Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just a little break in the rain

I've found through trial and error that a low res camera is just as good as a high res when it comes to producing orton style images. This quick image was grabbed with a cell phone of all things and worked in the orton style.

Love the impressionistic view of the world an orton style image produces.

To get there you make a duplicate layer, increase the exposure, slight increase to the saturation, and finally give it a little blur via the gaussian blur filter in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Then you take the layers and give them a multiply blend and voila you have your own orton style image.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sold to a collector...has such a nice ring to it.

It has an even nicer ring to it when its a repeat customer and is more than 2 pieces, especially in this tough economy. Funny how the same person takes unrelated pieces.
Before Electricity

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cars, Cars, Cars....love 'em to drive and shoot

I love cars. Without a doubt many of those machines are just beautifully engineered and sexy to the eye as well. Getting a press pass gives one uninterrupted access to cars during the LA Auto Show and I wear myself ragged during the show.

To get this shot I did a few things, including a departure from normal...added in some elements. The car is the Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG which is drop dead gorgeous. I bracketed the shot to get the exposure right, then added in some spotlight and lens flare effects to frame the car better from its surroundings.

To save you the google searches my primary posts on blogging.la are HERE and HERE. My entire set of raw images from the LA Auto Show are in a set in flickr, appropriately titled 2010 LA Auto Show.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Desert Heather...ala Orton

I still am always amazed how much easier and faster it is to create with a pc vs silver based material. Orton wasn't that hard of a process, but it was time consuming getting the color balanced and exposures down when trying to print through doubled up slide film. Adobe's CS5 makes it all the easier.

As a refresher Orton was a guy back in the 70 who would do two shots of the same subject on slide film. One was razor sharp and perfectly exposed, the other was out of focus and over-exposed. The two were sandwiched together and printed resulting in a very surreal in focus/out of focus with artifically saturated colors.

To achieve this in Adobe the process is similar in theory. You take one sharply focused and exposed file. You open it and duplicate a layer labeling it "Background copy".

With that copy you go to Image>Adjustments>Exposure and increase your exposure by a factor of 1-2.0 so you "blow out" or lose all highlight detail. Got to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and increase the saturation by a factor of 10-30 depending on how the changes look to you.

The next step is go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and chose pixel range of 10-25 depending on the amount of blur you need. Less if you have an already blurred background, more if you don't.

The final step is go to the adjustments box on the side margin and select "Multiply" as your blending option.

There you go a few simple steps for recreating the look and feel of the old silver based "Orton effect" images.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Piled Higher and Deeper in Venice Beach

I love the insanity of this camper. So much stuff they had to bring along a mini-van to hold the extra. I have no idea what the story is behind this is, but that festive banner flying on the main camper tells me this is a fun crowd not some down and out of luck scenario.

The image was shot purposefully with HDR file generation in mind by bracketing the exposures 2 stops +/- from average. The HDR file generation was completed with the help of Adobe's CS5 that I also used for the tone mapping. Tone mapped for max saturation and definition between the various shapes so it took on a lot of blocks of color emphasizing the surreal nature of the setting itself.

IT will be in the satchel of goodies for you to peruse at this coming Thursday (10/14) Artists Reception at Bolt Barber's in Los Angeles. For those that forgot the details it is set for 7-9:30PM at Bolt Barbers, 460 S Spring Street (5th and Spring) Los Angeles CA.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Shooting in low light doesn't always need HDR or a Flash to work

Shooting with just the existing natural light is a challenge. First you have to decide how much detail and noise you are willing to accept for a higher ISO. Why the higher ISO need...you don't always have the benefit, or permission even, to use a tripod let alone "brace" yourself on something if you are in a museum or similar setting. The higher ISO allows for a faster shutter to eliminate camera shake, but it does so at the expense of image quality as the ISO climbs.

Bracketing is the salvation of shooting with a window providing the light.

Thank goodness for tone mapping being able to be applied to an image to bring all tones captured into range that can be displayed on your screen or printed image material.

For this image of the captain's desk on the Queen Mary I didn't have the benefit of being able to use a tripod or brace myself on something. I knew I was good for relatively slow shutter speeds (1/10 second) so I set my ISO at a moderate 800 and bracketed 1 stop each way from metered.

The final image was cleaned up for color balance, a bugger when you have sunlight streaming in from a window coupled with regular incandescent lighting through the use of Adobe's CS5 color tone and color filters. After that was done the image was tone mapped to bring down the bright window to a more acceptable level and bring in some more of the shadow details. Low light image rescue completed.

This won't be among the images at Thursdays Bolt Barbers Gallery Reception. There will be ample images on the wall and in my trusty satchel for you to peruse. The gallery is located within Bolt Barbers, 460 S Spring Street, Los Angeles CA. The reception is 10/14/2010, 7-9:30PM.

Monday, October 04, 2010

One more for the show....

Dang it all. Both printers decided to die on me in the middle of yesterdays effort to get some oldies but goodies added back to the satchel for the October 14, 2010 Bolt Barbers' Gallery reception. Alas the 'puter and art gawds aren't playing well together.

Before it died I did get one last print done. Always loved the haunting look of this image...

Friday, October 01, 2010

More of me@ Bolt Barbers Gallery

Bolt Barbers' updated their web to include some thumbnails of a few of the pieces in the show. The reception is going to be big. BIG I tell you. Why you may ask? Bolt will host Hot on Yelp's "Beauty & The Hairy Beast Event from 5P-10P. Live DJ on hand and all services will be free with suggested donation for each service to benefit The Midnight Mission.

The Bolt Barbers' Gallery link on me is HERE.

As a reminder...the reception is set for Thursday October 14, 2010 7-9:30PM. Bolt Barbers 460 S Spring Street, Los Angeles CA.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just one final Autochrome....

I finally figured out the blending as noted in yesterdays post. I opted to dig out one more little image from the Che-ez Snap and autochromed it. I liked the image to start with, the graining of it all via the various layers and steps only adds to the old timey feel of the image.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Revisiting the Autochrome...

I don't know what I was thinking but I completely forgot about this treasure trove of images done with the digital camera I had called the Che-ez snap. I found the DVD's from my old Textamerica account and started sifting through them.

I've blogged about that little camera numerous times, what I never thought about was how those low res images might be the key to perfecting the Autochrome look that I wanted. Until yesterday.

These images all started as small low resolution jpegs from that camera. I went and created a few layers until I got the saturation lowered and wider grain of the Autochrome sorta duplicated with the help of Adobe CS5. What I still can't figure out how to do is outline these "grains" with black like the Autochromes themselves had. Until then I can only partially duplicate the look and feel of those old 'chromes.

To get there here is the steps I use.
Create new adjustment later>black & white. Leave blending to "normal" but set opacity to 25%.

Click on the original image and use control+alt+J to create a new layer and label it noise. desaturate the image by about 25% using the adjustment too. Go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the adjustment to "5" pixels. Next go to Filters>Noise>Add dust and scratches and move slider until you just have some visible dust and scratches. Final stop is to go to Filters>Pixelate>Pointillize and adjust towards smaller dots.

Click on the "noise layer" and adjust your mixing to either "soft light" or "hard light" until you get the image that you like.

Merge layers and voila your final image is now set to be saved as a pds file for further use or jpeg for publishing on flickr or similar.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Real Toy Camera...

I had a toy camera called the Che-ez Snap. It was tiny, hardly bigger than a postage stamp. Its optics was fixed focus, with the edges being really sketchy. Color was off and over saturated. Contrast was off as well...on the contrasty side rather than flat so I liked the results, most of the time. It was all of .2, yes POINT 2 mega pixels and I loved its low Res images to pieces.

These are a few select few that are being printed up for inclusion in my goodies satchel for things to dig through (and purchase if so inclined) at my Artists Reception at Bolt Barbers' Gallery on October 14, 2010. (Details in a prior post).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More with the toy camera...

Years ago, 2003 to be precise, before I switched from silver to a DSLR we had a little digital point and squirt for just snapshots of the kids and stuff. In retrospect that little 2.0 megapixel camera had a lot of the qualities of a toy camera, or at least a cell phone camera.

I snapped this image up on Jalama Beach on CA's Central Coast October of 2003 and found it while rummaging around for other stuff. The composition is good, the basic image is grainy to start with, pixelated colors that look like traditional film grain when viewed large and was already for a little run through CS5 to finish off the "toy camera" look that I am so enamored with at the moment.

I took the basic image and used "filters">"Lens distortion" and cranked up the vignetting, added a little chromic aberration then adjusted the curves to darken the blacks a bit and lighten up the center ranges.

Flamed and vignetted...

I love the look of the old school toy camera. I'm also a big fan of super saturated color, and to get there today I used the vignetting tools in Adobe's CS5 to get the corners adequately darkened and still keep the center light and focused. I didn't opt for the off color registrations you could get by switching up your color chemicals like you could in old school silver based media. Rather I went for the contrasty overly saturated colors and contrast one got from the old Cibachrome print material.

To get this image I opened the RAW file and used the lens correction tool. Instead of minimizing the distortion I went the other direction and maximized the vignetting and upped the barrel distortion some to further the "fish eye" look. Once done I went into the saturation levels and upped the saturation for orange and yellow a bit to make the flames "flamier". Then I hit the ok button and opened the file and continued to work it in the 8 bit mode it was converted to for PSD files.

I used the adjustments to alter the hue and color to compensate for this being shot in the early morning in the shade. Then I made one last attack on the vignetting by going to "filter">"lens correction" and bumped up the vignette to further darken the corners. I did this to put the background elements more into the shadows making the old Flamed Woody the center of attention. Then I upped the center lighting value some to brighten up the car. Once done I flattened it all with the layers tool and converted to a smaller 72dpi jpeg file for publication here.

The real image is much larger and detailed than this compressed jpeg portrays, but you still get a sense of what the printed image is like.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Open invitation to my Artists Reception 10/14/2010

Mark your calenders, October 14, 2010, 7PM to 9:30PM for my artists reception at Bolt Barbers in Los Angeles. The addy...460 S Spring Street (corner of 5th and Spring) Los Angeles CA. The reception will include a hosted "Candy bar"...perfect to kick off Halloween. There is no need to RSVP as this is open to the public.

It will be held in conjunction with the Downtown LA Art Walk that runs 5-10PM on that day. Be prepared for tight parking. The Hotel Alexandria at 501 S Spring Street has underground valet parking and you can buy discounted parking from the Bolt good at the hotel. Worth every penny to avoid the other more known public lots in the area.

As soon as Bolt has their artists page updated.

The curator of the exhibit, Betsy Matz designed the post cards and chose one of my favorite images to use on the card. "Abandoned Church, Paris" is one of my favorites for many reasons. Chief of which is that its proof that the greatest rewards are when we stray from the beaten path.

We were on a walking tour of the old Jewish quarter when the guide had us change directions and pointed out there was "nothing to see" down this one small street as the church there was being gutted to turn into retail shops etc.,. Fine I kept walking. We rounded a couple more corners and he pointed out again "nothing to see...." and gave the same reason pointing down the general direction we had been. I broke ranks and jogged down the half block and look what I found, this terrific old church, built in the 1500's being gutted. What a wonderful patina to the walls, the rough hewn beams and on the other side of the wall, the church's old courtyard in full spring bloom with Victorian era apartments on the other side.

I had the camera set in seconds for bracketed exposures and shot it with HDR post processing in mind. I used Photomatix for the post processing in to the HDR file and kept it adjusted for photo-realism with maximum detail in the shadows to highlights. Had I not used HDR file generation I would have had either a beautifully exposed courtyard with a blacked out church, or church detail with blown out highlights for the courtyard. Classic win/win that you can get with HDR and keeping it real instead of surreal.

See you at the reception!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Making it look like a toy camera...

Ah, the Diana, that old school "toy camera" that launched a photo revolution for its artsy out of focus and lost edge detail was one I too played with. Not as much as the "art photographers" I hung out with at dear old SIU, I was a commercial photo guy after all and our disciplines were supposed to be at cross purposes. Supposed to be but then again I've always had a hard time staying in the lines.

I stumbled across a tutorial for recreating a "Lomo" style toy camera image today and got to thinking about my long lost Diana and the images it could create. Especially if you shot slide film and had it processed in "negative" film chemicals. The changes in saturation, contrast and a host of other things created images that took advantage of the toy cameras basic "flaws". I got the urge to start recreating those images from razor sharp digital images and see what happened.

See what happened? I took a stock shot from Elephant Rocks I shot while back in MO over the summer. I am pleased with the result.

To get this image I opened a RAW file in CS5 and used the lens correction tools. I ignored the simple corrections for axis and depth of field correction and went straight to the vignetting tool to darken the corners. From there I opened the image and did a save as jpeg so I would have a standard image to work with while experimented.

The next step was to adjust the hue and color to the most natural state I could get and saved.

Next was the "duplicate layer" and let it be labled "background layer" automatically. I adjusted the saturation to more and increased the brightness by a factor of 10, playing around a bit so I kept the corners noticeably darker without blowing out the center as too bright.

Next step was to go to blur and chose lens blur. There I made several changes. I increased the blade curvature and rotation until I got the level of blur that enabled most details to remain, just pick up an overall out of focus, softness to the layer. Specular Highlights was also adjusted, to a factor of 17 for brightness and threshold moved all the way over to 255. Noise remained at 0, distribution was kept as "uniform". From there I hit OK and the PC applied the changes.

The next step was to go to the layers histogram and chose "soft light" as the blending option. This enabled to the softness of the overall background to show through keeping the feel of a toy camera in place.

Of course the easier solution to all of this is to simply find another toy digital camera that has the same "problems" IE poor optics, cheap sensors etc., that by their nature create toy camera images with all their inherent lovable flaws. May have to do that again, imagine the fun of manipulating those images down further!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sistine Culvert

This started out as a decent piece of urban art. Then the taggers arrived and tagged it over so many times that it no longer was art, just a tagging piece. Interesting that they opted to work under a culvert slowly filling it up towards the ceiling almost like the Sistine Chapel. Our little renaissance artists at work?

This is an image shot bracketed with HDR post processing in mind. The HDR File was generated with Photomatix (I keep going back to it as I like it, comfort zone issue likely, but I like the fine tuning tools better still). The HDR file was then processed into 8bit and tone, color adjusted and resized for publication in Adobe's CS5.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Couple of more from the Orton path...

So the romanticism of the orton style got to me today. It got me thinking about some of my older images and how they could be reworked in the Orton style to change the look and feel of the images. So I started digging through the archives and redid these too.

To get there I duplicated the image using Adobe's CS5. The duplicate layer was labeled "background" copy. With that layer I then proceeded to increase the exposure the equivalent of 2 f stops and then through it out of focus with the blur function. The resulting image was then blended with "multiply" to allow both layers to show through. The resulting image was then merged and dumbed down (smaller lower dpi) for easy upload and viewing.

Enjoy "Cemetary Sunset" and "Silent Yard".

Ala Orton : 1960 Oldsmobile Low Rider

I love orton and the way it gives such a soft romantic look to an image. In this case it adds to the old timey romanticism of the antique car that I spotted at a car show this morning. I loved this car and wanted to do more than just document it, I wanted impart some emotion while maintaining its sense of power. Orton to the rescue.

To get there I duplicated the image using Adobe's CS5. The duplicate layer was labeled "background" copy. With that layer I then proceeded to increase the exposure the equivalent of 2 f stops and then through it out of focus with the blur function. The resulting image was then blended with "multiply" to allow both layers to show through. The resulting image was then merged and dumbed down (smaller lower dpi) for easy upload and viewing.

Enjoy 1920 Oldsmobile Lowrider. It does click for a larger image.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Installed at Bolt Barber's Gallery in Downtown LA

Its as official as it will ever be. I've been installed and have 15 Pieces hanging at the Bolt Barber's Gallery in Downtown LA.

The show runs through October 30, 2010. The opening reception should be tied to the Downtown LA Art Walk set for the second Thursday in October. As soon as I have the details will be posted here for you. (Just in case you want to come see me).

This show was curated by Betsy Matz and she did a great job grouping my work and putting it up for display in the Gallery portion of Bolt Barbers.

Deets: Bolt Barbers 460 South Spring Street, Los Angeles CA (5th and Spring for your cross streets). Parking can get pricey and is scarce downtown. However....if you park in the lot under the Hotel Alexandria (501 Spring Street) and purchase a validation at Bolt for $3.00.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Gallery Card Proof

Its' official, am going into the Bolt Barbers Gallery in downtown Los Angels for a nice 2 month run. I"ll be announcing the opening reception as soon as the date has been nailed down. Likely it will be a late opening reception set in conjunction with the Downtown LA Art Walk. Exact date will be announced as soon as I know it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A little life imitating art

Sometimes, just sometimes you manage to get the details right by waiting a bit. Cropping helps too. I spotted the worker on an earlier pass but the shadows weren't right to make the image "work" the way I wanted with the tromp l'oeil on the side of this buidling in Venice Beach that was getting a little touch up work done. A couple of hours passed and lo-and-behold the artist doing the work moved his ladder up higher AND the sun moved enough that the shadows matched direction.
Call it all in the planning for the shadows, stroke of luck with the artist moving his ladder up higher.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Slowing it down has its purpose too

Not everything needs to be frozen in space. Sometimes action photos benefit from slowing down the shutter speed so things in motion blur better conveying their speed than a freeze frame would.

I shot this image with a slow shutter to allow the shark and moving water to blur creating a semi abstract frame. If you look closer you'll notice some spots in the image are still and in focus furthering the illusion of speed and power of the passing shark.

The image was shot at "Shark Reef" at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Worth the price of admission as they control how many people are in the exhibit at one time so you actually get a little time and space to shoot what you want.

This image was processed from a RAW file with Adobe's CS5 and color corrected so it would look "right" when viewed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lion Fish

Aquariums are great places to explore the underwater world without the expense of learning to scuba dive (not to mention the cost to get there).

Shooting in an aquarium has its moments where there are numerous challenges to overcome. Some are easier than others...like unwanted reflections off of the glass. Simply attach a polarizing filter and adjust until the offending reflections are gone. Voila...no one knows you were standing in front of a wall of glass with a horde of others, it looks like you were really up close and personal with no barriers.

This image was processed from RAW with the help of Adobe's CS5. The color tone and temp were adjusted to get read of the hue shifts due to the combination of natural and artificial light sources.
Other than that it is how it appeared through the looking glass there Alice old pal.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day is done...fine tuning with CS5 from RAW Files

For reasons unclear this set of images keep drawing me back to work them differently for different reasons. Maybe its because it was a colorful sunset, something generally lacking here in So Cal unless we have a raging fire somewhere, or because the location has special meaning to me. Not sure, but I keep reworking.

Today I took one of the bracketed exposures and used nearly all the tools available in CS5 "Photography" section to adjust and fine tune exposure, color, hue, lens correction etc to get to this image "Day is Done".

Tonight, July 31st is the second of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Summer Art Walks and it is dedicated to photographers. I'll be there in the Paint n Play Studio and Art Gallery from 7-10PM. IF you see me and are in the mood for a little tipple, just ask as there is a private reception that I can invite anyone I want into at the back of the gallery. The Paint N Play Studio and Gallery is located at 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA. (This is the shameless self promotion portion of this post).

Friday, July 30, 2010

New image for 7/31 MAFA Art Walk

This is among several new images printed just for the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Summer Art Walk being held in Old Town Monrovia this weekend. The image is one of several I shot at Missouri's Elephant Rock State Park earlier this month.

To see me and my other images you're welcome to attend the Free Art Walk dedicated to photographic arts July 31, 7PM-10Pm. I will be in the Paint n Play 2 Art Gallery and Studio located at 418 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia (91016 if you need a zip for google maps).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Surfers in Ventura

Just a couple of quick arty shots from our trip up to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. We took a nice stroll along the sidewalk bordering the ocean near Harbor Blvd in Ventura. Great little spots to just and sit enjoying the ocean and surfers. They even have a nice pier that isn't commercialized like some of the others in the area where you can just walk out and not be annoyed with a dozen vendors hawking stuff....makes for great sea life watching at the base as well as watching surfers from afar.

Sigh...to return from cool oceans breezes to Monrovia's 110+ heat was a bit of a shock. Wish I was back there right about now. With my boogey board.

The two images were post processed to fine tune exposure, contrast and color vibrancy from RAW files using Adobe CS5.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lake Cachuma Valley in panoramic form

So after the long weekend of play back in MO I took off with the better half for a few days of continued play in the South Central Coast area of So CA. Managed to hit the wineries in Solvang (you gotta track down Lion's Peak winery) and Santa Ynez.

What was a bit of a disappointment was that CA State Highway 154 from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara had too few turn outs and vista points where one could really get out and do some shooting in the beautiful hills and valleys. We did find one nice "Vista Point" where we stopped and grabbed a few shots of Lake Cachuma and the surrounding hills and valley, even got this decent panorama stitched from 5 individual frames. You can click to embiggen this image.

Lovin' the ease Adobe's CS5 lets one stitch panoramas together so well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One last Sunset for MO...ala HDR

I kept it "photorealistic" not surreal. The scene was surreal with the sun lighting the bottom of a clearing thunderhead at sunset that it didn't need any further digital help.

To have some detail in the shadows this was shot with rain drops falling bracketed +/-2EV (stops) and the resulting RAW files were run through Photomatix for the HDR file generation. The resulting HDR file was then tonemapped in Adobe's CS5. A little color correction was in order to remove the too much orange reflected from the clouds and voila "Cemetary Sunset" was created.

Elephant Rock State Park and HDR...

Among the spots I hiked was the Elephant Rock's State Park in the Ozarks of Missouri. It is an interesting are where gigantic boulders of granite were exposed after eon's of weathering. On any given day you come across way to many hikers to call it solitude, but even with them in the rocks its a pleasant way to spend some time, they just have a habit of being around to "ruin" shots of the rocks one wants to get for use arty reasons.

All of these were shot bracketed +/- 2 stops (ev's in the digital realm, but what the heck am old school) and from there the RAW files were blended into an HDR file using Adobe's CS5. The tone mapping was also done with CS5 and done so to maintain a photorealistic as opposed to surrealistic image.

Enjoy 3 images from Missouri's Elephant Rocks State Park.

Panoramic images in CS5

Woot its a party at the PC with CS5's multiple options for blending images for panoramas from several shots. You need to play around with them to get to understand how they take images and blend them together. What you need to know is I used "Spherical" as the option and used 3 basic jpeg files to get to the desired image with minimal distortion.

The actual file is HUGE...so I re-sized and dumbed it down to fit into a blog post. Suffice it to say its still a very large image that gives you a sense of the depth and views from atop Tom Sauk Mountain in MO looking over the St Francios Mountain Range that is with the northern Ozarks and is the highest point in all of MO.

Click away for a larger version for your viewing pleasure. I sure do pick nice places to explore over vacations.

Next is the wine growing regions of Santa Barbara County.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Little HDR in the photorealism realm

I shot this from a balcony at the hotel we stayed at for a basketball tournament this last weekend. Pardon the noise....I used a high ISO setting to keep the shutter moving fast(ish).

I did the tonemapping with Photomatix...I like its controls better still than CS5 for capturing fine detail and the ability to micro control contrast.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

HDR Photorealistic option

'Nuff said. It works. Old image that the drop down not only teamed the demons of ultra contrast range but multiple colored light sources. Life is good when you want to be a realist and still use HDR generation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Autochrome and CS5

I can get the feel, but not the same delicate images. I can create grain, but that is part of the equation. The original autochromes had potato starch that was died and outlined with carbon black. I can duplicate the color grains by adding noise and pointillising the image, but I can't get the black outline around the "grains" created in CS5.

I shall keep working on it, but until then here are two images in the style at least to keep me contented that I am on the right track. Once I nail it I'll post the step by step it took me to get there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little orton...of an area now burned out.

Concurrent to the Station Fire that wiped out so much of the Angeles Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains there was the smaller Fellow's Camp fire that did damage as well to the forest. I'll be heading up there in a day or so to see what wild flowers and other green has returned to the area. When I was last up there, much of the west side of the river was burnt to the ground and nothing but ash, but that was January before the rains really came in hard and washed stuff away.

Hopefully there was enough rain to ensure the wild flowers and stuff returned this spring. It will be many years before this view looks the same. Maybe I shall get a pic from the same vantage point and post as a comparison in the coming days? Maybe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another stab at painting...

This is quite the learning curve I am on. Right now am just learning one brush at a time to see what it does. This time around its a wet stiff bristled shorty. So far so good, what my next step after completing the learning about what each brush does...is to learn to combine them on one canvas like a real painter would do.

I have learned its a must to scroll in close and work top to bottom doing back grounds before the foreground or subject matter. It does make it much easier to bring about the feel of a painting.

Out of focus backgrounds are a challenge to blend and I am not completely happy with the result on this.

Iris. I have a ton of them, enjoy just this one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More with the magic brush...wet pick up and bold brush

OK...I haven't decided whether this is a useful tool in my kit or just a novelty. Regardless I am enjoying using it and learning what it can do. I see the potential to apply it to "real photographs" for some spot work as well as making paintings. The latter I think on watercolor paper will help the "painterly" effects even more.

What you see here is the original image and my rudimentary learning on how to use the tool.