Editing a Photo


I’m staring at a photograph. It’s nothing great. In fact it’s rather bad. There are trees, twigs here and there, everywhere and in the picture is a manmade nest for the birds. What does this image say? That someone had the heart to put it out there for the birds. That I was in the forest at some point taking photographs. That summer hasn’t arrived in the forest yet, but might be on its way. What else?

And what’s mostly on my mind, what can I say with this picture? Or rather, what can I do with it? It’s one of the hard ones. I often ignore the ones with not much else than branches and trees because they are really hard to do anything with. So what can I do with this one? I can zoom in on the nest and make something of that. A black and white blurry thing?


There I ran it once through the #Stackables app. It looks mysterious enough. It gives you focus and gives the trees around the nest a bit of a purpose. The black and white takes away that feeling of bla. But why would a bird nest be mysterious? Well I can think up a title to go with it. Something that puts a spin on it “Olaf was little, and his new place was perfect except for the fact that he couldn’t fly”.

Well, lets try something else. For the fun of it. We’re not satisfied with a simple job like the above – even though it might be the best option for the photo. It’s too easy. And we always need to make it a bit complicated. That’s the fun stuff.


Here I ran it through the app #Enlight. I added a painterly effect, and added a “surface” to it. I masked away the area over the birdnest (and I think that had no purpose in this case). And then I added my personal favorite the splash brush. I use it a lot, maybe too much. Sorry, but I like it.

But it’s still not good enough. It has a certain something but we still have the same blah as we did at the start. It’s just a bunch of twigs and a birdnest.

So after running this image through both of my favorites Stackables and #Mextures I had a problem. Nothing I did was doing anything good with it. Maybe it was time to give in? Try again or test another image? Well… there’s always #distressedFX – see what happens when I run it through that.


Well now we have chaos. We have grunge on top of the twigs and the bird nest and … no, this isn’t working. So I go back to stackables and instead of using the pre-made formulas (the ones they provide or those I’ve made through my editing days) I try to “improve” the image.


I sharpened it and I filtered it so that the colors would stand out a bit. It’s a little less chaotic. A little brighter and maybe it gives a little sense of that person that’s trying to take care of the birds there, or what? Well maybe not, and maybe the first edit is the best still but this one is mine. On a different day I might have tossed this image… sent it to the brig and taken out another one but not today. Today it seems to give me a sense of … niceness…? Right.

Can you tell I’m procrastinating?

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