Tag Archives: image editing

#Changeiscoming

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a great Tuesday! Just to let you know that over the next couple of days we are going to be scaling back social media profiles. There are many various platforms out there and with growing time restraints we have decided to scale back slightly and concentrate on updating fewer of our social media profiles more regularly.

ReClick Photo profiles which will be retired are:

Google+
Tumblr
Path.

We will be formulating a regular posting schedule so you will know where and when new updates and content will be added.

This is the start of some exciting changes here at ReClick Photo so please look out for further updates over the next couple of weeks!

‪#‎changeiscoming‬

Thanks

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

Retouching: Look Spook-tacular for Halloween!

With Halloween nearly upon us I hope your preparations are going well. Whether you are young or old, Halloween is enjoyed by many people all over of the world.

If this year you do not have the time, or just simply can’t be bothered with dressing up, then don’t worry help is at hand! Here at ReClick Photo I can give you a spook-tacular digital makeover that you can share on your favourite social media sites or to hang on your wall at home to scare your family and friends! let’s take a look at an example of what I can do.

fashion girl pose smile hair advert
Girl before digital Halloween makeover

Here we have a free to use public domain image from http://www.pixabay.com. As you can see the subject is not really evoking the spirit of Halloween. What can I do to remedy this situation? Here is what I want to achieve with this project:

  1. Make the subject look like something synonymous with Halloween e.g. witch, werewolf, vampire etc.
  2. To ensure that the subject is still recognisable after retouching.

Would you like to see the finished result before I explained how I managed to achieved it?

fashion girl witch halloween scary spooky retouching pose smile hair advert
Girl after Halloween makeover.

What do you think? Certainly a transformation! Here is how I achieved it:

  1. Firstly I reduced the size of some the features of the girls face, i.e. the nose, point of her chin, etc. to make them look sharper.
  2. I then lengthened her chin and pushed in the sides of her face, making a more sculptured face.
  3. To achieve a more witch-like appearance, I then started to recolour certain areas of the image such as her face, arms, hands, and hair in various shades of green, grey and black.
  4. To brake up the smoothness of the subjects skin I applied a little texture to it to give the illusion of blemishes, spots, etc.
  5. For the eyes to really stand out, I decided to recolour them a bright red so they would contrast strongly with the green of the skin.
  6. Finally I flipped the image so it would be a mirror image of the original. The reason to do so was so I could use both the original and retouched images together, giving an impression of good and evil.

Would you like to see the finished comparison image?

advert girl witch scary spooky hair beauty girl smile Halloween
Halloween makeover before and after comparison.

In order to look totally fang-tastic for Halloween why not send me an image of your choice for a free quote. Starting from as little as £9.99, you can have your spook-tacular image in time for Oct 31st.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, if you would like more information about ReClick Photo’s Halloween Digital Makeover Service please click here – http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk/halloween-makeover.html.

Remember time is running out – This service ends October 31st! Don’t miss out!

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

Inspired By: Brief Encounter (1945)

It’s time for the next in our Inspired By: series. Today’s post will feature an artwork inspired by the classic 1945 David Lean film, Brief Encounter.

It tells the tale of a pair of married middle aged strangers who meet by happenstance at a railway station. An innocent encounter over a cup of tea in the stations refreshment room leads the two into a whirlwind romance that neither was looking for, but was powerless to resist. Arranging to meet again the following week, they both parted to go back to their mundane suburban lives with their spouses and children.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
Refreshment Room Sign at Carnforth Railway Station.
As their weekly meetings continue they both grow increasingly more in love, quite unaware of the consequences of what such a relationship would have on their families. It isn’t until a chance meeting with one of Laura’s (Celia Johnson) friends that make them both aware of the reality of their situation.

With the fear that they might be caught together again, Alec (Trevor Howard) arranges for them to spend the afternoon at a friends flat. When Alec’s friend Stephen returns home early, Laura, ashamed, leaves via the back stairs onto the street. After walking for hours in the rain, Laura eventually finds a seat on a bench in a local park. With the weight of her situation weighing heavily on her shoulders a policeman walks towards her, and by his manner gives her the impression that he considers her to be a prostitute.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
View of the clock at Carnforth Railway Station.
The full reality of what their initial innocent arrangement had now turned into was now apparent to them. Realizing the danger and what it could do to their families, they both come to the decision to part.

With Alec being given the opportunity of a job in Johannesburg, they both arrange to meet one final time at the Railway Station to say goodbye. Their last moments together were interrupted by Laura’s friend Dolly who talks incessantly, and is unaware of what was really going on.  Robbed of their chance to say goodbye, Alec’s train arrives and all Alec could do to say goodbye was to squeeze Laura discreetly on the shoulder before leaving the refreshment room. After a few moments, Laura overcome with emotion, dashes out to the platform to try and see Alec for one last time. As she does the express train thunders past, not giving into a fleeting suicidal impulse she gathers herself together before going back into her dull suburban life surrounded by her husband and children.

Carnforth Lancashire Railway Station clock ramp transport platform brief encounter film
View of the tracks and station buildings at Carnforth Railway Station
Directed by David Lean, the film was an adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1936 one-act play Still Life, with the screenplay written by Noël Coward himself. Featuring a stellar cast and a soundtrack in which Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff is its main musical theme. It is a film which, at its heart, is a story of forbidden love and the delicacy of the human spirit. Although it was made at the end of World War Two, Brief Encounter still enraptures everyone who watch it. Male and male, young and old, it still maintains a timeless and universal appeal.

Recently when I was visiting Lancaster, I had the privilege of visiting Carnforth Railway Station which was the location of Railway Station featured in the 1945 film. Walking up the ramp where Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard ran up on several occasions on to the platform, and to see the magnificent station clock under which the two met, I was thrilled. I love films, especially black and white classics, and to be standing in the location of one of my all time favourite films was a bit of a dream come true. With my camera in hand, I took photographs of everything I saw.

Today’s Inspired By: will feature an image I took that day. Let’s take a look.

Carnforth Railway Station Lancashire clock movie film Brief Encounter David Lean Noel Coward Celia Johnson trevor howard love story
View of the ramp and Clock at Carnforth Railway Station Before retouching.
To those of you who are familiar with the film this image will appeal to you as much as it does to me. The moment I took this shot I thought that this would make a great project. This is what I want to achieve:

  1. Enhance the image in order to evoke the spirit of the film.
  2. To shift the focus of the image to be on the ramp and the clock.

Whether I am a hopeless romantic at heart or it’s the effect Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 thats playing on my mp3 player, I started to think about what life would have been like for Alec and Laura in the years after they last met. Would they have lived out the rest of their lives without a thought about their Brief Encounter?

This is what I imagined.

Its 1979, after many years working as a doctor in Johannesburg, Alec is now 71 years old. It has been 5 months since he lost his devoted wife. Now a widower, he is faced with the prospect of living the rest of his life without her. Surrounded by his children, who are all grown up with families of his own and live close by, he is now alone with only his memories to look back on. Whilst sitting at the desk in his study, he unlocks the drawer to the left of him. Opening the drawer towards him, nestled amongst other papers there is a photograph that has been with him nearly all his adult life. Holding it tenderly he looks deeply into it trying desperately to envision the person who he had leave there. With waves of memories flooding back about Laura and the time they shared, he quickly puts the photograph back into the drawer and locks it. For a moment he started to wonder if Laura still thought of him. What if things had been different? Rising from his chair he walks through to the sideboard in the lounge and pours himself a brandy in order to pull himself together. The choice they both made back then was made, and neither time nor thoughts can change it. To bring up the past was of no help or comfort to him. The memories of what happened all those years ago had to stay locked away,like the photograph in his desk. Not just for his family’s sake, but for his.

I have created that photograph.

Carnforth Railway Station Lancashire clock movie film Brief Encounter David Lean Noel Coward Celia Johnson trevor howard love story
A digitally aged version of a photograph taken at Carnforth Railway Station.
Would you like to hear about how I achieved it?

Although Colour photography was in existence in the 1940’s, it wasn’t affordable to most people. so by desaturating the image it gives it a more authentic feel. By doing so also refers back to the film itself, which was filmed in black and white.

I wanted to give the image the appearance of being an aged photograph that has not been stored properly, and that has deteriorated with time. Drawing inspiration from some old damaged family photos I distressed the image. Using brushes of different shapes and set at various opacities, I  aged the photo. Blurring areas, discolouring other areas etc.

To distress I even more I  damaged it digitally. Again with various brushes set at different opacities applied what looks like scores, cracks, water damage etc.

Looking at old images they do not have nice clean straight edges, this image should not have then either. With a white brush set at full opacity I worked on the edges of the photograph, making them uneven and worn.

The cameras of the 1940’s did not have the technology we have now. The term mega-pixel was alien to the photographer of the day. In order to imitate the technology of yesteryear I needed to reduce the clarity of the image. To achieve this I added noise to the image then applied a Gaussian blur.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Brief Encounter and what I have done with this image. For more information about the film please visit:

I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s post, and if you have images that you would like given the same treatment then please send an email with your image to info@reclickphoto.co.uk. You can also visit our website at www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

To see all the images I took at Carnforth Railway station then you can do so by clicking here to visit our new Flickr Page.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. You can catch up with our first Inspired By: post about Alphonse Mucha by clicking here!

The Midland Hotel Revisited: Behind The Scenes

Welcome to today’s second post about the iconic Art Deco Midland Hotel Morecambe. I hope you enjoyed looking at the images in my first, The Midland Hotel Revisited – An Exhibition in Monochrome just as much as I did taking them. Here I will share with you the original images as the were shot, and tell you about the behind-the-scenes process behind getting the images ready for posting.

Let’s starts with the first image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the The Midland Hotel before retouching.

As you can see there are few distracting objects in this image that could do with being addressed. Here is list of the work I carried out:

  1. Removal of the:
  • Cracks on the render on the boundary walls
  • Lamp post on the right
  • Sign post on the left
  • Birds flying in the sky
  • Black car on the left
  • Red and white plastic barrier
  • Signs at the pillars
  • Bollard in the middle of the road

2. Desaturated the image then adjusted the various levels including brightness/contrast, curves, sharpness, etc.

Now we have a finished image. Let’s take a look.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
Front facade of the Midland Hotel Morecambe.

Although it is tricky to remove the signpost and street lamp, it is definitely worth the effort. Now you can appreciate the facade in all its glory.  Let’s take a look at the next image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel from the left

Like the image above, there are few things that could do with being changed in order to make it a better image. let’s take a look at what I did:

  1. Removed of the seagulls
  2. Cropped the image slightly
  3. Retouched the blemished in the render of the wall to the left
  4. Desaturated the image and adjusted various levels including curves, exposure etc.

Let’s take a look at the finished image.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
Front facade of the Midland Hotel from the left.

I believe that seeing the image in black and white helps you focus on the hotel itself. The cars are no longer a distraction as their colour has been stripped away. Now we can move on to the image of the hotel’s entrance pillars.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel’s entrance gateposts before retouching.

As you can see here the pillars are getting lost within the image. My main objective here is to make sure that they are the main focus. with so many things to do here its hard to know where to start. here are the things I had to do to achieve the finished image:

  1. Removed the private parking signs, and AA sign.
  2. Reinstated the grill running between the pillars.
  3. Removed the orange barrier and retouched the side of the blue car.
  4. Removed the security cameras, and the fun fair from the background.
  5. Retouched the render on the walls and the pavement and slope leading into the car park.
  6. Cropped the image.
  7. Desaturated the image and altered various levels such as exposure, brightness/contrast etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The entrance pillars of the Midland Hotel Morecambe.

A feature like these pillars should be celebrated and now with this retouched image I believe they are. Like the previous image by removing the colour the pillars are now the main focus as the cars are not as much as a distraction as they were. Let’s now turn to the images taken from the rear of the building.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
Rear facade of the Midland hotel from the right before retouching.

Compared to other images in this post, you will see that there is not much that needs to be altered. But what is done makes a world of difference. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Removed the seagulls from the sky.
  2. Cropped the image.
  3. Desaturated the image and adjust various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The Midland Hotel Morecambe rear facade or the right.

Now in black and white you appreciate the architectural features of the building even more. let’s take a look at an image take from the other side of this facade.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
The Midland Hotel from the rear showing the cafe before retouching.

As you can see with this image, like the one before, it does not need a lot of retouching but with a few small tweeks the image can be greatly improved. Here are the steps I took:

  1. Retouched the pavement, removing some of the blemishes.
  2. Removed the bird in flight.
  3. Cropped the image.
  4. Desaturated the image and adjusted various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
The Midland Hotel rear facade from the left.

Out of all the images of the Midland Hotel I took that day, this is my favourite. Now in black and white its architectural features really stand out. Finally we will move on to the last image of the shoot.

Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography
View of the Midland Hotel taken from the pier before retouching

Like the previous two images this last one requires little change. What is done, I’m my opinion , make a great difference. This is what I did:

  1. Retouched some on the blemishes on the pavement
  2. Desaturated the image and adjusted various level such as brightness/contrast, exposure etc.
Midland hotel Morecambe Art Deco Lancashire England architecture photography mononchrome
View of the Midland Hotel from the Pier.

Now you can see the architectural form of this building at its very best. By changing the image to black and white you can see the hotel in all its glory.

From the outset I had decided that I wanted black and white images for this project, as I have mentioned earlier,it accentuates the buildings form plus it echoes the original photos of the hotel when it first opened in the 1930’s. I wanted to show in this post how sometimes taking the photograph is just the start of creating a beautiful image.

If you have any images like the ones you see above and want to give them the ReClick Photo treatment, then please contact me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk or you can visit http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

Fashion Faux Pas Part 2 – Tattoos

Love them or hate them, tattoos have been around for centuries in many cultures all over the world.  The practice of tattooing has many purposes. As we all know, its most common use is for cosmetic purposes.

Some tattooing fascinating facts:

For most people, a lot of time and thought goes into deciding what design they want and what tattooist does the work. But on the the flip side of the coin, there are those who make a spur of the moment decision (often after a few adult strength ‘Lemonades’) and have to live with the consequences later. 

Here at ReClick Photo, those unwanted tattoos do not have to spoil your photos any longer. Why not send them to us and I can make your tattoos disappear. Would you like to see a couple of examples of what I can do? Let’s get started with our first image.

Girl with hairline tattoo.
Girl with hairline tattoo.

What I wish to achieve with this image:

  • Remove the tattoo, without altering the existing hairline.
  • Leave the skin as smooth as possible, without any unnecessary blemishes.

Lets get to work. Retouching hair, in my opinion can be a difficult and lengthy process. So when trying to digitally remove a tattoo from the hairline, it defiantly is a bit of a challenge. The method I use is to clone the existing skin around the tattoo and cover over it with a soft brush with the opacity reduced to 45%, slowly building up the coverage. Whilst doing this, some of the stray hairs from the neck hairline have been lost, so with a very fine brush I draw in individual hairs. giving it a more natural look. This takes a little time, but the result it worth it. Finally I use the healing brush to smooth out any blemishes left with the removal of the tattoo. Lets take a look at the finshed result:

Girl with hairline tattoo- retouched.
Girl with hairline tattoo – retouched.

What do you think? Let’s move on to an example featuring a more extensive tattoo.

Girl with floral tattoo.
Girl with floral tattoo.

That is certainly a large tattoo! Let’s make it disappear. Using the exact same methods as the image above, I slowly worked on this image so that the tattoo would disappear. Unlike the previous image, with this one we have a diffent problem to deal with – shadowing. Here it is not only the skin that need retouching, the shadows do too. As the shadows are slightly transparent, the tattoo can be seen there also. To remedy this i just clone the surrounding shadow over it and the problem area disappears. As I did with the first image, I smoothed out the blemishes on the skin caused by the removing of the tattoo with the healing brush, and then the job is done. Lets take a look at the finished image:

Girl with floral tattoo - retouched.
Girl with floral tattoo – retouched.

A definite transformation! Now you can see that digital tattoo removal can be done. If you have photos where you have an unwanted tattoo on show, why not send it to me at info@reclickphoto.co.uk and I’ll do everything I can do to help.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, you can catch up With the first part here. Stay tuned for our new post coming soon – Fashion Faux Pas Part 3 – Hair.

For more information about ReClick Photo and the work that I do please visit http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Thanks for Reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

Fashion Faux Pas Part 1 – Makeup.

How many times have we all decided to try out something different? Whether its is a change of hairstyle, a new make up look, or a different style of clothing? In the end on how many occasions have we looked at photographs of ourselves with our new look and wondered what on earth were we thinking?

Over the next few blog post I’m going to show you how here at ReClick Photo I can help. Todays post is all about makeup.

Athough I am a guy, and not someone who wears makeup (well maybe just a few times when going to fancy dress parties!), I know when someone has made a makeup disaster. Let’s take a look at our image:

As you may have guessed this is not me in fancy dress, it is an image I found on my favourite stock image website http://www.pixabay.com.  It is a public domain image which can be used for commercial purposes. Here is the is the link to it : https://pixabay.com/en/young-woman-makeup-model-beauty-687444/.

The lady shown above is modelling a rather distinctive makeup look. As it may not to be to some peoples taste, I thought I would demonstrate how here at ReClick Photo I can give you a digital makeover! Let’s get started.

This is what I want to achieve with this project:

  • Create a much more natural makeup look.
  • Only retouch the makeup, and no alterations to be made to the models facial features.
Image retouched.
Image retouched.

What do you think? I thought that it would be a good idea to create a look that was the opposite of the image above. I wanted to show how the model would look with her make up applied in neutral tones.
So how did I mange to achieve it? First step was to remove the brightly coloured makeup, in other words a digital washing of the face. Next step was to work on the new look.  Working from the existing facial skin tones, I started to build up the neutral colours, digitally reapplying the makeup. I then amended the colour of the models jewellery in order for them to complement her new look. With a small levels adjustment the image was finished.

As you can see, here at ReClick Photo we are here to help with any fashion faux pas caught on camera. Over the next few blog posts you will see that it’s not only makeup disasters that we can help you with, so please stay tuned.

If you have any images that you wished to be given a digital makeover, then please dont hesitate in contacting me  at info@reclickphoto.co.uk. No matter how bad the the faux pas is, we are here to help.  Don’t worry I will not judge, I grew up in the 1980’s – the decade in which I discovered hair gel and sported multicoloured tracksuits. Need I say more?

Thanks for Reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

P.S. Remember to stay tuned for our next thrilling instalment!

Fairy-tale: the image as art

Today I’m going to showcase something completely different. Yes you were right, that was a quote from the great Monty Python! I’m a great believer in that your creativity is only limited by your imagination, so with this as my mantra I got started. Firstly I needed an image to work with.

Original image
Original image

After selecting a few images I liked, I decided to use this photo of my sister taken when we were on holiday in Germany a few years ago. The trip took us along the Fairy Tale Route in Germany visiting some of the locations which inspired some of the fairy-tales written by the Legendary Brothers Grimm. This picture was taken at Sababurg Castle, located in the Reinhardswald Forest, next to the small town of Sababurg in Northern Hessen, Germany.

After Grimm’s Fairytales were published in the 19th century, many people started to wonder where the famous brothers had drew their inspiration for their tales, as it was well known that both brothers wrote their stories taking inspiration from their own lives and surroundings. At the time Sababurg Castle was believed to be the source of inspiration of Grimm’s Sleeping beauty as it was reminiscent of the castle in the tale, and when looking at it you really can imagine the story may have happened there. Plus, it was known that the Brothers spent some time in this area of Germany.

Sababurg Castle
Sababurg Castle

With all this in mind, I knew I wanted to create a fairy-tale inspired image. Not in the sugar-coated Disney style, but more in a Brother’s Grimm fashion. After sketching out a few ideas on paper I knew what I was going to do, so now I needed some more images to achieve this. Knowing that I did not have the images I needed, my search ventured out in the the world of the stock photography website. As you can imagine there are many to choose from, but at the moment I like to use www.pixabay.com. Here the images are free, all in public domain, and can be used for commercial purposes. Here is a slideshow of the images I selected to use in my project:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When you look at the finished image, sometimes it is not evident that some of these images have been used. This is because I did not use the whole image, only parts e.g. the doves wing, segments of the hair etc. Each section I used I adjusted the colour, brightness/contrast, and sometimes the exposure levels in order to blend it in with the original image. I also retouched my sisters skin and eyes, so that they would contrast strongly with the hair and background. Lets take a look at the finished project:

The finished image
The finished image

What do you think? I think its safe to say that there has been a major transformation! I wanted a truly atmospheric image which you could imagine illustrated within the pages of a fairy-tale book. I hope you agree with me that this is an example of the image as art; of how you can, with a some time and creativity, transform a holiday snap into a piece of art.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have any images that you would like given the same treatment then please do not hesitate in contacting us. You can do so by sending us an email, with your image attached, to info@reclickphoto.co.uk. You can also visit our website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk for more information.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh @ ReClick Photo.