22 March, 2010


...is sometimes always the best policy. Or so I'm lead to believe. I had a bit of a moan about my photos in the last post and so I thought I should probably come clean about what I sometimes do to them in case anyone actually thought that they were even half-decent because of my mad photography skillz. It's Photoshop baby, alllllll Photoshop. Well ok, I shouldn't be too modest, I take a pretty decent photo sometimes, I don't cut people's feet off, I know the rule of thirds, and that you should fill the frame. And then I Photoshop the hell out of it. Sometimes they don't need it but it's rare! Usually all I do is crop it a little, use curves to lighten it and sometimes unsharp mask to sharpen it up. Sometimes I get a weird colour cast and have to pull the reds out, or the yellows. But I don't usually get much fancier than that.

Over the weekend we went to my FIL's 90th at a really amazing old house in Bulls called Lethenty. Built in 1915 and totally my dream house with original William Morris wallpapers, a rambling backyard and Secret Garden type walled enclosures. In one there was a huge planting of Honesty. This is the original photo:

Honesty before

Meh. The reason I took it was because the sun was shining through all the Honesty in the background, and the seeds in the front had a lovely translucent glow to them. This is not represented in the photo, nope, no sirree nohow. I needed to show people what I saw, not what I actually took a photo of! So I lightened it, increased the yellow saturation, ran it through a Pioneer Woman action, sharpened it, lightened it again and cropped it down.

Honesty after

Much better. :) It still doesn't have the translucent glow in the foreground that I was looking for but I'm going to work on that. I gather that the pixellation effect in the background is called bokeh, which always looks fabulous but sounds vaguely like a rude word. However, you can safely search for it on Google so obviously it's just me!


  1. OMG what an amazing difference. I have Photoshop Elements and am too lazy to use it. Maybe I should bite the bullet and finally sort out how to use it because your 2nd photo looks amazing.

  2. Must. Get. Photoshop.

    Or learn to use Gimp.

    I'll let you know how that goes, hahaha. That's such a lovely photo. Soooo dreamy & lovely. Perfect for spring!

  3. You are a Photoshopping genuis! I haven't got a clue what to do, and usually do minor tweaking within iPhoto. I feel I ought to take the time to learn how to use Photoshop and the like, because it can take an already lovely image and make it in to something even more spectacular. I don't consider it to be cheating at all, because it takes a certain level of skill to tweak correctly, and not ruin the picture.

    I love looking at all your pics :) Please continue to post many and often!

  4. If we're going to be honest here I have to tell you that I love that picture because the very bottom one looks like it has a wee little face in it. I noticed it in the first image and that caught my attention over quality of the photo.

  5. Yeah, or something more low level like Elements? Photoshop is way overkill for what I use it for to say the least!

  6. If you've got Photoshop I'd be happy to walk you through a few really simple things that can make a big difference. I'm not a huge expert or anything but then you're guaranteed that I won't suggest anything complicated! Email me if you want.

  7. I never noticed it! Too caught up in the exposure which kind of misses the point of taking the photo doesn't it...

  8. Ooo, thank you! You might regret that offer when I'm back from Oz with a bajillion pictures ;)



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