I had grand plans for photography and posts this past week, but my schoolwork got me bogged down, so much so that I even missed my usual Sunday post. Now it’s nearing the end of the long weekend and the weather has cooperated to get out for a round of golf, so a quick image and then I am off. After a long winter and lots of time during the week spent at the computer, I have to have my priorities! Have a great week everyone!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.