This is some post-production work that I did as part of a critique in the Photography Critique & Advice Group.
Original image by GLENN CECERO
- open Gimp Post Production Software and upload initial image.
- Add Alpha Channel to allow for a transparent background.
- Duplicate inital image Layer to create the initial “Working Layer”.
- Crop Image using the Rule of Thirds Selection Tool
Removing the Background & General clean-up
- Remove background using Contiguous Colour Selection Tool.
- This removes areas of the same colour, as opposed to the Colour Selection Tool which removes all occurances of that colour in the image.
- Using the Eraser Tool with “Feathered Edges” selected – remove any stray bits of background that may have been missed.
- Duplicate this Layer to form new Working Layer.
- Zoom in a LOT and again using the Eraser Tool on the same setting, – remove all white or coloured edges from around your subject.
- Using the Blur Tool set to 25% – blur the edges of the subject.
- Blurring the edges of your subject hides your handywork by creating soft-edges and helps the subject to seemlessly fit into the background.
- This also mimics how we naturally see things in real life – nothing has a hard, sharp edge.
Fixing the Eyes
- Create new Layer [Eyes Layer] and place it on top.
- Using the Spray Paint Tool – spray black over the same areas of the eyes that were effected by the flash.
- Using the Eraser Tool, erase the areas where the highlights in the eyes of the Working Layer need to shine thru the new “Eyes Layer”
- Reduce the Opacity of the Eyes Layer to about 40% to allow a bit of the colour from the Working Layer to show thru.
- Create new Layer “Eye Colour Layer” and place on top.
- Using the Spray Paint Tool, add some flecks of Red and Blue to the coloured outer sections of the eyes.
- This is done so as not to damage the Working Layer.
- Reduce Opacity of the Eye Colour Layer to about 20%
- Using the Dodge Tool set to 25% – clean the white areas of the eyes on the Working Layer.
- Using the Burn Tool set to 25% darken the black areas of the eyes and also darken some of the fure around the eyes on the Working Layer.
- This is done to add more contrast and make the eyes stand out just a little bit more.
Fixing the Nose
- Using the Burn Tool set to 25% – darken the nose leather on the Working Layer.
- Ideally I should have created a new Layer for this so that I didn’t damage the original Working Layer… but I forgot to do so!
- Using the Blur Tool set to 25% – Blur the nose leather on the Working layer to smooth out colour variations and remove too many distracting highlights.
- Create duplicate of the Working Layer and name it “Nose Layer” then place it above the Working Layer.
- Select the nose using the Eliptical Select [Circle Select] Tool.
- Invert selection and delete everything but the nose on the Nose Layer.
- Soften the edges of the nose using the blur tool so that it merges seemlessly into the Working Layer.
- Reduce the Opacity of the Nose Layer to about 60%.
- This was done to darken the nose but still maintain detail from the original Workling Layer Version of the nose.
Creating the new Background
- Using the Select Colour Tool [Eyedropper] set to Sample Area – select a white area of the subject’s fur [from the Working Layer], and set that to be the Foreground Colour.
- This is done to create a new colour that is not available in my Colour Pallette, but will blend in whith the subject’s white fur.
- Create new Background Layer.
- Using the Bucket Fill Tool – fill background with the newly created colour from the last process.
- Place the Background Layer behind the the Working Layer.
Fixing the harsh shadows
- Using the Eraser Tool set to 10% and Feathered Edges – partially erase the harsh shadow on the Working Layer to make it appear much softer.
- Same process on the toe-pads and other harsh shadows.
- Create new Vignette Layer
- Using the Gradient Tool – add a dark vignette at the bottom of the frame only.
- Adjust Opacity of this layer to about 10%
- The vignette on the lower part of the frame acts to counter the large area of white down there and keep our attention on the subject’s face.
“Warm” the image
- Create new Gold Layer and place on top.
- Using the Bucket Fill Tool – fill the new Layer with a Gold Colour selected from the Colour Pallette.
- Adjust Opacity of the Gold Layer to about 10%
- This colour warms the harsh whiteness of the image and brings out the colours of the subject’s fur.
- This also solves the problems of some washed-out areas [higlights] on the subjects fur which were created by the flash.
- Align Visible Layers.
- Merge visible Layers, auto discard hidden Layers.
- Save as PNG Filetype compression Setting 1.