70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

It’s a bit of a contradiction but one of the things I hate about Photoshop I also love. As a photographer, I love to create an image in camera and not have to edit it later. However, I do also enjoy creating a new image out of the one that was taken straight from the camera. For me, editing often involves creating an image that is softer, a dreamy take on the original.

In honor of this week’s photo challenge I took a photo I had taken a few weeks ago and created two versions, both artistic takes on the original.  Here is the original photo:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

One of the reasons I took this photo using the settings I did was that I knew that it would blur out the background pretty well.  To me, this was important because the garden is a very crowded place and I wanted to focus on these two flowers.

When I edited the photo, the first thing I did was crop, specifically to get rid of the yellow in the background that I found distracting.

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

I did like this version but for this challenge I took it a step further, and created a version using the paint filter in Photoshop:

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

ISO 1000 135mm 0ev f/4 1/125

You may also notice that I took the liberty of removing the two little bugs from the flower.  No bugs in the garden? Now you know that is a dream, certainly not reality thankfully.

So how do you like my oil paint version?  Do the other versions appeal to you more?

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Calla Lily in Black and White

It’s been a fairly busy week for me in my Photoshop class.  I was preparing for the ACA exam for Photoshop.  I passed it today. I was happy to pass on the first try, but to be honest I have some issues with “standardized” testing, and have some questions as to how much they really prove.

In terms of photography, I am thinking about a new project in Photoshop.  At this point the assignment is in a pretty vague spot.  So, instead of worrying too much about the details I am taking some photos and just thinking generally about some of the effects and filters from Photoshop that might apply.  With that in mind, I made this image this afternoon:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

For the project I am not sure if I will be working in black and white or color.  So, for this exercise I decided to convert the image to black and white and work from there.

One of the things I was thinking about when I was creating this image was the background.  I wanted it to be wavy and somewhat textured.  So what I did was create a duplicate layer and then applied the Oil Paint filter to it.  From there I put a mask on the Oil Paint filter layer and painted back in some of the realistic detail in the lily itself.

It’s an interesting effect, what do you think?  I’ll be trying some other things in the coming week, but I am thinking my final project will incorporate the oil filter in some way.  Here is the original image:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/8 1/80

I was inspired to try this in black and white in part because Open Topic is the theme for Cee’s Black & White Challenge. Since my project is just beginning and not even fully defined yet, I thought that certainly is open-ended.

Cheers!

 

 

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

A very popular place to take a picture in Chicago’s Millennium Park is at the Cloud Gate sculpture, frequently referred to as “The Bean”.  The surface allows for a lot of fun reflections of people and the surrounding area.  The challenge with taking a photo in a popular tourist destination is that everyone has seen it, so what are you bringing to the conversation that is new? I took a bunch of photos, including some that are just snapshots of the family to serve as reminders of our stay.  But I wanted to try something a bit different and abstract too.  This past week in my Photoshop class we covered the oil paint filter and I thought that might be a fun one to try.  Here is my edited version:

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

When I was first looking at my original image, I wanted to clean it up a bit.  Since it is an outdoor sculpture, it has a lot of stray marks and dirt on it.  I used the clone stamp tool to tidy it up a bit.  Then I went to Filter-Oil Paint.  Here is a screen capture of the settings I used:

The screen shot within the Oil paint filter

The screen shot within the Oil paint filter

After I did that, I sharpened it a bit using the High Pass filter.  To do that first flatten your image, then make a duplicate layer.  Then Filter-Other-High Pass. I set it to 4 pixels then changed the blending mode of the layer to soft light.  Then I ran the Oil Paint Filter again, using the same settings to intensify the look.  I decided I liked the effect of running it twice.

Here is the original image:

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

ISO 100 50mm f/7.1 1/8

So, my final image is a bit abstract, but do you like it? Questions about my process? feel free to leave them below.  This look isn’t hard to create, and has a lot of creative applications in my opinion.  Been to see “The Bean” in Chicago and wrote a post about it? Used the Oil Paint filter and wrote a post about it?  Feel free to leave a comment with a link to what you have done.

Cheers!

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