Looking Good 20th November

There are still some leaves left on our trees despite Storm Barney. The sun has managed to break through occasionally and those shafts of sunlight created some magical moments. This is Hornbeam Carpinus betulus. I can’t tell you how happy I am that these leaves are still clinging to the trees… at least for now. They are ragged and quite past their best but under the circumstances they are looking good to me today!


A reader recently commented that she liked the way I used leaves that were not perfect in my images. At this time of year there are no perfect leaves in my garden and I don’t mind that at all. To me there is real beauty in the way the leaves change colour becoming spotted and mottled until they eventually become quite brown and crispy. Here’s a picture of Hornbeam leaves newly emerged in spring. Now they are quite perfect I would say!

New Hornbeam Leaves 1st May

I usually have a clear idea of the shots I’m going to take before I pick my camera up. I think about where the light is coming from and how the background will change if I move around. It’s a sort of dry run in my mind. Then I like to try to get the picture I’m aiming for in camera. I would much rather be outside taking photos than sitting at a computer processing them. Usually I take about 30 photos to find 5 or 6 that I’m happy with.

Sometimes small things appear in the image that I didn’t spot outside. There may be a tiny fly or beetle, some straggly silk from a spiders web, a wind blown weed seed or even a few strands of fluff from a jumper or wool from a sheep. It’s quite amazing what turns up in my photos! I usually discard those images.

Having said that there is a simple way to improve an image if you want to remove some imperfections. Here’s a photo of some Oak leaves. On the left is the original photo with lots of tiny spots on the green leaf and on the right I have removed a few of those marks.


I used the free photo editing programme Picassa by Google to make these changes.
If you would like to try it just download the programme and view your images with the Picassa Photo Viewer slideshow.
Select the picture you want to improve and click Edit in Picassa below the image.
Your photo will open with some editing buttons on the left.
Select Retouch and click the small circle over the blemish then again on an unblemished area and the blemish is removed.
You can repeat this as often as you like to achieve the look you want.
Then save your image as usual.
Here’s a link to a short video which shows you exactly how it works.

I would be happy to use the image below as it is for a blog post header but if the marks were tiny insects I would probably remove them.


looking-good-guidelines - CopyWhat’s looking good in your garden today?
Do please let me know if you try Picassa. I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Thanks for reading, liking and commenting and most of all for joining in with Looking Good today.
Hope you have a lovely day. Gillian 🙂




13 thoughts on “Looking Good 20th November

  1. Hornbeam is a sturdy plant! I use the iPhoto editing software that came with the Mac, which I am pleased with. I used Picassa on my old Dell, but I bet it is even better now.
    Here’s the link to my post showing what’s Looking Good this week: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-Rr

    1. Yes it is. We chose it for our hedge because it copes with wet soil a bit better than beech. The mature Hornbeam tree in our wood is so old now that it’s trunk is hollow yet the tree has a super crown and lots of fresh new growth each spring. Thanks for joining in this week Eliza

  2. I’m impressed with your photography process. I’m much more haphazard and spontaneous. As for your comment about “30 photos” and you only like “5 or 6”–I understand that well enough. I think the leaves are lovely….

  3. Lovely leaf images today. I have never tried Picassa as I tend to use IPhoto which came with my Mac. It sounds good though. I sometimes think about buying Lightroom and doing a lot more with my photos, but my old Mac is groaning at the seams and wouldn’t cope with it. I probably wouldn’t have time to learn to use it either!

    1. Thanks Annette. If you are happy with your programmes and images then there’s no need to experiment really… and time is usually the deciding factor.

  4. We have a hornbeam hedge out the front chosen for the same reasons as yours, but I like the tree a lot anyway, especially planted as a specimen. Interesting to hear about your image processing steps too. I don’t retouch much, but I do use the edge preserving noise filter in Photoshop quite a bit.

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