one day at a time


Hofgarten © Verena Fischer 2012

Hofgarten © Verena Fischer 2012

At times it feels great to just play around with a picture that you feel is not exactly your best until you finally like it. Photoshop is just great for such experiments. For this I took a moderately boring picture from the Hofgarten in Düsseldorf and followed a rather random Photoshop Tutorial to get me started. I actually didn’t even like the colour effect this tutorial was supposed to achieve, but I thought I just modify the approach as I go along, since it came close to the feel I wanted to create. It kind of went like this: A hard light blend, a soft light blend, blur the background layer, blur the soft light blend, a lighting effect using Filter -> Render -> Fibers, convert to black and white, channel mixer, adjust the layer masks for the blending layers, brightness and contrast, blend in two textures, add the border. After step 4 I was already far far removed from the tutorial and my result resembles the effect of the tutorial in absolutely no way. Still, it was a source of inspiration somehow. And since I liked the result of my Photoshop improvisation, I thought I’d share it with you. I like how much I can learn by just playing around. Equally good for learning are tutorials, although I really never follow them to the letter.


11 responses

  1. Lovely. My eye perceives sort or an S curve; one of the sort of holy grails maybe according to the utterly heroic Sam Abel. HE coined the phrase, my photographic life. Also, the life of a photo. Also the idea of loud verses soft photos. Also places that were not over-photographed; like in this case some grass & so on. HE was almost fired from National Geographic for his more quiet photos, as if to say, no need to shout. Seems like you’re in that vibe a bit. I support that thinking, myself, very much. HE also shuns tricks like exotic unusual lenses or any flash.

    July 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    • Thank you for the tip! I watched his talk on his book The Life of a Photograph and I was very impressed with the way he worked. I already knew a couple of his pictures before, but his attitude is definitely interesting. I also don’t like flash, never use it, and my choice of lens is rarely exotic. I like shooting with a standard wide angle zoom lens 18-55mm and with the classic 50mmm. I only take out the telephoto on special occasions.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

  2. Tammy

    I love playing…and your playing payed off!

    July 1, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    • Definitely with playing you can achieve so much and I love playing as well. Playing is such a strange phenomenon though!

      July 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

  3. I think you should be the one making the tutorials, Ms. F…

    July 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  4. hi Verena – really enjoy your daily notes, and as i received an invite for a creative project, i thought this might be interesting for you, too: 100 Days of Summer, it’s about being creative on a daily basis for 100 days and sharing / inspiring each other – starts on 5th July. let me know if you interested, then i send details and send an invite (it’s all free + web-based, some interesting artists / authors / bloggers take part)

    July 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    • Hi Dorothee! I’m glad you like my blog! This creative project seems interesting and although I’ve already missed a few days, I’d sure like to participate. I only noticed the starting date now, since I was busy for a few days. V

      July 9, 2012 at 10:39 am

  5. I love the graininess of this image! 🙂

    July 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    • Thanks Richard! Grainy was definitely what I was going for here 🙂

      July 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

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