Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Q & A about Photo Manipulation

Regarding yesterday's post, Amy asked: "O.k. - how do you do all of those photo tortures? (Do you have special software?) I love todays & am so seeing it (or a different photo similarly transformed) as a quilt.... Print it, copy the shapes onto fusible, attach top fabric, reassemble...... Or would that be too simple?" I do all my photo editing, from simple cropping and resizing, to color or light correction, to weird off-the-wall manipulation, with Photoshop Elements 3.0. I'm self-taught in it, so I mostly just play around and see what I can come up with. The photo yesterday was a pretty simple manipulation. I went to the filter menu and from the "Artistic" submenu I chose "Cutout" and applied it to the snow photo. Then I boosted the contrast a bit and TaDaaa! That's pretty much all there is to it. And yes, you could totally use something like that as the basis for a quilt design. There are sliding controls that let you choose how drastically you want to alter the photo with any given filter. For instance, here's another photo I took in the snow the other day (although our snow has mostly melted now): "Snowy Viburnum" Here it is with that same sequence applied, but applied rather conservatively so that everything is still fairly recognizable despite being simplified: "Snow Shapes 2" And here it is with it made several degrees more abstract: "Snow Shapes 3" I'm sure other photo editing software would allow you to do similar things, but I really love PE3! (I'm sure RSR regulars have figured out that this is my Daily Art Thang.)