For this design showcase, we were given three images to choose from and needed to edit them accordingly. I chose the image with a bench because I could definitely see myself stopping there on a walk and reading a book, or just enjoying the sunshine!
Since the image was much larger than necessary, I resized the image to the required eight inches across and changed the DPI to 300 for optimal print quality.
Right off the bat, I decided that the photo looked bare and a little too green overall for such a nice bench. I duplicated the background (to protect the original) and, using the clone tool, cloned the red and orange flowers and their stems, the yellow flowers to the left of the bench, and the yellow, blurry flowers in the far background.
Next I added an adjustment layer and altered the image’s levels. I personally thought the image was a bit too dark for my taste and wanted to lighten it. I did this by sliding the white lever to 230 and the middle, grey lever slightly to the left to 1.06. While this did brighten the image, I thought the grey of the bench seemed washed out by the adjustment, and decided to mask it by painting the bench black in the adjustment layer (using the brush tool).
Even though the flowers are beautiful, the bench is the star of my image. Thinking realistically, when you focus on an object with your eyes, the neighboring objects blur around it. I wanted to achieve this effect, so I duplicated the cloned layer and blurred the green bush on the left of the foreground and the large stones on the right of the foreground.
Looking at the image again, I still felt there was something not quite right with the bench “popping,” and decided to burn the mulch/dirt in the flowerbed to make the bench stand out even more.
Finally, I decided to add another adjustment layer, black and white, and set the opacity to 73%. This allowed a very faint color to shine through, especially the colors of the flowers and bushes. Overall I am very pleased with the effect of the final versions of this editing exercise.