Onions have layers...

I know, it's a line from Shrek.. but it applies to today's blog post.I recently purchased The Wounded Soldier tutorial from SLR Lounge and it got me thinking about the use of layers coupled with masks.

The tutorial showed me how to look at a photo and decide which parts need to be edited and just focus on those. It also showed the importance of using layers for each part of the changes you want to make. This way your work is never destructive.

I thought about which of my photos I could apply this work on. You may have noticed I like darker based photos in the past and wanted to try another like that.

I loaded up an older photo of mine, a simple flower shot taken last year in August and selected a texture file from my resource directory. I put the texture layer on top and added a mask, filled in black. I then selected a soft brush, set my foreground colour as white, and brought back the texture to the petals of the flower only.

This created a burnt effect to the petals but left the background untouched. I then added a new layer and added sharpening to the center of the flower.

I remembered from the tutorial a lesson about an easy way to use curves in the adjustment layer. To be honest I have never used curves that much but this was explained easily so I applied the method here. Adding the Curves adjustment layer I then used the 'Click and drag' tool to pick a colour and adjust the curve from there.

The tutorial is quite correct in saying that you only need to adjust the curves very slightly, there is no need to wave your mouse around like you are trying to polish a mirror, less is more when it comes to curves!

The before and after is shown below.

Click on the links above, the tutorial is very cheap and worth a look!