Thursday, December 06, 2012

Creating Dreamy Photos

In this tutorial, I'll show you, in simple, easy steps, one of my favorite techniques- one that I think looks incredible on almost any photo. 

Please note that this tutorial is designed for use with Photoshop CS2. While it may be possible to create a comparable effect in other programs... I would have no idea how to do so. :-P

Ok, so we'll start with this photo,

Let's get started!

Step 1. 
Open the photo in Photoshop. Simple! :-)

Step 2. Duplicate the layer by right clicking the words "Background" in the Layers Palette and clicking, "Duplicate Layer..." Then click "Ok" when the next dialog box appears.

Step 3. Click the little black and white circle at the bottom of the Layers Palette. A box will pop up. Click on "Channel Mixer." This adds an adjustment layer to your copied layer, which will allow you to change some settings on it.

Step 4. In the box that popped up, click on the check box that says "Monochrome." The other settings will vary, but generally you will want to turn the Green up, and the Blue and Constant down. You can see the settings I used here:

Your photo should now look something close to this:

Step 5. Right click the adjustment layer in the Layers Palette, then select "Merge Down." This will apply the adjustments that we made on the adjustments layer to the copy of the background image that we created earlier, making a single layer.

Step 6. Right click the newly-created layer, which is called "Background Copy," if you didn't rename, in the Layers Pallete. Then, select "Duplicate Layer..." Finally, click "OK" on the dialogue box that will appear.

Step 7. Now, we are going to make this layer very blurry. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur... and click. 

Step 8. Now, use the "Radius" setting on the dialogue box that appears to make the picture undesirably blurry, then click "OK." The picture should be a little bit "too" blurry, but not unrecognizable. Here's the setting I used:

Step 9. Now, we want to make it so that the blurry layer is somewhat transparent, so that it adds a dreamy feel to the rest of our photo. In the Layer Pallete, select the blurry layer, probably named "Background Copy 2" if you didn't change its name, and then click "Opacity." A slider will appear; the effect works best with this setting set between 30% and 60%, but every photo is different. Here's what I used:

Your photo should now look something close to this:

Notice the dreamy texture that is now present (the difference is a good deal more noticable at larger sizes. Sorry). 

At this point you have a very nice photo, that simulates the effects of infrared photography. However, we want to have a dreamy, color photo. So let's continue.

Step 10. Now, we want the color to show through. To do this, we have to make our "Background Copy" layer invisible, which is done by clicking the eyeball next to its name in the Layer Pallete.

Congratulations, you're done! 

Your photo should now look something like this:

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1 comment:

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