Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another edition of "making burros better through technology"

I took this picture of George and Alan yesterday. 
Their eyes, their ears, their muzzles, the stripes on George's legs, their penetrating expressions...be still my heart.


But everything else about this photograph? Not so good.
First there's the problem of Hank's leg popping out of George's neck. 
Then there's the flat, cold light. And I didn't have a chance to de-goober Alan's eye...I could go on and on. 
As it happens, I've been studying up on Photoshop for my paying job, trying to perfect my technique 
for dropping out backgrounds, so I decided to practice on this image to see if I could salvage it.





That's better. No more distractions. 
Now I know there are purists among you who might prefer the original, 
but I'll take the photoshopped version any day.

Let's take a poll...







Roll your mouse over the image above to compare the photoshopped to the original version.


19 comments:

  1. Anne Boleyn12/8/11, 6:15 AM

    I voted PHOTOSHOP but I do think that the color in the original is so unreal that, if you could eliminate Hank's leg and the goober, it would look like a beautiful old hand colored photo.

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  2. Photoshop question: how did you cut the picture around their hair? I looked closely at the ears, mane, etc. and it's perfect! I find that to be almost impossible to do well.
    Patti

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  3. How fun to be able to do this... I need to learn how as I have the equipment. The blue sky did look good and the mountain, of course. But I could have done without the leg, fence, and "goober". :) The new improved version has a nice "contemporary" feel to it - just add a b&w frame, and you could mount this anywhere, with any decor!

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  4. Patti, I used the new "refine edge" and "refine mask" functions in CS5. They're not at all intuitive (is anything in Photoshop intuitive?), so I watched and rewatched a bunch of online courses on lynda.com. I highly recommend that site if you need to learn any software - $25/month for all the classes you can take.

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  5. Photoshop version......that picture would be fab on the front of a greeting card!

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  6. Carol in Colorado12/8/11, 7:53 AM

    I like the original photo. I didn't notice Hank's leg until you mentioned as I was focused on George and Alan's lovely fuzzy muzzles and those gorgeous long ears. The photoshopped photo is too stark for my tastes.

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  7. What a sweet picture of the boys! I like the original without Hank's leg sticking out of George's neck.

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  8. The original is beautiful with the winter sky in the background.
    Their fur coats are really enhanced by the white snow and blue sky. That story doesn't come through on photoshop. Photoshop is just two perfect guys staring at a camera. Can you just take out that one leg out of George's neck with photshop and leave the rest color and all in. I'm all for natural photography as what you see is what you get. Unfortunately the mags, books etc tend to let us believe life is perfect in every way so we have to touch up. Best always, Sandra

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  9. I too, did not notice the leg until you mentioned it. I like the colored one better. It enhances the warm fuzzy of George and Alan. I think the black and white one makes the photo look on the cold side. Either one, they are just way to cute, and you can't help but get all warm and fuzzy looking at them. I am going to have to learn this photoshop business, cause i see lots of "Star and Libby" pictures in my future.

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  10. I'm all for the original, goober and all ! ;)

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  11. I really like both versions but, I think I would vote for the unedited version. I love the Photoshopped image because it really makes their beautifully expressive faces pop out. However, it has a staged, studio feel to it. It would be a great picture for a notecard,calender or framed portrait. For me, the first version has more emotional impact. It say to me "yes, we really are this beautiful and expressive all on our own merits." I guess it depends on what you want to do with the photo. The beauty of it, is that we get to see BOTH pictures. Thanks.

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  12. I voted 3x .....am I cheating?

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  13. How about photoshopping out the offending leg, the goobers and maybe the fence rails, but keep the rest of the background... getting jiggy with the cloning tool ;)

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  14. Sorry, but as great as Photoshop appears to be (I've never used it) I still think it cannot beat your own fabulous original work! I can understand your wanting to amputate Hank's leg from the pic, but the rest is priceless!

    Nancy in Iowa

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  15. Thanks for the advice on how you did this, coincidentally I need to use something like this for a work project.

    I like the original (sans Hank's leg) as a *photographic* moment.

    I like the b&w version as an *art piece*. How's that???

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  16. Beautiful pair, those two.

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  17. And here I thought I was being original when I voted, but it seems like many others had the same idea... I love the original, but with Hank's leg photoshopped out. Alan's messy eye doesn't bother me in the least. :-)

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  18. I'm not sure which animal picture will win first place, but I'm certain that Mitch Romney will come in second place.

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  19. Any picture with your critters is beautiful! I don't use photoshop...so therefor I love it when you do or don't use it. I love the natural look or even the enhanced provided that there isn't a leg protruding from George's neck. And I love the Christmas Header with all of their santa hats!

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