Saturday, November 14, 2009

A couple of Photoshop Before and After’s

I wanted to show you how I spend my time when I should be cleaning. I can’t think of a creative endeavor that I enjoy more than opening up photographs using Photoshop and turning a halfway decent shot into something I love.

Today we took a quick day trip up to French Creek State Park in Elverson, PA. A short hike around the edge of Hopewell Lake put us on a cart road that turned into the Horseshoe Trail. And then we ended up at Hopewell Furnace, a National Historic Site.

More on our trip later because this post isn’t about our hike. It’s about turning a couple of photos I took today into something I’d actually want to sell.

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I loved this shot I took of the bell tower at Hopewell Furnace. In my mind, I thought I knew exactly how I wanted it to look but it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes I just dig in and I find what I was looking for in the first place. And sometimes I never find it.

Sometimes I show my husband and he makes a face, like he did with this one. “It’s ok,” he pronounced.

For the above photo, I did the following:

Crop and straighten.

Florabella’s Sweet Vintage action @54%

TRA’s Yin (darken) with a soft, big, low opacity brush (35%) to slightly darken the hill in the background.

SkeletalMess’ Ruffed Up 1, overlay @29%

Florabella’s Elysium, soft light @44%

Flypaper’s Tarte Tatin, soft light @ 100%

MCP’s Burnt Edges I @ 34%

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Maybe you prefer the original. Not me, though. It was drizzling ever so slightly and everything was so gray.

~ ~ ~ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ ~ ~ ~

This next one I’m calling “Run Away”. When I viewed this photo on my camera disk, it’s the first thing that came to my mind. (Now I want to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

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You don't frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called "Arthur King," you and all your silly English K-nig-hts.

Sorry about that. I just love movie lines.

For this photo, I did the following:

TRA’s Rusty Cage action @69%

SkeletalMess’ Ruffed Up 5, hard light @54%

Florabella’s Little Blue Book (warm), soft light @100%

(each texture had a layer mask added by me where I used a soft brush at a low opacity and brushed away some of the texture from the chickens and the grass around them)

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The original is too blue for me. But to each his own. Run Away!

The actions and texture links are on my sidebar, with the exception of SkeletalMess, formerly known as Ghostbones. One of his free download sets is here [link]. The MCP Burnt Edges was a free sample from Jodi Friedman’s website [link]. Click on ‘Try Me’.

Now I need a nap. And I hope you’re still awake after reading all this!

Until tomorrow, my friends.

My husband and I lived in Elverson, PA before our sons were born. I’m just throwing that out there for what it’s worth.


Anonymous said...

love the photos! i know absolutely nothing about photography, but i enjoy looking at your photos!
i belong to the american saddlebred horse association of alberta and one of the topics in yesterdays workshop was finding a new photographer for our horse shows next season b/c everyone feels as if all the photos look the same with the photographer that we use now...

Mary said...

Oh yes, playing with Photoshop is my joy, too. Love, love LOVE these!!! And I love your new watermark, too!

Skogkjerring said...

Both photos are fantastic, I love the idea of taking the dreary grey away and using the sepia type colouring in the first photo and I adore the chickens!! I want chickens but just can't talk Stig into it..I don't understand, who wouldn't want fresh eggs??

Gail said...

Awesome, I am still trying to figure out how to get a picture into my photo program!

Betty said...

I just spent three hours scanning in a few of my old pictures and tweaking them with Picasa. I don't even want to think what I would do if(when) I get photo shop.I love what you do to you pictures.
~~Love,Hugs and Good Thoughts

Cloudia said...

Thanks for the lesson.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

From the Old InkWell said...

Love what you've done with these. Especially love the belltower - it is so dreamy.

Hilary said...

I have always loved Monty Python and the Holy away, run away.
Great pics too.

Ellen said...

Grew up in Phoenixville - just a stones throw away.

Pony Girl said...

The first one, I like the original and the photoshop after one the same. The hen pic, I really like the photoshop one better. It's fun to see what you do with them. I don't have photoshop, I use a variety of free programs. Not as cool, but, easier. ;) Hope you are having a great weekend!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

First, I think it is wonderful that you took the daytrip to where you used to live. Hopefully it brought back good memories.

Next, though, is wow. Both versions of both pictures are great. I could stare at the befores and afters all day, there's so much to absorb. It's nice to hear your thought processes behind the changes you made too.

Thank you for showing and for sharing. I hope your trip was a good one.

Dagmar said...

Oh I love to edit pics too. And you're doing such a great job here. We've got chickens like that too in our old home. Loved them.

Caroline said...

Love the before and afters! Doesn't skeletalmess have the best textures??? Love what you did here!

troutay said...

Great shots....
love the background in the first one and the chickens are wonderful!

Thanks for making my day!

CarlaHR said...

Thank you for sharing the photos and the process - I'm still at the mastering photoshop stage but fully intend to buy Florabella - perhaps as a Christmas present to myself.
Have a great Sunday.

A New England Life said...


I love a photoshop tutorial! And I love how you put it right out there for us to learn from, and I'm always trying to learn!

Isn't it great to take an average photo and bring it to life? I'm not sure most people understand how that works but once you do it's almost like magic.


noble pig said...

Oh this is way better than scrubbing bathrooms, they turned out beautiful. So talented are you.

Daryl said...

For me its about adding Grit or Vibrance depending on how washed out or dark my not so wonderful shot is... ToonMan doesn't make faces, he offers EDITING advice... being married to a video editor can be very challenging .. somedays I want to edit out/mute his sound

GailO said...

I can see that when I finally buy Photoshop I will not have any time for doing anything else:)...I love how you processed these...they are beautiful!

Thanks for showing us the process of your process:)...I'm trying to absorb it all...

Smalltown RN said...

I love both those photos...the one of the steeple once you touched it up looked more mysterious and a tad spooky ....and the roosters...well they just look awesome...

FireLight said...

Will either the tower bell or hens ever be in one of your photo sales?
I love both of them!!
Oh, I am a long time fan of Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Always fun!

Char said...

beautiful processing - i like working with shots too.

The JR said...

I never think about changing them. Love the chickens. We have a hen that looks like those.

Benita said...

Very interesting! I really like what you did with the top photo. It brightened up nicely and went from a gloomy picture to something vintage/warm looking.

My husband is an artist and he loves Photoshop, too.

JamaGenie said...

Love what you did with the bell tower, but liked the original just as well. Hurrah for Photoshop and similar programs! My photos are rarely exactly what I'd envisioned, but can be made "perfect" - or something else entirely. ;D

abb said...

Those chickens are all kinds of fun!

Skeletalmess said...

I'm so getting hooked on your wonderful excursions, I like to think they're mini vacations.

I would love the live among such wonderful settings, and like you, I'd have to photograph every nook and cranny, it deserves to be seen,and luckily you're doing so remarkably well ........thanks.