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In a Fantasy

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posted by Chris Crowley alias Chris C. Crowley on Wednesday 30th of October 2013 10:14:17 PM

Cyberspace is like Disneyland for adults. Here, we can become the fantasy, creating online personae that paint us the way we want the world to see us. i usually post my original shots these days, so as not to be too much of a fraud, but I have to admit, I really love the fantasy! I wonder how many of the men (and WOMEN B-O) who have hit on me since I came to Flickr would have done so if they saw the real me! While most of the folks on here who don't want to divulge their real selves simply post either old pics, or none at all, I prefer to play around with mine, creating something whimsical and beautiful. While my face is showing all of its middle aged gravitational issues, here on Flickr I can remain 20 or 30 something indefinitely, although I'll tell you, it's getting harder to pull that off these days, lol! I wish plastic surgery was a cheap as post processing, and as much fun! For anyone who wants to try to goof up their own SP's, here's what I did: first, I uploaded the pic to iPiccy.com. Then, I went into the photo effects. All the way down the list is Advanced HDR-like, which brings up a tremendous amount of detail, but also creates grain, and a myriad of facial imperfections. It's as if you took one of those enhanced skin damage shots the dermatologists use! So, depending upon the other details in the pic you want to bring up, you can leave it full on or use the slider bar to minimize some of the detail. I used the #1 setting, and left this one fully HDR.I think this time I used the HDR Picture tool right after the Advanced HDR, since it sharpens up the lines that will be softened down in the next step so all of the definition isn't femoved. Since the flaws are appalling, the next step I choose after using the vibrance tool and putting back a little color that HDR takes away, is to go into the touch up section and choose wrinkle remover. This tool takes a lot of patience to learn how to use well. It can totally wipe out all detail, or just a little. Once again, using the slider bar, I remove the imperfections that were brought up from the HDR filter. I usually start with the wrinkle remover tool set about half way. This one works best when it's done carefully, and sometimes with layers. Take too much out at one time, and all the definition is lost. Once again, using the slider bar, the amount of detail removed can be adjusted. I did this about three times, the final adjustment being just spot touching like the pores of the nose. Without going nuts with the wrinkle remover tool, you can further remove and soften noise or unwanted detail in the next step. The Orton-like filter is awesome for creating a soft, somewhat blurry, deepened image. I've found that it can remove TOO much detail and put in too much gold tone to the pic, though, so this is where using the eraser tool can come in. Each one of iPiccy's tools has an erase or effect option. You can set the slider to the amount of each you want, for instance, to reduce yellow tones from the Orton filter, I might move the slider bar that says "Brush Strength" to about half way and go over the face to remove some of the gold. In this case, I liked the deep, blurred effect with the gold tones on my hair, but not my skin. I clicked erase, and then with the slider on about half strength, removed the effect from the face so there was less yellow in my skin. Eyes always look better brightened. I went into the touch up section again and used the eye brighten tool to sharpen the detail in my eyes and brows. I also went back over my eyes with the mascara tool. When I'm home, I have a facial retouching program that I like to use, but at work, I've learned to wing it a bit. My eyes were somewhat bloodshot, so I needed to whiten the whites more. I chose the teeth whiten tool to do this, and had to go over the whites about three times, saving each time, to minimize the red. I also used the teeth whiten tool on my teeth. I used the wrinkle remover tool once again on the lip area, but did so very gently To remove the background, I opted to use the clone tool which is found in ipiccy's basic edits, and began copying parts of my hair to cover the wall, outlet, and doorjamb.I almost forgot to add my favorite effect- the gooify tool, which is in the effects section, and is the tool I use to get all the cool swirls. Like the wrinkle remover tool, this one takes some practice, and I'd advise you to save your image before you start using it so you don't lose prior edits because you will probably make a lot of errors until you get used to how to move the parts of the image you want to without distorting facial features, etc. I then went back into the effects section and did a vignette around the outer edge. finally, I finished up by cloning the iris parts of my eyes and putting them in my hair like jewels, and choosing a signature. Since a lot of editing is back and forth, adding and removing until just the right effect s achieved, there were other steps involved, like exposure settings. One thing I tried that I hadn't done before in previous edits was to use the sunny tan setting, not for my skin, but for my hair! For a redhead, it brings up the color nicely and adds a rich tone! The gooify tool is called liquify on iPiccy, but I think the one on ribbet.com works more like the old Picnik version. I generally will save my iPiccy edits and then upload to ribbet when I want to use some of their features. Gooify creates some of the most incredible, surreal effects, not just on hair, but trees, flowers, and backgrounds, especially when there is little or no bokeh, or the image is fairly uninteresting. Wrinkle remover can be used in many ways, too. I will sometimes use it to create depth in a photo, or remove details in the background that I don't want to stand out. This one is a lot like being back in grade school, with your teacher telling you to color within the lines! Fortunately, you can go back and forth from erase to effect if you overlap! It's a lot of work, but after a while it becomes easier and a lot of fun. Post processing is a blast and makes photos into art! Have fun!.



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  • Published 06.30.22
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