Tablav's blog

Dreamy Photo Tutorial

posted by Tablav, Dec 4, 2006 10:48 PM — 12 comments

Iím pretty sure that everyoneís run into this problem at one point. You take a great picture of someone with the intention of having it printed, but when you actually see the picture on your screen you have your doubts. The camera has this nasty habit of picking up on every single imperfection on someone. They say the camera never lies. This is true to a certain extent, but it isnít always for the best in certain circumstances.

This tutorial, therefore, is to edit out those imperfections and create an image that flatters the subject in a surreal kind of way. This is my portraiture dreamscape tutorial.

Letís Get Started

This is the shot I have started with. Iíve chosen this shot because it appears in my collection already. The idea is to get a portrait shot only, then apply effects to it.

The first stage, therefore, is to crop the image to size. I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS2 for the editing process. First, you must select the rectangular marquee tool (M) and select the area of the image you would like to be visible. This is done by left clicking and dragging out the area you want, as shown below.

You then crop the image by selecting Image/Crop. This will leave you with the selected area.

The next step is to get rid of those blemishes. Now that the photograph is focused more on the face, they are more noticeable. First, select the Clone Stamp Tool (S). Next, press ALT + LEFT CLICK on a clear area that has a similar skin tone. Next, left click on the blemish to remove it. This can be a lengthy process depending on varying factors, such as amount of blemishes and variation of light on the face. When completed, it should look like this:

Obviously, you can spend more time on this, changing shadow position and blemishes in eyes and hair too, but I donít feel that this is necessary here. The next step is to desaturate the shot. Now, there is a desaturate option in Photoshop, but personally I donít like it. Instead, weíre going to play with the channels. You can reach these by clicking on Windows/Channels. These will then appear in a palette.

Now you can select the channel you want. I feel that this gives you more choice than simply using the desaturate option. When you have decided which channel to use, right click it and left click Duplicate Channel... In the box that opens, select New in document.

These are the 3 resulting channels...

These are red,green and blue...

At this stage, any noise in the background will become more apparent. You may wish to edit this out with the clone tool like before. I have selected the red channel to use, as the lack of definition works best with the dreamy image that I am going for. If you donít think itís quite right, you can play with the levels (Image/Adjustments/Levels or Ctrl + L) to get the desired effect.

Some people like to add a motion blur here, but I think it ruins the image. You may not, but Iím not including it. If you want to try it out, go to Filters/Blur/Motion Blur.

The next stage of the tutorial is to give the image a dreamy overexposed effect. To achieve this, go to the layers palette (Windows/Layers). Right click your layer and duplicate it. This time, just click OK. You want it to remain in this document as a new layer.

Now select the bottom layer and set the blending mode to Screen. This will give you the overexposed effect.

Next on our list of things to do is make a marquee around the head on a new layer. First, make a new layer by clicking on Layer/New/Layer... Select this layer in the layers palette. Now select the lasso tool and select and appropriate feather (Iíve used 50 for this low res shot, but you can use higher or lower). When youíve circled the head, you should have something that looks like this:

Now we need to fill the area outside of this. Press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert to selection. Now by pressing Shift + F5, you can open the fill screen. Select White from here.

So, here it is...this is the final image for now. You can alter the effect slightly by changing the position and feather of the line, but this is what Iíve come up with. This is quite a simple effect to achieve and goes against my usual dark style of art, so it can at least keep me happy for a while...enjoy!

Comments | RSS

1. posted by tuoitho, Oct 23, 2009 10:16 AM

great job! i like it!

2. posted by mixoff, Dec 5, 2006 9:50 PM

Thanks for this great article. I was always wondering how to make that nice white effect.

Keep it comming mate :)

3. posted by Roaminoz, Dec 9, 2006 7:20 AM

Well done. I like it. I have PHotoshop Elements 4 so I dont think I will have access to the Channels like you suggested. But you have given me ideas. Great.

4. posted by gerbrak, Dec 11, 2006 6:08 PM

This is a great tutorial and I used it on this picture:
Thanks Stuart!!

5. posted by d7nh, Dec 16, 2006 11:25 AM

@Roaminoz: no you dont need photoshop, and you dont need to use the channels either, just element can do that such things: desaturate, and then levels (the black to right and the white to much left) and then curves up a little, now that's bingo, adjust at will

6. posted by a_kartha, Dec 22, 2006 9:44 PM

Great tute! I'm going to try this on many pics I have :)

I learn something new everyday in photoshop! thanks for the tute!

7. posted by x44007, Feb 1, 2007 4:22 AM

wow, you're amazing!!! i would like try this my self. thanx alot. u inspire newbies lyk me. ^_^

8. posted by kamscorp, Mar 21, 2007 6:59 AM

great job! i like it!

9. posted by fofo_77, Mar 21, 2007 3:48 PM

so , sample . good work

10. posted by b4b3, Dec 9, 2008 10:58 AM

mamamia tutorials.....! "Apik Yo" in java languange... proviciat...

11. posted by gopinath_r, Feb 16, 2009 7:02 AM

good dude.... keep on rocking....

12. posted by sumppump, Jun 26, 2013 12:52 AM

congratulations from the Brazil for you!!

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