Archive for the ‘Digital Art’ Category

Evolution of an Image   Leave a comment

Exactly two years ago, on July 4, 2010, I talked an employee from the Pittsburgh Convention Center into unlocking a door and letting me onto the convention center roof.  My goal was to photograph the back of a building across the street.  It is a somewhat distressed building with a rickety fire escape seven or eight stories up.  I got the shots that I wanted, but until today never did much work on them.  Here is one — after a couple of hours of fiddling around — that meets the gritty urban image I imagined when I took the photos.  The sequence of files and conversions to get to this final version is shown below.

(Above) Final image.

(Above)  Original image with no adjustments.

(Above)  Original image, cropped, converted to black and white, and adjusted for contrast / brightness / sharpness, using Adobe Lightroom 4.

(Above)  This texture layer was then blended with the photo in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Texture layer provided by “~fabricate-stock” via his/her Deviant Art account.  (Deviant Art, as bad as it sounds, is a great place to find texture layers and photo frames).

(Above)  Black and white photo after texture layer is applied.

(Above)  The image was again imported back into Adobe Lightroom 4 and converted to monochrome using the “Antique Photo” preset, along with a bit more contrast.

Posted July 4, 2012 by ~ Bruce in America in Decline, Digital Art

Color Negative   Leave a comment

At Central Market (as usual) on the weekend, but it was too hot even for the musicians to bother coming downtown to play.  So while sitting on one of the benches I looked at the renovations in progress at a store across the street.  One window had nothing but a mannequin and a planter in the window.  Bored, I took a half-hearted dozen or so images.  Then back at the computer I decided to experiment a bit and ended up creating a high-contrast, soft-focus color negative — just for fun.  I kind of like the result.  Or maybe I was just desperate to salvage an image — any image — after sitting in the 90+ degree heat.

Anyway, Melanie thinks the string of images are a bit “pervy”.  Hannah said, “Mom, it’s art.”  I’m going with Hannah’s assessment, but I’m posting only the G-Rated one.

Posted June 30, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art

Cape May Jetty   Leave a comment

This is an HDR (high dynamic range) stack of 3 photos taken last year during a very overcast morning in Cape May, New Jersey.  I wanted to get the fisherman’s red hat and sweatshirt to really stand out, and I wanted the wide tonality and contrast of an HDR photo.  The three photos were hand held and taken in quick succession (less than half a second).  I then combined them in Photomatix software and adjusted brightness, contrast and saturation.

For those familiar with the area, this is a jetty where the Cape May – Lewes ferry comes in and departs.

Posted March 25, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Travel Photography

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A Different Kind of Color Iso   Leave a comment

My other color isolation photos have all been flowers.  Nice, but predictable.  This morning I was out and around the city as usual when I captured this shot of a young red-headed guy listening to a couple of street musicians.  But when I downloaded and viewed the image my reaction was kind of “blah”.  So I decided to isolate what caught my attention in the first place — that tangle of ginger hair.  Using Adobe Lightroom 3 and Topaz B&W Effects I was able to darken and desaturate everything but the hair.  Not an award winner but a more interesting image this way, I think.



Posted March 10, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, People

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Color Isolation   Leave a comment

Another color isolation image.  This one from an older photo that I took at King’s College in Cambridge, England.  I muted the bright orange color of the flowers a bit, and slightly warmed the black and white background.

For anyone interested, the color isolation was done in Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, and is easy to do.  Here is a link to the tutorial that I used.

Posted February 18, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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A Shout Out for Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art   2 comments

I have been struggling for a while to get high quality prints of my photos.  First I tried doing my own inkjet printing, with decidedly mixed results.  Then I tried a couple of the big cookie-cutter online print shops, again with mixed results.  The problem — as most photographers will relate to — was controlling the color management process from camera to final print.  My self-made prints always seemed to end up with an unwanted color cast.  And with the online shops I ended up having to crop my photos to fit their standard sizes, or pay dearly for custom sizes.

A few weeks ago I did a web search on “gallery wraps Lancaster” and received the usual 257,000 hits on Google.  But one of them was Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art in Wrightsville — a short 15 minute drive across the river on Route 30 from where I live.  What immediately set them apart was that owners Dan and Shawn are photographers (and darn good ones, too).  This, I knew, was what I was looking for — a print shop owned by photographers.  Guys who printed their own work for exhibition, who could help me control the color management process, and make suggestions on everything ranging from contrast to paper selection to display.

I spent an hour talking photography, archival papers, and printing with Dan and Shawn last week.  I left a file with them, and I picked up the print today.  It is a beautifully done print.  Exact colors, spot-on exposure, and perfectly displayed (I ordered a canvas gallery wrap).  Dan even mirrored the edges of the image where it wraps around the frame, so I lost none of the image on the face of the print.

If you struggle getting high quality archival prints for your images, I highly recommend Vulcania Graphics & Fine Art.  Check out their website and give them a call.

Oh yeah, the image that I had them print is below.  It is a black and white except for the red blooms that I isolated and saturated.


Posted February 16, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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One Photo, Three Variations   Leave a comment

One traditional photo, one “photo art”, and one black and white (based on the “photo art” image).  This is why I spend hours at my computer, playing with various software options.  The photo is from a courtyard in Santa Fe, NM.

Some day I will print out the black & white version and try hand-coloring it.  I should have paid more attention in Mr. Merckel’s art classes in high school.


Posted February 9, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art

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Texture Layers — Something New   Leave a comment

Thanks to some new software that my son, Eric, gave me for Christmas here is a first attempt to add texture layers to an old photo.

Posted January 15, 2012 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art

A Glimpse At The Past   Leave a comment

I tried to give this photo the look of an old grainy and hand-colored print.

Posted July 23, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Seascapes

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Playing Bass, Talking Football   Leave a comment

A photo from this past weekend.  This gent plays his bass guitar to an accompanying boom box all over town.  He loves to talk music and Philadelphia Eagles football.

Digital art effect applied via Topaz Simplify “Neutralizer”.


Posted July 11, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, People

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Midnight Guitar   Leave a comment

Photo from a store on King Street in Lancaster.  Processed with Topaz Adjust software.

Posted June 8, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art

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Canal Swan, Surrey, England   Leave a comment

A photo with a digital art effect (via Topaz Simplify) to give it a more painterly look.

The place where we lived in England — Weybridge, Surrey — had nearby canals where people traveled in and stored their canal boats.  There were also many swans gliding around the smooth waters.  The shaded banks and dark waters made a perfect backdrop for the white swans.  I was able to catch a little late-afternoon light on this one, making it a “keeper” photo.

Posted June 4, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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Queen Anne’s Lace   2 comments

A “nice” photo that I gave a bit more pop with some digital art application, via Topaz Simplify.  I think the  painting effect and color saturation works well with this digitally altered image.

The original photo was taken in our meadow near Charlottesville, VA.

Posted May 26, 2011 by ~ Bruce in Digital Art, Nature and Wildlife

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