Look what’s been keeping me very busy the past week! We have a new Weimaraner puppy! Let me introduce you to Illico de l’Orée de la Meilleraye, or Liko for short (pronounced Leekoh). He’s a half-nephew to our Bella. Born in France, but from American lines. What a joy, but also a lot of work. I’ve taken advantage of his nap-time to do a little texture work on an image I took this morning. He’s 9 1/2 weeks old right now. In case you’re wondering about the tail, which is traditionally cropped on a Weimaraner, it’s illegal to crop the tail in many European countries now. While it is still allowed in France, many breeders are leaving it natural because if they sell to other countries or even later want to show in other countries, the cropped tail won’t be allowed.
Before and After
To take the photograph, I draped a black throw blanket over a curved wooden bench we have in our courtyard. It’s a partially shady day today, so I have pretty soft light. You can see from the original photograph that it’s rather flat.
Image Specs: 5D Mark III, ISO 500, 70mm, f/6.3, 1/320
Refer to the Layer Panel below for a visual of the steps in involved in the post-processing and texturing.
Note: Steps are from the bottom of the layer panel going UP.
- First, I cropped the image a little.
- Levels adjustment Layer to add contrast. I used a layer mask to keep the brightest highlights from blowing out.
- Burn / Dodge Overlay Layer for slight brightening of certain areas – particularly around eyes and nose.
- Levels Adjustment Layer with a reverse layer mask to brighten the eyes.
- Hue/Saturation adjustment Layer with a reverse layer mask to slightly saturate the color of the eyes.
- I then copied and merged the visible layers (see tut) and ran the Topaz Labs DeNoise* filter to reduce the noise of the 500 ISO. It wasn’t that noisy, but I don’t like noise.
- I then duplicated that layer and ran Topaz Labs Clarity filter* and chose the Micro Contrast Boost 1 setting. I later used the layer mask to keep more of the original shadow around the puppy as I felt the shadows had gone a little too dark.
- On that same layer, I used the Photoshop Sharpen tool to slightly sharpen the eyes and nose of the puppy. (I had other images that were sharper, but I liked this pose.)
- I then duplicated that layer and ran the Gaussian Blur filter. I think it was between 4-5. This was to tone down the nubby detail in the blanket around the puppy so that it would blend in a little more seamlessly with the texture.
- I decided I wanted a little more kicker in the eyes, so I added another Levels Adjustment Layer to add contrast in the catch light areas of the eyes.
- The Texture: I used the Clair Obscur texture from French Kiss Les Textures II collection. The three adjustment layers (with clipping masks) are to de-saturate the colors to neutralize the grays and blacks and to darken and lighten the texture in areas. (see original texture below). You can see the layer mask where I painted away the texture from the puppy areas and slightly into the background. The Texture Blend Bode was Normal at 76% Opacity.
- When all was done, I noticed some areas of retouching I had missed (little bits of lint on the blanket, a little hole in the blanket), so I retouched all layers with the clone tool.
- After the textures were added I felt the image needed brightening so I used another Levels Adjustment Layer.
- Finally, it felt like his paws were a little too bright, so I added another burn/dodge layer to slightly burn.
The texture is Clair Obscur from French Kiss Collections Les Textures II. It has slightly warm brown tones in it, so I de-saturated the colors to be a little more neutral.
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I’m sure you will be seeing lots more of Liko!