Picture 076

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 10, 2012

This post is going to be a breakdown of an image. We are going to start with an original, and go through the steps to get the finished product. The raw picture is -076, in folder wed0829b. This image was shot 2:06 pm, August 29, 2012. The camera is a COOLPIX L24. The original is 2048×1536, and has 709kb in memory. The image manipulation program is GIMP. The computer is a PC. The location is Atlanta GA.

This image was taken during an emergency trip to record images from Living Walls. One image generated controversy, and if pictures were going to be taken the recorder needed to hurry up. There were a few more images in that neighborhood. One was under a railroad bridge, with the beltline on top. This was on the border between Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown. Just east of the bridge mural was a building, covered in unauthorized art. This building is the scene for this picture.

For the purposes of this tutorial, keyboard shortcuts will be used. On the machine that created these images, most of these functions have keyboard shortcuts. These allow the manipulator to command an action with one keystroke, as opposed to two or three keystrokes, or even a few mouse clicks. The keyboard is almost always faster than the mouse. Some functions require the mouse, and some are easier using a mouse. For the rest, the keyboard is the way to go.

01- This is the original. It is reduced to 720×540 so it will fit in this column. Go to Scale Image (alt+I, S.) The width field will be highlighted. Type in 720. Hit Scale (alt+S.) You need to save this image as a separate file. Hit ctrl+shift+S, and type 01 in the highlighted field. If you want to save the file in a different format, you can type in that format extension. Hit enter, and then “Save as JPEG” by hitting alt+S. The file size is now 111 kb.

We will want to use the full size original to create our final image. Hit ctrl+Z to undo the scale change. This will give you the original image. Cntrl+Z is your friend. It is the only thing you really need to know to work with images.

You very seldom want to use the entire picture. Most raw images have parts that are not interesting. For this picture, we are going to focus on the symbols in the center of the picture. To crop this out, you will use the Rectangle.(R) The only box to have clicked in the tool options is Fixed. The option chosen should be Aspect Ratio. For the Aspect Ratio, the “golden rectangle” is used. This is 161:100. This is the golden mean, which math nerds can tell you about.

Click R, and draw a rectangle over the section you want to select. Take your finger off the mouse button. (PG uses a trackball mouse, and will try to be understanding of those using a different device.) Move the cursor into the middle of the rectangle, push the mouse button, and move the rectangle into the position you want. Go to Image/Crop. (alt+I, C) Reduce this image to 720×447, using Scale Image (alt+I, S.). Save this as 02.

This image is painted on a cement block wall. This means that there are lots of lines you can use to level the image off. This image is fairly level, so Rotate (shift+R) will not be used. Taking pictures of flat images is more difficult than you might think. There is always some angle somewhere throwing things out of kilter. Unless the image is totally flat, at a 90 degree angle to the floor, and the camera is in the middle and focused dead on straight ahead, there is going to be distortion. This is where your image manipulation program comes in.

In this image, there is a couple of inches of mural showing above the cement block line. Perspective (shift+P) will drag that cement black line over to the edge of the picture. When this happens, it will make the left side of the picture level with the right side. Drag the two top sides of the picture to where the cement block line is flush with the top of the image. Go to the Perspective window, and click transform. The letters on top of the image window will say (RGB, 2 layers). Ignore the RGB part. You should anchor the two layers. Hit cntrl+H, and 2 layers will become 1 layer. This is image 03.

On the bottom part of the image, there is another cement block line. It is about 50 pixels above the bottom on the left side, and 60 pixels above the bottom on the right side. Use Rectangle to crop the image. Draw your crop line where the cement block line on the left goes out of the image. Use Perspective to drag the cement block line on the right side to the bottom of the page.

Right now, the image is 720×401. It is best to bring it back to the golden rectangle dimensions. Open Scale Image (alt+I, S.) . Hit the tab key. This will shift the selection from the width field, to the chain symbol. Hit enter while the chain symbol is selected. This will enable you to choose a height size that is a different proportion that what is now used. Hit tab again to select the height field. Type 447 in the height field. Hit shift, alt+S. This is image 04.

It is now time to work on the colors. Open Levels (alt+C, L.) Hit auto (alt+A), and then hit OK (alt+0.) This is image 05.

Some of the dark portions of this image are too dark. To correct this, use Curves. (alt+C, C) Place the cursor over one of the gray blocks, and click. A straight line will go up in the box. Put your cursor over where the straight line crosses the diagonal line, and push the dot up a couple of cat hairs. Hit OK. This will make the darker parts of the image a bit less dark. This is image 06.

The colors can be saturated. Hit alt+C, S, and Hue-Saturation will appear. The third line is saturation. Push that as far to the right as it will go, and click OK. This is image 07.

The colors can be balanced. Hit alt+C, B, and Color Balance will appear. Under Select Range To Adjust, hit shadows. Under Adjust Color Levels, choose red 10, magenta -10, and yellow-40. If you hit the line with you cursor, the marker will move ten points towards the side you click on. Hit OK. This is image 08. Some people would quit here.

It is now time to use a filter. Start by using Gaussian Blur. (alt+R, B, G) Under Blur Radius, type 22.0 in the horizontal field. Click OK. Next, go to Fade Gaussian Blur. Hit alt+E, then click on fade gaussian blur. Click on the little triangle next to the mode window, and select darken only. Hit fade, alt+F. This is image 09. We are almost through.

Saturate the colors another 100 points. Open Color Balance,, hit shadows, and give it 10 points red and -30 yellow. This is image 10. This is the final image.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: