Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

Fun with Photoshop


It can be very frustrating but also lots of fun!

I purchased Photoshop CS3, the full package, when I was starting work on my book, Your Face or Mine, for Snazaroo USA Inc.  I was hoping to be able to “fix” the backgrounds in all of my photos as I had taken them against a black fabric backdrop.  Since the book was going to be printed in black I needed to get rid of the shadows and lines in the black so it would blend with the flat black of the printed page.

Unfortunately I discovered that Photoshop is not user friendly and that trying to figure it out while on a deadline was not possible!  I wasn’t able to find any classes running so wasn’t able to use it.  The photos all ended up being cropped without any alterations to the images at all.

Eventually I was able to sign-up for a class at the local Centre for Creative Arts – 19 months later!!  It was so worth it!

For my class project I chose to work on a photo I took at the Louvre of the Winged Victory of Samothrace.  I’ve been obsessed with that statue since I was about 9 years old and was thrilled to see it in person but tourists went and got in my shot just as I took the picture!!

So I played around and cropped, stamped, blurred, burnished, added effects…

My first successful experience with Photoshop

My first successful experience with Photoshop

My final project was a layout using four different versions of the image manipulated in different ways – sort of an Andy Warhol take on it!  The instructor brought in his super-size photo printer and printed each of us copies of our projects on our choice of paper finishes.  I signed, numbered mine 1/1, and had it framed – it is now hanging in our living room.

As a make-up artist I am always taking photos of my work to use for display or publication and being able to fix things is a godsend!  Things like spots, bloodshot eyes, stray hairs, backgrounds, and boogers!  Nothing is more frustrating than taking a photo of what you thought was an excellent example of a design only to find a long nose hair or a snot bubble!! EEEWW…

I just like playing around too… I like to call it being “artistic” but, well…

I think I look good blue.  What do you think?

I think I look good blue. What do you think?

Being able to manipulate photographs to make appealing images for promotional purpose or just for my own use is fun too.  Although, I keep forgetting HOW!  I spend hours fiddling around trying to remember how I did it before, then figure out some way to do it… never knowing if there was actually a easy way to do it within the program!

A simple butterfly on a pretty little girl!

A simple butterfly on a pretty little girl!

It took me about three hours to get this done… I kept getting part way through it, mucking it up, closing the file without saving… then starting over with the original file… FINALLY, I decided to save a black and white version, open a colour version, cut out the butterfly, then copy and paste from one file to the other… and it WORKED!!

I always take my photos against a black backdrop whenever possible… I’m in the process of hanging a black velvet one.  I’ve been assured by a professional photographer that velvet absorbs light so I shouldn’t get the draping shadows anymore in my studio shots.  Hope so…

Just for fun… this is NOT Photoshopped….

I don't think any comment is necessary.

I don't think any comment is necessary.


2 thoughts on “Fun with Photoshop

  1. I knew there was an easier way!!! Thanks. That should be easier than cutting it out, I hope!

  2. The best way to do that B&W photo is with layers. Start with the color photo. Copy it on to another layer. Make the 2nd layer grayscale. Then take your eraser brush & gently erase the butterfly area, showing the color layer underneath. Works great!

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