We all have photos like the one above – it may not be of your cat, it might be of your dog or your kids. Those fun, relaxed pictures that aren’t exactly perfect but still good enough to keep. I’m going to show you how you can turn them into a nice portrait using PhotoPlus X5.
And turning is exactly what we are going to do first. I clicked on Image > Rotate > Image 180 to get it the right way up.
Next, add a Gradient Map (from the Adjustments tab). The default setting gives your image a classic black & white effect.
Then apply a Lens Filter. Again, I used the default colour, which is orange, but you can use any colour you like (just click on the colour box to change it). I kept the density at 50 too.
Change the Levels (again, added from the Adjustments tab). After adding the Levels adjustment, and if yo are going for a black background, change the Input to 10. This makes the image a bit darker, so the next stage (making the background black) will be easier.
In the left-hand toolbar, select the Burn Tool (it’s in the fly-out menu from the Red Eye Tool). Change the Tones to Highlights (in the top context toolbar) and make the brush size big (I used 600). With the Background selected (in the Layers tab), burn away the background until it is completely black.
Next, use it to soften some of the highlights. I changed the Exposure to 10% and, instead of long strokes, I just did single clicks on the areas I wanted to darken.
Then use the Dodge Tool to highlight some of the dark areas. Again, make the Exposure 10%.
Finally, I cropped the image slightly.