Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Bubble Fun

Blowing bubbles can be real fun.

Especially if you take your camera with you and find that dear special someone who’ll assist you in this exciting game and will make bubbles for you.

Furthermore, it is a great exercise for your shooting skills. I know it because that is how me and my man spent all afternoon yesterday.

Try it!

It’s awesome.




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I’ve always been a big fan of ‘before and after’ comparisons.

Don’t you just like them too?

They are so much fun to look at.


I like all sorts of them.

Whether the couple of pictures shows a face before and after makeup, a diet result or a cat before and after bathing, I love them all.

The pictures ‘before and after photoshop‘ being my most favorite, I guess.


Today, without further ado, I’ve decided to show the world my bundt cake’s before and after.

Though I am not sure whether the world is prepared for such an unveiling revelation.

Anyhow, here it is…


This is the original picture that came straight out of my camera.


The cake was placed between a south-west window to the left and my homemade silver reflector to the right.

Only natural light was used.

It was raining that day so the light wasn’t exactly awesome, though.


This is the same picture, but after I’d made a few touch-ups in Photoshop.


Here is what I did in more detail:

1. I opened the picture in Photoshop Elements 8.

2. Then I used the Move Tool from the Tool Palette (tool icons on the left) to straighten the picture a little. I also chose the Crop Tool from the same palette to discard some unwanted edges.

3. Next, I got rid of the gray haze using a trick that I describe here.

4. I lightened some shadows. You can find a tutorial on that here.

5. After that, I pressed Ctrl-L (Command-L for Mac users) and increased brightness using levels. I achieved that by dragging the middle slider to the left.

6. And I also pressed Ctrl-U (Command-U for Mac users) and increased the color saturation by about 10 points.

7. Finally, I sharpened the picture a little. I have a tutorial on that here.


And that was it.

This all took me just about 5 minutes.

Oh, dear Photoshop, I love you from the bottom of my heart… up to the top of my heart.


And here are both pictures again, side by side.


Have a sweet week, dear friends!





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This picture has been sharpened.


This picture has not been sharpened.


Can you spot the difference?

You surely can.

Especially if you compare the bonbon in the front.


I love sharp, well-defined images.

I want all of my pictures to look that way.

But the fact is that the images that come straight out of my camera are usually rather far from being sharp. Partially it’s caused by my shaky hands. And additionally, cameras themselves usually don’t produce very sharp images… for some specific reason… that I once read somewhere… but have already forgotten.


Luckily, there’s good news. Photo editing software has been sent to this planet to save us.

Whoever or whatever has sent it, THANK YOU SO MUCH for that.


To edit my pictures, I love to use Photoshop Elements 8.

It’s simple and fun to use.

And this is what I do to make my pictures sharper:

1. I open the picture in Photoshop (File -> Open…).

2. Duplicate the background layer (‘Ctrl + J’ on PC or ‘Command J’ on Mac).

Make sure that the newly created layer stays highlighted.


3. In the upper bar, press Enhance -> Unsharp Mask.


4. A window will pop up.

We have three sliders here: Amount, Radius and Threshold.

Frankly, I was looking for a way to use these sliders for quite some time. Until, after about 6 months of using Photoshop, I’ve learned that:


Amount – shouldn’t be lower than 50. I like to start with 50 and increase it if necessary. But most of the times, 50 works just fine.

Radius – I almost always use 0.6 setting.

Threshold – I usually keep this one at 0. Only sometimes, when I think the picture looks a bit too harsh, I increase this setting to 1 or 2.


So, once again, I usually go by 50 – 0.6 – 0 formula.

My blog-sized pictures seem to be happy with it.


5. Once you are satisfied with the Amount-Radius-Threshold setting, press OK.


6. Then, have a look at the Layers Palette.

Here’s a little thing that you can use, but definitely don’t have to if you are perfectly okay with the way your picture looks like now.


In step 2 we duplicated the background layer and since then we’ve only worked with this duplicated layer. Which means that we’ve only made changes to the duplicated layer, leaving the background layer untouched. The good thing about working this way is that now you have a very precious chance to adjust the opacity of the changes that you’ve made. You have the whole scale of 0 – 100% here for you to play with. So if you think that your sharpening should be about 20% less strong, you can easily achieve that by using the opacity slider and setting it to 80%.

Awesome, isn’t it?


7. In the upper bar, press Layer -> Flatten Image.


8. And finally save the image (File -> Save as…).





And after.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial as much as I’ve enjoyed this bonbon.


It had milk filling, my favorite.





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I took this picture a couple of weeks ago.

It shows a magical street of a lovely city called Gyor in Hungary.

We like going there, it’s a nice place.


Since, as you might already know, I never leave my pictures untouched (because that would cause my brain to break), I had to open it in my editing software (Photoshop Elements Eight) and play with it for awhile.

This is what I did, step-by-step…


The original picture.

No editing at all.


I like the magic of the place.

I like how the shadows and bright spots interact.

I like how the history still lives and breathes there.



1. I applied the Pioneer Woman Boost Action here.


I use that action a lot.

It’s awesome!


2. Here I ‘burned the remaining haze’ a little using the Unsharp Mask.


That is my favorite editing technique of all times.

Actually, I once wrote a tutorial about it.


3. In this step, I used the Unsharp Mask again.

Only this time to sharpen the image a little more.


I’ll soon bring a tutorial on what settings I use to sharpen my pictures.

The final result.


And again – before and after.


In fact, the whole transition took me no more than 5 minutes.

Just a few clicks can lead to a very different, punchy and bold result.


What do you think, dear friends?

Do you use any of the mentioned techniques?

Let me know!

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