…or what I like to call “What I’ve learned this month”.
At the beginning of the month I explained how I wanted to go back to my very first after/before image that I submitted to Stacy’s ABF Forum in June 2014. My intention was to see how much I’ve learned in the last year.
Week 1 is my edit from the last year and when I see it today, I cringe a little. Which is ok, because that means only one thing, right? My skills improved big time!
Not so quick…although it is true I know more to recognize that this was a bad edit, that doesn’t mean much. Why? Because I know what I want to do, but I don’t know how to do it. Week 2 is a great example for this, with my unsuccessful merge of two images.
As I am too lazy to finally learn how to properly do layers in GIMP, I went the other way and imported my own cloud image as a texture through PicMonkey. The problem is that the texture goes over the original image, so the clouds looked great in the water reflection, but not so good over the statues and the trees. But what I like about Week 2 is that I didn’t ruin the original image, it looks smooth and the statues are relatively sharp.
In week 3, I continued to work on the merge of two images and was slightly more succesful.
I managed to clean the statues, but I made a horrible job on the trees. At this point I need to remind you this is a scan of a paper photo, so there were some visible lines at the corners of the trees. I tried to mask that by darkening those parts, but I lost the character of the trees, all that is left is this black wall. And what about the hue of the statues? They look like a highschool girl who used a face powder for the first time. In this case, orange is not the new black.
So I said to myself: You can do it. Just work a little bit harder and put more time and effort into your last edit. You’ll see, it will turn out great.”
Few things…Firstly, when you do a project like this one, four edits over four weeks and you want to combine two images into one, remember which freaking images you used the first time! I used different cloud image on all the edits, because I couldn’t remember which one I used the week before. I mean, seriously…who does that?
Secondly, always take at least two days to edit an image. Trust me, don’t trust your self with one day. Last night I thought I was a genius for creating this magnificent edit. Today, I opened up the image and said: What the #%&$? I managed to fix few things here and there, but this is far from that beautiful edit I was seeing last night. Which brings me to my third point/thing/whatever…
Stop. There is only so much you can do. That’s what went wrong with the last edit. I was sharpening, softening, burning, darkening, lightning, contouring, shadowing…no wonder my eyes were so confused. Don’t get me wrong, there are parts I like. I think the trees look best of all edits, the clouds are great, the water was never an issue…but I ruined the statues with my tinkering. No big deal, just the central piece of the image.
My favorite edit would be the smoothness of week 2 combined with the statues of week 3 (in a different color of orange) combined with everything else from week 4.
There is a right way to do this. Ok, there are two right ways to do this. 😛 The best way would be if there actually were clouds when I took this image. Beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds, just waiting there, because they knew I was there. Alas, as with all things in life, I ended up with this version. Ok, there are more than two right ways to do this. One more way is not to choose a paper scan for editing, go digital. Make your life easier. Finally, learn how to use editing programs. Don’t do this half-way, backward thing I am doing. Find on-line tutorials, buy a book, ask your fellow bloggers…Learn!!! Be sure to learn new things the proper way.