In the December 2011 Letter From the Editor, we introduced a new feature – Ask Liz. With so many messages filling our customer service email account, I decided to help lessen the load by asking our subscribers to send their more specific editing questions my way. Since then, I’ve received an amazing amount of emails and I wanted to share a few with you:
1. Liz, I am looking for a watercolor tutorial for Photoshop Elements 9 please, as close to a realistic look as I can possibly get. -Rose
- On our website, we have a great tutorial by Liz Ness called From Photo to Painting. She did a great job and the effect is subtle, yet lovely.
- I spent a bit of time scouring the internet and found a fantastic tutorial on creating a watercolor from a photograph. It’s from the Photoshop Essentials website, and though it was not specifically written for Photoshop Elements, every step is possible inside of Elements. After finding it, I tested out the tutorial on one of my own photographs and was very, very impressed with the results. One quick note: don’t forget that you can change the Opacity of all of the layers you create for this technique!
2. Liz, I take a lot of underwater photos and backscatter is a common problem. Do you have any suggestions on good ways to fix it? -Cindy
- Thank you so much for this great question, it’s definitely not one I hear very often – I’ve never done underwater photography, so I’d never even heard of backscatter!
- After scouring the internet for examples of backscatter, I discovered a fantastic tutorial for PSE exclusively that may help with the issue. Take a look at it here on YouTube, but the basic synopsis is this: make a duplicate layer of your background, select and feather sections of your photo and use the Dust & Scratches command (go to the Filter menu, than to Noise) to help get rid of the more obvious spots. It may require some clone stamping and spot healing after you’ve already completed the Dust & Scratches command, but it definitely seems like a much better place to start.
3. Liz, can you point me out to a reference or give me a quick tip on the best way to remove power lines from a photo? – Ron
- Dave Cross just finished a video about exactly this topic – How to Cover Up Power Lines! It’s a fantastic video and has some good techniques that will hopefully help you cover up some pesky power lines.
4. Liz, I really could use a video on how to replace sky when a landscape photo was taken when the weather wasn’t cooperating. Can it be done when there are trees sicking up into the background? -Gene
- Separating a horizon line with trees jutting up into the sky is one of the most difficult things to do well in Photoshop Elements, so I hope I can help you out! Before I make a video about the topic, I wanted to point you to two videos that have already been done that may be helpful:
- Selecting Hair by Dave Cross – Dave does a fantastic job showing you how to select hair and creating a mask. A tree-ridden horizon line is extremely similar to a subject with wild hair, so I would definitely suggest giving his technique a shot!
- Place a Subject Seamlessly on a New Background by Matt Kloskowski – Once you’ve made a selection, Matt’s video does a great job of showing you a few tricks on making it even better.
- Hopefully, with the aid of these two videos, you’ll be able to separate you downer-sky from the rest of your landscape and give it a face lift! Many of the techniques Dave and Matt use can be transferred from portraits to landscapes with a little imagination.
I’ve had such a unique array of emails coming in and hopefully a few of these answers can help out other subscribers on their quests for removing backscatter, deleting power lines, replacing skies and creating photographic watercolors! Happy editing!
To send a question my way, send it to our Ask Liz email address.