We went to Ikea awhile ago, with plans of buying nothing. But, the problem with Ikea is that everything is so cheap. So besides picking up some small stuff (i.e. food containers, glasses, recyclable bags, Ikea chocolate…), we both picked out some sort of decoration for the apartment.
My husband chose mirrors for our dining area. They took over the wall where my wreath was hanging (we moved the wreath to the bedroom for now). The mirrors look good, and they may even make the dining area seem a little bigger.
I picked out a picture shelf to hang above the television. I had been wanting to make a DIY one for awhile, but the ones at Ikea seemed cheaper and easier than doing it myself. We also got two 8×10 black picture frames for the picture shelf and plan to find additional plain black frames in different sizes to match them.
After the shelf got hung up, it looked like this, with some placeholder pictures:
The only picture we plan to keep in those frames is the one of us in front of Notre Dame Basilica in Canada.
In the other 8×10 frame, I want to put this photo, which my sister-in-law’s sister took for us when we got married.
I really like the picture. It’s iconic NYC with the Brooklyn Bridge, and it’s so peaceful because no one else is in the shot besides us — something pretty rare for the city. The only thing I wished was that the sky was more colorful, which is a great reason to play with Photoshop.
My biggest fear in Photoshopping this picture was that I didn’t understand how to get the blue sky in the little areas, like in between the cables of the bridge since the cables are almost the same color as the original sky. So, I asked my co-worker — a graphic designer — for help. She recommended “cheating it,” by using a fading sky. So, I cheated.
I google image’d “sky,” found a nice fading-to-white sky, copied and pasted it in a layer on top of the original image, and sized and rotated it as needed. But now, our heads and most of the bridge structure were covered by the new fading blue sky.
To bring the bridge structure and our heads to the front, I selected aspects of the first layer (the original picture layer) using the marquee and magic wand tools, and pasted it on a new top layer. You can see the progress of the bridge coming together:
For areas that were hard to see in the original because of the similar sky color, I hid the sky layer, switched to the first layer, and used the pen tool to outline the area, copy, and paste to the top layer.
After pasting it in, I unhid the sky layer to make sure it looked nice.
There were also areas in the top layer where I pasted parts of the original, white sky, which I did not want. So I zoomed in and erased the white sky pixels from the top layer. The lantern was one area where I had to do a lot of this:
And, finally, I ended up with a beautiful picture with a nice, vibrant sky.