Posts Tagged ‘photoshop plugins’

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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Rusty Old Truck_5364


On Friday past my brother Gregg (founder of Work Cabin), and I decided to meet up at the Rockwood Auto Yard for a few hours to photograph old cars and trucks in the fields and forest. There is a certain beauty that can be found within the old relics as they sit in a constant state of decay, as forest and field take hold. Here are three of my favorite images processed with Topaz Labs Clarity and Nik Color Efex’s Detail Extractor, which were used to enhance the details in the rust, dents and peeling paint.

At first I had reservations about photographing the wrecks so late in the season, but now think that it was probably one of the best times as the fallen leaves on the colorful wrecks added an extra special element to some of the scenes. And I am a firm believer in getting out to create photographs regardless of the weather conditions, seasons, or time of day. The more this is done the easier it is to ‘see’ the images that are waiting to be photographed. As I compile my list of workshops that will commence in the Spring of 2014, I will most certainly be adding a few visits to this cool location, to capture the dilapidated wrecks throughout the seasons.

Please click on each of the images to see the larger, sharper versions of each. And stay tuned for more grungy images from the day and also some lovely waterfall images, as we saved just enough time to photograph the nearby Hilton Falls too :)

Rusty Old Car_5412

Rusty Old Car_5395

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Woodland Interior_9943-Fractalius“HIGH VOLTAGE” Woodland Interior at Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario

In the newly published and popular eGuide “Fractastic: A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter” Denise Ippolito and yours truly share many of our favorite, custom presets that we use regularly to create artistic renderings of our favorite photos. Whether you use our presets or develop your own set of custom presets doing so will save you a ton of time. The three fractalius renderings in this blog post were each created by selecting the presets found within the guide. In fact,the presets chosen worked so well for these images that I made virtually no further adjustments to the slider settings in the Fractalius interface. I simply loaded the images into Fractalius, selected my preferred custom preset and then hit the green check mark to apply the settings to the image. For the fish-eye lens woodland interior above I chose my ‘High Voltage‘ preset and set the left asterisk to black and the asterisk on the right to white – done.

Dahlia_632-Fractalius“ELECTRIFY” Dahlia Blossom

By loading this stunning dahlia blossom into Fractalius and selecting my ‘Electrify‘ preset the above rendering was born.

Old Mercury_8648-Fractalius“LINES-FROGS” Rusted Old Wreck (Gimme a Bullet)

What do frogs and a rusted old Mercury truck with bullet holes have in common? My ‘Line-Frogs’ preset. To create this rendering I simply scrolled through my bank of custom presets until I found the one that seemed to work best for this photograph. It just so happened to be one of my newer presets that I created for my frog fracting.

Do note that I will often load my fractalius renderings into Nik / Google’s Viveza 2 and add a little extra punch with the Structure slider.

To order your copy of this eGuide please click here.

Please remember to click on each of the images to view the larger, sharper versions.

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Old Wreck_7229-Yellowed 2Old Wreck In Field – Silver Effects Pro 2 – Yellowed 2 Preset

After dropping my daughter off at school the other day I decided it was time to drive to a local conservation area not far from my home. As I made my way there the rains began to come in and were getting heavier. As I drove along the concession road bound for my intended destination I happened upon this old wreck sitting at the edge of an agricultural field. I could not resist the temptation and slammed on the brakes, grabbed my gear and proceeded to create a few images that I could take home to play around with on a rather wet and dreary day.

In the first image I chose to use Nik/Google’s Silver Effects Pro 2 and the Yellowed 2 preset as a starting point. I just love the aged look and border that this preset creates. To create the additional variations below I used Topaz Labs Adjust 5 – Psychedelic Preset and two of my custom presets from the Photoshop plug-in Fractalius. Denise Ippolito and I have written an eGuide for the Fractalius plug-in that should be available shortly.

For folks who love to get creative with there imagery I highly recommend heading to Kitchener, Ontario on June 3rd as Denise will be doing a presentation for the Grips Camera Club, click here for more information.

Hope you enjoy the old wreck creations. Do remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

Which is your favorite rendering?

Old Wreck_7232-topazOld Wreck – Topaz Adjust 5 – Psychedelic Preset

Old Wreck_7232-fractaliusOld Wreck – Fractalius

Old Wreck_7232-Fractalius 2Old Wreck – Fractalius

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Oxtongue River_3536-B&W

Autumn on the Oxtongue River near Dwight, Ontario

One last post before heading off to Port Antonio, Jamaica for a week and a half of sun, fun, and of course photography too :) I am planning on visiting a couple of lovely waterfalls, a hike in the Blue Mountains, and of course assorted bird life and reptiles as well.

Lately I have been using Nik Software’s Silver Effects II software to convert some of my river / waterfall images captured over the last year or so into B&W photos. Often I am finding that I like the B&W versions just a little bit more than the color one. I guess I will have to try my hand at some tropical B&W images upon my return.

Please remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions and leave a quick note letting me know which is your favorite and why.

Take care folks.

See ya soon!

High Falls on the Muskoka River near Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

High Falls on the Muskoka River, Bracebridge, Ontario

Magpie Falls_1422-B&W

Details at Magpie Falls, Wawa, Ontario

Magnetawan River_4009-B&W

Autumn along the Magnetawan River, Emsdale, Ontario

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After photographing so many frogs and toads this year I have decided that I would like to live a simpler, amphibious sort of life-style….and I just found the perfect piece of real estate. What do ya think? :)

Seriously though…I processed this abandoned trailer with Nik Software’s photoshop plugin Color Efex Pro 4 and ran the image through the ‘tonal contrast’ filter twice for a quick, down and dirty grunge look.

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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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