Saturday, 21 November 2015

How to Edit Low Quality Image in Photoshop

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to turn an ordinary misty morning photo into a dark spooky image with the help of textures, layer masks and adjustment layers. Our task will be to edit low quality image in Photoshop and to create from it something really unique. In the process of work we'll be using also Radial Blur Filter.
You can create this effect with any Photoshop version and no bother about the stock images. All photos used are from my archive. They are unrestricted stock so you can use them for your own works too.

This is what you are going to create:


Firstly you have to download this Misty Morning photo- for the porpose click on it to  open it in high resolution, then right click and select Save As to put it in your folder.
As you can see the photo is of no good quality- the sky is almost missing so our task is to hide this imperfection and to create something unique.


Open the Misty Morning image in Adobe Photoshop. It will become your Background layer. Double click on it to turn it into and editable layer (to be able to put it in a group). Photoshop will rename the layer automatically to Layer 0 so you have to restore the previous Background name. With the layer selected press Ctrl+G to place it in a group. Rename Group 1 that you'll get to Image.

Apply Radial Blur Filter and Layer Mask


Duplicate your Background layer- press Ctrl+J (Layer, Duplicate Layer) while it is selected then with Background copy layer highlighted navigate to the Menu bar and choose Filter, Blur, Radial Blur.


In Radial Blur dialog box set the Amount to 60, choose Zoom for Blur Method, select Best for Quality and slightly move downwards the Blur Centre.


This is my result after applying the Radial Blur Filter with the settings given above. If you want to achieve another effect, you can use your own settings.


Change the Blend Mode of Background copy layer to Multiply and reduce its Opacity to 60%.


Now with Background copy layer selected, press Ctrl+J to duplicate it. Restore Blend Mode of Background copy 2 layer to Normal and Opacity to 100%.
While Background copy 2 layer is highlighted, click on Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of Layers panel (Layer, Layer Mask, Reveal All).


After you have applied the Layer Mask, your Foreground/Background Color in the Tools bar should automatically be changed to Black/White.
While the Layer Mask thumbnail is selected, grab Brush Tool and choose Soft Round Brush. Set its Size to 700px.


Start brushing on your canvas. Remove most portions of Background copy 2 layer image, don't touch only the upper parts of the trees to leave the Filter effect visible. You should get the following result:

Add Birch Texture to Blend with the Main Photo


Now you have to download this Birch Texture (use Step 1 as a reference).


Create a New Layer on top of Layers panel and call it Birch Texture. Place it in a group named Front Effects.
Open the Birch Texture in Adobe Photoshop, press Ctrl+A to select the whole image, then press Ctrl+C to copy it. Go back to your Misty Morning .psd file, check if Birch Texture layer is highlighted and press Ctrl+V to Paste the Texture there. If the Texture is bigger than your canvas, apply Edit, Free Transform to make its size equal to the size of the Misty Morning photo. Press Enter to apply the Transformation when you are ready.


Change the Blend Mode of Birch Texture layer to Multiply and reduce its Opacity to 45-46%.


Apply Layer Mask on Birch Texture layer (see Step 7-9) then use Soft Round Brush of 700px Size and 40% Opacity to make thinner the portions of the Texture which cover the trees. You should get a similar result:

Apply Lichen Texture with Multiply Blend Mode


It is time to download the following Lichen Texture:


Create a New Layer on top of Front Effects group and name it Lichen Texture. Select and Copy, then Paste the Lichen Texture in this layer. Apply Edit, Free Transform to make the Texture fit the size of your canvas, then change the Blend Mode of its layer to Multiply.


Apply Layer Mask on Lichen Texture layer then use Soft Round Brush of 700px Size to remove most of the Texture. Leave only the borders intact. Play with Opacity of the Brush- use 100% to clean the middle parts of the Texture and use 40% to clean the portions closer to the border. This is the result you should get:

Add Color Balance Adjustment Layer to Create Old Photo Effect


While Lichen Texture layer is highlighted, navigate to the Menu bar and select Layer, New Adjustment Layer, Color Balance.


When the Properties dialog box pops up on your screen, change only the settings of Midtones and Shadows like this:


Cyan-Red: -18
Magenta-Green: -22
Yellow-Blue: -52


Cyan-Red: -11
Magenta-Green: -10
Yellow-Blue: -18.


Below is shown the result of applying Color Balance Adjustment layer.
If you have followed all my steps, your Layers pane should consist of these groups and layers:

1.    Image group with these three layers in it: Background, Background copy and Background copy 2 and
2.    Front Effects group also with three layers in it: Birch Texture, Lichen Texture and Color Balance Adjustment Layer.


This is my final image saved in .jpg format. If you want to sharpen this .jpg file, you can apply Filter, Sharpen, Unsharp Mask of Filter, Other, High Pass.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned new techniques from it. Thanks a lot for reading. God bless! :)

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