Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Using freeware tools... and artistic tools

Original image unprocesssed
.. While I do use Lightroom 3 for most of my initial post processing there are certain things it doesn't do. On our recent trip to Raglan I took the following photo which was horribly overexposed. I liked the way the hand railing moved the eye to the center of frame but unfortunately the background was horribly blown out.

This came about because I was shooting in manual mode and had not checked my settings. DOH!! 
Processed in Lightroom
I wanted to rescue the shot as best I could as I didn't have another from the same angle. I was able to calm the shot down using Lightroom and then decided to crop the image and use Photoscape's editing tools and apply a soft focus. 

Finished using Picasa

This gives the effect of having the surrounding area of the shot softly blurred with the main part of the image intact. The effect works well and saves what could have been a wasted shot. It also demonstrates what you can do with freely available editing tools and a little practice.

Lightroom 3 is my only "store bought" software I use, as everything else is free to download and use. For high level editing, I use "The Gimp" when necessary as its a very good free alternative to Photoshop. Like Photoshop though it has a fairly high learning curve, so I tend to only break it out if I cant use my other tools.

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