Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why I love Photoshop

Last Tuesday, I took some photos of Kylie fingerpainting. I had the camera set on Auto and was sloppily snapping away while trying to keep the paint on the table and not in Kylie's mouth, or hair or on my camera or clothes. At the end of day, I loaded the pictures on my computer and was not surprised when I saw that they were complete crap.

Out of all the crappy pictures, I thought this one was the most interesting and worth spending some time on.

So while Kylie was napping today, I decided to play with it. I open it in Adobe Camera Raw and do some tweaking.

Already it is looking better. But if you look, you can see where the flash bounced off the chair on both the left and right of Kylie's head. Plus, we have the ugly orange booster seat that's clashing with everything. What was I thinking when I bought this? It's a scrapbooking nightmare to have that bright orange seat to contend with.

So, I click on my clone brush and paint the flash and some of the booster seat away. Give your mouse finger a workout. Scroll up and down and check out the differences!

The angles of the chair, window sill and the table are bugging me. So I come in and do a tight, angled crop of the picture.

So much better!

And finally, just for the heck of it, I convert it black and white.

(I used a new tip I learned at the seminar. I used to slide the saturation slider all the way to the left to convert a photo. But on this one, I hit "gradient map" instead. Just as simple but looks much better. If you try it, just be sure that your foreground and background colors are set to black and white first).

All of these steps took me 20 minutes. You might think that it's a long time to spend on a single photo. But it's fun! It's like a game.

Of course, there are dishes piled in the sink and dust bunnies floating around my wood floors. But hey, a girl's gotta have fun somehow!


Lynanne said...

I love what you've done with this picture! Have you tried selective b&w? For this picture, you can keep the paint color and make the rest b&w. Also, if the green paint looks too toxic, you can change the hue on the green to something else.

Can you tell I'm addicted to photoshop too? Let me know if you want to chat and swap techniques sometime!

Anonymous said...

very cute! Lisa

Leigh and Charlene said...

I love what you are doing. We were just blessed a month ago with Emma and yesterday was her 1 month birthday and I would love to start digital scrapbooking and playing with my pictures. Could you tell me what program you are using? I see that you said photoshop but are there degrees of photoshop? Like basic to all of the extras? What do you recommend?

kiles1670 said...

What an amazing picture, she is gorgeous

Kerry Lynn said...

What I find so interesting about this sort of art is peoples' opinions. I actually thought the first image was great! But your improvements really did enhance it. I wouldn't have even noticed the flash on the chair until you pointed it out.

I am really into actions. The set I found here is amazing

And then my favorite finish to a photo is a nice subtle vignette. has a lot of great free actions.

Wendy and Karen said...

Hi Leigh and Charlene,

I use Photoshop CS3. I started with CS2 and then upgraded.

Photoshop CS3 is such an awesome tool and I would highly recommend it to anyone. But it isn't a very intuitive program to learn. I would try out for the course "Up and Running with Photoshop". You'll learn the basics of Photoshop and make a few scrapbook pages!"

Let me know if you have any other questions.