Extreme Photo Editing; Opinions by Bud the Cat

Little Buddy, Spring 2012, gazing out at the woods

I took some time to brighten up our avatar picture recently. Deep book editing in black and white means I have to surface for air sometimes. Photo editing lets me luxuriate in bright color. I’ve also tuned up most of the photos in the following two posts. The colors are hotter than before, but I did try to stay within realistic and pictorial sense. It’s a bold new look for those photo essays; I hope y’all check ’em out:



Both posts star our late Little Buddy. The photo of him above was taken in spring 2012, almost a year after he and Annabelle made it through the tornado with us at Mom’s. Early in the mornings, I would wake and see Little Buddy reclining atop boxes near the window, drowsing and watching the woods. I’d reach for the old camera. The pictures aren’t very sharp. In photo editing, I fiddled with “curves” to make the color pop out, and played with saturation sliders. All this color splashed everywhere, and I don’t really know how it all happened – from the traces of light in the original really dark picture? Or something added by the editing programs? I’m a novice at photo editing, but I’m OK with the effusive color bursts I sometimes get, and grab. Little Buddy is now at the Rainbow Bridge; we miss him, every day. Our avatar picture came from this photo. More on that later.

An April morning, early

The picture above is before editing. The cropped version used to be the profile picture. I spiffed it up in two color schemes, and used the one you now see on this blog.

“Phsssssst! Why so much about that Othercat? You know I want to be the profile picture.” Bud glides up, then settles himself into loaf position.

“Well you were pals with Little Buddy, you remember?”

“Hisssssss. I only put up with him.”

Glorious Bud

“Here’s one of you Bud, ears up listening while you lean against a pillow, that’s why your whiskers are bunched up on one side.”

“Purrrr … I look regal … but you picture me too freakin’ bright! I look as neon as a night in Las Vegas! Not a true portrayal! Some werewolf might get me if I went around like that. Don’t you hear those werewolves yapping out in the woods? Oh I forgot, you’re not a cat, you don’t hear worth a …. ”

“I do hear them, but they’re coyotes. But what do you know about werewolves? They’re not even real.”

“I watch the same news y’all do. And that would make a good avatar pic. It flat sure glows enough.”

“Some of what we watch is just stories, Buddy. And how would you know about Las Vegas? Or neon?” Bud’s eyes slowly close and he’s asleep. I think.

Sleepy Little Buddy, photo enhanced by adding highly saturated color

Little Buddy snoozing in partial sunlight on May 21, 2013. We first sandwiched his picture with one of refracted sunlight. Recently I put it back into photo editing, and cranked up the color saturation. More about the earlier work on the picture at this link:


Little Buddy a few moments before the above picture

An unedited picture from the same day, right before Little Buddy moved into the position we see in the edited picture.

I brightened up the cropped avatar picture, saved it, and then went back to make various combinations of brightness, contrast, saturation, color balance sliders and “curves” in an ancient Photoshop program. I’m really a frustrated painter who can’t paint any more, not a photographer, so this is fun. Almost too many permutations, though!

Little Buddy, darker design

Little Buddy, lighter design

Picture of Little Buddy turned red in editing!

Serene morning with Little Buddy

Colors turning towards red in the “curves” was a big surprise! Talk about unreal! I then used the scale that changes colors and slid on to the green you see in the first photo!

Annabelle in sun

Annabelle, another of Mom’s cats, is now also at the Rainbow Bridge. A master sunsoaker, she stays in our hearts, much loved and missed.


“Really Bud, she was your mother. And you never answered my questions. Here’s another pic of you. Purrrr now?”

Bud the Editing Cat wakes, and has plans for us

“Meow! Momcat’s still not me. Othercat. And what happens in Vegas … I want to edit the book now.”

So we will. Back later!

(There might be delays in publishing comments because this will be published right before a busy time with lots of storms with severe potential, when the computer will be off. Please bear with me, I’ll be back as soon as possible.)

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
This entry was posted in Art, black cats, Cat Topics, Cats and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Extreme Photo Editing; Opinions by Bud the Cat

  1. Claudia says:

    That Bud was a corker! Love kitties like that! And I really like Little Buddy darker design. I would hang something like that up in my house. I think playing with photos is almost as fun as writing — and less strenuous!

  2. samba2017 says:

    Bless beautiful little Buddy xxx Greetings fellow cat lover! Thanks for sharing this. I am a cat lover and we have just rescued three little cuties, Nera, Ebony and Ziggy. I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s poem is about a cat I saw on holiday in case you have time to look? Have a good weekend, Sam 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Sam, for your kind words about our Little Buddy and our big Budcat. Sending good wishes to you and your rescue kitties. I did look at your blog and I do love your poetry! I read several about cats. Your pictures are beautiful also. I look forward to checking your site out more when I have more time. ~ Leah

  3. We love the picture with Little Bud and the rainbow. What a lovely…buddy he was and a good poser too 🙂 Soft Pawkisses for a wonderful day 🙂 ❤

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you angelwhisper2011, I’m glad you enjoyed the picture of our little kitty. Thank you for your cheery greeting today! Meows and purrs going out to you!

  4. I like your effects, have no clue how to do this myself…. and sadly no cats as both hubby and daughter are allergic. So it’s nice to see photos of cats, write about cats and meet them in the street, or my garden, or at friends’ houses.

    • Catwoods says:

      I’m happy you enjoyed our pictures, Marje! It’s always sad when you cannot have pets, but as you say there is joy in seeing them around, observing them, and writing about them!

  5. Sparta Puss wants to know what Bud is up to 😉

  6. RMW says:

    I enjoy messing around with extreme editing myself… helps me to learn what all the tools can do! And what better extreme subject than a feline!

    • Catwoods says:

      Indeed it’s fascinating and fun to see what turns up in the editing programs. I’ve even learned a few things along the way, but sometimes I forget exactly how I arrived at this or that effect, lol! I agree that cats are perfect for experimental picture tweaking.

  7. Thanks for visiting Leah. I’ve been absent for about year now writing a novel and a book of essays. Just now catching up on blogging. We have six cats and they’re thoroughly enjoying their little patch of paradise. Please visit my new website. http://www.johnthomasdodds.mx

    • Catwoods says:

      My pleasure, John. Good for you, getting so much done! Nice to hear about your happy cats! I took a quick glance around your new website, it’s lookin’ good! I look forward to looking around more when things settle down for me!

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Nice effects – it’s fun to play with photo editing, the range is so vast.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Eliza, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! It sure is fun, I could get lost in it if I didn’t have so much else on the to-do list!

  9. Judy says:

    I like the one with the enhanced spectrum of light. Not sure the cat cared though, just maybe nice and warm for a snooze.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Judy, I’m happy you enjoyed the picture! You are right, the cats usually don’t care one way or another so long as nothing disturbs their sleep, but Bud the Editing Cat is just a gruff kind of guy!

  10. Charles Huss says:

    That first one looks like a starry night.

  11. It was fun to see “all the permutations”.
    That’s why I can never get into the photo editor…too many options!
    I’d just be lost in there for days…

    Enjoyed Bud’s comments as well.
    Doone The Cat looked at the screen, and said “Phsst” to Bud.
    Good to know they approve.

    Seek peace,


    • Catwoods says:

      We’re glad you enjoyed the post, Skip! I certainly feel overwhelmed by the speed of tech since there are now so many advances in photo editing and I don’t even know much about the old styles! Hahaha about Doone the Cat sending a “phsst” to Bud. Typical cats! Greetings to you and Doone!

  12. Deziz World says:

    Well we’re really late, but we luv all da fotos. Dat’s some purretty pawsum editin’ fur sure. Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Dezi and Raena! I’m happy you liked the photos. I’m a total novice and don’t get to do this often but I find it lots of fun when I do have time for it. Warmest wishes and hugs, Leah

  13. chattykerry says:

    I love the Warhol Buddys! Hope you are well, Leah.

    • Catwoods says:

      Kerry, I’m happy you liked the pictures, and so is my Budcat! Thank you so much for your nice comment! I’m dragging a bit, but managing to keep on keeping on. Warmest wishes for the best of everything to you!

  14. Sondra says:

    My faves are Little Buddy turned darker and redder!

  15. # says:

    Leah, I always enjoy reading your posts – and I always learn something, too. I can tell by your explanations and descriptions of the photographs – how you use color, etc. – that you speak as a true artist. I’m so impressed to learn how you approach editing photos – it’s obvious you have a careful, caring eye and I know you also focus that artistic eye on your words. And let me say (again) how handsome Bud is, and how beautiful your other cats are as well (and I’m sorry that a few of them have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge – we, too, have a few of our fur-loved ones over there … I’d like to think they’re all playing together, munching on catnip, chasing their tails). An excellent post, Leah! Keep creating! 🙂

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! The photos were lots of fun to do as a refresher. I’m a long way from being able to subtly enhance pictures so that they look completely natural and almost untouched. Meanwhile I indulged in a few wild colors, but must get back to work soon, after yet more storms and other pressing matters. Bud is very pleased with your description of him! I’m so sorry you too have lost some kitties, and I do hope they are all together somewhere … loved the hopeful and comforting picture at the Rainbow Bridge I saw in my mind as I read your words. Happy Spring!

      • # says:

        Happy Spring to you too, Leah! Of course, with the season comes rain and bad weather. I do hope you all are safe and sound down there. We had the tornado sirens blaring not too long ago but fortunately we were okay, the funnel cloud seemed to fade. And yes, our four-leggeds … well, what can I say? They’re family, deeply loved – and I know it’s the same for you. Finally, you are a marvelous photographer! Please keep taking photos!

  16. For me it takes more time editing photos than posting a blog post, though you might be surprised mine were even edited! What did they look like originally?! The photoeditors available have so many things, it bogles the mind trying to figure out how to do something. I think changing a gravatar photo is not a good idea if you have used it for a long time, because people remember it.
    Don’t make us think too hard!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you Greg! You are very skilled if you can enhance your pictures and they still look so completely natural, no one can tell. That’s really what I aspire to, one day in the distant future. Indeed there are many options and I haven’t even scratched the surface of available techniques! I see what you are saying about keeping the same avatar picture, but I do have the same cat silhouette, I just made the forest background bluer and brighter. Happy Spring to you and yours!

  17. toutparmoi says:

    Impressive. I need to get a whole lot more venturesome with what I do to photos. I love the first and last pics (Editor Bud) – they’re close to Renaissance style.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, tourparmoi, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures! Bud is very pleased with your comparison of his picture to Renaissance style! It’s really lots of fun to play with the photo enhancing programs, and do something really wild. Although there is so much I don’t know … I’d really like to be able to make a picture look completely natural, yet enhanced, but that takes a level of skill I haven’t reached yet. I really enjoy your posts, and look forward to more.

  18. arlingwoman says:

    That photo with the highly saturated color makes Bud look as though a rainbow is resting on him. Nice.

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you arlingwoman, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos! I did like the rainbow effect that I got from the sun hitting one of those silver discs and bouncing onto a sort of flat surface. The we fused that photo with the picture of the cat. I’ve been enjoying your posts, all good wishes for spring!

  19. Lauren says:

    Leah, I find it heroic that you continue to edit and experiment with various resources and techniques and come up with so much variety to reshape emphasis, or mood, or the passage of time–and simply enjoy bending the spectrum.

    • Catwoods says:

      Lauren thank you for your kind words, I am happy you enjoyed the pictures! Love your description and your image “bending the spectrum”. Wish I had time to really explore what these programs can do but that won’t happen for awhile. Meanwhile, I had fun doing this as a sort of vacation.

  20. charlotteash says:

    We’ve been having some strong storms, too. I hope al will be well with you and yours. Loved this post!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Charlotte, I’m glad you liked the post and that you came through the storms ok! We were fortunate in our area because the storms lost some intensity and were under severe limits by the time they got here. Still very strong with lots of lightning and torrential rain though!

  21. nivs24 says:

    Some looks like Warhol effect 😀

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