping in mind my previous work with the Photomerge function of Photoshop, I took five pictures and sent them to Photoshop, which gave me this:

Motor Transport Museum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As you can see, the picture’s a little crooked and the buildings seem to be leaning extraordinarily. Since there has not been an earthquake recently….

With previous landscape panoramas I have done, I simply cropped the picture to make it straight. However, landscape panoramas rarely have tilting buildings in them, so this is a perspective issue.

Fortunately, Photoshop can easily correct that, too. I simply clicked on the crop tool, then the perspective tool, drew a perspective box on the picture, adjusted the sides of the box to indicate what should be straight, and then clicked on okay. Photoshop worked its magic and gave me this:

Motor Transport Museum

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Much better.

Unfortunately, the museum is only open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. I guess you know where I’m going on a future Saturday, probably sooner rather than later.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

You don’t have to be a purist, featuring Zoey the Cool Cat

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Purist” is a word that I don’t think I’ve ever liked because it often is used to put down the creativity of others, creativity which the purist often couldn’t do or didn’t want to do. Now that doesn’t apply to all purists, just probably about 80% of them, which is a good supermajority.

Several decades ago when I was a Realtor, I used to compile a list of all the properties that were for sale in my farming area. I also had the addresses of all the properties, their most recent sale date, and the price they sold at. I got all the information from going down to the Courthouse and searching through the public records. I was told by the established Realtors that a “purist” wouldn’t work that way. Oh. (I lasted in the Texas oil-boom-to-bust longer than they did.)

When I opened a computer store in the mid-1980s, I sent flyers out to all the houses within a five-mile radius. I was told a purist would just have a grand opening and be done with it. Oh. (My competition eventually packed up and moved.)

I have many more examples, but you get the message.

Photography is the same way. Many older photographers, like me, grew up with film cameras and darkroom developing. Now that digital photography and digital photo editing programs like Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, Gimp, and others are here, some of the older photographers seem to be too proud to use them. They claim to be “photography purists.”

Some are even hanging on to the last vestiges of film cameras and developing in their own private darkrooms. Talk about expensive and time consuming. They are still using filters and filter stacking out in the field. Why? “To get the best I can out of the camera.” That’s all well and good, and it’s a lot of fun to be out and about taking pictures, but there is simply no way to get as many pictures out in the field as what Photoshop will give you back at the office.

I submit that if you want to have a lot of fun, learn a good digital photo editing program as well as your camera and your lenses. Once you know what all three can give you — their strengths and weaknesses — you can double or even triple your fun. The way I do this is to dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes each day to whatever new tasks I am seeking to learn. Right now it’s Photoshop CS6.

You don’t have to be a “purist” in order to accomplish what the “purists” accomplish. In fact, the beauty of technology is that, indeed, you don’t have to be a “purist” at all. If you have an interest in something, or see something that someone else did, don’t question whether or not it is “purist.” Just see if you can do the same thing! Explore. And if you accomplish the same thing using different tools, that’s okay! In fact, it just might give you a leg up on your competition.

I just finished reading Best Photoshop Filters, by Susannah Hall (ISBN 978-0-321-75422-6), 415 pages, retails for $49.99. It discusses all the filters in Photoshop CS6, and there are a slew of them.

Photoshop filters are basically presets that allow you to do one-click modifications to your pictures. Following are 26 examples, using Zoey the Cool Cat as our model. With all of the modifications one can make to the presets, there are probably tens of thousands of different things one can do to one’s pictures. I could have sat here all day playing with these filters but at some point, well, there is work to do and bills to be paid…. :(.

Hope you enjoy these. My favorites are 7, 12, 20, 22, and 26, with 20 being my #1. Let me know your favorites.

Picture 1Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 2Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 3Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

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Picture 4Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 5Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 6Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 7Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 8Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 9Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 10Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 11Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 12Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 13Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 14Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 15Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 16Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 17Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 18Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 19Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 20Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 21Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 22Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 23Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 24Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 25Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture 26Zoey the Cool Cat using a Photoshop CS6 filter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wild parrots

Love birds

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of my primary tasks with Photoshop CS6 and PaintShop Pro X5 is to make pictures more interesting. This particularly applies to bird pictures since birds are not known to be very cooperative in helping me compose my pictures. As an example, here is a picture of two wild parrots in Kearney Mesa:

Wild parrots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s not a bad picture. It has two birds, it has a part of the telephone pole and a plant. Good composition. However, as it is, you can’t really see the birds. I want to make eye contact, and I’ve discovered that a 300mm lens isn’t good enough to go birding with. However, a 300mm lens coupled with Photoshop is!

First, I simply cropped the picture, effectively bringing the birds in closer:

Wild parrots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Better than the first but I don’t really like birds just sitting on wires. I want something a little more. So I moved the birds a little ways down the wire:

Wild parrots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I thought about moving the plant a little closer, but the focus of the plant doesn’t jive with the focus of the birds if I move the plant too close. So I didn’t. It looked too odd.

After moving the birds, I simply cropped the former position of the two parrots out of the picture:

Wild parrots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Visually, the final picture is much more interesting; the right bird is looking at the telephone pole, seeming to wonder if he should get any closer to it. Maybe the right bird is playing hard to get………

I also really like the two birds being closer together. Instead of simple wild parrots, now they are love birds………lol

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos