Photoshop On-the-Go with Visual Artist Victoria Siemer

Image Credit: Victoria Siemer

by Lex van den Berghe

posted on 01-05-2018

Victoria Siemer, otherwise known as Witchoria, is a Photoshop aficionado and self-proclaimed nerd who creates surreal photo manipulations. She recently went on her first big trip abroad visiting Thailand and Vietnam. On booking the trip, Victoria thought “Woo-Hoo! I’m going to take so many pictures and create new work.” Soon after though, realization set in that she wouldn’t be able to bring her laptop with her as she traveled throughout Southeast Asia. “I had to figure out how to access my creative tools on the other side of the world, sans laptop,” she explains. The solution? Bring an iPad full of Adobe apps.

Her biggest challenge was adapting her desktop workflow to one that worked within the parameters of her iPad and Photoshop Mix and Fix. On taking her iPad with her, Victoria says, “This made everything I needed super accessible whenever inspiration hit. Having the ability to mock-up ideas on-the-go was really helpful for me.”

Following her travels through Southeast Asia, we caught up with Victoria to pick her brain on her favorite mobile-editing tips and tricks.

Victoria’s Top Tips for Using Adobe Photoshop Mix & Fix

1. Basic (Cut Out). The Basic Brush in the Cut Out Panel is probably my most utilized tool in Photoshop Mix. The Smart Tools are great for quick edits, but they have their limitations. I use the Basic Brush to get more detail for masking work. My floating island is composed of three images — two of which are actually the same mountain mirrored. I needed to shape the island to look less mirrored, so I used the Basic Brush to add some differences in the shaping.

2. Refine Edge (Cut Out). This handy little addition to the Cut Out Panel in Photoshop Mix works beautifully with the Smart Cut Out Option. Typically, when you mask with the Smart Tools, you will get rough edges, which aren’t always what you want. The Refine Edge Tool lets you adjust those edges instantly. In most situations, I would use this to smooth the edges. For this, I wanted the edge to look more like foliage, so I added even more roughness to the edge.

3. Clone Stamp. The Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop Fix is amazing for retouching photos. It samples pixels from one area of an image and lets you paint those pixels onto another area of the image. I could see some paste lines in my floating island, so I jumped over from Photoshop Mix into the healing panel in Photoshop Fix (accessible under More Tools) and used the Clone Stamp Brush to blend the images together.

4. Be prepared. I like to keep a few albums of Photoshop Mix resources on my iPad at all times. Anything that might come in handy when working on an edit such as textures, lens flares, etc. The background was feeling a bit flat, so I decided to add some clouds to it.

5. Blending Modes are crucial. I use Blending Modes all the time. I used the Overlay Blend Mode in the previous tip to blend the clouds with the background. These modes are a fundamental part of Photoshop, so get to know them well! What’s really neat about Photoshop Mix is that you actually get to see a preview of all the Blend Modes in the menu before you make a selection. That helps take away some of the guessing when you’re just learning how they function.

Advice for Traveling Creatives

Unexpected things always happen while traveling. On her own experience with embracing the unexpected, Victoria shares, “One morning I kicked a lens cap off a cliff and ended up having to walk around the rest of the trip with a sock on my lens.” While there will always be situations that require some crafty problem solving, there are ways to try to limit the unexpected. Her biggest piece of advice: “Backup your work in several places. It feels like losing a chunk of your life when a hard drive breaks.”

For more of Victoria Siemer’s work, check out her takeover on the Photoshop Instagram page and follow her on Instagram.

Topics: Creativity, Art

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud