Picture postcard: the power of a memory.

A few days ago we decided to take a little meander through our own personal photo archive looking at pictures of our loved ones from yesteryear and reminiscing of the family holidays we had in times gone by. Each image we looked at triggered off emotion in our minds some happiness, others laughter, and some even sadness. Each one capturing a moment is time from the past and brings it immediately into the present. 

In the future we will share a few of these personal images with you to demonstrate what these images really mean to us; hopefully they will make you look at your own images in a different light. We believe a photograph is not just a two dimensional piece of printed photograph paper, it is a moment in time captured in physical form.

A few years ago we travelled around Scotland; up the east coast all the way to John O’ Groats; then across our country’s most northerly edge travelling over to the west coast before indulging in a bit of island hopping visiting the isles of Skye, Mull, and Iona; before heading back to our Ayrshire home. 

Image of the beach at Iona
Image of the beach at Iona

This photograph is of the beach on the beautiful island of Iona, just immediately next to the ferry terminal. This was not the first time we had visited the Island, and to be there again was an absolute delight. If you have not had the chance to visit, please do, because no photograph can do it justice, as we believe it is one of the most beautiful places in Britain.

Whilst on the short ferry journey across the Sound of Iona from Fionnphort, on the Island of Mull, you get to witness the island from the sea and for a brief moment you try to image what it must have been like when St Columba made his way there from his exiled homeland of Ireland in the 6th century A.D.

Stepping off the ferry you immediately realise that you are visiting a very special place. We have travelled to many places over the years but none quite compares to the atmosphere we have experienced there. It is almost as if the island is in a world all of its own, a small individual microcosm on the west coast of Scotland.

As the island is so small, everything is accessible by foot. With cameras in hand we walked around the highlights of the island such as the Iona Nunnery; the Celtic crosses dotted around the island; the stunning Iona Abbey; before stopping for lunch at the St Columba Hotel.

Heading back we decided to stop at the beach next to the pier to wait for the ferry coming in. Sitting on one of the large rocks nestled in the almost white sand we gazed over the magnificent scene before us. Unfortunately we have not had the opportunity to visit a Caribbean island, but here on Iona we were experiencing some of the attributes we associate with one, the fine white sand and the crystal clear water which rippled out reflecting the azure blue sky above. Needless to say we ended up missing the ferry back to Mull, but thankfully we had another half an hour on the island to just sit and do nothing but enjoy the nature that was on show before us. This image was taken during that time and it brings back all the lovely memories of the time we spent there.

As I mentioned before photographs do not do the island justice, well maybe it was our amateur photographic skills back then! So now when revisiting the photographs we took back then, we would like to enhance them so they are more in line with the special memories we have of that memorable day.

Image of the beach at Iona enhanced.
Image of the beach at Iona enhanced.

What do you think? This image is more like the memory we have. When we look at something we do not always notice everything. Some aspects are drawn to our attention and others are not. So when it came to the memory we have of this specific view; we could not remember, amongst other things, how many boats were in the water or the debris that had washed onto the shore. Looking back the things we remember most is the white sand with the rocks embedded into it like sculpture, and the crystal clear blue waters that gentle lapped up just in front of our feet. So when it came to enhancing this image we highlighted all these elements and removed some of the elements that were not in our memory. Slightly cropping the image and adjusting the vibrancy of the colour really brought our reminiscences back to life.

If you have any images like this and you want to give them the same treatment please contact us and send us your images to info@reclickphoto.co.uk or why not visit our website www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Make your memories unforgettable.

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

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Image retouching – what are we really looking at?

In today’s world we look at copious amount of images in a day, how many do you think have been airbrushed/retouched? The minute you pick up a magazine or newspaper, or see any advertising such as adverts, billboards or flyers, you will almost certainly see a retouched image. The degree to which an image is retouched varies greatly. With some images its just a case of removing blemishes such as moles, spots, scars etc. With others however, the retouching process transforms the image from its original state into almost an illustration, or artwork. This is often when this process becomes a controversial one, because many will look at the image and want to be like the person depicted, instead of looking at it for what is, a two dimension image.

Here at ReClick Photo we can provide retouching services for all you image needs. All work will be carried out to your instructions. So whether require the removal of a blemish or scar from a personal photo, or you would like an image retouched for illustrative purposes such as for advertising or publication, we are here to help.

Let us demonstrate what we can do.

woman - before retouching
Woman – before retouching

In this example we will show you the power of retouching. Here is the the final image:

Woman - after retouching
Woman – after retouching

As you can see there is a dramatic difference. Here is an example how you can retouch an image until its almost an illustration. We have completely reshaped the woman’s face; altered her features; and removed stray hairs. We also adjusted levels of contrast, and colour in order to change the mood of the image. As you can see this is not a true representation of the the lady who posed for the photograph. In reality this lady doesn’t not exist in human form, she is a merely a two dimensional image. So the next time you look at your favourite magazine or when you walk past a billboard, please bear in mind what the the power of image retouching can do, you might see what your looking at in a totally different light.

Now we will show you a different type of retouching.

Image of a man.
Image of a man.

What can we do in terms of retouching? Would it surprise you if we said we have already retouched this image? This is an example that photo retouching doesn’t have to change the subject of the photograph into something totally different. Everyone has a photo where they think, “why did I have to have a spot on my nose on my wedding day?” or “I wish my hair was longer in that photo!” No matter what the issue is that you have here at ReClick Photo we are here to help.  Wondering was the image was like before we edited it?

Image of a man before retouching
Image of a man before retouching

Do you notice the differences? He has ages several years in the space of a few sentences!  If you now compare the two images you will notice the biggest difference is under his eyes. We have also remove some blemishes and smoothed out most of his wrinkles. If every dimple, wrinkle, or slight discolouration was to be removed then we would be running the risk of the image looking unrealistic. For this image we wanted to show that image retouching can be done in a natural and sympathetic way.

Here at ReClick Photo we are here to help with all your image retouching tasks. Please contact us by emailing info@reclickphoto.co.uk or visit or website for more information.

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

Wedding: old memories brought to life.

Continuing with the theme of weddings, here at ReClick Photo we thought we would like to highlight that it is not only contemporary photographs that can be edited and/or enhanced. Photographs from personal family archives are extremely precious items, especially those of our ancestors. Today we are very fortunate in the fact that if we wish for a photograph to be taken then, for most of us the technology is right at our finger tips. In days gone by, photography was an extremely expensive process and was out of reach of most people, so any photographs that were taken were treasured even more then than they are now. With an ever growing interest in family genealogy, images of our ancestors are extremely important as it can bring all the information that you find from various records to life. Due to the expense of photography in the past it was only on very special occasions that families could afford a photograph to be taken. One of those occasions would be at a wedding. Here is an example of a Victorian wedding photograph:

Victorian bride and groom
Victorian bride and groom

When you look at photograph,  like this and compare them to modern wedding photographs, it is only then that you notice how much things have changed. Although the ritual of getting married has never changed, attitudes, fashions, and the way we celebrate the union definitely have. What can we do to enhance this photograph?

victorian bride and groom recoloured
victorian bride and groom recoloured

What do you think? In terms of enhancing the original photograph we decided to recolour it. The process of removing colour from a photograph is an extremely simple one. Adding colour however, is a more difficult task. The main objective in recolouring a black and white photograph is to keep it realistic. Although bright pink hair (as well as lots of other colours) are fashionable today, 100 years ago it wasn’t heard of. When you send an image to us here at ReClick Photo for recolouring, we will ask you for prompts regarding the general appearance of those in the photograph such as, hair colour, eye colour, colour of clothing etc. Please don’t worry if you do not have that information, we can use our own judgement to complete the process. Once completed and you are not satisfied with the colours chosen please let us know and we will make adjustments. With all our work here at ReClick Photo, we will only request payment when you are 100% happy with our work. The image we selected for this project is in the public domain and we did not have any prompts in terms of colour, so we used our our initiative.

Why not look out some of your own treasured photographs from your family’s history scan them and send them to us? If your treasured items need restored, retouched or even recoloured, here at ReClick Photo we are here to help.

Please feel free to contact us at info@reclickphoto.co.uk, or visit our website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more Information.

Thanks for reading!
ReClick Photo.

Weddings: making that special day even more memorable.

When two people, witnessed by their family and friends, commit their life and love to one another it is a very special moment. Not only for the happy couple, but for all those in attendance. How do you capture that moment? How do you trap all the emotions into a two dimensional image? The truth is you can’t, but what an image of that special day will do is bring back all the memories of that day and through those memories you can relive the emotions you felt at that moment – even if it was 50 years ago! When it comes to special events such as weddings, photographs play an important part in keeping your memories alive. 

Even the most beautiful photographs taken by the hand of a skilled photographer, can fail in capturing the essence of that special day. Sadly photographs can deteriorate if not stored properly, so those treasured images can be ravaged by the effects of time. So here at ReClick Photo we are committed to giving you the images that you wish had been taken as well as restoring back to their former glory the precious moments of the past. Here are a few images of what we can do:

Bride and groom by the river
Bride and groom by the river

As you can see this is a beautiful picture but sadly the the bride and groom are slightly  overwhelmed by the landscape. Let’s see what we can do.

Bride and groom by the river enhanced
Bride and groom by the river enhanced

So what do you think?  The main object of this project was to concentrate the focus onto the married couple, and to make the landscape a background rather than a major element. So here’s what we did:

  • We cropped the image so that it is portrait rather landscape in format concentrating the focus on the bride and groom. For a future project the image could be used as a beautiful landscape photograph by merely removing the couple for the image. This is a great example of how editing a photograph can serve multiple purposes.
  • We also adjusted various levels such as brightness, contrast, and heightened the amount of colour in order to increase the contrast between the colour in the image and the whiteness of the wedding dress.
Married couple walking down country road.
Married couple walking down country road.

Here is another example of a wedding photograph. Like the first image above, this photo with the help of editing could serve many purposes.  For example you could remove the couple and replace them with a classic car, or even a rider on horseback. But for this project we will let the happy couple stay where they are. So let’s see what we can do.

Married couple walking down country road enhanced
Married couple walking down country road enhanced

What do you think? Just like the images above we wanted, we wanted to concentrate the focus of the image on to the happy couple. Here’s what we did:

  • Firstly, we cropped the image so that the bride and groom were in the centre of the image. All focus is now on them.
  • Secondly we tided up the road area a little, removing some of the debris – just a little housekeeping! The key is not to remove everything, because we still want the image to look authentic. When have you even walked down a country road and every inch of it was pristine?

Could we take this photograph a stage further? Let’s thinks creatively:

Married couple walking down country road enhanced further
Married couple walking down country road enhanced further

What Do you think? Here is the finished image, this is what we did:

  • Firstly we decided to isolate the bride and groom, then remove all colour away from the background. The purpose of this was to highlight the happy couple even further so that your eyes are immediately drawn to them.
  • As the articles of clothing worn by the couple are black in white, to further draw attention to them we heightened the colour of the brides bouquet.

If you would like any wedding photographs; whether they are pictures of your own, your friends, other family members special day given similar treatment or any other enhancement please contact us at info@reclickphoto.co.uk or please visit or website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

Moderne Morecambe


Moderne Morecambe

It had been over 25 years since we were last in Morecambe and to be absolutely truthful our childhood memories of the seaside town wasn’t favourable. Thankfully things have certainly changed. Morecambe is in the process of regeneration. Although this process is still ongoing, this seaside town is definitely a much changed place.

From the 1960’s onwards tastes in tourism were changing due to the increasing accessibility of foreign holiday destinations. With the growing popularity of the package holiday as well as low cost air travel, tourists were flocking to the continent in their droves, and were taking their hard earned money with them. Foreign travel was now no longer just a luxury of the rich.

Large drops in tourism had a negative effect to the local economy. So the British seaside resort started to go into decline. The boom of the pre and post war years were now a thing of the past.

Driving along the Marine Road we got a glimpse of the former Frontierland site with some of the decaying remnants of its former glory still there. Morecambe, like nearly all of Britain’s seaside resorts are in a state of transition.

A beacon for the regeneration of the town of Morecambe, and the main subject of this post, is the quite spectacular Midland Hotel.

View of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
View of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
Standing proudly opposite the former Morecambe Promenade Railway station, The Midland Hotel commands a grand presence against the scenic backdrop of Morecambe bay.

In 1932 the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LWS) set into motion the process of replacing of their existing hotel in Morecambe, with a much more modern structure in the Streamline Moderne style of Art Deco.  The man charged with this auspicious task was the British architect, landscape and garden designer Oliver Hill (1887 – 1968).

Hill’s design is a glorious example of this style. Influenced by the great technological advances in transport of the 1920’s and 1930’s, this building echoes the grandeur of the great ocean liners of the age such as the revolutionary Ile de France, Normandie and the Queen Mary. When the hotel opened to the public in July 1933 it was the epitome of modernity, and cutting edge design. Equipped with a richly decorated interior featuring work by the controversial sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker Eric Gill ( 1840 – 1940), textile designer Marion Dorn (1896 – 1964), painter, designer, engraver, letterer, cartoonist and former Trappist monk Denis Tegetmeier (1895 – 1987), and book illustrator and wood engraver Eric Ravilious (1903 – 1942).

After several prosperous years, when war broke out in 1939, the hotel was requisitioned by the Government for use as a military hospital. All the objects of value were put into storage and the interior of the building was converted for hospital use for the duration of the Second World War.

After the war the hotel was handed back to LWS but sadly in a bad state of repair. Renovation began and the hotel reopened in 1948. Following the nationalisation of the railways, in 1951 the hotel was put up for sale. After a succession of owners, by the 1970’s it was already feeling the effects of a down surge in tourism but thankfully by the end of that decade it was granted a Grade 2* listing. The buildings importance had finally been recognised as of great importance and was now protected. Sadly in the years that followed the hotel changed hands a further few times, and by 1998 it was in such a state of disrepair that the hotel had to close its doors. For the next 8 years its remained derelict, but thankfully in 2006 the Manchester based property developer Urban Splash along with Union North Architects they began an extensive refurbishment and expansion project which brought this iconic building back to life. After two years of extensive work the Midland Hotel reopened its doors to the public in the summer of 2008.

So, let us take a closer look at the photograph that appeared earlier in the post:

View of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
View of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
It truly is a beautiful building but sadly this is not the best photo of it. Sadly time was against us on that day, preferably we would have taken many more photographs of the hotel, but for now this one will have to do (will definitely have to organise a trip back down to Morecambe with our camera soon!). So how can we improve this photo?

Enhanced view of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.
So what do you think? Just like the hotel, this image has had major work! So where did we start? First we cropped the image so the main subject, the hotel, was in the centre of the image.  That was the easy part! Then we tackled the foreground, removing the bollards, the paint from the paving, the concrete slabs before we extended the existing pavement throughout the foreground. Whilst doing this we realised that the wall in the left of the foreground could serve a better purpose. The stone pier which is connected to the wall, we believe is an unnecessary element which is taking some of the attention away from the hotel. Once removed we decided to extend the existing wall to the outer edge of the image, so now it creates a line which draws your eyes straight into the centre of the image and practically to the main entrance of the hotel.

Next we moved on to the hotel itself. Although essential in real life, the two lamp posts needed to go. We then decided to remove the tree from the right hand side of the car park. And finally we picked out the tiny flashes of red; paint colour of one of the cars,  the rear break lights etc, and changed them to a colour that would blend in to the surround area. Why? Our main objective of this retouching project was to celebrate the midland hotel and make it the main focus of the image. Ideally if we had the chance to take more photographs of the building and its surroundings, we would have been able to remove all the cars from the road as well as the car park. So with the image we have we did the very best we could. We hope you like it!

If you like what we have done here and you have a photo you would like enhanced in a similar way please send us an email to info@reclickphoto.co.uk or visit our website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more options.

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

Bring me sunshine

After a wonderful long weekend away with friends and family over the bank holiday weekend, we all climbed back into the car and started on our journey back home to Scotland. But there was one place we needed to stop of on the way.

It had been over 25 years since we were last in Morecambe and to be absolutely truthful our childhood memories of the seaside town wasn’t favourable. Things have certainly changed. Morecambe is currently going through regeneration. Although this process is ongoing, this seaside town is definitely a much changed place. Driving along the Marine road we got a glimpse of the former Frontierland site with the remnants of its former glory still there. But the main purpose of this detour was so we could cast our eyes on a couple of Morecambes attractions.

The first, and the main subject of this post is a fairly recent addition to the towns promenade. After a quick scout about, then a quick search on Google maps via my phone we found it. Situated within its own specially landscape area of the promenade surrounded with inscriptions of famous catchphrases and the names of celebrity guest stars who appeared on his television shows, stands one of Morecambes famous faces – John Eric Bartholomew otherwise known by his stage name Eric Morecambe.  

Statue of Eric Morecambe
 

As you can imagine, as we looked at the statue we just smiled and we all started to talk about our favourite moments from the famous television specials Eric and his sidekick Ernie Wise used to make. Who could forget their famous breakfast sketch! 

Unfortunately it was really crowded so sadly I could only manage a quick snap, as everyone one was desperate to get their photograph taken with the statue – most of whom did it whilst mimicking the same pose! Next time I am in Morecambe we will try and get their early in the morning when no one is around ( especially before the coach trips appear!) and take photographs to our hearts content.

As you can see the image is not ideal but there is a few things we can do make this a much better image.

  

So what do you think? Now the statue is the star of the show (pardon the pun!). First we cropped the image in such a way that the statue is in the centre of the image. As you can see in the first image there is a few elements which are drawing your attention away from the main focus – the statue. Although litter bins and benches and members of the public are part of everyday life, when it comes to a photograph they don’t have to be there if they do not serve any purpose. Just call it artistic liscence! When it come to photo retouching it is not only what you can remove from a photograph, sometimes things can be added to enhance what is already there. It terms of this image we decided to add additional balustrade so that it runs the whole width of the image, providing a more balanced background.

As you can see with just a few enhancements a quick holiday snap can be turned into a photograph you can take great pleasure in looking at time after time.

If you have any images that you would like to give the same treatment as above please send them to us at, info@reclickphoto.co.uk or visit our website http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more options. 

Thanks for reading!

ReClick Photo.

Comedy gold

After all the excitement of seeing the Cunard queens on the bank holiday we carried on doing our touristy thing with our friends and family. . .well we were on holiday! Liverpool is such a great city to visit with so many great things to see and do. so that means lots of things to take photos of too! Like all town and cities, Liverpool is many public works of art for everyone to admire and enjoy. On departing our train from Lime Street Station, right in the heart of the city, you can’t help but notice two sculptures of famous faces from the city; Bessie Braddock and Ken Dodd .

Statue of Ken Dodd in Lime Street Station Liverpool.
Statue of Ken Dodd in Lime Street Station Liverpool.

As you can see the picture that was taken is rather dull. A little enhancement is in order.

Enhanced image of the statue of Ken Dodd in Lime Street Station Liverpool.
Enhanced image of the statue of Ken Dodd in Lime Street Station Liverpool.

With the image adjusted you can see the statue in better detail. Whether you are a fan of Ken Dodd or not, when you see this statue it definitely brings a smile to your face. For some it’ll engage your chuckle muscle!

“What is a laugh? Anatomically speaking, a laugh starts here in your diagram. It works its way up through your clack and out through your titter valve.”

Ken Dodd

After a wonderful long weekend away with friends and family, we all climbed back into the car and started on our journey back home to Scotland. But there was one place we needed to stop of on the way. To be continued …..