Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fun With Photoshop, A Question, and A Reminder

It's cold and rainy at my house today, a sure sign that fall is here to stay.  I'm not complaining, the yucky weather has forced me to do some work, and get caught up on a few things I've been putting off.

Another great thing about this time of year is the fact that our resident eagles come back to hang out in the big old dead tree near the waters edge.  They love to sit up here and fish during the cooler months once the osprey have left their nest heading for warmer climes.  

Today there were two eagles on the tree, a juvenile and this one.  They really are huge when you see them in comparison to other birds, even large ones like hawks and osprey.  So big in fact that the branch in the photo above used to be much larger, but the other day it snapped off due to the weight of one of the eagles that was perched on it.  

The younger eagle took off as soon as I walked outside to take the dogs out, but the elders know we pose no threat to them and happily sit in the tree even if we get close to them as we walk down to our dock.

And the one who remained seemed happy to simply sit in the rain and wait for the perfect fish to appear beneath him so that he or she could swoop down and have lunch.

I decided to take a little break from writing today and snapped a few pictures of the last of the summer roses from my hybrid tea.  And then I thought, hmm why not have a little fun with my Photoshop Elements program too?!

The photo above is pretty much straight out of the camera and represents the true color and how the rose appears in real life.  

I did notice something today that I've never seen before though.  When I added my watermark to each picture it changed them ever so slightly, and I'm not sure why.  I have to say that I didn't really like the subtle changes that occurred.  Each picture looked a little more harsh is the only way I can really describe the difference.  If someone knows the reason for this, or how to avoid it I'm all ears!

For this one I softened the clarity just slightly and lowered the saturation, giving it a softer feel.  You can see how it changes the actual color of the rose dramatically.

For this one I did the opposite, I increased the contrast and clarity, but I also overexposed it and then boosted the saturation just a little to increase the color inside the petals instead of along their tips.   By overexposing it, you lose some of the clarity, so it appears softened, even though it was actually sharpened a bit.

This last one is my favorite, I reduced the clarity to soften it and I also reduced the contrast a fair bit to add even more softness.  Then by reducing the saturation I achieved this lovely romantic looking rose with just a whisper of color. 

I am just starting to be brave enough to use PS Elements and all that it has to offer.  These are baby steps in the world of photo editing, the simple stuff in its most basic form, but I'm learning...slow and steady wins the race.

Here is the un-watermarked version of the same photo...can you see the subtle difference, and how the watermarked one has just slightly sharper edges...or something?  Maybe I'm just losing it?....completely possible!

So here's my question, actually there are 2...

Which rose picture do you like the best?


I'm thinking of opening an Etsy store to sell some of my photos and to maybe use my photos to create blank note cards to sell.  What do you think?  Do you think that note cards with sea inspired themes, flowers, or pretty scenery would be something you would want to buy?  And how much would you want to spend for a pack of say 12 cards, maybe with 4 different designs in each package?  And are there specific things you would want featured on my cards or in photos I would offer?

Ok, that was a huge step for me, to ask you all this and to wait with baited breath for your replies...I'm not very good at self promotion, but like photography I'm steps.

Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you think about my little idea, your feedback is much appreciated!

Also don't forget there is still time to enter my latest Giveaway...just click HERE to enter!!


  1. I don't have but a second to write here, but I wanted to let you know that I think your photography is amazing, and I always love the photos you include in your blog. I think note cards would be popular. I would buy them with scenery/water views, since where you live is where I grew up and they remind me of home.

  2. Your pictures are fabulous, Kat and I really enjoy your outdoor and nature pictures the most...I guess I am just an outdoor nut. I LOVE your shot of the baby eagle and I really enjoy seeing the photos of your flowers {I'm with you on the last photo shopped rose}.

    It is probably best if you scouted around other Etsy shops to see what they are selling their cards for...I haven't a clue. But I would be a happy customer and think you should go for it! :-)


  3. The 4th photo with all the softness is my favorite but I feel like I am picking nits here Kat because all are lovely. I try to stay away from Etsy because it gets me into trouble but I am sure you would do well. ♥O

  4. I like the 3rd one and the original. I think you will do very well selling on Etsy. Your photos are lovely.

  5. I sold photo cards in my store and they did OK.. I put each in a clear plastic sleeve, you can buy them by the 1000's... and they sold for $4.00 a piece. I used heavy ivory and white stock. I will say that in this economy people are hesitant to buy anything extra... but photo cards are definitely appreciated by the recipients. The artisans I have worked with have not had alot of luck with Etsy lately, either.. but again, I do feel it's just a reflection of the economy and hopefully it will turn around soon!... Your photos are lovely, surely giving it a shot won't hurt.

  6. I don't know what to tell you other than I have an etsy site and I make very little from it, but I only offer prints. I'd check some notecard prices on etsy to see what others are asking for.

    I like the original rose and the last one. And your eagle shot is fantastic!

  7. Kat,
    I have to say I like the watermarked rose. I don't know that one is preferable to the other. They both are absolutely lovely.
    All the shots are great, though.
    I don't have much input to offer on the other questions, but I would surely buy your cards!

  8. I love the overexposed picture. I also like the one that you like. It is dreamy:)

  9. I can't imagine being able to watch eagles like that! That is really special! I would definitely give etsy a try~ it's easy to set up and very little expense other than making the notecards...also by linking your shop onto your blog, it allows your followers to see what you have for sale, and getting your items seen is the hardest part, so you have a built in customer base. I love all the photos you take of your area, and the nature photos...go for it, it's a lot of fun!

  10. My favorite picture was the second from last one. Next, your photos are beautiful and I think it would be a pleasure to write a birthday note or a get well wish on a lovely card. Lastly, the price I'm not to sure of but I feel that most shoppers do not like to spend much over ten dollars on note cards. You can usually spend ten dollars and not miss it. Good luck! It's exciting to think about I bet.

  11. I like them all, but my favourite is the same one you like. You aren't losing it - look at the wood in the upper left hand corner in the watermarked and un-watermarked photos and you can see a difference.

    I am in the throws of considering selling some of my photos as a fundraiser for Bangladesh. I have been re-sizing the ones I'm considering so they are a standard 8x10 rather than the random sizes I crop them to. It's a lot of work to select them and get them ready. I just wanted to let you know so you don't think I'm doing a copycat thing when I put my post out next week (or the week after) about it. Your photos are much more professional than mine and I think it is a fabulous idea for you to sell them in an Etsy store.

  12. Your rose photo is gorgeous!
    And I think your fave is my fave. Isn't PS fun? It's tough to master, but so much fun.

    I did a post awhile back, pondering whether I should sell my photography in my Etsy shop...still dragging my feet, I'll be interested to hear that goes for you. I think it's a great idea, your pics are marvelous!


  13. I really like the last photo, but if you can't get the watermark on there the fourth photo is just as pretty, you can only see the difference, which is subtle, when they are side by side. I think that that is a great idea to open an Etsy Shop! I have always been a fan of your photography! I think that the cards are a wonderful idea, people love more choices, especially on Etsy. As far as price I would look around other shops and see what photos are going for, decide what you and your time are worth and price them out accordingly. (Price is the hardest part, you can find a price for goods that you have purchased but then you need to find a price of what your time is worth) I think that you have a great following and so much talent, I would give it a try!

  14. You guys rock! I knew I could count on you all to lay out the good, the bad and the ugly of trying to sell stuff on Etsy or elsewhere! Thanks so much for all of your wonderful feedback!

    Grace, that is wonderful and not copycat like...don't be silly! And your photos are beautiful and as good as mine any day!

    Best of luck to you!

    And thanks everyone for all of the great info and advice!

    Kat :)

  15. cool!

    and OF COURSE you should open an etsy shop!!!!
    Your photos are fabulous:):)

  16. My favorite of the rose is the same one you prefer! Etsy seems like a logical place to sell your photography Kat, I have no idea about pricing though. If you could find a reasonably priced supplier of those small simple black frames with ivory mats I always think that looks cool to add a photo to and have a handwritten notation on the mat like artists do with lithographs. I just love Etsy, it's so much fun and so easy to open a shop! That's exciting Kat, I hope you go for it! ~Lili

  17. Lots of things to say. I do see the difference in the watermarked photo...I have no explanation, but I do like the picture without the watermark a little better. As for my favorite rose...I'm torn. I love the softened look of the last one, but I also hate to edit photos. I want them to reflect what I really see at that, my favorite is probably the first one, untouched.

    I buy notecards with seascapes and, I do think they would sell. I find that I buy less than I used to because I write less (plus I just brought home a ton from my mom). I wonder if you made them into Thank You notes they would sell. People tend to send those more than write letters these days. Just a thought.

  18. Kat.. I love them all... and kudos to you for playing and learning PS.. I am at the same point! Ummm.. deciding though is the hard part! I love the first..but the 3rd catch's my eye as well.. notecards are a fab idea! GO FOR IT!
    Cat (ex writing out loud)

  19. I love the original one!
    And I would buy your cards - you should definately go for it!
    The world is waiting for inspiration and beautiful things.

  20. I like the original photo. :-)

    RE an Etsy shop, that would be terrific. Regarding prices, it depends on the quality of paper stock, size of cards, etc.

  21. I actually love
    the original, but
    the last two are
    also gorgeous!!!
    Go for it!
    xx Suzanne

  22. Hi! Wow, I love your self-promotion, really - I thought you already sold these photos professionally! My favorite photo was the one that you increased the contrast and clarity and overexposed it with boosted saturation. I don't know what any of that means, but that's how you explained your process! I would pay $18-20 for a set of note cards and would like flowers or seasonal photo packs of cards. Your watermark looks so great and once you sent me the directions on how to insert it on the photo. I am still having difficulty doing it - and can't find your email with the directions. If you ever have the time would you send me those directions again, or do a post on it (maybe there are other watermark-challenged bloggers out there!). Ciao, bella!

  23. Kelly J/Hunters HillOctober 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    How funny you mention selling your photos because as I was scrolling down looking at the pics, I was thinking how lovely those roses would be framed hanging somewhere ... and lovely for cards as well! Go for it !

  24. YES you should. As a matter of fact, I think that to myself every time I visit your blog. There is no cost involved because you don't have to print/process photos until someone orders. Everyone loves nature images and you are great at it.


  25. Yes, I think you could sell your photos for notecards too. I just started selling my painted images in boxed notecards but I'm selling them wholesale only. I didn't want to mess with selling them one by one with shipping and all that. I wish I had done the reverse now.... sell them retail myself (maybe on etsy too) then go into wholesale if I didnt make enough. I like selling wholesale but it's a huge numbers game...gotta get the reorders. I hope this helps-I just wanted to encourage you. Good luck!!! PS_

  26. Note cards would be wonderful, you're very talented. I loved the pictures of the lake and the reflections.. bee you tee full!
    I love the soc shot 2nd but my fav is the last one. It just looks soft and romantic. Like me. Not.
    Lastly when I lived in Montana I have seen bald eagles and there really isn't an explanation to their magnificent majesty.They are giant, tall,and powerful. Their white is so white and their yellow is so see one in person is much different than a photo. Even a beautiful photo.
    Thanks for sharing and bringing up great memories.

  27. Go for it, girl! You've certainly got the talent! Your photos are absolutely beautiful and I know they would sell well. Love the last two photos. So soft and vintage looking.

    xoxo laurie

  28. Beautiful rose photos!

    Etsy shop? Go for it! Minimal costs - so why not?

  29. I love photo cards, I've been making my own for the past 2 years, one of my friends wants me to sell them . . . I love the last rose, I love the romantic look of it! I think you should sell them on Esty. As far as price, that's a difficult one. I think you want to at least double the cost of your materials or triple. I like the idea of a 12 pk with 3 of ea print. Good Luck!

  30. Oh Kat...Etsy shop- Please do! I would love to buy notecards with your beautiful photography on them!! As for the rose them all but #1 and #2 are my faves:) Beautiful as always ~ Txx

  31. Yes to Etsy! You have a soluful eye for capturing beauty and even elevating what a less soulful eye would miss. I love note cards and always use them even for greeting cards as I like to write my own sentiment rather than passing along something "canned." I am always looking for great note cards when I travel too, so you might consider putting them in hotels and gift shops in your area as well. Share the beauty...go for it!


  32. Just found your blog and I love it. I first I thought you must live in the south, but then I figured out you live in Maryland. I lived there for 15 years just outside Baltimore near the Gunpowder River. We spent many weekends boating on the Chesapeake and I miss it dearly.
    Looking forward to trying some of your tips in Photoshop with some of my photos. Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower.


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