Monday, December 07, 2009

Taking Great Photos. Part 15: Photographer - Heal Thyself

So - did you hear the one about the doctor in Ireland. His brother had moved to America - and didn't believe any of their old parents' folk stories any more - especially the ones about the little people. He teased his brother mercilessly for retaining the quaint notions about fairies, leprechauns, and the like.

So one day - the doctor actually managed to catch one of the mysterious little folk - and to prove his point - he packed up the little creature in a box and addressed it to his brother in America - and took it down to the post office. In his excitement, however, he did not do a very good job of packing - and as he handed the parcel over the counter to the mail clerk - the little man popped his head out the box and had a look around.

With a look of bored contempt - the clerk pushed the creature back into the box - and thrust the whole package back at the country doctor and said: "Physician - seal thy elf."


And the reason that he didn't send a photo, of course, was because we all know how photos can lie to us - thanks to Photoshop!

I'm very careful - as a lot of the pictures I take are to be factual representations of actual items for sale - I'm very careful to not enhance or alter an image in any way that could be misleading. If you want to learn how to stick your brother-in-law in a photo with a dead president - I'm not your gal. If you want to see what state of the art photo-shopping looks like - check out - now THAT'S amazing.

Anyhoo - notwithstanding all of that - sometimes you have a perfectly fine photo with something like a cat-hair in the background. (Geez - with 2.5 German Shedders and 2 cats in the house - that's never happened to me!) You can wipe that mark out of the photo - and not feel guilty about mis-representation. After all - that cat hair isn't included. The 50 or so cat hairs that are included - they are different cat hairs, don't you see.

Most of you who have played with Photoshop will have probably discovered the "clone" tool. But I'd like to introduce you to "Spot Heal." This little tool is way cool - this is probably worth the price of Photoshop all by itself.

Find Spot Heal on the palette with the rest of the tools. There are actually four tools sharing that spot - so if you don't see the band-aid and the little dotted circle, click and hold until you get the flyaway box, then pick the "Spot Healing Brush Tool" from the list.

Then - it is as simple as clicking on your image on the offending cat hair, scratch or blemish and "erasing" it.

For example - these bead are sitting on a scratched surface with a bunch of dusty particles that make it look as if the beads have dandruff.


But - a little application of the spot heal - and presto - icky flaky stuff all gone.

The Photoshop instructions have this to say about Spot Heal.

The Spot Healing Brush tool quickly removes blemishes and other imperfections in your photos. ... : it paints with sampled pixels ... and matches the texture, lighting, transparency, and shading ... . The Spot Healing Brush doesn’t require you to specify a sample spot - (it) automatically samples from around the retouched area.
This is why it is so easy to use - it's like magic. Just paint over the offending blemish and it disappears. And it works so nicely. I love this tool - if they ever take it out - I'll stop upgrading. :-P

1 comment:

human said...

Thank you for linking to my site :D
( ).

If anyone would like a tutorial on my photoshopping/morphing let me know and I'll email them one.