Tag Archives: photoshop cc

Is he a keeper?

How I Did It

A couple of days ago, Julian asked me if I was going to teach him the ins and outs of creating Photographic Art. I can’t express how happy it made me that he wanted to learn, and considering how awesome he is in everything he has accomplished for Photographic Art, I had no hesitation about teaching him and expecting him to pick it up very quickly.

So today, before he arrived for work, I picked a particularly troublesome photo to train him on. Here it is:

Amerigo

This had 12 problems associated with it and each problem allowed us to explore different facets of Photoshop.

0 – Perspective. It’s obvious that I was standing on the ground looking up at the mural because everything seems to be tilted back. We corrected the perspective and then cropped the window at the right so that we had half a window on both sides.

  1. A little piece of something in the corner, probably an advertisement or a parking sign. We removed that.
  2. Glare from a light is noticeable. We had to clone that out to make that area blend in with the rest of the mural surroundings.
  3. A little imperfection in the stucco. We cloned that out.
  4. Glare in the window from lights elsewhere. We removed them.
  5. Two little dots which don’t look like much here, but sometimes those little dots really stand out in the Photographic Art. We removed them.
  6. Four little dots. Removed.
  7. Part of a square something or other. Removed.
  8. Another imperfection in the stucco. Cloned.
  9. Another little part of a square something. Removed.
  10. It might be hard to see in this picture, but there is a wire that starts here, goes behind the mural, and shows up again up near 3. Removed.
  11. A flag pole holder. Removed.
  12. Stucco faded noticeably so we cloned it to make it more even with the rest of the stucco.

Here is our final product:

Amerigo

Some of the many Photoshop features/variations we used included:

  1. Crop Tool
  2. Perspective Crop Tool
  3. Clone Stamp Tool
  4. Spot Healing Brush Tool
  5. Rectangular Marquee Tool
  6. Fill, Content Aware
  7. Copy, Paste, Move
  8. Brush Tool
  9. Zoom Tool
  10. Image Size
  11. Canvas Size

So, whaddaya think of Julian’s work? He certainly doesn’t sleep on the job like my other partner:

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Is Julian a keeper?

Julian back at work

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Do you have BWS?
I have the answer:photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Just make more of them!

photographic art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My first visit to the great State of California was in December 1968 for Christmas.

I was the passenger in a car driven from Kingsville, Texas (down south near Corpus Christi) to Chatsworth, California, (San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles) by my wise old grandmother (MWOG) and one of her friends. Chatsworth was where MWOG’s oldest living son (my dad was the oldest son, but he had died in 1961) and his family lived. We’ll call MWOG’s oldest living son “Charles” since that’s his name.

We stopped at roadside parks to sleep at night. Smile if you remember being able to stop at roadside parks without concern.

My wise old grandmother was a master gardener before there was such a thing, and Charles was no different. When we got out of the car at his home in Chatsworth, the first thing I said was something along the lines of, “This is the most beautiful yard I’ve ever seen!” He had flowers blooming in December! Of course, now that I’ve lived in San Diego for twenty years, I know that it has something to do with the weather.

The flower that really caught my breath was the bird of paradise (Strelitzia sp.), and ever since my visit to Charles in 1968, I was on a mission to capture the most beautiful bird of paradise with my camera. The flower is long-lasting, and it takes many days for it to fully bloom. That often means that by the time the flower is in full bloom, the oldest parts of the flower look a little ragged…. nothing that Photoshop can’t fix, of course……….

Up until recently, this was my best bird of paradise picture:

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See all of those pointy tips? Those are what usually look pretty ragged by the time the flower reaches full bloom like in that picture. The pointy tips on the two bluest/purple doohickeys are starting to turn brown.

In a worst case scenario, the flower looks like this:

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You don’t know how long I’ve been trying to find a way to use that picture of the dead flowers! I’ll tell you, so you’ll know. According to the picture’s EXIF data, I took that picture on March 3, 2012!

Okay. Back to being serious (me?)….

Recently I found not one beautiful flower, but two beautiful flowers, both right next to each other…. like twins:

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Of course, having a picture like that means that I’m going to make some Photographic Art out of it.

Since I recently bought the whole collection of Topaz software (it was on sale), I decided that this would be a great picture to use to explore that Topaz software collection.

Following are some (some?) of my favorites. I haven’t decided on an absolute favorite yet—they all speak to me—but I really like flower paintings, so #6 might turn out to be the winner. Which is your favorite?

1Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I remember when I saw my first color negative film. I thought they were so cool. #3 is a color negative created by Topaz:

3Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

4Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s difficult to take such a beautiful and colorful flower and turn it into black and white, but sometimes the lack of color allows you to focus on the texture, as in #5.

5Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

7Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

#8 takes texture to an extreme.

8Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

#9 is in my top two or three, I’m sure. The simplicity and soft focus of the flower without the distraction of the texture, especially the background texture of the stucco building, seems amazingly beautiful.

9Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

10Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

11Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

#12 is neon light art. Ah, neon. How I love neon. I remember my first neon Coors beer sign. I paid something like $30 for it in 1976 at one of those mall stores that sold black lights and black light posters.

12Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

#13 took an in-focus picture and blurred around the edges to simulate shallow depth of field.

13Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

14Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, if you find something that’s pretty near perfect, just make more of them with the click of a mouse!

15Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Friday Flower Fiesta — The 2013 San Diego County Fair dahlia show

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Our Friday Flower Fiesta today features Dahlias from the 2013 San Diego County Fair. Almost 1.5 million people attended the Fair during its three-week run, and the flower shows are always some of the most popular.

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The last Dahlia picture below is a little different. It was the first one I worked on right after I had updated Photoshop CC with a quick download “to solve bug issues” according to Adobe. Well, after letting Photoshop CC update itself, I noticed that some of the Camera Raw controls were working a little differently.

Previously the Clarity slider would increase the clarity. “Logical,” Mr. Spock would say. Now it doesn’t seem to do much with clarity but appears to be more of a contrast control, controlling darkness and lightness, something that the Contrast slider always did quite well.

What’s more disconcerting, though, is that the Clarity slider now introduces a lot of noise. Previously I really didn’t have a problem with noise in 99% of my photographs. Now I seem to have a problem in all of them!

So with the final Dahlia picture (remembering that it was actually the first one I worked on), I was taking slider controls to their extreme to see what they did, and I think this one is a pretty good artsy picture:

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Dahlias at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.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, 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