There was a question in the forum about how to desaturate and blur the surroundings of a figure. The blur and desaturation should follow the shape of the figure. I give an answer here – making a selection, storing it in a channel and then grow and feather it according to the needs of the task.
More information about selections, feathering. growing and shrinking them is in the outstanding GIMP documentation.
The image on the right is not made with this technique. I just tweaked the curve madly and used an insanely amount of unsharp mask.
Before all that I’ll take you to the work of Bert, who has combined images of the past and today. The results are stunning, have a look in this thread in the forum.
And at the end I’ll go back to the last show and finish the image that I made for selling a twin vacuum gauge. I left out the downscaling and sharpening. This gives the last kick for the image. The gauges are in the science collection of my school now – not on sale.