Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Touch-it-up Tuesday, episode 2

"Touch-it-up" sounds better with Tuesday than Thursday, so I'm hereby rescheduling this weekly feature.

Here are a few more before and afters from the "I'll do my best to fix your photo" contest.

Clairz sent me this gorgeous sunrise she took from her patio. Quick...guess which state she lives in. New Mexico! This is what I call a "pajama shot" - a photograph taken on the spur of the moment in one's nightclothes because the light would be gone in the time it would take to get dressed. Had Clairz been appropriately attired, she might have been able to race across the street to capture the moment without the utility poles and wires in the way.


So through the magic of Photoshop's clone tool, spot healing brush, and patch tool, I tore down the poles and removed the wires, being careful to remove their corresponding reflections in the water below. It doesn't take any rocket science to do this sort of retouching - just alot of patience, with an emphasis on the "alot" part.



Pat in east TN sent me this note with the photo below: Just wondering if you can do anything with this picture of my beloved Doberman, Tori? A new background? Take away shadows? I have no clue and just thought maybe you could fix this up so I could get it printed and framed. She's been gone over 2 years now but holds such a special place in my heart.


This was going to be a tough one because the original image was small and of low resolution – 3.2" wide and 200 dpi. I would have to dive deep into my bag of tricks to give Pat something worth framing.


In this first attempt (above), I straightened the image, then removed the background and replaced it with another of Shadowhouse Creations' fabulous free textures. I also toned down the highlights on Tori's beautiful coat with PW's Dim the Lights action and popped the color with PW's Boost action. Then I sharpened here and sharpened there and lightened here and lightened there, but I still wasn't happy with the results. If this were printed no larger than 6" wide and I didn't wear my glasses, maybe it would be ok.

So I tried one more thing. I went into Photoshop's filter gallery and messed around until I found a combination of settings that turned the photograph into more of a representational image, leaving out the details which weren't really there to begin with.


I sent these to Pat and received this note: I love them both and thank you SO much for your time in making these unbelievable pictures of our special girl. You'll never know what this means to me.

And that, my friends, is why I love Photoshop.

19 comments:

  1. What a surprise to see my girl as part of your post this morning. With everything you mentioned that you used to improve on my picture, you must have the patience of a saint! Many thanks again.

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  2. I really enjoy seeing the before and after photos. You do such a wonderful job with them. You MUST have the patience of a saint. Bless you.

    And it's also fun to put photos with names that send in comments! I'm enjoying that part of Touch up Tuesdays as well! Pat, your dog is beautiful.

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  3. Love love love it...exactly why I've given in to Photoshop. What a wonderful memory for Pat and a stunning portrait of her dog. Wish you'd do a tutorial on how to remove backgrounds ;)

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  4. Oh my...what beautiful pictures...and the last portrait is stunning! This is from a Deets-loving cat person. *smile*

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  5. Great work, Carson. Thanks for the tips.
    Best always, Sandra

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  6. WOW... I love the effect in the second photo - it's fantastic! Personally, I'll just say that Photoshop scares the stew out of me :o)

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  7. Nancy in NC6/22/10, 6:40 AM

    Dang Carson! Is there anything you CAN'T do? The picture for Pat turned out great - I'd frame it in a heartbeat! Great job.

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  8. I just love what you did with Tori's picture. Now Pat is going to have a wonderful keepsake of her beloved. :)

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  9. I've been hangin' back and waitin' to see what you already have to fix. I will send mine to you tomorrow. I've always been a late bloomer....sorry.
    Since you started talking about PS I have been dabbling as I said before and wow, wow, wow...this is cool. Thanks for your posts of encouragement.

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  10. Oh I have got to be more patient with PS and learn to get rid of those lines and poles. I have so many pictures I really like, but I can't avoid all the lines and poles. Patience is not my strong suit with learning PS.

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  11. Gosh, I wish I had your talent! What you did with the Dobie picture is amazing! I know the owner will cherish that photo now.

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  12. I just love what you did to my photo. I'm going to have to either learn about patience so I can fix my photos or start wearing my clothes to bed so I can run down the road and get the shots without the poles and wires. How I wish they could be Photoshopped out of real life!

    Thank you for working your magic. Love the dog portrait, too. You are an inspiration.

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  13. This are wonderful. It must feel good to be able to give someone something they will cherish and to know they appreciate it. You are so talented.

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  14. I love how the dog turned out, now it looks like a painting!

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  15. Does any particular version of Photoshop give you these options, or will Elements be enough? (And dumb question # XXX, how does it compare with the editing tools in IPhoto on a MAC that are relatively easy to fiddle with?) So many questions (and so many photographs, so little time!)
    Thanks for a fascinating post!

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  16. Well, you actually CAN "give up your day job!"

    Beautiful job on both. Pat, you could print yours on canvas and it will look as if you commissioned someone to paint a portrait.

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  17. Wow. Awesome photos. Especially LOVE the dog shots.

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