Saturday, May 29, 2010

Digital Expressions-The Jacks-Popping Areas of Color

This is the second exercise from Susan Tuttle's "Digital Expressions" book.  I have done this kind of thing before using other tutorials. The effect can be very stunning. I think blurring the background portion of the photo creates a dream-like quality that is very cool. With this photo the blur also helps create a sense of movement.
Susan suggests using the Magnetic Lasso Tool but I find the Quick Selection Tool to be more effective. You can adjust it for adding and subtracting from the selection. It seems to be the better choice if you are working with a sharply contrasted photo too because it would quickly select the desired color. I wonder why she chose the Magnetic Lasso?
I used the Quick Selection tool for the sweetener packet, but found that it was easier to use the Magic Wand Tool for the cover. I guess it's just personal preference and depends on the complexity of the selection. Something to figure out.

On this one I colorized the background using a trick I learned a while ago. Select the layer you want to colorize. Go to Hue/Adjustment. Select "Colorize." Type 35 in the Hue box. The Saturation will change to 25, that's good for the effect. I used a Gaussian Blur set at around 3, just to soften the glass.

What I discovered: You could use the effect like that or you could use it to pop any color in any part of a photo, like eyes or flowers. The steps don't take very long, unless you are fussy with the selection. But the selection doesn't have to be that precise if you just want to pop a color against the same background. Here's what I mean in this example.

I selected out the bee to its own layer (Control J) and adjusted the saturation. I did the same with the azalea blossoms.  I cropped it last. The pop is subtle but improves the original. Now if I had only worked on the background layer-I'll save that for another day!

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