Tag Archives: Pencil

Using Filters to Create Art from a Simple Photograph.

This dramatic walkway through a dense palm forest looks as if it is a pencil sketch.   Much to the surprise of some, I did not use the pencil sketch filter in Photoshop to create it.   Instead,  this photograph is a result of high definition processing, black cherry colored red filters and the liberal addition of both abstraction blurriness and heavy vignettes.

This work started out as something different. Originally, I desired to take several photographs of palm trees. Walking through parks in the state of Florida one would almost naturally suspect that palm trees would be both abundant and easily photographed.   Realistically, only half that equation works out.

Finding palm tress in Florida is like finding a mosquito in a swamp.  They are everywhere. There are thousands of styles and varieties, yet to this day, I have found only a handful worthy of the effort involved in lifting camera to eye.   The difficulty is not their shape or size, no, rather their blandness. Palms are just not very colorful in their own right. You have either a dark brown with green foliage or a long trunk of sandy grey.

So, when I partook of the adventure to capture a cluster of palms for my next piece, I was ever the optimist hoping that today would be the day that I could capture that elusive photogenic palm.

Walk Among the Palms
Walk Among the Palms

The scene itself had all the particulars I look for.  It had the palms, of course, a nice sidewalk style walkway and plenty of atmosphere.   However, when started the process of selecting works for further enhancement, I was markedly disappointed by the original results.   It was too brown, too exposed, and the natural lines in the photograph created by the trees were all wrong, at least for me.   Still, I had that hidden impression that this shot was worth something. There was an unexplainable artistic feeling I had about it.

That is when my muse hit.   That magical feeling of “what if I do this over here?” started to guide my senses and my hands. I started attacking the problems with filters, until I found the hidden picture within the picture.  When you use filters in the production phase of your art work you invariably end up painting with light a great deal.  A nip here and a tuck there, along with darkening a particular tree while enhancing another gives you varied results until finally your mind settles on the answer you were looking for.

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