Friday, January 16, 2015

How to Change a Colour in Photoshop

There is no end to the tutorials one can find on the internet for Photoshop and other image editors. Even people who know just about everything already can learn a trick or two,  able to fearlessly attack any project.

However, for novices, the program and all of the things it's capable of doing, can be a bit intimidating initially. For them, it's best to start simple.

One of the easiest tasks to undertake in Photoshop is changing a colour on an illustration. Not only can it be done in a matter of seconds but there are several methods one can use to do it. One way is to use the Magic Wand tool to select the area you want to change, then with the Paint Bucket pick the colour and click. Or Edit>Fill also works.

For purposes of demonstration today, I've picked another technique, equally effective, perfectly simple. Another bonus is that while it takes a bit longer than the previous two methods, it's rather fun as it does allow your inner child to escape for a time. 

With Valentine's Day less than a month away, images of romance fill my mind, so I have chosen image #431857 from, an online subscription graphics service. While all of the red is perfect for the celebration, I thought it might be nice to highlight the girl a bit more by changing the colour of her dress and the bow in her hair. (The end result is shown above.)

All that was required was to go to the Colour Replacement Tool in the bar at the left, choose a colour, click on the portion to be altered, then scribble like a toddler with a marker and a wall!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Changing the Colour of Cupid's Clothes in Photoshop

The warmth of the Christmas season is a memory. Yet, while we sit in the dead of winter, suffering cold and snow, there is a bright spot on the horizon.  In just less than a month, the romance of Valentine's Day will be upon us.

So in looking for something to chat about today I decided to try my hand at some Photoshop fun with a great image from

A subscription to this site allows you to download as many images as you need to use in your projects, provided those projects fit into the company's terms of use. In this case, my plan was for nothing more than to put a different spin on one of their great Valentine illustrations, which I might then print off, a totally acceptable usage.

Having chosen image #179284  I decided to play with the colour of cupid's clothes, as I thought a livelier shade of red might be fun. Opening the image in the program,  I selected the Magic Wand tool and clicked on the tunic, then set the tolerance to 100 per cent.  With the Paint Bucket Tool, I chose  the colour I wanted and clicked inside the highlighted area. Beyond easy.

Another option for quickly changing a colour is to use  'Edit' > 'Fill'. This was the process I used to alter the shoes, for no other reason than because I could. The end result is the playful image accompanying this blog.   And more results of my playtime will follow in the days leading up to Feb. 14.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hundreds of Glorious Winter Sunset/Sunrise Photos

It's no secret that I detest winter. Everything about it. I abhor the extra time required to bundle up for the great outdoors and the discomfort of being bundled up. I hate walking on ice and driving through blizzards. I despise the cold and damp.

Yet, sometimes when I'm in a forgiving mood, I can see the beauty of the season.  A glimpse out the window when I'm tucked inside, wrapped snugly in a comfy afghan, reveals a world transformed.  Twinkles of sunlight dancing off the snow. The sharp contrast of an azure sky against the black and white of trees and landscape.

Even a snowy day has its own aesthetic interest as flakes swirl and churn, blanketing trees and buildings, while laying a  pristine cover on the ground.

 If you really need a shot in the arm on these frigid winter days, however, try an early morning stroll with the sun making its way from over there to over here. Yesterday, I watched its progress on a road trip and was enthralled,  while this morning a friend braved the sub-sub-zero temperatures to run toward the east and grab some photographs. The results were stunning — a melange of radiant oranges and umbers, hoarfrost and mist.

To prove it, I scoped out some lovely photographs of Mother Nature's most impressive artwork against a background of winter white.

Acclaim Images


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Shoot Photographs in the Snow

An out-of-town doctor's appointment had me hitting the road early this winter morning. As someone who hangs on to those blankets for as long as she can, hits snooze with precision, carries on a one-sided debate with herself on why she must get up each day,  this was an atypical start for me.

When I headed out,  the sun had yet to poke its head above the horizon so for a time I travelled in quiet darkness. But what a breathtaking sight unfolded as the minutes slipped by. Fortunately, I was heading east so could take in the rising sun in all its splendour. After days of grey and snow, this morning's sky was dawning as clear as a cool mountain stream.

What promise I saw heading to my appointment became a reality as I left the doctor's office, walking into a crisp, clean winter's day, the biting frigidity eased by a glowingly cheerful sun against an azure sky.  Along the return trip I was entranced by the sparkling fields and pristine landscape. It was picture perfect.

For a girl who's been known to slip on to the back of a snowmobile to get some winter landscape photos, the only thought was "Wish I had my camera."

A bright sunny day in winter can give you some beautiful pictures, but it does take a little know how. Here are some helpful pointers:

How to Shoot Photographs in the Snow

Moose Peterson: How to Take Winter Landscape Photos

DPS Tips to Transorm Your Winter Scenes

Digital Camera World Taking Pictures of Snow

DIY Photography Beginner Tips for Winter and Snow Photography

Monday, January 12, 2015

Plenty of Tips and Tricks for Photoshop

The marshmallow world has arrived where I live. Snow has dropped and piled. Car travel this past week was a bit like moving through a churning milk bottle,  with fluffy white snow swirling around and over the road and vehicle.

Adding insult to injury, temperatures fell to record lows, plunging us into a deep freeze where cheeks stung and nostrils stuck.

It's all enough to push you indoors before a cozy fire. Or, if you're the creative type, offer the necessary incentive to take on some new projects. For Photoshop fans, for example, the bitter cold of winter is the perfect time to practise what you know or pick up some new tricks.

Spending a lot of time in front of the computer myself these days, I have learned a little more  in recent years than I would ever have thought before about using this popular image editor.  What I have yet to master, however, will take me a lifetime.

So, given that it's absolutely no fun to be outside right now,  it's definitely the perfect time to pick up the pace a bit and learn a little more about the fun features in Photoshop.  Here are two resources I found with a wealth of tips and tricks for me to try:

21 Simple Photoshop Hacks Everyone Should Know

120 Tips and Fixes for Photoshop