I just got a new B&W conversion SW plug-in (Macphun Tonality). I picked out some photos of the beach near Bandon, Oregon to work on. I played around to explore some of the secondary features. After converting to B&W I added a “misty/dreamy” look. I then added a paper texture and a vignette. Sometimes I just need to play to get my creative juices flowing.
I recently visited the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens, near Hilo, Hawaii. My mission was to photograph creatively. I did not focus on the overall beauty of the environment around me. My focus was on separate scenes, small vignettes, and macro detail while using creative photographic techniques.
For this image, I took multiple exposures covering the range from the bright water and sky to the dark shadows. When I brought them together into an HDR, all the tonalities were captured. However, I lost the feeling of the dense tropical rainforest setting. So I decided to play a little with Topaz’s new ‘Studio” software. I used the watercolor effect to create this image.
I haven’t given up on the natural presentation of this image yet. It will require a lot of luminance masking with layers to get the natural image that I saw in my mind. I will do this at a future time when I am in a very patient mood.
As I look at things, an urge to play sometimes comes over me. I couldn’t resist, the devil made me do it. I simply did a slow shutter speed circular swirl to capture this interesting abstract. I tend to see these abstracts when I notice an object with at clear center point and things radiation out from the center. This sagebrush provided an interesting opportunity. The following is the sagebrush from a normal perspective.
I enjoy play!
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.
This came the closest to what I saw in my mind.
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.
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.
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.
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.