My Winter Garden

This is the Garden Express Winter Garden Photo Competition. Entrants need to be Garden Express Forum members. Please refer to the Competition Terms & Conditions and the specific Judging Criteria and Prize announcements. Entries closed September 30th 2006 - winners announced.

Postby Chris C » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:01 pm

Great enhancements. :D

Photoshop is a fantastic program - pretty much the bees knees if you can get it.

There was also a cheaper version, called Adobe Photo Deluxe, which used to be given away free with some hardware. Less powerful of course, but easier to start working with quickly.

But for those whose budgets don't run to either of those, the free one that I linked to - Irfanview - does all the basic enhancements, such as sizing, editing, contrast, brightness, colour scale and depth, etc plus a variety of effects. It's not as fully professional as the big guys, but for general online posting it can produce more than adequate results.

Just load the picture and press Shift and G and Irfanview shows a set of sliders that can be used to change the light levels, colours, contrast and so on. It also has a few effects such as "oil painting" which gives an "Impressionist" look to your pics.

Free, fun, and worth a look. :D
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Postby sara » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:06 pm

Yani, a couple of books I found really interesting, and which explain step by step, are Scott Kelby, "The Photoshop CS2 Book" and Steve Caplin "How to Cheat in Photoshop" (which I never do of course!! ;)).
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Postby Spider Lily » Sat Aug 05, 2006 1:25 pm

Pokie your photos look great :D

The colours are a wonderful combination!
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Postby Pokie » Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:38 pm

Thanks Spider Lily and THANKYOU! ellengray for making them a lighter shade. :)
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Postby Patricia » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:28 pm

Beautiful colours Pokie...I think it is the greatest thing to walk outside on a bleak winters morning & see bulbs etc coming into bloom!!! wishing my life away..but I have many bulbs in & some close to flowering!!! my future daughter in law is having her wedding photos taken here end of Oct so am trying hard to work out what will be in bloom!!
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Postby Pokie » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:32 pm

Wow! I hope it turns out ok for you. :)

Thanks Patricia. The perfume around there is amazing! :D There is a daphne nearby as well.

Cant wait until my Wintersweet gets bigger. :D
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Postby Pam » Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:58 pm

Okay, Pokie, the age-old issue of common names. May I ask what plant you are referring to as Wintersweet?

In the garden here we have Acokanthera spectabilis - apart from Wintersweet, it is also known as 'bushman's poison'. Lovely white fragrant flowers, but did horrendous damage to a nearby tree that it was allowed to smother for a lot of years. A typical problem in this garden! :roll:
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Postby Pokie » Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:01 pm

The plant I referred to as Wintersweet was Chimonanthus praecox.

Very nice smelling aparently... I dont think you guys could grow it up there... :(
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Postby cordelia » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:08 am

pokie, a real wintersweet!!!!! I have been trying to find one for years. Any chance of a photo at a glamorous moment? The other photos were great!
Chris, when I went to the site there were about 10 options....Any clue which would be the best, or how on earth a luddite would learn how to go about choosing?
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Postby Pokie » Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:45 am

Bunnings Belconnen has one. :) I bought mine from there...

I dont think anyone will buy it at this time of year because most of the people who shop at Bunnings like the modern styles, so when we go you can get it. :)
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Postby sara » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:16 am

I have just aquired three wintersweet from diggers - small tube stock ... hope they grow. I am looking forward to them! :)
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Postby Pokie » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:39 am

I hope they grow too! They look delightful. :)
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Postby Chris C » Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:52 am

cordelia wrote:Chris, when I went to the site there were about 10 options....Any clue which would be the best, or how on earth a luddite would learn how to go about choosing?


Hi Cordelia,

The choices are really just different places to download from. It doesn't really matter where you get it from, as they all should work. Just pick a link to the program rather than the plug-ins. But if it looks confusing, just try clicking on this one:

Click here and then click where it says Download Now

A box should come up giving you the option to Save or Run the program (which is quite small - only 884k). I always save to my hard drive and then do the installation. However you can use Run if you're not sure where you would look to find it after you've saved it. If you do choose Run it will save it to a temporary spot and then put it on the computer for you. You won't have to keep going and getting it again.

When it installs you can mostly leave the selections as they are at default, if you're not sure what it all means. However, one screen comes up offering to add two Google toolbars. It might be a good idea to "untick" those two boxes otherwise it will add a couple of Google toolbars that you might not want.

Just experiment with a picture, and if you muck it up - just reload the pic and keep playing around. Good luck. :D

If you need more help just send me a PM and we can work through it.
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Postby Luzy » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:31 am

Pokie, that's much better! A beautiful little patch - great combination! :D (and nice photoshop work, too, ellengray :wink: )

Yani, have a look also at the Look and Learn guides or even the Dummies guides. I would imagine that they're similar to what ellengray's already suggested - same techniques, slightly different ways to teach them.
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Postby Pokie » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:49 pm

Thanks Luzy. :)
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Postby Yani » Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:09 pm

Thanks Luzy and ellengray. I'll have a look at them.

Pokie, nice flowers :P . I'm waiting for mine :lol:
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Postby cordelia » Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:35 am

Thanks Chris....have downloaded it, and now just have to work out how to get photos from camera to computer.....
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Postby Jim » Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:47 pm

On the photo editing software front, you really can't beat the fully professional one Chris is talking about. You really can perform miracles on it. However, I'm a mac user and the standard iPhoto software has quite a few capabilities that can enhance a photo very well too. There are so many little things that you can adjust ever so slightly in order to make a picture 'that bit' better. I'm sure it'd be far more user-friendly than the professional photoshop too. I'm not sure if you can get an IBM compatable version though. It's worth a look. You'd be able to achieve the same improvements in Pokie's photos (which are brilliant BTW, Pokie!) using iPhoto, I'm sure of it. And it wouldn't do your head in either.
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Postby Pokie » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:42 pm

Yani wrote:Thanks Luzy and ellengray. I'll have a look at them.

Pokie, nice flowers :P . I'm waiting for mine :lol:


Thanks Yani. :D
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Postby Pokie » Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:42 pm

Thanks James. :)
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