Stylized Effects with Photoshop CS5

Continuing our coverage of the WPPI speakers that we saw this year, today I am going to go over a more technical class that Julianne Kost gave for Photoshop CS5. I think that Julianne is one of the best Photoshop teachers out there, she knows the product inside and out, is very creative and also a very entertaining presenter. If you haven’t seen her speak live before you have to see her one day. You will learn a ton about photoshop and also be kept laughing from her funny, tech-geeky jokes. It’s always a great presentation.

Here is the description of her talk from the WPPI:
Add stylized touches to enhance your photography work. Julieanne will demonstrate techniques in
Photoshop CS5 that will help make your images express your own personal style. Discover creative ways to convert images to black and white, colorize, add edges, overlays and textures and add special effect. Learn how to sequence multiple images and composite photographs to create a stunning single photograph.

Since her talk covered many different ways we can use Photoshop to be creative, I am not going to give a full review of the talk but instead cover some unique tips that I think we can all learn from. Photoshop is such a huge program that sometimes just a small tip can make a huge difference in our workflow. Here are some of the top quick Photoshop tips that I got from her presentation.

Importance of Smart Objects
She walked through the process of artistically editing images in Photoshop and one thing that was stressed a few times is converting your layers to smart objects. This is key when you are going to be resizing images up and down since smart objects do not destroy pixels as you scale up and down. Since a lot of her artwork is many layers of images built upon each other she always converts the images to a smart object when adding them to the image. You can convert a layer to a smart object by going to the Layer –> Smart Object –> Convert to Smart Object menu in Photoshop.

Swapping out smart objects
One thing that I learned that I never knew about smart object is how easy it is to replace a smart object with another photo. It’s a very simple thing that I just never noticed but is going to be a HUGE timesaver this year in my album design process. Say you created a really nice album layout or any type of collage layout with multiple layers. If you convert those layers all to smart objects and save that file as a template swapping those images out with new ones is a breeze. Just hold down the Control Key and Click on the layer you wish to replace. A menu will come up with many options. Choose the option Replace Contents and then pick the new file. It will swap the photos out keeping the same size! This is so key if you want to swap out images later.

Cool little tip – When converting a photo to Black and white (Image –> Adjustments –> Black and White). Use the color picker and click on any color in the image. While keeping the mouse clicked you can adjust that color by moving the mouse left or right. This will only make that color lighter and darker. So if you wanted to quickly lighten up someones skin tone just click on their skin and drag to the right!

Selecting she uses the pen tool to select. The pen tool is one thing that does take a lot of getting used to and one thing I have to admit I am terrible using. Watching her create a selection though with the pen tool was very fast and looked easy so it’s something I think with a little more time spent with can be a good time saver.

Sharpening Tip – First create a new layer using the high pass filter as an adjustment layer. Then change the filter (smart filter) to overlay mode. Now simply brush out the areas you don’t want to be sharpened.

“every gesture or mark that you add to an image should have a reason for being”

Light room tip. Go to HSL tab and use the color picker. When you are in the HSL tab you have the ability to modify the Hue, Saturation or Luminance of an image. With each section you will normally use the sliders for each color to adjust up or down. But did you know the little circle icon right under hue will let you use a color picker. With this selected just click a color on the image and slide your mouse up and down to adjust only that color? Pretty cool tip!

Here is a great video on using smart objects.

Overall the presentation was great. Packed full of photoshop tips, and no matter how well you know Photoshop there is always a new shortcut or trick that you can learn from listening to a presentation from Julieanne. Do you have a quick Photoshop tip to share? Post something on our Facebook wall here: Digital Photo Buzz on Facebook