View Full Version : Intro and Questions & Comments about photo contest

Emelia Stone
03-25-2014, 8:21 PM
Long time viewer via my husband's account. First time post with my new account. My husband is the genius, silent type and he has built & sold several lasers over the years as a hobby. I don't speak the lingo but I can say with some confidence the lasers my dear husband has let me use have been CO2, YAG and Diode. While we lead busy lives and have numerous family activities outside the home, we enjoy laser projects when we have spare time. We are not in the business of selling any form of engraved item. I am intrigued with any mechanical object but I tend to gravitate towards the artistic side in anything I look at and love to see what people can accomplish when they apply themselves. i.e. I am in awe of the power of an old steam engine and what makes it work but I can't help but focus on to every individual part and see beauty in the design, texture, & placement of said part.

Now to the real purpose of stepping up to the podium and looking out at this huge crowd of people. I hope this is okay to talk about. There has been so little talk on this subject and I can't fathom why.

Mr Outten, I would like to thank you for initiating the photo contest. My interpretation is this was to promote how much more you can do with engraving a photo then opening a jpg file and sending it to the laser. What a marvelous way to promote discussion of material use & editing methods! I applaud you for having the foresight to limit the contest to common materials that are easy for all people around the world to find and to limit equipment to the CO2 laser that most of the members on this forum seem to use. It would have put many at a disadvantage had you not done so. It's not easy to compare roof shingles to spring flowers. Since our current laser build is a diode I had to sit this one out.

I would like to thank Mr Cunningham, Mr Williams, Mr Rinne and Mr Chance for including their original photos so that we may see the "before" image. This really made an impact for me when viewing the entries submitted.

I did not see any statements where any of you granted anyone permission to your copyright. Therefore I respectfully request permission from Mr Cunningham, Mr Rinne and Mr Chance that I may download a copy of your original photos so I can experiment with my editing skills and attempt to achieve the results you did. I will never in any way display derivatives of your photos or give your photos to other people.

Thank you Mr Cunningham for posting details on engraving glass and for your additional post about the bug on glass. You inspire me to try engraving glass and you have already answered all the prep questions I had. You have shown with your groundhog that you can engrave more than one shade into glass with a laser. Simply marvelous work! I'm not letting you get away without a question -- With your experience engraving glass, do you think you could have engraved Mr Rinne's photo successfully on glass? My uneducated guess is there are too many details such as the cobblestone path that might turn into a solid blob.

Thank you Mr Rinne. I hope you can understand my English. I have never seen this type of photo engraving before. Your method of engraving is very fascinating. I look forward to challenging myself to see if I have the talent to edit the photo two very different ways and combine them together the way you did. I think this method would look lovely using an American Western landscape with a dirt trail and weathered barn.

Thank you Mr Chance. This is the first example I have seen of anyone using powder coat on a photo. I thought it would turn everything solid black yet I can still see all the shades of greys & whites as the original photo showed! Once again, I look forward to the challenge of learning how to edit the photo like you did to "dim the background" without losing the fine detail in hairs & whiskers. I have one question for you on the powder coat. Would you engrave the wood the same way if you did not use powder coat? Sorry to put you on the spot but I have one more unrelated question for you! You mentioned removing purple tinge caused by the camera. Would you explain how that was done? I too have photos with purple tinge and would like to fix them.

This last question is for ALL of you who entered the contest. Several of you mentioned using Photograv to process your photos. Do you think you could have achieved similar results for this contest without using Photograv?

Mike Null
03-26-2014, 7:04 AM

Welcome to SMC. It is very nice to hear that you found the contest and particularly the entries so interesting. We'll look forward to your participation.

Mike Chance in Iowa
03-26-2014, 2:37 PM
Emelia, It's great to have you "speak up" on the forum. (Your hubby is welcome too!) I love how you described yourself as seeing the artistic beauty in mechanical things. I bet you could spend hours in some old industrial museum and not get bored. :)

Here's my answers to your questions:

1. I grant you, Mrs Emelia Stone, permission to download my original photo of my barn cat.

2. Would I engrave the wood the same without powdercoat? No. Until this contest, I had only used powdercoat when engraving words or solid objects. I had to tweak the photo several times when experimenting with powdercoat. The light areas were too fine to accept powdercoat and the mid-level & dark areas absorbed too much powdercoat turning everything to black. My test engravings changed quite a bit each time. Especially when dealing with an inconsistent material like wood.

3. How to remove purple tinge. I currently use PaintShop Pro X4. The camera I used for that photo was a 2001 UltraZoom and while it still takes great pictures, when I zoom in, it casts a purple hue over many of the colors and often adds a bright purple fringe where light colors meet dark. There are three tools I use in PSP to fix the purple problem. The cat photo did not have purple fringe, but PSP has a "One Step Purple Fringe Fix" in the Adjust menu. That works quite well for many photos. The other two tools I used on the cat were in Adjust, Hue & Saturation. One is the Hue Map and I tweak the reds & purples to what I think looks good. The other tool is Hue/Saturation/Lightness and tweak the settings to remove the purple hues. Take baby steps when adjusting the colors. A little bit goes a long way.

4. Could I have achieved similar results without Photograv? Yes. It has been many years since I last engraved a photo or used Photograv but my overall skills have improved and I wanted to push myself and learn more. I wanted to use Photograv and see what happens when you do what they say not to. Which was editing the photo & resizing it after they give dire warnings not to.

Hannu Rinne
03-26-2014, 5:22 PM
Hi Emelia,

Thank you for your kind words.

Please, feel free to use my photograph as much as you like and for any purpose you like.

I think that the Photograv is maybe just the fastest way to manipulate the photo. I believe it's possible to get similar results (or even better ones) using example Photopaint, Photoshop or any similar programs just by testing different filters and/or conversion methods. For me the Photograv is the best solution as I'm so lazy (read = I'm not enough talented to use any other programs for get some good results :D).

My work for the contest was experimental as it was my first time to engrave image using polyacetal. It seem to be easy material to engrave and cut and fill in with acrylic paint. The other layer (acrylic) just give more depth.

Best regards,

Emelia Stone
03-27-2014, 1:44 PM
Mr Null, Thank you for the warm welcome.

Mr Chance, Why yes! I could spend hours in an old industrial museum and not get bored! Good luck convincing my husband to speak up. Every day I count my blessings he was able to speak those two little words to me 23 years ago.

Thank you for the instructions on removing the purple. We have Paintshop X5 and I was able to fix my first purple photo using the Hue Mapping feature. All I needed was your bit of guidance to set me on the correct path.

Mr Rinne, Thank you for answering my questions. Have you tried using other colors in addition to black? With the acrylic layer giving it more depth I envision some warm shades here and there might make certain features in the photo really "pop" when you look down into the acrylic.

Mike Chance in Iowa
03-27-2014, 5:03 PM
You're welcome Emelia. Glad I could be of help.

Bill Cunningham
03-29-2014, 7:04 PM
Emelia; Would you like the groundhog picture as the original coloured one, or the actual engraving file.. As for details in glass engraving, I have found that with the process I use, any amount of detail is doable. (there is a very detail image of a lizard on a glass rectangular vase someplace on here) send me a PM w/your email address, and I will send which ever one you would like..
It looks by the poll totals that the clear winner was Kev Williams.. Congrats.. It's hard enough to photograph chaos, never mind engrave it..ha..

Kev Williams
03-30-2014, 12:11 PM
And I work in this chaos every day! :)

How the wife & I escape this chaos was the basis for the photo I almost entered, of our boats, which also turned out surprisingly well on the non-laserable Rowmark. For those experimenting with engraving photos, I recommend trying it!


Emelia Stone
04-01-2014, 4:19 PM
Thank you for your response Mr Cunningham. I would like the original color photo please. I sent you a pm with my email.

I will search for the lizard photo!

Bill Cunningham
04-03-2014, 10:16 PM
Thank you for your response Mr Cunningham. I would like the original color photo please. I sent you a pm with my email.

I will search for the lizard photo!

I will send it off to you tomorrow Emelia..
The lizard is below