Many Versions

 

I enjoy using Smart Photo Editor to come up with new looks for my images. Sometimes I just get an idea by browsing their extensive library of over 6,000 effects and then make my own version in Photoshop… other times I like exactly what it does in their software.

This program operates on its own, so you do not need Photoshop or Lightroom to enjoy it.

The software is $29.95 and you can get an additional 10% with my code of LL1914.

All of these images were photographed with my Canon 5D Mark II and a Tamron 90mm macro lens.

The upper left is the original photo using a background of greenery I photographed defocused to get the blur of color. I printed the image and mounted it on foamcore to use indoors or in the garden.

The flower is a Frizzle Sizzle pansy.  I was buying some plants at a local nursery and they were getting ready to dump a whole flat (18 – 4″ plants).  Lucky me… she gave me the whole flat!  The plants needed a some cleaning up but it didn’t take me long and they now surround my mailbox.  Love the ruffly edge.

 

Triptychs

Triptychs can be so much fun and make for beautiful wall hangings.  SmartPhotoEditor software makes it really easy.  Under Borders is a Triptych option. You can adjust the image in this feature.

SmartPhotoEditor has many standard editing adjustments plus over 6,000 special effects. These range from painterly effects, sharpening, borders and much, much more.

It is currently 1/2 off at $29.99 and works as a standalone program, so you don’t even need Photoshop to use it.  You can pay a bit more to have it as a plugin for your Photoshop.

Use code LL1914 for an extra 10%.  So much fun!!

Wooden Table Top

Basic photo showing new table top!

_MG_0188I enjoy studio work as well as outdoor photography.  When I started studying food photography a few years ago, I found other photographers used distressed wooden table tops.  So, I started a quest to find my own. I tried vinyl rolls, wallpaper wooden look-alikes, flooring and more including the real thing. But nothing looked quite right and the real wood was too deteriorated.

Until this past weekend when I got the idea to look again. Went to my favorite DIY store, Home Depot, and told them as usual what I was trying to do. After the odd looks, a rep took me to a new display.  Jackpot!!

Home Depot now has their own brand of Weathered Wall Boards… guess we are returning to the wood paneling of many years ago.  These boards come in a light and dark color. They are real hardwood and measure 4″w x 1/4″ thick x 48″ long… perfect!  The texture is perfect too.  I just laid them side by side on my regular table and can easily set them back in the box when not using them.

Best of all… 8 boards come in a box for $25… a great deal compared to buying and storing a big table.  This is the first picture with the new “table”… more to follow!

 

 

 

Flower Composites

Lily SPE polaroid

SmartPhotoEditor “Vintage Polaroid”

 

Lily SPE dreamy beach

SmartPhotoEditor “Dreamy Beach”

 

Lily Composite

Original Composite

I have been creating flower composites. I take one flower selected in Photoshop (made easier if you photograph it against white which I did not on these two!)… and then layering many copies of it. Take each copy and resize, rotate, etc… until you like the composition.

You can totally cover the canvas with the image as in the Iris below, or leave space and add a background. I added lilypads blurred behind the waterlilies but ended up changing the color of them so unrecognizable now as lilypads.

With SmartPhotoEditor I can then take it way further. Just printed this one of a purple iris on canvas from MasterColor Labs in Greensboro, NC.  SmartPhotoEditor can work as a standalone program or as a plugin for Photoshop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SmartPhotoEditor is a contributor based program with over 7,000 effects, constantly being expanded by new designers. It is currently $29.99 and you can get a 10% discount by using code LL1914.  I do not receive any compensation except for the feedback that you are having a blast!

Getting Creative

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love being in the garden and finding a flower that really gets my attention. Sometimes I keep it in its purest form, but other times I explore creative techniques to see what else I might create. Such was the case with this beautiful iris.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Winter Flower Photos

final

This time of year can be challenging for those of us who love lush gardens and lots of beautiful color. I decided to see what I could do with my Lensbaby Velvet 56 on my Canon 5D Mark II indoors.

original

The flowers are artificial held by a plamp. The softness was created by wrapping light pink tulle around the lens leaving just the very middle clear.  ISO 200 f/8 @ .6 seconds.  I set the 2 second timer and then swooshed a colorful scarf behind the flowers while the shutter was open. (otherwise it was a plain neutral wall)  I used one Alien Bees light with softbox as my light, but did not trigger the flash.

After bringing into Photoshop, I added a French Kiss texture called Tea Bag.  I made the texture black and white and used a Soft Light blend mode. Then I reduced the effect on the flowers by using a layer mask and painting light grey to reduce some of the effect.

I found the frame in a Google Images search.

Hue Saturation Variety

magnolia-on-iceI took a simple image of a magnolia blossom against a very dark background for this project. Then I used a texture with broad sweeps of warm colors and set it to Lighten mode as my subject was white. I used a mask to let a little more of the center show through and Sharpened slightly.

Then I opened Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and checked the Colorize box. By moving the Hue sliders for the general color and the Saturation slider stronger or weaker, I was able to get just the feeling I wanted. Finally I went to Image > Adjustments > Black and White with color slider adjustments.