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.
I’m focusing on photo art this month, and decided to start things off focusing on giraffes. The easily recognizable shape of a giraffe meant that no matter how far I took the editing, the shape of the animal would still be recognizable as a giraffe.
Since I don’t have any natural talents in drawing and painting, creating these painterly interpretations from the photographs that I take is my opportunity to set aside the need to keep an image looking realistic, and instead focus on what the image is saying to me.
I hope you like my selections for the week; check back next Sunday to see the next instalment.
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.
Anyone that has read this blog more than once or twice is familiar with my love of elephants. So it should come as no surprise that I have created a painterly effects project using elephant images.
I’ve really enjoyed working with elephant images this week, as the large, recognizable shape has allowed me to work with some very abstract settings, without compromising the ability to know what it is you are looking at.
I hope you enjoy my images for the week, and wishing you the best for a positive and happy week ahead.
I was inspired this week to explore images from Namibia with my painterly effects project for the month. In the brief time I have spent there, I have found it to be a magical place. The light is beautiful and the landscapes are at times surreal. From the air, the vast open spaces seem lifeless, but on the ground, it is a completely different story.
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”.
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.