Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photoshop fixes and flubs

Like many people, I use Photoshop to edit most of my images. I do very minimal processing - some cropping, some sharpening, maybe a little play with the adjustment levels or an action or two. It's not because my photos are so amazing out of camera, it's because Photoshop is crazy powerful and overwhelming. I've been using it for quite awhile, but I've barely scratched the surface in learning what it can really do.

Last night, I decided to play a bit with cloning and filling. This picture of the Peanut isn't all that stellar, but the cars in the background posed a nice challenge and the patch of grass at the right seemed like it would make good filler:

So, I spent some time playing with various Photoshop tools and think I figured it out.  Here is a screen shot of the process about three-quarters of the way through. I wish I'd thought to do one half way - it was a hot mess at one point!

First, I used the clone stamp to remove the car in the top right. Then I copied and pasted (is that a word?) the right side of grass and sidewalk along the left edge of Peanut's face. I cleaned that up by erasing the overlap (Carefully, carefully! I feel like a perfectly normal person, but when I start to do this detail work, my hands start tweaking out like a recovering meth addict). I then pasted (paste? pastid? pastifyied?) a second patch of grass/sidewalk to the far left. It seems like with every big move in Photoshop, you have to do an equal amount of clean-up, so thanks to some good advice on my favorite photo board, I used the clone tool as a big fat soft brush on 50% opacity to erase the line left from copying and pasting. Oh yeah, and then I cloned in the bottom left concrete.

Whew! After all that I decided to play with some black and white actions. Before saving the final cloning. Bad move. Real bad move. By the time I decided I didn't really care for the b&w, I was too far in my Photoshop history to go back to color. That crash you heard was my fist through the monitor.

Anyway, here is the end result! I'm proud of the cloning, not so much of the black and white conversion. Although I am kind of jealous of his (Photoshoped) porcelain skin. This is what I would look like if I never met my warm, sultry lover - The Beach.


RobMonroe said...

Nice work. I only get into the detail work on a couple of shots every other month or so. I have found that the quick-fix tools that Picasa has are enough to bring mine up to snuff. My pics are no where near as nice as yours, though...

Joel said...

Good job! Remind me to share with you a similar process I did for one of my wedding photos. It was a GREAT photo... except for the stack of folded-up tables in the background. So, they had to go!

And I believe the past tense is "pasted". :)