How I did This…. 5 Photoshop Steps


So you can do most things in Lightroom these days.

I thought I’d meddle with this shot of the Royal Armouries to show a few things you can’t do in Lightroom…. yet!

Start point

canal and armouries


So to get to this point, you could probably have used Lightroom. Its been through these steps…

  • Capture – 1 minute exposure
  • RAW Conversion using ACR in Photoshop
  • Vertical correction using Lens Correction Filter
  • Conversion to black and white using Silver EFEX 2
  • Selective sharpen – High Pass Filter method, using masks
  • Selective Contrast – curves adjustment layers (6 of) using masks

So you can get this far with Lightroom, but here are 5 things I then did in Photoshop…

1 Add writing

I don’t often do this, but it seems popular, so I did a Google for “handwriting brush” and found some free brush presets which had writing.

Created a new blank layer – set the foreground to white and flow/opacity to 100% and just clicked on the scene a few times with different brushes. One’s full of maths…

2 Cracked Texture

I added a photo of some old paint which was falling off a wall – its a great texture I captured in an abandoned bank. This went on top of the writing and photo, with the blend mode set to Soft Light to give a softer effect. I faded it in and out with Opacity Slider and came up with about 80% opacity

3 Coloured Texture 1

I thought a bit of colour may add an extra dimension, so found a texture layer with a flare like set of colours. This added a too much colour and darkened the image a lot. So I used a Hide All mask to get rid of it, then painted in lightly to get a minor effect.

4 Coloured Texture 2

So the right had a slight hint of colour and extra texture, but the left was looking a little bare. So I duplicated the layer in step 3, flipped it horizontally and then painted in the effect on the left side too. Obviously a lot more colour on the left, due to the main focal point being on the right.

5 Frame Action

The little frame you see on there – I just play an “action” and up it pops… I clearly forgot to change the “title” in my enthusiasm to write this blog! But that’s the only manual part of the process. With Photoshop you can record complex or simple actions to play back at any time.


And here it is… you may well prefer the clean original shot, but it’s always interesting to see where you can take an image with a bit of meddling in Photoshop.



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