One Photo Focus – December…

One Photo Focus is a challenge hosted by Stacy at Visual Venturing, where we all make edits to the same photo and then we see what we have all come up with on the First Friday of the Month.  You can learn more about this challenge here.

This month’s image was provided by Julie Powell.  Thanks, Julie, this was a great photo to work on.

Here is my submission…


And here is the before image…

Julie Powell December One Photo FOcus_LR1000

Check out what everyone else came up with for this image here. 😀

wilberGIMP Tutorial

I had something in mind when I started editing this photo.  Things didn’t quite go as planned and I continued to experiment until I got something-ish.  Then I redid the editing again trying to find an ‘easier’ way to do it and through all that trial and error I stumbled upon an idea that finally made it all click.  This tutorial will be the condensed and easier version, but I highly recommend going off on tangents and experimenting with your own photos, you never know when you will stumble upon a really cool idea.slideshow

Let’s start out by looking at the layers…layers

  1. First, I started out with Julie’s jpg image.
  2. Next, I ran a dodge and burn script in GIMP1 to make the edges stand out more for the filter I plan to use a bit later [Script-Fu->Enhance->Dodge and Burn].  Then I made a new layer from visible [Layer->New from Visible].  It is subtle, but the edges have a harder edge with will help with the filter in step 4. dodge-burn
  3. I made a duplicate of the new visible layer [Layer->Duplicate Layer].  And then altered the image… I used a speed blending smudge brush from the gps-gimp-paint-studio, and the airbrush tool (set to one of the colors in the background) to take away the hard shadows. visible_after_db-altered
  4. Then I ran a paint filter from the G’MIC3 plug-in [Filters->G’MIC->Artistic->Painting].gmic-painting  The crazy spiral marks were made because of the airbrushing in step 3, but I plan to blend that anyway so it’s ok.  paintingWhen I did not removed the hard shadows, the filter didn’t understand where the edges of the flower were.  Also I didn’t like the dark parts in the background.hard-shadows-painting
  5. Next, I wanted to pull out the black lines and save them for later.  So I used the select-by-color tool select-by-color-tool, clicked on a black area.  Then I created a new transparent layer [Layer->New Layer; selecting transparency], with the new layer active (clicking on that layer) I went to Edit->Fill with FG Color (having chosen Black as my Foreground Color prior).  Then Shift-Ctrl-A to remove the marching ants.  I used the eraser tool to remove any black lines in the background that I didn’t
  6. It occurred to me after some trial and error that blending some areas would be easier if the black was removed… I created a duplicate of the Painting layer [Layer->Duplicate Layer], then I used the select-by-color tool, clicked on a black area… Then I hit the DELETE key.  All the black spaces became
  7. I made a duplicate of the removed black layer [Layer->Duplicate Layer], then using the airbrush tool and the speed blending smudge brush I cleaned up the background.airbrush_smudgeThen I changed the blending mode to Burn.  With the Black lines layer from step 5, the cleaned up (burn mode) layer created in this step, and the visible after dodge/burn altered layer from step 3 active you get my final image.  The switching to Burn Blend Mode made all the difference, it turned this image from ok to wow! 😀ok-to-wow

Kind thoughts and comments are welcome!

Until next time…

wilber1 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.

Like Wilber? You can get him here.


2 DarkTable is Open Source software that is available for Linux and Mac, it is a photo editor that does many of the things you can do in Lightroom, like process RAW files. You can download it here. The DarkTable online manual can be found here.


3 G’MIC Plug-in for GIMP is a plug-in that has a ton of filters, you can download it here.

6 thoughts on “One Photo Focus – December…

  1. Wow, Nic, just how long did it take you to put together this tutorial?? I love the slideshow. It’s just awesome to see the changes morph from one to another and, ultimately, to the final image. And the texture/patterns in the petals is just so darn cool!

Kind thoughts and comments are always welcome...

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