Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Pretty Pictures

Is it cute? Or is it cute?

Okay, you're's cute!

This is Darling's horse, Quiet Storm! We've made a silhouette from a photograph of her, then had it printed onto t-shirts and buttons and such. And if you'd like to see a few more (and perhaps even order), you can check it out at my new Cafe Press Store!

Here's the original photograph. Its one of Quiet Storm running across the pasture. I've got to tell you, I was pretty excited to get her eye in focus as she was galloping past! If you're ever photographing something that's moving, just follow along with your camera as the subject is moving past. Don't forget to keep moving even after you click the shutter, and your subject will be clear and the background blurred.

This is the original image. Not only did the eye end up in focus (sheer luck, I assure you), but her stride has her looking like the Ford logo, don't you think? I used Photoshop to create a layer, delete the (ugly) background, and then change the color of Quiet Storm to red (and black and pink!)

I'd love to explain how to do this, but to be honest I'm just learning it all myself. The Geek Boy, aka Grammar Nazi, has had to show me how to do this stuff. Several times. Over and over. Again. I believe I've finally gotten to the point of not running from the room crying when I get frustrated with it all.

The most important thing that Geek Boy has taught me is to create a duplicate copy before doing anything else. That way when I screw up (and I will screw up), I've still got the original and it's unharmed. I've been altering my images strictly through clicking the little auto contrast button, and that's made a huge difference...or at least I thought it had been. But the Geek Boy has shown me something new. Something called layers.

Remember the beach photos from last week? Well, I began playing with layers. The above photo was altered slightly to give a bit of a sunset using layers. Between the Geek Boy and Betty Jo (who gave me a tip on a particular technique using my new found layer skill), I re-worked the photo to look like this:

The second photo is really lovely when it takes up the full screen; it's got such a soft, romantic glow to it!

Another feature that I like to use are the filters. You can give your photo the look of a painting, which is what I did with the hay wagon below. Isn't that the coolest wagon, btw? It may appear a bit too small on the screen to truly see the 'paint', but hey, the wagon was so cool I had to post it anyway!

This is a better example of a before and after on the filters. The original is first, followed by the 'dry brush' filter.

Okay, then there's this one. I LOVE this photo! It was taken a my friend Nancy's place (the wagon above is her's, too.) We've had a pretty wet winter, and her little shed here was sitting in water, just crying to have it's picture taken.

I used the same technique on this photo that I used on the second beach photo, but the blurred layer on this one is stronger.

And of course...Geek Boy the Grammar Nazi himself! And what is it he's framing his face with? A very, very old computer hard drive! Aren't you glad they don't make them like that anymore?


Connie Peterson said...

I love the look of the pictures!! I need my sister to show me how to use that program!! Haven't figured out how to use layers, yet.

Revee said...

I love the picture of the running horse! Great action shot. You're experiments with the other photos were really neat. I'm still learning how to center my subject! LOL.

Dixie said...

Look like you are figuring out that photoshop stuff pretty quickly!

Beautiful photos!

Rachelle said...

Okay I have to ask, what version of Photoshop are you using. Mine just does NOT have all those things. Of course mine is an older version, but it's so simple to use....

I love the pictures. You have some beautiful scenery up there, someday I'll have to come and see it all for myself.

Tammy said...

looks like you are having so much fun with your photo shop!!

Tracey said...

Thank you, ladies! Glad you're enjoying looking at the pictures.

Rachelle, it's photoshop 7. I'm sure it's got tons of features that I'm clueless about. Tons!

Gail said...

Got a little behind on reading looks to me like you are doing a great job with the camera and the photo shop, keep up the good work.

RoseMary said...

Great photos Tracey. Especially the horse on the T-shirt. I know that Darling is proud. The shed is really awesome, too. I'm trying to learn to do some of that myself. I think I need a better filter program before anything can look like yours do! Have a great weekend.

Sue said...

Wow, your really kicking butt with photoshop, awesome photos, I love the little shed too! I have PS5 and still haven't had much time to play with it. I love the green background, so festive, are you making corned beef and cabbage too? How about some irish soda bread, I have recipe posted on my blog! Happy green day!

smilnsigh said...

I always am amazed by that original photo of Quiet Storm, on your Mustang Diaries. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!


Liam's Mom - Gina said...

He looks like Kenny from Southpark in that first photo of the hard drive... funny!