The Doug Plus Rox Photography Blog

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to the blog of Doug and Roxanne, two photographers who are head-over-heels in love. In this blog you’ll find our musings about photography, camera equipment, image editing programs and more. Roxanne is a talented photographer who enjoys wildlife and landscape photography. Doug is a published author and photographer.  We’re both Canon shooters. Between us we have a bushel full of lenses, and lots of enthusiasm. Currently we’re exploring the area near our home with Lensbaby Composers. Stay tuned for news about our photo shoots and lots of photos. The following image is one of Doug’s Lensbaby captures. He tweaked the image in Photoshop using images of textures on layers with different blend modes.

Add Some Pizzaz to Your Images with Textures

Add Textures to Images in Adobe Photoshop

I love to tweak my images in Photoshop. One technique I use frequently is adding textures to a photo. With the judicious addition of one or two textures to an image in Photoshop, the image transcends from a mere photograph to a work of art. Of course the starting point is a well composed image.

Using textures is not a new technique. Wedding photographers and many professional photographers use textures. It’s not a difficult technique. Open an image in Photoshop, add a texture on a new layer, transform the size of the texture to fit the image, and then change the layer blend mode. The blend modes I use most frequently are Overlay and Soft Light. I experiment with other blend modes to suit the image I’m transforming. Many texture layers can be added to an image, but I advise using no more than two layers. I find the image gets a little muddy if I add more than two textures.

Another option when modifying an image with textures is changing layer opacity. Lower the layer opacity to fine tune the amount of texture that’s applied to the image. When there are more than two texture layers on an image, varying layer opacity changes the appearance of each texture on the final image.

Lately I’ve been using French Kiss Textures. French Kiss Textures has a wide variety of artistic textures you can use to transform your images into works of art. The texture images they offer are high resolution and are reasonably priced. You can get free textures and brushes from their Facebook Page: French Kiss Textures. You can find information, freebies, and tutorials on their web page: French Kiss Textures website.

Here are a couple of images I’ve tweaked using French Kiss Textures and brushes.


Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

Creating a Custom Lightroom Identity Plate

The following is an excerpt from Doug Sahlin’s Mastering the Photoshop Lightroom CC Library Module:

Creating a Custom Identity Plate

Photographers often use Lightroom to show images to friends and clients. If you’re one of those photographers, you can create a custom identity plate with your name, or your company’s name.

To create a custom identity plate in Lightroom:
1. Right-click the default Lightroom identity plate at the upper left corner of the interface.
The context menu appears.
2. Choose Edit Identity Plate.
The Identity Plate Editor appears as shown in the following illustration.

 

3. Choose from the following identity plate types:
Use a stylized text identity plate: This option enables you to create a text identity plate with your favorite font face. You can also specify the font style and font size. The default font option matches the Lightroom module identity plate and is therefore an excellent choice.
Use a graphic identity plate: This option enables you to use a image that is no more than 57 pixels high (Mac OS) or 46 pixels high (Windows). When you choose this option, you drag the identity plate from the Windows Explorer or Macintosh Finder into the text box that shows the current identity plate. Your custom graphic can be one of the following file formats: BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, or TIFF (Windows) or JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PDF, or PSD (Mac OS).
4. Click OK


To learn more about Doug’s Lightroom books, to order a book, or download a sample, click the applicable book cover:

Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

Cropping Images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC’s Develop Module

The following is an excerpt from Doug Sahlin’s Mastering the Photoshop Lightroom CC Develop Module:

Cropping Images in Lightroom’s Develop Module

The first step in your processing workflow is to crop the image. When you crop the image, you process a smaller area of the image, which changes the histogram.

To crop an image:
1. Click the Crop Overlay tool, which is the first tool on the Localized Adjustments panel, which is right below the histogram as shown in the following illustration. Alternatively, you can press R.

The crop overlay appears over your image as shown in the following illustration. Note that the default grid overlay for the Crop tool is the Rule of Thirds.

2. Choose the desired aspect ratio from the drop-down menu as shown in the following illustration.
Alternatively, you can click the lock icon to unlock proportionate cropping. When you disable proportionate cropping, you can crop the width or height without affecting the other dimension.

3. Drag one of the crop handles.
There is one crop handle at each corner of the image as well as one at the mid-top, mid-bottom, mid-left, and mid-right sides of the image.
4. Click and drag inside the crop rectangle until it’s over the pixels you want to retain.
In Lightroom, you’re actually dragging the image underneath the rectangle, exactly the opposite of what you do in Photoshop.
5. Double-click inside the crop rectangle, or click Done.
Lightroom crops the image.

After you crop the image, you can change the crop by clicking the Crop Overlay tool again and then re-positioning the image within the rectangle or drag one of the handles to fine-tune the crop.


To learn more about Doug’s Lightroom books, to order a book, or download a sample, click the applicable book cover:

Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

Synchronize Develop Settings in Lightroom CC’s Develop Module

The following is an excerpt from Doug Sahlin’s Mastering the Photoshop Lightroom CC Develop Module:

Synchronizing Settings in Lightroom’s Develop Module

Another batch processing option is synchronizing settings. This option takes batch processing to the next level due to the fact you can synchronize settings to several images at once, compared to copy and paste which only lets you paste settings to one image at a time. This option also lets you pick and choose which settings are synchronized. Synchronizing settings is handy when you have lots of images that require the same settings.

To synchronize settings to several or several hundred images:
1. Select an image and process it to pixel perfection.
2. With the first image still selected, choose the other images to which the settings will be synchronized.
Shift-click the last image to select contiguous images, or Control-click (Windows)/Command-click (Macintosh) additional images to add them to the selection.
3. Click Sync (the button below the panels on the right side of the Develop module interface).
     The Synchronize Settings dialog appears as shown in the following illustration.

4. Choose the settings you want to synchronize.
     The settings you last synchronized are selected. If this is the first time you’re using this feature, all settings are selected. Click Check All to synchronize all settings, or Click None, which gives you to option to pick the settings that will be synchronized. Make sure you include Process Version.
5. Click Synchronize.
     The settings you choose are synchronized and applied to the selected images.


To learn more about Doug’s Lightroom books, to order a book, or download a sample, click the applicable book cover:

Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

Creating a Custom Watermark in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

The following is an excerpt from Doug Sahlin’s “Mastering the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Library Module”

Creating a Custom Watermark in the Lightroom CC Library Module

When you export images, you have the option of adding a watermark to the image. The default Create Simple Watermark option adds a small watermark on the left side of the image that displays the copyright symbol, and your name provided you’ve created a Metadata Template, or you’ve added the copyright information to images after importing them into Lightroom. You can also create a custom watermark with custom text. To create a custom watermark:

  1. In the Library module, select an image.
  2. ChooseFile >> Exportor press Control + Shift + E (Windows) or Command + Shift + E (Macintosh).
    The Export Dialog appears with the selected image in the left window. As you create the watermark, it appears over the image.
  1. In the text window, select the default text, and enter new copyright text.
    The copyright symbol is already part of the default text. You can delete the copyright symbol and type copyright if you prefer. For the copyright text, enter the year followed by your name or the name of your company. If desired, you can add a dash and All Rights Reserved. For example: © 2016 Doug Sahlin-All Rights Reserved
  1. In the Watermarking section, click the Watermark checkmark.
    The Watermark drop-down menu becomes available.
  1. Choose Edit Watermarks from the Watermark drop-down menu.
    The Watermark Editor appears as shown in the following illustration.

  1. Choose the Watermark Style.
    You can create a text or graphic watermark. The following steps are for creating a text watermark. If you choose to create an image watermark, you import a PNG OR JPEG image.
  1. In the Text Options section, choose a font face from the Font drop-down menu.
    You’re protecting your image, not creating a work of art. I suggest you choose a font that’s easy to read but not so fancy that it will attract more attention than the image it’s protecting.
  1. In the Text Options section, choose a font style from the Style menu.
  2. In the Text Options section, choose an alignment option from the Align menu.
    You can align the watermark text to the left side of the image, center of the image, or right side of the image. I suggest you choose the option to center the text.
  1. Click the Color Swatch and choose a color for the text.
    In most cases, the default white color works perfectly for a watermark.
  1. If you accept the default shadow, set the Opacity, Offset, Radius, and Angle.
    The default options work exceptionally well for a watermark. If you decide you want to tinker, modify the settings and preview the results.
  1. In the Watermark Effect section, specify the Opacity.
    The default opacity is 100 percent, which means none of the image underneath the watermark is visible. I suggest you experiment with an opacity of 75 or 80 percent.
  1. In the Watermark Effects section, choose a Size option.
    I suggest using Fit, which displays your copyright message from one side of the image to the other.
  1. In the Watermark Effects Inset section, specify the Horizontal and Vertical inset.
    The horizontal inset determines how far your copyright message is inset from the border of the image, and the vertical offset determines how far the message is inset from the top, when the message is anchored to the top of the image, or bottom of the image, when the message is anchored to the bottom of the image.
  1. In the Watermark Effects section choose an Anchor option.
    You can anchor the watermark to the top, middle or bottom of the image, left right or center of the image.
  1. Click Save.
    The New Preset dialog appears in the following illustration. This image also shows my watermark from 2015.

  1. Enter a name for the preset.
    If you’re creating multiple presets, enter a name that reflects whether it’s a personal or company copyright, and the location of the copyright. This makes it easy to choose the desired watermark preset when exporting images. Add the year to the preset name as well. For example: My 2016 Watermark Bottom.
  1. Click Create.
    The new watermark appears on the Watermark drop-down menu.

 


To learn more about Doug’s Lightroom books, to order a book, or download a sample, click the applicable book cover:

Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

Using the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC DeHaze Control

The following is an excerpt from Doug Sahlin’s Mastering the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Develop Module

Using the Dehaze Control

If you photograph landscapes, you’ll love the Dehaze control, which is a new addition to Lightroom. When you photograph vast landscapes, details like distant mountains don’t have crisp detail due to atmospheric haze. You can get rid of haze, or creatively add haze to an image with the Dehaze control. The left side of following illustration shows an image with haze removed, and the right side shows the same image with haze added.

  1. In the Effects panel drag the Dehaze slider to the right to remove haze from an image.

As you drag the slider, more detail appears in the background.

  1. Drag the Dehaze slider to the left to add haze to an image.

As you drag the slider, the image appears as though it was photographed in hazy conditions.

 


To learn more about Doug’s Lightroom books, to order a book, or download a sample, click the applicable book cover:

Lightroom Books by Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin’s Lightroom CC books. To learn more about a book or to purchase it, click a book cover.

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