Friday, January 08, 2010

Photoshop fun.

Long day on the bike in the 40 degree cold rain. Still better than a lot of other options. Got home after dark. Happened to have the Nikon along. I've been meaning to get a shot of a sign on top of a downtown theater. So I did.

I had thrown the Gorilla Pod into the trunk. With the Nikon set up on the Givi trunk I took a few shots. This was my very first one and was actually one of the best. Settings were at ISO 200, 1/3 second, f/8 and at a 102mm focal length.

It's pretty cool how the neon lights up the building around it. Of course, you know some of us can't leave well enough alone! You also know what's coming, don't you?

Recently, several of us seem to have been setting trends for each other. I did some black and white. So Bluekat did a post with a black and white photo with a touch of color. You can see it here. So then Mike did a post with the Toys R Us logo done in the same treatment. You can see that here.

As I'm looking at this photo, I'm considering the possibilities. I am using Photoshop Elements 7. For the life of me, I haven't been able to find a history brush. You'll have to see the tutorial, but basically it means converting a color photo to black and white or grayscale. Then the history brush restores select portions to the original color version. Elements 7 doesn't seem to have that. So I did it the long way. There's an option to saturate and desaturate a photo. So I literally painted the photo into greyscale. A big brush for the large areas and a small brush where I carefully traced around the sign. Now my mouse finger and hand are falling off. There has got to be a better way. It might entail spending the money for one of the CS versions.

Once done with the saturation exercise, I tweaked the contrast and brightness just a bit. Despite the fatigue factor, I think the finished product is pretty striking. As you can see, it's almost 11 PM. As an end to the day I'm posting the photo for your feedback. I hope you like it as much as I do. Time for bed. Good night!

Miles and smiles,



Chuck Pefley said...

Now you've done it. Opened Pandora's box, that is. Your fun is just beginning. And yes, there is an easier way, but I suspect you're right in thinking upgrade to CS4. Your fun is just beginning. FWIW, I personally like the original better, but then that's just me.

Richard Machida said...

Both are good and I do like the lighting on the building in the original. I would consider removing the telephone line but that's just me...

Arizona Harley Dude said...

I don't like any of these Black-n-White pictures with a hint of color.

No, they aren't ugly, they don't change what Was photographed, but now I want to try doing it.

Thanks a a lot Irondad.

cpa3485 said...

Very nicely done. You have given me an idea or two. Now that it is tax season and I am chained to my desk, I will just have to find a bit more time to try something out. I like the photos very much.

Charlie6 said...

I like it!

Chris Luhman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Luhman said...

Nicely done, but the B&W process with a touch of color sounds complicated. I've done the same with -- makes it very easy. It can even take your photos from picasa or flickr edit them, and then save them back.

Here's one that I did of my bike at a training class last year.

irondad said...


I know,when will it ever stop? I like the original the best of the two, as well. It's just that the difference between the B & W and color is so striking in the second one.


That same thought about the telephone line struck me, too. I was simply too worn out with the photo rework to mess with it anymore last night. I also wanted to publish it while I was enthused about the photo. Now I'll have to go back and remove the line!

Arizona Harley Dude,

You're welcome! My main goal was to gain skills. The opinion of each photo obviously varies with each one.

Welcome to the Dark Side. Or should I say Black and White side?

Take care,


irondad said...


As if we don't all give each other enough ideas already! Thank you for the compliment. By the way, you will surely need mental breaks the next few months. Be sure to take them.


You should learn to not be so subtle. Thank you!


Got so excited you submitted a duplicate comment, eh? I'm flattered.

Seriously, thank you for the tip. I checked out the photo. Pretty cool. Now I have to check it out.

Take care,


bluekat said...

This is how you spent your photoshop time? :)
Really, really nice shot. I too love the color one, but the black & white is quite striking too.

Anonymous said...

Thats very nice irondad, both the origional picture and the retouch, i think i like the origional more, but the retouch is more ... postcardy* ... ie the ladies will love it ;-)
I do quite a bit of editing for the office, logos and such, and have decided that hand editing is the ONLY way to do it.
Often pixel by pixel, it's tiring, but the results are always better than using a standard filter.
Instead of spending a lot of money on software, look at the GIMP, free photo software that is really very good.
Thanks for sharing, peace!

David said...

Very nice pictures! I've always loved B&W photography, and have all the equipment to process and print my own film, although I haven't done so in years. Digital is much easier!

As to the trouble with your hand cramping using the mouse. Get a tablet. For around $100 you can get a basic Wacom tablet (Don't go with a cheaper brand, the Wacom is worth it) that will make all your graphics work faster and easier. Takes some getting used to, but once you're used to it you'll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Dave T.