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Before & After: Vintage Still Life With Filters and Texture

Final image

Final photo with filters and a texture.

Image before

Photo with basic Lightroom RAW edits

This weekend in my forays to antique stores and flea markets, I picked up this bowl, wooden boule and stack of old books. I immediately envisioned them together with these tulips and hyacinths blooming in the garden right now. I threw in a few other vintage elements I already had. I placed them on a coffee table covered with old silk curtain lining fabric and photographed them from above using a tripod. Mostly natural light from windows and a skylight, but I did bounce a little bit of fill flash. Canon 7D, Canon 60mm macro lens, ISO 100, f.10, 1/6 second.

Post Processing

After my basic exposure adjustments in Lightroom, I continued my post-processing in Photoshop. I’ve used the Topaz Labs Adjust 4 filter at 2 settings. Have a look at the before image to see how much detail I was able to gain by using Topaz Labs filters! I then completed the image with one French Kiss texture from the Glorious Grunge Collection.

Let’s have a look at the layer panel.

  1. Levels Adjustment: First, I did a slight levels adjustment to brighten the image a little.
  2. Topaz Labs Adjust 4 Filter, Clarity preset: I then merged the background and levels to a new layer and ran the Topaz Labs Adjust 4 filter using the preset, Clarity. This gave me more detail and color. I didn’t want too much detail in the background fabric, so I used a layer mask and brushed away some of the effect around the edges.
  3. Topaz Labs Adjust 4 Filter, Neutralizer preset: I had hesitated between using the Clarity or Neutralizer preset, because I loved what Neutralizer did to the flowers, but wanted to keep some of the color from Clarity, so I ran another copy of the merged background and adjustment using the Neutralizer preset. I placed this over the Clarity version and used a layer mask to bring back some of the color and detail from the Clarity layer.
  4. Cloning: I then did a little bit of cloning to clean up little specks of distracting dirt and bugs on the flowers.
  5. Texture: Next, I added the texture, Grit from the French Kiss Glorious Grunge Collection. I set it to Multiply at 87% opacity. I’m pleased at how the texture balances the space along the edges and corners and adds to the vintage effect. I used a layer mask to take most of the texture off the flowers and some of the texture off the rest of the still life, leaving it at full-strength along the edges.
  6. Levels Adjustment on the texture: I also used a Levels adjustment layer with a clipping mask to brighten the texture a little bit.
  7. Levels Adjustment: Finally, I added another Levels adjustment layer to very slightly brighten overall.

layer panel

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