Ready, Set, Edit!

I wrote about why I wouldn’t manipulate my photos beyond the simple edit before. I wrote about how the perfectionist in me would still see me in front of my computer hours later if I embarked down this road.

However, I’ve established a middle ground. And this medium is thanks to my old friend, time.

I’ve set the stopwatch. I’ve set a self-imposed constraint of 20-minutes for photo manipulations. Once the countdown stops at zero, Photoshop stops too!

Setting a limit puts a stop to the procrastination, the over finessing, and wasting away hours at the computer. Who’s got the time to spend hours and hours editing one photo? Not me!

Rest your head on me
I’ll smooth it nicely
Rub it better ’til it bleeds
And, and you’ll believe me
P J Harvey – Rub ‘Til It Bleeds

A shot from April this year was the latest to get the 20-minute edit treatment. Another aspect of manipulating photos I’ve found is the original capture has to lend itself to such treatment. Photos need to be shot with what they are going to endure in mind. I’ve found dark backgrounds lend themselves to this treatment better than light. Sure, we can engineer the background colours and tones, but when we’re working to a deadline, the less editing we have to do, the more time we have for the effects we’re wanting to achieve.

Edit: Original
“Monday” Originally shot 30 Apr 2017

A dark background is great, but it often needs a little work in order for the subsequent layers of editing to stand out. By highlighting areas where the following effects will reside, it’ll save us coming back to do it later, if the alarm hasn’t already rung!

Edit: Background Enhancement
Background Enhancement

With sections of the background lightened, it’s then time to edit pops of colour for the effects to be overlaid upon.

Edit: Background Colour Enhancement
Background Colour Enhancement

Mist and smoke brushes are then used to create these effects, including some feathered erasing to simulate the smoke wafting through the skeleton’s ribs.

Edit: Mist and Smoke Addition
Mist and Smoke Addition

And debris brushes are used to add dust and debris being stirred up with the mist and the smoke.

Edit: Dust and Debris Addition
Dust and Debris Addition

But now I gotta listen to a 20 minute story that’s just a rumor
And I’m sorry but this nicotine and caffeine don’t gimme the same rush
NOFX – California Drought 

Now that we’ve looked at all the components of the edit, let’s see them as they’re layered upon to the original in the slider below.

  • Original

 

*puffs* “And here’s the result of the 20 minute edit.” *pants*

Edit: The 20 Minute Edit
The 20 Minute Edit

Setting a limit to how much time I can spend, I usually end up with something similar to what I would’ve if I’d spent far longer editing. It forces me to focus on the task at hand rather than finessing a blade of grass that no one will ever notice anyway! Spending a fixed time on an edit frees up time for the other things that are demanding some.

– Brett

Have you ever set a time restriction on what you do? Have you limited the number of photos you shoot, or set an alarm when you’re at the computer editing your photos?

If you’ve made through all my blathering and ended up here, you should sign up to our weekly email round up where you’ll get a recap of all the babbling from the week.

And while you’re doing things, you should definitely join our G+ Community where we hold monthly contests with prizes and lots of other cool stuff too.

The return of the pebble

At the start of this year I made a resolution. So what did I want from the year? A pebble in my shoe!

I wanted a pebble in my shoe to keep me shifting, keep me squirming, and keep me uncomfortable. I hoped that this would keep me shifting until I found my style, or until I became comfortable enough to realise my style would never be constant and it’d always need to be changing; just like my stance with a pebble in my shoe.

I don’t want a career, I got enough to deal with here
Screeching Weasel – Ashtray

I’ve still got that pebble in my shoe. Actually, I’ve now got two of those pesky nuisances in there.

The other pebble that’s making me uncomfortable isn’t igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic; it’s temporal.

It’s the pebble of time that’s causing me to squirm and fidget uneasily.

Thanks to James’ reminder that November is upon us, I’ve remembered that there are quite a few toy projects of varying sizes that I need to begin, progress, or finish in the ensuing weeks!

Time: Busy bee
Busy bee

To Do List

There are the regular video hangouts that Shelly and I have to discuss the running of the blog, upcoming events, LEGO news and planning for the future.

There’s the Brickography LEGO fan exhibition this weekend.

There’s the Toy Photographers podcasts that James is championing. I won’t ruin the big reveal, I’ll leave that to the brains behind it, but there’s work to be done for that.

And there’s work to be done for the Toy Photographers book too. A book? Yes, there are plans for a book too!

As well as Shelly and I regularly meeting to discuss the blog, we also spend a lot of time searching for and inviting guests to write for the blog. They don’t approach us, unfortunately. But, if you’re interested in writing for the blog, please let us know!

Brickvention is coming early next year and there’s the fan art silent auction to coordinate, organise and set up again.

And finally, there’s some secret LEGO business that needs to be done too. I can’t say anything about this now, but hopefully we’ll able to shed some light on this exciting opportunity soon.

We’ll be kickin’ ass we’ll be takin’ names
When we’re bigger than Kiss
Teenage Bottlerocket – Bigger than Kiss

And, as well as all this, I’m expected to write a blog post for this week?

As if I’ve got time for that with all this other stuff going on?

– Brett

If you’ve made through all my blathering and ended up here, you should sign up to our weekly email round up where you’ll get a recap of all the babbling from the week.

And while you’re doing things, you should definitely join our G+ Community where we hold monthly contests with prizes and lots of other cool stuff too.