Once in a while I go back to older photos and apply newly learned techniques. It is a great way to see how far you have come.
I tend to go through the old photos and think 'What was I thinking??' at the time, I was probably thinking how great it looked.
With the photo to the right, taken at Morden Hall Park in Merton. The bridge you can see is very old and probably dates from when the park was constructed. Morden Hall itself was built around 1770's.
At first glance, I still like how the original looks. But.. it lacked something. Colour for one thing! OK green is nice and the white behind the bridge looks good but to my eyes now it looks flat and bland. Also I wanted the bridge to stand out. From memory this was taken with probably my Canon 18-55 lens which wouldn't have had the depth of field I wanted in this shot.
So I threw the shot into Photoshop and attempted to create a mask to blur out the back portion of the shot, behind the bridge but keep the trees to the left and right of the bridge on the same plane. This was fiddly.. and take a long time. Fortunately I knew that some of the extra work I was planning would mask some of the fiddly bits as I was going for a 'painterly' look. Once the mask was completed, I then used Gaussian Blur to soften the back ground part. If this was done to much then it looked odd and out of place.
The shadows had to be pushed up a little on the left hand side to balance the composition. I used a colour mask to change a lot of the leaves to red and yellow to reduce the large amount of green in the shot. The whites were pumped up to add more light to the background. Finally a layer was added with a white ball to the left hand upper corner, blurred heavily and opacity brought down to around to 20% to create a haze of light.
I am often asked 'Which is you favourite photo?', this is one of the closest one so far.