17 June 2017

It only takes a minute

Coming back to the computer after a day of gallivanting in town, I found it had closed itself down, as it sometimes does, and had also changed the wallpaper on the desktop, as it should but sometimes doesn't. 

During the latest incident of "it's going so slow, I'd better back up immediately before it dies altogether" my son had helpfully got rid of all the things I don't need: "They slow it down and make it work harder, Mum, and when did you last use them?" All too true, but when do we ever make time for computer housekeeping?

But this is not about that - what sparked this little story is seeing the photo that happened to appear from the many possibilities in my files.

Lovely drawing, very striking - but as a photograph, it's dreadful. There are the reflections, which in situ you can't do much about ... what you can do something about is the "composition" - get that square thing squarely into the frame! It just takes a moment to tilt the camera or smartphone.

This is where "post-processing" is so useful. The editing in the camera or phone might not be able to straighten up that picture, but Photoshop and probably other editing programs can.

I've had to do this often, and use keystrokes. Control-A selects the entire photo - you see dotted lines around it. Control-T is "transform" and puts boxes (handles) at the corners and middles that you can drag out into the background till the lines of the picture frame are parallel with the edges of the photo. Click to accept, then use the Crop tool to get rid of the unwanted background.

Now that my screengrab of the photo was starting to look good, I wanted to get rid of the recycle-bin icon. With the Clone Stamp you select a "good" spot to use as a replacement, and overlay that onto the unwanted bit - it works like an eraser -

Getting your "wallpaper" from you photo files is rather frustrating. You have no clue about the picture - when or where was it taken, what does it show? Usually you do remember why you took it though - in this case, because I struggle with depicting rocks (among other things!) and wanted to look at how this artist (name lost, of course) did it.

Should have taken a moment to get the framing right ... saves a bit of work further down the line.

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