Category Archives: Special Effects

Experimenting

Sagebrush – Straight Out of Camera

This is an experiment to try to create an image that was in my mind when I shot this photo.  The above image is the base image I captured.  The sagebrush seems to blend into the background. I lost the 3D feeling that I had when I saw this bush.  I first tried to add structure to the bush and delete structure from the background.  That did not achieve what I wanted.  I then tried black and white.  That merged the brush with the background even more.  I then tried to blur the background.  That looked to “fakey” to me.  I then blended the blurred B&W to the color image to come with the image below.

Sagebrush – Processed

This came the closest to what I saw  in my mind.

Just Trying Something Different

Grass Clump Abstract

Walking along I spotted this interesting clump of grass.  I immediately thought that it would make a great subject for a hand-held circular pan.  It did.  Sometimes things just pop out in front of me.  These usually turn out to be some of my favorite images.

For reference, below is the grass clump with out the pan.  I like the abstract better.

Just a Clump of Grass

Abstract Fun

Colorado Blue Spruce Abstract 1

Sometimes it is just fun to play around with images.  I knew that I would use various ways of post processing when I first took the image.  Here is one version.  Playing around a little more, I came up with the following abstract :

Colorado Blue Spruce Abstract 2

Practice

160725_JapaneseMaple_AntiqueFuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 18mm, f/8.0, 1/550 sec, ISO 800

My photography has not been very creative lately.  When I get this way, I like to walk around and just practice.  I do not have high expectations and just stop to photograph what catches my eye.  I usually do not carry a tripod with me during these practice shoots.  I use them as a scouting inspiration/exploration endeavor to come back and shoot at a better time.  This image was taken in mid-day light at the Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden in Seattle.  I spent 2 to 3 hours just walking around and enjoying the beautiful garden.  I shot for less than an hour.

Once home, I just started playing around with different processing techniques on a few images. Again, more practice.  This was one of the images that caught my eye.  The original image was full of bright yellows, greens, and some oranges.  I almost did not even try black and white processing.  I wasn’t happy with the standard B&W images either, so I decided to experiment (play) some more.  This sepia with a reverse vignette was the result.

Dogwood Impasto

160421_Dogwood ImpastoMultiple Exposure:  Dogwood Blooms and Asphalt Pavement

I got a little bored shooting in the garden.  Nothing was “Popping” for me.  So I thought I would have a little fun with multiple exposures.  This image is a combination of a Pink Dogwood branch and a texture photo of a section of asphalt pavement.  Magic happens.

To finish it off I decided to experiment a little with Topaz Impression.  Here I used the Impasto I preset.  Something a little different.

 

Yakima Arboretum Early Spring IR

160406_Yakima ArboretumCanon XT-IR, Tamron 18-270mm @ 65mm, f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO 400

Cherry trees are in bloom and brilliant green leaves are emerging at the Yakima Arboretum.  It is a great time to get out my old IR converted Canon Rebel XT and try out some IR imagery.  It was a beautiful spring day and I had a little time in the middle of the day to get out and explore.  I chose to work in B&W using Infrared.  The Arboretum was showing its early spring pink and white blooms of the cherries and pears as well as a few trees with emerging brilliant light green leaves.  Tomorrow I will go again with my normal camera.

Christmas at Fonthill – Conclusion

151231_FonthillChristmas_YellowTreeDetail_Impression by Karl Graf. Fonthill Yellow Room Christmas Tree Impressionistic Detail

This image is an impressionistic perspective of yesterday’s post of the Yellow Room Christmas tree detail.  I used Topaz Impressionism plug in to achieve the look.

This posting ends my series on the Fonthill Castle Christmas Decoration Exhibit.  I hope you have enjoyed the series.  I have enjoyed sharing it.

This probably be my last major project at Fonthill.  I will be moving back to the Washington State next Spring.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at Fonthill starting with a workshop led by my good friend John Barclay.  I want to also thank Ed Reidell and the staff at Fonthill for the opportunities to help out.  It was truly my pleasure.  I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tomorrow starts a New Year.  Every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest.

Painted Hills 2

150719_PaintedHills & Field by Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 62mm, f/11, 1/350 sec, ISO 400

Driving up to Oregon’s Painted Hills, I saw this pastoral scene and stopped to capture the feeling.  It was “high noon” and the sun was bright, but I still wanted to give it a try.  To recreate the feeling I had, I processed the image in Topaz’s Impression and added a little texture in Photoshop.  Who say’s you can’t make good images in bright noon day sun!

More Fallen Cherry Blossoms – New Perspectives

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-1 by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkII, EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 60mm, f/11, 1/20 sec, ISO 200

Fallen cherry blossoms covered the ground beneath the trees.  I was able to get a few images before the lawn mowing gang cut the grass and swept away the beautiful blooms.  The past few weeks are typically my favorite weeks in the garden each year.  For a few days we are lucky to have the flowering pears, flowering plum, flowering crab apple, and flowering cherries all in bloom at the same time. It is peaceful and beautiful in the garden.

The image below is a new perspective using multiple exposures while zooming out.

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-2 by Karl Graf.

A different look is achieved by a long exposure and a zoom pan as seen below.

150513_More Fallen Cherry Blossoms-3 by Karl Graf.

Which one catches your eye?  I like them all.

 

Fallen Cherry Blossoms – A Different Perspective

150512_Fallen Cherry Blossoms_ME2-2 by Karl Graf.

Impressionistic Cherry Blossoms.

I was having a lot of fun creating multiple exposures and just experimenting with various artistic ways of processing images when I came up with this combination.  I first started out taking individual images of fallen cherry blossoms.  I then experimented with multiple exposures (5 exposures in this case).  I then further experimented with different artistic presets in Topaz Impression (Georgia O’Keefe II) to arrive at this image.

For reference, below is the 5 image multiple exposure:

150512_Fallen Cherry Blossoms_ME1 by Karl Graf. Canon 5D MkIII, EF24-70mm f/2.8L @ 70mm, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 200 (5 exposures)

Lesson Learned:  Enjoy experimenting, you can never tell what you can come up with!