Monthly Archives: May 2012

My Good Friend Photoshop

Surely the most significant invention of the past 50 years has to be the computer, at first it enabled us to complete complex maths problems without really knowing how to add up, then it revolutionised business with its spreadsheets, databases & e-mail and then it crossed into the 21st century and decided to become social, it threw away its boring work attire and put on a funky t-shirt, some jeans and trainers and inside these new rags we turn out the pockets to find Photoshop.

Photoshop began life as an advertising tool and you had to have a degree to use it but thankfully not anymore.

I love Photoshop and yes it can be extremely complicated and involved if you really decide to open it up but if your like me and just want to play then all the latest versions provide easy to use tools that can transform the most basic of photo’s.

I started off using Microsoft Digital Editing Suite 10 a few years back but now use Adobe CS5 (if of course your interested).

I love this photo of Macy’s in New York, I gave it a kind of 1920’s black & white look and kept the colour in Macy’s to really draw your eye to it.

With these two we stay with the New York theme but focus on the Iconic Yellow Cab.  The photo on the left is a fairly standard black and white with the colour left on the taxi’s and traffic lights.  The second one is pretty much the same but I’ve blurred the background and just kept the cab in the foreground in focus to give it a very slightly different feel.

This one was my attempt of tilt shift photography – when the photo looks like a miniature or model of the actual subject.  This photo was taken over a marina in Southampton, I love this style of editing but its not quite as easy as it looks.

Another photo taken in Southampton but this time I’ve used a gentle vignette to darken the edges and changed the hue of the sky and water but kept the beach original.

With a little cut and paste here and a little cut and paste there we can have a full scale alien invasion over Ocean Village in Southampton.  I’m sure the residents didn’t mind me adding a little smoke, a few helicopters and a giant alien mother ship over their apartments – hopefully I didn’t affect the house values too much.

When CS5 was released those kind folks at Adobe provided us with a new tool to play with and this was the warp tool.  This enables the user to very easily alter an image in ways that could only previously be done by Photoshop geniuses.  I affectionately call this photo ‘Which way to Central Park love?’

As my beloved Red and Whites recently achieved promotion to the Golden League and the blue few found the trapdoor to the basement I thought I would sneak this one in.  A fairly simple cut and paste job where the main difficulty was finding the players and managers in the poses that I had in my head.  Up the Saints.

Now I’ve put a few examples up of how I’ve altered images or touched them up or completely changed them but anyone who knows me knows the kind of editing I like to do to pass the time.  I call it my ‘Friends Remixed Editions’.   If a friend wants a photo of them standing next to their favourite celeb or want to be on a movie poster then this is where I come in (most of the time they’re happy but I’ve not always asked their permission first … whoops).

My good friend Jody asked if I could make her Lily Allen for the day and so I did.  I always find its the colour that is the hardest thing to match when your messing around with this kind of editing and trying to find a photo of your friend in the right pose (I sometimes have to mirror the image or change the angles but I get there in the end).

And once Jody asked to be Lily my very good friend Lucy wanted to be Amy Winehouse.  I really didn’t need to do too much ha ha.

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance … if you don’t give me a Big Mac meal NOW!!!!

One of my better attempts I feel.  My friend Chloe wanting to kick Scarlett out of the photo and jump in next to Ryan Reynolds.

Going old skool in this photo, showing my old breakdancing mates how they would’ve looked if they were ever cool.

Now you may need to look really close to tell how I’ve edited this photo – that’s right I’ve given Nadine a personality oh yeah and changed my mate Steve into Nicola!!

Now my friend holly is a dance teacher so I guess that’s probably how she looks when she’s in the studio but what the hell I wanted to give her blonde hair!

A class edit of a classic Friends poster of an even more classic New York poster!  Apart from my mate Jamie (far left) who seems to have an abnormally large head I think I got the rest ok … just.

I just had to place myself in a star wars photo … I’ve kept Harrison as he was and myself and good friend Darren are at the back and I put my girlfriend at the time in the front – sadly we aren’t together any more .. I just couldn’t get over the facial hair but she did have a lovely personality!

Me again, this time looking rather dapper in a suit although I think I’m just about to get decapitated!!!!

Now before you say it no this is not a relation or an ex girlfriend!  I just think its best we move along (especially for my friend Darren who did not give me permission for this edit).

That’s a bit better, after moving swiftly away from the transvestite hooker from hell we meet my friend Siobhen who  wanted to be Tinkerbell.  Not my usual request but I was happy with the final outcome.

And this leads to my first and probably most favourite edit … The A Team replaced with a few, shall we say struggling to be, C Teamers.

I hope this blog has helped you pass a spare 5 minutes as the photo editing certainly helps me pass a few 5 minutes here or there.

Til next time … ps all photographs on this blog are under copyright unless you cut me in on any profits.

Latino777 – Its our time down here.


The Destination Wish List

Another rain filled day in the South of England and once again my mind has started to wander.  I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to a fair few places over the years but there are so many that I have yet to experience.

South Africa

So lets start with my most eager destination … Cape Town, S Africa.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to experience a cage dive with the Great White Sharks and Cape Town seems to be a great place to experience this.  With Seal Island, Gansbaai & False Bay in close proximity this city seems to be ideal.  I’ve done some research and Apex Predators would be my preferred company to go with.  Chris & Monique Fallows run this company which has been used for many TV documentaries and their knowledge & respect of Great White Sharks seems second to none.

If you fancy a dip in the ocean with the planets fiercest predator then check out

If I survive the encounter with Jaws then an abseil down Table Mountain must surely be next on the list – the highest commercial abseil in the World … and what a view you must get as you lean back over the backdrop of Cape Town.


Next on my list of destinations would be something a little different and that is Greenland.  Disko Bay and the llulisat Icefjord looks absolutley stunning with Icebergs and untouched scenery.  It would be great to dissapear from the rat race for a week and enter this land of serenity and ice.  The skies look amazing with no artificial light and would feel quite overwhelming to stand under the stars in this landscape.  Apparently the sun shines over 300 days of the year here!


Although Dubai has exploded in the last 10 years into a multi billion dollar tourist destination and is no longer a real reflection of the Middle East I would still love to experience this Emirate simply because of its ‘over the top’ mentality and its craving to be THE place to visit.  The view from the Burj Khalifa must be out of this world (almost literally!) and I wouldn’t mind ordering an extremely small lunch at the Burj Al Arab just to experience 6 star dining or is it 7 stars? Maybe I’ll just order a Coke.

West Coast of America

I’ve travelled all up the Eastern Seaboard but never been across to the West coast as yet.  I would love to visit San Francisco with its streets and harbour and I’ve always wanted to visit the giant redwoods.  Alcatraz would also be very high on my list.  Las Vegas would be a fantastic experience and The Grand Canyon is a must (the camera would be hot that day).  Cannon Beach in Oregon would be a life time wish for me as this is the beach where the Goonies was filmed (one of my all time favourite movies).  I guess you would have to visit Los Angeles as well if you were doing a tour of the West Coast and the 17 mile drive would be a pretty stretch of road to drive.

The Maldives

 If I ever get married (and thats a big ‘IF’) then I can’t think of a better honeymoon destination that the Maldives.  Exotic, remote, serene and beautiful with crystal clear waters and great food but as this is set aside for the honeymoon we’ll move swiftly on …

The Norwegian Fjords

I’ve never really been attracted to the cruise ship experience but if I was to holiday on a ship then the Norwegian Fjords would be where I would like to cruise.  From the greenlands of the South to the snow capped mountains of the North you would see such a diverse side to this Scandinavian country.

Kenya & Tanzania

Kenya would be my ultimate destination for a Safari – camping out under the stars, slumming it with the African game … Awesome and Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro which is just shouting out for me to attempt to climb (I have commenced training).

Well I guess until I win the lottery I will only write about most of these places but I hope some of them will get experienced … and to those of you who have already had the pleasure of these destinations I am green with envy.

Latino777 – Its our time down here