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Fun With RadLab

One of the things that is really nice about using Photoshop is using actions. There are lots out there and they can produce all kinds of effects on your images. I happen to really like RadLab. It’s easy to use, it’s fast and it’s completely flexible – you can adjust within the adjustments, if that makes any sense. I think, better than telling you about it, I should show you.

I just so happen to have the perfect image for this, too –  a photo I took of Dale, Luke and Patrick at Frank Harlow Day at the beginning of the month.

patrick_dale_luke_original for carole knits

This is the original – the straight-out-of-the-camera shot, to use a professional term. The first thing I did was remove that reenactor in the background. I used the clone stamp and the spot healing brush for that. I tweaked the contrast and exposure a bit. And then I opened up RadLab and started playing around.

patrick_dale_luke_sparta for carole knits

This effect is called Sparta. It washed it all out but still leaves color and I think it’s a pretty cool look for this period photo.


And this effect is called Troy. This one really washes everything out but leaves the red – which I love.

patrick_dale_luke_old_skool for carole knits

This one is called Old Skool and it looks a lot like an old tin type. At least, I think it does. All the color is removed and the blurred effect around the edges really adds some age to the photo.

patrick_dale_luke_homestead for carole knits

Finally, we have this effect called Homestead. Aptly named, I think, because it evokes a feeling of those old photos you see of pioneers on the prairie. It’s definitely a cool effect for this photo.

I honestly can’t decide which one is my favorite. Can you?

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I think my favorite is the Sparta version. But they’re all really cool. I love Photoshop. Wish I had more time to play with it (and re-learn to use many of the features again. . .). Really fun, Carole!

  2. I like Troy, but it’s a bit blown out. Can you adjust the strength of the application? I wonder how it would look if it were turned down a bit.

    A strong second choice is Sparta. I agree that the sepia, vintage look suits the subject matter.

  3. Sparta brings everything into sharper focus, as well as, gives it that old fashioned feel. They all look cool and could be used in different ways. I need to invest time, energy and dollars in a photo system that will work for me!

  4. I like Sparta. But they are all cool. I especially liked the part where you removed the person and fixed the spot. Amazing.

  5. I love the pop of red in Troy, and I also love the Old Skool – it really looks like it might have been a true battlefield photo. Love all these effects, and that picture is definitely frame-worthy!

  6. All of them are lots of fun but I like Sparta the best. Great shot by the way. I like how you did away with the guy in the back ground!

  7. My Fav is Sparta. When I first saw the Sparta version i thought ‘They look like real-looking ghosts appearing out of history.

    Gotta check out that program.

    Photography is on my brain. DD graduates from college tomorrow….. lots of photos tomorrow… It just seems like yesterday I used your idea for grad-hats-on-a-stick for her high school graduation party. Sue

  8. I think I like Sparta the best, too. Your eyes really focus on the men. Old Skool would be my second favorite, because I agree that it looks like an authentic tintype, but my eyes aren’t drawn to it the way they are in the Sparta version. Sparta is much more dramatic.

  9. Fun! Oh, they are all wonderful but Troy is my favorite!
    You have so much fun with your camera!

  10. My favorite is Sparta. I like some color in my photos. Sometimes the look of “old” is just too old! If that makes any sense…!

  11. Love this post! I need to really find some time to sit down and learn photo processing software. Thank you for sharing.

  12. They were all interesting but I really liked Sparta. i have a photo of my granddad and his parentts and aunt–homesteaders on a Nebraska farm and it looks more sepia than any of these photos.

  13. late to the party but agree that Sparta is best to keep some color, but I also love black and white and Old Skool seems perfect with the vintage vignette. you introduced me to RadLab and I am forever grateful! (do you use PicTapGo on your phone? it’s probably my favorite app)

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