Snow and Adobe Photo

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Here’s what I started with – a decent photo with great light and dark balance, and crisp focus. There is some good texture and a so-so composition. It’s somewhat banal, but I was attracted by the light-dark balance and I loved those rose hips holding up their weight in snow caps. With the sunlight, it’s a warm picture despite the snow. I hesitated to show you this photo because it’s not stellar but it provides context.

I also took this next photo, by focusing in, selecting a portion of the image above.

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There are things that annoy me about this photo, so I chose it to modify through Adobe Photo, hoping to find the painterly qualities I was looking for when I took the painting. I did some adjustments with the Image (drop down menu to Adjustments, Colour Balance, Hue/Saturation, Desaturation and Brightness Contrast). I also explored the Filter drop down tools which are found at the top of the screen. In this section, you just have to try each offering to see if any will do things that you want them to do.

Here’s the same image desaturated:

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And here’s one, much similar, where I’ve erased out the garage door and given it a solid background,aa-270a-paint-background-small.jpg

This next one I pushed the colour all the way into the blue range. You do it by going to Image, Adjustments, Colour Balance:aa-270a3-small.jpg

These next ones, I explored some of the Filter options – Graphic Pen, Notepaper and Sketch Charcoal:

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Notepaper:

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and Sketch/Charcoal

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My last one to share with you is this one in colour. After all that subdued colour, this one’s a blast! I got there through Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation and its the Saturation scale that I used to get to this colour extravaganza.

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It doesn’t matter what tools or equipement you are using to produce images. For whatever your chosen media, you need to explore and familiarize yourself with them to understand what they bring to the equation of your art work.

Some would say that this computer manipulation of images is not art work, but each time you save something because you like it, you are making a visual decision. The mark of whether it is a good one or a neutral/banal one or a decidedly bad one is up to you and your critics.

The same goes for watercolours – your choice of brushes, paper whether smooth or rough, and brands of pigments will all make a difference to what you can produce. You need to explore them thoroughly to know what works best and most comfortably for you. Only once you are comfortable and at liberty with it will the images flow as if they were done by magic instead of a painstaking hand. I often come back to the image of the figure skater who seems to perform with the greatest of ease, but the apparent simplicity is backed up by a lifetime of practice and pushing the limits for excellence.

And so it goes for each media that we choose to express ourselves with.

With that, I’m going off to my materials to play. See you later!

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