Thanks for visiting my blog! MudBay Musings chronicles creative journeys, with inspiration and humor I find along the way... including my mother's and my artwork, stories, local bird life and garden favorites...
all of which I hope will bring a smile to your heart.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh Boy - Koi !

A few days ago, my good friend Dolores and I did a bit of "gal-liv-antin"(my husband's pun) around town.  We seemed to close down everywhere we went, getting to places late and rushing through.  Sometimes fun things can happen at the last minute though, can't they?  We had fifteen minutes to peruse one of our favorite plant nurseries  before they closed, and I had a camera with me.  Dolores had her eyes set on some beautiful geraniums, and I headed straight for the Koi pond.  These fish make me smile.  They're like little water-doggies with scales, coming up to greet you, begging for treats.  Sweet and full of character.  Photo opportunities don't get much easier. 

It was evening and the light was getting a bit low.  As a result, the original photographs weren't that great.  You can guess what comes next... creative play with Photoshop Elements software!

Below is the original photograph of the above piece, before digital altering:

You can see what I mean - the photos were milky and uninteresting, except for the subject matter of course.  The first thing I did with all of the photos was to use the Auto Smart Fix tool - this cleared up the milkiness rather like using a polarizing filter.  Then started playing with the Enhance-Adjust Lighting features,adjusting highlights/shadows and brightness/contrast.  Also did some creative cropping and / or horizontal rotation.  After that, Filter-Artistic-Dry Brush, playing with the numbers for Brush Size, Brush Detail and Texture. 

Turns out there is a lot you can accomplish with Photoshop Elements without having to do any layering, masking, erasing, coloring, etc.  I did use the clone tool to remove weird-looking objects at the end of the digital alterations; sometimes bubbles or floating pine needles left a bright white spot that took away from the final piece.

Here's another alteration of the above photo:

And just for fun, here's a vintage version - very easy with the Filter-Adjustments-Photo Filter- using various strengths of different warming filters.  (Another way of saying I don't remember which warming filter I finally used or how strong it was.)  I was going for a faded, vintage postcard feel:

Following are three more examples of original photos and altered versions.  (Don't overlook your "busy-looking" photos... the last two photos here seemed to have a bit too much going on, but by isolating a few fish at a time the images were usable.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Catherine, they are so BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the last one, for he reminds me of the "Grey Ghost" we used have when I was a little girl. They are so soothing and peaceful to the mind and soul ... I could watch them dive and glide through a pond all day ... my mind resting ever so peacefully or being hypnotically inspired to write with fervent passion!

Isn't Photoshop a wonder? You did an amazing job bringing the photos to different levels of "meaning". Thank you!!! :))