2018-05-06: Topic of the month – Painterly Effects

To some, using software to make a photo look as if it were sketched or painted may seem like an abomination.  Photographers often go to great lengths (sometimes at great expense) to create sharp and crisp images that show the viewer exactly what the scene looked like.  But what about those times when that beautifully crisp, perfectly exposed image doesn’t convey the feeling of the moment?  Or, heaven forbid, what if you goof up on the exposure, or mess up the focus a bit, but the moment was great and you still want to do something  with the image?  These are just some of the reasons for exploring painterly effects with photography.  I’ve edited photos in the past for all those reasons and while I don’t post them too often, I do have a gallery of my favourite Artistic Impressions or Photo Art images.

This week, I was inspired by a vintage style travel poster I have had hanging up for around the last 12 years or so.  I see it every time I walk towards my sitting room; this week I was struck by the interest in creating a photo series inspired by it, whereas most of the time I just look at it and think “I really want to go to the Serengeti someday”.

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A quick snap of the poster that inspired this week’s editing.

I decided to do a series of Big 5 animals; I can imagine these in a vintage travel brochure advertising visiting the “Dark Continent” to see the wild and ferocious Big 5.  I edited all of them using the Topaz Simplify filter through the Topaz Studio program.

I hope you enjoy!

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2 Replies to “2018-05-06: Topic of the month – Painterly Effects”

  1. I couldn’t agree more when it comes to conveying the feeling. So many attempt to enhance photos, making them unreal without admitting that they are unreal. Instead, to go all in on conveying the feeling, while recognizing that the image is no longer real but that the feeling is, can be authentic and powerful.

    1. Absolutely! It’s all about creating your art in a way that feels good to you. Maybe one day that means creating something surreal, and another day it’s sharing something from a more photo-journalistic perspective. It does bug me though when people crank editing up to 11 and try to claim that’s what it was like “out of camera” but it is also equally irritating when you start hearing that any form of editing or “photoshopping” makes an image fake.

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