Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Did a quick photoshop session on an old cat picture from my “Stray Cat Series” on

What I used for this was mostly color fill layers and few minor adjustments to curves and saturation.

1. Color Fill
This can be done with either making a new layer, filling it with a color you like or sample a color from the image, which is what I did. What I usually do is sample a darker and lighter color in the image and set one of them as a darken layer and the other a lighten layer. Turn down the opacity and layer mask to your liking.

2. Curves
You can create a similar effect as the color fill method by adjusting the RGB in curves. Adjust for color, lower opacity, layer mask, and so on.

3. Vignette
Vignette can be done easily in lightroom but I didn’t feel like exporting it to lightroom then importing it back into photoshop. There are so many ways to do it, but what I did was create a new layer, center elliptical marquee tool, invert selection, feather it by whatever you want in refine edge, and adjust opacity.

4. Effects
Another optional thing you can do is add a texture layer over the image and change the layer to either overlay and screen. Like Instagram’s toaster filter has kind of a crosshatching effect in the middle layer, you can easily mimic that with anything, say a macro shot of cloth or a piece of scratched glass/metal.

Everything is subjective, there are countless things you can do to enhance your images, but the key thing to keep in mind is to not overdo it to a point that looks over-processed.


Light Patterns

Loop or Short Split

Light Pattern assignment, shot on the 12nd of February.

The assignment was to shoot 6 light patterns on a model: Rembrandt, loop, split, paramount, short, and broad lighting.

The photo shoot was a success, but as always there’s always room for improvement and that’s what I’m here to talk about. Hopefully other aspiring photographers can get something out of this when they do their next assignment.

1. Stray hairs
Make sure you check your model for stray hairs and fix it before taking each shots. Stray hairs took, by far, the longest time to retouch in photoshop and even after you try to fix it, it just doesn’t look quite right when you zoom in.

2. Modeling Lights
Make sure to turn them on lol.

3. Backlight
I used two lights for this photoshoot session, a beauty dish and a light for the back background to separate the subject from fading into the background and to have a soft vignette. The problem I ran into at the beginning of the shoot was that the backlight was too bright on the backdrop and it made the background lighter than I wanted. Keep in mind that the backlight is only there to separate the subject from the background, nothing more; so keep the power low and close enough to just barely light the background up.

4. Tethering & Focus
The last problem I had was the focus since I can’t autofocus when I’m tethered to the overhead. I was shooting at around f5.6-f11, the f11 shots were better, but the lower aperture shots were not quite as sharp since the model will move from time to time. What to take from this is use a higher aperture and make sure to check your focus from time to time to make sure you get the best focus possible when autofocus is not an option.

Every photoshoot is an experience and it only keeps getting better with time is what I’m trying to get at. Keep shooting and keep these 4 tips as a reminder before and during your next photoshoot!