It is official, I have joined the After-Before Forum that appears on Stacy’s blog, if you have been reading the blog for a while you might recall I have contributed to this forum before and I will attempt to make this a regular feature of the blog each friday. As part of the group we will, once a month one photographer will submit an image that each of us will work on, and in our own blog post we will describe the steps we took to process our image. Stacy’s blog will show all the different images with links to the various photographers who are participating.
I am pretty sure that you won’t see two images alike. It is a great way to learn, to expand both our processing skills as well as our own visual awareness.
Emilio Pasquale has submitted the first image of the year, I titled it old cars. I don’t know if Emilio has a bunch of old cars sitting in his back yard or if he visited a place on a photo expedition, it doesn’t really matter. Here is the image he sent to us.
I knew as soon as I opened his file what I wanted to do with the image, and it always takes me longer to write these blogs than it does to process the image! I should tell you the Emilio has a sense of humor and I couldn’t look at that yellow truck without thinking it needed a little happy face!
I opened the file in Photoshop, and my first job was to find a happy face, on the internet to copy and paste to the truck, using the transform tool to twist and distort to fit the grill. There are dozens of great learning videos on YouTube, that will explain the transform took way better than I can. I have provided a link, check a few of them out if you want to learn more about how to use the transform tool.
Each time you paste a clip art to your original photo you have a separate layer, that enables you to adjust the blend mode and to opacity of the layer, each will affect the final look, for this layer I set the blend mode to overlay and the opacity to 64%, this allows the grill of the truck to show through slightly. Before I can go on I have to flatten the image into one combined layer.
Staying in Photoshop, my next step was to use the tilt-shift blur tool, the screen shot below will show you where I placed the blur tool and adjustments made.
This keeps the yellow truck in focus while blurring the other trucks. The Photoshop blur gallery has various ways to blur an image, and there are times when it is fun use these effects to enhance an image to tell the story. My next step was to use Analog Efex Pro 2, using the setting for Classic Camera 2 to get the grungy old photo feel. Below is a screen shot showing the program, you can see on the right side all the different areas that can be adjuster to suit you image and your vision.
It is easy getting lost in these programs, at each set there are literally dozens of options to choose from to achieve the final look. I have to admit that I have previously spent several hours watching training videos, and working with different images to see the results. I am to old for beach volleyball, and a bit of a geek, I would rather be doing this than knitting! I knew exactly what I wanted Emilio’s Old Cars to look like when I open the image for our first Challenge so the total time was about 30 mintues, that included taking screen shots to prepare for the blog post.
Drop me a line in the comments section, let me know what you think of the final image, then head on over to Stacey blog to see what others have done with Emilio’s image.