Photo of the Day – With the Aid of Photoshop

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What do you do when you mess up a photo so badly it's beyond
saving? One option is to play with it in Photoshop.

Several photos I took
at the Chicago Botanic Gardens a couple weeks ago turned out very overexposed. I was most disappointed by two I took of a simple but beautiful flower bed, one of the few we thought would be recreate-able in our own garden. The flowers weren't exotic. It should be possible
to find them locally, recreating a similar bed in our back garden.

We've had difficulty with the full-sun portion of that
garden. We plant and replant, but it never looks good for more than a season before something starts going wrong.We've lost some flowers, and a few spread everywhere, becoming a
menace. They strangled some of the other flowers, including one of my personal favorites – the pink bee balms. We've had to either remove or severely cut these encroaching flowers before they took over everything else.

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I ruined the two
photos I took of this perfect-looking bed, to my great irritation. I haven't been taking as many photos lately, but making such a silly mistake was embarrassing and frustrating. The flowers were in broad daylight, dazzlingly bright. I still don't understand what I did, but the good thing is that can be determined by looking at the stats on the photos. God love digital photos! If I take a look at the numbers I'll find out how I messed up. And I'll probably kick myself for it.

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These three photos are the equivalent of making lemonade from
lemons. I think I like the first photo best. It comes closest to
looking like the actual flowers, but with use of several filters to darken and
sharpen it as well as I could. The final effect is more dramatic than the original.

I used multiple filters with the second, making it look like a
watercolor painting or graphic print. Not a bad attempt, just not realistic. And the
third I corrected as well as I could for contrast and brightness, then
enhanced the edges a little with the sharpening tool – which had its work cut out for it. I like this one least. It looks too much like the
ruined original. The positive is I can see the individual flowers best in this one. There's a purple flower that seems to have all but disappeared, but we can just wing it and find something else that's equivalent.

It's a good time to buy perennials, at the end of the planting season. There should be some great bargains out there, though the downside is the selection will be way down. Finding time to shop and plant are the problem. We're entering the official "school supply shopping season," and I need to get out and shop for the boys, whose lists I have in hand.

My daughter won't know what she needs 'til the first day of school, which I think is a little nutty. For whatever reason the high school teachers can't decide what the kids need beforehand. After talking to moms with kids in other high schools I found that's pretty universal now. Good thing I can still take care of the boys, and that they could care less what they get. The girl, though? It would be the end of the world to be seen with unfashionable pencils.

Sigh.

Lots to do in these next few weeks before school starts for me and the kids. But if worse comes to worst, we can bite the bullet and worry about the flower bed next year. Saving money, though… That would be sweet, particularly with hundreds in school supplies on the horizon. We'll see how it goes. It's nothing to get too hung up about.

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