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Photoshop Miracle

Today Cindy and I went to the World Ag Expo.  This is THE hugest event I have ever attended, and I’ve been to TONS of exhibitions.  This is an international farm show, and not being a farmer I have never attended, even though I have lived here 28 years.  That is all past tense now.  I joined Kiwanis, and they had a food booth.  So I went to take pictures.

Woe was me when I saw one of the photos that came out like this:

Don't you love it???

Don’t you love it???

I was just about to throw it out, but I thought, “This is the perfect example of whether Photoshop really works.”  So I kept if and played with it for about a half hour.

Kiwanis Club Booth

This is what happened after I cropped it, adjusted brightness, vibrance, and then painted with a dodge and burn tool.  I was astounded.  It’s still not a great picture, but it IS a picture, and that is what amazed me.  If I coud do that with my little dab of experience on a picture that is so awful, just think what Photoshop CAN do in the hands of an expert – photographer and processor!!!

Any thoughts?  I’ll write about the Farm Show tomorrow.

76 replies »

  1. I am anxious to see all your farm show photos and share the HUGE Event with your Blog Fans. I is truly an amazing event! I am going again tomorrow for the 3rd day to work at the Kiwanis Booth. This event is run by an ARMY of Volunteers. Thanks for documenting it on “film”.


    • Hi Sally, I missed you today, but I saw Mike, so I knew I was in the right booth. Cindy and I had a great time, so thank you so much for the tickets. We ended up driving because she had an appointment at 1:00. but it was plenty of time to get some pictures, and some lunch!!! I’ll put the photos on Flikr or something after my post tomorrow. 🙂


  2. I use Corel’s PaintShop Pro, because I could never afford PhotoShop, but for a non-professional, it works almost as well, with loads of filters and things. And I LOVE being able to pull a picture out of a disaster. Like you said, Marsha, even it isn’t a perfect photo, when you can suddenly see the subject where before, all was dark, well that’s pretty much a miracle in MY book. Good on you for working with it until you had yourself a moment in time, captured forever. Nice work! Glad you enjoyed the Expo, too.


    • Yes, my husband taught me how to use that when I first started blogging about a year ago. I am paying $29 a month for an entire collection of products from Adobe. This keeps all the programs up to date automatically, an don’t have to repurchase anything. So you sort of rent the service. Russel Ray Photos told me about it. So far I’ve used Illustrator and Photoshop quite a bit. I’m taking an Illustrator class on Tuesday that costs more than the month’s fee for the program. It is expensive, but it is what I want to focus my work doing – in my spare time!!! hahaha 🙂


      • It sounds like you do this commercially, or as a personal business? I started using PSP years ago to do some photo manipulation and to create email stationeries with photos and images. (I belonged to several stationery groups at the time and created thousands over the years). Then I got a digital Wacom tablet and electronic pen, and began to use PSP for doing digital paintings, from scratch. For awhile, I did custom pet portraits, until repetitive stress syndrome made me stop. Now I mostly just use it to doctor and play with my photographs. At the time I began it all, PhotoShop ran over $800, and PSP was available for under $100, so it was no contest for me. I have no idea what the prices are now, comparatively.

        If you are a professional artist or graphics designer, I think PhotoShop is the way to go, but for the rest of us, PSP will do almost everything. There are hundreds and hundreds of special effects, filters, and other tools for it, so it is quite good for your average “artsy” type, wanting to be creative. But PhotoShop is surely still the Gold Standard for most pros.

        All of it is fun, and lets you do amazingly creative things on your computer. Having painted all my life, I have a special fondness for the artistic capabilities of our computers. I’d be interested to know more about what you do.


        • Sorry to take so long to respond to this. I’ve been going like crazy, and I saved it for a time when I had time, my list moved on, and it got buried. Thankfully I found it this morning.

          You are amazing, Marcia! I can’t paint, but yesterday I did discover how to use Photoshop to paint, and I want to try something new today. I am not an artist at all, although I love to draw. I’m just not very good at it!!! I sure wish we lived closer!! I would love to get together. You know so much, and sound like such an interesting person.

          Marsha 🙂


          • I can’t Reply any more under the correct box, so I’m responding here. Why don’t you email me privately (ha) and we’ll chat more in depth, Marsha. I’ve been meaning to add a Contact page to my Bookin’ It blog, anyway, and my email has been “out there” in cyperspace for years, so I’m just going to give it to you here: I’d love to hear from you, and we can talk in a lot more detail.

            As for “knowing so much and being such an interesting person,” may I quote you to my husband? Say yes, please! He needs to hear this!


          • M Keep in mind, he’s been at it for 27 years, and I haven’t even know you 27 days!!! hahaha Thanks for the address. I will email you, and who knows, all my blogging visitors may email you, too!!! I can’t say that your email address will not be shared with everyone!!! 🙂 the other M


          • Not a problem. I’m going to add it on my blog as a contact, anyway. I’ve had so many business ventures and websites over the years, it really it out there. And I know how to use my “Block” option, if anyone bizarre shows up. (You don’t have any bizarre friends, do you? Haha.) Looking forward to talking to you later. And you are right about Mark…he’s actually known me 31 years now. You’d be amazed at how totally UN-special a person can seem after that long!


    • I hope you will enjoy it, Dianne. I’ve used it for years, but now they have several versions. I use the one called PaintShopPro X3. There are newer versions now, and some “smaller” programs, too, that are easier to learn, but don’t have quite as many options. But PSP Pro is about as close to PhotoShop as you can come without shelling out the really big bucks. It’s very versatile, and there are LOTS of online tutorials out there. Have fun!


    • Good! I think you will enjoy it!!! If you have any questions there are tutorials. V taught me, but I forget just about as quickly as I learn. So it is hard to switch back and forth!!1 🙂 ML


  3. Your transformation of that photo is Magic! In the ‘old days’ it would just be trash. But there is was… all the details of the picture just lurking, waiting for you to ‘uncover’ them.
    Can’t wait to see more about the show!


    • I’ll have to come back to my post in a bit. I need to post this wonderful present my husband gave me first. He called, and said, “Have you even been out to the dining room yet??? It’ was about 9:30 a.m.!! Yikes!! There it was since last night!!! What is wrong with ME?!!!!


  4. I use The Gimp. Does about the same thing as Photoshop but is free. 🙂
    Might be useful to some of your followers to try if they just want to play around with photo editing before investing more.


  5. Marsha, experience is one of the best teachers. Do you know why your pic turned out black in the first place? Your digital camera is set on A (automatic) and it is reading the available light to determine if you need flash. Since it could read the background light, it didn’t pop up the flash. With light behind the subject, you need “fill flash.” In order to get your flash to pop up when you need or want it, put your camera on P (program) or M (manual) mode. Or if you don’t have these features, just put it on override flash mode.
    You probably already figured this out, but just in case . . . 🙂


    • Actually Darla, what I thought you were going to say was that I was shooting into the light from a dark place, which I do know is a no-no. But you fooled me, and instead told me something that I absolutely didn’t know. Keep in mind that I am an absolute novice, in spite of my dad trying to teach me photography mechanics when I was 10. He also tried to teach me heating and cooling engineering at the dinner table. That didn’t work either!!! Mom tried to teach me piano lessons as she cooked dinner in the kitchen. The chicken stuck, but the piano lessons went up in smoke.

      Thanks for the lesson! I do have those features, but I’m still not sure how to override the flash. So I’ll check it out!!! 🙂 Gold star, Darla 🙂


      • I am so glad I can help. You crack me up, the chicken stuck but not the piano! I love it.
        To find out more about your camera, try to read the owners manual. I know, its like reading Greek, but start small, look up a particular feature like turning off the flash. Also just google a direct question being sure to put in the make and model of your camera. Sometimes that is faster than looking it up in you book.
        Hint, if you have the ability to change your camera from Auto to Program, that will give you the ability to override the light reader and turn on your flash manually. The only real difference between A and P is the flash and ISO settings. I try to tell people to NEVER shoot in A. You want to be able to set your ISO!
        Awe, THANKS for the gold star! I love those!
        Have a great day exploring your camera!


          • Maybe I should blog about those settings!
            I actually wrote a book on how to use a digital camera.
            Photojournalism Made Simple.
            I haven’t thought about getting it published, because there are so many out there. I did is as a project for my newspaper.
            Try not to be overwhelmed!


          • Why not self publish it? People who are blog friends will buy it just because it’s you. I would never have read Dianne Gray’s books if I’d just been shopping the shelves because there’s just so much out there, it’s overwhelming to choose. But now that I know her, I’ll buy everything she ever writes. ML


          • Wow! that’s impressive. I bet it was a lot of fun! If you want to post it on our site, we can take a look at it as well, if you want. 🙂 This doesn’t have to be all about me. We all have equal abilities to post. 🙂 Marsha 🙂


          • That is a thought, but it has so many photos that it would take me a bit to upload. But I do have it in digital form. I think I did the pages in power point, but not sure. Can’t remember.LOL


        • I do, and I did! 🙂 Beautiful family you have! Lots of grandkids. I’m jealous, but I’m sure you earned every one of them, and mine have all been gifts from Paula and Carmen and other friends that took pity on me with no kids. I love them all, but we’d never be able to ALL get together to do a family photo. 🙂 I love it!! 🙂 ML


          • Thanks Marsha! I do love my kids and grands! But even as close together as we all live, we can never get a decent family photo. Its tough to wrangle that many young ins. 🙂
            I loved looking at your photos too. Hawaii! I’m the jealous one! That is one of my all time wishful vacation. That and Austrailia and Ireland, oh and any where in Europe! Might as well dream big, while I’m dreaming.
            have a great day!


          • I NEVER thought I’d get to HI. I was well into my 50s the first time, and I’ve been several times since then. Once you decide to do it, you just look for ways to get the job done! That’s it, Darla. 🙂 ML


  6. Dodge and Burn tool? I must look that up.

    A photoshoot I did a couple weekends ago I “permanently” deleted (2,000 photos of which I’m terribly attached to). Oh dear. Sir helped me recover them. I was going to weep and let them go, but Sir talked me out of that.

    I have been using Corel for years, a simplified version of photoshoppe really. I dream of one day having a Mac PC and Photoshop that I use just for photography. AH….ONE day 😀

    I am astounded at the work you have done here, a fascinating and interesting photo, you have recovered a beautiful and intriguing moment. Yes, Photoshop is GROOVY (arg I keep typing “photoshoppe”)

    P.S. I would have LOOOOVED to have been there at this event, sounds absolutely enthralling!! Brilliant!!!



    • Wow, I’m glad you recovered your 2,000 photos. That would have been tragic. i would have cried for you you if you had decided not to!!! I started out using Corel on my other computer. It does really well, but at the time I wasn’t as knowledgable, at anything, so my attempts weren’t very sophisticated.

      Now I’m trying to focus no using Photoshoppe so that I learn it. Hope things are going well! See you soon!!!
      Marsha 🙂


      • Yes, Corel is nice. I have the student version on the laptop, which is very pale in comparison to the one on my precious Windows 98 (I love that old computer!). I’m no technological hipster (whatever a hipster is), I must reveal. But the full Corel programme on the 98 is heaven. I love it. But they have come such a long way now.

        I’m VERY excited watching you as you advance. A wonderful show to be an audience for!!!!!

        Yes, I was just kissing, er I mean, processing a few of those photos today. I find photos this time of year to be very special because of the unique shadows. Ethereal! I love them.

        So, no cause to weep, only to chortle,



    • Corel PaintShop Pro X5 is not a “simplified version of photoshoppe” by any stretch of the imagination. You just need to learn everything that it can do, just like one would with Photoshop.

      I use Photoshop CS6, PaintShop Pro X6, Corel Photo-Paint X6, Corel DRAW! X6, and even Word 2010, depending on exactly what I want to do and how fast I want to do it.


      • Yeah, I don’t know the rest of them, except Paint Shop Pro. And I’m sure I don’t have that version. I liked Paint Shop pro with I was using it on my other computer, but I’ve probably forgotten a lot now. 🙂


  7. If you set your camera to shoot RAW files, then you can open the photography in Adobe Camera Raw (comes with Photoshop) and it takes about 30 seconds to adjust the Shadows and Highlights. Heck, even if you don’t shoot RAW files, you can force a JPG to open in Adobe Camera Raw and do the same thing.


  8. By the way, once you really learn how to use layers and masks, you can mask out the windows so that they don’t get brighter while you’re brightening the rest of the picture. That way, your red doohickeys in the window will still be there. I like those red doohickeys!


    • I do a lot with layers now, but I don’t do masks yet. BTW I did get the Creative Cloud, and because I’m a former teacher, I got the teacher discount. So I don’t really use anything but Photoshop and Illustrator, but I’m getting better with Photoshop. 🙂 ML


    • Thanks Leanne. It’s amazing. I still don’t think it’s a good picture, but it tells a story! I’m learning so much every day. Remember in the old days how they used to paint black and white pictures? I painted a sky in a color picture that I had lightened too much. It looked real!!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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