First of all, to choose photos to work with... How does one choose just one or two when you have thousands??? With Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the US) just 2 days away, my thoughts turned to poppies so I found a simple photo of a single blossom, taken in July in Deb's garden.
This is the original - poppy against blue sky. Pretty simple. Not a stunning photo.
First I looked at the exposure and decreased the brightness just a bit to darken the background slightly. Then I added a Picmonkey Paint background. I increased the saturation somewhat, then faded it slightly. Then I added a Bokeh effect and softened it a little on the blossom itself. And here's what I ended up with...
I liked it at this point, but it still was a little light for my liking so I went back to "Exposure" and decreased the brightness then brought up the contrast, shadows and highlights just a smidgen.
I like it better now. What do you think?
That really was fun (thanks Donna!) I guess it's good to give yourself "permission" to just play and see what happens. So I thought... why not do another? So for my second attempt I chose a simple sunset shot taken this summer at a friend's cottage at Maquapit Lake. Below is the original.
Again, nothing fabulous. It's not even in sharp focus. So I went to work. (I think I could really get into this.. it's fun. Donna, have you created a monster?) First I sharpened a bit. Then on to Exposure. I decreased the brightness and increased the shadows and contrast somewhat. Then I added Picmonkey's Water texture. Wow. All of a sudden, I had a more interesting sky- where did those "clouds" come from? Even though it's a "water effect" I think it worked in the sky as well - don't you think it looks very natural? The texture added more color to the water too, and perhaps at sunset you would not see as much blue and green there, but I don't think it's unrealistic, do you? In this case, I don't think the average viewer would even know I have added any "effects".. I've just used the texture to enhance the photo...
"Texture is the most enduring and ubiquitous underpinning of form... certainly a calming, meditative and appealing world for both the eye and mind. " ~ Lynda Lehmann