Faking It

Golden Arch

Hungry for golden light, weary of winter’s gray, I journeyed into the archives for today’s featured image.

Ol’ Man Winter won’t get the best of me. No, if he won’t deliver, I’ll just fake it.

With a few clicks of the mouse, I’ll rearrange pixels and pour digital gold across the screen. I’ll swipe the sky with an azure brush and then, do it again, just for good measure.

I’ll create summer, right here on my monitor, until I feel the shimmering heat. Until I need my sunglasses to block the radiant glare and I’ll bask in the gilded glow.

Do you feel it?

Texture Tuesday Processing

  • Add the Phoebe texture
  • Process the Pencil Sketch action (PDF tutorial can be found here)
  • Process my midtone contrast action to bring out the textures
  • Run the Warmer Action from Pioneer Woman Photography. Mask the blue reflections in the window so they are unchanged.
  • Run the Cooler Action from Pioneer Woman Photography. Copy and invert the mask from the Warmer layer so that only the blue sky is impacted.
  • Duplicate the Cooler layer to double the effect’s impact.

Below is the original image and the Photoshop layers palette:

Before ImageLayers-Palette











Linking with Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen


Posted on March 5, 2013, in Photoshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Love it!! It reminds me of that expression – fake it ’til you make it!! Gorgeous warm summer light!!!

    • Marcie – yes, exactly! That was just what I was thinking of when I created this image and wrote this post. It’s funny – I only became a “golden hour” convert last year but I am really missing it this winter.

  2. Oh, WOW! The original images is beautiful, but the processed one is stunning! Thank you for creating and sharing this warm and sunny image! I can’t remember the last time I saw a complete day of sunshine!

    • Cathy – yes, I cooked up some summer in my Photoshop kitchen 🙂 Our sunny days have been few and far between this winter and I am really missing that golden summer light.

  3. Oh yes I feel it. Love the processing on this image.

    • Kathryn – good – then I have accomplished my goal. Here’s to the coming spring, soon (hopefully) to be followed by the golden light of summer.

  4. Beautiful! Love that golden tone. It transforms the image and gives it a much warmer feel.

    • Gracie – thanks! Warmth was definitely what I was going for with this edit. I am looking forward to the time when I can experience this golden glow for real again.

  5. Yes, I do feel it and it’s better than a sun lamp! So warm.

    • Kim – Oh, I probably poured it on a little thick, but those sunny golden tones make my heart sing! Glad it sent some warmth your way.

  6. I do feel it, and I feel for you, too. The last few weeks of winter seem endless, don’t they? But as Susan reminded me, Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend. And the official first day of spring is only a couple of weeks away.

    • Lee – they do seem endless. I have really been struggling with a definite lack of inspiration these past few weeks. For now, I am blaming it on gray skies and winter weather. But yes, with DST and the official start of spring right around the corner, I will soon, hopefully, no longer have that as an excuse.

  7. Love it Brenda. I’m with you…it’s time for some warmth and sunshine! Beautiful image you’ve created here!

    • Linda – thanks! For some reason, this has been a difficult winter for me. I feel extremely uninspired in my shooting – playing with post-processing is my alternative creative outlet. I am glad to know that this one met its goal of spreading the warmth!

  8. Oh yes I feel it, and WOW your processing was spot on Brenda!!

    • Kim – well, when the shooting fails to inspire, it is time to turn to post-processing 🙂 I loved what the texture and pencil sketch technique did to this image. There is nothing better than when an experiment leads to a positive result.

  9. Before I read your description or any of the other comments, I want to say that I love what you did with this image. The warmth is what I first notice, then the composition, then the arch, then the arched part of the window, then all the rest of the details. OK, now I can go read your description.
    Apparently you succeeded because I felt the warmth!!!
    I find it interesting that you use actions and I don’t. I think I’ll add actions to my list of new things to try, once I get caught up. 🙂

    • Anita – I like that you respond to the image visually first, without benefit of my words – no better way to know if I succeeded in my goals than that.

      Whenever I find a technique that I like, I always record it as an action. That way, with the click of a button, I can run it on a particular image and determine if it works or not. Repetitive tasks, such as re-sizing, also make great actions. At first, I was hesitant to use them – it seemed like too much work to setup and record the steps. But especially on long, complicated techniques, it is a life-saver.

  10. Oh, what a difference a lot of gold and blue can do for the spirit on these endless winter days AND for a photo!! Splendid.

    • Barb – yes, creating this was good for the soul! Since my outside world has been mostly winter gray, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands – if I was hungry for golden light, I would simply create it myself. 🙂

  11. SO lovely… I created my first ever textured image today and shared over at Kim’s as well… I’ve added your rss feed to my reader….

    • Madge – Welcome to my little corner of the web – so glad to have you here. And welcome to the wonderful world of textures – Warning: this can be addictive 🙂

  12. My goodness, warmth just radiates out of this image, Brenda. You are able to make your own sunshine! Well done! Thanks for sharing all your processing steps — it really helps.

    • Gina – this whole “making-sunshine” will probably come in really handy as we make the slow march to Spring. Even though the season will begin officially this month, March is usually not very pleasant here in Ohio. I may need to manufacture sunshine again. And thanks for letting me know that the processing steps are helpful.

  13. Beautiful golden tones, hope this warmth is enough to get you through the last weeks of grey & cold!

    • Leanne – well, probably not. March tends to be a gray month here in Ohio – so I may have to pull out the golden pixel paintbrush again to get me through until the real thing comes along. 🙂

  14. Amazing! I will pop back here when I know more about masking to re-read your recipe! Beautiful work. I have PSE 11 and I’m taking Kim’s Round Trip class…just purchased Lightroom 4. So much to learn! {smile}

    • Suzette – I work in Photoshop CS6 so I hope my recipe will be applicable in some form for Elements users. I actually purchased Lightroom 4 when I upgraded to the CS6 platform but decided I can do everything I need to using Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. So I returned it. But there are so many photographers who swear by Lightroom. Learning is good – it takes us in so many new directions.

  15. Oh, this image steals my breath! So much depth and story and the bit of emerald coloring in the window at the top!! Love, love, love.

    • Lisa – this is the “Open to All” building – one of the windows on the side of that marvelous door. It sits across the street from the building reflected in the window – that building interacts with the sun in amazing ways, with it glinting and refracting off its metal framework. Put it all together – with a little help from Photoshop – and you get instant summer. You may breathe again 🙂

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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