I have joined the engineering prints fan group. As I have been working on refreshing our room a bit, I decided that we needed some art on one of our walls. And guys, I looked and looked and looked for some actual art. And there was some out there that I did like, but when I looked at prices I just about fainted. I didn’t like anything that much, you know? And I generally like photos more than art anyways. They make me happy and bring me memories. Sorry to get all gushy there for a second.
I first saw these on ChrisloveJulia, but at the time I didn’t really have anywhere to put them. And I also didn’t have any good ideas of what to use. But then I found the perfect wall – a thinner wall in our bedroom to the side of the door. You won’t see these unless you are actually in our room, but I am okay with that.
I figured I could get some good photos of our pups to use. Of the thousand photos I have taken of those two, about 999 of them are when they are sleeping. Or of their heads bobbing in a lake. Not to fear, I found a few up close and personal shots at the lake. I think I got really lucky with the quality of these. So from now on I am going to try and take some glamour shots of them in case I ever need more photos of them.
I will go through how I edited Loki’s photo. Just know I did the exact same with Kona’s. I tried to keep them as balanced as possible as far as contrast and the overall feel of the photo goes. I used Photoshop for everything, and then uploaded it to Staples for them to print. And I used Elisabeth’s quick rundown for what I should kind of be doing, although there really isn’t a wrong or right way. You want your prints to be technicolored? Great, go for that! But mine were nice and simple.
To start, I changed the photo to black and white. Yes, I know our dogs are already black. But with shadows and lighting and who knows what else, I wanted to make sure it was truly in greyscale.
Then I played with the contrast and brightness for a bit until I liked how Loki looked. I really upped both of them to get Loki to be the real focus of the photo, even though I knew I would eventually get rid of the background.
Next up was the exposure. I increased it a little bit for Loki, but was able to really increase the exposure on Kona. For Loki, once I increased the exposure, I also went back and increased the contrast even more.
Then came the grueling part. I cropped Loki as much as I could, and then went through with the paint option and painted white all around each edge. Took forever! I see the appeal to taking a photo with a bland background. Lucky for me, Kona’s background faded once I increased the exposure, so her’s was much easier. And once I had the background gone, I played around with the image sharpness until I got a look I liked. Nothing too major of a change though.
The last step came when I changed the paper size and moved Loki around until I had him placed when I wanted him. I didn’t crop out too much of Loki since he looked kind of odd if I moved him too far off the page. But since Kona was in water for her photo, I moved her a decent way down the page so it looked like her legs were cropped off intentionally, not just missing.
Like I said, I was able to upload the photos once I saved them as pdfs to Staples printing production page and order them from there. Order the blueprints option! They say you aren’t supposed to use it for photos, but everyone says that for these types of prints, the blueprints work great. They were less than $2 each! Unlucky for me, the Staples by my house doesn’t actually offer this type of printing, so I had to pay $10 for shipping. But I’m okay with that. Saves me a trip after work when I am already tired and just want to get home.
I picked up a couple of cheap 18×24 inch poster frames from Target to hang these. I wanted something super low profile so that my “artwork” could really shine. And since this wall is so narrow, I didn’t want the frames to take up all the space. If you have more space, you could definitely get some thicker, nicer frames. I’ve seen these types of prints in all sorts of set-ups and what I’ve found is that you really can’t go wrong. They all look so timeless! And since I went with a standard poster size, I can always swap out the frames if I want to.
Now when I am waking up in the morning trying to convince myself to get out of bed, I can stare at these lovely pups. Because if it’s too early, you know they are actually in their own beds trying to fall back asleep. I swear, they take after me.