2020-04-12: Artistic Impressions

Today I felt drawn to play around and create some of my artistic impression images.  There wasn’t any real rhyme or reason to the images I selected; just ones that caught my eye, and that seemed as good a reason as any.

I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping well.

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2020-01-05: Artistic Impressions

It’s the start of a new year, and I’ve not come up with any grand plans for the blog.  In addition to my full time work, I’m starting graduate school and courses towards a professional designation, so I have decided to leave things open for the time being, until I see what type of time and energy I have.  I am hoping to continue on with my Sunday, Monday and Wednesday posting schedule, but I may not end up picking themes for each month, and instead, just go where the mood takes me.  I’m just going to play it by ear for the moment.

I’ve continued to be inspired to play around with my artistic impression images, and have a few of those to share today.

I’ve still not had any success with moving over to Topaz Studio version 2.  When I have played around with it, I have really liked the flow within the program, but have found it challenging to get photos in and out of the software, with my current workflow.  Thankfully, the original version is still working well within my system.

That’s all for today; wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead.

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2019-09-29: Photo Art – The Magnificent Seven

This post was originally going to be the big five, but I had images of cheetah and wild dog that I wanted to play around with, so the magnificent seven it is.

One of the reasons I wanted to focus on my photo art this month was to try and learn a bit more about Topaz Studio version 2.  I’ve played around with it a bit, and watched some tutorials, but for the workflow I am using, at this stage I will be sticking with version 1.  The issue that I was finding is I can’t get files to make a round trip using On1 Photo Raw.  I can get the file into Studio 2, and work on it, but the only option for saving is an “Accept” button, which with the workflow I am using, appears to do nothing.  I select it, but the file doesn’t get saved, exported or anything else.  New software versions are typically a bit buggy, so I’ll give it a few update cycles and then play around with it again and see what happens.

One of the great things about photo editing tutorials is getting the little reminders for things that are outside of the normal workflow.  In this case, the reminder was to play around with blending modes when using AI Remix, Impression and textures.  For example, the cheetah image below was edited using (amongst other tools) a filter in AI Remix called Neon Rise.  But changing the blend mode from normal to luminosity kept the amazing texture that the filter offered, but eliminated the wild and crazy colours for something far more subdued, and suited to the image.

I hope you enjoy the selections below.  Wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

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You can find some of these images in the Photo Art section of my gallery.

2019-09-22: Photo Art – Rhinos

Today is World Rhino Day, so I decided to combine that with my photo art project for the month, and edit some of the rhino images I took on my last trip.

I won’t go on and on about the plight of the rhino, and of the greed, arrogance and ignorance of humans that has fuelled their decline and cluttered news feeds with horrifying photos of poaching.  Other people can do that far better than I.

I simply want to live in a world where rhinos can live in peace.  And I will hold that thought in my mind and in my heart, and hope that it becomes a reality.

As with all the other posts in this series, these images were created from photos I took, modified primarily using Topaz Studio to create these effects.

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2019-07-15: Monochrome Monday

This past trip was filled with a lot of rhino sightings, and like elephants, I think they make terrific subjects for black and white photography.  Their thick, textured skin can be highlighted very well in monochrome, and by removing colour, it is actually easier to see how such a large animal can blend into the surroundings so well.

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A rhino cow and calf spotted while staying at Lion Sands river Lodge.
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An oxpecker perched between the eyes of a rhino.  These birds do a valuable service in removing ticks and other bugs from the skin of their hosts.
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A pair of bachelors moving through the bushes.  These two were spotted in the Timbavati, and they moved between open and thicker areas.  Out in the open they are easy to see, but as soon as they are amongst the trees, it is nearly impossible to spot them.  Like elephants, I am always amazed how an animal an large can disappear into the bush so easily.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the day; I hope your Monday is fantastic!

2019-06-23: Mamas and babies in the bush

I was fortunate to see lots of youngsters during my latest travels.  While the young elephants are definitely my favourite to watch, especially when they start waving their tiny trunks around trying to act tough, all the young animals in the bush are a delight to see.

Here are just a few of the sightings that I had.

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A giraffe calf having a late afternoon milk break.
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We spent some time with this pair of rhinos while they grazed away the early morning.  Here the young one had just turned to look as another vehicle was heading in to take over our viewing position.  Moments later, the head was back down and he was happily munching on the grass again.
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A pair of lion cubs suckling.
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A young leopard doing a very accurate impression of a sulky teenager.
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Got milk?