Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School Inspiration


Friday was the first day of school in our town and the neighbors on our street met for the traditional "Breakfast at the Bus" to see the elementary school children off to school.

It was a cool morning and there is something about that bit of crispness in the air that accents the start of something new.  I don't have any school aged children at home to put on the bus, however, I still get that "new" feeling each year when the school year begins.  It's time to start an adventure, try something I've never done before and learn new skills.

For many of us in the US, the reappearance of the iconic yellow school bus is a symbol of a new start every autumn. I edited this photo to remove the color to show the importance of the yellow bus.

The full color photo doesn't look all that different - and I do love the happy coincidence of the red backpack on the left and the red stop sign on the bus.  Which version do you prefer?

original photo

I really enjoy trying different photo editing techniques and manipulating my photos to create new digital images.  For the image at the top of this post I started with this very ordinary shot of a flower on our Rose of Sharon shrub in the front yard.

edited photo

After cropping and adjusting the contrast and color I had this photo.  I then used the photo to create a new digital image.

four images rotated and grouped

I grouped four flowers together to create a new image (flipping and rotating the flower to make a symmetrical pattern).

50 percent opacity

I reduced the opacity to 50% and then copied and pasted the image.

50 percent opacity and rotated 90 degrees

I rotated the second image 90 degrees and layered the two images together.

two images layered together

The two images are rather ghostly so I added a black square behind them to create more intensity.

Black square added behind images

The black background helped but I still needed to adjust the saturation and brightness to get the result I wanted.

saturation and brightness adjusted

Here is the final floral image - ready to add a word or a quote for inspiration...

word added with a glow behind the letters

I added just the word "Inspire" sampling the color from one of the greens in the image.  I also added a bit of a yellow glow behind the word.

Do you like to experiment with your photos and try different effects?  I find it fascinating to try different ways of manipulating digital images.  Sometimes I like the results better than others but the great thing with digital designing is the "undo" button - you can always try a different method until you get a result that please you.

I hope you have a great weekend!  Please leave a comment to let me know if you'd like to learn more about "playing" with your photos to create new images...

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  1. I enjoy all your posts and would love to see more photo editing segments. I have a very unsophisticated editing program but I love playing around with it. I recently created background paper for a dainty scrapbook page of a picture of Queen Anne's Lace by softening the edges of the photo all the way to the middle and printing it out on cardstock. (BTW, I have an almost new Nikon D5100 that I'm learning to use. Love it!)

    1. Thanks Dianne! Using a photo for a background is a great way to get more photos on a page - and it looks "arty" too! Enjoy you new camera - things have been so busy here that I haven't had a chance to try out all of the features on mine yet.


  2. I have not yet tried manipulating any photos but I'd like to. What kind of software do I need? I use a Mac.

    1. Hi Frann, There are lots of choice for programs and I'll be reviewing some of them. My favorite one is for the PC but can be run on a Mac if you have it set up to run Windows programs. More on this topic to come soon. If you just want to try something quick and easy, look at "PicMonkey" - it's free and allows you to do lots of effects and add words. There are some items that require upgrading to the paid version but lots of choices that you can try out for free.


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