01 August 2019

Working with old photos

These are photos I took in 2003, before I became a blogger. Some of them are images I've never posted before, I believe.

Here's what a full view of the image I posted yesterday, in which I had tried to reduce the blue tones, because often photos taken with digital cameras are too blue. I think I might have gone too far toward the gray.

The windows on either side of the central panel are modern. The old windows they replaced didn't survive either the wars of religion, the French revolution, or the 19th-century restorers.

Then I found this photo. It's the bottom panels of the same window. It looked so dark that I thought it might be a candidate for the recycle bin. But I worked on it anyway. It actually looked much darker on my computer and in Photoshop than it does here. Who knows why?

Between blogging and working in the kitchen in the early morning — yesterday I ran 650 grams of meat through the grinder to make hamburger patties — and working in the yard later in the morning, when the temperature rises a little — it's hard to believe we are having chilly mornings now, after last weeks extreme heat — yesterday I emptied out the greenhouse and them pulled a lot of ivy, which was threatening to take over — I process photos.

Here's the result of processing the photo above. Processing means working in Photoshop. I just use Photoshop Elements, the amateur or home version of the application. And it's a really old version of the product.

So it turned out to be really easy to get something worthwhile out of this photo ratée.

This tall stained-glass panel is one of two Renaissance-era windows in the Montrésor church that have survived for nearly 500 years. I'm currently looking for photos of the second one. I've visited Montrésor a dozen or more times over the years, and I've taken photos in the church and around the town many times. I must have a photo of the other window somewhere.


  1. Photoshop Elements is a great tool and, most often, lets you salvage photos that looked ratées and only good for the trashcan. Now, of course, what is paramount is how a picture is displayed on your computer screen and that can be very deceiving. It might not look the same way on your screen as on mine. (The display on my Macbook Air is terrible and I'm not savvy enough to know how to fix it!) All this to say the treatment of your photo yesterday, as I saw it on my tablet, was perfect, as far as I'm concerned.

    The general tone on today's photos is warmer and that's OK.

    1. I edit and process photos on my Windows laptop. Then I go look at them on my Windows desktop and they don't look at all the same. I actually have two Windows machines upstairs, and both have Samsung monitors, but they don't have the same video cards and the same photo displayed on both of them don't look the same either.

      On my laptop, the angle of the screen is all important. Moving it a few degrees backwards or forwards changes displayed images drastically. Do you see that phenomenon with the MacBook screen? Peter H. tells me he thinks Mac displays are much better than Windows displays, so what you say about your MacBook Air surprises me.

    2. My MacBook Air is a refurbished by Apple laptop. Is it why the display is so lousy? Were the display settings changed by the previous owner and not reset? The colors, whatever the angle of the screen, are terrible. My problem is I have no idea if any treated photo is OK or not.

      If I download a photo on my tablet and then send it to my laptop I can see the difference, but I don't know what to do about it. Conversely, the display on my old MacBook Pro (which is in Arlington) is perfect, giving credit to what Peter H. says.

    3. Thank you for the link. I always thought it was a question of calibration, but I'm not sure I know how it works and I don't want to do something wrong and be worse off. I'll read it carefully and see if I can understand the process and a way back to previous settings, just in case!

  2. Ah...the first photo shows different colors than yesterday, rich reds for the figures on earth then sky blue as we look upward to heaven. Nice.

  3. The picture of the three windows is lovely (I hadn't seen the earlier posts). I particularly like the contrast of the ancient center one and the two modern ones flanking. And the detail on the old windows is amazing.

  4. I am so impressed by the changes you can come up with using Photoshop. Wow!


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