Skimmers Before the Storm

by NSN | October 4, 2011

© Denise IppolitoeBook author and photographer Denise Ippolito shares some tips with us from her e-book A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects, available for sale through the NatureScapes Store.

Inspired by Hurricane Irene, I created this image to show how I imagined the skimmer flock at Nickerson Beach would look as the storm hit.

Flock of birds © Denise Ippolito

After some basic edge clean-up, the I converted the image to black and white and then applied my “soft-fix” preset filter in the Fractalius Filter by Redfield as explained below.

Black and white flock of birds © Denise Ippolito

Once you have loaded the Fractalius Filter in Photoshop, duplicate the image you are working on (CTRL J). Then hit FILTER > REDFIELD > FRACTALIUS. The plug-in program interface will open. Impressions 1 is the preset that I started with when my “soft-fix” preset was created. To create your own “soft-fix” preset, start by selecting the “Impressions 1” preset from the drop-down menu (located next to the green check mark). Then adjust the sliders to match the settings below:

  • sharpness: 11
  • line width: 25
  • radius: 69
  • diffusion: -05
  • depth: 13
  • sharpness: 18
  • line width: 10
  • radius: 27
  • diffusion: 08
  • depth: 02
  • brightness: -26
  • saturation: -10
  • scale- 25

Once you have matched the settings above, choose SAVE USER PRESET, then name the preset and click save.

I always apply the soft-fix filter to a duplicate layer so that I can adjust the opacity of the layer and/or add a layer mask to reveal some of the original image below.

After a bit more edge clean-up I added the free Shadowhouse Creations texture overlay below.

Subtle tones texture © Denise Ippolito

ST-10 Shadowhouse Creations – Subtle Tones Texture part 2

I recommend that you download the entire set from this collection of textures; you can download the collection from their site. Please be sure to mention Shadowhouse Creations if you use any of them for your images.

To apply the texture to the image open the base image and the texture in Photoshop. Then hit WINDOW> ARRANGE> TILE horizontally or vertically and use the Move Tool to drag the texture on top of the base image. Your layer palette window should show the base image as Background and the texture as Layer 1. If needed, adjust the size of the texture layer by hitting Ctrl T for the Transform Tool. Now that you have the texture layer on top of the base image you can experiment with the Blend Modes. For this image I used Multiply. I also like to use Soft Light and Overlay. Once you have selected your Blend Mode you can add a layer mask to the top layer and reveal a bit more detail from the base image if you wish. It is best to use a soft brush set to a low opacity.

Note: I changed the hue of this texture before using it.

To learn more about creative filtering check out my eBook, A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects, available in the NatureScapes store.

A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects by Denise Ippolito

A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects
eBook by Denise Ippolito

A Guide to Creative Filters and Effects by Denise Ippolito is a 19,000 word, 146 page PDF file is fully illustrated and outlines many Photoshop Filters and Creative Plug-ins. Each detailed tutorial section is written in a clear, concise, simple, easy to follow style that can be followed even by someone opening up Photoshop for the first time. Available in the NatureScapes store.

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