Posts Tagged ‘artistic renderings’

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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American Toad (male) chorusing in wetland at night. Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec Handheld

American Toad (male) chorusing in wetland at night.
Nikon D800, Nikon 105mm Micro Lens
Nikon Speedlight SB400 on a Wimberley F-2 Macro Bracket
ISO 100, f22 @ 1/60 sec

It has been quite some time since I have played around with the Photoshop Plug-in Fractalius. On October 15th a new version of Fractalius was released (Version 2.51) and I decided I would upgrade to this version and give it a try. I have always loved using the previous versions of Fractalius to created artistic renderings of my frog and toad imagery, so it was only natural that I select such an image to experiment with this latest version. Above is an image of a male American Toad (Bufo americanus) with it’s vocal sac fully inflated while chorusing in a wetland at night during last spring’s breeding season. Below is the same toad image as it appearred in the Fractalius software interface page. Please note the slider settings if you wish to try such an effect out on one of your own images. Once I was happy with my slider adjustment settings I saved these settings as a custom preset, calling it “Glow Wire For Frogs,” so that I can recall the same settings for any future images that I wish to apply a similar effect too.

Fractalius Version 2.51 Interface

Fractalius Version 2.51 Interface

And below you will see the final version of the Fractalius rendering on the American Toad image. If you look closely you wil notice that I have erased the effect of the Fractalius filter from the toad’s eyeball, allowing the natural eye to be visible.

American Toad With Fractalius Rendering Applied

American Toad With Fractalius Rendering Applied


While this effect may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it can be fun to play around and experiment with various effects and ideas. What do you think of this American Toad rendering?

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Fractastic-Guide-Cover-1A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter

I am pleased to announce the release of Fractastic – A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter. It was an honor to be invited by the very talented and highly creative Denise Ippolito to co-write this eGuide. Denise was very instrumental in developing my creative, artistic rendering side.

Fractalius is a Windows only Photoshop plug-in (Mac users will need to run Bootcamp, Parallels or VM Ware to use (please click here to learn more). I have often described Fractalius as addictive and a ton of fun to use. The Redfield Fractalius Filter creates eccentric works of art as it extracts the so-called hidden fractals found within photographs. It is important to note that this filter will react differently from image-to-image based on the hidden fractals present within those images.

A very special thank-you and acknowledgement to both Arthur Morris and Cheryl Slechta for their skillfull editing and proofreading. And also for their image contributions to the Gallery section of this creative user guide.

From Arthur Morris:

Denise Ippolito gave Fractalius a huge boost in popularity about three years ago as moderator of the Out-of-the-Box Forum at BirdPhotographers.net. One of those whom she introduced to Fractalius was Andrew McLachlan who since wrote the popular “Ontario Landscapes – A Photographers Guide” for BAA Books. Denise came up with the idea of teaming up with Andrew to write and illustrate a Fract eGuide more than a year ago. The spectacular result: Fractastic.

In this fantastic eGuide the authors begin by explaining the usually mystifying Fractalius interface in clear, easy-to-understand terms. They even managed to make sense of the Colorize Mode button and the two large Asterisks at the top of the interface. The main body of the guide consists of more than two dozen intriguingly beautiful Fracted images with explanatory notes and screen captures of the settings that Andrew and Denise used to create their artistic works. You can use these settings to replicate the various effects that they have developed. Many of their creations are based on Fractalius pre-sets. The guide will teach you how to effectively apply many of the Fractalius pre-sets and how to create and save your own. The final section is an inspirational gallery of more than 35 superb Fracted images by Andrew, Denise, yours truly, and Cheryl Slechta who helped with the final proofreading.

You can purchase your copy of Fractastic for $27 here or via email to: birdsasart@verizon.net  being sure to note that you are paying for “Fractastic” or by calling Jim at Birds As Art at 863-692-0906 during regular business hours. A download link to Your eGuide will be sent via YouSendIt. Weekend and holiday orders will be fulfilled the next working day.

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Winter Tree Fractalius ArtFlakes_4629-4

Fractalius Rendering of  Winter Tree

Fractalius is a Photoshop plug-in that is both fun and highly addictive. The winter tree above was photographed on a slightly foggy morning just down the road from my home. Often during periods of winter fog or hoarfrost I will jump in the car and go for a drive down some of the rural roads in search of pleasing subjects. For the fractalius treatment above I chose the ‘ArtFlakes’ preset as a starting point. I was quite pleased how the Artflakes preset picked up on the greenish lichen that covered much of the tree’s larger branches. Finishing touches were applied to the image using Nik Software’s Color Efex 4 Detail Extractor filter.

To find out more about photographing winter trees be sure to take a look at my latest article in Denise Ippolito’s ‘Creative Photography eMiniMagazine’ and while you are there be sure to check out the other great articles by the many talented contributors.

On another note: Denise Ippolito and I have completed working on an eGuide to using the Fractalius plug-in which should be published in the near future by Arthur Morris. The guide is loaded with many images with the Fractalius rendering applied to them, and we will be including both the before and after versions of each image, as well as our custom presets that we frequently use to achieve our desired results.

Do remember to click on the photo to see the larger, sharper version.

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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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Handheld Petunia Blur

A couple of weeks ago while I was out running some errands I passed a beautiful flower garden at the entrance to a golf course. The garden was full of various colored Petunias and other annual garden flowers. Since I usually have my camera with me I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull the car off on the shoulder and shoot some blurs. The sunlight was very harsh. It was about 12 noon without a cloud in the sky. I quickly put my polarizing filter and 3-stop neutral density filter to bring my exposure times down to a second or so. Using a variety of camera movements I spent about half an hour creating several different blurs. Shooting blurs is kinda like opening presents on Christmas morning – you never know what you’ll get.

Handheld pan blur of Petunias and Celosia

The Gerbera Daisy image below were shot on the dining room table with my 105 mm macro lens and exposure times of roughly 15 seconds. While exposing the blossom I simply jiggled the stem of the flower.

Gerbera Daisy blur

The next image of the same Gerbera Daisy is an artistic rendering of an in focus blossom. I applied a touch of zoom blur in photoshop and then selected the psychedelic preset from Topaz Labs Adjust 4 and tweaked the settings with the sliders to get the desired effect.

Gerbera Daisy Artistic Rendering

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Gibson J200 – Nik Software’s ‘Infrared Thermal Camera’

I often play around with various images with the filters available in Photoshop or available plugins to see what artistic renditions I might come up with. Here is a collection of some of my more recent creations, captioned with the filter used to obtain the effect as presented.

American Toad – Fractalius ‘Glow 100’

Gray Treefrog – Fractalius ‘Glow 100’

Fargo Truck – Nik Software’s ‘Tonal Contrast’

Raccoon – Fractalius ‘Glow 100’

Ring-billed Gull – Fractalius ‘Rounded’

Wildflower Blur – Photoshop Zoom Blur and Twirl Filter

Smooth Green Snake – Fractalius ‘Rounded’

Snapping Turtle – Fractalius ‘Rounded’

And last but not least a Fractalius of my dog Koko and cat Scamper cuddling on the sofa.

Koko & Scamper – Fractalius ‘Rounded’

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