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Month: July 2008 (Page 2 of 2)

Photo Wednesday: Bringing it all back home

serenading cattle

I studied comparative literature at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where this picture was taken in 1930. It shows the Ingenues, “an all-girls band and vaudeville act,” serenading milk cows as part of an experiment to see if they would produce more milk (the cows, I mean).

I admit I like cheese, but I’m still not fond of cows, which are a grotesque example of genetic engineering, far removed from anything found in nature. They trample and destroy vegetation along streamsides. They ruin hiking trails by planting thistles and weads, not to mention cowpies. Cow farts and belches are depleting the ozone layer.

Wisconsin calls itself “the dairy state,” and an anagram for “Wisconsin” is “sin in cows.” Man, this takes me back.

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Photo by the aptly named Angus B. McVicar, from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s photostream.

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Low vibrancy

Here’s a Photoshop tutorial that “uses two adjustment layers to lower the vibrancy of the photo while preserving some colors.”

Well, fine, but why go to that trouble? All you need to do to achieve this effect is to duplicate the image, change it to grayscale with whatever technique you prefer, and then apply the image in whatever percentage gives the best result.

Here’s the before and after from the tutorial.

vibrancy phtoshop tutorial

Here’s the result using my simpler technique. I just changed the mode on the duplicate to grayscale but of course there are other ways to desaturate, which might be better. I could have matched the above image exactly but I couldn’t stand how murky and low contrast the original image was, so I couldn’t resist fixing it using my usual Photoshop adjustments technique.

adjusting color saturation in photoshop

Why complicate matters?

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