Friday, October 18, 2013

Photoshop Vampire

I stayed after school last night to play around with Photoshop, and I successfully adjusted one of my photos for lens distortion, as I discussed yesterday. I had no idea what I was doing, and Photoshop has about a million little buttons and drop-down menus, and I wasn't even sure whether I was really in Photoshop or Bridge, or even what the difference is. But I'm better at figuring things out for myself than in learning from books or instruction manuals, so I just played with it. I go to the manuals only when I get stuck.

Someday I need to figure out "layers." Photoshop separates photos into layers, and these layers can be manipulated in various ways. I think this is how people make major changes, like removing objects and that kind of thing. I'm not sure I'll be doing much of that, because it goes against my journalistic grain, but I'd like to know how.

Anyway, I'd hoped to have some before-and-after photos to show you this morning. But then, before I had a chance to upload my work to Flickr, the computer server shut down -- perhaps a planned maintenance of some kind. I'd saved it, so I'm not too concerned, and I ought to be able to get it back today.

The photo above was not Photoshopped at all. She really was wearing denim overalls in central London. And I say, why not?

I woke up this morning at about 2 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. So I came out to the living room and read "Dracula" for an hour or so. Kind of vampirical behavior, to be prowling around at 2 a.m., right?

(Photo: Central London, Oct. 8.)


  1. I like her look. I used to have overalls & I LOVED them, although they were about the most unflattering thing ever. So comfortable though.

    Dracula at 2 a.m. - I think NOT! Ha! Maybe a Calvin & Hobbes book, but not Dracula :)

  2. I haven't started using Photoshop yet but, I've used something similar called Paint Shop Pro for years now and I still don't know how "layers" work. I'm exactly the same way when it comes to learning this stuff. I read the guide and sometimes don't understand a word of it. When I get Photoshop, I'm thinking of taking a class. The lady in your photo looks pretty cute in that outfit!

  3. I have photoshop elements but I don't know if I can fix distortion or not. Some of the pictures I take of installations come out looking like I used a fish eye. I have not idea how to make the straight lines straight.

    If you have ever seen the old classroom Overhead Projectors which used sheets of transparent acetate and could show images built up from overlaid "sandwiches", or if you have looked at traditional rostrum camera film animation, where a background cel or layer of perhaps wallpaper and a floor lamp was made to move past, say Tom chasing Gerry, these are the basic layers approach to image making.

  5. I actually love playing around with photos. I don't see it as making the original image inauthentic but merely different, another sort of art. enjoy!

  6. I like Peter's explanation of Layers. I use GIMP for photo editing. It's chock full of buttons and menus. It's not as intimidating as Photoshop, but I still probably use only 2% of its functionality.