One Four Challenge – September Weeks 1 & 2…

I’m a little late to the party, but hopefully I can catch up. ๐Ÿ˜€

I decided that I wanted to work on a photo that wasn’t of a flower for this month’s One Four Challenge. ย I was inspired by Stacey’s image of a butterfly and a technique she was trying called Dispersion Effect. ย Her post was how to do it in Photoshop, and I wondered if there was a tutorial out there for GIMP*. ย Sure enough, there were several, so I thought I’d give it a try.

First I needed to correct a few things in my image, like white balance and remove a few distracting objects from the corners… I’m calling this version “Week 1″…


Week 1

Here’s the Original…



The Dispersion Effect technique itself was fun and not very difficult… the problem came when I showed my husband my version of the technique…ย 150812_NAT_003-DT--gimp4_LR1000-wm

at first he wasn’t sure what I was going for, so I showed him some examples. ย His response was, “she’s cute”…. ย so I decided to try again…


… “the pup’s cute *grin*”…. Ok, I’ll try again (and I decided to add a shadow underneath her)…


He still didn’t give me that “wow that’s cool” response I was going for… I just kept getting that the pup was cute (which was true in the original photo – ugh). ย I thought maybe it needed some ‘motion’ so I added a motion blur…


He didn’t know what it was, but it just wasn’t working for him… he suggested that I try a different photo one of the pup more vertical, maybe it was the way she was positioned. ย I had been working on this photo for so long that I was feeling rather stubborn about keeping this photo. ย And truth be told it took some time to get her separated out from the background, I really wanted this photo to work out. ย So I decided to change the orientation of the photo to see if that would work…


I like this one

Personally I like that version, but again, it just wasn’t getting the response from him that I wanted. ย So I decided to try a different photo (one where it wasn’t her head that was getting dispersed)…


He still didn’t give me the “wow” I was going for (and this photo was much more difficult than the white background)… after some prying I finally got out of him that it was the dispersion of our little girl that just wasn’t sitting well with him. ย It was the subject matter, not the technique.

Ok… well I’ve put soooo much time and effort into this photo and I really like the cute expression, and while I could do the dispersion technique on a flower image, I really wanted to work on a different subject for the One Four Challenge… I’ve been looking at A LOT of flower images lately, and I’m kinda sick of them, if you know what I mean.

So I decided to compromise… it’s not nearly as cool as the dispersion technique, but it isn’t the dispersion of our pup so that is something. ย Instead of making the pup disappear, I just made it look like she was laying on some paint (that happens to be the same color pallet as the pup), so I’m calling this one “Week 2″…


Week 2

So there you have it… hours and hours of work, but finally I got something that he kinda liked… ugh tough crowd this month. ๐Ÿ˜›

What do you think… is it the subject matter? Or am I just not achieving the technique? ย Do you like the compromise?

Kind thoughts and comments are welcome!

I have joined a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me. “This challenge is about processing ๏ผ‘ image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.” Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.

Normally I would do a tutorial… but as you can probably guess it was a lot of trial and error and iterations… and at the moment I’m all discombobulated about what I actually did. ย I’ll see if I can get some kind of organized thoughts and perhaps create a tutorial later this week… maybe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…

* GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop. You can download it for free here. The GIMP online manual can be found here.

21 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – September Weeks 1 & 2…

  1. I really like this, to me it looks like she is jumping from the water. I would maybe rotate her half way between vertical and horizontal, I don’t know why, but I feel that would look great.
    I must admit you are very patient with your husband. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I love your dog – what a great pose – even in the somewhat blah original! But by isolating the dog and adding the soft screen and splashes, you have turned this into something you would see on an expensive birthday card. Now you just have to come up with a kooky caption!

  3. LOL I have created a monster LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ You have some strong dedication to the cause here, doing so many variations, but it certainly paid off, I really like the final vertical image on white, having tried this myself I can see you have really got the hang of the technique and its looking really good!

    • Thanks so much, Stacey! ๐Ÿ˜€ I wanted to have a second week version, and I just wasn’t getting that “wow” that I usually get from him… I knew that “the pup is cute” was code for “I don’t like it but I don’t want to hurt your feelings”… so I kept trying until I uncovered the “real” reason he didn’t like it. All those attempts did make me think more about how I thought the dispersion should flow… next time I should do the technique on something we don’t have feelings for, like a flower or something… now I know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Glad you’re joining us Nic ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Welcome back.
    I saw Stacey’s post too on this technique. So interesting and something I’d like to try too at some point.
    I love the back and forth here with your husband and changing up the results.
    They all look so interesting.
    Could I make a suggestion? I like the dispersion, but I’d like to see it moving from the dog outwards – less to full explosion – blended a bit. Perhaps in areas, masking out some of the heavier spots. Does this make any sense? Hope so ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    This is a fun experiment Nic. Am watching with interest ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • I *think* I understand… I’ll have to play around a bit more… but I think the ‘exploding’ dog makes my husband uncomfortable (me too actually) so I was going to try other things for the future weeks. But thanks for the suggestion. ๐Ÿ˜€

Kind thoughts and comments are always welcome...

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