Backyard Experiments

I have a lot of graphic software, and I don’t make full use of it. Who does?

One of my favorite programs is Topaz Simplify. If offers a variety of treatments, but I pretty much use the same one over and over. I decided to play around with a few recent photos using presets I never use.

This was taken early one morning when the sun had barely risen. It’s a resident’s yard in the park. I liked the attention to detail. They’d obviously spent money and taken some time with it.  It’s best viewed by clicking on it, so you can see detail. That applies to all the pics in this post. Well hell, all the posts! Heh.

I was trying to find a way to outline using the software I already owned. This was done in Simplify, and I think it worked well.

Who doesn’t love the ubiquitous bird of paradise plant? They are all over the neighborhood, and I love seeing them. This was also done with Topaz, though I mostly used Glow2 and Luminar Flex on it. Gorgeous, isn’t it?  It’s all about the light in this photo.

I took a picture of a lawn ornament. I liked the way it looked, sort of whimsical, ya know? When I downloaded it, I knew I had to turn it into something special. Did I succeed?

Finally, a snail kite with a meal in its claw. It was perched on the other side of a canal, in a bunch of brush. That made for a busy background. I used Simplify’s Buzsim to “cartoon” the background in an effort to tone it down.

It was a start, but I thought I could do more, so back into Simplify it went. I started with Black Line, greatly reduced and only on the background. Next I chose one of the line and ink presets, which I again applied only to the background. That washed out the color, putting more attention on the subject. The hawk looked a bit flat at that point, so it went through another round of Simplify. The initial result was lurid in the extreme, but I masked back just a touch to give the hawk more depth.

I’m fascinated by the different effects one can apply to a photo to make it special and different.

See you next time.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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