AB Friday. Making a Blah Photo Cool.

Recently, I have taken a lot of phone photos. These are just little snap shots on life, not really taken with the intent to publish, but more for memory sake.

Sometimes, my phone impresses me though and I get a shot I love, like this one here.

Cee Maroon

Unfortunately, my camera phone just doesn’t always meet the quality I want and prefer for publishing. I hate to delete these shots though. It makes me feel like I am being a snob to my memories. And I hate to delete my memories just because they are not all impressive, publish worthy pictures. This is where editing comes in.

Enter the joy of the After Before Friday Forum! For those of you not familiar with the challenge, which is now hosted by Benjamin Rowe at Aperture64, it is about taking a personal photograph and showing your before and after editing shots.

For this week, I wanted to work on this blah photo of some wild flowers my boyfriend picked for me, which he does often. Below is the original camera phone shot that, as you can see, does not really have sharp focus.

20NOV B4 MlunatoScreen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.11.03 PMFocus is one of those things you really can’t fix in editing. What you can do though, is mask poor focus with creativity.  To do this, I started with the Filter Gallery in Photoshop CS5. A favorite go-to filter of mine is the paint daubs, specifically the sparkle option. I just like the opaque, painting like quality.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.11.34 PMRecently, I learned how to add filters together, thus merging their effects.

So, my next filter I added was the Dry Brush. You can add an additional layer by clicking on the box to the left of the trash can icon (which was cut off in my screen shot, but is below the filter layers on the bottom right part of the screen).

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.11.45 PM

The preview screen will then show you how the two filters look on your photo. For this photo, I still wanted a touch more. So, I added one more filter layer, the Cutout filter. As you can see in the bottom right of the screen shot, you can turn each filter effect on or off. This way you can see how two of the three look together or how all three look merged. This shot, is of all three since all the layers have the eye icon next to them, which indicates they are currently visible. To turn them off, simple click on the eye. To delete them, click on the trash can (again below the layers but in the cut off portion of my screen shot).

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.13.13 PMOnce I had all the filter layers there, I decided to tweak the color of the yellow flower. For this option, I decided to use the Selective Color option that is under the Adjustment tab. As you can see in the screen shot, I adjusted only the yellows in the picture. I liked the blue bottle and didn’t want to change that. All you do here is simply slide the levers around until you get the color you like.

With all that, I got this as my final shot.

20 NOV After MLunato

For me, these steps took the memory of my hand-picked wild flowers and made them into something I would print or even hang on my wall. This editing took my blah snap shot from my phone and made it more.

What do you think about results? Would they be things you would try on your blah camera phone shots? Would they make you more apt to print your shots to scrap book or hang up on your wall?

Feel free to comment. I do enjoy honest feedback. And, make sure you check out Ben’s post this week in his AB Friday Forum post. In this post, he will even give you the links to other blogger’s AB submissions. So one click to several examples of before and after editing.

Have fun and get to snapping. Your phone pics can be art with just a little editing love…even when they come out a little blah at first:)



9 thoughts on “AB Friday. Making a Blah Photo Cool.

  1. This is lovely, you made it look and feel like an actual memory and that is a true value of this edit. I started an experiment this month, joined Instagram and I am trying to publish an image a day. Every morning I snap something with my phone on my morning walks with my dog. The thing is my phone has a small display, so I am flying almost blind. I am planing on publishing a gallery of all the Instagram images at the beginning of December, they will all probably look like rubbish. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya. I snap away on my phone to like I am some documentarian, lol. Then I look at some of the photos and go…well, that didn’t work. But, with a little playing, then can be still used and loved and not just scrapped. I may even use this edit for some motivation posters or maybe make some cards out it! Thanks for your comment. I will have to look you up on Instagram. What is your name on there?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like what you’ve done here. So far, I am limited to working with photos to get them to look closer to what I saw when I took them. I’m not sure if learning more about Photoshop/GIMP or learning more about my camera would be the best way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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