how to use the marquee selections

How to Use the Marquee Tools in Photoshop

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments


Push your limit by using selections.   You can do so much when you select an area in your photograph to express yourself with your work.  If you have a vision but just don’t know how to change it…try using a selection to get you started.  Let me show you how.

Marquee Tools


You’ll learn about the various selection tools.

Rectangular Marquee Tool

Drag your mouse on the image to make a rectangular selection, then let go of the mouse.

Square Marquee Tool

To make a square selection use the rectangular marquee.  Hold your shift key and drag your mouse on your image, then let go.

Elliptical Marquee Tool

Drag your mouse on the image to make an elliptical selection, then let go of the mouse.

Circular Marquee Tool

To make a circle selection use the elliptical marquee.  Hold your shift key and drag your mouse on your image, then let go.

Specify one of the selection options in the options bar above when using the marquee tools.  See below for more details on what you can do here.

Selection Options

This is where you’ll add, remove or intersect selections.

Style Options

Normal style will give you the freedom of making the selections you want.

Fixed is when you set the size of your selection using pixels.

Ratio is good to use when you want to select a common print size.  You’ll be able to ‘see’ how the print will be cropped.


Select Anti-alias to soften your edges when you use the elliptical or circle marquee tool.


If you have questions feel free to ask, I check every comment.  This is part of a mini-course I did for our membership program.  They also received a PDF and images downloads for them to practice with.  It’s a detailed selection course that one of our members ask for.  This is what we do to help photographers to move forward in their photography journey.

If you’re interested in our membership program you can check it out HERE.

before i made selections in photoshop marquee tool

Before I used the Marquee Tools

before i made selections in photoshop marquee tool

After I used the Marquee Tools

SJPmembership Program's Mini-Course

Topics we discuss in this Mini-Course:

Lesson 1: Rectangular Marquee tool, Elliptical Marquee Tool, Single Row Marquee Tool and Single Column Marquee Tool

Lesson 2: Lasso Tool, Polygonal Lasso Tool, Magnetic Lasso Tool

Lesson 3: Quick Selection/ Magic Wand

Lesson 4: Quick Mask / Bonus Lesson

Have questions ask below, I’m here for you!



how to blur your photo background in photoshop

How to Blur your Image with Your Awesome Subject in Focus

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments

Tips on how to blur your image keeping the focal point in focus.

In this video, I share a question I had from Debbie about blurring my background in the flower shot below.  I share the Gaussian blur tool but this technique can be used with any blur tool you’d like to. Before we start you’ll need to be able to work with a program that has layers and masks. Today I’m using Photoshop.


Make a copy of your layer with the image on it. Duplicate the first layer 2 times.

Rename layers so you don’t get confused.

Use your favorite selection tool and select the main focal point or everything that you don’t want to have a blur.

Go to layer>layer mask>reveal a selection.

Double click on your mask and click on ‘Select and Mask’.

Clean up the mask.  Take your time this is important.

Before you click ok make sure that you have the output settings on Layer Mask.  See the video above for more details in this area:

TIP: Fix any spots in your mask (if needed).  Only have the layer selected that has the mask on it.  Click alt/option use your brush tool to remove white spots that you missed, click alt/option to get back to where you were.

If you do the steps above make sure you add all of the eyes back to each layer so we can use them.

Now select the Blur layer by clicking on it.  You’re going to select your main subject again.  This doesn’t need to be perfect.

Click Edit > Fill > Content Aware Fill



Now it’s time to play with your Blur Tools

Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur  (but again you can use any of the blur tools)

Adjust your radius in the popup and push ok.

Next, deselect the marching ants control/command “D” if they’re still around.

Now click on the top layer and BAM! You now know how to blur your image with your awesome subject in focus! Congratulations you did it!  I knew you could 😉

If you have questions feel free to ask below.




Process Images for Feeling Bonus

How To Process Your Images to Express Your Feelings

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments

Express Your Feelings with Your Images

One of the biggest complaints I get is that people are frustrated because they “see” an image in their mind and they can’t or don’t know how to process to get the image from the mind to computer and printer.  So I decided to do a series to help you really focus on expressing yourself.

It takes time and persistence but you can learn if you really focus and play with your work. So let’s get started!

Tulip of the Angles

Tulip of the Angles

Take pictures of what you love.

You must really love the subject and how you took your shots.  If you’re not really digging the actual photograph then you won’t take the time to focus on details in post-processing.

Homework from the video: Photograph your main subject in a variety of ways. Work on your lighting and what’s in focus…pick images that you like. Merge them together (if needed) and clean them up. NOTE: Make sure your negative space isn’t too busy.

You don’t have to have several images to merge together but again you must have a shot that you’re really excited about.

Process your work to the extreme but always remember what you feel about it.

Homework from the video: Work on your image using the tips I’ve given you from this video. Remember what you do to your work must give you a feeling within yourself. It’s easy to forget what you really want to express when you’re experimenting.

NOTE: If you need textures you can get them free from me click below.…

Process your work in Layers and use Masks to make it feel.

Work on your image using the tips I’ve given you from this video. Remember what you do to your work must give you a feeling within yourself, don’t lose that.

Bonus video… It’s time to take your work to the next level.

How to Process Your Images to Express Your Feelings Bonus video is for those of you who want to be professional, who wants to take the time to really dive into your feeling with detail.

It would be good to keep this blog post link in your calendar so you can come back to the steps.  You won’t be able to do this in one day for sure.  I put this up on youtube and gave everyone two weeks to do their homework. I know these videos will help you think and feel your work with the steps I’ve talked about in the videos.

If you have questions please ask!  I’m here with you…and I always check my comments. 🙂



internet images, pictures for internet

How to Change Large Image Files for the Internet

By | Lightroom, On1 Photo Raw, Photoshop, Post Processing | 4 Comments

How to Change Image Files for the Internet using Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and On1 Raw


I’ve had some questions asked about how to get your high-resolution JPEG images ready for the Macro Chat Live Show.  That’s a good question and to tell you the truth I also thought this would help you prep for Social Media sharing.  That can be confusing too.

In this Quick Dive video I share with you easy steps on how to change your large image file into files for the Internet using Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and On1 Raw.

I also found a helpful site so you can see what sizes works well with various social platforms.  Check it out at the bottom of this article.

Adobe Lightroom


Click on Export on the bottom left in your Library Module

Click on where you want the file to go too once completed

Change to JPEG and sRGB in the File Settings

Image Size for High Resolution Files uncheck the Resize to Fit and change resolution to 100

Image Size check Resize to Fit and add what you want the file size to be.  Check ‘don’t enlarge’ and change resolution to 100

Click Export

Adobe Photoshop


Click on File on the top left area

Go to Export > Save for Web (Legacy)

Bottom right Image Size leave alone for High Resolution jpegs or change size for social media

Keep Percent to 100 for High Resolution JPEG

Under Preset click on small arrow for drop-down to select jpeg if you don’t see it and quality to 100

Check Convert to sRGB

Bottom left click Preview if you would like to see it on the internet.

Click Save

On1 Photo Raw


Click on Resize on the right

In Document Size change resolution to 100 and don’t change file sizes for high-resolution files

In Document Size keep resolution to 100 and change file sizes for social media and/or your website dimensions

Click bottom right on Export Icon

Set your Location on were you want the file to go after you’re done

In File Type click on small arrow if you don’t see JPEG.  Select JPEG

Bottom right-click on Export

My example image

joshua tree rocks

Joshua Tree Rocks – Light painting during Blue Hour

Story behind this image:

I shot this during the blue hour.  I took a large flashlight to highlight the beautiful rocks in the desert of California.  I love to photograph desert landscapes (if you couldn’t tell 🙂 ).  We had a great time camping!  Kevin helped a Swedish couple with their RV and they gave us a bottle of champagne.  I love Swedes 🙂 What an evening….I had champagne, enjoyed a nice camp fire and I shot this image playing with light painting.  Yes, I was one happy lady.

I want you to know that when I share on social media I don’t change all the sizes that the link below gives us.  That would take forever…I see what’s the minimum and go from there.

Click here to help you see the various sizes for Social Platforms. It really is a great reference.

Feel free to ask questions below or just say Hi…I read every comment.


Janice Sullivan

Change a Drab Landscape into a Beautiful Landscape

By | Lightroom, Photoshop | No Comments

Take your Drab Landscape photograph and change it into a Beautiful Landscape

Have you been with family and friends in some great places and just don’t have the time to set up your tripod and camera? Or you’re learning how to bracket exposures but don’t have the time to really understand how it works?

As a photographer or photographer novice. It’s frustrating! I know this has happened to most of us…so when Julie Miller asked me how do I take a drab looking photograph and make it pop I knew this would be great for a mini dive! BTW, check out her beautiful jewelry hereShe is one of our members…crazy happy to have her with us!


So here is what I do and I hope it helps you-

My favorite way to fix these shots is in Adobe Photoshop but if I just want to add a bit of fun I’ll Split Tone in Lightroom


Develop Module > Increase the Shadows > Decrease the Highlights > Play with Contrast and Clarity

> Split Tone play with highlights and shadow squint my eyes just a bit I move the slider Saturation to %50…move to see what I like. Do the same thing to the Shadow area.  I next play the amount of saturation in both highlight and shadow and if I need to, I’ll adjust the Balance to more of the Shadow or more of the Highlight color.

Last part I usually add a bit of vignette.

Now to my favorite…

In Photoshop – this has more steps but is my go to workflow.

fix your landscape pictures

Before and After taking a drab landscape to a pop landscape.

Copy your layer > Bottom Layer is highlighted > Command J

Image > Mode > LAB Color > Don’t Flatten

Image > Adjustments > Curves

In the Channel area click on the drop-down to “a”

Drag the Dark and Light tabs to the next Vertical line see below.

lab adjustments

In LAB adjust your channels.


Now click on the same drop-down and choose “b” and do the same steps as you did for the “a” channel.

Click OK

Go back to Image > Mode to change back to RGB

If the color seems too much change the Opacity a bit. I notice that sometimes the reds maybe too much so I will isolate in:

Filter > Camera Raw Filter> HSL/Grayscale to reduce the saturation in the reds/oranges if needed.

If your sky needs more pop, in your Camera Raw Filter area:

Graduated Filter > drag down the filter line > Dehaze

Take a couple of these quick steps and put a huge smile on your face seeing the fun times you had while photographing landscapes that just didn’t work for you at the time.



Add Water to Your Photo Work

By | Photoshop | 4 Comments

Today I wanted to share with you how to add water to your images. As always I like to push the limits to see what you can do with plugins and various software programs. I make so many mistakes, or I’ll call them trial and errors. 😉   Sometimes I’ll spend hours on an image while playing with software (digital darkrooming) and then after a day or two come back to the work and ask myself, what the hell I was thinking while processing that image. I really do laugh out loud! But even when I don’t like what I’ve done in post work, I know that I have learned something new from it.   With that said I wanted to share the tools of the flood program that I had fun with working on my 2017 Calendar.

This is a detailed video explaining each slider. If you go to the YouTube video, I broke up the time slots if you just want to watch a segment of the video. The plugin is only $33! You can also receive 30% off that price until the end of November using: SJPFLOOD

This is the completed work from the video:

Flooded Flower Fun!


I know you’ll have fun!


Cheers to plug-ins!

Janice Sullivan

Sharpen your Image with a Photoshop Action

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments

We all need to sharpen our images after we’ve cleaned them up so today I would like to teach you how to sharpen your images in a faster and easier way.

It can be so monotonous, but not when you record an action in Photoshop! So let’s get to it and talk about how to sharpen your images with Photoshop actions.

Tip: I always use the search tool in Photoshop if I can’t remember the tool location.



Photoshop has pre-made actions for you to play with, but when you find yourself continually completing the same steps on your images, then it’s time for you to record an action! Click on Window>Actions, you’ll see this:



Now that I’ve shown you all of that, let’s record a sharpening action:

Open any image in Photoshop to get this started.



As you can see, there are several icons. Hover over them with your mouse to see what they are. This basically is the area where you will make a new action, record it and save it. Click on the second to the last icon (next to the trashcan) to start your action.


Name the new action, “Sharpening”.  You can set defaults, assign a color & function key, but today I left all of that alone.


Now click on the record button.

click record


You will now see a red bottom at the bottom of the action panel.  This means you are recording every step you do in Photoshop.


red button

Next duplicate layer:

duplicate layer


Name that layer Sharpen High Pass press OK:

sharpen highpass name


Make sure that layer is highlighted:

highlight layer

Next, click on the area in the red circle and click on Insert Menu Item:


You will see this pop up…don’t do anything yet:




Go to Filter > Other > High Pass…after this, click on the OK button.




instert menute

Click on STOP the button in the red square:stop-action


Now you are ready to use the sharpening action. Open any photo and go back to actions. Highlight your Sharpening action and click on the play button and you’ll see it run.

highlight action

play button


Here is a sample of the high pass layer. A good place to start for sharpening is in the 3ish area but it really depends on your image. If you have a small file you will use less Radius and if you have a large file you’ll increase the pixel radius amount.  You only want to see an outline of where you want to sharpen.  The example below has been sharpened to much and hallowing will be a problem.

sharpen sample


Now add a quick mask to the layer so you can change your adjustments with the mask and change your layer to soft light. You can also use hard light for more sharpening or overlay.


What I like about this is that you can use the mask to adjust areas of your choice instead of adjusting the entire image.

A huge thank you to Allan Guzak for making this for me.   I enjoy his photography, his creativity, and how he always makes me laugh!  Another amazing person from The Arcanum.


It’s been raining here in Southern California.  I’m hoping the poppy field will pop this year.  I’d love for you to do a rain dance for us.  🙂

Click here to see a couple fun pics in Antelope Valley.


Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google


Dodge and Burn in Adobe Photoshop

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments

Dodge and Burn…


Today I’m going to show you how I dodge and burn my images.  The image in front of you is the uplifts of the St. Andreas Fault in Mecca Valley in Southern California.  I think it’s a perfect example of showing you how to dodge and burn your images.  Some quick tips:

Photograph in RAW format


Dodge: brighten areas

Burn: darken areas


I’m so excited!  We’re planing a road trip to the Grape Vine in Southern Cal so look out for those images soon!   Also, want some great tips on how to Photograph while Road Trippin?   Check out my eBook and video tutorial package called Road Trippen here.


Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google+

How To Make the Rule of Thirds Grid in Photoshop

By | Photoshop | 4 Comments

If you would like to see the rule-of-thirds on your image in Photoshop, you’ll need to add that feature to your Grid.  It’s super easy!!  Check out my video tutorial to see how you do this.

Also, you can see various grids when you’re using the crop tool.  Below are some images to help you see what I mean.

Have questions?  Please feel free to comment or jot me an email using the contact tab.


Top of the crop tool pane:


The variety:



Hope you all have a wonderful day!


Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google+

Make a Black and White Picture Except One Color

By | Photoshop, Post Processing | No Comments


Today’s video lesson is on how to take your color image, change it into a black and white, and then add one color to it using Adobe Photoshop. In this image I added the yellow line on the road back into the photograph.

Steps on the video:

  • Open Image as a smart object in Photoshop
  • Add B&W layer
  • Add a mask and set color range
  • Use Channels to detail your mask
  • Change contrast in ACR

To License:

Janice Sullivan

Find me on Google+

© 2019 Sullivan J Photography, LLC. All Rights Reserved