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Monday, February 25, 2013

Exploring With A Camera ~ Editing Blur


 
It’s time again for Kat from Kat Eye Studio and her Exploring With A Camera. This month we are continuing the exploration of blur. Last month we used our camera to create the artistic blur, this month we’re using post-processing. Artist Blur, as Kat states, "is, at some level, about imperfection.” Imperfection, I like that. Not every image has to be absolutely 100% in focus or perfect to be beautiful. I rarely use post-processing other than adding contrast, cropping, adjusting light, and sometimes adding a very subtle vignette (blurring) around the edges. It’s not that I don’t like post-proccessed images. I do! I’m fascinated with the beautiful images that can be created. My style of photography is just different.
 
This exploration has me stretching and learning a little about  using software to edit images. I have Picasa and I've used PicMonkey. Another thing that hinders my post-processing is that I only have a laptop. I’m never quite sure what the photo looks like. You know how it is, push the screen back and it gets darker, pull it forward and it lightens up. For all I know my images may be really dark or really light!
 
Now on to the exploration. This image of a covered bridge in one of our city parks was taken on a fairly bright day. In post-processing, I wanted to blur the background and foreground, letting the eye focus on the bridge. In PicMonkey I added a Kim Klassen texture “Dream It” and a PicMonkey texture “metal screen.” I erased the texture on the actual bridge leaving the background and foreground blurred.
 
 
 
This image was taken in the fog. I once again went to PicMonkey and used a Kim Klassen texture called “painterly." I like the color it added to the background. I think it added a touch of mystery.
 
 
 
The blur on this flower was created in Picasa. First, I added a little contrast and color boost. Then, I used the focal zoom feature to add blur, erasing the blur on the flower center. Lastly, I added glow and a soft vignette.

 
 
Kat has a beautiful image of trees that she showed for one of her examples using mutiple images. I just had to try this one. I took three consecutive images a few seconds apart. The wind was blowing so the clouds and trees were moving. In Picasa I stacked the three photos on top of each other creating this image with a blurred look. I then added a little softness, darkened it a little, and added a vignette edge.
 
 
 
I liked stacking photos so much, I went into my archives and picked two different images and stacked those. One is of trees that I had blurred by moving my camera and the other is a shot of a sycamore seedpod.
 
Thanks, Kat, for another challenging, yet fun, Exploring With a Camera. I can definitely see why post-editing could get addicting.

I just read that Kat will be discontinuing her Exploring With A Camera series. While I will truly miss her explorations, I understand that sometimes changes need to be made.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much these explorations have taught me! Thank you, Kat, from the bottom of my heart!  She  will still be sharing her talent and knowledge on her web site and through her fantastic courses! 

12 comments:

  1. You are getting very proficient with your camera. Great job on the photos!

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  2. Oh, yes - post-processing is definitely addicting. I love your experiments. My favorite is the shot in the fog. I love the sense of mystery that your processing added and the beautiful painterly feel from the added texture. A great combination of in-camera and post-processing blur to add mood and emotion to an image.

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  3. Cathy I really like the one of the seed pod, pretty cool effect.

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  4. Cathy, these are beautiful and so much fun! I LOVE the foggy forest, and the beautiful pink flower is another favorite. I haven't tried stacking images. I'll have to add that to my to-play list. (That's like a to-do list only more fun.)

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  5. I am just loving all that blur. Your photos look great.

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  6. Wow -- you've done some really creative things with your images, Cathy! I love your mysterious forest, very intriguing. Now you make me want to try stacking images -- you got a great effect there. I have the same problem as you with viewing my photos on my laptop -- I'm never sure how dark or light they really are. Somehow we work around the problem.

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  7. I love your seed pod edit, Cathy. The second image of the mysterious woods is also interesting. I too have enjoyed Kat's "Come Exploring with a Camera" exercises, but we can still all meet up through her Photo-Heart Connection which she is continuing!

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  8. There are various kind of technics for blur. I enjoyed them very much.

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  9. these are great shots and i love the texturing on the first couple. just added that little something extra.

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  10. Love all these images. The covered bridge one reminds me of a bridge I shot this fall, just instead of red it was natural wood color. The fog picture is gorgeous. I love the colors and the blur and the feeling of mystery.

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  11. These are fantastic. - I love you picked up on Kat's comment about imperfection. I'm all about the imperfection too, ha! Your fog photo is beautiful, love the mysterious feel the texture and blur has created. And I'm really intrigued by your stacking images - I'm going to have to have a go at that myself. Beautifully done. :)

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  12. Cathy, it's great to see you embracing this exploration and departing from your usual style. I love what you came up with! I remember that fog image, and I like the addition of the painterly texture as well. It was a great image, and that adds something. The pink flower - just wow! It really pops with the edit you did and becomes something "more" to me. Thank you so much for all of your participating in Exploring with a Camera over the last couple of years. Who knows - maybe I will bring back someday. Or maybe something better will be born!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!