Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Those Were The Days My Friend

Here's an "oldie but goodie". It's one of the first images where I tried to do a major revamp. Just to go through the litany of what was done is sort of fun. You might want to click on the smaller, before image as we go through. Things that have been removed, going from left to right we have the road and car that appear under the tree. Then there's the bench under the right hand side of the tree. The sign announcing the church's name and information. The fire hydrant by the sidewalk. The downspout at the corner of the front door foyer. The sign with the church's schedule on the right side of the front door. The man walking along the sidewalk and finally the entire house beyond the church itself. Seeing as the sky was completely blown out I really don't consider that to be a removal as much as an exchange, or maybe a replacement. To get an idea of the difference in time between what it took me then and what it might take me now, hit the "read more".

Being that this image was one of the first images I played with extensively, it must date back to 1999 or 2000. To give you an idea just how old it is I took a look at the exif data. Let's put it this way, it's old enough that the exif data doesn't show a date. That's pretty old. I'm sure it was worked in Photoshop 7, the the time frame is about there. I don't think I understood layers at that time, so all changes were made on the background layer. Maybe the sky was brought in as a layer, but I'd guess I didn't have the layers pallet open and didn't understand how the sky got there.
If I remember correctly I attempted the transformation about a half dozen times. Without knowing about layers, if I screwed up, I'd scrape the whole thing and start over. It was almost like game play on a computer. You go until you get killed, or whatever signals you've used up all your attempts and then start over. After a while you figure out that you should save your work before trying something new. Same type of thing. Remember, I was really, really new to Photoshop. Just like being new to gaming. I spent hours and hours working on it and every time I'd hide "something" I'd call my wife over and point out my accomplishment with great excitement (on my part, not hers).
So, as far as the time comparison goes, what took hours and hours back then would probably be done within 15 to 20 minutes, if that. The sky is less than 30 seconds using the Blend If sliders and splitting the sliders to have more control over the fringing. With CS4 having the "preview" function of the Clone Tool getting rid of things like the downspout is very easy. Same with the signs or fire hydrant. I'd probably keep the house beyond the church. I'm thinking it might have been a parsonage and the pastor might have wanted it in the shot. Who knows???
Today I have to have, at least, a smirk on my face when I think of the time spent on the image. Was it wasted time? Absolutely not. It was learning. I'm still learning and I'm sure if I look at one of today's images in five or seven or nine years I'll probably have just as big a smirk as I do today.


Fadi Kelada said...

Hi Tom,

I must admire your patience. I used to be a Photoshop fan for a while but sometimes I feel that there is not enough ram in any of the computers I worked on that could make my post processing experience run smoothly. My last Photoshop work on CS2 was simple portrait retouching that went for 30mins and then the program just shutdown just like that! No warnings. All my work just gone in a split second.

I am seriously thinking if I went full time in photography I would quit PC for good and get MAC.

Thank you Tom for sharing this post. Look forward to read more of your posts.