GIMP, you ain't got NOTHIN'...

...on Photoshop Elements 8. :D

So I recently downloaded the 30 day trial of PSE8 and bought a book I've had my eye on for a while concerning PSE8.  This past weekend I *FINALLY* got a chance to get shots of the band using the 50mm f/1.4 (yay!) and while I still need to go through the rest of them, I picked out one to mess around with in PSE8.

I was following instructions on how to get an effect that the authors of the book call "The Surreal Edgy Grungy Effect".  I followed the directions exactly and then tweaked them a little.  The first time around wasn't fantastic... then I tried again today and tweaked a little more... I might still be on a PSE8 high, so it's probably not as good as I'd like to think it is (haha), but I think my second attempt came out better than the first... I also spent more time on the second attempt and utilized layers to control different amounts of sharpening and what not...

Here are the results of that adventure...

ORIGINAL:

John Original

FIRST ATTEMPT:

John

SECOND ATTEMPT:

Second Attempt

Alright... time to get back to going through these photos!! ^_^

Post Process Madness!

Alright, so on Monday I have a shoot with one of my best friends and her fiance.  She wants to get some shots for their Save the Date cards. She already has an idea in mind, so we'll give that a shot as well as whatever else we come up with.  Her idea was to have 3 panels on the card.  The first panel would be a black and white shot with selective coloring; her fiance will be painting her hair yellow.  The second panel will be selective coloring as well, with her painting her fiance's tie green.  The third panel will be full color with wording that says something along the lines of:  "Now we are complete".

I know how much "normal" photographers hate selective coloring, but this is my friends wedding and I'm going with the thought of, "She can have whatever she wants" as a result... and in this case, with the sequence, I think the idea of selective coloring goes well.  Sure, it might be cheesy... but it's a wedding Save the Date card... they're always cheesy... she just wants her cheese to be a little more unique (to her standards) ^_^

Now there's a catch to this...

While she was describing this to me she mentioned a certain look to everything... she had me image google "A Scanner Darkly".

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/a_scanner_darkly12.jpg

Oh great.

I believe the words "You're killing me woman" may have escaped my mouth XD

So, after declaring that I was by no means, a photoshop wizard, I set off to find out what the *HELL* that affect is and how it's done.

Turns out it can be done 1 of 2 ways...

1.  Vector Art. - The problem with this is that I don't have a graphics tablet so drawing *anything* accurately would be difficult... not to mention... holy work load!  Seems like something fun to try later on... but... that's just not going to happen right now.

2.  "A Scanner Darkly" Photoshop Filter Plug-in - The problem with this is that... well... I don't have Photoshop.  XD  I'm running GIMP at the moment, and from what I can tell... there is no plug-in equivalent to that for GIMP.

So while I was bored yesterday, I decided to attempt to try and create an effect as close to the "Scanner Darkly" effect as possible.

I posturized, sharpened, blurred, applied an oily filter, layers and masks... layers and masks...

Took a while, but this is what I came up with:

Original:

Self Portrait
A Scanner Darkly Effect

Edited:

So what'da'ya think?  Close?  Nah, probably not... it's not cartoony enough... but... who knows.  I'll show her and if she digs it, great... if not... I suppose I'll just have to hand the files over and let her roomie do it for them.

Learning the Process...

This week I attempted to start learning post processing using GIMP... what a task!  Haha, I think I've done a lot more reading than doing this week trying to understand the concepts behind the graphs, lines, values, and various tools... and I'm no where near *half-way* done. Click on images for larger version

Both of these images were taken in *SUPER DENSE* fog :) Here was my first day's attempt:

Original: Original Scale

Final: Color Correction Wood Scale

Here was my edit from the second day I tried my hand at PP:

Original: Woodland Home Original

Final: Woodland Home Final

After posting them on some photo forums and getting some feedback... and just from simply stepping away from the photos and coming back to them later... I've decided that I don't really like them... but they certainly were a learning experience.

I had a couple edits posted for me by other users that were helpful in serving as a visual aid as to what I should be going for, so hopefully next time around the results will be better.

They won't be *perfect*... but hopefully they will be *better* :D