I love taking shots of little vignettes that suggest solitude, stillness, and peace. I don't usually see them as lonely, although I can see why some folks might think that. Anyway, one of my favorite techniques for cleaning up and finishing these shots is what I call my "postcard look". Are you familiar with the old colored linen postcards, mostly produced for tourists? They have a slightly odd cast to the colors, but I love them, especially the texture of their background.
When I started messing around and trying to replicate that look in Photoshop, I realized pretty quickly that I actually preferred to be inspired by the look rather than copying it exactly. So you'll see that my results wouldn't fool anyone...my aim in this tutorial isn't to help you forge new old cards ;-)
1. Make two copies of the image and work on the copy layers only.
2. Prepare your image by adjusting levels, color, and focus of the bottom copy.
3. On the top copy: Filter > Stylize > Find Edges
4. Image (not an adjustment layer) > Adjust > Hue/Saturation
Tick the colorize box. Hue = 25 and Saturation = 30
Blending mode > soft light
5. Create adjustment layers for Brightness/Contrast, Hue/Saturation, etc
6. Merge down top layer into bottom copy layer and do any color dodging or burning needed.
7. Filter > Texture > Texturizer > load frosted glass
8. Stylize > Emboss if needed
Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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