Thursday, December 31, 2020

PhotoShopping Jewels

There has been some progress on Akhal Teke set #3, which features sapphires and rubies.  This short post will be taking a look at two finished parts, the cape and the smaller neckpiece, and exploring what I've done with PhotoShop with them.

For instance, compare the original photo, below, with the one above:

The two might not look all that different.  But compare the red ruby centered on the throat.  Also look at the color of the sapphire closest to the mane on the neckpiece.  Lastly, try and pick out the teeny rubies on the tips of the cape (poll piece).  In each case, I've enhanced the colors for the upper photo.

Why bother?  In the first place, it's proving surprisingly difficult to light and photograph this tack in such a fashion as to bring out the colors.  In the second, I'm falling in love with the skill of PhotoShopping... (as if Laird Hamilton were not warning enough!) ... and it's always looking for a chance to practice.   The skill is self-taught, a perfect twin to my tackmaking.

Here's another view of cape and neckpiece.  The colors are really there, but you need to be holding it in your hand to see them at their best.

And here's its enhanced, or 'retouched' as I'm calling it, version:

This time, the increased light blue and red should be obvious.  The sapphires really are slightly different from each other.

I'm using PhotoShop's eyedropper to choose from both the existing colors and new ones from the Color Picker, then hitting basic Artist Brush and choosing 2 or 3 pixels at a time.  The trick is to deposit them near  existing light areas:  to enhance what's already there.  Then I use some Smear to finish with, but not much.

I'll end this little jaunt with another unretouched view.


One of my 'New Year's Resolutions' should be to try and maintain "Web-Free Wednesday."  I'm discovering that FB simply EATS time and attention, yet produces precious little -- certainly no tack.  Why are humans so hypnotize-able!?  (Could this be the root of all evil?!?)  Can I assert an hour at the bench before even turning on the computer?!  I've tried it before.  Only time will tell.

My 2019 Christmas letter appears to not have been saved digitally, a blow to my pride.  Thank you for your patience while I summon the energy to write, print and mail more than 55 copies of the 2020 one, without even an armature.  :)  I am amazed at the Christmas snail-mail I've received this year.  My heart is warmed and gladdened by the enormous outpouring.  Thank you all so very much!  May your next year go better than this last!!

Keep On Tacking.


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