The texturizer doesn’t just work on clouds!
A few weeks ago I showed you a technique for fixing blown out highlights in clouds. Shortly after its release a friend and fellow Elite member, Don Chesnut, asked if the technique could work on waterfalls. I was intrigued by the inquiry and found that rendering fibers instead of clouds look very much like the streaks of waterfalls in motion.
As with anything in photography, nothing beats getting it right in camera, but it happens to the best of us. We get the shot all lined up, take a few shots here and there for tests, hop into the Long Exposure world for a bit and get home and realize our images are a little heavy on the highlights. Sometimes you can recover those highlights if they are not too far gone, but other times they stretch a little too far to the right of the histogram. That is where this technique comes in!
In the example images here, the effect is exaggerated so you can see the difference. However, you would want to lower the opacity of the rendered fibers to match the natural tones of the waterfall streaks. It is a highly effective technique if you combine it with a Gaussian Blur and some effective warping and transforming.
The basic concept is to render some fibers in Photoshop and blend them into the waterfall with Blend If. Here is the list, or skip to the bottom of the page and watch the tutorial and download the Action!
- Before you begin, reset your brush swatches to the default colors by pressing ‘D’
- Create a New Layer
- Fill the new layer with 50% gray; it needs some data there to render the fibers, 50% gray is arbitrary really.
- With the new layer selected, go to Filter > Render > Fibers
- Your image should be all fibers now.
- Double click next to the new layers text to go into the layer options.
- Change the blend if settings so that the shadows through the mid tones are protected, then press all to split and feather the Blend If settings.
- Lower the Opacity of the layer to around 15 – 25%
- You may need to rotate the layer to make the fibers match the direction of the waterfall.
- Add a mask to the layer and paint out the areas you do not want to be affected by the fibrous detail.
- Lastly, experiment with Blurs and Blending Options. Also, try clipping a Curves adjustment layer above the fibers layer to modify the contrast.
- Also, use a Gaussian Blur to blur the fibers, so they blend in better with the natural motion of the waterfall.