Pixel Manipulation

If you hadn’t realised by now, I am quite a GIMPaholic!

In mid 2007, I took an interest in editing photography. Someone suggested Photoshop™ and another friend suggested GIMP. Whilst photoshop looked enticing, I won’t deny that the idea of an opensource freeware program was the selling-factor to convince me to go with GIMP™.

Consequently, I now spend a lot of spare time refining my techniques in this program. I won’t call myself any kind of expert, yet my knowledge is enough for me to clean up blemishes, adjust contrast and colours, overlay multiple images, plus convert to monochrome effectively plus utilise many other facets of this easy to use program to enhance my photography.

For those keeping an eye on my site, you would have seen my manipulated photography on flickr. What I also enjoy is finding photographs on flickr, mostly of friends, to give give a new lease on life. I generally pick images that are already of a high quality, yet just need some sort of enhancement.

I also enjoy the challenge of an image that is either too dark or bright. This can be seen by this manipulation of another photograph by the same artist. Yes, the original image was shot into a dark tank, yet with a bright background image and about an hour of colour manipulation, out emerged this enraged crocodile from the depths of the ocean:

@Rantz's Crocodile

On the flip side, I also enjoy re-editing my own photographs to give them new life. This recent article reveals a wall in the Adelaide CBD. My original photograph was a dark colored shot taken on a cloudy day. As many of us know, the best manipulation for a dismal shot is monochrome. In this case I went a few steps further. Using layering and selective-colouring techniques, I gave the wall-art new life.

Just over a year ago I edited an image found on flickr to see how long it would take me and to explore interesting selective-colouring techniques. I not only found it surprisingly easy, but also a lot of fun – despite the time it was taking me on each photograph. These early shots took as long as 3 hours to carefully manipulate the image, pixel by pixel. I hadn’t learned lasso-ing at that stage, so I was painting the areas I wanted to change to monochrome. I’ve learnt easier ways since then, but it’s been fun learning and getting to this point. The following photograph shows how much fun it is to find the detail of a photograph to give it colour, whilst not losing the background:

Orange (and Red) Railway Carriage

More recently I’ve starting using the “Orton Effect” extensively to reinvigorate beach and landscape scenes from our travels around Australia. Here are two scenes from Minyon Valley, and the image below is from Fingal Head Beach in upper NSW:

Fingal Head Beach

A few days ago I used GIMP to brighten the red-text on this bottle. I also used the blurring and cloning techniques to remove people caught in the background.[ Sidenote: Dead Reds Club of Adelaide on Facebook ]

Reborn Red

Anyhow, you know where this is going: This morning I found yet another amazing photograph that I felt compelled to invigorate with colour and detail.

Dog Sticks (v.2)

I’m sure the owner of the image will be most impressed and will like the image.

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