How often have we managed to take a
pretty good photo of a daylily only to discover that damaged foliage
behind the bloom distracts from the photo's overall quality?
Let's start this set of tutorials with a lesson on
using the brush tool to 'recolor' damaged foliage. We'll start
with this photo below. (If you want to follow along using this
photo to test this process, just right click the photo on a PC
or two button Mac mouse, or Control-Click on a one button Mac mouse
and select the "Save Image To..." option. Then open this image
in Photoshop to follow along.
The foliage beneath the right bloom shows the effect
of last summer's drought. Let's "green up" this foliage. (This
could also be used to retouch the parched dormant lawn behind,
but there's only so much damage worth correcting!)
First, some background. I'm using Photoshop CS for
this particular tutorial. Other versions of Photoshop, including
the various versions of Photoshop Elements, should have the same
tools available. Other graphics programs may have similar tools,
you'll have to experiment to see. (See the bottom of this page for a link to a page describing how to use this tutorial with the popular FREE photo editing program - the GIMP.)
Start by using the eye dropper tool to select a sample
of the healthy green foliage color.
The eye dropper tool looks like
an eye dropper and is located in the main tool palette just
above the magnifying glass. It's used to select an existing
color from your image and makes that the foreground color
for your next step in this process.
So, this selects the color we're
going to paint over the brown foliage.
The next tool you'll
need is the brush tool. On the palette to the left, the
brush tool is next to the "band aid" tool, fourth
down on the right side.
Since I'm working on this photo at
a width of only 700 pixels wide, I don't need a big brush.
I'm picking one that's got a soft edge and is 35 pixels wide. The
next step is the 'secret' to this tutorial. By default,
Photoshop sets the brush tool to the Normal Mode. For this
touch up trick to work, change the Mode to Color and to make
the changes gradual, change the opacity to 15% or so. You
should pick a brush size that's appropriate for your image
Above shows the tool options bar for the brush tool (this
should appear below the top menu bar when you select the
brush tool) - to change each of these settings to match,
click on the blue areas with the black triangles to see the
options for each setting. Try to get these to match what's
Here's what we have done. Photoshop's brush and layer modes
control how the brush tool affects the image as it's used.
The Color Mode only changes the COLOR of the underlying areas,
NOT the tonal values. So, shadows and highlights will remain
untouched, we'll just be coloring over the brown tones replacing
them with green. By setting the opacity to 15% we are also
applying this effect gradually. Expect that it will take
multiple passes of the brush tool over the brown foliage
to change it to green. You must release the mouse button
after each pass, then click down again for the next one.
Go ahead and try this now. Paint over the brown
foliage. You don't have to be real careful except when you get
near the blooms. Each pass will gradually turn the brown to green
without changing the tonal values. Work over the foliage
until all the brown has been painted out. You can also touch
up the brown scape on the left as well.
Here's the 'fixed'
I also used the Burn tool,
which is just above the Text tool (T) on the Tools Palette above.
This tool slightly darkens the area it passes over without affecting
the color. I just used it on the edges of the image to slightly
darken the foliage and edges, this will help draw the viewer's
eye to the blooms too.
Now, to be safe, return the Brush Tools settings
to Normal and the Opacity to 100%.
The next tutorial will be on how to use the Clone Stamp to
remove bugs, blemishes and thrips damage. (I'll get to color correction
too, but I want to do some reading before inflicting too many things
on you at once for this process.)
Let me know if this tutorial was helpful. I'd appreciate any feedback
to know that these are helpful or not or what I might do to improve
Tim Fehr - Eau Claire, WI firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: (AHS member, Dr. Robert Stanton, from the computer science department at St. Johns University, has successfully followed this tutorial and others in this series, using the GIMP. GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Dr. Stanton's comments and instructions for using this software, as well as links to where to download this are available HERE.
© 2007, 2009 by Tim Fehr - all rights