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The essence of a watercolor

mississippi The iPhone, like most phones really has a bad camera on it. It looks great on the tiny screen, but anywhere else it is just terrible. Because of the fact that the only camera I had with me today was the iPhone and that I was unaware of just how bad it really was, I needed to find something to do with the image that was taken. Hence this: watercolor Mississippi. It really doesn't matter what type of image it was to begin with, with enough photoshoping it looks, well, not like a watercolor, but like a photo that has been processed to capture the essence of a watercolor. The subject here is the Mississippi river from the Washington Avenue bridge on the University of Minnesota campus.

hey dumbbell

a rack of eight pound dumbbells
Wandering around work can have its advantages. I was taking photos for a project I was working on when I got the opportunity to take a few detail shots. Shots like this one here. The light left something to be desired for the work photos. Too bright for what I wasnted to do, but for these, it worked very nicely. I have some that are nice as is. I ended up using them for work, but this one needed a little help to pop. Gotta love photoshop.

leopard resting

Snow Leopard, milwaukee county zoo
Worked on getting the main page images saved smaller tonight. But I ran across this one as I was doing them and decided it needed a bit more pop. I took some of the techniques I learned esterday to help draw the eye in on the part that I thought was important. It seems to have worked. Looks a lot better.

Light on a wall

Light on a brick wall
I attended a photoshop training for photographers today. It was all about turning your photos into fine art. Using HDR, false color, tricks to show the viewer something very different from what was originally captured. It is an appoach that I alwasys disliked. But I see some applications. Hyper-reality is a term sometimes used to show something that is more than what was captured, but still realistic. I can deal with that. And a lot of the overt the top things I learned today can be scaled back to capture the spirit of what you saw without making it into something unrecognizable. Though I am coming around to that too... I took this today while waiting for the seminar to start. I did enhance it to capture the spirit of what I saw in my head, not the dull flat thing that showed up in the camera. But not unrealistically so.

I'm a geek, part 314,159,265

When I was a kid, I loved the Transformers. But I was poor. I could only get the cheapest little ones. Well, no more. Now I can have as many as I want. Fortunately I really have no desire to run out and get any. But I do have a couple up on my shelf staring at me. And this is a backplate on one of them.


St Paul smoke stack
I took this one a while ago. Tried that night to make it look like i pictured it in my head when I took the picture. I was completly unsuccessful and put it away. I don't know why, but I thought of it tonight. Thought I'd give it another try. In my head this is what I saw when I looked up and saw all the steam pouring from the stack. No, not literally, but I saw that I could turn it into something like this.

got to spend some time in studio today

false color image of ladder in video studio
I got to spend some time in a video studio watching one of my coworkers take pictures today. At first I was jealous, but then I remembered thatI really don't know how to photograph people. I take pictures of things. I find good pictures, I've never tried to tell people what I needed them to do or tried to come up with good ideas of what to do with them. But that doesn't mean I didn't have a small camera with. Come on... right? So, during one of the breaks, I got to looking at this ladder in the back corner leaning up against the side of the green screen. The lights of course were very yellow and the camerea was on auto so it didn't correct well. Which was fine becasue photoshop helped me to create something that was much more interesting and fun. I go back tomorrow, maybe I'll get lucky and stumble across something else.

my brother, the nordic warrior

brian-tight-cropped This is my brother. He's a fairly normal small town guy, with no hint of the goth rocker that this picture makes it looks as if he could be. The photoshop effects make it look like one of those movies where they use real people as the basis of the animation. Beowulf is a good example of what I'm talking about. In this case he even looks as if he could be one of the nordic warriors in that movie. With the red/blond facial hair and the blue eyes... my brother the nordic warrior.

vampire daughter

false color photo
Today was my daughter's 17th birthday. Only one more to go before she becomes and adult... holy crap. I decided that in addition to her present I was going to do a little something else for her. So I made her into a vampire. Luckily she's into that sort of thing.

in another reality part 2-before and after

I got to thinking that the mouth I worked on today was pretty cool, but I needed to expand this a bit further. This process is no good if I can't do a whole face. So I decided that I needed a plan. Creepy Me was born. Off I went into the  bathroom so I could have a mirror to compose the shot with.
original photo
This is the original image. Below is the after.
creepy me
While I was at it I decided that another image was needed to test the process so Drug-Addled Me was born. Below is the original image as captured.
original image 2
And of course the modified image that my wife finds creepy and thinks it may come kill her. (And since that was an unprompted reaction, Win!)
creepy me 2

in another reality

gold face, blue lips
I got to playing with Photoshop today. I started with a tightly cropped photo of my face. But it was flat and boring. After creating many different versions of the image some greyscale, some, vivid color, many false color and combining them with themselves and each other, this was born. It says nothing about the model (which is me) but I like the effect. It has a dark moody, mysterious feel that I like. I can certainly see using this in other circumstances. And now that I know how, I can actually do that.

old map

antiqued map of Glacier National Park
Ok so the map is not old, but I was trying to make it look it. I thinnk I succeeded fairly well.

USB drive

fire trails on a usb drive
Took this tonight, but felt it needed a little something. Shot it using a white LED light which the camera interpreted as blue. That was ok. I liked the effect. This particular USB drive has an orange glow to it when it is plugged in. I thought that might look good (even though it was obviously not plugged in) after that I still thought it needed a little something so I drew in these flamelike trails in. Gave it just what it needed.

speaking of old film

posterized film canister silhouette This is a background I made from another image from the shoot tonight. I made it for my work computer at work, if you want it, click for larger image, it is yours.

the cat showed up both the girls in my house

macro of a cat's eye
While my wife was in the hospital I amused myself by taking blurry photos of their eyeballs. I didn't set out to take blurry photos, but since everyone had a heartbeat that caused them to move, it just sort of turned ou that way. Just not enough light. So tonight I tried to recreate that. Do you think that either of them could sit still? No. Then I noticed the cat and his bright big eyes. Perfect. And he sat still. Turns out he's a better model than both the wife and kid.

i wish snow was always this pretty

macro shot of snow crystals
If snow always looked like this I wouldn't mind it quite so much. This was lit with a flashlight, allowing the light to not hit where I was aiming the camera, but off to the side so the light would filter through and take on the blue color from the snow. Really pretty.

a fun thing to tide you over.

light-flares one of my favorite tutorial results yet. Unfortunately I don't quite remember where it was. Click for larger if you want to download a 1680x1050 pixel version for your desktop wallpaper. This week has been quite busy so far. Spent some time taking and processing photos for a real client. This should be it. I hope to be back for real tomorrow.

sometimes it comes after

working out
I've started working out again. The doctor recommended it. Plus I've noticed the scale is reading heavy again. Maybe this will stop that. I added a bunch of effects in Photoshop for no real reason other than to dress it up. Normally I believe that effects should be used for a reason. But, I am a trained artist. There is a dirty little secret that I learned in art school. Sometimes the concept comes after the work is done. This is one of those cases. But I don't have it yet. Maybe someday. Until then enjoy the picture. Maybe tell me what it says to you.

finally a good use for cold weather

icicles shot with the camera pretending to be positive slide film
We've had snow lately, then yesterday it got above freezing for the first time in a while. Today cold, bitterly cold. And getting worse. That is the perfect recipe for ice. I'm not a fan of winter, but if it went away, I'd miss the iciciles. Not sure what it is about them, the way they crach when they fall down, the memories of pretending to want to beat my brother with the really large clublike ones (you have to scare younger siblings somehow), maybe they are just pretty. Whatever the reason, I like them. Except when they are hanging off my roof, that means there is a possible issue. The photo is blue because it was a cloudy day and I was using a setting to mimic positive film on the wife's digital camera. I used it so that it would pick up the coolness of color that I always think that ice should have.