Photo Editing

Photo Editing

Some results from the first day of the Photo Editing Seminar by Ycademy… there will be more

Photo Editing Seminar Ycademy July 2012

Photo Editing

The topics covered on day one of the Ycademy Seminar were:

  • How to Resize Pictures (including Print format)
  • Passepartout (Matte)
  • Sharpening Photos (various ways like PhotoTools/Unsharpen in PS6/HighPass in PS6)
  • Edge Treaments (Refine Edges).

The picture above is my own example while following technical instructions yet letting my own creative juices flow.

In the workshop everyone worked on a provided photo (to check on similar results) as well as on their own topical image. Major improvements, advice and additional ideas for each individual photo using the tools and features of Photoshop CS6 as well as OnOneTools were provided, leaving everyone inspired and motivated to continue the photographic journey…

Here comes day 2 !


Ycademy Seminar July 2012

Ycademy Seminar July 2012

The Ycademy Seminar July 2012 focuses on Photo Editing in Photoshop CS6 for Web and Print and beyond.

Ycademy Seminar July 2012

Ycademy Seminar July 2012

While the past Seminar in June 2012 helped all participants to get a better understanding of their Adobe Photoshop CS6, it’s now a matter of working with it – as well as with PhotoTools and other useful programs – to enhance our digital photos with post-editing methodology. As most of us still use simple point-and-shoot cameras which gives great pictures for the web, we need to catch up on many quality issues and improvements as a digital photo just looks flat and lacks the depth and finesse of a professional high-end camera output. There’s just no mystery: you get what you pay for – although there are very promising developments in the camera market that may allow us to snatch a great camera at an affordable price. Be this is as may, there are great tools and programs for post-editing and we need to learn what each does how.

Besides, while using photos for the web we have to reduce to 8-bit channel and 72 dpi, our photos for print have to preserve a maximum of data output at 300 dpi. Especially in print the quality of the camera – its sensor and lense – count. However, there’s nothing better than exercising and practising – and for this a simple point-and-shoot is good enough.

French master photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) said: ” Your first 10,000 pictures are your worst!”. I think it’s worth listening to the so-called ‘father of photo journalism’ who also helped develop “street photography” as well as the “life reportage”.

It’s a process and as students striving for photographic greatness most of us are still on the road that leads to creating that spectacular image! We’ll know it when we see it :)

Winter Reflections

Winter Reflections

Cold, wet and stormy winter days in Noordhoek are just perfect for cosy hours in front of the fireplace or catching some dramatic winter reflections inbetween the icy rain showers! Here’s one of my recent examples – and as I like the combination between a sketchlike approach and a photo – especially also as it allows to transport that feeling of chill and clarity -, I experimented a little by using my tools in Photoshop CS6.

Winter Reflections in Noordhoek by Bianca Gubalke

Winter Reflections

The question is how to turn the upper part of my winter reflections – basically the real plants on the little island in my dam – into a sketch, while keeping the lower two-thirds of the photo?

Working with High Pass in Photoshop

Sharpen with the High Pass Filter

While there are always several ways in Photoshop, you can achieve this by selecting your photo layer and clicking at the top on Filters > Other > High Pass and then adjusting the radius level to find the level of sharpness you desire. Don’t be surprised by the odd colour – it’s the high pass filter selecting the edges. Please note that the higher your values the thicker the lines will be – nothing better than testing this yourself!
While you can get rid of that odd colour by clicking on the Blending Modes > Overlay – my idea was to get more of a pencil look. For this I went to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and obtained my pencil outline effect from there.

The above is just one version…

Quick Mask Mode

Quick mask mode allows us to work on selected areas of a picture while protecting the rest of the picture (in red as you see below). Those of you who still worked with the good old airbrush will remember those hours spent on covering, i.e. masking off parts of an illustration… and there was never a guarantee that nothing would go wrong in the very last second!

Quick Mask Mode on my Winter Reflection

No fears here! Note that the foreground colour is white and I can do anything on the top area, even erase the little rest of red mask that ‘spilled over’ as I did my selection with the pen tool and gave it a generous Gaussian Blur. Finally, I made a copy of the selection and put it on top of my layer stack. By directing the opacity of this layer I can give it the tone and feel I want.

Of course, there were some concessions as some nice nuances in the upper third disappeared through my emphasis on a pencil structure, but this is balanced through the reeds in the foreground. Somehow, this looks like a ghost yacht shooting through the waters … And yes, I created my own frame using again Quick Mask mode. Below the original photo in black and white.

Winter Reflections in Black & White by Bianca Gubalke

Take one of your own photos and experiment… this is not only great fun but the best way to learn and meet with happy accidents along the way!

Bianca Gubalke Showcase 2012

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

Today, 18th July 2012, South Africa is celebrating our ‘Madiba’s’ 94th birthday: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela, may your path amongst us all be blessed for many years to come! We need your courage, light and inspiration!

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela Image by Bianca Gubalke

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

Let’s remember these words from Nelson Mandela’s famous speech – may it be a birth-day in our minds daily and show the only way to true liberation…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frighten us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.

And, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So ham… I am… in the true spirit of Ubuntu!

Exploring new features on Photoshop CS6

While I believe in good digital photography right from the start, where more or less nothing needs to be added, changed, tweeked or altered, I enjoy exploring the new features on my Photoshop CS6, namely the new oil paint filter. I just took it as a personal task, an experiment, a fresh game. What can it do? Where does it makes sense?

Exploring new features on Photoshop CS6 by Bianca Gubalke

Exploring new features on Photoshop CS6

The oil paint filter is a new feature on Photoshop CS6, at least in this form. I played with it to see how it could pep up a simple picture taken of my beautiful friend waiting for me to take him on a winter walk in the Noordhoek mountains. The original was a nice memory in color, but nothing more, rather banal – so what I wanted was a mix of black & white and colour with my usual ‘winter touch’ combined with the typical aspect of an oil painting, as far as that is possible on the web (…nothing beats the touch and feel of a real painting of course!). So here I worked with masks, blurs, selections, channels and… the result is quite interesting… especially when I go to 100% and look at the structures, lines, movements which seem to follow the provided shapes in a very smooth and in fact pretty amazing way.

Exploring new features on Photoshop CS6 by Bianca Gubalke - detail

When doing these exercises we want to observe what’s happening to understand the underlying principles and visual effects – and then memorize them for future use, an occasion when that little something extra, hardly noticeable if at all… just makes the difference. This photo has definitely gained by my exploration into Photoshop’s new toolbox!

Psychic Readings Website

Psychic Readings Website

The design of the Psychic Readings Website was no easy task from a search engine optimization point of view, especially as there is stiff competition on Google around anything related to psychics, astrology and the so-called paranormal.

Psychic Readings Online on Google Top 10

Psychic Readings Website

As Delia O’Riordan, owner of the Psychic Readings Website is a prolific writer in many areas pertaining to her field of expertise, she wants to see her articles and posts regularly on Google Top 10.

Part of my regular check and monitoring as a webmaster is to see ‘where the posts are going’ in case we have to switch gears or make some strategic changes or adaptations – and sure enough, as you see on the screenshot above, her article “Psychic Readings and Belief in Angels” is right where it belongs, namely on position one ahead of the competition.

Psychic Readings on Semiomantics XO

As the website “Psychic Readings” runs on a WordPress based Semiomantics XO Script with smart optimization, I checked the next post – one where competition was even fiercer with well over 4,2 million search returns.

Psychic Readings Online Performance on Google

As you see on the screenshot above, here as well ‘Just Ask Delia’ occupies the first two positions with her article “Psychic Vision the Magic Flute”, attracting traffic, visitors and potential customers. I would call this a top performance!

If you would like to see more of our work at Web Design with Passion, please go to my Showcase 2012 by clicking on the banner below or, if links are cut off, simply follow its indications!

Web Design with Passion Showcase 2012

Psychic Readings Online

Psychic Readings Online

Psychic Readings Online by Delia O’Riordan celebrates its first anniversary online! We at the Semiomantics Team wish to congratulate the eminent psychic reader, who is well known under “Just Ask Delia”, for taking her offline business into the competitive Internet arena and building a professional reputation based on knowledge, decades of experience and – what counts most in this field of expertise: intuition!

Psychic Readings Online by Delia O'Riordan

If links are cut on a syndicating website, go here: and find the shop on the BLOG (navigation menu).

Psychic Readings Online

Psychic Readings Online started its journey exactly one year ago on the anniversary of founder and psychic expert Delia O’Riordan.

Quietly and far away from any noise and hype, this elegant website which offers a fabulous wealth of knowledge and information has carved its way into that apparently vague region “…between heaven and earth…” that may not be seen or sensed by most human beings, but where there is this fascinating ‘more’ of many things that we are all after yet may have difficulties to fathom.

Just Ask Delia

“Just Ask Delia” is for the serious, discreet searcher.

What do I mean?

If you are not on this quest yourself – which often but not only means investing into your own research studies, workshops, yoga, meditation and prayer to name a few – to find answers to the most important questions in your life and the way it’s enfolding – be it in the areas of career, love or destiny – , and your emotional stress is building and affecting your health and wellbeing, however, you don’t know where to turn to find – within the global haystack of competing psychics, mediums, astrologers, specialists, channellers etc advertising their supernatural powers on the web – that professional, serious and extremely dedicated and precise psychic consultant that you may want to entrust with those haunting questions that so urgently need an answer – then… “Just Ask Delia”.

It’s fast, affordable and you will have your answers to work with – just click on the image below and check it out.

Book Your Psychic Reading Online Today

Book your Psychic Reading Today

What better proof than Psychic Delia clients returning after years, thrilled to finally find psychic reader Delia O’Riordan Online, and say how right her psychic guidance had been at the time, seen with hindsight after years… and booking a new consultation on the Psychic Delia Shop today?

What are you waiting for – CLICK HERE to find out more! Easy from your mobile phone…