animals · ottawa · photography

Fun with Photoshop

Having only installed my ancient Photoshop Elements 2 on my laptop before coming to Ottawa, I have recently hit a stumbling block when it comes to photo manipulations. The reason I installed Elements was because I feared PS would be too taxing on my little mini Dell (I’m stupendously protective of what goes on this baby!), and for the most part I do such minimal photo editing that I figured I wouldn’t notice the downgrade.

Well I have.

I like photography that looks like this for example. And of course, as always, there are ways to emulate such effects in Photoshop (which is probably in conflict with the true spirit of lomography, but that’s besides the point…). Unfortunately most of the tutorials I found to create this look went into complicated Photoshop territory that I just couldn’t figure out how to do with my dinky Elements. So I took a mix of what I had learnt from various tutorials and made my own versions. Let me know what you think!

This one – taken from my usual bus stop – was a few experiments in one. I tried the in-camera Fisheye distortion on it after I took it. Then in Elements I applied a sort of vignette effect, but I fear it is too extreme/obvious. And of course the final step was adding some crazy saturation.

This shot was taken at the Byward Market. It was a generally boring picture that wouldn’t have normally seen the light of day had I not found a way to spice it up a bit. I did the same sort of procedure on it in Elements as the first one, but tweaked everything just a little bit more to my liking.

And finally…

Ah yes. The nightmare-inducing Mystery Bug* I discovered on a pink Montreal Canadiens shirt at The Beer Store! I wish I had a size comparison in the picture to properly show you how enormous this beast was. This picture was actually taken with my cousin’s lovely little Panasonic Lumix, and not being used to the camera I couldn’t get a clear shot as it kept focusing on the shirt instead (and I was eager to put distance between myself and my model so I didn’t stick around to fiddle with the settings). Nevertheless, I think this still came out quite good. Once again, I applied the same techniques as above but with some extra sharpening on the subject. I think I like the overall effect on this one best.

*For your information, after a few hours of disturbing Google searches (that went something along the lines of “giant bug with crazy long stinger tail found in Ottawa”), I finally discovered the identity of Mystery Bug. She is, in fact, an ichneumon wasp, specifically one of these little ladies. From what I’ve read, they are harmless to humans despite that fierce looking “stinger”, which is actually an ovipositor used to lay eggs.

There. My entomological days are over, thank you very much.


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