Lomo tutorial using GIMP

Lomo photography has gained grounds and is today a much used effect also on regular photos. The effect is all about mimic the photos which the old cameras from LOMO generated. Since it also is a very simple effect to mimic with the use of an image manipulation application I will show you how to do this using GIMP. GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop which can be a bit hard to learn since the interface is very unique. But once learned, you can do very much with it.

The features which distinguish a lomo photo is the colors which are a bit unbalanced with a blue tint and also quite heavy vignetting.

We will use the following photo:

http://www.flickr.com/xenovoyance/

And this is what the image will look like when we have applied the lomo effect.

Let’s begin! Boot up GIMP and follow the work flow below.

  1. Open image
  2. From the menu in GIMP choose Color > Curves and create an ‘S’ shape for the curve to modify the colored tint.

    Alternative: To get even a more complete lomo effect, use an ‘S’ curve for all colors except blue. But as a start, go for the ‘S’ curve on all colors!

    Alternative: Before going for the curves you can also increase contrast and brightness a tiny bit to bring even more colors to the photo. You can find both contrast and hue in the top menu,  Colors > Brightness-Contrast.

  3. Time to give the image a strong vignette. This is done by adding a radial gradient to the image. First select the entire photo by selecting Select > All (CTRL + A)
  4. Shrink the selection a bit, Select > Shrink
  5. Feather the selection to get a soft selection and not get sharp corners, Select > Feather
  6. No invert your selection to select the outer part of the selection instead of the inner part, Select > Invert
  7. Create a new layer
  8. Choose the Gradient tool, set shape to ‘Radial’, colors white to black. Starting from the center of the image, create a gradient down to the bottom of the image and you should end up with something like this
  9. Now with the new layer selected choose Overlay as layer style for the layer to make it darken the edges instead of overflowing them.
  10. End by flatten all layers of the image and you are done!

Lomo photo effect using GIMP, quick and easy!

Simulated tilt-shift using Photoshop Elements

Tilt-shift is a very popular technique to capture photos of great scenes and create an impression of them being miniature or to have a single place of the scene in focus while the other parts of the same photo is totally out of focus. In this tutorial I will show you how to achieve the first goal, making a photo of something big appear very small. I will use Photoshop Elements 8 but this will also work in older version as well as in CS.

Continue reading Simulated tilt-shift using Photoshop Elements

Selective black and white using Photoshop Elements

In this brief tutorial we will create a selective black and white photo using Photoshop Elements. For those of you who do not own Photoshop Elements I also made a tutorial for Picasa a litle while ago which can be reached here. I use Photoshop Elements 8 in this tutorial but the same technique do work in older versions as well. If you do not have Photoshop Elements or CS you can do the same thing in the free application Picasa, and I have the same tutorial for that application here.

This is what we will create in this tutorial:
Our final result

And this is the original photo:
Original

Step 1
Open up your photo in Elements Edit
Start

After this step I will multi task and show two ways of creating the effect. Choose either a) or b) and follow that path.

Step 2
Create a new adjustment-layer by left-clicking on your background-layer and drag and drop this upon the icon for adjustment layer. Choose gradient map and select a map from black to white.
Adjustment layer

Step 3
Next to your adjustment-layer there is an layer-mask (the white square), select this by clicking on it. Then using a brush and black color, paint on top of the parts in the photo you would like to be in color.
Layer mask

There is actually a number of ways of doing the same in Elements and I will therefore show you yet another way of doing the same effect.

Step 2, Optional way
Duplicate your layer by single-clicking the layer ‘Background’ in your layers window and then pressing CTRL + J (or Command + J if you are on Mac). This will create a new layer with the same content as the layer you had selected, in other words you now have two identical layers on top of each other.
Duplicated layer

Step 3, Optional way
With you duplicated layer selected, use the erasor to erase the parts in the black and white layer where you want color. The layer underneath in color will now instead show.
Erasor

There, we’re all set and have learnt two ways of doing this effect in Photoshop Elements!

Selective black and white using Picasa

This is short step-by-step tutorial on how you can modify your photos into selective black and white using the free application Picasa by Google. The effect is what can be seen in commercials and on posters all over nowadays of a black and white image where a single object is still in color. When you are done with this tutorial you will know how to create the effect fast and simple just like a pro!

This is what we will be creating in this tutorial, worth to mention is that this technique is also great for photos of jewelry like wedding-rings.

Photo of a street where a single cab has been colorized in an else black and white setting.

And this is the photo before we modified it.

Original photo

Let’s start!

Step 1

Start by open up the image you are to edit in Picasa editor. On your left side is all the tools we can use in a sleek tabbed interface. Next to these you have the actual photo which we are to modify.

Our original photo is loaded in Picasa

Step 2

Click on the tab ‘Effects’ in the left-hand panel.

The effects-tab

Step 3

Now click on the effect called ‘Focal B&W’ to launch the tool which will help us to apply our selective black and white over the image. When you do the photo will turn black and white but a green cross will be presented in the absolute middle of the image. As you can see there is an area surrounding the green cross which is still in color.

Focal B&W is not active

Step 4

By moving this green cross by clicking and holding the left mouse button on it you can change what part of the image which is to remain in color. Move the cross over ontop of the pink cab and release it.

In the left panel there will be two rulers which can change the apearance of the effect at the area which you have selected using the green cross. By moving the top ruler called ‘Size’ you can change how big the area should be which is to remain in color.

Move this ruler so that it fits the car only and nothing else.

Configure the tool to fit our selection

And there you go, you have now successfully changed a photo from all color into a selective black and white! As an optional step we can adjust the overall setting of the black and white as well to make the photo look even better.

Step 5 (optional)

By using the adjustments in the tab ‘Tuning’ we can sett the overall lightning of the photo. In black and white photos it is often a good idea to increase the contrast to make the photo more dramatical.

Tune the lightning

And we’re all done, hope that you have learned something from this tutorial and that the knowledge will help you create some amazing photos!

Best online photolab

Nowdays when almost all photos we take are digital they seem to end up in a complex directory-structure somewhere on our laptop, tucked away. When we then are about to show them for family and friends we have to go through endless of mumbo-jumbo to get the photos from the computer to the tv and so forth. Well, I for one think that we all should send off our best photos to get papercopies now and then. Not only do you get your photos in a better format for show and tell, you also get the feeling that you actually created something in a better sense then just the images on your screen.

The Swedish photo-magazine “Kamera & Bild” had a test in their latest issue about the best digital photolab and once again the winner was – Crimson. This is a company that almost always come up in forums, magazines or discussions when people are to rnak their best photolabs and therefore I would like to throw them a bone here aswell.

I have not personally used this company yet but I’m looking on using their services to get some posters printed using pictures from my last trip on the Transmongolian railway. That’s right, they offer poster-printing aswell!

Worth mentioning is of course also that the cheapest contendant did come in on a whooping thrid place (out of twenty-one) and this was Fuijifilm so if you are to print alot of photos these are defenetly worth a look!