How on earth…..

…did it get to be August already?! This year seems to be slipping through my fingers like sand.

At the moment I’m still working my way through wedding photos. It’s taking a long time because I suffer from a personal case of perfectionitis and also I can only do it in the evenings after work. I can see immediately the mistakes I made with the camera. I turned the ISO up for one photo, and then forgot, so a lot of photos have come out a bit grainier than they should have done. Oh well. It was either that or have the camera on Auto all the time which would have defeated the object of me trying to improve. 

Good old photoshop elements is real help being able to do at least “something” with the photos that would otherwise be consigned to the trash can. Here’s an example:


I was too far away when I took it, had ISO set too high (hence the grain), but a pretty fast shutter speed (so the colours were too dark and went yukky after brightening up). So I deliberately created a black and white layer, then messed around with the ‘red channel’ (in a very amateur way) on the colour layer to get it as bright as I could, then deleted through the black and white layer to the bits I knew were red. The result isn’t perfect, but I quite like it! And like I said, it would have been unusable otherwise. 

I’ve been really tired in the mornings because each evening I’ve told myself “you’re only allowed to play with photos until 10.30pm at the latest” and then I’ve ended up getting carried until after midnight. Then I’ve had to “wind down” so I’ve normally been awake until about 1.30am.

No wonder it’s been a struggle getting up in the mornings for work! Anyway, thankfully it’s now the weekend so I can catch up on a bit of sleep, and hopefully get most of the photos ‘gone through’. I’ve got as far as the wedding breakfast. Just speeches and people enjoying themselves on the dance-floor to go. 🙂 (I’m enjoying it though!)

Here’s a picture of the location of the wedding. Rowton Castle Nr Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Rowtown Castle

It’s pretty beautiful! And we had such lovely, lovely weather. It’s been quite rainy again this summer, and lovely warm, sunny days have been a bit few and fair between. However 24th July 2008 was absolutely perfect.


And look at that sunset! It’s verging on the cheesy how wonderful the day was!


10 Responses to “How on earth…..”

  1. 1 spiralskies August 2, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, that sunset is almost unreal. Loving the LA photos on Flickr too… If I ever get married, consider yourself booked!

  2. 2 Jen August 2, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Oh, I also meant to ask if there are some clues somewhere as to how you did the b&w/red filtering wotsit? I really fancy having a play about but haven’t found a decent way of doing it yet. Sorry to steal your brains…

  3. 3 nezza August 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    LOL – you’re too kind. 🙂

    Do you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements? I used Elements and created layers. That’s the only way I know how to do it. I will happily explain if you have either of those.

    (The full version of Photoshop costs a bomb. Elements is a cut-down version of it but still has the main features. Elements cost me about £65, but you might be able to find it for less than that. I have to admit I was totally stumped at first and didn’t actually ‘get’ how to use it until I went on my course earlier this year. Now it makes a bit more sense and I’m getting better at doing stuff with it. I gather there’s all sorts of software things out there. The latest one I’ve started hearing more about is Lightroom, so I’m wondering if that’s the ‘next big thing’…??)

  4. 4 Jen August 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I have Elements… I learnt quite a lot about it on the OU course but still haven’t figured out how to do those fab B&W with a highlight colour wotsits. If you have any clues you could send, I’d be eternally grateful :0)

  5. 5 nezza August 2, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Well, what I did was as follows:

    1. Created a copy layer.

    2. Kept one layer in colour – this layer MUST be at the bottom.

    3. Turned the top layer black and white, under Enhance > Convert to Black and White. (I’m pretty sure I cranked up the contrast in the dialogue box that opens.

    4. Turned the top layer invisible, then selected the bottom layer. Went to Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Levels. Chose the Red Level and played with the sliders until the red was as bright as I could get it to go. (I guess you can do the same sort of thing under Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue.)

    5. Turn the B&W layer visble again and selected it. Select the eraser tool (on the brush option). Made sure it was 100% opaque and quite a small brush and carefully erased out where I knew red would show through underneath. (Much switching off and on of layers to check I wasn’t erasing too much.)
    (Hint – zoom in and enlarge the area you’re deleting – less fiddly!)
    (Hint – before you start deleting, create a further copy of your B&W layer and make it invisible, so you have a back-up just in case you muck up!!)

    6. Did Layer > Flatten image once I was happy.

    7. Discovered you can effectively put borders around images by accident by going to Image > Resize > Canvas Size. I find it easiest to change the measurements to pixels. You either add to the tops and bottom, or sides, or both as desired. You can change the colour of the ‘border’ either under the Canvase Size dialogue box, or by using the fill tool back in the main ‘work area’.

    Hope this helps!

  6. 6 Jen August 3, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Ooh, fabulous, thank you so much! Will print it out and give it a whirl later. You’re a star, oh yes you are! XXX

  7. 7 Tilly August 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    I love your wedding photo’s (well, all your photo’s actually). I got married earlier in the year and yours are as good as the ones I got from my photographer (and he cost a fortune!)

  8. 8 nathaliewithanh August 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    What a setting! You should see what I have to work with around here. Beer kegs and flip-flops. I’m not kidding. I have even seen people wearing jeans at weddings (and funerals!)
    I have to say I am not too crazy about touches of color on black and whites. It’s personal taste though; nothing wrong with the way you proceeded.
    As a general rule, I do not spend time trying to save a photograph unless the subject matter is fantastic. Sometimes the quality is secondary if you have managed to capture something great.

  9. 9 nezza August 4, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Tilly – you’re very kind. I’m still learning really.

    Nathalie – it’s a very picturesque place. I’m very lucky, I live in a pretty rural, part of the country just generally really. I’m starting to appreciate it more as I get a bit older.
    Ref the photo – the world would be a boring place if we were all the same 😉

  10. 10 sal August 9, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Stunning sunset, and great wedding pics. I love the one of the bride looking sideways, and the one where the groom kisses her and she is smiling so happily. You have such an eye for photos!

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