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Graphic-style florals

I can hardly say the word "poppies" without hearing the voice of the Wicked Witch of the West as she croons, "Something with poison in it, I think. With poison in it, but attractive to the eye—and soothing to the smell! Poppies! Poppies! Poppies!"

Anyway. I took lots of pictures of poppies and other wildflowers in Italy, and decided to try something a little different with them. Floral images are often great subjects to play around with in Photoshop and other image-editing software. Just when you think that everything has been done with a flower that can possibly be done, you find some new digital tricks that you’ve not thought of before.

Although I like "plain old plain old" flower photos, I’m always tempted to see what else I can do with them. Here’s one such experiment:

1. Crop small piece of image and increase resolution to slightly pixilate

2. Boost contrast using levels

3. Add grain. Layer>new layer>>overlay mode, check fill

4. Filter>Noise>Add noise>>amount 100%, gaussian distribution, check monochromatic

5. Blur the shadows. Copy the layer, add gaussian blur 5, darken mode

6. Recover some detail in lights. Double click layer to open dialog box> move white slider below “This layer”

7. Flatten layers

8. Add edge burning. New layer, large soft brush with black, adjust opacity.

9. Flatten layers again

Copyright 2008 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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