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Editing Venice – Tutorial

Venice by Sandra - Version 2

Looking for photos to edit and my friend saved me by sending some photos of her recent trip to Venice.  At least I think that is where they are from.  The image was opened up in Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6.  I’m sorry I have done this tutorial in Photoshop again, mainly because I wanted to use some things that you can’t do in GIMP, though there isn’t a lot.

One of the first things that struck me with this image is all the shadows and how dark the bottom half of the image is.  It needed some light and life put into the bottom of it.

In Camera Raw the shadows have been lightened up, and the blacks have been lightened as well.  The image doesn’t look as dark now.  There is more interest in the water right now.

Once the image was opened into Photoshop the Levels were adjusted.  You can see what I have done in the image.

Since the water was becoming the focus of the image, I used the Quick Selection Tool to select the river, and to help with the uneven edges and all the boats, the feather tool was used.  I only selected 2 pixels, that is enough for this.

The difference isn’t great, but you can see the differences in the Curves window.  You might need to click on it and enlarge it to see exactly what I did.

Finally, the Hue/Saturation adjustment was used.  I felt the orange was a little over the top, so I wanted to tone it down a little, and it was done only by a small amount.

The Gradient tool was used to make the bottom edge a little darker as well.  When I first looked at the final image I thought it looked the same, and couldn’t work out whether it was better, but when I compared it with the original I could see that it was improved a lot.  Hopefully you agree the image is brighter now.

This image has been put through Color Efex Pro 4, using the Classical Soft Focus, then back to Photoshop CS6, once here I thought putting some colour into the sky might be interesting.  I used the colour picker to get a colour from the image, you can see where I got the colour from, then I changed to the gradient tool and used it to put that colour into the sky.

This is the final image.  I see people doing this all the time, adding colours to the image that you know can’t possibly be real, but some how it seems to work.  What do you think?

This time it was opened up into Color Efex Pro 4 again, but this time I used the Graduated Filter filter.  I used the orange colour and made a few changes.  I haven’t really used this one before.  I can see the benefits of it, but I like the previous one more.

Sandra hasn’t seen these yet, I hope she likes them.  No doubt I will get a directory full of images so that I can edit them for her.  I’m her personal editor.  Actually editing images is something I love doing.  I love starting with something plain and seeing what I can do to it.  Though, I have to remember that what I would do to my images is not what others would necessarily want done to theirs.

HDR Darkroom 2

Remember a couple of weeks ago I did a post on different software packages for doing HDR images.  HDR Darkroom came out pretty well, and would be great for people who are new to HDR images but don’t want to outlay too much money to see if they like it.  It’s good beginners software.

If you are interested in purchasing it then now is a good time.  I’ve received an email saying they’re giving people a 30% discount on the software until Christmas.  If you want to take advantage of the discount then use the coupon code “XMAS2012″ to get 30% off on your upgrade to the full version without watermarks.

That’s Melbourne or Not

I just has a call from them, I had asked if they would be interested in advertising on my blog, but apparently what I do to market Melbourne for them is not good enough, so if you want to visit Melbourne after seeing the photos I do of it, I don’t know that I could recommend them for information.  It is so frustrating, I think I do a lot for advertising this city and I can’t get any help with it.

I did have their logo on my blog for a while once, and it had some problem and it turned my blog upside down, so maybe it is just as well.  I had to remove it, I wouldn’t recommend them now.  I should see what other options there are for people who would like to come to Melbourne.

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69 Comments Post a comment
  1. Very useful, thanks!

    November 26, 2012
  2. Leanne, please (because of subject) look at my husbands own blog of today – http://www.manningtreearchive.com – VENICE. I like to take some of our photos and your tutorial, and see what I can do. Thanks.
    re Melbourne – I am just ‘learning’ that most people/companies want things for FREE on your blog. You deserve a good sponsor – good luck. Ciao, Carina

    November 26, 2012
    • Thank you Carina, I hope you have some luck with the tutorials. I took a look at your husbands photos, they are looking good. Love the water shots, it is so hot here today they are very “cool” to look at.
      I am hoping to get a sponsor as well, I really want to continue doing the blog so it would be nice to be able to.

      November 29, 2012
  3. arjun bagga #

    Awesome ! I got to spend some time here and learn quite a few thing

    November 26, 2012
    • That is great arjun, it is always great to be able to share knowledge. Thank you.

      November 29, 2012
  4. Interesting to read how and why you switch between the different software packages. To be honest; I like the picture but I’d put some more yellow/orange in the sky. So it becomes more compliant with the colour (light) of the buildings. But that’s just my humble opinion. I love your photography!!!

    November 26, 2012
    • I know what you mean, and that is what I was trying to do, but it came out so pink. I think the last one was over the top, though the one done with nothing in the sky is the one that my friend liked. Thank you.

      November 29, 2012
  5. Great, Leanne, you change the atmosphere of the image. I like it.

    November 26, 2012
    • Thank you Susanne, I like what you have said, it is funny when I sent the image back to Sandra, she thought I had resent her the original until she compared it.

      November 29, 2012
  6. Awesome I learn from you! Very beautiful If I had more time I would take a class or a workshop I wish days were like 36 hours long. Especially when I’m painting If all I did was spit some paint on a canvas I be ever so productive but alas….

    November 26, 2012
    • I know that feeling, it is hard sometimes. I hope you enjoy the blog though. Thank you.

      November 29, 2012
  7. I like the second-last image the best, the orange sky is a bit strange :)

    November 26, 2012
    • Do you mean the last one Barbara, it is very strange, it was just too much, I think it takes a certain image to use a graduated filter. Thanks. :)

      November 29, 2012
      • Yes, last one definitely too orange!!! Unless the weekly photo challenge next week is orange! Then perfect! :(

        November 29, 2012
      • That last smiley was supposed to be a smile!! :D

        November 29, 2012
  8. I am impressed with what you did to this photo.. and love the end result… thanks again for the tutorial… wonderful work…

    November 26, 2012
    • Thank you Rob, that is always good to hear. I wonder sometimes if the tutorials are any good.

      November 29, 2012
  9. I think your photos of Melbourne and other parts of Victoria are amazing. Perhaps you should send a few of your followers’ comments to them so they can see how wrong they are.

    November 26, 2012
    • I don’t think they consider blogs important, there are other options, I hope. I was hoping they would consider that as well. Maybe I just have to keep going. Thanks for your support.

      November 29, 2012
  10. Very Nice process!!

    November 26, 2012
  11. absolutely awesome!

    new blogger here, looking for people to follow!!! I’m adding everyone who follows me and I loveee reading and feedback :)

    November 26, 2012
    • Thank you, and welcome to the blogging community it is a great world. You are bound to meet some wonderful people. Good luck with it all. :)

      November 29, 2012
  12. Great ideas there! I’ve just spent the last week going over some old photos and many of them were Venice so this looked really familiar to me. Mine don’t pop as much as yours though!

    November 26, 2012
    • You will have to make them pop Wiwi, I’m sure you can. See how you go. I’ve never been there, I hope to one day. Thanks

      November 29, 2012
  13. Enjoying your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine. I will come back to see what you’re up to. It is not hot and dry here-Canada-we woke up to snow this morning.

    November 26, 2012
    • That is great to hear Barb, and you are welcome.
      I have to say I really wish I was in Canada right now, it is 36 C, or 96.8 F, here, not great, too hot. I would love to be cold. Thanks

      November 29, 2012
  14. I love your work and I follow your blog however Im going to be a little objective here and ask why you want to change the original image as it looks great? Surely photography is still about capturing the original scene as it is, not how we want it to be? The end image is nice, but its leaning more towards art and not photography? Maybe if we all worked a little harder in camera and became more accepting of our images we would be less reliant on changing them beyond recognition.

    November 26, 2012
    • I agree.

      November 29, 2012
      • Mirella, I hope you read the comment below, my response the comment you agreed with.

        November 29, 2012
    • This is an interesting point, it wasn’t me that wanted to change it, it was my friend, she sent it to me to edit. Surely photography is about images, whether they come from the camera, or they come from the computer or they come from the darkroom. The final thing is about the image.
      Why isn’t photography art? I don’t quite understand that statement, photography is a form of art, that is what I believe.
      I do work very hard on my camera skills and I think my skills are very good, but the camera can’t interpret the same way as your eye can, and most images need work. You know, the reality is that people have been manipulating photos since photography began, I believe the first HDR image was processed in 1850, Ansell Adams did HDR photography, are you saying his works aren’t photography? He was a master printer of the darkroom and manipulated his images so much. Burning and dodging and manipulating images is as old as photography itself. It seems that only since the digital age started has it become a bad thing. I am disappointed with comments like this, as I consider myself an artist, and I want my images to be works of art, photographic works of art, and that means manipulating them, I love the digital darkroom.
      I hope that answers your questions.

      November 29, 2012
      • Disagree with “The end image is nice, but its leaning more towards art and not photography?”

        In most part, photography IS a form of art. What I agree with in the original comment is that this particular photo doesn’t need much post-production work – it is beautiful in and of itself. And digital manipulation has, to some extent, become a bad thing, because a lot of people (not you) take images and Photoshop them into oblivion. Too much of that takes away the art (and heart) of Photography. Sometimes the most beautiful photos are untouched.

        November 29, 2012
      • I am so glad about that Mirella, and I do agree, the original didn’t need much, all I really wanted to do was soften the shadows, and highlight the water, the last two were just for fun, though my friend liked the first version best.
        I’m afraid, I am one those that think every image needs something, even if it is just levels, though every now and then I do leave an image, but it doesn’t happen often. Thanks for clarifying your position, I appreciate it.

        November 29, 2012
      • Can I just say, I really agree with you about what some people do, I realise I didn’t read it properly, I apologise, and yes, you are very correct.

        November 29, 2012
      • I think you misunderstood my use of the word Art. I referred to art in the context of my post as a painting rather than a photograph. A camera takes a snapshot of a real place, item, person etc, an artist can paint a picture but interpret it in their own way, manipulating it and yes this has been going on since time began. My own personal perspective is that Id rather see the original ‘real’ shot, rather than one that has been changed, sometimes beyond all recognition for example a landscape that could never be real, a portrait that looks nothing like the person it represents. I am just one comment in your list and look at how many agree with you, if you put your work out there then you expect the good, bad and the indifferent. In the grand scale of things my comment is lost in the praise you receive.

        November 29, 2012
  15. Pat #

    I like the first edit. You brightened up the photo quite a bit. The orange sky doesn’t look right to me.

    November 27, 2012
    • I think I agree with you Pat, and my friend did as well. Thanks Pat.

      November 29, 2012
  16. Wow, what a great edit ! The final image is sooooo much better, very beautiful ! I love your tutorials, I always learn something new.
    I downloaded the free trial Color Efex Pro 4 and I adore this plug-in ! I can’t live without it anymore !
    Have a nice week Leanne !

    November 27, 2012
    • Thank you so much, I love hearing that people get something out of the tutorials,
      I love Color Efex, and I’m so glad you tried it out. I hope you have lots of fun with it. You have a great week too.

      November 29, 2012
  17. I love the warmth of the final image. Beautiful. Robyn

    November 27, 2012
  18. Hi Leanne – yes that’s Venice. I can’t remember – did you look at Nik’s HDR software when you did your comparison? If so what did you think?

    November 27, 2012
    • When I wrote this, I hadn’t really done the comparison Mark, but I did yesterday, you can do some pretty cool things in it. I am looking forward to doing more with it. Thanks Mark.

      November 29, 2012
  19. Nice treatment of this Venice image. Adding color back to sky, I would have left it out. But, of course, that’s always in the eye of the beholder. Great tutorial.

    Sounds like Melbourne wants you to run a full-blown tourist campaign.

    November 27, 2012
    • The colour in the sky was just for fun, my friend likes the one without. I started playing with color efex and was trying the graduated filter, I don’t think this was the right image for it, but it was fun seeing what you could do to it.
      I don’t know about That’s Melbourne, I am not sure what they are after, thanks David.

      November 29, 2012
  20. Thanks for the peek behind the curtain, as it were…

    November 27, 2012
  21. prosemachine #

    Thank you for this – will be forwarding this to my sister whom just got back from a trip there. I’m sure she’d appreciate this.

    November 27, 2012
    • How lovely of you, I hope she likes it, thank you prosemachine

      November 29, 2012
  22. Fabulous editing Leanne. You make it seem so easy. I also like the next to the last one. Good luck with the Melbourne advertising thing. Sounds a little challenging.

    November 27, 2012
    • Thank you Bella, I hope you realise that you could do it as well. I thought that was interesting and it is something I would like to try more of.
      I think the Melbourne advertising thing is a lost cause, but I will just see what else I can do.

      November 29, 2012
  23. Certainly will practice about this photo editing. Thanks for sharing, Leann :)

    November 27, 2012
    • No problem at all, I hope you have some fun practicing this. :) Thank you.

      November 29, 2012
  24. Very useful, Leanne. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. :)

    November 28, 2012
    • No problem at all Inge, love sharing what I know. Thank you. :)

      November 29, 2012
  25. I have enjoyed following your blog!!! Wonderful photos – great community.

    November 28, 2012
    • What a lovely thing to say Clanmother, thank you so much.

      November 29, 2012
  26. calvininjax #

    Great to see someone who really knows what they are doing in Photoshop at work.

    November 28, 2012
    • Thank you, I still have a lot to learn, but I am having fun with it.

      November 29, 2012
  27. That sucks about That’s Melbourne but I’ve had my photography published on Schmaps Melbourne, maybe you could approach them?

    http://www.schmap.com/melbourne/home/

    November 29, 2012
  28. It’s so very late here, and I’ve got four of your posts I haven’t seen yet, nor have I been able to answer your e-mail, Leanne. Really liked this tutorial, and adding that orange tint to the sky works for the sky…but not really for the architecture. That is Canale Grande (the Grand Canal), and the building are 14th through 18th century for the most part…and the stonework is very aged in tone. Fun shot to play with though! I’ll get back to you tomorrow sometime…it’s been a very long, busy day…so long I found it difficult to post tonight!

    December 1, 2012
    • I know what you are talking about, I feel like I am constantly playing catch up at the moment. Glad you liked it. No, you are right, the orange tint didn’t work for the architecture, but it was fun trying it and not something I have done before, would like to do more though. I got your email, sorry I haven’t responded, things have gone mad. Thank you so much.

      December 5, 2012
  29. excellent tutorial, I’ll be sure to try this.

    December 2, 2012
  30. Love, love, love the different effects you are getting with this photo! I really do like the one with the vivid orange. Thanks for the tutorial. I haven’t used gradients in processing and will have to try it. Would you consider doing a more step by step tut for using gradients?

    December 3, 2012
    • I hadn’t used gradients like this before, it is interesting and can give quite nice effects. I could do as you asked, I will have a think about it and see what I can come up with. Thanks

      December 5, 2012

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