50mm Lens, Animals, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Building Blocks of a Project

If you have stopped by my blog lately you know that I am working on a new Photoshop project.  I recently wrote about a tree bloom that I am hoping to include in the project.  The instructions for the project are to pick a master painting and recreate it in some way.  A way to express yourself using another person’s art as the jumping off point. It’s a pretty broad assignment.  The painting I have picked is Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses by Georgia O’Keeffe.  I picked Georgia O’Keeffe because I admire her work.  I picked this particular painting because I have actually seen it in person.

My hope for this project is for my work to be a tribute but not an identical copy.  I will be using a cow’s skull though.  I borrowed one and took some photographs.  The rest of this post is about the shooting and editing of the skull.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

Because the tree bloom that I shot a few days before was shot in natural light, I also shot this using natural light and at about the same time of day.  The first thing I did with this unedited photo was to get rid of the cloth seam.  I used content aware fill to do that and it worked nicely.  I then sharpened the image a bit.  Next,  I used the Oil Paint filter to create a painted look.  Here is a screen shot of the settings that I used:

These are the settings for the Oil Paint filter

These are the settings for the Oil Paint filter

And here is the final skull:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

The next step will be to add the tree bloom and then to consider adding a background element.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or questions about this project.



38 thoughts on “Building Blocks of a Project

    • I’ve been thinking about this, and certainly this would not be beyond your capabilities. I think Photoshop is more a question of not can you do it, but do you want to take the time to do it? The steps in this project have just been a series of small ones, so it is just complex in terms of number of steps. I am curious now though, do you use Photoshop? The photos on your blog are really nice, but the true strength of your blog is your ability to weave them together with a narrative to tell a story.


      • I appreciate your message and the chance to talk about this. I do not use photoshop and you are right about taking the time to do so. Until about 6 weeks the only editing I was doing with photos was in Picasa using the ‘I feel lucky’ button. Now I have started to use some of the other editing capabilities of Picasa.
        I am a story teller for sure and right now the photos are a supplement to that. Well most of the time anyway:) Perhaps one day I will get more involved in the photography aspect. Many thanks.


      • I wanted to ask because I feel like your storytelling abilities show up in your photography. I also think that when you shoot as well as you do the argument can be made that post editing is perhaps not necessary. So then it becomes a question of do you need to take the time to learn a photo editing software? As much as I have really enjoyed my Photoshop class and I do use it in my professional life, as a photographer I am always trying to make the photograph as good as possible just out of the camera. That is just my personal preference.
        I have never used Picasa and the fact that is has a “I feel lucky” button makes me chuckle 🙂


      • I appreciate your thoughts on this a great deal. I have found in the past month that doing any kind of editing does take time and sometimes makes it harder to create the post. As though it doesn’t flow as smoothly. My guess is that for now I will stick to the basic ‘brightening’ up of photos and a bit of cropping and straightening. the I feel lucky button is really a one stop shop to just make the photo look a bit brighter. I love the name too,


      • I find that I often do my photo editing and writing of this blog in two separate sittings. It is easier for me to work on whatever photography thing I am doing and let it sit for a bit. Then as I am doing other fun things (like housework) I will be thinking about what I would write about it and what I feel are the important things about the process that I would like to remember. Then I write the post at a later time. I agree that trying to edit and write at the same time tends not to “flow”.


  1. Very impressive work, from both of you; Georgia O’Keeffe and yourself! We look forward to follow this project growing.
    Have a great weekend.
    Love, Dina


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  10. Sonel says:

    Fascinating Amy! Looks like you are having lots of fun. I can’t wait to see what it will look like when you’re finished. You are so creative. I love this. Great shot too! 😀


    • Yes, I am thinking this sort of thing would be right down your alley. You would just have to figure out which master painting you could put Simba in 🙂 Also, I tried to respond to a comment on your blog that you left for me about using the charcoal and oil filters that you used in a recent post. WordPress would not let me reply, but I was going to let you know that I would appreciate that tutorial you mentioned, but don’t worry over it if you can’t find it.


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