2018-09-23: Topaz Studio – Week 3

So far I have been concentrating on learning to effectively use Topaz Studio for standard editing, like I would do through On1 Photo Raw or Luminar.  I still have a ways to go to figure out exactly how this would work into my regular workflow, but I decided to do a departure this week and play around with photo art instead.  I watched a few tutorials during the week and one of them featured a new (to me) adjustment called AI Remix.  The effects that the presenter was creating looked really interesting, so that’s where my focus has been this week, along with the more familiar to me adjustments through impression and simplify.

This first image was shot with my Panasonic camera whilst in Botswana, and it was after the sun went down so the image was incredibly dark and noisy; completely unusable as a regular photograph (just being 100% honest).  But, I loved the posture of these two bull elephants jostling in the shallows of the Boteti River, and knew I could make something fun with the image, even if it wasn’t an something that I would traditionally mark as a keeper.

 

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For this image, I did some basic adjustments first to brighten the image and remove some of the noise, and then played around with a combination of AI Remix (Platinum Rose) and Glow.  For me, the posture of the trunks was the most important element of the image, and I feel the boosted saturation of greens and oranges behind the elephants really helps to showcase their shapes.

 

This next image is of a goliath heron.  I wanted to simplify the details without losing all the texture and pattern of the feathers, and bring out colours and tones that reminded me of old film images.  The result looks like a cross between a painting and a snapshot from an old point and shoot camera, but for me the image works.  Perhaps because it brings back memories of the type of pictures I would see around cottage properties when I was younger.

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A goliath heron spotted along the banks of the Boteti River in Botswana.

This last image is bit hectic, but it fits with the subject, the amazing African Wild Dog.  The combination of adjustments I used diffused the background significantly, but in doing so brought out repeating patterns of triangles in the vegetation which corresponds with the triangular shape of the dog’s ears.  It almost feels like the dog rushed through a huge pile of fallen leaves and quickly laid down, while the leaves slowly drifted back down to the ground.

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Creating painterly images or abstracts from photos isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is something I enjoy playing around with once in a while.  Topaz Studio definitely provides a lot of different options to use to create these types of images.  Because I own the Topaz plug-in collection, I have access to a lot of these tools that aren’t available within the free portion of the software.  The AI Remix adjustment is one that I currently have on trial, and it’s something I would need to experiment more with to figure out if it is a tool I’ll want to have available once the trial period is over.

2017-04-01: WPC Dense

The WordPress prompt for this week is Dense.  Rather than post a selfie (ha ha ha), here are some photos from East Africa that fit in with the theme.

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A crocodile ensures that a group of wildebeest crossing the Mara River stick very close together in the rush to get out of the water.
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A portion of the wildebeest herd tightly packed, waiting to cross the river.
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A pod of hippos sunning themselves in a quieter spot along the Mara River.
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Wildebeest as far as the eye could see.
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A large group of flamingos take flight over the Amboseli Swamp.
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A chimpanzee swings through the lush vegetation of the Kibale Forest.
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A squacco heron almost disappears amongst the dense vegetation at the side of the Kazinga Channel.

Please visit:

www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/voices/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.

 

WPC: Dense

Grey Herons

Seeing about 6 or 7 of our beautiful great blue herons on Tuesday reminded me that I still had a few photos of grey herons to edit.  These are the last of the photos I had flagged off from my stay at Zimanga for editing.

Enjoy 🙂

A grey heron, an egret and a pair of died kingfishers.  Those were some busy rocks!
A grey heron, an egret and a pair of pied kingfishers. Those were some busy rocks!
Grey heron reflection
Grey heron reflection
A grey heron with an antelope skull and various bones littering the background.
A grey heron with an antelope skull and various bones littering the background.
A grey heron in flight above Jozini Dam.
A grey heron in flight above Jozini Dam.
A grey heron nicely poses in the grasses next to the dam.
A grey heron nicely poses in the grasses next to the dam.

Grey Herons

While on a drive along Lake Sibaya, I saw a pair of grey herons – I don’t know it was a pair of males battling for dominance, or a male and female completing an intricate mating ritual.  Regardless, they were beautiful to watch and I love the shapes created by their wings.

All photos 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO1800.  Black and white conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro2.
All photos 1/320sec, f5.6, ISO1800. Black and white conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro2.

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Nature – Close to Home

I’m currently taking another digital photography course, so I have been busy the last few weeks snapping photos to meet very specific parameters. I was happy as the assignment this week was for landscape photos, both natural and urban.

Heron Awesome cloud reflections

Moth

I don’t yet have a macro lens, but I do really like the results of the close ups shown below – even though they really make me feel as if fall is on the way.

Dandelion Blade of grass Spent flower

On a larger scale, I captured this lovely sunset near an area where I normally walk Spencer. I often see ducks, geese, heron and the occasional hawk and bald eagle in the area, as well as coyotes if we head out early enough.

River Sunset

Mountain Sunset

Not the sharpest photo, as I was looking towards the shoreline for photos that would highlight texture.  A beautiful sighting though.
Not the sharpest photo, as I was looking towards the shoreline for photos that would highlight texture. A beautiful sighting though.