Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Gingerbread House

Over the last few months I was in a bit of a funk about photography. My enthusiasm was pretty low and I didn't really know how to raise it again. So I decided that perhaps it wasn't the photography that I was bored with, but the processing. My use of photoshop / lightroom etc was pretty basic and I thought I should have a look at what I could do in post processing and see if that would pique my interest again.

Sure enough, it seemed that I was only scratching the surface of processing. The website was a great inspiration regarding this as a lot of the photos on that site a beautifully processed. I realise that the original shots are also excellent but the folk on that site seem to have an amazing ability to tweak every last ounce of that "something special" from their shots.

So I decided to look into doing some more processed images. Ok, so I know that what I've been doing has been a bit over-done but I'm still at the beginning of learning how to get the most out of the software so gimmie some slack ;)

Anyway, this is a shot of the "Ginger Bread House" at the East end of Princes St Gardens in Edinburgh. It's quite a nice picture and that house if very photogenic. I've photographed this a few times and it always comes out beautifully. In it's own right it's a decent photo. I like the vignette (naturally created by using the lens at it's maximum aperture) and the leading line of the path draws you into the image. Apart from a crop, I've not really done much else to this picture.

Next I opened up Topaz Adjust in Photoshop and used it's stylized presets, one of which is called "Faded Glory". I tweaked the settings slightly to get it looking a bit like a painting. Next I used a layer mask with a white background and and painted out some of the edges to cut into the picture a little bit.

Then I used a water-colour effect to make the picture even more like a painting. You can now see why I painted out some of the picture in the last shot. The water-colour filter seems to completely blot out the white parts and that gives a nice irregular outline.

This is the final image. It's been finished off with a border that I've layered underneath the picture so that it looks like the "paining" is on top. That was the reason for painting out the edges in white allowing this effect. Also I've watermarked it with the "ZK" square and also overlaid a bit of text over the upper part of the image for the title.

All in all I think it works quite well and it just goes to show you what you can do with a bit of time, some Photoshop effects and layers. It's actually quite simple and it's worth trying as it really has given me some more enthusiasm for photography again. Long may it last :p Z

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