Mr. StraightGrain and I have been talking for months about how we would like to decorate our living room with something more colorful and bright than the rather dark framed Hiroshige drawings which have been hanging on one of our walls since we moved in about 4 years ago. We've been going over some ideas, but never really found anything cool which is not extremely time-consuming.
Then, a few weeks ago, I took some pictures of Norah for my Ruffled Sundress tutorial. I was so happy with the outcome, that I just had to do something with them. Rather than just printing and framing them, I decided to play around with them in Pixlr (a free online Photoshop knock-off) for a bit, and have them printed and mounted on MDF board (this technique). The result is pictured above.
As I'm really happy with it, and have had many enthusiastic reactions from friends and family, I thought I'd just share with you the extremely easy way in which I made them.
1. I openened the picture from my hard drive in Pixlr Editor, and I cropped the different photos. It's very important that the model's head has about the same size in each picture, and that it is put in about the same position. As I wanted the pictures printed at 30 by 40 cm, I set the aspect ratio to 30:40.
2. Next, I used the "Curves" option in Pixlr, which enables you to play with the lighting of the picture on two parameters: tone and contrast.
I picked up the top of the curve, and moved it over the graph's area until the pictures looked the way I wanted it them too: a ridiculous amount of contrast, and extremely bright. (if necessary, you can also fiddle with other functions, like saturation, color vibrance, etc).
3. I saved the pictures in the highest possible quality, and had them printed.
PS1. Disclaimer: In no way do I claim that this is an even remotely professional way of editing your pictures, but it worked very well for me so I thought I'd share.
PS2. The printed pictures are a lot higher in quality than they appear - it's just the pictures of the pictures which are poor (because the prints are hanging in a part of our living room with little natural light).
PS3. This is not a sponsored post - the link to Photobox is purely informational, and there are many other companies which provide these kinds of services)