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Richard Fillebrown

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This is my first serious attempt to make something with APhoto. I used a photo I'd taken of a saltwater marsh in Maine. I brightened up the colors a bit because they looked dull. I hope I didn't overdo it. Then I replaced the sky and water, and added two Canada geese I found on Pixabay. The sky looks real, but the water and geese look pasted on because I couldn't figure out how to make them look realer. Good enough, I guess. I haven't learned to use all the tools yet. APhoto is great fun. I'm glad I bought it.

Saltmarsh in Autumn.jpg

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A bit too much purple on the left side, for my liking, but everyone sees pictures differently.

Otherwise a beautiful picture.

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Welcome to the forums @Richard Fillebrown

Are you tying to make the image look more ‘realistic’, or are you going for something more ‘artistic’, or are you just experimenting?
If you can show us the original image and tell us what sort of thing you want to achieve then we should have a better idea of how to advise.
Otherwise it’s difficult to advise when we don’t know what you are starting with or where you want to go with it as the possibilities are practically endless.
If you have an existing image which you are trying to recreate then pointing us to that would also help a lot.

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I was trying for realism, capturing the atmosphere of a New England Autumn. The sort of picture you see on calendars. I see now that I oversaturated the colors, and there's too much purple. And the road is too blue. I'll work on it some more. It has potential. This is the original photo:


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Well, I looked at the picture before reading anything and I thought it good. I still think it good.

Until I read your note about the alterations it did not occur to me that the geese were pasted on, I thought it good how you had gathered the picture with one of the geese with wings up and one with wings down.

As for the water, I did not realize that it was pasted on either, it just looked choppy as if there was a bit of a wind blowing.

The trees have lost their leaves, and with the choppy water, it looks like it is a bit of a chilly windy day, heading for winter but not winter yet.




Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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Thanks for attaching the original image.
I’m no good with this sort of image processing – I don’t have the right ‘artistic eye’, or experience – but there are lots of forum members who do this very well and hopefully they will see this and give you some useful advice.

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Just a few quick ideas to try and liven up the original, unaltered, photo a bit



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I'm still not sure about this one. The original photo (as posted above) is really, really flat and definitely needs some extra brightness, color, and contrast. But it was so very easy to go overboard without doing very much at all. I even tried Black and White, which could work, but you wanted realistic, so....

I did a sky replacement, and lowered the saturation of the blues to match the cold, blustery weather that seems to be the case. (At least, that's how I remember New England, from many years ago.) On the non-sky elements, I applied Curves and Brightness/Contrast to give the photo better tonality. I added a bunch of Recolor adjustments to the water, grass, and background trees and lowered their opacity quite a bit (to keep them out of the crazy zone). I didn't add any birds, though! See what you think.


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Why do sky replacement, when you can just add a bit of contrast to the original sky?  Would look a bit better if I was working with the original raw, but here is a 'slightly artifacty' edit as a proof of concept.  Also did some adjustments for enhanced detail using an inverted version blurred with noise reduction.


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