Posted by: geonarcissa | September 26, 2010

Photoshop Techniques

So I have my fancy camera, and after travelling across the country I have many hundreds of photographs.

Now what?

I’ve been using Lightroom quite extensively, because it makes it fast and easy to make basic alterations to photographs and then publish them to Flickr without hassle. It’s more powerful than Picasa, and much easier to use than Photoshop.

Speaking of Flickr, the more time I spend browsing, the more I see pictures that make me think “WOW!!! I WANT TO DO THAT TOO!!!”

I’ve been lurking around Digital Photography School, where there are some very helpful articles that unravel some of the mysteries and release the power of Lightroom and Photoshop.

Today I played around with the techniques from this article, 4 Easy Photoshop Techniques to Make Your Photos Pop!

Here’s the photo I started with.

DSC06523 unedited

The first technique is a blur/overlay. I like the dramatic effect it has on contrast.

DSC06523 blur overlay

The next technique is a background filter. You select the portion of the photo you want to stand out, and apply a filter to the background. The article uses a brush stroke filter, but I enjoyed the pixelated filter used here.

DSC06523 filter background

The third technique involves blending funny “neon glow” filter with the original picture, which does some interesting things to the highlights. Doesn’t really add anything to this photograph, but I’ll definitely try it again on something else.

DSC06523 neon glow

The last technique featured in that article is a quick softening technique. Nice, and will likely come in handy, but for the portrait it’s not great because it softens everything.

DSC06523 blur softening

The other technique I played with today is High Pass Softening, which is a little more involved than the previous techniques, but easy enough as long as you follow the instructions carefully. If you’ve never used any kind of masking before, this is a nice little introduction.

The thing I really liked about this technique is that I could apply it just to the skin areas. If you look at this before/after composite, you can see how the eyes weren’t touched. Compare also to the aforementioned softening technique, and the difference is quite noticeable.

high pass softening


  1. These are all good in there own way. Love it! I’m jealous of your photoshop and lightroom!! I have GIMP, its okay, but I want the good stuff 😉

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