exeterIn honor of our 50% sale on ReMask for the month of October (coupon code ‘octremask‘), here is a basic sky masking tutorial that celebrates the creative possibilities with the program.

About the photo:  The image used in this tutorial was taken by Gary Lamott and is an iconic photo of Historic Exeter, New Hampshire and the Squamscott tidal river, a copy of which is currently hanging in Congresswomen Carol Shea Porter’s Manchester, NH office as part of her Art on Loan Program.

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By Dennis Goulet (www.dennisgoulet.us)

Image stacking is a useful tool to combine images to increase apparent depth of field. It can be used for landscapes as well as close up subjects. Several images are made of the same scene with the focus set at different points in the subject. The separate captures are assembled in Photoshop by loading them all as layers of a single image. This example uses a simple stack of two images.

The pink lady slippers were far enough apart that to have all three flowers in focus would require a small aperture of f/16 or f/22. While that would capture all three blossoms in focus, it would also cause the background to be nearly in focus as well. I wanted all three blossoms in focus with the soft effect of the out-of-focus background. The sections of the images below illustrate the capture process; two captures were made at f/8, one with the left flower in focus, one with the flower(s) on the right in focus. The background remains a pleasing blur.

Photoshop Image Stacking Technique

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In ReStyle over 1,000 carefully crafted presets have been created for your use. However, it is also possible to take your own photo into the program and create a preset from scratch that will record the most dominate colors in your image from 1-5 using advanced technology

The image shown below of the water lily showcases a nice color palette, so I decided to use it as a source photo to map the color and tone values, creating a custom style or preset to use on a later image.

Source image:

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 9.02.33 AM

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starfxHere is a useful trick for selectively placing stars or light sources in Topaz Star Effects. This application will allow you to have the freedom to place the ‘light’ wherever you want within the application.  Normally when a photo is brought into Star Effects, a brushed on white spot or naturally occurring light source cannot be changed or moved around once it is applied. This tutorial will allow you to create a star that can easily be placed anywhere in the image!

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