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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2019-12-15: Photo Art – Birds

For the last few days, it has been very quiet around the yard in terms of bird life.  While last weekend the chickadees, nuthatches and flickers seemed to be around non-stop, the past few days, even on my walks, I haven’t heard a twitter.

With birds on my mind, I decided to play around with some of my photo art edits for my post this week.  This is a topic that I have worked on previously; if you missed some of the posts from a couple of months ago, here are two links to take a look at:

2019-10-20: Photo Art – Owls

2019-09-15: Photo Arts – Birds

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A saddle billed stork resting along the shore of a small dam.
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A pair of Verreaux’s eagle owls
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A helmeted guinea fowl
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A long-crested eagle perched at the top of a dead tree.
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One of my favourite birds to see on safari, a lilac breasted roller.  Just a little brighter than you may see in real life 🙂

2019-11-17: Artistic Elephants

Before I get to the images I created for this post, my public service announcement for the day: Always make sure you have a backup of your computer!  I made the decision to upgrade my Mac to a new operating system (not the newest one just released, the one before that, as I thought all the bugs would be worked out). Partway through the install, there was a failure and I ended up with a totally dead computer.  Thankfully, I have a pretty good backup strategy, so all I lost was the edit on a single image… And I wasn’t really that happy with the edit, so it isn’t really much of a loss.  I didn’t get to spend my afternoon editing as my computer was busy doing its own thing with the restore function.  But if I hadn’t had that, I would have spent the day seriously freaking out.

Anyways, on to the topic at hand.  I was playing around with elephant images this week, creating some of what I call my photo art or artistic impressions images.  I love elephants as the subject for these types of creations, as their large size allows the subject to still be recognizable, no matter how crazy I go with different filters, textures and techniques.

I had a lot of fun working on these, I hope you enjoy them too.

Have a great week ahead!

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2019-10-20: Photo Art – Owls

I recently saw a beautiful abstract painting of an owl, and it inspired me to work on some of my owl images in a different way.  All of these were created in Topaz Studio, using a variety of different filters and techniques.  It’s been a lot of fun playing around with these this week.

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You can find these images, and lots of others, over on my gallery page.

Month in Review – September 2019

September’s topic of the month

I chose to work on my artistic impression images this month.  Mostly, I wanted to dive into the new Topaz Studio 2, and also just have a chance to play around and have some fun with my images.  Working in Studio 2 proved to be a non-starter, but I certainly had a great time exploring and creating interesting images.

What’s new this month

I’m sad to say I didn’t fulfill my goal of actually getting out shooting this month.  As the weather is quickly turning colder and darker, I know this has been a real missed opportunity, but I can’t go back in time, only move forward.  I am hoping for a combination of free time and decent weather soon so I can actually put my camera to use.

5 favourites of the month

 

Head on over to my gallery page for more of my favourite images.

What’s coming up next?

I’ve not actually chosen a topic for October; I think it will be a freestyle month.  I still have a lot of bird images I would like to work on, and I have been really enjoying playing in Topaz Studio creating my artistic impression images, so we’ll just see what happens.  Check back each Sunday for a new post.

 

 

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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2019-09-15: Photo Arts – Birds

As much as I had hoped that my photo art topic would allow me to get comfortable with Topaz Studio version 2, I haven’t actually even tried it yet.  Fingers crossed that this week coming up I can make some time to a watch a tutorial or two and get familiar with the program operation, but for now, I have stuck with the original version, and I am really happy with the results of this weeks experiments.

I decided to focus on birds this week, and played around with two basic combinations of software.  The sunbird and hornbill were edited primarily using the Topaz AI Remix module, while the rest were done with Impression (along with the usual basic edits to start for tone, cropping, etc.).

Do you have a favourite this week?

I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a great week ahead.

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Lilac breasted roller
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White bellied sunbird
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White backed vulture
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Ground hornbill
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African wood hoopoe