Saturday, April 21, 2012

Adventures in Photoshopping - Or Why it is Important to have Good Photos

I do some graphic design in a small way, and I manage a couple websites.  Recently I was asked by one client to find a photo of a cat she owned and send it off to another person to be used  in an award that this cat won,

While the person in question is intelligent, charming and very good indeed, she and her equally delightful husband are firmly settled in the era of wax tablets and sealing wax.

They don't understand the need for good photos and the ways to preserve them.

I asked them if they had a photo of the cat in question - a fellow named 'Anzo', which means 'Young God'.

Anzo hails from Paris, and for the first couple years he lived in the United States he understood only French.  At one point his owner was trying to coax him from his bed at a Cat Show.  He just blinked at her.

I came over.  "Anzo!" I said.  "Leve-toi paresseux!   Allez, allez!" (Anzo - get up, lazybones!  Come on!)  He widened his eyes at me and strolled over.
Six years later he is retired and getting an award. 

One photo was tiny.  I couldn't make it any 'bigger' or clearer.  So I located another, scanned by his owners in antediluvian times:

Poor color, faded...  I cringed.  And I decided to try to retrieve it.  Anzo was gleaming black with bright copper eyes and a level look.  I didn't think it would be terribly hard to bring him back.  So I set to work.

Photoshop has tools that enable you to cut blur, restore brightness and contrast, and cut 'noise' from a photo.  If you know what you are doing, you can restore the 'freshness' of a photo.  This has nothing to do with falsifying things (which, unfortunately, some people do), and everything to do with making repairs.  Here's handsome Anzo, the charming fellow from Paris, in all his original glory.


I'll have to post some other endeavors, but that will be another time.

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