Tuesday, 16 February 2010

More than papering over the cracks

Other than buying diamonds for Goddesses I'm also in the process of learning Photoshop in my spare time. An easy occupation you would think, and yet the more I do the more I see there is to learn. I've always been interested in photography but only as an aide to producing a painting. I'll see a scene I like and capture it on film (or digitally, now) with the bare thought that it would make a good painting at some point. I might be aware that the lighting is right and the scene is fine, but would be better without the guy on the scooter, or the roadsign next to the little cottage. But that doesn't really matter because I'd just take them out of the painting. Well now I'm finding out through Photoshop that minor things like roadsigns, men on scooters or even cars can be removed totally from the photo itself to improve it.

And this weeks lesson was even more interesting for me - as I delved back into history to find some well beloved images that hadn't quite stood the test of time. Well, to be more exact, some old photos that were torn, scratched and had had indefinable liquids spilt on them at some point in the past,  infact, the word "knackered" would describe them perfectly!!! LOL

The one of the puppy was the easiest to deal with. The labrador puppy was the dog I grew up with and the photo was really cute, but at some point the black and white photo had acquired some bright pink felt-tip pen on it, and the edges were torn and ripped. So it was just a case of scanning it as a black and white image (shown here) that deleted the pink and then re-building the grass and adjusting the contrast a bit to make the picture whole again. Perfect, and still verrry cute!

The picture with the people in it (all the women in it are related to me but only the youngest one is still alive and she's in her 70's now) was really interesting to do as it was in such a bad state to start with. But bit by bit I got rid of the scratches and creases, the tears and the discolouring. And this is where the "artist" gets to work. Because its very like painting a picture - you have to choose the size of the "brush" and the "tone" and "texture" and  "opacity" of all of that, and apply them in the right place to hide whatever needs hiding. All very specialised and difficult, and long winded, even for me, and I'm used to doing it when I paint a picture. Fascinating work though, to see it building up and then to see the whole picture complete again. I'm delighted with the end result and can see that all my hard work has paid off for the end result. The picture took hours to complete as there are a myriad tiny little scratches in it. It's a bit like rebuilding time!
Now all of this is great, and I'm really loving learning Photoshop, BUT its not the same as painting a picture at all. It doesn't capture the essence in the same way. I love photos but a painting picks up more of the feel of the image I think.  My way forward is still as an artist.

Back to the Goddesses now.........

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