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Neodigital Art | Step by step edit


SANDWELL VALLEY EDIT

As I write this I can see blue skies and sunshine. It wasn’t like that when we went out to take photographs on Sunday, it was dull and cloudy. It looks nice today, but the wind is a cold Arctic wind. I might still try to take a few photographs later. This picture is after I did the edit, take a look at the before picture, very dull.

SANDWELL VALLEY ORIGINAL

I don’t really think this picture would be improved with an artificial looking blue sky. I have seen that done using Photoshop, but I use simpler software. I used Windows Live photo gallery to edit this.  First I added lots of contrast and made the photo lighter.

SANDWELL VALLEY CONTRAST AND BRIGHTNESS

There are slider controls on the program and I simply moved the contrast one all the way to the right and added a little light to compensate for the extra contrast.

SANDWELL VALLEY HIGHLIGHTS

Then I added highlights by moving the highlights slider to the left. It doesn’t make a big difference to this picture, but that is usually the first thing I do.

SANDWELL VALLEY WARMER

There are lots of different colours in the picture, but green is dominant and so I used one of the sliders in the colour section of the controls to ‘warm’ the picture, which effectively adds reds. Not a big difference, but that subtle difference makes the picture more acceptable.

Milky Pool edit 1

This photograph was taken in much better light, but the editing was more or less the same. I added highlights and importantly contrast to make the picture much clearer and brighter. The tree in the foreground gives the shot depth, but so do the ducks. One of the important things about this shot is the balance between the water and sky. I took this shot again after doing one where I had less sky. Rather than concentrate on the horizon, I was looking at the ducks! I got the centre of this picture on the horizon and it looks much better.

Please comment, if you have any problems with Windows Live photo gallery or you have a question. You can also just say hello or whatever! The is another Neodigital Blog today over on a zillion ideas, using photos sent to me by Carolyn over at the Wonder of Tech. Why not pop over and check those out?

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12 responses

  1. Hi Mike, This is very helpful. It’s good to know what edits you use. I like using simpler editors too. The more complicated ones look fake to me. It’s interesting to play around with edits to see what you don’t like too. That was very useful to show what not to do and what doesn’t make a lot of difference.

    11, September 2012 at 3:12 pm

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I don’t like the perfect blue skies that people do with PhotoShop either, they are too obviously fake. I prefer subtle changes. When I at warmth to a nature picture that is predominantly green it often reminds me of how John Constable and other artists of that era used colour. I didn’t think that picture was very good, but it still improved a little with editing. The river meanders a little there and I was looking for the straight bit and couldn’t find it. Access to nature reserves is getting harder and with more building planned we could lose even more. People don’t really appreciate it now. Last time I walked down the river on a Sunday afternoon. I saw one guy on a bike, one person walking his dog and someone horse riding. Just 3 people on a sunny afternoon and no children.

      11, September 2012 at 4:04 pm

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