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01/07/2012 - 2:12 PM

number 4

number 4Mr Sloan how are you?

Billy the only things i've done in the mod is to crop out the lorry on the right as I feel it's an unwanted distraction but this is only to my eye's. Then if your make a quick selection of the main lorry and go to "Levels" by moving the middle pointer on the slider to the right you can strengthen the midtones (you may have that option in the default box). By selecting the lorry only you will leave the rest of the image untouched while slightly darkening the paintwork etc.

Take care
23/06/2012 - 11:35 AM


M GHi Billy,

A nice angle again on the shot but I think it's a little to tight on the left with the bumper nearly touching the frame and maybe a touch to dark, but hey it's still a nice shot.

Billy make a copy and then select "overlay" from your blend modes to bring out that deep sheen on the paintwork then make anther copy and this time select "Screen" and reduce the opacity to around 50%. This will enable you to keep the deep sheen and also lighten the image a little.

Take care
21/06/2012 - 4:09 PM

Storm Approaching

Storm ApproachingHi Sandra,

I can see why you wanted to capture this sky with a storm brewing.

To a certain point processing is a personal choice so i'm not quite sure what you personally would consider an inprovement. A very simple alteration would be to lighten the foreground to make the machinery more visable and and leave or darken the sky a touch.

Firts make a copy of your image (always work on a copy) then go to levels and lighten the midtones slightly by pulling the middle pointer on the slider to the left, then apply a layer mask and erase the effect from the sky by setting the colour to black and using the brush to paint over the sky. If you remove the effect from areas you didn't want to change the colour to white and brush over those areas agian and this will replace the effect. If you want to darken the sky do the same again but this time move the middle slider to the right.

Sandra it's just a matter of playing with any adjustments you have so long as you always work on a copy you can't do any harm, if it's not as you like it throw the copy in the bin, make another and go again Grin. When you've achieved what your happy with flatten the image and save as abc or 123 etc then when you close your original DO NOT save any changes. Wink

Take care
21/06/2012 - 2:59 PM

cars of yesteryear

cars of yesteryearHi Billy,

I like this shot, you've taken it from a good angle and for me the crop is just tight enough.

Billy there are some reflections in the side of the car that can be brought out by using your "Shadows/highlights" adjuster. In elements you will find this option by going to "Enhance" > "Adjust Lighting" > "Shadow/Highlights", make sure you tick the box for all the options.

I've possibly overdone it in the mod slightly but it will show you the reflection in the car which can be enhanced.

Take care

p.s, sorry about removing yesterdays upload, I should not have posted it in the first place, something was not right with it. Grin
05/06/2012 - 2:02 PM

waiting for the sun to rise

waiting for the sun to riseHi Prabh,

You've captured a nice feeling in this image, you can almost feel the sun that you know is about to appear, well caught.

Did you think about taking the shot in portrait ? sometimes with landscape shots when taken in portrait they can work very well, just a thought.

Prabh I've posted a mod of what it may have looked like but please remeber this is not an improvement to your image, it is very stretched, but the point is to give you another idea.

Take care
05/06/2012 - 1:46 PM

lake gardens

lake gardensHi Billy,

It looks a nice loaction that will offer many different opportunities at different times of the year, ask Natalie not to start making jigsaw's, this would be to hard for my eye's Wink.

I think it may be worth trying a small crop on the right so the image start's at the tip of the first Gunnera leaf although this could of course place the building in the wrong position, but certainly worth a go you've got nothing to loose. I would also have a play with your levels and lighten the image a touch, paying more attention to the background as to me that area appears a little on the dark side.

All in all though Billy tell Natalie it's a nice scene and good shot.

Take care
29/05/2012 - 3:11 PM


hazeyHi Billy, how are you,

V1 for me Billy.

Make a copy then go to "Levels" and in the default box select "Lighter Shadows" next apply a layer mask and erase the effect from everywhere except the stones in the foregrund right. Then go to your blend modes and select "Overlay" and this time just erase the effect from the stones.

You will end up with a stronger image. The stones will be a little more visable because you've lightened the shadows and the blues in the sky will be more vibrant because of the overlay. Add a slight touch of saturation if you wish but only a very slight bit.

Take care Billy and thanks for your comments.

24/05/2012 - 8:45 PM

A little piece of England

A little piece of EnglandHi Mark,

Good use of the track leading you into the image, well done.

Mark with a lot of summer shots the background can appear a little soft/hazey, which is how it looks to the eye, You can make a very easy adjustment to give it a bit more definition if you wish. First make a copy then using your quick selection tool select the background from the start of the yellow rape seed to the top of the sky then go top "Select" > "Modify" and expand the selction by around 1 px, then refine the edge using feather set to around 4.2px just to blend it in. Next go into "Levels" and very slightly move your black and midtone pointer's to the right (left and middle ones). This should only alter the selected area.

This is the only adjustment made in the mod.

Take care

24/05/2012 - 8:23 AM

Red Rocks

Red RocksHi Chris,

Good scene and composition which works very well from this POV.

It does look a little like HDR to me eye's but that could be because you've altered the contrast. Chris try going to "Levels" and slightly altering the midtones (which is the middle pointer on the slider). Move it to the right to give the image a little more definition. If you just want to work on the sky then before making the adjustment just select that area.

Nice image Chris.

Take care
22/05/2012 - 8:22 AM

first out

first outGood morning Billy, how are you ?

I agree, the centre spot does make a focal point which grabs your eye, well spotted.

Billy I think it might work better if you make a square-ish crop to remove some of the background foilage as in this case to my eye's it acts as a bit of a distraction. Also alter the midtones slightly by going into "levels" and moving the middle pointer (grey) very slightly to the right, but be careful not to over do it Wink. Then using your "Burn" tool set to around 5% gentley run it around the foilage that's left to darken it a little more which will help the flower stand out more.

Take care Billy
09/05/2012 - 3:30 PM

harbour mouth whitby

harbour mouth whitbyHi John,

Nice shot with good composition.

John you can make it slightly stronger and make the refections stand out a touch more if you wanted.

After you've made a copy open your levels' window and you will see the black pointer (left hand side) could do with bringing towards the middle, but only a bit. Next in your blend modes select "Overlay" which will make the light colours lighter and the dark colours darker then if you feel the effect is too much reduce the opacity.

These two adjustments are done in the mod.

Take care
07/05/2012 - 7:34 PM

Alhambra Palace View

Alhambra Palace ViewHi Andrew,

Good shot from a great POV, well done.

I know it was a grey and murky day but you can add a touch to that fantastic background by going into "Levels" and adjusting the midtones slightly. Keep your eye on the background until you get it as you like then using a layer mask and black brush remove the effect from the foreground.

You could also try doing the same in "Curves", I would suggest keeping the foreground as it is and just a slight bit of alteration to the background.

Take care
07/05/2012 - 1:22 PM


BallylumfordHi Billy,

It's V2 for me, It makes a more imposing image when cropped.

Billy you have to be careful when cropping and resizing as you will start to lose quality. Although V2 is more imposing if you look at the sky it's now very noisey so zooming in a touch more would have helped.

If your not going to enlarge and print the image you can reduce the noise in a few ways, although you will most likely lose detail. One way which works to a limited degree is to select the sky and then go to "Filters" > "Blur" > "Gaussian Blur" and apply it very sparingly. It will make the clouds soft and works best on a plain sky but with a little sympathetic errasing you can bring some of the edges back.

Take care
04/05/2012 - 12:21 PM

One sunny day

One sunny dayHi Nigel,

Some nice pink blossom always looks good after the winter months.

Nigel it looks a little dark which can be very easily altered in a few way's but the easiest is to use the "Shadows/Highlights" option. If you use PS go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows/Highlights" or in Elements "Enhance" > "Adjust Lighting" > "Shadow/Highlights". These slider's do "what it say's on the tin" so to speak and and by making some slight adjustments it will bring the blossom out more. I would also be tempted to try a tighter crop on the right as aprt from the branch it appears to be empty space.

Both these adjustments have been made in the mod, see what you think

Take care
03/05/2012 - 4:03 PM

In a Flap

In a FlapHi Keith,

Another good capture, well done.

Keith there is a little more colour to come out in this image which can be done in a few ways, but the easiest is to use the "Shadows/Highlights" option. If you use PS go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows/Highlights" or in Elements "Enhance" > "Adjust Lighting" > "Shadow/Highlights". These slider's do what it say's on the tin so to speak and will bring a little more detail out.

Take care
View from Castlerigg over DerwentwaterHi John,

Sorry but there is not mush that can be done with the sky, I've opened the image up and there is no detail there to recover. Your best option with this image is to replace the sky which is easily done in a few different ways. If this is the route you want to go down, because of the tree's I would change the sky by going into "channels" selecting blue and slowly building the image up in levels by making the darks darker, greys grayer and whites whiter, sounds complicated but it isn't and this way allows you to drop a new sky in behind the tree branches. Unfortunately it would take a long time to write instructions on how to do it but if you want to know get in touch and I'll help.

With regards to the conifer I would leave it, but crop the right hand side to put it on the edge of the frame, I would also remove the three small hanging branches from across the top of the image.

Take care
02/05/2012 - 11:41 AM

The Old Homestead

The Old HomesteadHi Billy,

I guess V2 is the natural shot and in V1 you've possibly used a touch of "Overlay".

This scene is a good scene to practice using your "Burn" & "Dodge" tools on, remember burn darkens and dodge lightens. In the mod I've tried to bring out some of the humps and hollows in the fields to give the image more depth, I'm not saying it worked but you will get the idea Grin.

With these tools you get the option you choose the tones you want to work on by selecting from the range, Shadows, Midtones or highlights. This means if you wanted to make a shadow darker you would choose the Burn Tool and set the range to Shadows, if you wanted to lighten them you would use the Dodge tool. Billy to not set the strength (Exposure) to high, stick to something between 5 -9% and use each tool like a brush and gently buid the effect up.

Give it a go.

Take care
01/05/2012 - 1:22 PM

In the surf

In the surfHi Billy,

I'm not sure what you've done in your processing but there is some blue from the rear of the canoe in the sea, It doesn't appear to be to right sort of day for strong reflactions Wink.

I don't know if you've cropped this image or not but I think the canoe would be better placed slighlty lower and more to the right. There is nothing else other than sea in the image so by placing them in that position they would have the rest of the image to move into. It may also help with the sense of scale, ie a small conoe in a very large ocean.

Take care
30/04/2012 - 3:22 PM

Up and Over

Up and OverHi John,

Reading your description I have to say that it doesn't make me wonder what's on the other side but you have made very good use of the gate and track as a leadin line up to the farm and for me that works well.

John the image appears a little soft which can be easily altered in numerous ways depending on which software you use. A very simple way is to use "Shadows/Highlights" which does as it say's on the tin and alters the shadows and highlights which you control with sliders. In "Elements" this option can be found by going to "Enhance" > "Adjust Lighting" > "Shadow/Highlights". In PS go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows/Highlights" and if you use Picasa go to Tuning and the sliders appear in the window.

Another way would be to use the "Blend Modes", you could try "Overlay" or Soft light" etc" and reduce and/or erase the effect from certain areas.

In the mod I used "Shadows/Highlights" then I sharpened the image using the "Unsharp Mask" set at Radius 0.9, Threshold 0.5 and altered the Amount to 68% then using a layer mask and black brush I erased the sharpening from everwhere except the gate, wall and field.

Take care
30/04/2012 - 8:12 AM

When the rain came

When the rain cameMorning Nicholas,

I can understand why you like taking images of water droplets on foliage, it something that work well.

Nicholas there's a few ways to make them "pop" out a little more. First make a copy (as you do) and if you use "Elements/PS etc" Go to "Filters" > "Other" > "High Pass" and select around 2.5 this will turn your copy silver but don't worry. Next in your blend mode's you have a few choices, I would suggest you choose from "Hard Light, Soft Light & Overlay" each effect will be a little different but all will help bring out the water drops. Try them all before deciding which one works best for you, if you think the effect is to harsh reduce the opacity (strength) with the slider in your layer pallet.

High pass acts like a sharpening tool so have a play with that slider, you may find you can increase the amount but which out for the haloes/highlights around the leaf. As with any sharpening haloes/highlights means loss of detail.

In the mod I have cropped it a little tighter and used "High Pass" & "Hard Light" before reducing the opacity to 65%.

Take care