Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I heart computers. (Most of the time.)

One day, I'll graduate to Photoshop. For now, I can rock Picasa and Paint. Yes, Paint. No laughing. =)

One morning this summer, I was up at the mine, waiting, hoping, and praying that campers would show up for a tour. I know it was morning because I was bored enough to take this picture of myself:

Sometimes I like to pretend to be serious. =) It's an ok SOOC pic, but I see (at least) five problems:

(As always, click for bigger. The numbers show up better in the big one.)
(1) Big zit on chin. We didn't have running water. Cut me some slack.
(2) Greasy hair. See (1).
(3) Fly on hat. Again, no water = no shower. And the flies were bad no matter how delightful you smelled!
(4) Distracting ore bucket and rocks in the background.
(5) My arm.

Thanks to the computer, I can knock out all of those problems! First thing's first: crop! I love cropping, because I'm still not very good at composing pictures on the spot. I do much better looking at an image on a screen, and then figuring out where I want my focal point to be. I like the rule of thirds a lot. That probably is because I like fractions a lot. Sue me. So anyways, in this pic, I cropped out (3) the fly, (4) the distracting bits, and (5) most of my arm. I also got my eyes close to one of the rule of thirds lines.

Ok, so now we're left with (1) zit and (2) greasy hair. Hair is easily taken care of by ditching the color. I think lack of color also works well since I was portraying a miner in 1922, and we like to think that "the olden days" were black & white or sepia, since those are the only pictures we see from then. (I wonder what people from back then would think of that. Obviously they lived their lives in full color. Would they think it's strange that we think of them as black & white?) Anyways, back to the photo. Here's the b&w:

It's alright, but sort of ick. I don't like b&w pics of me. I think it has something to do with my skin tone. Here's the sepia:

I sort of hate sepia because it looks washed out and faded. I have enough problems looking washed out and faded because of my pale skin. I don't need the computer to help me out on that one! So instead, I "warmify" the b&w. Warmify is a command in Picasa that I love. It helps rescue color pictures where the white balance is off, and can be layered on top of the b&w to give this:

I suspect it has an equivalent in Photoshop, because Ree does a similar thing to her pictures. So that hides (2) the greasy hair, and I like the tone. Last but not least, (1) the zit. Open that baby in Paint, magnify, and pencil over it, sampling colors from all around to get a good blend. If you look closely, you can see it's still a bit smudged there, but I'm ok with that. If you didn't know what you were looking for, you'd never see it. I also added some glow in Picasa. (I like to think of it as a combo of two of Ree's favorite Photoshop tricks: Portraiture and Slight Mug Shot Pop.) Et voila!

My new Facebook photo. =)
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  1. that's awesome. I need to learn my picassa that well. Currently, I can add picture in there, and. . .yeah, that's really it. :)

    Love the pic

    ps-I don't know how to us the rss feed, or even how to go about getting it started. I have matt check it out and let you know

  2. Very nice picture. I have Photoshop and still have never tried to use it.

  3. OK I am now off to my picasa and warmify. I guess I need to be more your pics a lot thanks


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