Sunday, January 09, 2011

Top 10 Signs That You Have Gone Too Far When Photoshopping A Photograph


We all know that art has no boundaries so how do you know when you have gone too far with the Photoshopping of a photograph? To help you out I have compiled a list of the top 10 warning signs:

Top 10 Warning Signs That Let You Know That You Have Gone Too Far With Photoshopping An Image

10. Only your parents would put it on their wall and you find out later that they take it down when you are not there
  9. Young boys want to have a black light poster made of your image to hang on their bedroom door
  8. Young girls think it's cute
  7. You think it's cute
  6. People you don't know give you crop or cloning suggestions
  5. People you know give you crop or cloning suggestions
  4. Someone says your work reminds them of another person, and it turns out that you can't stand that other person's  work
  3. Someone wants to know what HDR program and Photoshop actions you used
  2. Someone buys it and asks to have it framed in gold and matted with black velvet
  1. Somehow it reaches the top 10 in Explore on Flickr

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Last Supper Redux

Roll Over The Image With Your Mouse To See The Original

You spend your hard earned money to pay for a trip to a far away place where no one really knows English just to wait in line to buy a ticket and when you finally get in you find that famous painting you heard so much about is faded, dull and chipped, it looks terrible by today's digital standards.

Fear not as today I will teach you the secrets of restoring these old "masterpieces" from dull and lack luster to the way they should have been in the first place that is if the painter had had any proper art school training.

As an example I will use the painting the Last Supper done by a moderately successful painter (I forget his name at the moment):

Clearly in those days they never heard of the rule of thirds. At first I wanted to crop the image to make the subject Jesus conform to the rule of thirds. But then I realized I could not do a very nice roll over if the before and after images were of different sizes, besides cloning out the odd arms would be far too much work. So instead I opted to use selected focus. Using selected focus allows me to draw the viewer's eyes directly to the subject clearing up all those busy distractions that make the eye wander about. What was the artist thinking wasting his time on all those unnecessary details? Selective  focus also gives the painting a depth of field and 3 dimensionality that the original lacked.

To increase the feeling of magic and fantasy and to repair the chipped paint I applied an Orton Effect filter/action. The Orton filter I applied came with a set of 10 other actions which I purchased from WeripUoff at only $180. I highly recommend them as they save you a lot of time learning stuff.

Then to give it a more modern update look I applied a cross processing action (good value at only $80 from WeripUoff). Noticed the richness of colour. The hills in the background window are now a pleasant shade of Irish green.

Still it didn't quite pop so for the final touch I applied a subtle single image auto HDR tone mapping, notice how much better the light is on Jesus' robes when compared to the original. A bit expensive at $260 for the HDR package from WeripUoff but how can you be state of the art without the latest and best tools. Also consider the money you are saving and the disappointment you are avoiding by not travelling to view the original artwork.