I was quite excited when I opened my birthday present. It was the best toy I'd received in ages. My delight soon turned to disappointment, however, as I began searching through my memory cards for some decent photos. There were a few good ones, mostly from when my husband had borrowed the camera, but, there was no doubt about it, most of mine were crap.
I resigned myself to the situation, sorted out the best ones and put them on a memory card, which I then inserted into my digital frame. Within a few days, I was bored with looking at the same mediocre photos.
Eventually, my husband decided to have a few days off work. We couldn't afford to go away on holiday, but we went out for day trips, here and there. Wherever we travelled, I took my digital camera, ignoring my husband's snorts of laughter, whilst I attempted to take some average photos to display in my frame. I constantly struggled with my fashionably large handbag, camera case, specs and, very occasionally, with my sunglasses. Sometimes, I forgot to put on my specs, or take off the lens cap. On one occasion, I left my specs at home. At other times, I dithered over framing a good shot, but then found out that I didn't have a memory card in the camera. I balanced precariously on stiles to get a good view of the countryside, or waited endlessly, for a gap in the crowds, so that I could capture a scene in the middle of the city. By the time my husband returned to work, I felt that I had some better photos to display in my photo frame. Once I had them on show, however, I was disappointed once more, as I suddenly realised that most of the skies were overcast and some of them were spoiled by unwanted objects.
It wasn't possible to wait for some good weather and return to all of these places, to have another attempt, so I decided to take a better look at the photo application, which had accompanied my digital camera. I had only ever used it, previously, for a few basic tasks. It wasn't Adobe Photoshop, unfortunately, but with the help of the magic wand select tool and the cloning tool, I was able to improve some of the photos to display in my digital frame. They wouldn't stand close examination, of course, but it's not as if I'm entering them into any competitions, so I don't see that it matters.
Here are a few before and after photos, which I am quite pleased with. Some were taken last year and others quite recently.
The photo below left was taken last year in a village not far from where we live. I have enhanced the colours, so that they show up better on my photo frame and cloned the sky from another photo.
The photo below left was taken just outside the village of Fotheringay, Northamptonshire. Again, I enhanced the colours slightly and cloned the sky from another photo.
The photo below left was taken from the University Parks in Oxford and it is of Keble College Chapel. It was difficult to change the sky in this one and I had about 4 attempts. I had to completely remove the tree on the left and clone it back in again. To get rid of the over exposed spot, on the right, to the side of the tree, I cloned in a few extra leaves, as you can see.
The photos above and below are of Hertford College bridge, in Oxford. I had wanted to see this particular bridge for quite a long time, so we decided to have a day trip into Oxford. The bridge is very popular with sightseers and I waited for 20 minutes, or more, so that I could take a shot of it without people. Unfortunately, it wasn't a brilliant day and the buildings behind needed transporting to a more suitable site! The cloning out of the bicycle, leaning against the railings, in the photo below left, was particularly tricky.
I've been a dreadful cheat, and, obviously the Bridge of Sighs photo isn't a true depiction of the scene, but I am quite pleased, now, with a lot of the photos on display in my digital frame. I only found out recently that I didn't have the quality on my digital camera set to 'fine', so I am hoping that the next lot of photos I take will be an improvement on the last.
Now, how about you? Do you ever enhance your photos, or do you find it unnecessary? Come on, you know you want to tell me!
magic wand select tool - allows you to select an area of your photo based on colour similarity. It is then possible to apply various effects to change that particular selection, only.
cloning tool - duplicates one part of your photo to another part of a photo.