Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My latest attempt at editing pictures

Though I have and really like Photoshop, I am TERRIBLE at using it!  I see all of the amazing things that people do with it and all I've ever been able to figure out is how to use actions that others make to edit my pictures.  While it's great to be able to do that, I've always wanted to be able to do more.  I'd love to be able to use layers/masks/etc.

We don't have Photoshop on our computers at work.  I used to be able to use Picnik, but since it's days are numbered I was looking for another option.  Someone recommended Pixlr to me so I tried it out today on the pictures I took of the girls for Valentine's day.  Before we get to the edits, a bit about the picture taking process with our girls...

I tried to take pictures for Valentine's Day cards yesterday.  I'd gotten suckers and balloons to try to keep their attention and it was a nice day (and I was running out of time) so I decided to do it after school yesterday. I knew it wasn't great timing, but I didn't really have any other option this late in the game.

Jim was home and tried to "help", but it was pure frantic chaos!  Moving furniture, blowing up balloons, and trying to get two girls to be still, look at the camera and maybe even smile was NOT easy! In fact, we didn't get a single picture where they were both looking at the camera.  Lucy spent most of the time crawling around after balloons.

I did get a couple I liked, but nothing I loved.  This is the one that I think I like the best.  But... something about it kept bothering me.

I finally realized that it was the red balloon "floating" behind Stella.  I've seen pictures where photographers remove something from a picture, but I've never done it and have VERY limited Photoshop skills.  Still, something made me give it a try.

Here's the "after".  It's obviously FAR from perfect and you can tell where I messed with it.  I still like it better than the original though.  Of course pictures of them smiling sweetly at the camera would be wonderful, but this look between them is priceless!

Once I got a taste of it I wanted to try it again.  There was a little bit of table showing up in this picture so I thought I'd get a bit more practice in.  Again, far from perfect, but I think it's passable if you don't know I did anything?

 Here it is without: Not a huge difference, but I like it better without.

I'm just including this one because it makes me happy.

And... I think this is our final Valentine's Day card!  Every time I try to make cards I make a ton and then can't pick one.  The final choice is usually left up to Daddy.  This is his pick.  (Though there's supposed to be blue chevron in the middle...  I'll have to check that out.)

I really like this one, but Jim wanted both pictures to be on it.  I did have it printed for myself though.  :)

Do you have any editing tricks for me?  What software/site do you use?


Angie said...

Honestly, on the one where you edited out the red balloon, i probably wouldn't have even noticed. It looks really good, especially for a first try.
I used to have photoshop, but the computer died, and then the photoshop CD wouldn't work... So i've been without for a while now and don't usually do much editing. I totally plan to poke around pixlr, though.

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you posted this...I'm bummed about Picnik going away! I'll try pixlr. I've toyed with the idea of getting Photoshop especially since we get such a huge discount as teachers, but I've also heard that it's very complex and I'm kinda afraid to try it. :)
Your pictures look great!