Thursday, November 17, 2011

Edit Me Challenge ~ 26

It's that time of the week again, time for the Edit Me Challenge. I had a lot of fun editing last week's photo, so I am back again. This week's photo looked really challenging, but I used some textures from French Kiss, Kim Klassen and RH West and was pleased with the results.

This week's photo was contributed by guest judge Alita Jewel from Alita Jewel's Treasures at

Here is my edit of Alita's photo:

I edited this photo in PS Elements9 with quite a few textures. First I started off by taking away a few of the smaller branches with the spot healer. Then I proceeded to add layers to the photo. Here is a list of the textures and blend modes in the order I used them:
French Kiss- Dandelion Fuzz, soft light @ 100%
French Kiss- Summer Sky, soft light @ 100%
Kim Klassen- Love In Layers, soft light @ 100%
French Kiss- Dandelion Fuzz, multiply @ 27%
RH West- Duck Egg Lines, soft light @ 46%
French Kiss- Dirt, soft light @ 17%
contrast- 15
Then I flattened the layers and that was that.

I really enjoyed this edit. It was amazing to watch the layers brighten up this wonderful winter scene. It made me long for winter at home. Eleven years ago I moved to California from Michigan, and I dearly miss the snow in the winter, but not so much the cold though. I envy people who get to photograph the winter snow.  Guess this is the closest I will get to that for some time : ) Thanks for the photo Alita!

Our tiny BIG Life

Monday, November 14, 2011

Texture Tuesday ~ Putting Phoebe to the Test

That is our challenge this week at Texture Tuesday, put the texture Phoebe to the test. I started playing around with the texture and realized that it didn't really add a lot of texture to my photos, but lightened and brightened them up. I was having a hard time finding photos that took the texture with good results. After running across a spiderweb in someone elses blog, I remembered that I had some spiderweb photos that I wanted to try some textures on, so I gave one of them a try, and I liked the results.

This photo has the Phoebe texture along with Mayzee and Serendipity

I was pleased with the results, but I thought perhaps this photo was a bit too creepy for a texture named after a sweet little girl. So I set out to find some other photos that could use some brightening up. I looked through my file and found two photos that I had previously edited from last year. They were from Bryce Canyon after a newly fallen show. The texture really lightened and brightened them up.

Yet I still wasn't feeling satisfied with the subject I was using for the Phoebe texture. I thought perhaps a doll would be more appropriate, but I don't really have any dolls to photograph. Then I remembered a lone matryoshka doll I found at a yard sale while looking for miniature vases and jars. I decided she would do just fine, except that it was getting dark out and I was worried about the lighting. Then I realized I didn't have to worry because the Phoebe texture would lighten and brighten the photo up, and it did. I liked the texture so much, I decided to add two more of my favorite Kim Klassen textures to it, Mayzee and Serendipity. I couldn't decide which I liked best, so I decided to post each along with a tryptich to show the original and how much the textures improved the photo.

 This one only has the Phoebe texture on it.

This one has the textures: Phoebe, Mayzee, and Serendipity

Well, I put the Phoebe texture to the test and learned a bit about how to use it. I had great fun and will check in to see what others have done with it : )

One quick note before I go. Perhaps it will give you a chuckle as it did me. Yesterday I joined a new texture group on Flickr. In one of the posts, the administrator of the group shared a comment she received on one of her textured photos. It read:
"Why'd you have to make it look all old Mummy? It's NOT old; it's fake old. Everyone knows it's not old, so what's the point in making it look old? It's just dumb."

The admin. took it with a grain of salt and found it amusing. How sad that person can't appreciate the beauty of textures.

Happy Texture Tuesday!
(I am still having problems with my html codes, so instead of a button I am posting a link :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Edit Me ~ Week 25

In my quest to become better at editing, I have joined the Edit Me Challenge at . Each week a picture is posted by a guest judge or the creator of the challenge site, to be downloaded and edited as you wish. I figure the only way I will get better at editing is to edit as much as possible, and be exposed to the techniques of other's edits. So here is the Edit Me Challenge for Week 25:

 This is a photo contributed by this week's guest judge, Misty, from Through A Photographer's Eye at:

Here is my edit of Misty's photo:

To start the edit, I opened the photo up in Picnik. I know Picnik is thought of as a rinky-dink photo editing program, but I love the Cloning tool and the Curves tool. So I used Curves to lighten up the photo, and then used a Curves preset, Polachrome Yellowed, to warm it up. After that, I used the amazing Cloning tool to remove the bar in the upper right corner and the miscellaneous distractions in the background. I wanted to draw all the attention to the tractor as it is the star of the photo : ) I didn't want to get rid of the toy in the foreground as I felt it told a story. I envisioned a small boy dropping his toy to the ground to climb on the tractor and pretend to be a real farmer. Therefore, I lifted the toy to the bale of hay for safe keeping.

Once I was done in Picnik, I opened the saved photo in Elements9.  I wanted to see what some textures could add to the photo. They warmed it up quite a bit and brought out the details of the engine parts. To do that, I used Kim Klassen's textures: Shades of November @ 100% soft light, Mayzee @ 60% soft light, and Serendipity @ 22% softlight.  Then I darkened the photo a bit with a levels adjustment to add a bit of contrast. Finally, I called it quits. I would like to say it was quick and easy, but the cloning took a bit of time, and I was doing a lot of trial and error along the way : )

I really enjoyed working on this photo once I got started. It reminded me of my roots in the farm country out east. Here is a progression of the photo from start to finish in the two editing programs.

Edit: Wow! I am proud to report that I was the overall winner!

Our tiny BIG Life

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Miracle of Textures

As I've said before, I am new to textures, yet I am learning more about using textures everytime I experiment with them. After receiving Kim's Shades of November texture last week, I went to a folder of photos from Mt Diablo, taken last January-March. I wanted to see if I could add a bit of life to some of the photos, and ended up saving many that I had given up hope on. These were photos that I tried to improve in my Lightroom editing program, but gave up on. I was pleasantly surprise with the results I achieved from Shades of Autumn combined with a few more of Kim Klassen's textures.  Once I started experimenting with Shades of Autumn, I couldn't stop! Here are the photos I prepared for Texture Tuesday over at:

Edit: Dang, I forgot that the theme was 2, so I am adjusting my post and adding a pre-edit photo of each so I will be in line with the theme. I am posting 2 of each photo to show the dramatic results : )

I liked this photo because of the scraggly tree and the long-reaching shadows in the background, but the lighting just wasn't working. I thought I would have to scrap it, but I really like the effect Kim's textures gave it.

I really like the texture in the sky. I thought I'd achieved the effect I wanted before adding the final texture, but decided to give one more texture a go, and then realized I liked the textured sky more.
Here are the transitions that took place with this photo:

As with the above photo, the lighting on these next photos wasn't working out, well until I tried Kim's textures on them. I like the mood they gave the photos.

I like the eerie background that was brought out in this photo. I really had given up on editing it, but now am satisfied with the textured effect.


Although the textures are subtle on this photo, it really added the spring vibe to the photo that I had hoped to capture, but didn't.

Here is one of my favorite trees to capture. I've dubbed it "The Kissing Tree."  When I first discovered it in January, the branches were bare, except for the mound of mistletoe at the top. Of course I immediately thought of couples frolicking up the hill to sneak a kiss under the tree : ) I had edited a copy of this photo in a sepia tone, but had given up on it in color. The lighting was too dark and the colors were really off. Kim's textures brightened it up, to my delight!


Here is the same tree, just a couple of months later, March I believe. It was a rainy, foggy day when I took it. I really like the effect the textures gave it.


And Lastly, a tin shed I always try to capture when I go up the mountain, but am never satisfied with the results. I like the way it turned out with Kim's textures though!


As you can see, I got carried away playing with the Shades of Autumn texture. I was having such wonderful results, I couldn't stop! I was long overdue for some editing fun, and that texture did the trick! Thank you so much Kim!

Now it is time to call it quits so I can post and hurry over to see the wonderful photos you all have posted at:

(Drat! My html codes aren't working today)