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Archive for the ‘Creative Visions’ Category

Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Pukaskwa National Park Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Ontario’s Pukaskwa National Park
Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

 

Recently I was given the opportunity to try some overlays by Sleeklens on my landscape imagery. I was drawn to the Light Leaks and Light Rays overlays for their effectiveness in regards to enhancing the sun for a “natural” creative look. When the right image is chosen to apply one of these overlays the result can be pleasing and not over-the-top in terms of it’s creative effect.

In the fisheye scene above of Hattie Cove on Lake Superior in Ontario’s Pukaskwa National Park I composed the early morning scene to catch a sunburst effect with the fisheye lens. By applying a Light Rays overlay I was able to give the sunburst a more pronounced and dramatic appearance within the scene. Converting the image to black & white was not my initial intention but I felt it brought the image together for a natural look.

In the below photograph of a misty morning on Horseshoe Lake near Parry Sound, Ontario I chose to apply the same Light Rays overlay that was used in the Hattie Cove image above. Once the overlay is brought into Photoshop I can easily maneuver the rays around using the Move Tool or the Transform Tool. Since the overlay is on its own layer the Opacity of that layer can be adjusted to taste easily as well. Here I chose to reduce the opacity significantly so that the rays of light were just becoming visible through the misty conditions of the morning.

Misty Morning Sunrise on Horseshoe Lake. Parry SOund, Ontario Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Misty Morning Sunrise on Horseshoe Lake. Parry Sound, Ontario
Sleeklens Light Rays Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Below is a photo created along the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail in the town of Parry Sound, Ontario with a Light Leaks overlay applied. This image would express the most creative use I applied, but I do like the added interest it gives to this mid-day scene. To created the desaturated look to this image I originally was creating a B&W conversion in Nik’s Silver Effects 2 but later decided to reduce the opacity of the Silver Effects to bring back a touch of colour to the image.

Georgian Bay Rugger Hiking Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario Sleeklens Light Leaks Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail. Parry Sound, Ontario
Sleeklens Light Leaks Overlay Applied for Creative Effect

While these Light Rays and Light Leaks overlays may not be everybody’s cup of tea, they do work for me when applied to the right situation. I often create artistic renderings of many of my landscape and wildlife imagery and the Sleeklens overlays now give me another option in my toolkit to utilize along the creative pathway. If you also like to explore the artistic / creative rendering side of your imagery, then you may also find the Sleeklens Photoshop Overlays to be a useful tool and rewarding option too.

 

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American Toad (Bufo americanus) Artistic Rendering Using Topaz Glow

American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Artistic Rendering using Topaz Labs Glow – Glow Wire Preset

I have been very busy over the last few weeks with print sales, writing projects, and household renovations. Each of the images in this post have had an artistic rendering applied to them by using the Photoshop plug-in Glow by Topaz Labs. To check out various examples of what this great plug-in is capable of doing please have a look at the Topaz website by clicking here. I was very hesitant to give Topaz Glow a try when it was first released several months ago because I was so accustomed to using the Fractalius plug-in available from Redfield Plugins, however, with the release of the newest version of Fractalius I was very disappointed and found it virtually impossible to create my most favorite frog fracts that I used to do. With Topaz Glow I feel that my artistic frog imagery has been given new life and that I am able to create effects that I was never able to create with the Fractalius software. I was able to create a couple of nice custom settings with the new version of Fractalius, but do feel that I will revert to my older versions for my most favorite custom presets that were featured in the eBook Fractastic, which I co-wrote with the very talented Denise Ippolito.

Please click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper version and let me know what you think of these Topaz Glow amphibian creations🙂

American Toad (Bufo americanus) Topaz Glow Fur & Feathers II Preset

American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Artistic Rendering using Topaz Labs Glow – Fur & Feathers II Preset

 

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) Topaz Labs Glow - Heavy Metal Preset

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Artistic Rendering using Topaz Labs Glow – Heavy Metal Preset

 

Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix)  Topaz Labs Glow - Fur & Feathers II Preset

Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix)
Artistic Rendering using Topaz Labs Glow – Fur & Feathers II Preset

 

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) Topaz Labs Glow - Glow Wire Preset

Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Artistic Rendering using Topaz Labs Glow – Glow Wire Preset

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Winter Details at Hatchery Falls in Muskoka, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds

Winter Details at Hatchery Falls in Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 180mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.6 seconds

I am looking forward to departing this bitterly cold winter soon for the warmth of the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac, but thought I would share a few winter detail images that I recently processed while I finish-up on some of my much needed tasks prior to my departure. Some of these photos were created last winter, but I did not have time to edit them until recently. For each of these images I used my old Nikon 80-400mm VR lens to zoom in on some of the interesting details that can be found within the winter landscape.

One more week of cold temperatures to endure🙂 I have been in contact with some of the folks I met last year on Cayman Brac and can’t wait to get down there to photograph the Brown Booby’s with chicks as they have been hatching over the past week!

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River in Muskoka, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Winter Details Along the Skeleton River in Muskoka, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 185mm
ISO 100, f16 @ 0.5 seconds

Frozen Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR lean @ 135mm ISO 800, f29 @ 1/125 sec. Handheld

Frozen Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400 mm VR lean @ 135mm
ISO 800, f29 @ 1/125 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber bay Park, Toronto Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 135mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/640 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 135mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/640 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber bay Park, Toronto, Ontario Nikon D800, Nion 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/250 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 400mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/250 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 240mm ISO 800, f16 @ 1/800 sec. Handheld

Frozen Lake Details on Lake Ontario at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-400mm VR lens @ 240mm
ISO 800, f16 @ 1/800 sec. Handheld

 

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Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario

Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail, Parry Sound, Ontario

I have been busy preparing for an upcoming presentation for The Trillium Photographic Club, which will be held on Tuesday November 11th at 7:30 p.m. at the East Plains United Church, Peart Hall located at 375 Plains Road East in  Burlington, Ontario. The cost to non-members to attend the presentation is $5. Also note that my eBook ‘A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape‘ which is the only extensive resource for landscape photography in Ontario, will be available for purchase at a reduced presentation special of $20.

Above is a B&W conversion of an earlier posted image that I created on the Georgian Bay Rugged Hiking Trail with a Sigma Fisheye lens. And below is a B&W conversion of a fisheye view of Hatchery Falls in Ontario’s Muskoka Region, which was also featured in day one of my entries to the Five Day Black and White Challenge on Facebook. To connect with me on Facebook please click here.

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario

Hatchery Falls on the Skeleton River, Muskoka, Ontario

And for stunning autumn color I could not resist the temptation to create an artistic rendering using Topaz Labs Simplify plug-in for Adobe Photoshop for a woodland seen from Muskoka, Ontario which is famous for it’s impressive displays of fall color.

Muskoka Woodland in Autumn - Topaz Impression

Muskoka Woodland in Autumn – Topaz Simplify

I have also been enjoying experimenting with the new Photoshop plug-in available from Topaz Labs – Impression. I just love the painterly effects that can be created and artistic renderings I am able to create with the software. Below are a few of my first creations.

Please do click on each image to view the larger, sharper version.

Hatchery Falls - Topaz Impression

Hatchery Falls – Topaz Impression

Rusty Old Wreck - Topaz Impression

Rusty Old Wreck – Topaz Impression

The Three Amigos - Topaz Impression

The Three Amigos – Topaz Impression

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An Intimate View of Muskoka's Rosseau River

An Intimate View of Muskoka’s Rosseau River

 

A couple of days ago friend and colleague Kyle McDougall posted a very inspiring short film on his blog. Kyle is a very talented photographer, filmmaker, and cinematographer. The film is centered around landscape painter Terry Gill, who creates very impressive works of art in a unique style. Please do follow this link to Kyle’s blog post and scroll down to the video, click the white triangle to hear Terry’s message. I think you will be glad you did🙂

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A Waterfall Along the Nottawasaga River, Organgeville, Ontario

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario

The above artistic rendering of a small waterfall located along the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario was created using the Photoshop plug-in Topaz Simplify, which is available from Topaz Labs. I visited this waterfall a few years ago and have had the image sitting on the back-burner ever since. This evening I decided it was time to optimize the image file and play around with creating a painterly-like version of it as well. Below you will see the original version of this lovely, secluded waterfall.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River. Orangeville, Ontario.

Secluded Woodland Waterfall on the Nottawasaga River near Orangeville, Ontario.

In other news: the May issue of the Creative Photography E-Mini-Magazine (The Mini-Mag) is now available on-line here. This wonderful, absolutely free, on-line creative photography magazine is published monthly by Denise Ippolito. Do check out this magazine that is full of useful and creative tips and to see the latest froggie article by yours truly click here.

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Old Boat_8532

While vacationing in the Cayman Islands, on the island of Cayman Brac I often passed this old wooden boat along the road on the south side of the island. I could not help myself but to create a low perspective, wide angle composition that I could bring home to play around with for that grungy look. After making the required tweaks in ACR and performing a bit of image clean-up for dust bunnies and such I opened the image in Nik / Google’s Color Efex 4 and selected the Detail Extractor tool. Using a heavy hand I enhanced the detail to a slightly grunge look and applied the results. Next I opened the image a second time the exact same way to apply the Detail Extractor Tool a second time. This is my lazy-HDR technique when I am seeking that grungy effect. I often use this technique for my Rusty Old Wrecks gallery, which is on my Smugmug page. Please do click here to view this gallery too.

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