Last updated on January 20th, 2017 at 01:05 am
It’s Christmas card season here at the Jeffsetter household and this year Mrs. Jeffsetter decided to make an “infographic” style Christmas card to our family and friends. While I may share that infographic on this blog in the future, I will wait until the cards are received by friends/family before posting here.
On the back of the Christmas card, we wanted to feature an image from our travels. Having just come back from Milan, this photo from the Duomo di Milano was the perfect photo for our Christmas card.
Except for it was far from perfect. I had to do some very creative Photo editing to get to the image above.
You see, our First night in Milan there was only a Christmas tree in the Piazza del Duomo, with no lights or decorations in place. We weren’t sure if or when the tree would be lit, so we snapped a few photos of the sights and went home. Notice the unlit tree on the right hand side of the photo.
On our second night, we noticed that some lights had made it onto the tree, but there was all kinds of construction equipment at the base of the tree that got in the way of taking great photos.
The third night saw a few more lights on the tree, but there was still heavy machinery sitting at the base. Since this was our last night in Milan we decided to make due with what we had in front of us and started snapping the Duomo, the Christmas Tree and the Christmas Markets in the background. Most of the photos ended up looking something like this:
While it looked decent for a vacation photo, it was definitely not worthy of printing and sending to family members. I could have simply cropped off the bottom of the photo, but it would make the tree and the cathedral look like they are floating.
What do you do in this situation? I actually used the clone-stamp tool to remove the equipment entirely, make the tree appear more full and to make the Christmas market appear bigger.
This resulted in a photo that looked as if the heavy equipment never existed.
Now we are talking about something that is Christmas-card worthy!
Not wanting to stop there, I experimented with some Photoshop actions to intensify the contrast of the photo and make the image “pop” more on my screen. My goal was to create an image with enough contrast to stand out on a printed card.
The first filter I tried gave the photo an HDR-like effect (HDR = high dynamic range photography, which produces some of the sexiest photos you’ll ever see), but I felt that this image just didn’t look realistic enough for the card.
After playing around with several filters, I decided that I liked one called Intensity the best, and chose it for the back of our Christmas card.
While I am sure that many of you might prefer the image before going through the intensity filter, I have a feeling the enhanced image will make for the best Christmas card.
I look at photos as art, and with the right post-processing, it’s possible to create art from your camera and a tool like Photoshop.
Which of the above photos do you prefer? What do you think of the infographic idea for a Christmas card?