How I’m Spending My Sunday

Before and after photo of Mrs. TM Heffner, c.1900. The before photo is flat black and white, the after photo is a riot of color.

I’m playing with Photoshop and seeing what I can do with photos from the late 1800s! Photoshop these days has a lot of nifty capabilities baked in (including an automatic “colorize” feature, and the ability to replace backgrounds without having to mask it out) and combined with a bunch of filters I have to play with, I’ve discovered once can do quite a lot in just ten minutes. This is a delightful use of one’s weekend downtime, I have to say. I hope you are likewise having a lovely Sunday and are enjoying yourself, with or without photoediting software.

— JS

20 Comments on “How I’m Spending My Sunday”

  1. I hate colorized movies so I doubt I would use this. More so for Adobe which time and time again screws their users of Photoshop so I quit using it when the starting not letting you buy the software but only rent it.

    I’ll stick with Affinity Photo. It’s much cheaper and they treat their users much, much better.

  2. I believe this is the second time you’ve used a photo entry to get on a soapbox about Photoshop (and Affinity), sbradfor. Are you going to do this every time I mention the software, and if so, can we just have a read this is your feeling about it and skip it the next several times?

  3. I’ve been toying with Photolemur 3.
    I like it because it does a lot of the “donkey work” on processing pictures and then lets me open the saved file in GIMP for tweaking.

  4. p.s. I’m pretty sure the cross-shaped feature behind the lady’s head is a brace to help her keep her head still, but it’s fun to imagine she had a stiletto tucked into her bun.

  5. That mustache guy looks photoshopped even in black-and-white. (I’m not saying I think he was, just that my immediate reaction to that mustache is “that couldn’t possibly be real!”)

  6. Mr. Colorized Moustache really reminds me of a Terry Gilliam paperwork character. I’m waiting for his teeth to start playing…

    Also, a differing view on the CC SaaS/subscription model – I’m an avid PS and LR user (for my own entertainment), but if the eminently affordable (compared to the purchase model) subscription not come to exist, I would never had the ability to justify buying InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, and a few of the other programs that I now use regularly (for my business).

    I would support Adobe providing both models, as Sage does for Sage50 accounting, but they’ve chosen to go in the subscription direction only, which I’m personally happy with. Luckily, for those who don’t have need of the rest of the CC suite, there are other options on the market.

    Now if only I could buy a Ryzen 5 5600X right now, as my graphics PC has shrugged off this mortal coil after several generations….

  7. Dear John,

    Revisionist! Revisionist! Unclean!

    OK, not really, and at least you’re not colorizing Dorothea Lange’s famous photograph “Migrant Mother” and in the process making her a white woman!

    Yeah, someone really did that.

    pax / Ctein

  8. I’m frankly impressed at how well Photoshop did with that mustache and the guy’s hair – usually hair is the great undoing of “background replace” functions, although I suppose each of these were fairly “clean” backgrounds.

    (I still hate the subscription model for “you can only open your own layered files which represent hundreds of hours of work if you use our software” cases, so I will be impressed over here with Photoshop’s snazzy new features and continue to not buy in; I love Photoshop’s interface and ease of use and am not thrilled with GIMP [it’s amazing, for being free! but oy, it takes me so much longer to do almost anything…], but the subscription model is just a non-starter for me. If they still offered a purchase that you could transfer between computers as they die [see: MS Office 2010, which is now on its third laptop in about a decade], I’d pay the $800, but… yeah. Betting that I’ll have, in five years, whatever a company chooses to charge for their software that particular year, with the alternative of losing access to all the files: not my jam.)

    But: those are some really fun features!

  9. Wow. That masking capability is astonishing. Correctly interleaving with & dealing with the edging on the hair & moustache—amazing. That’s some heft crunch, there.

    I’m a Pixelmator user because it’s an excellent substitute for PS at an extremely reasonable price (~$50 for both Classic & Pro—I mean fifty bucks gets you both. & it’s download, not cloud subscription. Pm’s only major downside: it’s Apple only), but…I’m going to have to look closer at PS. Handy that I get it through work!

    I have to wonder about the metric ton of moustache wax Mr. Moustache Guy was using. Amazing that he didn’t have it all twisted together in a rope. (I wonder what the 19thC version of hairspray was?)

    My weekend? I got to slap down some gratuitous stupidity on the part of my HOA, so that was satisfying. And managed to hit Sunday evening not in a blind stumbling rush to Get Everything Done. Still got to bed three hours later than I wanted to, but at least for fun reasons, not self-imposed crisis reasons.

    @Outer Space Guy: I would never underestimate Phoenix’s rain game. Leaving P at the end of the ’78 Worldcon, I remember my bus driving through what I now know to be a microburst. Solid wall of gray about a half-mile wide, draped athwart the highway. (Don’t envy anybody downstream in the watershed!) Glorious!

    PS John, thank you for reinstating the Preview function. Headed off at least three stupid incomprehensibilities in this comment alone.

  10. It looks like I may have to finally download the latest version of Photoshop (PS), as it does seem to have some pretty fun things!

    If I may suggest a couple of other things to play with in PS and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). Of course you may already be aware of these, but in any case . . . you might take a look at the “split toning” function in ACR, which allows you to convert an image to monochrome, then set colors, saturation and luminosity for both the darker and the lighter areas. (I usually make a copy of the RAW image before doing this.)

    In PS I find the “duotone” effect to be a nice way to uniformly color tone an image I’ve converted to monochrome. Duotones and tritones were introduced into Photoshop to help with its professional printing functionality; among other things the improve the tonal range of the image.

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