Photography tool - image stitching.

11 SKN electrical office front Aberdeen oil and gas industry

Good morning, i hope that you are well. 

Today i'd like to share a quick thought on how you can use image stitching to over come problems.

I appreciate that this is nothing new, but with some fore-thought it can become a powerful tool in your arsenal. 

I was commissioned to shoot an office building. The front had no access due to very limited space and parked cars in my way. Even with the lens at 24mm it was simply impossible to fit the building into frame. So stitching is the only way forward. 

The above image was created with around 25 images. 

Here you can see the images used, 

the camera was mounted on a tripod and i systematically panned left to right making sure to over lap alot. The building took 3 passes.

Always best to have more frames than needed, than have pieces missing down the line. 

With each up date of Photoshop CC i have noticed that it is becoming much better at stitching. 

In the past it would have not been able to do this, and for these cases i use Autopano Giga 3.0 stitching software, but photoshop managed ok with this. 

Now by using a tilt shift lens, and/or a parallax tripod head, your job in post will be so much easier, but as i do not own either of these i had to make do. The majority of my time was spent straightening the stitched image. 

As with all panos, shoot in manual, turn white balance off auto so all the images remain consistent. 

I hope that this helps, and when you are trying to shoot a subject larger than your frame, that you remember this technique. 





Photoshop short cuts - Free download.

London veiw from the Shard photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden

Hi all,

I hope that you are well. 

As you know there are hundreds of photoshop short cuts, and when you know them how much easier life can be. 

Like most i downloaded a list, and it just sat in my downloads folder.

Here is an idea I've been trying out and it works a treat. 

I incorporated the list in to some images, i now use them as desk top images and screen savers. This way the information is easily accessible while i am working, and even when not editing by viewing this information it helps sink into the grey matter. 

London Battersea power station photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden

If you would like to try this out, please click HERE 

and you can down load these images in Hi-rez and use them as your desk top image. 

London morelondon photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden


If you like this, then please feel free to share on your social media, 

giving credit to Lee Ramsden @





Helvellyn composite images.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image green traversing death climb advanced composite photoshop tutorial lancashire photographer retoucher tutor educator lessons

Hi, i thought id share the images that i used to create the image bellow.

The top left image was me putting my idea down as a drawing.

The Helvellyn page was created in photoshop with taking some information from Wiki.

Also i used a wood effect background which was warped and pulled about to make it fit into the scene.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image advanced composite photoshop tutorial

Helvellyn Composite.

Morning, I thought id share a composite image that i created recently for a bit of fun.

I am still yet to climb Striding edge, but will complete this in the summer.

As i have mentioned in previous posts, i do these type of images as i really enjoy thinking of a concept and then trying to execute the idea, and if nothing else it certainly hones my photoshop skills making me quicker and understand all the tools more in depth.



Composite with a snow machine in the garden.

lee ramsden, snow, cold, photoshop, composite, ski, snow board, blizzard, professional, advertising, tree, sun, garden, snow machine, fake, frozen

   Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

Good morning, hope that you had a good weekend.

The above is an image that i wanted to play with for a little while now, i have been commissioned to take a portrait of someone advertising a snow jacket.

Where possible i like to do a run of the shoot before the client, to iron out anything the comes up, plus gives their design department a good idea of the finished product and we can tweak it to their taste and needs.

lee ramsden, behind the scene off camera lighting elinchrom rotalux deep octa

  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO100

This was the set up, pretty straight forward really. Two light sources, both camera left. The elinchrom ranger in a large octa positioned in front of myself, so the light was feathered and soft.

with a bare elinchrom quadra behind back lighting the snow.

With a snow machine you can see on the left of the image.

The image was shot with grey paper background intentionally to aid in the photoshop work afterwards.

Image set up and execution around 45 mins, and all photoshop work an hour and half.

Some times these images can take a lot more, but having the final goal in your mind and through experience you can achieve that goal much quicker and have a nicer final product.


  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

The "ryan brenizer" Method.

Pregnancy Pregnant Birth Sunset Balloons Woods Woodlands ryan brenizer technique stitched photoshop multi image Autopano Giga software

Thought id explain a little into a new technique that i have tried out.

This was my first attempt and so go easy on me.

For you out there that have not yet came across the "Ryan Brenizer method" here is a

link to his work

This image was made up of 50 images.

To create the DOF, you need to be to fairly close to your subject, using a focal length of around 85mm+ and with  the highest aperture you can go,

this was shot at f1.4.

Take the shot of your subject, keeping your feet still, pan around overlapping the shots by around 50%

Below you can see the images used. click on the image to see them larger. 

Kelly Moss Ramsden pregnancy ryan brenizer how to technique photo stiching

To create the f1.4 i used a neutral density filter and as you can see used an Elinchrom Quadra to light the subject.

I have found Autopano Giga much more accurate at stitching then photoshop.

Kelly moss ramsden pregnancy ryan brenizer technique how to

Here is the final stitched image in Photoshop. 

You can see the light stand and parts missing to the image, 

this was my mistake, i did not overlap the images enough when shooting them, and so the software struggled to identify the gaps. 

A little re-touching, deleted the light stand, added some warmth i arrived at the final image. 

*Few tips -

that i have learnt and will be putting in place next time. 

Ill be shooting in jpeg rather then RAW, 

using the D800 the raw file sizes are immense, and kept filling up the buffer, really slowing down the process. If i shoot correctly colour balanced jpegs the post processing will be much quick too. 

Overlap much more each image to give the software a fighting chance.

Oh and not use a moving subject like balloons, boy that didn't half make the Photoshop work a head ache... worth it in the end though. 

Well thats enough of my ramblings on, hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

As always any questions or comments feel free to contact, 

either on here or through the contact page on my




A subtle technique, but goes a long way..

Hello, here is a little tip which i have recently picked up and thought id share as it makes such a lovely difference.

When working on images of buildings here is how i now add contrast.

Rather then use contrast adjustment layer, i created two levels layers, one darker and one lighter - both with black layer masks.

Now take your time, and paint in, where the face of a building is lighter, make it lighter and the dark side darker. It takes a little time, but certainly gives your image much more depth and a 3D feel to them.

Tutorial Photoshop dodge burning layer

 This image has the effect turned off. 

The extra layer you can see is a contrast adjustment layer to the lighter layer.

Tutorial Photoshop how to make your image look more professional

Here is the final image with the contrast technique added. 

Subtle but certainly makes a lot of difference to the image.

canary wharf London Photography Train line Long Exposure light trails

The view from the Shard London HDR image break down.

Hi, hope your keeping well and have had a good weekend. 

Here are some images from the previous London landscape image that i have posted. 

I wanted to show the images used to create the final image. 

I clamped the camera down to the handrail using the Manfrotto Magic arm and using a cable release i rattled a few bracketed frames. 

I have included the metadata on each image, but other then converting to jpg, they are straight from the camera and in the order the camera took them and i added to Nik softwares HDR efex pro 2.

London Shard The View HDR image Photography tutorial Nikon D800 award winning

Here is the first base image. In face i quite like this exposure but i personally prefer having the extra range to play with. 


And finally this is the out put from the software. As you can see it has little punch, no halos. or even much contrast going on. But the key is to get a nice base to start with, and then bring this into photoshop and make it your own.

I have tried many different HDR software on the market and not one will you be able to click process- done.

But i do think that this is a good thing, no 2 images will ever be processed the same and so this way it makes you take your time and make something unique and more realistic.

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

Here is the final image. 



Carcassonne Castle edit.

Carcassonne bridge to the caste at dawn

Happy Sunday... 

Here i wanted to show how i got to this final image of Carcassonne. 

This is made up of 3 different exposure images. 

It is technically a HDR image, but it has not been tone mapped, i used the exposures as different layers and masked them in. 

Carcassonne France, Photo Photograph photoshop layers how to edit

Here is the base image as it was out of the camera, 


This image was taken for the exposure of the bridge and Castle.


I used a layer mask to only reveal the parts of the image i wanted to be brighter.


Here is the 3rd image taken, for a darker exposure.


I used the 3rd darker exposure to paint into the sky to darken it and add some drama.


Here the image was cleaned up, from the lights in the windows, and other highlights that i found distracting.

There was a blown out building, which is grey in this image,

I used a part from the darkest exposure and masked it in,

as you can see, it doesnt share the same colouring as its surroundings, and so i used various adjustment layers to make it fit in.

 Contrast and Photo filter were used to get the temperature right.


Here i found the tree  - bush thing very distracting and so i clone stamped it out, on the bottom right of the screen.


Now for some punch and texture,

I use Nik softwares colour effects pro. I apply this to all of the image but then mask back in the effect to where i want it.


To give it a little more punchier contrast, i like to use Nik softwares Silver Efects pro,

by making a black and white punchy layer,


This black and white layer now has a blend mode of Luminosity.


 I found that the sky was to cool, for buildings. And so with adding an adjustment layer of Photo filter

I warmed up the scene.


Finally, the more i looked at the image, i found the water to be extremely distracting and anoying,

and so i created a new layer and painted it with black. I lowered the Opacity to regain some of the texture.

Once again if you have any questions or comments id love to hear from you.



Adding Leaves to an image...

Carcassonne France lover on romantic walk

Happy New Year!

I wanted to show a subtle part of the above image.

I felt when looking at this scene, the background just behind Myself and the Mrs, was to similar to our clothing and wanted to break it up abit.

With large piles of fallen leaves on the ground,  it would be good fun to add some of these.

Photoshop tutorial how to add leaves to your image and make them look more professional

Here is the in camera image,

Lots of distractions, sign posts and rubbish on the ground.

Where our dark tops are, they blend in with the background around us.

Carcassonne adding composite material to your images

With the camera set on a trip pod, i got the Mrs to throw some leaves in the air.

Carcassonne leaves throw adding texture to your photos

Another shot of some leaves.

As the camera is on a tripod, it makes editing much easier.

As im now using the Nikon D800 camera, the file sizes are crazy large, and so instead of importing every image as layers into the one file, I simply made selections of just the leaves that i wanted and moved them onto the final image.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, id love to hear from you.



The Edit of the Tash image.

Bearded Lee Ramsden

Following this image, i thought i would post on how i got to this final image from the out of camera shot below. I have included many screen grabs to try and explain how i got to the finished image. 

Bearded Lee Ramsden photoshop tutorial layers

Here is the original image, taken in my front room. You can see the TV on the left, but knowing that i wanted to do a cut out, i placed a piece of white card behind me to make life easier later on in photoshop. 

To make the cut out, i make a rough selection with the quick selection tool.

Then click onto the refine edge button.

Here photoshop opens up new dialogue box, I use the brush tool to paint around the edge, and photoshop does an amazing job of making a tighter selection. It works on contrast, and hence why i added the white card at the start so my hair and skin would stand out better.

Once you are happy with your selection i output to a new layer with a layer mask.

I added a blank layer, using the gradation tool made a spot light effect background.

Here i did some dodge and burning to the clothing and skin.

If you compare this image to the one above, the lighting on the neck is harsh and unpleasing to the eye.

with all these little tweaks they are only very subtle but they add up and make the final image nicer to the eye.


I wanted to add some texture so my hair and shirt. 

Looks good doesnt it..... Nope of course not, but when adding a filter to an image you need to be selective with it. 

Here i added a layer mask and painted back where i wanted the texture to be.

Now to work on the background, I thought the background is flat not working, and so i am adding a texture. I quite like this pattern.

By playing with the Opacity and Blend modes you can create very different looks.

This back ground is the same as the image about but by dropping the Opacity to 40% it is much more subtle.

The blend mode is now set to soft light. I checked them all out, but this one was the nicest.

The background i felt was too smooth and so needed to be roughed up a little.

I added this texture of a stone wall to the image.

Again play with the Opacity and blend modes, to make slight subtle changes.

The colour i felt needed to be spiced up a tad.

I added a saturation adjustment layer. But by clipping this layer to the one below it then only effects the background.

 Here is the finished image.

I appreciate that i move pretty fast from layer to layer.

If you are getting lost or confused by any stage please feel free to comment or contact me and i will explain a stage in greater detail.


An Edit from Glyn Dewis course.

Glyn Dewis Steven Lewington Dave Clayton course Comic book images NAPP UK pro WWE wrestler

With having a couple of images, one of Dave above and Steve below taken in a studio, i wanted to play and create something a bit different. The lighting and images of the guys were taken on a Glyn Dewis course, but these edits are made up of my own ideas and my own stock images. 

Attending a photoshop based course, you learn techniques, and tips on how to improve.

I find that it also inspires me to push the creativity and want to make up my own images.




Glyn Dewis Photoshop Course.

I recently attended a second course ran by

Glyn Dewis

and was thoroughly impressed.

Here are some images that were taken and edited on the day.

Glyn Dewis photo composite training image of Dave Clayton NAPP UK

Glyn teaches you how to take an image in the studio like the above, and then how to edit to the one below 

Glyn Dewis finished image photoshop world kelby one trainer

I have attended a couple of these courses now and throughly enjoy them, No matter what level of "photoshopper" you are, you will learn heaps from the new Kelbyone Photoshop world tutor.

Glyn's style of teaching is fantastic, he has loads of energy and you can feel the passion of what he teaches he clearly loves. I would strongly reccomend a course of his.

At the end of the course Glyn doesnt just shut the door behind you... The majority of the class heads over to the local curry house which is a great way to chill out and chat with like minded people.

The model above is the UK NAPP founder Dave Clayton, who is a great guy. And as you can see likes to dress up and have a laugh.

Cheers Guys, once again another fantastic course, learnt loads, met some great people and had a good crack in the process which is what its all about.

Blend Modes to add textures.

Police Composite photoshop tutorial


In this post i will try and explain how i added the grassy texture that you see in the foreground of the above image.

Police Composite photoshop layers

Here is the image part finished. I liked the layout of the positioned pieces but i felt that the ground needed some more texture to it.  With there being some patches of grass to the left and right of the concrete ground. I thought that it would be fun to see if a grass texture would look cool, plus give it a distressed look.


I found this grass image on Deviant Art. Selecting the move tool, drag it onto your composite workspace.


There you go job done.....

Nahhhh, now we need to make it fit into our image. I firstly tried various blend modes to see which best made it fit.


The blend mode Overlay looks super cool for this texture. I liked the way sone of the underneath concrete layer was showing through. 

Adding a layer mask filled with black, with using a white brush you can now "paint" in your new texture. 

If you feel that it is a little strong you can also play with Opacity slider until you find it working for you. 

If you have any questions relating to this post or regarding some photoshop techniques, please feel free to message me and i will try and help. 


Blend modes to merge images.

Police Composite photoshop blend modes

Hi Guys in this post i will try and explain on how you can blend images together using blend modes.

I will use the flock of birds as the example from the image above and bellow images.

Police Composite photoshop layers

Firstly i need to find an image of a flock of birds. This one i think came from Deviant Art.

I am over time taking more and more of my own images that i will be able to use in future projects.

When sourcing images try and find ones where the background is uncluttered. It will make life so much easier in the long run.

I used the Lasso tool to make a rough selection of the birds that i want to use.


By pressing CMD/J (mac users) OPT/J (PC users) it will put your selection on to its own layer.

Select the move tool, and drag this new layer onto your composite work image.


With the birds now in your composite workspace its time to try and make them fit.

I noticed with the birds layer that they were shot of a nice flat grey background. And so i thought i would try and blend them in before making some crazy selections.


:-  A quick way to go through your blend modes is to make sure you are using the move tool. Then by holding down the shift key and pressing the + or - keys you can toggle through the blend modes quickly and easily viewing which one best suites your layer.

As you can see the current blend mode is set to normal and so nothing is happening.


Here we have changed the layer to SoftLight, its not right but we are getting there...


By using the Blend mode of Pinlight you can see how well the layer blends away the grey leaving just the birds showing. 

I was lucky and this one blended nearly flawlessly, but sometimes you will find a blend mode that is close but just doesn't quite work, in these circumstances i would clip a curves adjustment to the layer being blended, and by adjusting the highlights or blacks it will then fit into your scene more better. 


If you have any questions or would like more information on any of this please feel free to contact me. 

Police Composite image.

Police Composite final image

Recently I have had a play with a large composite.

I have for some time now wanted to have a play trying to blend multiple images into one image.

Now my attempt is not pixel perfect, by any stretch of the imagination,

but it was certainly a great learning curve. And something very enjoyable.

I have previously posted in my blog, it’s a great way to keep up to date with the tools of Photoshop

and to try and keep your work flow fast.

It is amazing how quickly you can get skill fade, and end up doing things the long way round.

Your selections, dodging, burning will come on leaps and bounds the more practice you do.

I have included some screen grabs to show where I started and what I have



A starting place of a background from iStock photo.


Straightened the lines and cloned in more of a foreground.


Started adding some elements to the image, i didn't like some in the end and so didn't make it to the final image.


Happy with the placements of the elements. Added a texture over the ground. Just need to render the image with shadings, colouring and few little bits which certainly take the most amount of time in the whole process.


I have enlarged some of the small details so you can see.

I must of been in a real dark mood when i designed this image ;0)

Dungeness image edit. Adding colour to an image.

Dungeness train track colourised red landscape image

Dungeness train track colourised red landscape image

In this post I am going to try and explain how i edited the image above.

I will be using Photoshop CS5 and the plug-ins, Silver Efex pro and HDR efex pro by Nik Software. Plug ins are just a much quicker way to do something, every thing in a plug in does can be done just using the tools in Photoshop but I would like to show how I do things.

If you are totally stuck and would like to know how certain plug in effects are created in Photoshop please ask and ill try and answer.

Dungeness HDR 9 exposure image explained

To create this image I took 9 exposures 0.7 of a stop. 1 correct exposure and then 4 bellow and 4 over.


For HDR processing at the moment I am loving HDR efex pro by Nik software, I used to be a big fan of Photomatix but Nik are kicking ass at the mo.


Selecting the images to open in Photoshop through the HDR efex Pro plug in.


On the left you can see all the presets. My style with HDR tone mapping I prefer a natural look, but there are plenty to choose from, so I would recommend to be creative and experiment.

This time I have chosen realistic strong. Once clicking done the image opens into Photoshop.


As you can see the image is pretty flat and not a lot of contrast. But I personally like to start like this and then I can add depth and contrast in a way I like too.

I duplicated the background layer by clicking (cmd/control) and the “J” key.

As you can see there are some dust spots, probably from my lens or the cameras sensor, and so I used the healing brush tool. I prefer this then the spot healing tool, as I can pick different sample areas to maintain textures.


Now for a little contrast, I opened colour effex pro from the filters menu and chose pro contrast. I like the way it changes the colourings too. On the left of the red line is the before and to the right the after.

By clicking done it opens the image back to photoshop into a new layer.


Next for the Black and White conversion.

I again used colour effex pro.


Now to boost the textures, I used Silver effex pro this time. I upped the structure till I was happy with the effect.


I wanted to lighten some of this image. My fave way to dodge and burn is too create a new layer. Fill it with 50% grey and change the blend mode to soft light.

Using the Dodge tool I brightened up the image to where I was happy.


The dodge and burn layer on its own to show what was painted.


Ok now to add some colour. Clicking on the adjustments choose Hue/Saturation.


This dialogue box opens. Too add colour globally click into the colourize box.

Moving the Hue slider you can change the colour and playing with the saturation slider you can create any colour and brightness to your taste.

For a desaturated look which you see alot, if you play with the layers opacity, you can create some cool effects.


Clicking on the layer option at the top of the screen you can flatten the image and save it. 


How to add a Frame/ Boarder to an image.

How to add a sloppy boarder to your photos
How to add a boarder to your images to make them feel more professional

A few people have asked how do I add the frames that I use on some of my images.

Well its very quick and easy once you have created a frame.

In this demonstration im going to show you a grungy, sloppy boarder.


For this boarder I started a new image and painted around the edge with black.

I added a small amount of blur to smooth the edges a touch.

Once you are happy,  open an image that you would like to add the frame too.

Go back to the frame document, making sure that the frame layer is highlighted. Select the move tool. Click and hold onto the frame. Drag the frame up to the bar on the top.  Hover over the image bar which the frame is to be added to



In this example you can see the frame layer is called Sloppy Boarder and I am adding it to the image Kelly Steps. I dragged the frame up to the top, hovered over the Kelly Steps box and that image will open in front of you.


I moved the frame down, you are still holding down the mouse/pen, if you hold down the shift key aswell before you release the new frame layer will center its self onto the new image.

Ok so your frame is now onto the image you would like, next we need to move it and posisstion it nicely onto the image. You will need to work with the layers pallet.

If you do not see your layers on the image. Go upto the top bar and you can find the layers under the window drop down box.


Now with the layers visible, making sure the layer with the frame is highlighted, you need to transform the frame. You can do this by clicking on the drop down box edit then transform – free transform.

A short cut for this is to hold down the (on mac) CMD key and press “T” or windows CTL key and “T”

Now the frame has a line around it and little square handles in the corners. By clicking on the corners you can drag it around to fit your image. Press enter or the tick above, it will come out of the free transform and you now have a nice frame around you image.


You can be creative and play around with different coloured frames, even try different blend modes, here I painted around the edge of the previous black frame and changed the blend mode to screen. The black disappears leaving a cool looking white frame.


There are numerous website where you can download frames/boarders for free.

This one was a free frame to look like a large 5x4 film. See this image even has sctraches to add an old used film effect.  I added this above an image I like. By playing with different blend modes you will see the grey dissapear leaving a cool frame and some textures to your image.


You can create a frame to promote your website.


Or even a wooden effect frame.

If you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment.


Glyn Dewis Workshop

Glyn Dewis photoshop training course Dave Clayton

Well the other week i attended my first studio workshop ran by a Glyn Dewis. (UK's version of the photoshop guys) and i was highly impressed.

It was a half day workshop titled

"a workshop full of character"

and the aim is to give you the tools needed to try and create a fun image like the one above. Glyn sets up the lighting but gives you pretty much a free Raine to move the model where you want to in the light, and to pose him on how you see fit.

Once you are happy and have the image that you are after, you all then go through some photoshop techniques on how to create something different. Glyn shows you how to improve an image up to a nice respectable standard... and then the fun starts and you are taught how to push things and come up with great concepts and the fun really begins...

The day is broken up as follows-

  • RAW Conversions
  • Cleaning up your images (Dust spots etc…)
  • Removing Blemishes
  • Eyes (Brightening, add contrast, colour and sharpening)
  • Creating Texture/Adding Details
  • Dodging and Burning
  • Cut Outs (Getting the most out of Photoshop CS5 Refine Edge Command + Extracting using Channels for those using earlier versions of Photoshop)
  • Adding in the Background
  • Creating ‘The Look’
  • :)
  • Special Effects and lots more
Glyn Dewis photoshop composite training photo of Dave Clayton NAPP
Glyn Dewis training KelbyOne Media
Glyn Dewis training Dave Clayton Office background NAPP

My finished image, I can not take the credit for the lighting on Dave Clayton, who was a fantastic model. Or the style he was dressed. But i did really enjoy finding the stock images and coming up with a theme to produce the finished result.

Glyn Dewis Group course attendees photoshop composite course