Last Saturday I asked my wife what should I photograph during next week. We were walking on the street and she just prompted the first thing she saw: "Shoot bicycles!" And so I did…

But to give something extra, I first decided to try using fill-in flash, because days are already becoming shorter, and for many days it has been very cloudy and dark. Then I thought I could just as well move the camera during the exposure, zoom, or do something else during long exposure, just like I have done previously on some pictures of trees.

And when I opened the very first picture to edit it, I remembered this cool editing trick I have planned to try some day for very long time. It is really easy. And here how it goes…

First, open the picture on editor and downsize it for Web. I usually resize the pictures to 1024 pixels wide or high. Then on photo editing software that has layers, just duplicate the layer.

Next phase is to change the duplicate layer into outlines using some filter like 'Find Edges' (on Photoshop). Just try first with default values. Once you get hang of the technique, you can try some other values. If the tool gives you white lines on dark background, then just invert the layer. What you should get and what you want is dark outlines on light (white) background.

Finally just change the layer mode to something else. Try first 'Overlay' or 'Soft light', but try also other modes. You can also change the layer opacity to make the effect lighter. And that's it! Then you can just flatten the image into one layer and do the usual magic you have used to do: vignetting, curves, sharpening etc.

See more bicycles…


12 thoughts on “Outline

  1. Cool trick Sami and excellent results, makes the image more lively without looking like you obviously did something to it. I also like the great movement you have in this one. :up:

  2. Nicely done and interesting effect, Sami. Definitely gives the impression of movement.:yes:

  3. Thank you folks :happy: During the last weekend I tried the same using PicSay Android software and I actually manage to achieve something very similar :hat: I post the instructions for PicSay if anyone interested.

  4. On PicSay Android software:'Invert' to turn picture into negative.'Neon' and switch the color for white on top of the screen. Then move the slider on bottom all the way to left (minus).'Invert' again and you get picture with black outlines.Finally you may wish to increase saturation and brightness. If you wish to use vignette, then it's probably good idea to add it very first. EDIT: Same thing with sharpness. Add that before 'neon' because sharpness makes those black outlines even more saw edged.

  5. Interesting technique. I'm very lazy about processing, but I may try to give it a go.

  6. I'm lazy too 😆 But for me this is part of the hobby. During film era I was actually all too lazy to play with chemicals but now on computer the picture editing is almost too easy 😀 And on the other hand I like to do things step by step, instead of using some ready made scripts.


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