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September #One Four Challenge – Week 3

It’s 11:00 PM and after 3 hours of trying to produce a decent Week 3 edit, I am done. Half-way between “I give up” and “I gave my best”, there is not much else I can do.

Using a scanned photo and editing with PicMonkey and PixlrExpress, this is probably the best version I could come up with. My approach this week was more careful, trying to choose the best cloud image to merge with the original. I wish the end result to be more clear, but the problem is the original. Since it is a paper scan, I had to deal with lines in the corners. Sharpening and cleaning the image only exposed them more, so there was a fine balance to be achieved here. In the end, I think there is an improvement from my last years edit.
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Last week a fellow blogger Victoria Feathers asked me how I replaced the sky, because she was interested to do that by using free editing sites. So, I will explain it how I did it using PicMonkey (that is a free online editing site). There is a better way to do that by using GIMP (another free editing program), but I have a love/hate relationship with it and still haven’t learned to properly use it.

First step is to go to Picmonkey and open the photo you want to edit. Then go to Textures and Your Own (see those cleverly placed red arrows?).

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Once you are there, click on “Open my textures”.

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Once there, select files that contains your images of clouds. (Clouds=Oblaci in Croatian)

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Choose an image that will best suit your original image. This one is tricky, because it is not easy to blend two images, so you will probably go through dozens before you find the one that looks good. So, my advice is to go out and take as many images of clouds as you can, in different weather conditions. There is never too many clouds!

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When you choose your cloud image, the result looks something like this. You can move the cloud image over your original to better fit it. Be sure to check that little box “Keep proportions”. As you can see, the initial result is not looking that great, so there is much work to do if you want the images to blend better.

Screenshot_5Play around with exposure, colors, softness, sharpness..I imported the blended image into another free online editing program called PixlrExpress, where I used tools to darken or lighten parts of the image, used some gradient filters to accentuate the sky and the reflections. Basically, I played around until I got something I liked.

Again, there is a much better way to do it by using layers (you can do that both with GIMP and PixlrExpress) and I can’t believe it takes me forever to learn it. But, when I start looking at the tutorials, I am like…..zzzzz….falling asleep and drooling over my keyboard. Not the prettiest sight in the world.

Hope this brilliant presentation of my editing process helps. At least I hope you liked my little red arrows and circles, I really went all the way. 😛

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I have no idea what I’ll do for the last week, but maybe the inspiration strucks me and I do some amazing, over the top edit that will look like it is made for the National Geographic cover. Yep, that’s me…delusional as ever.

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Joins us in our weekly fun or just be so kind and check other OFC participants by checking the tag “onefourchallenge” in your WP Reader and Robyn’s blog Captivate Me.

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14 thoughts on “September #One Four Challenge – Week 3

  1. I’ve never tried merging images but after reading your post I’m very tempted to give it a go! I love this week’s clouds and you’ve done a good job adding them to the picture. The statues stand out much better this week than in week two’s version. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your week 3 edit very much. – I also use Pic Monkey a great deal for photo editing and laughed about your love/hate relationship with Gimp, I feel the same way. I hadn’t yet seen your other edits because it’s hard to find them for this meme. Anyway I think you’ve done a great job with all 3 edits so far.

    Here is the link to mine:

    http://wishesdreamsandotherthings.blogspot.com/2015/09/one-four-challenge-week-3.html

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks heaps for the tute Lore – I’ve never used PicMonkey, so it’s very informative!
    Oh dear, I think you and I are having the same kind of month. I too neeeed inspiration!
    I would not have known any of that by looking at your image… I think it’s great and replacing the sky really brings the image together. Nicely done 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice tutorial on blending images in PicMonkey 🙂 I think the addition of the clouds definitely gave this image something it was needing…. great job. Looking forward to week 4’s edits. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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