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#Lens-Artist 134: How to Turn Car Show Photos From Forgettable to Favorite

Tina has challenged us to practice changing up our photos for #Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #134. I’m not an expert artist any more than I am a photographer, but just as I did with my dad, I can spend hours fiddling in the “darkroom.”

Car show season will be coming up soon in California, if the COVID restrictions are lifted. With a little help from Photoshop Elements 15, or the filters in your camera, you can turn your pictures from ordinary to stellar. What programs do you use to improve your photos?

Vince and I used to love go go to car shows. Hosting one in Woodlake was lots of fun, too. However, as many photos as I took, I wasn’t thrilled with any of them. I loved this car, but I couldn’t separate it from the cars around it and still photograph the whole car.

So, I brought the photo into Photoshop Elements 15, for simple photographers like I am, and made some Guided Fun Edits experimenting with the shape of the blobs, the texture and finally added an effect. Then I cropped it and added a frame resulting in this finished picture. I think it looks romantic.

I love old cars and trucks, and I put a little too much of myself into this next photo. First, the fingerprint at the top and the shadow on the bottom. Since the photograph didn’t showcase the entire truck anyway, I cropped it to death and added a frame and a signature. There was a little too much of another truck admirer as well. 🙂 Notice I didn’t have to deal with tires. This one looks like it is floating on the grass.

After a few little cuts, the flaws faded into the woodwork.

This last picture was my favorite because it included a natural frame of leaves and limbs. But the problem was still too many cars and too many people who didn’t add interest to this fire-engine red beauty.

I played with this one in several ways. I had never tried the radical bursts in the Fun Edits, but I liked the way it came out – sort of.

This first picture had a bit more blurring of the car than I wanted, and somehow I did not notice that my name floated up almost into the car itself. So I brought back the original photo and added more focus and less blur. I added the red frame first then the black so it did not disappear as the first one did. I copied the color from the old license plate for my name. What do all of you do for your signatures?

I still was not done playing with it, though. In Photoshop you can experiment with filters until the wee hours of the morning and you realize that you have someplace to be at 7:30 in the morning, so you’d better stop. That’s where I was tonight. Nonetheless, I still played with a few filters. I like the Fresco Filter because it gave the car a comic book look.

Thanks for joining me today. Please visit some other participants by going to Tina’s website and looking at the comments.

Coming Up

  • #WQWWC – Frank will be hosting the topic of Love at his beach site. It will be posted on Tuesday, so you can link to his blog, and we will both visit you. It’s still not too late to link your posts about respect to #WQWWC this week. Instructions are on the post.
  • #Story Chat in January, “A Postcard from the Past” by Anne Goodwin went so well that there were a record number of comments to summarize and categorize. Thank you all so much!
  • Tuesday the February Story Chat short story, ‘Trophy Cabinet” by Geoff LePard come out! If you look on his website, you’ll see that he has about 13 books published. So, if you don’t know him this is your chance to get acquainted. Leave a comment, and it might just will show up in the Story Chat Summary/Follow-up. 🙂
  • Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic. We have until February 11 to complete the first challenge and to make a donation to help Sue as she is suffering (you wouldn’t know it from chatting with her) but she is dealing with a terminal cancer, and we bloggers have been called on to make a difference.

Have a great week, my friends. See you soon on your blog, various challenges and hopefully here as well.

73 replies »

  1. I loved following your thought processes as you worked through several different edits. My favourite is the tight crop on the radiator grille 🙂

    I use Photoshop Elements mainly for basic editing (crops, contrast etc) and play around with effects in Nik Effects which I got as a free plug-in a while back. I’m tempted by Lightroom and/or Topaz, which several friends use, but reluctant to spend a lot of money when on the whole I like what I manage to achieve with what I have . I do need to get a decent watermark signature however, as I currently don’t bother and probably should!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great experiments, Marsha. The effects are totally different in each one of your edits. I like that you’re experimenting to see which effect works best on the shots. It is hard to separate the car from the background. I’ve had the same problem at car shows, too. You’ve had more success than I have!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun edits, Marsha! You are really getting the hang of photoshop. I still struggle with lightroom and stick with PicMonkey premium and the Painnt app. I love what you did with the various images, really very creative and showcase the cars nicely…and isn’t that the point? My favorite is the collage, looks like a great marketing tool!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jo, it was fun. I do love to take pictures even if they aren’t the best. This challenge stretched me. On Saturday we took a walk in the red rocks of Sedona. My husband took all the pictures, so there are even a few of me this time. I want to share it with you. It is one of my favorite places. 🙂


      • Marsh, it’s editing software called Topaz Labs. The price is $99.00. I originally bought it for the sharpening add-on called AI Clear. Not sure what the price of that is. I use LR for my primary editing, but like the sharpening software when used with a light touch and love all of the filters for adding artsy touches.


        • Thanks, Sue. It sounds like a lot of people use LR. Was it hard to learn? I hate to admit it but I’m like a deer in the headlights about learning new programs!!!


          • I love Lightroom! Not only is it wonderful for editing, but also for cataloging and storing your photos. There are many excellent classes available. I would start with Julieann Kost on You Tube. She’s worked for Adobe for many years and is an excellent teacher. I’m happy to answer your questions any time.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Donna. I had fun playing with them during the second half of the Super Bowl and beyond. I figured it was over after the first half, and if Vince let out a hoot and a holler I’d dash back to the TV. 🙂


  4. Wow Marsha, you went to town on these! Every one of them is really fun. I can see them as huge pop-art photos in a funky old-time-themed diner or in a used car showroom. They’re a great example of the fun we can have when we work outside the box to create something totally different with our images. Thanks so much for adding to our fun with the challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tina, thank you so much for your encouragement to stretch. I used that radial filter in a photo for Story Chat today after learning about it yesterday, so thanks again. What program do you use to play with your photos?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing fancy I’m afraid. I use L/R for simple edits and P/S if I need to remove things or expand a background for example. I do use Topaz when I want to create an artistic interpretation, or apply textures using P/S. You could spend all day every day if you really wanted to be a photographic artist!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It is time consuming. I use Canva for creating art for posts or for flyers. Sometimes I alter something in Canva then alter it again in Photoshop. Canva will now remove backgrounds easier than Photoshop, which I never mastered.


          • There are so many options with Photo Shop. What I like about Canva that is fairly new are the thousands of pictures that are available at very little cost. Those work well for my Story Chat Series. Since I’m not writing the stories, my photos don’t usually fit the story, and I love doing illustrations for them.

            Liked by 1 person




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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