Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Experimenting With Pictures

One of the things I enjoy when visiting Adrian's blog - Adrian's Images - is to see what he has been doing with Photoshop. One technique which has always intrigued me is colour popping, though I had no idea what it was called until very recently. Adrian put a detailed 'how to' on his other blog - Seeing to Pictures. I don't use Photoshop. I have used Paint Shop Pro since about version 2 so the method was slightly different but I decided to have a go. The picture I chose was taken at least a year ago and a bit grainy but the subject seemed to me to be ideal for the technique of only having colour on the main subject of the photo.

Here is before and after:

Colour Pop1

My thanks to Adrian for his detailed explanation. I very rarely head towards the complication of playing with layers and it turned out to be easier than I had thought.

Talking of layers - the sky was pretty clear towards tea time yesterday and the Moon was fully visible so I plonked the Canon XL2 outside with the Canon 70-200mm L series lens fitted. There is a special adaptor which enables EF lenses to fit the XL. This has its own lens system which gives just over 7x magnification. Thus at 200mm the EF lens acts like a 1400mm. At this magnification the Moon filled quite a large amount of the frame but looked very bare as the rest of the view and sky was bare.

After filming the Moon I moved the camcorder and filmed some nearby tree branches with the lens at the 70mm setting. Using Video Studio Pro X3 the Moon shot was put on the main video track and the tree branches on the overlay track with 68% transparency. The colour temperature of the main video track was altered to give the Moon a slightly blue hue.

Music is an old MIDI file played through a Roland keyboard. The Moon is not moving but the Earth is so to a fixed camera it appears to move across the sky. The movement is in real time, not speeded up.


  1. You did a really good job with that colour popping John. It is a way of showing the true colours of the bird with out any distraction from its surroundings.

  2. John show you once and you are away. The popping is great.
    The moon is better.......superb I think.
    A slight correction..........the moon is orbiting the earth and the earth is spinning. Both orbit the sun but it's an elliptical orbit for both. It does move relative to us at a hell of a rate though.

  3. Love the popping Blue Tit John, and the moon video is excellent.

  4. Amazing results from both photo and video. Great idea to include the branches in the video ~ wonderful effect.

  5. You are quite right Adrian. Everything 'heavenly' was moving.

  6. Thank you Glo. The Moon shot was very bare by itself.

  7. Never heard of 'popping' but you certainly got a good result John! Great piece of Moon video too.

  8. Nor had I Jan though I have often seen the results in others photos.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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