Archive for November, 2013

In this part, I will show you how to get comfortable with the basic use of Colour Range in Photoshop. This can be very handy if there’s a part of an image that you’d like to change the colour of. That’s exactly what I’m going to do right now. I’m taking an image of a red car and change it into a pink one.



Step one is to open the image and click on Select > Colour Range.


Doing so brings up a new panel. In this panel, click on the little Colour Sampler Tool icon on the right and make sure it’s the one with the + next to it. This will mean that when you make your selection in the next step, it will add it rather than detract or anything else.


Now, in the little preview image, make the selection of which colours you’re looking to change. Select everything you want in a different colour and click OK.


When you’ve done this, you will see that everything you selected in the previous step has now got ‘marching ants’ around it, meaning it’s selected.


Now, go to Layer > New > Layer Via Copy (Command + J).


As you can see, you have now made a new layer, made up out of the parts you selected previously.


Now go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Command + U).


This opens up a new panel, in which you can change the Hue, Saturation and Lightness of your colours. In here, try to move the sliders of the Hue and change the colour to something like pink.

When you press OK, you should have an image that looks a little like this:




Photo Book Module… Another Idea

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Photo Book

A new idea! I got this idea of doing self portraits, with me holding paper/cardboard signs with different emotions and feelings related to my disability.  This would also include the side effects from my medication. Might even write them on my forehead or something. Not quite sure yet. Also not sure about the location yet.

Doing this would allow me to express everything I feel and/or struggle with on different days. Hopefully I can make it work the way I have it in my head.

Got a little list of words that spring to mind when thinking about it… will probably be adding things as I go along:

  • Sciatica
  • Nausea
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Immobility
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Cold Sweats
  • Numbness
  • Isolation
  • Disadvantage
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Determination
  • Hope

In this part, I am going to use Masking to transform a photograph and add some effects. This will give you an idea what you can do with Masks.

Duplicate Mask

The first step is to duplicate the image into a separate layer. Right Click on the image layer and click Duplicate Layer (Command + J).

Name Layer

Now, a box will show up in which you can name your layer. Let’s call it ‘Dog Copy’, that’s easy to remember. Once you’ve filled it in, click OK to create the layer.


The next step is to adjust the saturation of the new layer. We do this by going to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Command + U).

Hue/Saturation Menu

In the next box, move the slider named Saturation all the way to the left (-100) to turn the image into black and white. Click OK to confirm.

Add Mask

We now need to add a Mask. Click the Add Layer Mask in the bottom of the layer box. This is the icon that looks like a little rectangle with a circle inside it.

Brush Mask

Now, by using the Brush Tool (B) and the colours Black and White as your foreground and background colours, we can add or remove the original colour in the image. Make sure you have the Layer Mask selected to do so. To increase your brush size, press  [  or  ]  . To change the hardness of your brush, press SHIFT + [  or  ]   . To open the brush palette, press CTRL + Left Click anywhere. Use this to make the dog itself appear in colour, whilst leaving the background black and white.

Your image should now look like the image above.

Mask Selection

In order to make a selection from the Mask you’ve just created, Right Click on your layer mask and choose the Add Mask to Selection option.

Marching Ants

This will create the ‘marching ants’ around your mask, indication your selection. You can easily invert your selection by pressing Command + SHIFT + I.


You could now have a play with some effects to change the look of the background (so make sure you select the correct layer now) and make it look very different indeed. Do this in the Filter menu. Once an effect has been applied (or multiple effects for that matter if you wanted) and the selection deselected, this could be your resulting image:

Dog Result

Photo Book Module Idea

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Photo Book

As I’m struggling to come up with ideas, mainly due to lack of inspiration, I began to wonder why that was. I came to the conclusion that the thing that holds me back in photography could very easily become an inspiration for this module.

My ‘Familiar and Every Day’, which is the title of the module, is very different to most people. My every day is determined by my physical and mental state at the time because of my back problem. I’ve decided to use exactly that: My physical and mental state on any given day. I’m incapable of doing everything that I would want or like, simply because my back won’t allow it. Before my disability, most of my experience came from the outside world. Now, that has been taken away from me at times when I’m bed bound or incapable of walking far enough.

My basic idea was to show this constricted life. I’m not sure how yet, but perhaps by putting my walking aids in places usually unreachable for me. So it could be a walking frame on a mountain side or something like that, obviously portrayed in a beautiful way. Watch this space for more on this or other ideas!

In this part I will try and show you in very basic form what Levels in Photoshop are for and how you could use them to make your photographs less flat and more colourful.


COMMAND + L will bring up this window labelled ‘Levels’. It shows the levels histogram which shows how much black and white tones there are in an image according to the tone scale. Photographs are read in black and white by our computers, so it’s all about dark and light tones instead of colours.

Levels Black

On an image with a lot of dark tones, the histogram would show a bigger spike towards the black side. Here, a full black square image creates a huge spike on the left side (dark tones) of the histogram. All other tones show nothing.

Levels Grey

A 50% grey image only shows a spike in the middle of the histogram, while the rest stays empty.

Levels White

And a pure white image will show a spike on… you guessed it: The white (light tones) side.

Levels Original

This is the image before any adjustments are made. The levels can be adjusted by moving the sliders underneath the histogram. As there are more dark tones in this image, the histogram ‘mountain’ peaks more on the left (dark tones) than the right (light tones).

Levels Moved

This is the image when the sliders have been moved to adjust the image. As you can see, the little sliders under the histogram have been moved, increasing shadows, contrast and making the image look less flat.

Levels Result

After pressing the ‘OK‘ button, the histogram changes to fill the full range of tones on the tone scale.

These are simply the basics of how the Levels work in Adobe Photoshop. There are a lot more things possible with this tool, but this should give you a decent idea of what levels can do for your images.

Photo Book research: Typology

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Photo Book
Tags: ,

Typology is a collection of images of the same type. Above is my example. I choose to slice fruit in half, so the insides are showing. I am fascinated with the shapes and patters that emerge when this is done.

Typology is starting to interest me more than I expected. The work of Bernd and Hilla Becher is a great example of typology done in a fantastic way. The subjects may not always be the most interesting to everyone, but the results are amazing each and every time. And that’s what so great about it. It just works, even when it shouldn’t. You can pick any type of object and the chances are that you’ll end up with something beautiful.

This is Britain!

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Landscape

For the landscape module, titled “This Is Britain”, I am thinking of looking at the British landscape from the perspective of a foreigner. This shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as I am Dutch. I want to try and revisit my thoughts of Britain’s landscape from before I moved here. When I thought of the landscape I always thought of hills, stone walls, large fields and just generally a LOT of green. When I moved, I wasn’t disappointed. So I want to try and capture these things, with a title of something like “This Is Britain… Through the eyes of a Dutchman”.

The following are a few practise shots with that theme in mind.


What is a landscape?

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Landscape

Each person will define landscape photography in a different way. For one person it can mean beautiful mountain ranges, for someone else it’s farmland. It depends what that person’s interests are and also where that person lives. If you’ve never seen snow, it’s unlikely that landscape photography would include the snowy mountain tops of the Alps.

To me, a landscape photograph should exist out of exactly that: a landscape. I don’t think a landscape photograph should include things such as skylines or oceans, because they’re cityscapes and seascapes. Water such as lakes and ponds should not be a problem though.

A good landscape photograph often gives a sense of what it was like in the area at the time the photographer took the image. It captures things such as the light, what season of the year it was and the atmosphere of the area.

Although the exact definition of landscape photography can vary from person to person, they can often be put in three categories:

  • Representational
  • Impressionistic
  • Abstract

Representational landscape photographs are photographs that show the landscape exactly how it was at the time. The photographer doesn’t do anything to change the image.

Impressionistic landscape photographs are the opposite, in that they try to give the viewer an illusion rather than the real scene. Things like filters and other effects are often used to create this.

In Abstract landscape photographs, the photographer would focus on the shapes and distance of his photographs. They often don’t show the full scene, but only certain aspects. Shapes, close-ups and patterns play a big part in these photographs.