Thursday, February 17, 2011


(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

Yesterday was one of those days when I was in the mood to lazily lean back in my rocking chair in front of the fireplace and enjoy the rain from our comfy living room. You have the picture, right? A throw around my shoulders, Sheltie at my feet, a little reading, some music, maybe a little television, and some time spent just watching the rain fall.

Switch the music, something allegretto now, and wipe that last image. Instead, I was working on the large order for my friend and client down south. Having printed proofs a week or so ago, I have spent some time each day, for the last few days, making those final tiny tweaks to all the images. This is definitely not therapy for my back. Quite the contrary. But, it is a labor of love.

Since these are the images on my mind, I thought I would share a couple of them with you. The horse in both of these pictures is one of her stallions, Posey. As you can see by the second image, My friend loves a fanciful approach. While she is a big fan of more straightforward, representational pictures, she also gets pretty excited about a few that are made into something outside reality. Early on in my processing of the files from that shoot last April, I had been playing in Photoshop one day and had fiddled around with this textured background made from a photo taken at her place. Later, when she viewed her sideshow to make selections, I showed her both versions of this one—the "straight" one with the out-of-focus background (same background as the one above) and this version. Without a second's hesitation, she went for the more fanciful treatment. 


  1. 2 wonderful shots! You have to tell me how you make your selections in Photoshop. Special software or plug-in? Channels? What??? I can see every hair selected, great job.

  2. Ken - I very much appreciate the kind words. You are quite generous.

    I would only give this smart mouth answer to someone with your sense of humor: it's the fairy dust. Seriously, No plug-ins, never had much luck with the channels method. Mostly, it's starting with the selection tool in CS3, then mustering a lot of patience.

    I have discovered that, occasionally, I can skirt the more maddening aspects of meticulous masking with blending modes and maybe retaining a part of the original background in the most difficult areas. In the first image, I had a clean and out of focus background to begin with—a piece of cake. I just did some toning with color. For the second one, I couldn't leave well enough alone.

  3. Anita, after viewing these wonderful images and reading your reply to Ken on your methods, I have to concede you have much more patience then I for this type of detailed work.

    Excellent job!

  4. Earl - It is more of a blend of patience, escapism,and obsession. If I could hike and travel about more, I would not find time for the demanding detail work. My substitute for the more active life I would love is to get lost in all those layers and immerse myself in the discovery process. Thanks for the comment.


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