Altered Landscape

What a difference a filter makes! One acrylic landscape painting altered with the twirl filter in Photoshop. After…Before.



Look outside your box.

Now is the time…

to look outside your box.

Most of us live inside our daily worlds,

influenced or inspired by those within that world.

Look further afield.

Take your inspiration from unfamiliar sources.

Look through others’ eyes.

You’ll be surprised at the opportunities.

“A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows’ – John Powell (1963-)

taken from the book, Now Is the Time, by Patrick Lindsay.

roadside image shot through car window and ‘filterized’ in Photoshop

I just can’t leave it alone!

Remember the post about the mixed media piece I did from the book, “Taking Flight” by Kelli Rae Roberts?  I wasn’t thrilled with it because there were too many colors going on and the colors I’d chosen weren’t making me happy either.  I’m definitely a novice when it comes to color mixing.

But still, I couldn’t just leave it as is and move on – I had to try to improve it somehow- that, or completely cover the canvas with gesso.

I attempted to play down some of the colors by adding more blue to it and I was ok with that but still not lovin’ it.  I usually take pictures of the art-making process to help me remember what steps I’d taken along the way and I’d done that with this piece also.

After adding more blue and a couple of highlights and before covering it and starting over I decided to drop the image into Photoshop to see what I could do to change it in that way.

Here are the results.

I know I keep talking about filters but I just think being able to see something in a completely different light can be helpful.  These changes are easy to make and very forgiving – since you’re only working on the digital file while leaving the original art intact.

Check it out…

The girl loves to (photo)shop!

When it comes to photography, its really hard for me to pass up any interesting juxtaposition; colors, shapes, textures, etc., and not take a picture.  But that is rarely the case these days anyway since my cellphone has a fairly good camera in it.

You can hear my camera/phone’s shutter clicking on any given day.

And one fun thing I like to do while browsing through images is to drop them into the ‘filter gallery’ of Photoshop (or any other photo manipulation program that has this option) and try on different ‘looks’.

You never know what you’re going to get and it can take you in a completely different direction when thinking about post-production (or ways to show/display your images).

For instance; you may think you’ve taken a perfectly ‘normal’ landscape, ready for the typical frame and glass combination, but after dropping the image into one of the filters, you find the image looks amazing as an abstract and are suddenly inspired to print it LARGE onto gallery-wrapped canvas instead.

The point is, it can change everything.

Here’s an example of an image shown two different ways:

Straight image:

And an altered version:

I feel a creative weekend coming on…

Maybe its the weather…Fall is especially conducive to creating (for me anyway) – probably any ‘new’ season would have that effect though.

It’s just like a new year -all shiny and ripe with possibility.

I hope the feeling continues – it IS only Wednesday.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Cellphone image of my eye, Photoshop’s ‘cutout’ filter

And for the Cropaholic…

You can always just crop away the parts you don’t like or emphasize the ones you do – its your image.

And don’t forget about the possibility of using parts of images for digital montage!!

But that will have to wait for another post!

Before and After…the tip of the iceberg

Even though I haven’t been a photographer that long I did start out shooting film.

It was exciting and a little stressful at the same time.  In addition to worrying over getting the shot, I also fretted a bit about wasting film unnecessarily.

With digital however, I don’t worry at all.  In fact, one thing I’m kinda adamant about is to never trash a shot just because you think it isn’t ‘great’ or maybe you feel you have a better exposure of it and/or you think its taking up valuable real estate on your memory card.

Memory cards are cheapget two (one for a backup) and one that will hold a good bit of images.  (Also have a spare (charged) battery on hand as well.) Download the card often and you’ll always have room for more images.

One of the main reasons I keep every image (and I mean every image) is because you just never know what you might end up doing with it.

Just because you took an image of a landscape doesn’t mean that image has to be printed (or shown) as one.  Cropping is just one (of many) options that you can use to alter your image.

Filters are another.  So much fun!

Here’s an example of what filters can do to change the look of a basic snapshot.

This image was dropped into a couple of Photoshop’s filters to show you some of the different effects you can achieve (using the program’s default settings).

No fine tuning done here…

and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Oh, Tallulah!

I was there in the South of France When Zelda [Fitzgerald], poor darling, went off her head. She had gone into a flower shop and suddenly, for her, all the flowers had faces. Of course, some flowers, such as pansies, do have faces.    Tallulah Bankhead

I planted a backyard full of sunflowers a couple of summers ago.  They grew like crazy.  I had about twenty different varieties – all colors, shapes, and sizes.  I filled up a 4G memory card in about an hour photographing them.  There were bees everywhere!  Probably hundreds.  They didn’t seem to mind me being there at all though.  I guess they were too intoxicated by all the sunflower-goodness and the warm summer sun made them too lazy to worry about me.

A lot of my favorite images are the ones I’ve taken in familiar surroundings – like my back yard – and not necessarily while on vacation or visiting a scenic place. I’m not sure why this is.  Maybe its because we can relax enough to ‘see’ what we’re looking at and are not rushed to capture every moment on our vacation itinerary.  And it probably helps being alone so there isn’t anyone impatiently waiting for you to set up your shot – hypothetically.

The point is…beauty can be found just about anywhere.  Sometimes it’s right under our noses!

This image was manipulated in Photoshop by adding a filter and a soft blur.