Tag Archives: Tips

Operation Rewind

If you hadn’t seen someone for twenty years, wouldn’t you want to look your best for the reunion? That is exactly the predicament I recently faced. Facebook reunites me with friends from my past, and lucky for me, one was was planning a trip to Vegas. We conversed for months making plans to meet for lunch while she was in town.
 
Although I dragged my feet for a while, by April Operation Rewind was underway. I needed to recapture my youthful glow!
 
Step 1: Exfoliate.
I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown’s Beach Scrub. Alas, my wallet is not. I was able to find a new creation, the Bobbi Brown Sandbar. Quick Review: Bobbi, your sandbar hurt me. The sand was so rough it was akin to rubbing cut glass on my legs. A bit harsh? Yeah, so was your sandbar until the sandy layer washed away after only two uses. Now I am left with a 1″x2″ bar of beach-scented soap.
 
My first and possibly 2nd layer of skin removed, I was now ready for …
 
Step 2: Self-Tanning.
Jergens Natural Glow for Fair Skin turned me from translucent to pale without a hint of orange. I still have my Chanel face tanner from last year, and slathered that on too. Slightly bronzy facial skin achieved.
 
Step 3: Teeth Whitening
Found Crest’s Premium Whitestrips under my sink and said, “What the heck.” Noticeably whiter teeth after three uses.
 
Step 4: Pedicure
No funds for the local nail salon, so I clipped, filed and painted my own toes. Rocking OPI’s – Sweet As Annie-Thing! from their 90210 Collection.
 
Step 5: Wardrobe
Grabbed a lovely Forever 21 sundress from my closet, a gravity-defeating Victoria’s Secret strapless bra from my lingerie drawer, comfy Havaianas flip-flops, and I was good to go!
 
Unfortunately my friend was not. Her hotel overbooked and bumped her to another resort, causing her a lot of stress. Thus our lunch plans went kaput.
 
I hope her travels bring her back to Vegas soon. I’m not sure how long the effects of Operation Rewind last.
 
• How do you bring sexy back?
• Are you reconnecting on FaceBook?
• Are you cool with plans changing at the last minute?

 
Get Your Shopping Groove On!
1)
Bobbi Brown Beach Sandbar
2)
Jergen’s Natural Glow – Fair Tones
3) Chanel Precision Soleil Identite Perfect Colour Face Self Tanner SPF 8 – Dore ( Golden )
4) Crest Premium Whitestrips
5) OPI – Sweet As Annie-Thing!

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PhotoShop Tips V: Add Text to Photos

Thank you to Steve for this tutorial suggestion.

Part 1: Downloading Fonts from the Internet

Check out FontSpace.com for free fonts.

Choose your free font, download it, and unzip it (doubleclick on the zipped file). It will appear in your download folder.

Launch your MAC hard drive (click on Finder or the icon for your hard drive). Click on System, Library, Fonts. Drag the new font file from the download folder to the font folder. If your computer requires a password to add fonts or programs, you will be prompted to enter your code. The font is now in your system, and will appear when you launch your applicable programs.

Part 2: Adding Text to Photos

Step 1:
Launch PhotoShop and open the jpg file you would like to work with.

Step 2:
Select your Text Tool (the uppercase T on your side toolbar). Drag your mouse over the area of the photo where you will type text. Font selection is on your upper toolbar. Scroll through the fonts and make your selection. You can also select color via your side toolbar.

Step 3:
Type your text. To quickly change the font size, depress Apple plus A, and tap your > or < keys (greater than or less than). While on your pointer tool you can drag your text anywhere on the photo.

Step 4:
Make sure your Layers window is open (Window, Layers). Click on the lowercase f to make style changes to your font. Options include Drop Shadow, Stroke and Outer Glow. Experiment with the options. You will see the previews for these styles on your text prior to clicking OK. You can simply hit Cancel if you do not like the effect.

Step 5:
To warp text, click on the lopsided, underlined T on the top toolbar.

Step 6: When you are satisfied with your text, combine the layers. Layers, Flatten Image. Then Save As (change the name of the jpg if you do not want to damage the original file.

Upcoming tutorials may include the scrumptious Mayflower Martini and finding my own a** with both my hands. Some say that later one can’t be done.

Remember, I’m always open to your suggestions.

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PhotoShop Tips IV: Create a GIF

Thanks to Zero_Option for this tutorial suggestion.

This technique creates a gif with fading images. If you do not need to modify your jpgs, simply number in sequential order (see note in red below), and begin at step 10.

Step 1: In PhotoShop, open the two jpg files that you would like to animate.

Step 2: Enlarge the canvas of one jpg to give it a plain white border. Image, Canvas. Increase your width/height by 1″.

Step 3: Enlarge the canvas again to make room for the 2nd jpg. In this case, anchor the main jpg to the lower left, then increase width by 5″ and the height by 3″. Use the measurements of the 2nd photo to give you an idea how much of an increase is needed.

Step 4: Using your pointer tool, drag the 2nd jpg onto the 1st jpg.

Step 5: While on Layer 1 (the photo you have just dragged over), lower the opacity so you can see through it.

Step 6: Use your pointer tool to align the 2 photos. Code (the apple key) plus T allows you to transform. Shrink the photo to fit, and rotate to align. Make sure you hold the Shift button down keep proportions accurate. Otherwise your image will warp. Now return the opacity to 100%.

Step 7: Crop your image to remove any excess canvas. You are now ready to prepare your files for animation!

Step 8: Merge the layers. Layers, Flatten. When you save, create a new folder. File, Save As, 1.jpg.

Step 9: Undo the merge by pressing Code (the apple key) plus Z. You could also choose Edit, Step Backward.

Step 10: While on Layer 1, lower opacity to 90%. Merge the layers (Layers, Flatten). Save to your new folder as 2.jpg.

Repeat the process of undoing the merge, lowering opacity, and saving in numerical order.

Note: if you will have more than 9 final jpgs to combine, you will have to be creative with your numbering. Instead of naming the files 10, 11 and so forth, choose 91, 92, 93. The 10 would appear directly behind file number 1 and would throw things off.

When all of your files are ready, launch Adobe ImageReady CS2 (free with purchase of Adobe PhotoShop CS2).

Step 10: Choose File, Import, Folder As Frames. Select your working folder.

Step 11: On top of the Animation Box, click Animation and choose Select All Frames. On any of the frames, choose a speed (i.e. .2 seconds). Press the Play button to view the animation. Adjust speed if necessary.

Step 12: If it is all to your liking, select File, Save Optimized As… Change the default format to Images Only. Name your gif file.

Your GIF is ready!

If you have a suggestion for a future tutorial, please let me know.

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PhotoShop Tips III: Make Photos POP

PhotoShop Tips III: Make Photos POP + Spotlight Effect

Step 1: In your Layers Window, drag Background to the layers icon twice to make 2 additional layers.

Step 2: On your top layer, choose Image, Adjustments, Desaturate. In your Layers Window, change the blending mode to Overlay.

Step 3: On your 2nd layer, choose Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Set the pixels to 2.5. Change blending mode to Overlay.

OPTIONAL Step 4: On top layer, choose Filter, Render, Lighting Effects. In the Style Drop Down Tab, choose 2 o’clock spotlight. Center your white weight point, and pull your upper weight point to the top right corner.

Step 5: Layer, Flatten Image. File, Save As.

You can experiment with this effect. In another of my photos (Mi Casa), I desaturated the top layer (blend mode: overlay) and reduced opacity to 20%. I also did not include a 2nd/blurred layer, nor incorporated the spotlight.

Thanks for reading!

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How To: Add NEW Color to B&W (PhotoShop)

Special thanks to GoofyMomof4 for requesting this tutorial. This is part 2 of 2. Part 1 demonstrated adding the original color back in to a b&w. Part 2 introduces NEW color to a black & white photo.

Photoshop Tips II ~ Part 2 of 2: Adding NEW Color to B&W

I’m using Photoshop 9 (CS2) for the demonstration. Written instructions follow. 

IMPORTANT: Opacity on Gradient Fill was reduced to 25%.

NOTE: Be sure your Photo Mode (Image, Adjust, Mode) is RGB.

SEPIA
In your open Layers Window, click on the circular icon which is half black/half white. Scroll down to Photo Filters.

These are your pre-set PhotoShop Photo Filter effects. Choose Sepia, and adjust the density to your liking.

To save this look, merge layers (flatten image), and save.

GRADIENT COLOR
The original photo is locked. In the Layers Window, drag the photo (named Background) to the Layers Icon (highlighted in red below), and repeat. You should now have 3 layers of the same photo.

Turn off (click on the eye) the locked layer and the top layer. Make sure your middle layer is selected in your Layers Window.

On your tool bar, select your colors.

Within your Color Picker window, your options are endless.

Once you have selected 2 colors, click on your Gradient Tool (it may be hiding behind your paint bucket).

I neglected to cover this step in the video, but lower your gradient opacity to 25%.

Holding your shift key down, draw a straight line with your mouse depressed, and release. The color will fill the entire image.

Turn on your top layer within your Layers Window (click on the box, and the eye will appear). Your image will now appear black & white. Make sure you have selected your top layer (lighted in blue below). You can use your Eraser Tool to remove the portions you would like to appear in color.

You can also use your Magic Wand tool – With your shift key depressed, tap the areas of the photo to select them.
Or use your Lasso tool – Depress your shift key and Lasso your selections. To remove portions for your selection, hold down your option key, and lasso the area which you’d like to remove.

When your selection area is complete, hit the delete key. You are now ready to Flatten Image (Layer, Flatten Image), and Save As to rename your completed photo.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for the next tutorial.

Thanks for reading!

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PhotoShop Tips II: Adding Color to B&W

Special thanks to GoofyMomof4 for requesting this tutorial. It will be presented in 2 parts. Part 1: Adding the original color back in to a b&w. Part 2: Adding new color to a black & white photo.

Photoshop Tips II ~ Part 1 of 2: Adding Original Color to B&W
I’m using Photoshop 9 (CS2) for the demonstration.


VideoPress Video imported from YouTube

Open the jpg you are working with. You need to have 2 copies of this same photo. A quick way to copy the photo is to rename it (Save As a different name). Then open the original jpg again. You should have both photos on your screen.


1 photo, 2 names.

Change one of your photos to black & white: Image, Mode, Grayscale

To make the photos compatible again, return the b&w photo to RGB Color: Image, Mode, RGB Color (The color will remain black & white. Only the mode has changed.)

Using your Move Tool (highlighted in red below), drag the b&w photo onto the color photo. (You can close the b&w photo now.)


For the next part, your Layers Window must be open.
Choose Window, Layers. A check mark should be next to Layers.


Make sure you are on Layer 1 (highlighted in blue within your Layers Window). Lower the Opacity so you can see through your b&w photo. (70%).

Use your Move Tool to align the photos, then return opacity to 100%.

Grab your Eraser Tool, choose brush size, and make sure your color selection is white. Begin erasing portions of your b&w photo to reveal the color photo underneath.

When you have more than 1 layer, your jpg becomes a psd (PhotoShop Document) file. When you are done with your project, save your working file (your psd) if you intend to make changes. Then merge layers or flatten image (both options work). Layer, Merge Visible or Flatten Image, and Save As a jpg.


Finished project ~ Scary!


If you have any questions or suggestions for the next installment, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

Update: If I had to do this over again, I would copy the original layer, and then desaturate that top layer. Using my eraser tool, I would erase portions of the b&w layer. I’m leaving this tutorial as is in the hopes that it may still inspire and/or teach someone a new trick.

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Photoshop Tips I: The Basics

I’m using CS2 for this demonstration. I’ve used Photoshop professionally for 7 years.


VideoPress Video imported from YouTube

The Basics

File, Open, then select the photo you’d like to work on.

I chose the photo that has become my current avatar on MySpace and Facebook.


Before: Unretouched photo 

The first thing I want to do is lighten this photo. Select Image, Adjustments, Curves.

Place your icon on the line in the center of the grid, hold your mouse down, and slide the line up. You will notice the image getting lighter. Click OK, then repeat the process if necessary.

Resize the photo, making it smaller thus easier to upload and/or email. Image, Image Size.


Change Document Size, making sure Constrain Proportions and Resample Image are checked. When you adjust width, height will automatically adjust.

Crop your image using the Crop Tool. I’ve highlighted the tool in red below.

Hold your mouse down on the image and drag to select the portion of your photo that you are keeping. You can adjust your selection by using the weight points (squares that appear on the dashed line signifying your selection).

When you are happy with your selection, hit return.

Fun With Filters

Filters give your photos fun finishes, and are quick & easy to use. Select Filter, Artistic, and just click on the first one, Colored Pencil to get the ball rolling.

A new window will open, automatically previewing the changes to your photo. Click on the various options to see previews of the filter effects.

Click OK to choose a filter effect, or cancel to close the filter window.

When you save your photo, choose Save As and rename your photo. This ensures your original photo will not be altered.


The finished result:


After 

If you have any questions or suggestions for the next installment, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

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