Friday, October 08, 2010

Playing with Photoshop

Every now and then, I get the itch to try to make my photos look better.  I mean, ultimately, I need a better camera...there's only SO much I can do with the photos taken with the point-and-shoot I have...but even so, I do like to play with actions and brushes in Photoshop.  That said, I am a TOTAL beginner (and have the distinct feeling that I always will be!) when it comes to fiddling around with it is all I ever get around to doing, and even that seems to take hours at a time.  I get lost in jumping from website to website, downloading free actions and brushes and beautiful textures, and then loading them into PS, and then I try to figure out just what to actually DO with them!!  LOL

Part of what has stirred this current bout of PS urge is that I feel like the photos on my blog NEED something around they are too boring just as they are.  They need some sort of frame or border...but not just some plain straight-edge border like Blogger wants to offer me, of course.  So I've gone off in search of the impossible dream, apparently...trying to make Blogger do something it doesn't want to do, once again.  I love the way Tim Holtz's photos on his blog have that unique grungy-looking frame around them - but of course they would - I mean, he IS Tim Holtz, after all.  Anyway, so far, I haven't found anyone who has told me it is possible to make Blogger do this to all of my photos - only that I can create such a frame in Photoshop, then apply it to each of my photos before uploading them to my blog.

Oh goodie!  That's JUST what I wanted to hear.  Since, you know, I upload like a bazillion photos to my blog.  And especially since I edit my photos in Picasa, which would require me to edit them in Picasa, then open Photoshop to put the frame on them, then save them, then go BACK into Picasa - because I actually email my photos from Picasa to my blog - MUCH easier to post that way than trying to upload them 4 at a time while doing an actual post.  Sigh.  And here, just when I was starting to love Blogger again... are some cool things I did while I was playing with Photoshop tonight - 3 totally different takes on the same original photo.  In this first one, I created a frame using a cracked edge grunge brush, and the Lustrous Pop action from The Coffee Shop (a color/contrast pop action).  The overall effect is rather spooky and scary looking!!

In this second photo, I used the same Photoshop action, but used a less obvious and much less scary frame...which I still created using a grunge brush, just a much calmer one.  I think I may have hit slightly different settings on the brightness and contrast in the Lustrous Pop action, as well, on this one.

Finally, on this third one, you can see a DRASTIC difference!!  In this one, while I used the same grunge frame as in the second photo, the photo looks completely different due to the Photoshop action I applied to the photo.  This time, I used another Coffee Shop action, called Simply Vintage.  You can see that it removes much of the color and gives it an overall glow, lending it an aged-vintage look.

So, I still haven't solved the dilemma of what I'm going to do about a frame around my photos yet...but I am leaning toward the narrow grungy frame on these last two photos.  It actually wasn't that difficult to insert the photo into the frame and/or place the frame over the photo - as long as my photos are the same size as the frame.  But I do have a tendency to crop my photos to odd sizes...which would mean frequently having to change to size of the frames...adding yet another step to this whole process.  So I'm not entirely sold on the idea.

If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!  I sure wish there was a way I could create something that I could post as a frame in Photobucket or something like that, and then somehow include some CSS code in my blogger code to automatically frame every photo!!!  Anyone know how to do all of THAT?!  

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