Fun with Photo Editing, Scanning, and Colorizing

It's been a while since my last blog post and I figured it was time for an update. I've been keeping myself busy with all kinds of photography from working at my University's newspaper as a photographer, to working on a special photo project to be released, hopefully, around February 2016. Those topics are for another blog post. This blog post is all about having fun with scanning and digital editing. 

Recently, I've undertaken the process of scanning old family prints and old black and white negatives from my darkroom days for some retouching.  This is exciting for many reasons. How cool is it to see an old baby picture of yourself or a picture of your Grandfather in his Navy uniform digitized and restored? It's incredible. I've always been an advocate of getting your pictures printed to have a non-digital copy. The same is true for those old prints without  digital copies. To work with these old photos and then restore them is an unbelievably satisfying feeling.

This blog post will be a tour of all the fun ways I've been manipulating and restoring these photos. 

Now on to the fun! 

The white circled areas are the main places that need some TLC. Scratches, scuffs, and dust litter this photo. The most obviously glaring problem is the color and general darkness of the photo.  The color looks like a gray yellow. 

Let's see the fix!

The color balance is corrected, no more of that gross yellow-gray color. With the light correction, you can actually see the details on the faces, and those obvious scratches and scuff are removed, putting all the focus back to the wedding party. 

The next photo has similar problems. 

What jumps out first are all the scratches and damage to the print, black scratches, white scratches, and white spots that appear throughout. If you look closely, on the dark jacket there is a thick, black colored line. It almost blends in but once you look closely, it definitely jumps out at you. 

Time for the edit!

Scratches, scuffs, blemishes, and spots all removed! 

The picture is very old and as a result is faded and has scratches and rips in the photo. 

The picture is very old and as a result is faded and has scratches and rips in the photo. 

The new version fixes all the issues that tome created.  The actual paper the image is printed on is very flimsy, almost like a thick sheet of paper. I was very happy to see that it had survived all these years to even get to this state. 

Now it's back to the wedding again for one more photo fix. 

Just like the other wedding photo, the color is off, an unappealing yellow/green/grayish nightmare. There are specks of dust and what looks like a big water stain to the print in the right hand corner. 

Just like the other wedding photo, the color is off, an unappealing yellow/green/grayish nightmare. There are specks of dust and what looks like a big water stain to the print in the right hand corner. 

The skin tone looks healthier, the yuck color is gone, and blemishes were removed. The focus is back on the bride and groom and away from the color/dust issues. 

We're going to take a break from these and move on to some colorized photos. These were scanned black and white negatives.  

The mask and the suitcase are the subjects of this colorization. 

The mask and the suitcase are the subjects of this colorization. 

Fairly simple! It speaks for itself. 

The next coloration: 

Some spots and scratches on the picture. Easy fix of those and then the color!

This next photo is an older print from the late 1950's to the early 1960's. 

The boy on the right needs to be brightened, the border will be removed, and the circled portion on the left will also be removed. Although not circled, the three black lines on the right will be removed as well.Then some fun color will be added! 

While this photo is fun and I'm pleased with it, this most likely won't be the final form. There's a little bit of a story behind this. The subject on the left wasn't all too happy to be wearing this outfit for church on Sunday, hence the frowning face. The outfits weren't comfortable and were what said subject thought was ugly. To be true to that imagination, the outfit was colored to look 'blah'. 

The edited minus color! 

On to the next picture! 

The circled areas are distracting and unnecessary for the planned edit. So they will be photoshopped out in addition to the special edit this one gets. 

I've edited this photo in so many different ways in the past. This was the first time doing something like this!

The next photo is one of the biggest challenges in this process. It's a photo from ~ 1929 of my grandmother and her father and their family car. 

Since this photo is so old, it's only natural that there would be a lot of fading and scuffs and scratches. 

The border was removed, spots and scratch taken care of, and the blacks and whites look better. The biggest change is the front tire. In the original it appears as if there's a faint outline of someone. Since it wasn't clear, I removed her and restored the tire. 

This next photo is from a black and white negative. 

This photo has two problems, scratches and the face of the subject is a little dark. 

Scratches gone and a bright and beautiful face. Perfect. 

Now we're at the end of this blog post! I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, be sure to leave a comment and let me know. 

An Interview with a Dapper Gal

I've known Elise for a few years now. She's funny, sweet, and truly one-of-a-kind. Shooting with her was an absolute blast. I mean, this image was captured after all...

In between shooting locations, we saw the perfect opportunity for a laugh. It's probably one of my favorite "true" moments of a shoot yet. This is the true embodiment of Elise. She was all smiles for her shoot, even while travelling from point A to B. 

After the shoot, I interviewed Elise about her experience. 

1. Did the photoshoot and photographer meet your expectations?

    "Yes she did. She was open minded with how I wanted the photoshoot to go, helped give me ideas of how to pose, and helped give opinions on what outfits looked good on me for the theme." 

2. What was your favorite part of the shoot?

   "My favorite part would be having the opportunity to pose in my own style. This experience gave me the chance to express my own fashion in a professional photoshoot, along with having a photographer who has an open mind to how the photoshoot should be done based on my theme."

3. Would you ever want to do a shoot like that again?

  "Definitely. I would love to have more photoshoots of other outfits I put together for my fashion blog."

4. How did you feel when you first saw your session pictures?

     "I was amazed by how beautiful the shots came out. Kate did a beautiful job making sure that every picture was high quality. Every picture had a perfect amount of focus. It was amazing to see how clear the shots came out."

5. Would you recommended, Kate Koenig Photography to a friend? Why or why not?

   "Yes, I would highly recommend Kate Koenig Photography because she is open to any photoshoot theme and can always make it work. She is also very encouraging to her clients so they feel most comfortable with posing and giving out their ideas for the photoshoot."

6. What kind of photoshoot would you like to do in the future?

   "I would want to do another "dapper" photoshoot for not only my fashion blog but also having another opportunity to model in my own fashion."

 

For a day, Elise became a dapper model.  Together we looked through her outfits, picking out the right ties and bowties, the right pants and shorts for each location, it truly was a customized session.  With a few laughs in the beginning and some gentle coaching, she became so natural in the photos and was enjoying the process.  

I can't wait to do another stylized shoot!  I can only imagine Elise's face when she sees this blog post. Except I don't have to imagine! 

And as this blog post comes to a close, I leave you all with the dapperest of dapper GIFS

Then/Now

Welcome to my first blog post! This is all very new and incredibly exciting to me. I'll start off by saying that I'll be blogging here and there, more during school breaks and during the summer months. It will be a sporadic blog for a while but I hope to fill it with interesting posts! Now, to business....

The idea for this blog post came to me as I was shifting through the countless files on my computer from recent sessions and those from the very start of my journey with the intention of filling up this site.  When you're an artist and you see your old work, it can bring about a series of emotions and responses ranging from embarrassment, pride, anxiety, astonishment. As an artist you constantly grow and mature alongside your work. New life experiences, better techniques, more hours, and more experimentation help add a little extra umph It's a long process to get to this point, but looking back past all that embarrassment it's incredible to see how you've improved from then/now. The greatest thing about this improvement is that the process never ends. You, as an artist, are constantly improving. 

As with anything, a great photograph and a great photographer are not made overnight. This is the peak into my journey. Here's hoping I don't cringe too much!  First stop....the early years

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What is this picture? I can barely tell between the horrible filters and general unfocused nature of the image. This was a tree in my front yard that bloomed gorgeous flowers every spring. This was my first venture into photography around 15~ this was the age where everyone was putting sappy quotes on everything. Dark Days.  

As soon as I was given my first camera which took the above two images, I was trying to take a picture of Everything, everywhere, every second. Oh, is that a shoe? Let me grab my camera. Oh, is that a bird? Let me attempt to get  1/4 of it in focuses. Oh, is that the lamp outside? Let me stand next to it and take a picture of the floating light. Yikes....

I was constantly taking pictures of everything, especially myself since I wanted to practice on people. Often when inspiration hit, I was alone so I became my own model (if that's even what I could call these). Notice the purposeful blur and poor choice in selected color.  

I made the same mistakes over and over again in terms of editing. Too many filters, too much editing in general, poor focus. It was bad, but I'm impressed to an extent as these were taken on that point and shoot, and I was often guessing at the right settings as I clicked the shutter button. 

I really loved this when I first took it. It had everything I ever loved or needed, a cat. It's not great, but it was a challenge as the kitty would move around. My first cat ever photographed! 

While plain, the first one is loads better than the second one. I was working to get this over produced look. Poor lighting, too many filters, oh...Father forgive me for I have Photo-sinned. 

I asked my little brother to throw snow over me from the deck as I stood under. This is the start of my creative endeavors, true start of my photo experimenting. Obviously the quality was poor due to the point in shoot camera and other factors, but there's something here that makes me smile. Probably the lack of filters. Straight outta camera.  

I tried. I did. This was within 6-8 months of me receiving my first camera. If I had this flower, my photo editing know how, and techniques i know today all the way back then, this might have turned out nice and be one of my favorites. 

Like I said, I was taking pictures of EVERYTHING. (This scent is lovely by the way).

I don't have the original copy anymore so the true quality has diminished. This is the first piece I was truly proud of. It is also my first image published in a magazine! I was around 16. 

The quality is improving slightly (still shot on a point and shoot!) as my skill and general photography understanding was improving. I loved this location and the image itself. Its not perfect at all (also not the original file) but I can see the beginning of my photographer's eye developing here. 

My first and only trip to NYC. I was obsessed with taking a photo every second. What I remember most about that trip was how excited I was to have the opportunity to photography a city like NYC. 

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Already such an improvement from the first image. 

My first attempt at a sunset looked more like a forest fire. 

This was around a year after my point and shoot was gifted to me. Once again it's not the original file so the quality is diminished. This was a lace curtain I experimented with to try and get an almost a "bridal" look. 

I loved the dramatic images and tried recreating them on my own. I learned so much by practicing. 

Still liked quotes a lot....

I experimented more and more with both editing and subject matter. 

I joined my high school's photography club which gave me so many opportunities to practice. Are these the best? No, not at all. But I do have a soft spot for them.

Also for photo club. 

I really do love masquerade masks. A better attempt with selective color. 

This signals the end of the point and shoot era and the beginning of the Beginner DSLR era. After this, I don't become professional, I'm not the best, I may not even be good, but it's the start of the process to refine my abilities to get there. 

This picture is a lot better than it looks. No not because it has some deep meaning, but the original has been lost to me sadly. This is the download of an upload of an upload (the next few are also of the same origin). My first photoshoot with a dslr. Beginning of the period of rapid growth. 

I do wish I had the original of this. Ah well. 

Improving a little bit each time...

So much better than the other one. There is a clear horizon, sky, and surroundings. 

Self-Portraits are getting not so...horrible. There is a lot of learning between these shots. 

Conceptual is born. 

While I had several point and shoot pictures published in teen magazines, this was my first image published in a professional art magazine. One of my favorites, and I think no matter how much I approve, I will always love this. 

Then came the protests and events.

Also published in a professional magazine. Much love to it. 

Again a huge improvement from the last floral piece. 

My very early "logo" this was one of the last pictures on my second camera, my first dslr. My camera, Sophia (the DSLR), died a little after this image was taken. It wouldn't be a year later until I acquired my next DSLR. 

This is one of my first images after going a year without a camera. 

My first beach photography. I know the more that I do it, the better I'll be, but I think that I'll always love these images. 

You don't have to read all the captions to see the thread weaving throughout all the images and how improvements were made little by little. It's not easy and it takes time, but the reward is so worth it. 

Years from now as I try new equipment, continue to experiment, and work on my craft, I'll look back on a  photo I took yesterday and be blown away by how much I've improved. 

I hope you enjoyed my first blog post!