Category Archives: Image Editing

Quick Image Editing

I found this sample I made a while back. So much goes into processing images. photos are taken with a wide range of detail so that there is enough info to color correct, plenty of clean up, etc.

Never ever assume the beautiful image you are looking at was what came through the lens. Click for larger images.

food clean up split image animated

food clean up split image

original photo samples

How I wish I were like Norman Rockwell

When the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew over Tucson on its farewell trip to California, I was not going to miss another opportunity to see the shuttle. I remember a shuttle being carried by a 747 making a stop at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and then there was that ill-fated trip to Florida to see a launch – I mean a scrub. My youngest son was getting out of school 15 minutes after the shuttle was to come through so this fell well within the guidelines of «Expose your children to science whenever possible» and I got him out early and we headed to Himmel Park. The park was packed and he chose to stand at the top of the retro-looking slide, scanning the skies for the 747. I spotted it way north and ran to the south side of the slide and that is when I thought, «This might make a great photo with him up there.» When the shuttle banked south of us I got the lucky shot. No, he is not saluting but shielding his eyes, but it made for a great image. I had to go through and make it look even more like a Norman Rockwell painting. If he had been wearing shorts above the knee, he could have been any young boy playing outside near Cape Canaveral and watching a rocket launch back in the 1960s.

Also, with a little coercion by friends, I submitted the images to CNN and the shuttle feed on Flickr – my photo is the seventh at CNN.

First off, the original – about what you might expect with a point-and-wish camera, cropped down to where it really is a great composition.

Colorize it just a bit [and no, Instagram was nowhere near any of this] and it looks like a good 1960s image.

Throw in some scratches and color modifications and voilà! It is a photo in London, 1941. I can almost see Captain America in the background.

And this is where I wish I had true Norman Rockwell skills. Yes, the image is great, but to express it in painting would be phenomenal. I will be making a large canvas print of this image [yes, we can do that] and hang it up at home. Norman Rockwell – ’nuff said.

And then the CNN page if you must [image 7]. Or I must. Hopefully my son remembers that day forever.

Quick Wedding Photo Editing

My friend Travis over at Travis Williams Photography [nice logo, btw] recently contacted me about a wedding he had just shot. The bride and groom had a 15″ height difference, which seemed normal to me as my wife and I have a 14″ difference. The problem was that in shuffling the family around for their wedding photos, he had the bride and the groom on the top step which would be completely normal except the height difference with the rest of the family came out looking unbalanced. Could I fix it? Sure, that would be easy. I wasn’t going to have to do anything difficult in Photoshop other than make a hole where the groom once existed and slide a copy of groom down a bit and clean it up a bit. You could do the same thing with a photograph in the magazine, but this was a wedding photo. No do-overs on taking these photos.

Here is the couple by themselves, which will be normal because that is their normal difference in height.

wedding photo edited in Photoshop

And then as a family. Just by looking at the lengths of their arms, I wouldn’t think anyone is over 5’7″, and being a step down doesn’t help. Sort of makes the groom look like an NBA center.

wedding photo edited in Photoshop

With a few minutes of editing, I masked out the image, removing the groom and leaving the family.

wedding photo edited in Photoshop

I dropped the groom down a bit on and cleaned up the area where he used to be and it worked out fine.

wedding photo edited in Photoshop

Even though the mother’s shadow had dropped down a bit, it still looked believable as there aren’t any other shadows to make hers look poorly offset. To fix the shadow, that would have taken a lot more work, and it wouldn’t have been noticeable unless there was a smart CSI checking out the photo. The groom does look a little out of place – his body proportions don’t match up, making his torso seem short and his legs too long. Time to crop the photo to remove the legs on everyone.

wedding photo edited in Photoshop

And with that, there is now a great wedding photo made better with a little image editing in Photoshop. I’ll post some difficult photo editing projects another time.

Holiday Card

It is getting to be that time in Tucson when someone finally turns the heat on. What better way to escape the heat [other than literally escaping the heat] than to revisit a holiday card from the prior year. Paragon Space Development specializes in environment controls [read that as creating products for both space and dive suits] and their marketing people came up with the great idea of combining the two and have some divers floating in space. Taking their mockup [below] it became a quest of finding the right images and compositing them as realistically as possible.

A few other ideas were worked out, using the comp images from iStockphoto to see which images needed to be purchased.

The last comp was the one, so the two stock photos required were purchased…

and with a bit of masking, modification of the stars and adding to the glow of the earth, a fitting holiday card was born. It is easy to find a decent holiday card, but it takes a little more thought and energy to come up with a card that is worth keeping. Paragon did just that.