I took the original version of this picture back in January, and at the time I rather liked it. Well, I still do, really, but having got in the mood to do some photo work, I decided to have another look at it, and see if I could make something that I liked more.
Cardinal Hume - Before
So, I cropped it down to remove that bit of bright sky, then made the background a wee bit more blurry, twiddled with the curve a bit, and just for laughs turned it into a sepia image. And added one of those little frame thingies.
Cardinal Hume - After
Expect some more of this sort of thing. I’m planning to do a better job on a smaller number of images rather than a quick conversion on lots. This means that my ever-growing backlog of pictures will keep growing for a while, but never mind…
I took this picture back in September last year, while I was at Bede’s World as part of a long walk. I always liked the original for its simplicity – the thistle standing out against the greenery. It was also one of the first times I tried to play with depth of field, and it worked quite well.
Teasel - before
But, having seen a lot of close-up pictures of flowers lately, I realised that I could probably improve the picture. So, I went back to the original file and had a go. The first thing I did was to crop off some of the excess green. Then I flipped the image from left to right, so the plant is leaning into the picture rather than out of it, leaving some space for it to lean into. This is one of those compositional thingies that tend to make more pleasing images, and I think it’s an improvement here. Having tweaked the curve and adjusted the colours a wee bit, I also removed a rather noticeable dark fibre that was coming from the top of the thistle. I don’t generally do a lot of cleaning and cloning, but I think in this case it was necessary. Finally, I applied a bit of sharpening then gave the picture a border to make it stand out a bit.
And yes, I did steal the title of this post from a tourist tat shop in Edinburgh.
 I think that’s what it is. 
 It’s a Photoshop thingy. Kind of brightness and contrast on steroids
 OK, it’s a Teasel – see the comments. Thanks to Slim Palmer for the correction.
 But the bad post title stays