Friday, September 11, 2009

Phun with Photoshop

I was playing with digital image color correction last weekend in a way I never have. For some reason this chapter in my favorite Scott Kelby book, The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers, completely escaped my notice. At the time I probably thought I knew it all and I didn't need it. I'm too stupid to figure it out myself really. I swear I'm going to go through ALL my old photographs and color correct them.

Right after I finish that five year plan. In Trebuchet. Or Poor Richard. Cooper Black, perhaps?

The "before" is on the left, "after" on the right, screenshots from Adobe Bridge. The photos don't show up as large as they used to, but clicking on the photo will bring up the larger version and the corrections are more apparent.

Waves and Vegetation
Color corrected. It's amazing what just a little bit will accomplish.

These little guys just skitter around all over the place. Color corrected and sharpened.

Color corrected, cropped, sharpened. I like the effect you get with a long lens. It looks like there really is this wall of water, which there sort of is but it's exaggerated by the 300mm lens. Or whatever I have it set to.

Bird Sans Trash
Major work in addition to color correction and cropping and sharpening...I had to remove this stupid piece of trash from the photo. I lid of some sort, like from a Pringles can or something. I was so caught up in trying to capture the bird that I didn't see anything else. So that was a little tricky but fun.

I think this is my favorite. I sat on the beach and took dozens of shots to get this one, with the shutter set to burst. Color corrected, cropped, sharpened. This was inspired by a beautiful book of photography called Waves by Steve Hawk. I pull it off the shelf every time I hang out at Barnes & Noble but haven't been able to justify the purchase. There is another book, called Beaches, that I just don't care for as much. The Sea/Day by Day looks promising. If you didn't know, you'd think you could be anywhere in the world, instead of little old Ocean View, Virginia.

I had unlocked the car, pulled open the door, looked up, and saw this right in front of me. I don't know who they are but they looked peaceful and a little romantic in an everyday kind of way, which is my favorite kind of romantic. Simple and unfussy. Color correction, cropped, sharpened. I sharpen everything a little. Most of the time I just think it looks better. I can always undo it if it doesn't look right.

Before we moved here in 1994 I could barely pick out Virginia on the map. I just never paid much attention to the East Coast. Now I can name many lovely things about the state, not the least of which is it's proximity to the center of the political and naval universe, not to mention vast expanses of water. Which is really kinda cool in a geeky sort of way. It's weird, brother, who lives in Wisconsin, the upper Midwest, also lives near vast expanses of water. I was reminded of that when I was looking at his lovely photos from Lake Michigan. In fact, Wisconsin has a surprising amount of shoreline. I'll have to look that up. We all live near major water - me, Mom, Sister, Brother.

Wow, I'm definitely going through a beach phase. I posted all these photos to Flickr.


  1. ALL very cool!! I especially like the wave curl. :) See you tomorrow?? YfB

  2. I love "correcting" pictures in the digital darkroom. I used to feel a little guilty doing it--like aren't I good enough to take the picture right in the first place?-- and then a young photographer pointed out that Ansel Adams did MOST of his work in the darkroom and that this is just our version of a darkroom. Nice job! I sharpen mine, too, and almost always mess with the contrast. I'd like to know how you got rid of that piece of garbage, though. Clone tool? Paintbrush? How?