Skip to content

Old Cottage

The weather has not been great and we have had white skies for what seems like forever.  Stuff happened and I didn’t get out on the weekend.  Shame, but I am hoping for a couple of opportunities during the week.  Depends on my daughter and whether I can get away.  I had to go through my old stuff and I found an image from the day with Marianne from the Wimmera Mallee Tourism Association. I have done this cottage a couple of times and here is another view.

I look at this image, and I find myself surprised at what I have done.  When you see the original image you will understand.  I like the way the cottage is just sitting up there on the hill, the windows are like the eyes surveying the landscape.  I do wish I had got some images from the front of it.  I got one on my phone, but it is out of focus.

To help create the illusion of looking up to the cottage, I held the camera down so that it was almost on the ground.  The odd perspective helps give the impression of looking up at it, I suppose the camera was looking up to it and so it looks like we are.

The original image, or the first of the bracketed shots does not have any of the detail that is in the front of the cottage.  The original is so much lighter.  The images was taken about 1pm, so the sun was quite strong, though, with it being winter it wasn’t as high in the sky as it would have been had it been summer.  I find the image interesting, but I don’t know if I would have given it another glance.

Doing this image was never really on the cards, I didn’t think it was worth it, but I am glad that I did now.  Once I did the HDR for the image, I started to see the possibilities.

Method

  • Photomatix Pro – 4 image HDR
  • Some layers darkened, then layered over the top of the HDR and blended.
  • A new layer was applied and Gaussian blur applied to the new layer
  • A mask was added and the house was masked and some parts of the weeds and the rocks around the front.
  • Another new layer and Gaussian blur was added, not as strong, and small details in the house were masked, such as the cracks in the walls, the windows and the door.
  • A third layer and more Gaussian blur and everything was masked except for the sky.
  • The image was darkened again with curves, the front of the cottage was lighted, to give it the appearance of the late day afternoon sun hitting it.  I also darkened the side of the cottage so it looks like it is in the shade.
  • I used Topaz Adjust to give the warmth that is there in the late afternoon glow.

That was basically it.  I also spent quite a bit of time today trying to work out what image I will use for my first tutorial, which I am hoping to do tomorrow.  I have decided it will a HDR using Photomatix Pro, and it will be how I do them.  I try to make them natural looking, so hopefully you will like that.

Till tomorrow.

70 Comments
  1. very informative as usual, leanne. i must thank you really for the wonderful tips here in your blog. you see, we do all our advertising and collateral materials in-house and my team tremendously benefits from your image enhancement techniques. it is so generous of you to share your photography skills online. all the best! — neil

    August 12, 2012
    • Wow, what a compliment, I think, that is fantastic, glad I can help.

      August 12, 2012
  2. wow amazing transformation! I always struggle to picture an end result when I’m working with my images so I admire your vision.

    August 12, 2012
    • Thank you, I don’t always know either, I just have an idea of what I might achieve.

      August 12, 2012
  3. Lovely image. It looks aged but timeless, like the standing stones in Europe.

    August 12, 2012
    • It is a very solid cottage, so who knows, maybe it will. Thanks EllaDee

      August 12, 2012
  4. I enjoy reading about your process and seeing it evolve into the final image. It seems to me what you are doing is close to painting, only you are using photoshop, which is more contemporary. It is fascinating to watch the technology begin to etch out its own path in art. I like it because it’s not the same as photography and it’s not the same as painting. It’s really it’s own thing. I feel like it’s just going to become more important as the technology improves and people discover the ways in which they can use it to express different things.

    August 12, 2012
    • Thank you Jennifer, I love how you have described what I do, I really do. It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the future. I must send some images to some galleries and see what they think.
      I hope you are recovering from your loss. I was sorry to hear about the pup.

      August 13, 2012
  5. pavlos292 #

    Great enhancing! The angel is perfect ! I held ones my iPhone down to make a picture of a beach but it got wet. http://wp.me/s2xYNV-79

    August 12, 2012
    • Oh no, I hope the phone still works. your image looks great as well. Thank you.

      August 13, 2012
      • Yes it still works,thankfully. I immediately turned the phone off and let it to dry before i turned it on. 🙂

        August 14, 2012
      • That’s good to hear. 🙂

        August 17, 2012
  6. Leanne, thanks so much for the post and the detailed methodology. I think some artists are afraid to share their techniques that they might be copied. I say, ‘bravo!’ The more we share of us, of our knowledge, the greater we become as artists and people ourselves. ~ peace, Jason

    August 12, 2012
    • Thank Jason, I don’t share everything, but I figure the method section is a brilliant way to record what I do for myself. I hope it is good. I don’t mind others learning from me, and I have to admit, I quite like it.

      August 13, 2012
  7. Stunning… I love photographing pictures of old buildings especially, but I need to learn how to do the layers to change the appearance. Thank you for telling us how you did it. Perhaps that will help me figure it out… LOL

    August 12, 2012
    • Thank you, it isn’t just layers, sometimes it is about what you do in those layers as well. I don’t always get it right, but I keep experimenting. Good luck with yours.

      August 13, 2012
  8. I love what you’ve done with the cottage Leanne. It looks so inviting. I’d like to sit on one of the window ledges with the sun hitting my face while I write in my journal. Looking forward to the tutorial post.

    August 13, 2012
    • I love the picture you have described, though, I have to tell you, it didn’t smell too good inside, haha. It would have been wonderful when it was first built though. Thanks Robyn

      August 13, 2012
  9. The color transformation you’ve achieved is brilliantly executed, Leanne!

    Happy to read the “Method”…most have no understanding how much hard work is required to achieve beauty in an image.

    August 13, 2012
    • Thanks 1000, I was pretty happy with it as well. I agree, I know a lot reading the method still don’t understand, but maybe one day they will.

      August 13, 2012
      • Perhaps it will help when they become more ‘hands on’…I was given a copy of Photoshop 7 yrs ago, taught myself (on a dare) and am still learning!

        August 14, 2012
      • I hope to never stop learning, it would be tragic to think that I had learned everything and then what else would there be.

        August 17, 2012
  10. Very lovely cottage picture and thanks for explaining how you got to that beautiful water mark, be keeping an eye on your images !

    August 13, 2012
    • Thank you, and no problem about the explanation, I think it will help me a lot in the future as well.

      August 13, 2012
      • Yes, lovely photo, I like playing around with images too and bringing out their different moods, but i’m still a novice !

        August 13, 2012
  11. Beautiful, Leanne. What a difference and I totally understand all the work you put into your image. Thanks for sharing the method too. It helps me better understand the process and inspires me to “tweek” my images, although most of the time I don’t.

    August 13, 2012
    • I am still amazed at how much you can change an image. Maybe one day you will do more to your images as well, it amazes me how much better they can look sometimes, how much you can change the tone and mood. I love it. Thanks

      August 13, 2012
  12. You do such creative and amazing alterations with objects that have little intrinsic beauty. What could you do with a beautiful subject??? I love the autumn color you put on this one. It is timeless.

    August 13, 2012
    • Thank you Marsha, I suspect given a beautiful image, I would probably do little. I don’t tend to go for the beautiful stuff, if that makes any sense. I have a plan, an idea, of what I want my photography to be like. It is something you get taught at art school, that your work should have a theme. My theme is the idea of abandonment and what we leave behind.

      August 13, 2012
      • That explains your pictures. You do stick to a theme. Will you do that for a long period of time, or develop pa new theme? Kind of like Ansel Adams was known for his landscapes. So interesting – thanks for sharing.

        August 13, 2012
      • I don’t know Marsha, will see what happens. I have been interested in this for quite a few years, and it does develop. I don’t want to end up being one of those artists that does the same thing all the time, I would find that too boring.

        August 13, 2012
      • Well, it’s so interesting to talk to you. One thing you do that I don’t see with all artist is your explanation of what you are doing and why. You are definitely a teaching artist.

        August 13, 2012
      • Thank you Marsha, I like that.

        August 13, 2012
  13. Lee A Jackson #

    Thank you so much Leanne. It is great to read the actual method and steps that you go through. That is pretty inspiring for someone who hasn’t dabbled in tweaking photo’s yet! Wonderful insight and love your work!

    August 13, 2012
    • You are welcome Lee, I am also going to start some tutorials, so maybe I can help even more. Thanks

      August 13, 2012
  14. oh wow! what a difference. i really gotta learn to do proper photography!!!

    August 13, 2012
    • Haha, thank you, and how do you define proper photography? 🙂

      August 13, 2012
      • you make a good point. i guess mostly in focus is a start?? or at least, only blurry by design. ;0)

        August 17, 2012
      • Yes, that’s it exactly. Thanks.

        August 17, 2012
  15. You really do some great post-processing. This is a lovely picture! Thank you for describing the steps. And thanks for liking so often at my blog.

    August 13, 2012
    • Thank you as well, I am glad you like what I do and how I do it.

      August 13, 2012
  16. I love love love your work! Wish I had more experience and time to do this.

    Wonderful eye…

    August 13, 2012
    • It is all time, it has taken me a long time to get to this stage. Thank you, what a lovely thing to say.

      August 13, 2012
  17. Consider yourself nominated for the Beautiful Blogger award!

    August 13, 2012
    • Okay John, I will consider myself nominated. Thanks

      August 13, 2012
  18. Wow, you are an amazingly talented shooter and photo editor. I never really edit my pictures much ( they are,lastly of food), mostly because I have never really bothered to up my editing skills. You have shown in your work just how an image can be enhanced. Fantastic images. Thank you for sharing them.

    August 13, 2012
    • Thank you so much, what a great thing to say. I love the editing, I have several steps in photography and taking photos is only one step. I love editing them and seeing what I can do, what emotions I can evoke. You aren’t alone feeling that way, I think many either don’t want to, or feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. There is a lot to learn. Maybe one you will get into it. Thanks again

      August 13, 2012
  19. In our country Old Is Gold

    August 13, 2012
    • Isn’t it just, that is because we don’t have much that is old, haha. Love it, thanks.

      August 13, 2012
  20. your work is tremendous. and a thank you from me my boxer boy for your like. 🙂

    August 13, 2012
    • You are very welcome and thanks for visiting me. 🙂

      August 13, 2012
  21. I love what you’ve done with this image! I love cottages, but this one seems a bit austere, and not very inviting. 🙂

    August 13, 2012
    • I like your description Zelmare, it really isn’t that inviting is it. Strange little place. Thank you. 🙂

      August 14, 2012
  22. Holy cow, 122 likes before I got back here to look ! Awesome, Leanne!
    😀

    August 13, 2012
    • I hear you’ve been all feeling very drained. Nice that you could get here and see this. Thank you Marie, hope you get some relief from the heat and humidity soon. 🙂

      August 14, 2012
  23. Great image, again, Leanne! It’s always interesting to see the befores and afters with your work and I think with this one you’ve made something quite iconic.

    August 14, 2012
    • What a great thing to say Richard, thank you so much.

      August 14, 2012
  24. It’s amazing and so impressive to se what you did to the photo. It’s just a plain gray building in the original. Wow.

    August 14, 2012
    • Thanks, I am really happy that you like what I have done.

      August 14, 2012
  25. It’s very impressive. The old cottage can’t be recognized as an old one after editing. Nice tutorial, thanks.

    August 14, 2012
    • Thank you, that is great to hear.

      August 14, 2012
  26. As usual, you continue to amaze! Great work!

    August 14, 2012
    • What a great thing to say Stephen, thank you so much.

      August 14, 2012
  27. Reblogged this on Gerçek Dorman's Blog.

    August 14, 2012
  28. Reblogged this on Gercek Dorman Photography.

    August 14, 2012
  29. I love the colors you brought out and the angle is, of course, awesome 😀

    August 16, 2012
    • I was really happy with this angle as well. Great to see you are happy with the colours as well, thanks Amanda. 🙂

      August 16, 2012
  30. leo brady #

    Reblogged this on realreality productions – boston, ma.

    August 17, 2012
  31. Like the first photo (subject is interesting anyway) but love the second, which is so much more than a photo. Thanks so much for sharing your work leanne. You have given me courage to tweak a little as I go along this new journey. (But baby steps for me.)

    January 9, 2014
    • Thank you so much, I think tweaking and playing is good, you never know where your images might go.

      January 9, 2014

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: