Category Archives: Artistic

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.


eXposè: Iris Hill

I’ll be honest, I can’t draw, I can’t paint and I cannot create works of art with my hands, in fact the only remotely artistic side to my character comes out in my writing which you can find in the ‘Scribbles of a Word Slinger’ editions of this blog.

I am however lucky enough to have friends that have artistic talent running through them and in my eXposè editions I shall be highlighting some of the work of my more dexterous and gifted friends.

We start with the work of Lisa Jean Gardner who has created the Iris Hill brand.  


Lisa is extremely talented as the work in this blog will clearly show.  She had her first work published at age 9!!!!


She has a fantastic portfolio and all her hard work has enabled her to exhibit in galleries all over the world.  She has spent time in London and Sydney learning new techniques and encompassing new inspirations.

Lisa doesn’t rest on her laurels though and she spends a vast amount of time working with a number of youth arts organisations helping to educate promising young artists.

As Iris Hill she is part of the creative collectives of both Raspberry Jam Books and The Coterie.  Raspberry Jam Books specialises in producing children’s picture books and not-for-profit children’s books for children’s charities whilst The Coterie is a bringing together of artists incorporating art, craft, graphic design, fashion and photography.

I have known Lisa for quite a few years now and although her work is outstanding I never cease to be amazed at her new creations and the level of commitment she puts into her work and the genre.  I am also extremely lucky to own a few originals by Lisa that hang proudly on my walls and although it is rare for her to relinquish an original piece of work she does sell limited editions prints for those that are interested in owning one of these unique works by an up and coming British artist.

You can follow Lisa on her ever-growing journey on any of the following:

Website for Iris Hill:

Blog for Iris Hill:  

Blog for The Coterie:

Website for RJB:  

Please note that all images shown in this blog are under copyright to Lisa Jean and Iris Hill.

Latino777 – It’s our time down here.