Flying in Formation

These two White Pelicans flying low and in unison as they come in for a landing remind me of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performing in a summer air show. As a spectator, I find myself entranced by the tight formation and flying agility.

#pelicans, #dingdarling, #sanibel, #florida, #painting, #photography, #topaz, #nikon, #tamron
The stunning white pelicans found on Sanibel Island in February are skilled unison flyers.

Having captured this moment in a photograph, I realized that the simple yet striking composition and blue/white color combination would translate well into an oil painting. So, I used my digital paint box to create my best rendering. What do you think?

To Make (not just take) an Image

In the age of iPhone photography, most people seem to think that shooting a photo is all there is to it. Well, first you have to see the image, that is pre-visualize it as an interesting two dimensional image. Next, you have to have a camera or iPhone with you. Third, you need to compose the image and click. Then, many will share the image instantly on social media. Done.

Often you will get pretty cool results with that workflow, but professionals know there is much more to image making. Much expertise goes into lens choice, camera settings for depth of field, selective focus, and then processing. My workflow includes processing first in Adobe Lightroom, then Photoshop, and sometimes even a third application such as Topaz or Nik/Google applications. The impact of this tulip image is the result of my experience with shooting choices as well as processing choices.

#NYBG, #tulip, #green, #greenandwhite, #bicolor, #contrast, #sony, #spring, #may
This high contrast image of the rare green and white tulip encourages the viewer to enjoy the detail and shape of the petals.

A non-photographer will often ask the question, “Is that photoshopped?” as if the question were really, “is it real?” I like to explain that processing a digital photo with image editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop is an essential part of the creative process. I MAKE an image. I don’t just TAKE and image. Using Photoshop to process images is, in fact, my job.

Tropical Christmas

It’s such a busy time of year. While the rest of my family members are on the highway or in the shops today, I am grateful to have a few quiet moments to work on some special photos from 2016.

This tropical bloom from the Big Island of Hawai’i says Merry Christmas to me today with its brilliant magenta and green colors. Can you identify it? Could it be ginger?

#hawaii, #pinkandgreen, #christmas, #tropical, #painting, #topaz
Merry Christmas from tropical Hawai’i. Photo processed in Lightroom, Photoshop and Topaz Simplify.

A More Colorful Time

Today Nature is giving us bare trees and gray skies in the Pittsburgh region. I’m thinking back on a more colorful day at Sewickley Heights Park. I captured a photo of the foliage lining Tortilla Flats. Today I made a painting out of it with Topaz Impression. Does this painting make you feel a bit brighter inside?

#topaz, #foliage, #sewickley, #fall, #autumn, #pennsylvania
Foliage at Sewickley Heights Park. Memories of a brighter day in Pennsylvania

Sharing the Hydrangeas

Who enjoys the hydrangeas the most? Is it the deer? The bees?  Me?  The good news is that the bees and I can share the love and leave the plant for each other.

#white, #bee, #pollinate, #oakleafhydrangea, #hydrangea, #macro, #macrophotography
The bees and I both love the white Oak Leaf Hydrangea, and fortunately neither of us damage the plant.

The blue hydrangea is a favorite snack for the deer. The bad news: the deer have stripped my garden and only left one bush with beautiful blossoms for me to enjoy.

#blue, #hydrangea, #summer, #july, #blueandgreen, #blossoms, #flowers, #nature #macro, #macrophotography
My only hydrangea bush that was not eaten by the deer.

These two photographs are also good examples of different ways to process an image. In the white one, I was going for a clean and crisp look; for the blue one, I choose a creamy, more painterly look. I choose an approach based on the strong elements of the photo.

 

Technicolor Palm Tree

Have you ever looked up into a tall Royal Palm and seen pink and yellow highlights? Well, now you have! I hope you enjoy the second image in my series of painterly effects on photographs of tropical plants and scenes. In this work, I began with a strong composition featuring a receding diagonal line leading to a star pattern, and applied a Topaz filter to enhance the lines and colors of the palm tree. The resulting image connotes a brilliant sunny day when you have time to look up and soak up the scenery. Of course, you will be wearing your Lily Pulitzer or a Tommy Bahama fashion statement.  How does this image make you feel?

#palm, #tropical, #topaz, #naples, #botanical, #lilypulitzer, #tommybahama, #color
Cathy’s Technicolor Palm: Would you like this image on a notecard, tile or as a print?

I am looking for input from my followers for what kinds of notecards, tiles and prints to bring to the Sewickley May Mart. Would you be interested in this technicolor palm on a notecard, or a tile, or as a print? Let me hear from you! And if you like this post, please share it on Facebook or your favorite social media outlet.

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