Children at play

A sign in Fermoy, Co. Cork warns motorists to watch out for kids playing on the road.

I’ve seen so many people speed through built up areas these signs mean absolutely nothing to them.

1. Original image was flat and plain. Background sky was monotonous so I ran it through auto-levels which brought out the colours.

2. Then I duplicated that layer and blurred it using Gaussian Blur with a radius of 25px (original image is 3504px wide). By adding a layer mask I was able to rub out some of the blurred layer to expose the sharp original below. Opacity was set to 41% to reduce the blur effect.

3. Finally an overlay layer was added and circular gradients drawn on with a low opacity. This darkens the sky and sign slightly in patches.

All manipulation done in the GIMP but will work just as well in Photoshop or other application.

Was that useful? Want more?


  1. Flickr: Dawson Larst Reply

    Nice. Interesting perspective. I like the manipulation detail too.

  2. damon Reply

    I like when you explain your PP techniques. It’s a good way to learn how you achieve some of your fantastic photos.

  3. Flickr: xeer Reply
  4. McAWilliams Reply

    These little tutorials are very cool. Although its the lens you use I am more interested in, must get myself one of them. Oh btw your pagerank has dropped to 6 what the hell is that all about.

  5. Donncha O Caoimh Reply

    You’ll love the wide angle, although you’ll do more walking to zoom in :)

    I thought my pagerank was 6 before? I did notice that dropped from 8 to 7 a few months ago, but the PR for this site is a little more hazy. I blame my dodgy memory on a lack of sleep in the last few weeks!

  6. Josef Reply

    Very nice. Sorry for not being able to comment your photos in quite some time, I haven’t had access to my rss-reader, and I read a LOT of photoblogs. Keeping up with them all is more than I can handle. I’ve added your blog to my google Reader account and I promise to become a more frequent commenter.

  7. Pete Reply

    Very useful Donncha. Thanks for that – I’ll give it a try on some of my attempts.

  8. Flickr: royskeane Reply

    Appreciate you sharing the details, very helpful. Do you use a tablet/pen?

    Great end result by the way.

  9. Flickr: xeer Reply

    royskeane – thanks! I do have a tablet and pen, but when I get it working in this version of Ubuntu my mouse stops working! I’m left with using the pen as a pointing device without the benefit of a pressure sensitive tip :(
    Very disappointing because it worked fine before. I’ll fix it eventually, I hope!

  10. Flickr: Travelingtribe Reply

    Great photo. How did you make the sky so vibrant?

  11. Flickr: Donncha @ Reply

    I think I just used an overlay layer with a black to transparent gradient. It does a fairly neat job of replicating a polarizer! :)

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