Monday, January 26, 2009

Blend If

Have you ever wanted to replace a sky in a photo? You may have taken the perfect photo but the sky just wasn’t overly dramatic and you wanted to make the overall photo look better. I have done this before, using a very painstaking method of selecting the sky and doing a lot of masking and feathering, etc.


Until TODAY!


Today I came across a brilliant tutorial for replacing the sky in a photo using the Blend If parameters on the layer styles dialog in Photoshop. Unfortunately, this will not work in Photoshop Elements because Blend If does not exist.


Now I have known about Blend If for some time but have never really used it until seeing this tutorial by Helen Bradley.


I was quickly able to blend these two images:






I used these settings:




This is what the image looked like before I added a layer mask:





This is what my masking looked like (to cover up areas that were revealed while using Blend If):





This is my final result:




It should be noted that in the tutorial by Helen, she suggests using the burn tool to get rid of any halos around tree branches, etc. I did not do this but found I was able to remove the haloing by increasing the split of the black slider.


Including masking, the entire process took me less than 5 minutes to complete! I am sure you will agree that this will be an invaluable technique to add to your Photoshop arsenal!

I thought it might be interesting to find out a little more about using Blend If so I dug up these tutorials for you:


Advanced Layers Blending: The Blend If Parameters This tutorial by Panos shows how using Blend If can help with montaging a moon image into a scene.



Photoshop Advanced Blending – Blend If Steve Patterson details how to use Blend If to blend writing onto a brick wall to make it look like graffiti written on a wall.



Misunderstood Photoshop: Blend If This is another tutorial by Helen Bradley that not only details replacing a sky but how to knock the background from an image. The latter technique would be excellent for knocking out the background after scanning an object. In her example, Helen uses lace. Clicking on the second part of the tutorial will help to explain what it is that the sliders are doing.


I hope that you will enjoy exploring these tutorials! Drop me a comment below if you get the chance to try them.

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