Photoshop Top 40: The Contest

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Photoshop Top 40 - submission #4

Fantastic Seaturtle (Click the image for high-res.) This idea came to me in a dream in which all the turtles in the sea had a seventh wonder of the world or a famous castle or temple on their backs. I thought it was a great view so I started editing a big photo of a turtle. I masked the Taj Mahal and warped it onto it's back, added sea weed, some colored fish, a star fish, a sea urchin, a sea horse, bubble and another, more lively, background for the photo. Tools used: Pen tool Brush tool Hue/Saturation Healing brush ... and others.

Pinball Wizard, Pen Tool, Smart Objects and much more!

HI, Pinball Wizard is a illustration based on a Pinball Photograph,In-fact this photo was used as a template and sketched around. Most of my work is created with the base of a real photograph. Most of the Top 40 was once again used..Smart Objects, Color and burn, hue/saturation..Vector Based type..crop and curves...phew the while lot and more..Ive supplied the illustration here full size..but it is intended to be shrunk down to about 800px ishto fully appreciate it..The pen Tool was used extensively to create some unusual shapes.. a real handy tool. Other Versions of the illustration are much brighter...this version is much darker having had a filter applied to it..makes those glittery Vegas lights sparkle a little bit more :) Pinball Wizard (Click the image for high-res.)

More fun

On one of those days when you just feel like noodling, something like this is liable to come out. It's made from a nice close-up of some rusty metal originally by Rusty Serle, posted on Stock Exchange (, image #519277_65410354) and a half dozen images from one of those "50,000 crappy low-res images for only $40!" CDs that someone gave me. I was curious to see if you could really do anything useful with these cheapo picture CDs. (The answer, for the most part, being "Hell, no!")

All of the weathering and "flaked off paint" in the overlaid faces and magenta rectangle was created using (mostly) #19: Luminance Blending with a little help from grunge brushes (#31: Brush Tool).

The face in profile on the left is a grayscale copy at 46% opacity, masked semi-randomly using various hard-edge grunge brushes, with a bevel and emboss effect applied to give the "painted over rust" look.

Flying dude top right and girl shadow bottom right were created from drop shadows (Right-click on "Effects" in layers panel > Create Layers), distorted with #20: Free Transform and Filter > Distort > Displace using a grayscale of the underlying background as a displacement map. (The actual images that the drop shadows were made from aren't in the finished piece.)

Can you find the hanging legs and the guy with the briefcase? They're low-opacity and tweaked with #24: Curves.

The diagonal shadow was created with #21: Gradient Tool to give some sense to the lighting on the art lover dude.

The deep artistic significance of this piece is exactly nil. It was just for fun, but at the time it was good practice.

We have another bad image name

And doesn't have an index page so I can't fix.

Deke Photoshop Contest Submission

Well this took me quite some time to finally get finished and polished up. This is a composite of 6 images. I started with a little girl that had a evil grin on her face and it just blasted off from there. I wanted to create a creepy or evil feel to it. I used lots of the top 40 features to create this piece. Such as Black & White, The Brush Tool, Hue/Saturation, The Crop Tool, Selection Calculations, The Healing Brush, The Gradient Tool, and Free Transform, those are the main ones. But all in all, I am really happy as to how it turned out. and sorry for the inconvenience Deke having to convert it to live. Evil Grin (Click the image for high-res.) It looks great at a larger size. -Phil

Marilyn Monroe

marilyn b&w & color For high-res, click here. Feature 33, Calculations
Feature 31, The Brush Tool
Feature 26, Dodge and Burn
Feature 20, Free Transform Feature 19, Luminance Blending Feature 18, Smart Objects How can we not have Marilyn Monroe make at lest one appearance. She looks great in black and white, but thanks to Photoshop she looks great in color.

Tres Flamingos

Tres Flamingos For high-res, click here. Curves, Healing Brush, Free Transform, Crop Just composited various images I had

Party Train

Party Train For high-res, click here. Crop, Curves, Healing Brush & Free Transform

Mike Smokes Robt.

Mike Smokes Robt For high-res, click here. Crop, Healing Brush, Free Transform, Curves Messing around with a couple of my old friends.

1st Class

1st Class For high-res, click here. Feature 33, Calculations 
Feature 31, The Brush Tool 
Feature 26, Dodge and Burn
 Feature 20, Free Transform Feature 19, Luminance Blending Just something that seems to work.

Some fun stuff

The starting point was a photo of the bougainvillea, but it was against a horribly bland and busy suburban background. How to make it into a pleasant image? A combination of #32: Pen Tool, #23: Color Range and other techniques served to isolate it from its busy-but-blah background. A Japanese paper image by Wetzel & Co. (, who publish a vast range of high-resolution background images, provided the new background. The Chinese character came from a set of custom shapes on Adobe exchange. I changed it to a selection and filled with a soft-edge brush (#31) to give the ink look. The swoosh was created with the pen tool, converted to a selection and filled with #21: Gradient Tool using colors from the photograph. The actual photo I stylized on a new layer using various filters, converting the layer to Darken mode, then a Curves layer (#24) gave more depth to the shadows. This layer is clipped to the photo image only. Bougainvillea (Click the image for high-res.)

A World Awaits

A World Awaits For high-res, click here. Features use: Feature 36, Black & White
 Feature 33, Calculations Feature 32, The Pen Tool
 Feature 31, The Brush Tool
 Feature 26, Dodge and Burn Feature 21, The Gradient Tool
 Feature 20, Free Transform Feature 19, Luminance Blending Started by using Calculations to separate the boy from the background and the brush tool to refine the matte. Using B&W, Dodge and Burn, Gradient, Free Transform and Luminance Blending to jockey the city, the sky and the boy into some sort of order.

Top 40 Sumbission

Adopt the Pace (Click the image for high-res.) I used: #18: Smart Objects #20 Free Transform #31 The Brush Tool #32 The Pen Tool #35 Refine Edge In almost anything I do, these tools are super handy and deserve to be on the list. Thanks for pushing the Photoshop envelope Deke!

Union Station, Los Angeles

After four years in LA I happened through Union Station for the first time and by luck more than planning had a camera with me. Immediate problems were no time (I was in a rush), very high contrast and dim light with no tripod. Camera, therefore, on a counter top for stability.
Three images corrected in Camera Raw for Chromatic Aberration, warmed up a bit with White Balance and sharpened a bit. Images individually corrected in Photoshop for barrel distortion before stitching together using Edit>Auto-Align Layers (Spherical only) and Edit>Auto-Blend Layers then flattened and cropped.
Above the background layer is a high-pass filter layer masked using #21: Gradient Tool in "Foreground to Transparent" to mask off all but the doorway at the far end. Above that is a Curves layer also masked with the Gradient tool to lighten up the foreground. Above that is another Curves layer to tweak the overall white balance (using the eyedropper to pick up the neutral gray in the foreground tile).

I can't get this link to work

It's inaccurate. Please advise.

(This goes for one of the later posts. Looks like you gave me the wrong image names.)

Cervino again

The young Japanese hiker was kind enough to stand still for the shot. Of course, super-high contrast between the mountain and the shadowed foreground. I didn't want the sky or the Matterhorn to be blown out or the shadows to block up. So... #31: Brush tool applied to a Levels layer to lighten the mid-tones in the bottom left. #36: B&W layer set to Luminosity blend mode to darken the blues in the sky and lake. (Brush applied to its layer mask to mask out the trees in the middle distance so they were not also darkened. Another Levels layer to darken the sky, mountain and middle-distance trees, using #21: Gradient tool in a "Foreground to Transparent" mode to prevent the darkening from affecting the lake and the foreground. Cervino Again (Click the image for high-res.)

My Sphinx

If you ever ask yourself what cat guards the pyramids, check it out: My Sphinx (Click the image for high-res.) Tools used: Feature 35, Refine Edge Feature 33, Calculations Feature 31, The Brush Tool Feature 28, Hue/Saturation Feature 27, The Crop Tool Feature 20, Free Transform Feature 18, Smart Objects

Candice 2

Initial selections with the Pen tool (loose around the hair). Further refinements to the mask with the Brush tool. Color Range and Refine edge employed. All of the further effects (eyes, lips, skin etc.) were done by duplicating the main layer, applying an effect (for instance Hue/Sat or Vibrance) then adding a black layer mask (hold down the option key when applying mask) and painting with a soft white (30%?) brush to reveal. Odyssey (Click the image for high-res.) Before and After photos here.

Through a mirror, darkly

Here's my humble entry. I used the following features: Feature 38, Vector-Based Type (and a good thing too, I found toward the end that I had misspelled 'Photoshop'!) Feature 34, Save for Web (of course) Feature 28, Hue/Saturation Feature 20, Free Transform (I used the nifty trick from the tutorial to fill a layer with noise and then make a clipping mask so that the noise gave the type the texture of sandblasted glass, also as per tutorial, I used an inner shadow on the type to give it subtle depth) Feature 18, Smart Objects I don't know if this counts, but I also used: Feature 40, Reset and Purge!!! I must admit I didn't ever think I would use that feature, but right at the start of my project I found the text boxes would not work - until I purged the settings. I found doing this project was a real eye opener for me (not being a Photoshop expert). When I watch the podcasts, I say to myself "Got that, got that, that's clever, must use that some day, got that", but I didn't realise how little had sunk in and had to watch many of the podcasts again. Mirror Darkly (Click the image for high-res.)

Photoshop Top 40 - submission #3

Odyssey (Click the image for high-res.) (original size is: 1683x1359) I this one I pictured a more apocalyptic scenario. A castle somewhere in the dark mountains of Transylvania, a place where the sun never shines and where the skies are in constant turmoil. I wanted to create a postcard-sort-of-thing, with an old feel to it. I started with the picture of a mountain top. From there on, I manually repainted the skies, warped some painted clouds into the swirly whirlpool in the middle and painted in some apocalyptic-looking thunderstorm. I then the old paper texture filter and adjusted the image colors, especially on the sky and on the castle. Finally, I added the whole batman-kinda logo on the sky, giving a cheesy hotel-logo feel to it. :P Tools used: Brush tool Pen tool (for the masking mostly) Dodge and Burn Hue/Saturation Liquify ...and other. Hope you enjoy it. :)


I edited the comment and now the picture preview is gone. Don't know what I did...
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Here's the original link again, in case something happened to it.

Amy on the phone

Amy on the Phone For high-res, click here. Features used: Feature 32, The Pen Tool
 Feature 31, The Brush Tool Feature 24, Curves Feature 22, The Healing Brush Feature 19, Luminance Blending I first Cropped the image, cleaned up the frame and image using the healing brush. Then curves and levels to brighten and add depth. Finally building a series of masks using the brush tool and pen tool and adding color with color balance and luminance blending.

The Bridge

Here's what I used: 1. Pen Tool 2. Free Transform 3. Dodge and Burn 4. Brush Tool 5. Hue/Saturation 6. Vector Based Type 7. Crop Tool The Bridge (Click the image for high-res.)

The Big Top 40!

Here is my "Big" Top 40 photoshopped image... Circus of Deke For high-res, click here. I just thought a 'circusy' theme would be nice at christmas... and everyone loves a spectacular theme! I portrayed Deke as the main showman (the Master), juggling the elements of Photoshop to symbolize the skill needed to use this program to the max... Colleen is there as a clown, but not because I think she is a clown! - but to symbolize that she is an important part of as a Clown is to a circus... if you get what I mean. The stars represent the magical force within photoshop, that enables us designers to create seamless pieces of art, sometimes without spotting it has been photoshopped, and sometimes totally wacky, and totally photoshopped. I basically used many techniques - Scaling tools, Hue Saturation to colour the Elephant, match Dekes Skintone... The brushes tools for stars, lens flares, glows, Gaussian blurs for shadows, Selection tools with refine edge for cutouts... etc etc....

Cool artwork! I like it :)

Cool artwork! I like it :)

now THIS is a nice piece !!

Yup ! THIS is a nice piece !!

M i c h a e l B R U N S f e l d


Hi Deke, hi people. For the Photoshop top 40 features i have created a fake ad for the Olympus E-620 that a lot of photoshoper out there want to win. So, here is some features from the TOP 40 i have used: The original image was a screen shoot from Olympus's website. 1- The Pen Tool 2- The Refine Edge 3- The Gradient Tool 4- Free Transform 5- Vector-Based Type 6- Hue/Saturation and so on.... Fake E-620 Ad For high-res, click here.

mb "Top 40" Submission #5

Plunges into TEXAS book cover . . . I began this cover by searching on Google for mosaics. I took pieces and created patterns and arranged them into a mosaic wall map. The rest of the elements were found, or photographed--->Every element is separate and composited together and color-corrected. Texas Spread For high-res, click here. *:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:* M i c h a e l B R U N S f e l d

mb "Top 40" Submission #4

2002_ANAGRAM John Knoll (who with his brother Thomas invented Photoshop) created an application that would generate anagrams from any word(s) you submitted. I received this on a floppy disk. I used it to create many ANAGRAMS of my name. Many were wonderful, and I listed them on the FRONT of the card. When you open the card, I saved the best for inside "Elf Behind Mr Claus." All type was created in Illustrator. The bottom half of Santa--all I needed-- pirated from a number of 50's illustrations, were comped together and WILDLY distorted and warped. The ELF is me in my Bowling Shirt and Pajamas . . . the rest is fabricated or simply painted. 2002 Anagram For high-res, click here. *:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:* M i c h a e l B R U N S f e l d

Dolphin Retreat

Free Transform, Curves, Brushes, on & on. Another attempt at an entry. Again I hope I've got it correct. Nothing particular was going through my head. Was just playing around and ended up with this. Dolphin Retreat For high-res, click here.