What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Photo Enhancement

There are many reasons for enhancing your photos. I have been learning how to better use the features in Adobe Photoshop CS Version 8.0. This is a lovely program with a lot of function that I was basically using to simply resize images. Instead of taking the time to learn more about what this program could do, I simply bought a couple of scrapbooking programs when I decided to start into digital scrapbooking. This was not the frugal way to do things when I already had a program that could do all these things and so much more. For my genealogy images, I simply uploaded them to the program without any type of enhancement. Well, suffice to say I am now learning the different features thanks to a couple of very nice Yahoo groups and a lot of tutorials.

On Tap

I've been playing with animation, filters, and layers. So today I tried out a couple of ways to make picture frames. This is the result of my first attempt.

This is a photo taken at a restaurant we enjoy. I always have my camera with me when away from home and within easy reach at home. I take a lot of pictures! Digital just makes it so easy. My current digital camera is a Canon PowerShot A450, 6.0 mega pixel and 4x optical zoom. Holding the zoom control it will go up to 16x but the graininess increases. This only seems to be noticeable on certain photographs though. Back to the photo, I liked the looks of the copper beer tap so snapped a photo of it.

I did something wrong on this tutorial but am not sure what. The only thing I can figure is I merged to many layers. That's easy to do since I'm rather new at using layers. My end result was an 8" x 10" supposed to be frame with no way to remove the background leaving only the frame so I decided to improvise. I opened the photo, did a cut and past, then centred it onto the frame image, added my name then merged the layers. I thought the results weren't too bad and that the colour of the resulting frame accents the photo is rather a fluke too. The frame consists of layers with filters creating texture and beveling.

Ice on Water

Well onto the second tutorial. I used a picture taken by me a couple of days ago. We live on the water so I take a lot of water shots. This one was so much easier to follow. I added my name to the photo and merged the layers. Then I duplicated that layer and added a gaussian blur filter, layer set to multiply and adjusted the opacity. After merging the layers, I created a new layer, dragged that to the bottom and created the first matt by changing the canvas size by .2. The next layer was created the same way with canvas size at .5 and the third at .8. Each matt was filled using a colour picked from the picture using the eye dropper tool then filled with the paintbucket tool. Overall I like the effect. I think it gives a more formal look that will work nicely for enhancing my genealogy photos.

Ice on Water with Filters

This is the same picture as above but slightly cropped with no frame and more filters added. I thought it would be neat to try and get that true sparkly look of the ice. The sun was very bright when this picture was taken so I started playing to try and capture that feeling.

I added the name, merged the layers then did the gaussian adjustment. Now, the gaussian adjustment was another tutorial that works with layers. Depending on how it is used, it deepens the colours and just softly softens the edges a bit. It seems to work better on some photos than others. Once the gaussian adjustment I used a texture filter set to patchwork. That looked rather interesting but it still did not have the sparkle I wanted. An artistic filter set to plastic wrap seemed to fit best and this was the end result. I can't wait to use this in scrapbooking!

Golden Glow

This was something I was just playing around with after working with frames. The picture was taken during sunset the same day the water picture above was taken. The sky was absolutely gorgeous!

I discovered that the marquee gave other shapes than rectangular so decided to test it out. After several attempts and realizing that once it's make if you use the move tool, it moves leaving a transparent background. So I hit copy then new and then paste. Well that looked pretty good but I thought some type of frame would be nice except I didn't know how to do that so I beveled that layer instead. Then I added my name and merged. I liked the effects and think this will be perfect for both scrapbooking and genealogy.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas of what is possible as far as photo enhancement. I am definitely in the learning stages. It is amazing some of the effects you can get. I encourage you to try some of these techniques. There are a lot of resources to help you learn them. The possibilities are endless and I can't wait to use them in my scrapbooking and genealogy projects!


Garden Gnome
© 2007