Photoshop and An Idea

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Today I was walking up the stairs after changing the laundry (HATE LAUNDRY) and I looked across the room at the stockings. “We should take a picture of Everett in a stocking” I said aloud.

“Let’s do it!” Carrie said. I think she was bored. I was startled by her enthusiasm. And motivated.

So we did.

We took Everett’s stocking down and stuffed him in it. Then we photographed him against the last little section of blank wall left in my living room.

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I also took a few pics of the fireplace mantle. Obviously he’s too heavy to just hang on the hooks. I knew I’d have to photoshop him back into place.

Then tonight I sat down and went to work.mantle1

First I cropped and straightened the mantle.

Then I masked it and created a new gradient layer using sampled colors from the wall behind to create a smooth new wall without funky shadows. I then slid the opacity of that layer down a little bit to allow some shadows to create a more realistic feel.

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Then I cut out little dude from his picture, and pasted him in to the mantle picture already underway. I resized him to what I thought looked good, copied the hook from another stocking and added it to him, and then added a drop shadow to the whole layer.

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Then he was too bright so I did a new layer based on his selection and filled it with a shade of middle grey. I set that layer to multiply and slid the opacity down till it looked right to tone down his overall color.

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Next I added a fire in the fireplace following this tutorial.

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And I added a picture above the mantle place, taken off the internet, adding a drop shadow to it as well.

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Then things really started getting fun.

I did a gausian blur overlay to give it that glowy happy look. Then did a little highlight correction because you tend to over do highlights when you do that.

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Next I selected my edges and blurred them out. I added a vignette effect, again, corrected my highlights, and burned my edges even more.

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Next I decided it needed to be warmer – you know, have that sit by the fire, drink hot chocolate feeling.

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Then I added an even stronger vignette by copying all layers and pasted them into one layer, setting that layer to multiply, and sliding the opacity down to where I wanted it, then creating a square selection and feathering it at 150, and deleting the center.

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Almost done now. Next I burned Everett just a little more to make his tones more consistent with the rest of the image, but added a little highlighting to his face to make him pop out.

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Last, but not least, I increased the canvas size setting the background to black to give him a framed look.

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And that’s about as much photoshopping as I ever do.

But it was fun.

I wonder what quality the print would be.

I always worry about that when I mess around in Photoshop too much.

But I printed this picture last week, and it turned out great. So maybe I should print this up and use it as my Christmas card. What do you think?

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