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How To Enhance Your Landscape Photographs To Be More Colorful In Adobe Camera RAW

Taking very vibrant, saturated, lush landscapes has never been easier when taking images in the RAW format. You can easily get perfect looking images in post processing when using Adobe Camera RAW, which is included with Photoshop.

When I say lush, I mean full and rich with colors. I'll show you a before and after example and then tell you the recipe:


The first picture is the original RAW, the 2nd is after post processing in A.C.R.

As you can see in the first photo, the sky was hazy, and what should be green is a desaturated stupid yellow color. It's really easy to fix this up

  1. HSL/Grayscale tab. Hue subtab.

    HSL/Grayscale tab. Hue subtab.

    When you open your RAW in Adobe Camera Raw, click on the fourth tab labeled HSL/Grayscale and the default subtab of that should be set to Hue. Simply slide the Yellow slider to the right.  This will turn the yellows into greens. Problem solved. In this particular example, however, there were yellow flowers as well. In order to not make those greens, I slid the green slider to the right. This simply made the greens greener and the yellows just green enough. If all you have in your photo is just a bunch of ugly dead yellow grass, then by all means, bump the yellow slider all the way up to +100.

  2. If you want to make  the skies darker, click the Luminance tab and slide the Blues and Aquas sliders to the left. Sometimes I like to bring one out to the left and the other one to the right, but in this particular example, I moved the blue to -64
  3. To make things more colorful, click the middle tab that says Saturation. I bumped up the Greens to +67 and the yellows to +15, but all the values I've been mentioning must be applied to the specific photo you are editing.
  4. To finish things off, I went back to the first called Basic and bumped the Saturation and Vibrance up to +10!

This method is better than using Photomatix to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, in my opinion (although the effect is different in nature to begin with, they are a but similar). I tried to make an HDR composite of this same image and it looked like crap compared to the one I made in A.C.R.

Here is a video tutorial I made on the subject as well:

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How To Make A Photorealistic Pixelated Animated GIF in Photoshop

These animations are great for avatars and ID's for websites.

Ok, so here is how you make these things.

  1. Open up your image in photoshop.
  2. Resize the image (Image > Image Size) to something similar to the examples. Animated GIFs aren't supposed to be huge. I'd say no more than 500x500 pixels.
  3. Crop the image if necessary.
  4. Sharpen the image if you want to (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen)
  5. Here is the fun part. In order to get the pixelated look, go up to Image > Mode > Indexed Color. Select Local (Adaptive) for the pallet. 3 for the Colors. Then set your Dither setting and the dither amount: DSC_3308
  6. Now, change the color back to RGB mode. Image > Mode > RGB Color
  7. If you want to make the image have a transparent background,  erase the background to be completely white. Then  Select the Magic Wand Tool, set the Tolerance to 0, and untick Anti-Aliasing and Contagious. Click on the background and hit the DELETE key.
  8. If you want the dissolving animation look, go up to Window > Animation. Duplicate your frame by clicking the little page icon on the bottom right of the Animation window.
  9. Select the FIRST FRAME, make it invisible by unticking the little eye icon by the layer in the Layers window.
  10. Now select just the SECOND FRAME, and make sure the eye icon is activated.
  11. Now, select both frames by holding down the CTRL key while clicking on both of them. They should both be highlighted.
  12. Next, click the Tween button Twine on the bottom of the animation window.
  13. Depending on how long you want the dissolve effect to last, a short number amount of frames (like 10) will dissolve the image quickly. A larger number (like 30) will make the dissolving effect last longer. Set the frame rate by selecting all the frames and then there is a button in the lower right.
  14. Select the second frame, then, while holding down the SHIFT key, select your last frame (this will select all your frames except the 1st one)
  15. In the layers window, set the blending mode to Dissolve.
  16. You're pretty much done! You can add other things as well, like multiple frames.
  17. To save the animation properly, click File > Save For Web... Make sure "GIF" is selected in the second drop down box in the top right.
  18. Save it.



Make Symmetric Symmetric Faces in Photoshop: Cat

This image was easy to produce, and can be used on faces and other things as well. The original picture from the camera was kind of dull and dark, but adjusting the levels fixes that right up. It was taken outside on the grass on a sunny day with a basic digital SLR.


  1. Straighten the image so the nose isn't slanted (use the ruler tool and then hit Image > Image Rotation > Arbitrary)
  2. Crop out the empty space after the rotation
  3. Adjust the Canvas size (Image > Canvas Size...)  to 200 percent with the left or right arrow selected. Duplicate the layer and then mirror it by hitting CTRL+A, CTRL+T, Right click, Flip horizontally. You can also just use the QuickMirror plug-in.
  4. Adjust levels, curves, tones, etc. Dodge/burn if you want.
  5. Resize for web
  6. Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen twice

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