Category Archives: Creations

Cactus flower art

Friday Flower Fiesta (9-27-13) — Flower art using Photoshop & Topaz Adjust

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I don’t normally make you look at the same flower twice, and I won’t today, kind of.

I’m having so much fun with Topaz Adjust so I thought I’d share several art that I created using just one picture. Here’s the picture:

Cactus flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m not certain but I think that’s a flower from a Cereus cactus, or a cactus formerly in the Cereus genus. Plant geneticist are having a field day using genetic profiling to move cactus species from one genus to another. Things change so rapidly that I have trouble keeping up. Nonetheless, following are seven of my favorite artworks featuring that flower.

The first one would have been what I would have used as my final production if I just wanted to show a good picture of the flower. I think it has the right sharpness and color, with more detail (thorns) in the shadows.

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I call this one MOONGLOW.Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This one is my LGBTQ cactus flower.Cactus flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All of these, every single one, were created with just a keyboard shortcut (Control F) to open the Topaz Adjust filter in Photoshop, and then one or two mouse clicks depending on what Topaz Adjust filter collection I wanted to use. There was no thought on my part other than, “I like this one” following by saving it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I can recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

About these ads
Tree face

There is no such thing as a bad picture

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother (MWOG) was a very astute woman, even though all she had was a first-grade education. She dropped out of school when her dad died to help work the farm. It was from her that I first heard the expression, “Graduated from the school of hard knocks.” I believe it was one of best schools of her era.

MWOG was never witthout her camera, first a Kodak and later on a Polaroid. She was always taking pictures. Some were good, some were bad. None were ever thrown away because “they documented who was there.” Once those pictures came out of the cameras — they were “instamatic” cameras — she set them aside for the weekend when she would put them in her scrapbooks and photo albums. She would make cutouts — stars, houses, cars…. — and paste them in her books and albums to decorate the pages. She would write on the photos — front or back — the date, the people, the event…. She taught me that “what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

I have always taken her message to heart about a picture documenting an event. My photo drive filing system has two main folders: BAD and GOOD. Bad pictures could mean anything: picture too small to use alone, out of focus, too dark, too light, wrong color balance, overexposed sky, underexposed foreground…. on and on. I keep them because of….

drum roll please

thank you

Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, Paintshop Pro, Photo-Paint, Picassa, Gimp, and many others, too many to list them all.

I used both Photoshop and Photo-Paint from their initial releases back in the 1980s through 1993 when I moved from Texas to San Diego. After 1993 I didn’t need them for my business. A couple of years ago I upgraded the old programs; that was an experience.

Adobe wasn’t happy with me since I had gone 17 years without upgrading, skipping Photoshop versions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, CS, CS2, CS3, and CS4. That’s three or four thousand dollars they lost by me not upgrading every 18 months. They weren’t about to let me upgraded from version 3 to CS5 for a mere $300…. ha! I had to buy a full, new version.

Corel,, the makers of Photo-Paint and now PaintShop Pro, were only too happy to have an old customer returning to their fold. They were impressed that I had the serial number and registration number for my old program, and they happily gave me an upgrade price for the downloadable full program. Yeah, Corel!

I have been giving preference to Photoshop because it has turned into a very complicated program with a steep learning curve. Recently I discovered plugins, making Photoshop fun, too. One of the plugins I discovered is “Fractalius” by Redfield.

(Note that Redfield is a Russian company. I’m distrustful of the Russians. The verdict yesterday concerning Pussy Riot simply reinforces my distrust of the Russians. I paid with PayPal to give me some protection against a sham company although the mere fact that the Russians accepted PayPal gave me hope. Redfield doesn’t have an instant downloadable link on their web site, preferring to send a link via email, and stating at various stages that the email will arrive no later than (1) four hours, (2) 12 hours, and (3) 24 hours. After 24 hours, no link. I complained to PayPal and also send Redfield an email. Almost 24 hours later I got an email from Redfield with a link. I’m happy with the plugin but they probably won’t get any more of my business.)

Fractalius has to be the coolest little piece of software ever. I previously showed an example of what it can do (see Creating a work of art with Photoshop plugins). That work of art illustrates only a small fraction of the fun one can have with Fractalius. After playing with it for a while, I took two pictures that I’ve been dieing (or is it dying?) to do something with and started having fun. Here are the two original pictures:

Tree eyes and nose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree hands, mouth, and tongue

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although the pictures are of one tree face, the two pictures are quite different in their focus. The top one has a big, white blob in the upper right, and the bottom one has poor focus on some of the tree and the background. Both were in my BAD pictures file folder.

I played with the two pictures individually and got this:

Tree eyes and nose

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree hands, mouth, and tongue

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not bad but I wanted a complete picture (don’t ask me why I didn’t just flip my camera 90° and take a tall picture to begin with….). I tried putting the two pictures together but wasn’t happy with the result. That’s when it occurred to me that I should put the two pictures together first:

Tree face

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I used Photoshop to clone some areas to get a little better focus, get rid of the white blob, and make the two pictures more seamlessly fit together. I didn’t spend a lot of time because using Fractalius would cover everything up anyway. No need to be Ansel Adams or da Vinci.

When I used Fractalius on the full picture, I got this:

Tree face

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you don’t like the default product from Fractalius, you can play around with literally millions of different settings. Obviously going through millions of settings isn’t something to be accomplished in this lifetime, so Fractalius provides a randomizer button, too. Just keep clicking on that button and if you find one that you really like, you can easily save the settings.

 In just five minutes I came up with nine more versions:

Tree face 1

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 2

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 3

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 4

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 5

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 6

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 7

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 8

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tree face 9

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is no such thing as a bad picture in today’s world because you can always make art out of it. Even Zoey the Cool Cat’s having fun:

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise Dripper

Friday Flower Fiesta — Drippers & Rounders

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With over 75,000 pictures and counting….

What do I do with them? I have some interesting ones but selling pictures in today’s world when digital cameras and phones have made professional photographers out of everyone is difficult, almost impossible. One word seems to sum up what is required. Drum roll please……….

UNIQUE

If it’s not unique, it won’t sell. Sometimes something starts off unique and then sells millions, removing its uniqueness. The iPhone and iPad come immediately to mind.

Recently, while playing around with Photoshop CS6, I discovered a way to add some UNIQUE to my flower photos. I can even make a bad flower photo (yes, I keep even the bad flower photos) UNIQUE. I call my new creations….

Well, I call them CREATIONS! See how creative I am?………..:)

More specifically, I call them DRIPPERS and ROUNDERS, and for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta, I’d like to share a few DRIPPERS and ROUNDERS, and show you the original photo, as well.

DRIPPERS and ROUNDERS are for sale at very reasonable prices, from the digital file itself to cards to unframed prints to framed prints. Check out my galleries at Fine Art America. You can also see a picture of me for those of you who still believe that I look like a cat.

Aloe 4 Dripper

Aloe 4 Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe 4 Rounder

Aloe 4 Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe 4 original

Aloe 4 original

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise Dripper

Bird of Paradise Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise Rounder

Bird of Paradise Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise original

Bird of Paradise original

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coneflower Dripper

Coneflower Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coneflower Rounder

Coneflower Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coneflower original

Coneflower original

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yellow and Purple Flowers Dripper

Yellow and Purple Flowers Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yellow and Purple Flowers Rounder

Yellow and Purple Flowers Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yellow and Purple Flowers

Yellow and Purple Flowers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Even an otherwise nondescript picture (the Yellow and Purple Flowers) can become a work of art.

I presume you can see why I call them DRIPPERS and ROUNDERS.

Lastly, Zoey the Cool Cat wanted to see what she looked like as a DRIPPER and a ROUNDER:

Zoey the Cool Cat Dripper

Zoey the Cool Cat Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat Rounder

Zoey the Cool Cat Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat original

Zoey the Cool Cat original

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat thinks her Rounder is, uh, pretty cool……….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I can recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Drippers & Rounders for 7/14/12

Creations

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have two different types of CREATIONS that I’m making for my Fine Art America galleries. One kind I’ve called DRIPPERS, and the other kind I’ve called ROUNDERS. At the end of each day, I’ll post my favorite CREATIONS for that day. If you’re looking for something unique to hand on your home or office wall, or you know someone who is, I hope you or they will consider CREATIONS by Russel Ray Photos.

Favorite DRIPPER:

Camelia 1 Dripper

Camelia 1 Dripper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Favorite ROUNDER:

Flower 1 Rounder

Flower 1 Rounder

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise flower

Creations

Creations

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I discovered how to use Photoshop CS6 to create something that I really like.

My creation:

Bird of Paradise flower

Bird of Paradise flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos