Subtle Softening Photographs of Covered Bridges

This week, in keeping with the theme from last week (a behind the scenes peek of how I digitally create these art prints), I wanted to share a technique I used with these three examples of covered bridges in Oregon. As I stated last week, I have been using Adobe Photoshop forever. I love the variety of features and flexibility it gives me not only with my photography, but also in creating digitally painted art.

The three prints I have attached came from a photo shoot I did a number of years ago in Oregon. All three look like three photographs of covered bridges and in reality they are. If you look closer, you will see that the edges and detail are softened slightly…ever so slightly to just give the prints a subtle softness. It’s a minor change I created by using one of Adobe’s filters. I started with the photographs in Adobe and eliminated any background “noise” such as electrical wires. In these shots that was about the only doctoring I did to the actual photograph. The next step was to soften them slightly, so I used their watercolor filter. In that filter you can control numerous elements such as pixel size of softness..type of softness and intensity. With numerous trial and error attempts, I settled on a level I liked. A subtle watercolor effect that you see more easily in the trees, but it also soften the edges of the bridges…again very subtle, but an overall softening.


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18 thoughts on “Subtle Softening Photographs of Covered Bridges

  1. Writing to Freedom

    I’m not sure Kirt. I like the idea of softening and know sometimes I’ve accidentally taken a photo slightly out of focus (softer) that looks good. With these images, I think I like the original photo the best.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      That’s kind of what inspired me to go this route! I love the architectural elements of covered bridges and the softening gives them just a slight romantic appeal…thanks for the feedback Darlene and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Sue Slaght

    I think I recall the original post Kirt if I’m not mistaken. We dont have any covered bridges here so I find them wonderfully intriguing. The editing is ever so subtle. I’m not sure I would have known if you hadn’t told me.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Good memory Sue as I have featured them before. I always associated them with New England for whatever reason and was so surprised to find that Oregon has a number of them. Great find!! Thanks for the feedback on the technique!

  3. Teagan R. Geneviene

    I agree with Dan — you really are an artist, Kirt. Thanks for the info about the watercolor filter. I still haven’t had time to really play with PhotoShop, so my attempts still frustrate me — but I didn’t know you could change the levels of the filters. The subtle touch you gave these was perfect for the subjects. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Within each filter you have a multitude of options to play with. It can almost drive you crazy…lol! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the compliment!! Have a great week and a great 4th holiday!!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you very much… of the bridges is called Grave Creek….and yes that meaning of the word grace. That one has some fascinating history…thanks for stopping by!!


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