Four treatments of one photo in Adobe Photoshop

If you want to photograph the awesomeness of leaves and do not want to work too hard, the answer is a LED light pad. We used light pads in the times of botanical and entomological drawings to ink our illustrations on tracing paper. Yes, old stuff: ink, ink pens, tracing paper, tracing, stippling. It would take hours to make a drawing. Now I don’t draw anymore for work, I photograph. 

This super-short tutorial is for those who use Adobe Photoshop. It is possible that you can do it with other programs, I have no idea what else is out there. To obtain the photos above,

1) First place your leaf over the light pad and take a picture from above. This is your original, color picture on white background;

Original Photograph in color

2) add a black and white layer, and you will have your black and white picture on white background;

Image converted to black and white

3) Disable the black and white layer and add an invert layer, and you have the inverted color picture;

Inverted color image

4) Finally, enable the black and white layer again, and you will have a black and white picture on black background.  

Inverted black and white image

If you want to try this out, let me know if you have any questions! 

Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

5 thoughts on “Four treatments of one photo in Adobe Photoshop

  1. Very cool idea. I suspect you could probably do it by scanning the leaf on a flatbed scanner as well and using levels to blow the background out to pure white. I wonder how similar they would look.

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