Showing posts with label editing photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label editing photos. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Reviewing Crystal Photography Ball


For Christmas, I received a Crystal Photography Ball.  These balls have become quite popular with photographers and  I was anxious to get one and try it out.  The great thing about these balls is that they are a fun way to try different techniques with your photography no matter what type of camera you use.  When I got mine for Christmas my  nephew tried it out with his iPhone with wonderful results.  So whether you use a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, a point and shoot or even a camera phone try out a photography ball to add some new interest to your photos.

Taking Photos with a Crystal Photography Ball

I have found that it takes a bit of practice to get used to shooting with the photography ball, but with a bit of practice you can get some interesting shots.

Here are a few tips that may  help you.

  • Try using a wide angle lens and get close to the ball.
  • For landscapes you may want to try a zoom lens.
  • Be sure to focus on the image in the ball
  • Be careful not to use the ball too long in bright sunlight...you could get burned from the reflection.
  • Take care to keep your  ball free of fingerprints.  Bring a cleaning cloth with you.
  • There are lots of tutorials on You Tube.  Take a look at a few to get additional ideas.



Editing Photos

One of the first things you will notice when  you look at the photos you have taken is that the image in the ball is upside down.  There are several things you can do in editing to correct this.

  • The easiest solution is to simply flip the entire image as you can see I have done in this image.  This works particularly well when the background is blurry and you have lights in the background.  Here is one of my first photos with the photography ball.

  • Another solution would be to add a textured background to the photo.  I did that in the photo at the beginning of this post, where I added a fire background to the candle in the ball.
  • A third solution is to flip just the ball in Photoshop or a similar program.  I have not quite mastered that technique yet, but you can find lots of videos on YouTube to take you through that process.


Some of My Favorite Crystal Ball Images

Here are a few more images I have taken with my crystal ball. These are some that I took while on a trip to Jupiter, Florida.  I still have a lot to learn, but I love the challenge.




Purchasing a Photography Ball

A crystal photography ball can be rather inexpensive.  Here is one like the one I have with a clear stand and a pouch to keep it.
                                                             


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Saturday, August 27, 2016

How to Remove Blemishes From Photos Using Photoshop

How to restore old family photos using photoshop
©Louanne Cox
Let's review how easy it is to use Photoshop to remove blemishes from photos, trust me it's really simple and well worth the time spent to restore old family photos.

As one of the genealogists in our family I have been given a number of photographs over the years that have been in shocking condition from one that was ripped in half to countless that have age spots and blemishes on them and then there's the creased photos!   The positives is that today's photographs will all be preserved in a digital format so that future generations can see what their ancestors looked like.

I digress, this is supposed to be about removing blemishes (by which I mean the age spots that older photographs sometimes get, NOT grandma's birthmark or grandpa's big ears!) with Photoshop.

To begin I'm going to show you two versions of a  photograph of my great grandmother -

How to remove blemishes from old photos using photoshop

The original photograph was on a piece of card with the photographers name on it - this had actually been cut or broken off so you couldn't easily read it.   The first thing I did after I had scanned the photo was to crop it so that we were left with just the photo and no evidence of the 'card'.


Using the picture above you can see the Image drop down menu button is circled with the number 1 next to it.   If you click on here it will show you the option to crop your photograph, if you want to.

The number 2 circle is around the Enhance drop down menu and I went to this and clicked on the auto smart fix button.   Now why did I do this?   A number of older photos that I have which are in the sepia tones tend to be really light when I scan them in and the auto smart fix just seems to darken them slightly without over correcting.   If you don't like the result just click the undo button and miss out this step.

On the left hand side of the image you'll see the number 3 circle that is around an icon that looks like a band aid, this is the spot healing tool aka our best friend!

Now if you're into 'airbrushing' your photos this is the button that can get rid of wrinkles etc, but for our purposes we're just using it on age spots, spillages and creases that were on the photograph.

Once you've clicked on the icon and you move your mouse back to the picture you'll see a circle appear.   Move the circle around a 'spot' and click it, the 'spot' will disappear just like magic.

Restoring old family photographs with photoshop - a how to guide

When you've clicked on the 'band aid' you'll find that a sub menu appears at the top - see the red circle in the above picture.   This is where you can adjust the size of the circle that appears.

So now you know how to remove blemishes in Photoshop, let me give you a few more tips that I've found helpful.

Zoom in on the photo - just use Ctrl + to make the photograph a few sizes bigger and then remove the blemishes.   It can make it easier to see them, especially creases in photographs which can really show up once you get rid of the brown age spots.

When working on the face make the circle as small as you can so that it just covers the blemish you want to remove.   I had a photograph of my grandmother as a teenager and something that looked like coffee had been dripped onto it at some stage of it's life (before it came into my possession).   One of the splashes was over her eye and when I clicked on it her face just looked strange - I have no other words!   I zoomed in on her face, made the circle smaller than the stain and clicked on it from the outside of the stain in - that worked out really well and it's one of my favorite photos now.

Don't work on too many photos in one sitting.   When you're zooming in and doing a good job you don't realize what a strain on your eyes it is.   If you sit there and do half a dozen photographs once you walk away from the computer you'll realize that your eyes have been strained and they can really ache, so can your head!   It is quite addictive though, just make sure you only do a few photos at a time.

Now that I've shown you how easy it is, you might just be thinking - I need Photoshop!   Trust me you'll use it for far more than removing blemishes from old photographs, so I've added the link to purchase it just below.  

Adobe Photoshop Elements 14Adobe Photoshop Elements 14
I have Photoshop Elements, although not 14 yet, I hope to get it upgraded for Christmas this year.

Having Photoshop is fun and addictive as there's so many different effects you can create with your images. I do have to share a funny story about my daughter a few years ago. It wasn't long after I first got Photoshop and she was looking at some photos I'd taken of her and didn't like any of them because she had a pimple and she was showing too much gum in some of them ........ personally I thought they looked great, but I'm just mum!

Anyway I asked her if she'd like me to Photoshop them, her eyes opened wide and she said, "can you do that mum?", I replied of course I can or words to that effect and she left me alone to work on it. She wasn't impressed with my results - I gave her elf ears and a wavy nose - her dad thought it was hilarious, but my pre-teen (at the time) did not appreciate my idea of photoshopping! I'm not suggesting other parents do this, but it was funny and even she tells the story of mum photoshopping her nowadays.

I hope that I've helped you to remove blemishes from your old photographs as they are precious. Looking at photos is a great way of triggering memories, I love pulling out our photo albums with my mum and reminiscing. It's funny how everyone remembers things differently and you can go off on a number of different tangents just from a single photo.


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Editing Your Photos

I strive to compose  my photos so that very little editing is needed.  I like my photo to represent what I saw through the lens of my camera.  There are times, however where a bit of editing is required.  The two photos below are an example.  You will  note that in the photo before the editing the lighthouse is a bit crooked and the horizon is not quite straight.  The other thing that bothered m e about the photo was the lone tourist standing by the lighthouse.  Sometimes it is great to have people in the photos, but when I am taking a photo to be framed or to be used on Zazzle I really like to have the scenery without people.

Before Editing 

 In the photo below you will see the results of the photo editing.  I use Adobe Lightroom for my photo editing.  For this photo, I first went into the crop tool and moved the angle slightly to the right to straighten the lighthouse and the horizon.  Next I used the clone tool to click on the person and then clicked on the cloud to fill the area where the person was standing in with clouds.

Before I finished I slid the clarity and the vibrance slides up just a bit.  The photo below is the finished product.  Although I think the before photo was good, I do think the after editing photo is better.  What do you think?
After Editing






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