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New Site!

I have moved my portfolio and my blog to my new site.  To visit it please click here.


Hello – If you’ve come to my blog for work samples, please follow the related links, above. If you’re here for this week’s installment please read on….

This blog chronicles my progress learning new Photoshop skills from the book How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed., by Steve Caplin, and my Friday Challenge submissions to the Forum linked to the book.

Shiny Surfaces – Part 7 – Grimy Windows and a Glass Case

Hello – If you’ve come to my blog for work samples, please follow the related links, above. If you’re here for this week’s installment please read on….

To all  my readers: Thank you for sticking with it and continuing to read this blog. As of March 25, 2015 I have completed all of the tutorials and self-tests in How  to Cheat in Photoshop 6th ed, by Steve Caplin.  Lest my readers worry, there are still lots more material to cover before I run out of things from the book. Even then, there will be  a steady stream of Friday Challenges.  No need to fret. So let’s move on to the final two tutorials in Chapter 9.

Through Grimy Windows
Glass is very difficult to photograph, which is why the majority of tutorials covering glass in Chapter 9 include creating it from scratch.  However, there are times when only real broken glass will do. To overcome the resulting challenges, the easiest thing to do is to cheat.  For example, to avoid a light flare the original image, below, it had to be photographed without a flash, which is why it’s so dark. Significant cheating occurred to accomplish the completed image on the right:

Through a Grimy Window bothFirst, a curves adjustment layer was used to lighten up the room. Then, the glass was selected, moved to a new layer and that layer copied.  One of the glass layers was set to Screen Mode and the other was set to Hard Light.  The opacities were adjusted and, finally, a more dramatic background was added.

 A Refracting Glass Case
The concluding tutorial for Chapter 9 is another instance where Caplin, again, does not supply all the images. Nor does he give all the steps needed to complete the project.  As is common in How to Cheat in Photoshop, Caplin expects his readers to use what they learned in previous chapters to complete this tutorial.

Make no mistake, this was a tough one. And not just because it required combing the Web for images of computer parts.  Indeed, it was also due to Damian Hirst. Caplin must be a fan of Mr. Hirst because this is the third time Hirst’s work is featured in Caplin’s book. In any case, the assignment involved taking the iMac monitor, below, splitting it in half, adding a keyboard (which also needed to be split in half) and then enclosing up the whole thing in a Hirstian box.  I was quite exhausted after finishing this one.

Besides splitting the monitor and keyboard, the “insides” needed to be added.  And it wasn’t just that the box needed creating, the reflection of the glass had to be created as well.  Caplin didn’t supply the image for the reflection, either.  I had to scour the Web for that, too.  Finally, as the title suggests, the refraction had to be added, which can be seen through the right side.  Caplin suggests only refracting through the side window because doing it through the front looks, as he put it, “awkward.”  However,  the refraction was perhaps the easiest step to do.

Now, we’ve finally made it through all the tutorials in Chapter 9! I think this calls for a couple of Friday Challenges.

Next: Friday Challenges: On the Wing & A Friday Challenge Amnesty