Exercise 105/6

Working with Photos (Part 2): Blending Modes, HDR, and Panoriamic Images

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In the lecture today, we discussed layer blending modes, high dynamic range (HDR) photography, and panoramic images. In this exercise, you will use layer blending modes to enhance photographs.  You will also use Photoshop to combine a bracketed set of images to make one High Dynamic Range Image. Additionally, you will combine 3 or more images together to form a panoramic image. You will then process the resulting images using Adjustment Layers and or selective masking as appropriate.

Part 1: Understanding Blending Modes

  • Download the sample file (PS - Blending Modes.psd) from the course website. Open the file.
  • Follow Photoshop 1.24 [blending modes] to change the blending mode of “Layer 1” to be Multiply. What do you notice happens?
  • Repeat for Screen and Overlay. Again, pay attention to what happens.
  • Turn off Layer 1 and turn on Layer 2. Test each blending mode (Multiply, Screen, & Overlay) and notice what happens. You can also try other blending modes and make notes as to what happens.
  • Finally, repeat the above steps for Layer 3.

Part 2: Multiply (in Photos) [1 saved image]

  • Use Creative Commons Search (search.creativecommons.org) to find an old, faded image to work with for this part of the exercise. Save this image to your flash drive. Make a note of the URL to the file as you will need to post it with your work on this exercise.
  • Follow Photoshop 1.2 [levels] to create a levels adjustment layer.
  • Follow Photoshop 1.24 [blending modes] to add a “Multiply” blending mode to the adjustment layer. Adjust the opacity of the adjustment layer to be appropriate for enhancing your image. You may elect to add more adjustments to your image based on your own “eye.” You may also wish to explore converting the image to true black & white (Photoshop 1.1 [black & white]).
  • Use File>Export>Export As... to save the enhanced image (only).

Part 3: Screen (in Photos) [1 saved image]

  • Repeat the Part 2 steps above only use “Screen” mode.
  • Note:  You can use the same image from Part 2 or you can pick a new image as appropriate.

Part 4: Overlay (in Photos) [1 saved image]

  • Repeat the Part 2 steps above only use “Overlay” mode.
  • Note:  You can use the same image from Part 2 or you can pick a new image as appropriate.

Part 5: Luminosity (in Photos) [1 saved image]

  • Select a photo dominated by reds and/or blues. This can be one of your own images or one you find by searching search.creativecommons.org (remember to make a note of the link so you can post it with your images later).
  • Create a new curves adjustment layer by following Photoshop 1.3 [curves]. Your curve should be a traditional “S” curve and look like the image on the back of this page.
  • Now change the layer blending mode for the curves adjustment layer to “Luminosity.” You should notice a change in the color saturation of the photo. (This is particularly good for landscapes, including HDR images and sunsets).
  • You may need to adjust the layer opacity if the blending mode is too strong for the image.
  • Save a .jpg your work using File>Export>Export As...

Part 6: Screen (for “grunge” background) [1 saved image]

  • Select a new image from your image collection.
  • Use search.creativecommons.org to find a “grunge paper texture.” Save the image (or a series of these images) to your flash drive.
  • Use File>Place to insert the image on top of your selected image in Photoshop.
  • Follow Photoshop 1.24 [blending modes] to change the blending mode to “Screen” (you may wish to experiment with other blending modes as well)
  • Adjust the opacity of the layer (grunge texture) to make it less dominant in the image. Save your work using File>Export>Export As...

Part 7: HDR Image [1 saved image]

  • Using either the bracketed images you shot in Exercise 103 (this is preferred) or the collection of images I posted to the course website, follow Photoshop 1.8 [HDR images] to merge your images to a single HDR image.
  • Create an adjustment layer using: Layer>New Adjustment Layer> (Select the type of adjustment you wish to apply). (Photoshop Tutorials 1.1-1.5) You may wish to try/apply any or all of the following:
    • Levels: To adjust black point and white point while redistributing colors across histogram (Photoshop 1.2 [levels]).
    • Curves: Selectively lighten or darken the image (Photoshop 1.3 [curves]).
    • Channel Mixer: Add some pop to the image (Photoshop 1.4 [pop]) or make the image monochrome (Photoshop 1.1 [black & white]).
    • Selective Color: Work with specific color ranges to correct color casting, darken, or lighten colors.
    • Hue/Saturation: Change saturation of a given color range or change the lightness of a specific color range (sky for example)
  • Use Layer Blending Modes (Photoshop 1.24 [blending modes]) to enhance your HDR photograph.
  • Use simple masks to define where a particular adjustment occurs. (Photoshop 1.10 [masks on adjustment layers])
  • Make sure to save your .psd Photoshop file for later editing!
  • Save the file using File>Export>Export As... (Make sure to set the height or width to 1000px (whichever is larger)).

Part 8: Panoramic Image [1 saved image]

  • Using either the panoramic images you shot in Exercise 103 or the sample images on the course website, follow Photoshop 1.7 [panoramas] to stitch the images together.
    • Note: You will likely find this method works best with small groups of images. As the number of images you try to stitch increases, you will have better results using Hugin. For instructions on stitching with Hugin, follow Digital Life 0.14 [hugin].
  • Perform adjustments as necessary (B&W, Curves, Levels, Pop, etc.) in Photoshop
  • Please perform any adjustments you feel are necessary and (as you did in part 1) use simple masks to improve the results.
  • Save the file using File>Export>Export As... (Make sure to set the height or width to 1000px (whichever is larger)).

Part 9:  Posting your work

  • Post your resulting images to the web in one post. You will have a total of 7 images in your post (Steps 2-8 create 1 image each).  You should post your image as a gallery (see instructions below).  You should comment on this exercise.


Uploading a Gallery:

  • Create a new post on the course website by clicking on the black "+ New" button at the top of the page.
  • Click on the "Add Media" button.
  • On the left side click on "Create Gallery" (red rectangle below)
  • Click on Upload Files and select the files to add to your gallery.

  • Click the "Create a new gallery" button at the bottom of the window (orange rectangle above)
  • You will now see the "Edit Gallery" window.  Please change the gallery settings to match the image below.  You can drag the images to change the order of the images.

  • Click on the "Insert Gallery" button at the bottom of the window.
  • You will see the images you just uploaded as a grid in the body of your post.
  • Change the Format to be "Gallery" and turn on the toggle for "Slideshow on Post page"

  • You can now set a featured image (just pick your favorite image) for your post and then publish your work.