Prompted by an “assignment” at David Perry’s Photographer’s Garden Blog, I tried messing with the color saturation on a photo I’d taken recently, of one of my few but beloved pieces of garden sculpture.
Igor, as he is called, is a tiny house protector/gargoyle who sits beneath a cutleaf Japanese maple just opposite our living room windows. He is introspective fellow, all curled up in summer as in winter. Currently, his mood is mirroring mine, so I decided to give him his own photo feature today.
First, the original photo, taken with my new camera, whose niftiness I am still discovering (note to self: must read manual someday!), at dusk on a gray January day. I use the low-light setting a LOT – it was my main reason for choosing this camera, the Canon S90.
Doesn’t he look like he’s using that leaf as a blanket? I think I spread some witch hazel leaves in that spot last fall, hoping to camouflage bulb plantings from marauding squirrels. I wouldn’t have thought the leaves would come in handy as gargoyle bedding.
David’s assignment, to take a photo during a low-light time and then dial up the saturation on the computer, prompted a test of the free software Flickr partners with, Picnik. Since they’re a Seattle company, they must know about adding color to grayed-out photos, right? So, I will forgive them their cutesy spelling. Here’s the “blue” version of Igor’s nap.
Probably a little on the garish side, but it was fun to toy around with the saturation and spectrum. I’m sure PhotoShop is way more sophisticated, but it’s also pricey and geared more towards Macs. I have a cheapo PC and no budget for photo software so free will just have to do!
Picnik can do basic stuff like cropping and red-eye correction, and if you have already imported your photos to Flickr, it’s pretty simple to just modify and re-save, or save a copy. You can see that in this last version, I cropped it a bit and changed the colors somewhat.
I must admit that I prefer my own garden photos largely unmanipulated, maybe because I feel like it’s hubristic to try to improve on nature, and also since I don’t consider myself an artist in any way. But digital photography tools can be so fun and easy to use, it’s tempting to get a little creative every once in a while.
Do you have a favorite photo editing tool? Or do you just try to use your eye and take the shot you really want?