When one is on a vacation and too lazy to come up with something new, one picks a fancy title for her post and cheats her way into this week’s AfterBeforeFriday with an image already posted for this week’s Monochrome Madness, hoping people won’t notice or mind. That is one long sentence!

Anyhow…This is Drašković-Malatinski Coat of Arms dated back to the 18th century, placed on the outer wall of one of Croatia’s best preserved old castles, the Trakošćan Castle.

Loré Dombaj ABF27 after

Before I started this editing process, I didn’t really think about what I would like to do (as opposed to my usual studious approach). It just seemed a nice subject for tinkering. I think this could have gone in so many different directions, but I doubt anyone could do it better. In fact, I dare you to do it better!

Step 1

Step 1

My first step was to crop the image, thus bringing the coat of arms closer and losing that piece of modern technology from the bottom of the image. Isn’t it nice how they are preserving our historical heritage? Because, there was no other place for that crap, but the bottom of the 18th century coat of arms.

Step 2

Step 2

Moving to step two – I had to remove those bits from the top of the image. That’s where my post-processing skills really shone through. I started painstakingly replacing parts of the image in GIMP, got bored after 5 minutes, switched to brush and just painted it over. Did I mention I am on a vacation?

Step 3

Step 3

Step three was another complicated part of the process. I turned it into b&w. Woohoo me! I’m a Horoscope Virgo, so it was expected that I would be bothered by those little black dots. Again, figuring out how to remove them using GIMP was too much work, so I saved the image, uploaded it in PixlrExpress and used a healing tool to remove them one by one. Because, that is a much easier way.

Step 4

Step 4

Finally, lo and behold – step four. I must confess I have no idea what I did to get to the final version. If I tried to explain how I jumped from tinkering with exposure to adding overlays, to changing back, to changing way way back, to smashing my head against the keyboard, to accidentally falling asleep…you would probably unfollow me. All I know is I played around with vignette for too long and I am helplessly in love with this final version.

And now, a short history lesson:
Trakoscan Castle lies in north-western part of Hrvatsko zagorje, between Macelj, Ravna gora and Strahincica. The story has it that Trakoscan was named after the fort of Thacorum that stood here in ancient times. The second tradition ever preserved has it that it was named after the knights Drachenstein who were the masters of this area in the Middle Ages.

The toponym Trakoscan was mentioned for the first time in written documents in 1334. Although it is known that Trakoscan was built in the 13th century, it is not known who were its masters then, but from the end of the 14th century it was under the rule of the counts of Celje who were at the same time the masters of the entire Zagorska county. However, the family soon died, so Trakoscan was forced to share the destiny of other towns and estates that were fragmented and changed masters. In this division, Trakoscan was, as a unique estate, first awarded to general Jan Vitovec, and then to Ivanis Korvin who gave it to his viceroy Ivan Gyulay, where it stayed for three generations.

In 1566, this family also died, so the state took control of the estate. For provided services, king Maximillian first gave the castle to Juraj Draskovic, first personally, and then to his heirs to enjoy, so in 1584, Trakoscan came into the hands of Draskovic family. This family is one of the most important Croatian noble families. They held high positions in the military, church and state, and gave four Croatian viceroys.

In the time when castle building blossomed in Hrvatsko zagorje, in the second half of the 18th century, Trakoscan was abandoned as a fort, because it lost its fortification character. The castle was faced with sudden dilapidation, and only in mid-19th century, family Draskovic rekindled the interest for its castle. In the spirit of new times, of romantic return to the nature and family traditions, the marshal Juraj V. Draskovic transformed the castle into a residential palace, and the interior was decorated with period furniture, and the surrounding parks into the romantic gardens. This was one of the first restorations in Croatia.

The Draskovic family owned Trakoscan until 1944 when they moved to Austria, and their palace was nationalized. 61 years ago it was converted into a museum with a permanent exhibition. Today, the palace is state property.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll images were captured in May of 2007. with a hand-held Olympus C7070. Info on general settings like ISO, aperture or shutter speed is non-existent, because, back then, I had no idea what all that was.


18 thoughts on “Encore

  1. Hey, Loré, glad to know you’re still in one piece, though I’m concerned about your keyboard. As for your workflow? Genius! I call it the “let-it-rip” system. Just start sliding those sliders and pushing those keys, and voilá, magic happens 🙂 As for then trying to tell others what you’ve done? Yeah, that can be an issue.

    In all honesty, I love your final image and love your post! I laughed out loud many times as a read through it, especially the comment about the “crap.” In fact, I’m still laughing over that one. However you accomplished what you did works womderfully! So cheat away, Loré! I certainly won’t tell 🙂

    By the way, you and Emilio could form your own comedy duo and take it in the road. I’d definitely be a groupie!


    • Keybred iz well ‘nd %live. 😛 We survived our encounter.
      Laughter is a big part of my life, my funny side helped me weather many storms. I remember the first time I came up with my favourite line I was just a kid, I think I was 8.
      My grandma woke me at 5AM to go to work on a corn field. As I was walking through the field, the sun came up and I started singing and dancing and laughing. My grandma said that it was so lovely to watch me having so much fun working. And I said to her: “Well, Grandma…I could either cry or laugh. Work is going nowhere…So, I choose to laugh.”
      I’ll need to check with Emilio, if he is interested in joint venture. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I showed your first line to my husband and he laughed out loud right along with me 😀 Loved your story – wonder if Emilio remembers his first favorite line 😉 As for working in a corn field at 5am?? Umm, I’m too much of a city girl I guess!


      • I am a city girl, too. But I used to spend my summer holidays with my grandparents. They moved to countryside after retirement, kept all kinds of animals, had a huge garden, fields of corns and wheat, big chunk of wood…and they were retired teachers, both of them. So, every day was filled with hard work and lessons. Back then I was not very fond of that, but with time I learned to appreciate what they gave me.
        I am so glad I made both of you laugh. It’s nice to hear that.;)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great image Loré. I like the hit and hope approach, are you sure you’re a Virgo? I knew all that horoscope stuff was rubbish! Thanks for the history lesson and the other pictures are great, it looks a really cool place. Enjoy your holiday! 🙂


    • Hit and hope!!! I need to remember that one, it explains my work process perfectly. I don’t believe in the horoscope stuff, and the sign of Virgo has such a nasty reputation, people make funny faces when they find out I am a Virgo and they always say: “I had an aunt, she was a Virgo and a real b#$%.” Well, thank you, I like you too. 😀
      Trakošćan is such a beautiful place, inside and out, surrounded by breathtaking nature. If you ever visit Croatia, be sure not to miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Your stealing my thunder, Lore! But seriously, if you need any new material…. I love the emblem/ coat of arms and what you’ve done with it. And your commentary about what you did to achieve it rings true. Most of the time I have no idea what I did, I just know I like it. As with your final image. I just know I like it!:)


    • No, my roots are all over the place. My father was from Croatia (region of Podravina, near Hungarian border), my mother was from Bosnia, my grandparents were from Hungary and Germany, I was born in Switzerland. I managed to track my family name back to 15th century, it seems we originated around the coast of Black Sea.
      Working on my family tree, it is such an extensive work.


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