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Posts Tagged ‘fractalius’

 

Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

On Tuesday October 16th at 8:00 p.m., which is tomorrow evening, I will be presenting at the Country Images Camera Club’s October meeting. If you happen to be in the area feel free to drop by for the presentation and do say hello if you do. The presentation will cover numerous inspiring landscape locations that may be found throughout the province of Ontario, many of which can be found in the eBook ‘A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape‘ written by yours truly :) I will also be presenting how I photograph frogs and toads, winter songbirds, tips for captive wildlife photography, and also my techniques for creating inspiring artistic renditions of some of my most cherished photos.

The Country Images Camera Club presentation will be held at the:

Art Ferguson Building

16195 Bayview Avenue in Newmarket, Ontario @ 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16th (tomorrow evening)

Hope to see you there!

Please remember to click on each of the images in this post to see the larger, sharper version.

Oxtongue River Blur

Junkyard Grunge

Rosseau River

Poison Dart Frog Fractalius

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Lionfish – Glow 100 preset

A few weeks ago I made a trip to the Toronto Zoo for a fun day of photographing animals from all around the world. While meandering my way around the zoo, I thought that many of these animals would make wonderful subjects for the photoshop plugin Fractalius by Redfield Plugins, so after arriving back at home I immediatelybegan playing around with some of the presets and adjusted the sliders to taste until I came up with this assortment of fractalius renderings. When I use the Fracatlius plugin I always apply it’s effect on a duplicate layer. This is done for two reasons. First it allows my to mask back in the eye(s) so that the filter has no effect on the eye(s) and secondly, I may want to reduce the overall effect of the filter and the easiest way to do so is to reduce the opacity of the layer to which the Fractalius effect is on. Most often I go straight for the ‘Glow 100′ or the ‘Rounded’ presets as these are my favorites to use. I have indicated below each image which preset I selected, however, the effect was achieved by adjusting the sliders to taste. Please note, this fun and addictive plugin is only available for folks using Windows and is available for purchase here.

Hope you enjoy this collection of artistic renderings from my Fractalius addiction and naturally I could not resist the temptation to include a frog image from the zoo too :)

Please take a moment to let me know which is your favorite and why.

Waxy Monkey Treefrog – Rounded preset

Gorilla – Rounded preset

Gaboon Viper – Rounded preset

Meller’s Chameleon – Glow 100 preset

African Penguin – Glow 100 preset

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Toad Skin Fractalius

It seems like over the last couple of weeks I have been playing a game of cat and mouse with the American Toads (Bufo americanus) that have been chorusing on and off due to the roller coaster ride we have been having with the temperatures. It feels like today they are singing loud and proud in the warm night air, and then tomorrow, when the mercury drops, they have gone back into hibernation. In between my excursions out to the pond over the last couple of weeks I have been doing lots of research and writing for the latest eBook I have begun writing, not to mention helping my daughter recover from a recent flu bug as well as getting over the same flu bug myself. During my toad quests, after capturing a few horizontal and vertical compositions of some of the toads I began to play around with some extreme close-ups of their beautifully textured skin and couldn’t resist the temptation to process one of the images with Fractalius – as seen above. Of all the various species of frogs and toads that I have photographed so far the American Toads are most certainly among my favorites. The males, when calling, seems to have a tough guy attitude, but their antics are also quite comical. If you put your hand or fingers near them when they are singing, and their hormones are going full strength, they will often grab hold of your hand or finger with incredible strength thinking that they have found a female toad. It makes me laugh everytime.


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I have put together a collection of my favorite images of 2011. This year, however, I am doing two top tens. One for my Fractalius renditions and the other for a mix of my landscape and wildlife photographs.

TOP TEN LANDSCAPE AND WILDLIFE IMAGES FOR 2011

Gray Treefrog Singing

Old Woman Bay on Lake Superior

Sunrise on small lake along the Seguin Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario

Ice on Lake Ontario at sunset, Toronto, Ontario

Balls Falls on the Niagara Escarpment, Ontario

Common Loon with chick, Horseshoe Lake, Ontario

Katherine Cove on Lake Superior

Hoarfrost on tree near Thornton, Ontario

Daybreak on Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

Melanistic/Genetic variant of Green Heron

As it would turn out the above image of the green heron is considered to be the first record for such abbarent plumage for green herons.

FRACTALIUS RENDITIONS TOP 10 FOR 2011

Bracken Fern

American Toad

Winter Sugar Maples at dusk

Black-capped Chickadee

Icicles

Common Loon

Snowdrift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Raccoon

Gray Treefrog

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Wishing you and your families all the best at this time of year and for the year ahead!

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Bracken Fern

While playing around with the Fractalius plugin for photoshop, I wanted to see what effect the filter had on some of my recent leaf detail images that I had been shooting. I used my 105 macro lens to zero in on the vein structures of the leaves. After optimizing the images I opened them up in the Fractalius interface and used the ‘Glow 100′ and the ‘Rounded’ presets to achieve the desired results. Hope you like these artistic renderings. Let me know which is your favorite and why?

Sugar Maple Leaf

Autumn Red Oak Leaf

Sugar Maple Leaf

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Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

After my early morning paddle on the Horseshoe Lake I would return to the cottage for a hearty breakfast and black coffee. I like having my coffee out on the deck only this time I decided to attached a small twig to the hummingbird feeder and try my hand at shooting hummingbirds. The above image represents the best pose I captured during the week, however the original capture is a smidge out of focus. Being familiar with how Fractalius handles image detail I knew I could apply a contrast mask to the hummingbird and then apply the Fractalius plugin to the image and it would be just fine as an artistic rendering of this Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

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Above is the original version of a dewy spider web I shot while canoeing through a wetland on Horseshoe Lake. I was immediately drawn to the way that the dead, lichen covered, black spruce branch was framing this particular web. I also knew that once I returned home and began processing my images that this was going to be a good candidate for the photoshop plugin Fractalius. below you will see my two alternate versions of this image with the Fractalius filter applied. Which do you prefer?

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White Admiral Butterfly

Yesterday afternoon while I was out playing in the backyard with my daughter and our dog Koko I found a newly emerged White Admiral butterfly. Newly emerged butterflies make perfect subjects as their wings are in pristine condition and they are unable to fly. I gently nudged this one onto my finger and placed it on the rudbeckia blossom in the garden, grabbed my camera a shot many photos. After reviewing the images today, this one stood out as one of my favorites of the day. I also thought that this image would make a lovely base image for my favorite filter for creative effect – Fractalius. Below you will see the Fractalius version as well as a few other photographs that I have applied this filter too.

White Admiral Fractalius

Green Frog Fractalius

Great Horned Owl (captive) Fractalius

Common Loon Fractalius

Atlantic Phase Brown Pelican Fractalius (Cayo Largo, Cuba)

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Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area at sunrise

Several days ago I drove over to Tiny Marsh for sunrise. I was greeted with a cloudless sky, not the most pleasing of situations for sunrise imagery. However, I ventured out across the wetland trails to see what might develop. As the sun rose above the horizon I captured a few images, minimizing the cloudless sky and allowing the wetland vegetation to dominate much of the image. Shortly after this I decided to walk out along the boardwalk trail to search for my favorite wildlife subjects – frogs. The boardwalk goes through a forested swampy section of  Tiny Marsh. My timing for this was perfect as there were many young Leopard Frogs at rest on fallen branches and resting among the duckweed in the water. I spent the next three or four hours shooting frogs. Since the frogs were in rather unpleasant lighting situations with the blazing sun casting harsh shadows as it streamed through the surrounding forest I decided to use my Nikon SB-400 on a home-made flash bracket to illuminate the scene. When I shoot frogs I always try to get down to their level if possible, so in this situation I lay down on the boardwalk to get as low as possible. The use of the flash solved the harsh, contrasting lighting, but it created another problem that I dislike very much – flash generated specular highlights. So began the task of eliminating these from the images. Often I will work on a photo very large (500-800%) to evict the highlights. I often use a variety of quick masks and clone stamp to complete this task. Due to the glossy, wet look of the amphibian`s skin this can sometimes be a time consuming task, taking 1-2 hours per image on occasion. I do find the extra effort is well worth the end result and when I complete the task why not try running through the photoshop plugin Fractalius.

Below you will see one of my Leopard Frog images from this day showing the original capture, the optimized file and of course the Fractalius rendering.

On another note, I have started a Facebook fan page today, still lots of work to do on it, but you may check it out here .

Original Capture

Optimized Image

Fractalius Version

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