Photoshop Mentoring and Training Leitrim

For anyone in or around Leitrim who’d like to learn the basics of using Photoshop whether it be for personal/hobby use or to improve job prospects etc, I may be hireable under Leitrim LEO’s mentoring program on which I’ve provided mentoring for years now. I can also quote for mentoring outside of that too though.

I’ve found over the years that there’s a major lack of real world Photoshop or general advanced software training in Northwest Ireland. All you ever see is social media, start your own business, taxation, etc training. The kind of stuff most people should easily pickup themselves these days. What about people already established in their businesses and looking to move to the next level in certain areas?

The kind of people who would typically benefit from Photoshop training are:

  • Graphic Designers,
  • Web Developers,
  • Artists,
  • Photographers
  • etc..

I’ve been using Photoshop since about 2003 for personal and business use and have recently gained Adobe Expert status. I can mentor/teach basic use and some advanced techniques such as: Photo Restoration, Photo Editing, Photo Colorisation and more.

PS – I’m hoping to run a 2 day Photoshop training workshop in Carrick-on-Shannon early in 2015 so sign up for my newsletter to keep updated about this. I am also hoping to have an online Photoshop course as well.

Leon

Web Design Partnership with GoodSeedPR

I’m pleased to announce a wee partnership with a long standing music public relations client of mine, GoodSeedPR whereby I will be their Website Design and Photo Editing/Graphic Design ‘wing’!

We hope to work together to bring affordable design services and complete internet marketing packages to up and coming musical acts and others.

Leon

Reverb-Goodseed

Alien V’s Curiosity

Spotted an awesome ‘very’ hi-res image of the Curiosity Rover on Mars on Facebook last week, downloaded it and set it aside to do some Photoshop trickery on it. Here’s what I came up with, a movie poster effect with Aliens V’s Curiosity!

Before

Mars Curiosity Rover

Assets

The afore mentioned hi-res image of Curiosity
Some decent hi-res images of Aliens sourced from Google

Process

I first imported the 4 Alien pics and cut them out of their background using the Magic Wand tool. Next I dragged them to the main Curiosity pic and played around with locations that best suited their lighting, shape, size and angle. I then used the Free Transform tool to resize them. Next, I selected each Alien in turn and added both Hue & Saturation and Levels adjustment layers to their shapes and messed with colours and levels to blend them in with the surroundings a bit better.

I decided to add a fake sun top right of the pic to add a bit of lighting drama and that was achieved by drawing a white circle, blurring it, adding a glow effect then using Filter – Render – Lighting Effects on the main Curiosity layer to shine a spotlight down from the suns location.

With the light source firmly established, it was then time for some shadow. For any aliens that needed shadows, I duplicated the main alien layer, flipped the duplicate vertically, darkened & blurred it then used the Free Transform tool to mold the shadow to the required shape and angle depending on the light source. The middle, air born alien’s shadow cast over the rover was trickiest but it turned out ok’ish using a combination of simple Brush darkening, Displacement Maps and Layer Masking. I used Layer Masking again to make the middle alien appear to be behind the rover simply by erasing out his legs around the rover’s shape.

Next it was time for some touching up on the aliens, mostly using a soft Brush on an Overlay layer with lowered Opacity to add shadows and highlights with black & white colours. I used the alien layers masks to fade out their edges a bit where the sun hit them, especially the middle alien.

Finally I added a Photo Filter adjustment layer with a colour sampled from the Martian landscape on top of everything to bring all the composition together. Hope you like it.

Click the final image below to view a hi-res version and don’t forget to zoom right in!

Leon

After/Final

Alien V's Curiosity

Aviva Gladiator

No idea why but I just wanted to do a photo composition where one element is totally out of place in another. A Gladiator in the Aviva stadium seemed appropriate!

Assets:

A hi-res, pitch level shot of the Aviva stadium Dublin, bathed in sunshine. Sourced from Google Images.

Aviva Stadium

A decent, full length pic of a Gladiator looking a little confused! Sourced from sxc.hu.

Confused Gladiator

The Process:

After cutting the Gladiator out of his background with the Pen tool, I spent quite a bit of time finding the best position and size for him in the Aviva photo so it looked like he was really there on the pitch. After finding his spot and tidying up his edges and hair with a brush & mask, I created his shadow by duplicating his layer, warping with the Transform tool and adding a Gaussian Blur then making the shadow layer slightly transparent to match the stadium roof shadow.

Next, I planted Mr Gladiator firmly on the ground by hand drawing in shadows under his feet with a soft black brush. Some more shadows next. Since I put him standing under the shadow of the stadium roof, I needed to add some roof shadows onto him directly so again, using the brush, I painted on shadows, matching the lines of the stadium shadow, then made them a bit transparent to look more natural.

Finally, I added a Photo Filter Adjustment layer, just on the Gladiator and used a sampled green color from the pitch just to match him into the color scheme a bit better.

The final result with caption:

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

Leon

Warped GPO

I spotted a photo of a crooked building on Facebook that looked like it had been through the Photoshop wringer but incredibly, it hadn’t. The shopping center below actually exists in Sopot, Poland!

Crooked House

So having been positive, the house was ‘liquified’ in Photoshop, then finding out it hadn’t been, I thought I’d try liquify a building or 2 of my own. The GPO sounded like a good idea! It was just a quickie using the Photoshop – Liquify filter then messing around with different sizes of the Smudge, Bloat & Pucker tools. Not nearly as impressive as the real thing though right!?

GPO Before
GPO Before
GPO After
GPO After

Leon

Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird Photo Composition

I love Firebirds and American Muscle cars in general. Maybe the universe will be good to me and I’ll be able to afford to own (and run) one some day! Some guy in Leitrim has a Firebird amazingly and I see/hear it pass by the odd time and drool. The Firebird is a version of the car model featured in ‘Knight Rider’.

Anyhow, for a bit of much needed Photoshop practice, I decided to edit a photo of a Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird into a photo of my dining table (no idea why the table!) and try make it look like it was really there instead of on some American highway.

Here’s what I started with, said pic of a Firebird on a highway sourced from Google (sue me):

Original

And a pic of my dining room table top, taken at an angle to try to emulate the viewpoint in the Firebird pic above:

Dining Table

After careful cutout of the car with the Pen tool and placing it at the right point on the Table image as well as a bit of Perspective Lens Correcting of the table, I was able to make it look like it blended in a bit. Here are the steps I took to finish the composition off:

  1. Duplicate the Car layer and set the new layer to Multiply blend mode to make it fit in better light wise, after all the original car pic was taken outdoors daytime and I’m putting it in an indoor, dusk shot,
  2. Select the car layer and add a Photo Filter Adjustment layer with a colour sampled from the table. This helps the car fit in colour wise.
  3. Duplicate the car layer again and completely darken it then use the Transform tool to squash it down to the rough shape of a car shadow underneath the original car layer. Remember to match the shadow direction with the light source coming from the windows at the back of the table,
  4. Blur the car shadow layer until it looks about right then add a layer mask and tidy up with the brush tool,
  5. Create a new layer and select a soft brush, black colour and paint in the shadows under the wheels. The previous shadow step leaves the car looking like it’s hovering off the table and painting in a small shadow under the wheels really brings it back down,
  6. I had to cut out the windows too and lost a bit of the sun shield built into the windscreen but I was able to draw the missing bit back in, match the colour, add noise and blur it a bit to make it look like it was always there,
  7. Reflections for objects like this are very tricky but I managed to get a slight bit of a reflection in my shiny table for the wheels using the Transform – Skew & Gradient/Mask Tools.
  8. I then used the Burn (darken) tool to further darken some shaded bits and the Dodge (brighten) tool to make those beautiful chrome and gold strips really pop out,
  9. Next, I duplicated the Table layer and blurred the new one then added a layer mask and gradient to blur behind the car but keep in front in focus, just to give the image better depth,
  10. Finally, to add a bit of mood to the pic, I added a Vignette on top of everything and stuck a layer mask on it then a gradient on the mask to fade it out towards the back of the image,

And after sticking my business logo on the car door (as you do) using Transform – Skew/Warp, here’s the final composition. Like?:

 

Pontiac Trans Am Firebird

 

Photo Editing & Graphic Design Video Showreel

Here’s a little video I put together to properly show off some of my Graphics and Photo Editing skills featuring before and after shots of some jobs and an original soundtrack written and recorded by me. A regular one man band I am! PS – Choose the Full Screen HD version for a better view.