Use digital solarization in Photoshop
and Photoshop Elements
One can create interesting and
captivating photos from ordinary image files with the help of the RAW converter
provided in Photoshop.
curves can be tweaked to create stunning effects with much less effort than in
One of the most unusual effects comes from
the pre-digital era: the solarization effect. For this effect, photos used to
be exposed once again in a dark chamber during the development process. The
result was a black and white image where the tonal values were partially
reversed, resulting in an optical mixture of negative and positive image. The
best suitable images for this effect were ones with strong, clear subjects.
Fortunately, in the digital age, a type of "pseudo solarization" has
become quite easy: tonal values can be changed to any value using a Gradation
curve in the Camera RAW processing tool. You need to activate the
"Point" tab instead of the "Parametric" tab so as to be
able to change the curve over individual points.
To begin with, choose a suitable image.
Open this image in Camera RAW and convert the image to greyscale via the option
"HS/ grey scale images". Now, adjust the gradation curve such that the
bright and dark image areas are brought out. First the gradation curve must be
brought in a rough 'M' shape. Then, finetune it by clicking on the
corresponding icon and then select the option "Point". For setting
the first point, follow the tonal curve screen from lower left and set the
point somewhere under the centre of the first zone. Then go to the first line
intersection where we move it to the uppermost horizontal line. Now, the
central control point is on the line: it is pulled downwards somewhere in the
middle of the lowest zone. Now, grab the curve at the upper right side and move
it down till the lower edge. Then, select one more point beside it and pull it
till the uppermost horizontal line next to the right edge of the diagram. One
point is set in the right upper zone in order to round off the curve; this is
the point where the curve bumps against the upper end of the diagram and moves
to the uppermost horizontal line. Move it to left and right till the curve goes
slightly above the diagram in the uppermost right field. In the example we have
shown the point lies somewhere to the right next to the third vertical line.
Now, activate the option "Split
toning" and move the "Adjustment" slider to the right and set it
to "+100". Now, you can set a color tone of your choice in the
"Light" menu: "56" will color the photo with a slightly
yellow tone. This depends on your liking; you could also use some other color.
Reduce the saturation to about "10". The intensity of the color tone
could vary as per your taste.
Photography against the light
Avoid ghost-like images and lens
Many times, you will see more than one
sun in images taken at the time of sunset.
false double-sun effect is caused by reflections which can easily be
Since this does not really match reality
you should know the reason behind it. For instance, if you have taken two
images —one with 90 mm focal length, f8 and 1/640 s and the other with 200 mm,
f11 and 1/250 s— you will see a double sun in the second image. The double sun
is a typical flare effect. Such effects are commonly seen in case of images
taken against the sunlight. Here some of the light is reflected by the lens and
is seen in the image due to the very bright original source—it is actually its
Flare effects can be avoided partially or
completely if the focal length is changed /"\ while zooming. Changing the
camera position also helps at times.
Use the bracketing function of the
Today, even simple compact cameras offer
the option of automatic exposure bracketing.
lighting effects like this are the result of combining multiple exposures.
You can make impressive images with
excellent lighting effects very easily even from images with subjects that are
partly over-exposed and partly underexposed. The relevant tools are already
built into most compact and mirrorless cameras such as the Sony NEX-5N or Canon
PowerShot S100. If your camera can take photos with different exposure
settings, then you could figure out and create your HDRs even with Photoshop
and with the help of the free tools like for instance easyHDR Basic (easyhdr.