How Playing Around In Photoshop Saved My Picture

By Goran Prvulovic

I wanted to share a story on how playing around in Photoshop can help save you picture.

I live in the northwest part of Calgary, Alberta, and it just so happens that we live just 10 minutes away from one of North Americas largest wild-parks, Nose Hill. At an impressive 11.3 square kilometers with no municipal development at all, it’s perfect for short escapes away from the city to appreciate nature, whether for a beautiful bike ride, a lovely hike, or in my case, the opportunity to take a fantastic picture.

Nose Hill is one of my usual visiting spots, often taking my dog for a walk while seeing if I notice any potential for good pictures. Around spring time a cornucopia of white and yellow flowers bloom all across the hill, and every time I drive past I mentally picture taking an amazing picture of my surroundings.

Days past, and after obsessing about the potential shot in my head for long enough, I headed out myself to do something about it. However, I wanted something to draw the attention of observers. I needed an appropriate subject. I managed to find a remnant of an old tree, a hollowed-out log, that was a perfect central subject to us.

Using the high-resolution mode on my Olympus camera to take 80 mega-pixel shots that are perfect for reproduction on big prints, I went home to study my pictures a bit more on my computer.

I was disappointed.


It was a stunning let down. Although the detail was immense, and I had a wonderful subject and scenery, it just seemed like there were to many details, and one’s eyes would be wondering around the sea of detail. It really didn’t turn out the way I was imagining it.

Frankly, I thought about giving up on the picture entirely. There was some hidden potential there, but I wasn’t sure what it would take to bring it out.

But you can’t understate the power of modern technology. I played around on Photoshop for a few hours to see what I can do to maybe tweak the file. I ended up stumbling across a seldom-used filter that changed everything.

Eventually, I stumbled on the oil-paint filter that was perfect for dulling some of the pictures details without getting rid of the beauty. In truth, this little filter ended up saving my shot.

Are there other filters that I could have used/found that might have produced a similar effect? Sure, Photoshop is a remarkably tool, but in the end it can’t do anything for you unless you do your own research and due diligence. It’s up to you to learn everything you can from the technology, and then use that platform to the best way you see fit.

If you’ve been having some trouble getting a certain picture to come to life, then don’t feel afraid to do what I did.

Hope this helps.

Goran Prvulovic