Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Photoshop drop out...

I mentioned last fall that I had signed up for a Photoshop elements class. I also mentioned that I was the youngest in the class by a good twenty years. I ended up dropping the class. In spite of feeling like a total dope when it came to PS elements I was ahead of most of the class. The pace was slow and I just felt that if I put a little more effort into it on my own I'd get the hang of things. I still have a love/hate relationship with it.
I love it when I take a picture and love it SOOC (Straight out of camera). I feel that I have really accomplished something. To me it takes such skill to take a wonderful picture out in the field using manual or semi manual setting. I push myself to sharpen those skills, it may be a lost art in the future.
I do believe in some degree that Photoshop is taking away from the skill and art of Photography. It's easier to just fix it on the back end because you don't have the pressure of the moment.
On the flip side I can really appreciate the skill that Photoshop takes. It's the modern day dark room. Ansel Adams did a lot of his work in the dark room. Using his skills with developing to make his pictures one in a million.
So I am trying to find a happy medium, to not try and fix every flaw in a picture or make it to processed, but just enhance a few things here and there. All while still trying to get the best SOOC shot that I can.
As I started editing pictures into black and whites I practiced with other editing processes. Here are a few of my before and afters. I'm sure or at least I hope, next year I'll look at these and say "Wow I really have come a long way since those!"
Here is a picture of my husband and I that my sister in law took.
It's a nice picture but the bird in the air and the cars in the background are very distracting. So when I turned it to black and white for my wall I did this to it.

This next picture is of Bug out in the yard. I love the genuine smile on his face in this shot.

The only issue is that dang huge blue ball behind him. Now I do kind of like it but when the picture was turned black and white is just looked weird. So I took it out.

I see so many things that I probably could have done better on that one but eh... it's just fine. Here is a shot that I scanned from an old picture of Bug and his big brother. I loved this shot because it shows just how good of a big brother he is. Helping his little annoying brother.

The only problem was the guy in the background with the stroller and the little girl behind my stepson. So very distracting..... so I removed them and this is the result.

So I'm trying, reluctantly to improve my skills with Photoshop elements. I won't go into how long it took to edit just these three pictures. Oh well life isn't a race right?


Corey~living and loving said...

Great edits.

like you I strive for a fabulous SOOC shot, but from my reading I have realized that it is nearly impossible to get a SOOC shot out of a digital camera that would compare to a SOOC shot out of film. The sensors are just not that good yet.
Most photos need a tad bit of sharpening at the very least after taking the shot.

I also don't like letting the camera decide the contrast and such for me, so I have decided to shoot RAW,so I can decide on such things, instead of PRESET in the camera, which isn't neccesarily exactly what it REAL.

Anyhow, I think you did a great job editing these. :) the last one is incredible cloning.

Mama Zen said...

I think you're doing a fabulous job with these, as well.

I really like the idea of being able to arbitrarily remove people . . .

monstergirlee said...

I think you did a great job removing the background distractions - nicely done. Thats pretty much all I think I would do with Photoshop anyway.
Keep up the good work!

Ginny said...

I sooo need to learn how to use this program! Great edits...