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Photography: Words and pictures

Black Country

Sometimes you want your photograph to get across a particular message. Then you can use words overlaid on your picture. Someone once said that the Black Country was black by day and red by night. I edited this image to try to convey that and added the words. How did I do it?

First I changed my image to grey scale, then colourised it red. Then used out region (out of focus) to colour the left side of the picture in grey scale. Then a vignette completed the image part. The lettering was done in black with a white shadow. It takes a little practice.


Here I’ve used a faint sepia image in the background. Then a script for the lettering. It’s fun making up and designing different diplomas and certificates.

Truck Stop

I’ve used region (out of focus) on this image and added a border. Then I added a little text to make it interesting.

RAILWAY with text sepia

Quite boring pictures can be made interesting with a little editing and the addition of some text.

You can also design leaflets and posters this way. You do need to think about definition for posters. I had a photo enlarged to 30 X 20 inches, that was at 300 DPI (dots per inch) and it was 3000 pixels by 2000 pixels. I can take photos that are 6000 X 4000, so I could do even larger posters. You need a camera that goes to 24 Mega-pixels for that size and definition. Lack of definition isn’t always a problem with a poster if there isn’t too much detail in the picture. You can get some idea of definition in Windows Photo Gallery by zooming in on part of the picture and see if it become pixelated. You also can do quite effective adverts. If you’re advertising a shop, you want people to find it easily and so a photo of the shop with text to say the address and phone number over the top can be very effective.

1 In your dreams edit

This one is more artistic, but to advertise the pub, it would have been better to get the whole sign on!

What do you think? Have you tried editing your photos? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.


5 responses

  1. I liked ‘The railway’ picture, ‘The black county’ picture looks haunting, may be use of the red gave that effect. Yes with words and pictures one can come up with visually interesting communication, I will try that!

    26, February 2014 at 6:04 am

    • Hi Fairy,

      When I was a child, the blast furnaces would open at night and the sky really was red, a little like a sunset. On a dull day, the smoke from the industry really did make it look black by day. I always had bronchitis as a teenager and so it’s much better now. This kind of editing can be very effective for advertising. A shop front with the address and phone number overlaid is effective.

      26, February 2014 at 9:53 am

  2. Hi Mike, Excellent illustrations of the power of editing. Adding text can also help on Pinterest, giving context to the photo and perhaps increasing the likelihood that people will click on an image and visit your articles.

    The marketing potential is huge, I can even see an estate agent using these editing techniques to bring attention to a home or office on the market.

    26, February 2014 at 3:04 pm

    • Hi Carolyn,

      That’s a good idea to post to Pinterest. Small shops have difficulty marketing and they don;t stand out like larger stores, so they can put a photo of the shop, the address and phone number all in one image. They might even include a marketing message! I’ll be popping over to your site soon. There are a couple of posts I want to read. I’ve been trying to fix minor errors on a Zillion Ideas. It seems OK now but a post was publicised wrongly. Maybe it’s a one off glitch! I’ll see what it like on the next post. I have a hospital appointment tomorrow and so I’m trying to get ahead with things. The sun is shining too, so that means taking a few photos!

      26, February 2014 at 4:14 pm

  3. Pingback: The review: Too Black Country? | Mike10613's Blog

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