Digital Toolbox: One Trick Ponies

Perform magic in under a minute.

Digital-Toolbox-One-Trick-Ponies
Digital-Toolbox-One-Trick-Ponies

Adobe Photoshop is great for repairing messed-up images or making good ones look subtly better. But sometimes it's more fun to completely transform a picture. And it's even better when you can get that total transformation using just one tool. Here are three tricks that will change your shot, and they won't take more than a minute each to do.

Click here to see the gallery of the three tricks (Blow Out, Copper Plate and Selective Focus).

More of Debbie Grossman's Photoshop tutorials can be found in the Digital Toolbox archive.

Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-This-is-a-quick-way-in
Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-This-is-a-quick-way-in
This is a quick way (in Photoshop CS2 and CS3) to make a photo hyper-graphic. It's best with bright images that have some pale areas.
Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-1.-Go-to-Image-Adjust
Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-1.-Go-to-Image-Adjust
1. Go to Image > Adjustments > Exposure.Willi Schmitz, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-2.-Grab-the-Exposure-sl
Digital-Toolbox-Blow-Out-2.-Grab-the-Exposure-sl
2. Grab the Exposure slider and move it to the right until the highlights white out or until you like the way your picture looks.Willi Schmitz, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-The-Gradient-Map-to
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-The-Gradient-Map-to
The Gradient Map tool takes you monochrome, with an effect that's reminiscent of old-fashioned photo engraving plates.
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-1.-Image-Adjustme
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-1.-Image-Adjustme
1. Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map.Ralph Modica, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-2.-Click-the-down-a
Digital-Toolbox-Copper-Plate-2.-Click-the-down-a
2. Click the down arrow to see more gradients; pick Copper.Ralph Modica, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-When-you-want-to
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-When-you-want-to
When you want to emphasize just one element of a photo, try this. It's lovely on florals, but the look, similar to what you get with a Lensbaby, works on nearly any subject.
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-1.-Hold-down-the
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-1.-Hold-down-the
1. Hold down the Marquee button on your toolbar, and select the Elliptical Marquee tool. Then, in the Options bar at the top of the screen, set the feathering to about 80 (less if your image's resolution is on the smaller side).Stewart Charles, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-2.-Next-circle
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-2.-Next-circle
2. Next, circle the part of your photo that you want to remain in focus. Then invert your selection by going to Select > Inverse.Stewart Charles, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-3.-Choose-the-Ra
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-3.-Choose-the-Ra
3. Choose the Radial Blur filter: Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.Stewart Charles, Stockphoto
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-4.-In-the-Radial
Digital-Toolbox-Selective-Focus-4.-In-the-Radial
4. In the Radial blur dialogue, move the blur's center to approximately the middle of the area that you want in focus. Set the amount to about 10, and click OK.Stewart Charles, Stockphoto
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