Family Picture

February 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm (Photoshop) (, )

Here is the original, shot with my old point-and-shoot.


This is what it looked like after the First Pass through Photoshop. The original picture is a jpeg, and at first I thought I was losing quality, but perhaps not.


Let me start by pointing out the good parts.

  • We no longer look like the family of corpses.
  • We no longer look like the person who snapped the photo was falling over drunk.
  • Dad’s shirt isn’t quite so snow-blinding
  • There is more emphasis on the four of us and not so much on the background
  • All along I thought my hair was WAY too dark, now I realized it was only marginally too dark

The bad-Are we a family that tans together?? Why does mom, dad and Tom look too reddish? I look better, but is that because I was the most pale to begin with?

So I went back and tweaked again. This is what I came out with, the Second Pass:


I can’t tell a difference, can you? I think mom looks a little less red, so that’s good. And some color is good. I have to admit that I was looking at the gray, washed out version on my screen saver for the past 5 months, so maybe I’m not used to seeing live-looking people.

Here is a side-by-side comparison. First Pass, then Second Pass.



It’s subtle, but I think I like the bottom one better, the Second Pass. Either way, its vastly superior to the original. And when you consider the numerous flaws the original has and how it distorts the perception of reality, yet our brain’s accept that we aren’t gray or falling down, then I think my mind can accept a little too much red in the final version of Second Pass if I could just walk away.

Obviously, my goal is to make the photos look completely natural and I know that by putting a before and after in front of my face for an hour makes “natural” difficult to see. But I’m pleased that I took a photograph that was really important to me, that captured an emotion and situation that I want to remember, and improved it so that it tells a better narrative and is visually more interesting (look at me throw the terminology around). This is something I would consider printing and putting in a small frame.

What do you think? Constructive criticism always appreciated. Andrea, if you tell me it sucks because Lola isn’t in it, you will be banned from the next installment of Pookie Carnage. 🙂





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