“Digital Painting or Not?”

Well, I’ve been having some fun recently with my processing. I don’t know if I’ve been just feeling winter blahs or is it that I just feel the need to do something new, but whatever it is, I found some new inspiration by trying something different in my processing.

My first go to, in my workflow is always Lightroom, and quite often after that, OnOne Software as well. In the past week or so, I’ve been having a whole lot of enjoyment experimenting with many of the Topaz Plugins, like Topaz Impression, and Topaz ReStyle. In this post I used Topaz Impression.

I have created special galleries for my “Photographic Art”  and “digital Painting”  here in these links. I have just a few images at the moment, but am adding to them pretty quickly.  You can check out these here too for more Photographic art . It’s not that I plan to be doing this form of processing all of the time, I don’t. It will never replace my normal processing of my photographs, but it did give me a change to have some fun, look at things from a new perspective and have a new creative outlet, especially during this winter.

In this first image you’ll see the lovely Charlevoix Michigan Marina,  it’s a very peaceful image in my opinion. I love it as a simple photograph, it has a nice soothing blue color and  quiet mood. If you’d like to see other images of Charlevoix as well as other Small Town images you can find them here in  The Small Town .

I decided to take that same photograph and do something different with it. I brought into Topaz Impression, and chose one of the oil painting presets in order to give me a starting point. After that, I used sliders to make a lot of adjustments, including those to paint saturation, type of brush used, brush stroke sizes, paper or canvas texture, vignette, and many more.

My final product was this beautiful digital oil painting! I kept the blue tones, the shimmer of light on the water, and the feeling of motion on the water as well. I added lots of texture, brush strokes and a slightly fanciful feeling.

 

"Blue Hour Oil Painting" The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Blue Hour Oil Painting”
The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

 

I had also been doing a lot of processing of spring buds, blossoms and flowers recently. These were images from last year when we had an abundance of blossoms!

In this first image a simple photograph of crab-apple blossoms of varying hues, and stages of blooming, with a lovely bokeh in the background, I first processed this ever so slightly, in Lightroom. It didn’t really need much work in my opinion, it was a beautiful floral in pink.

 

On the spur of the moment one evening, I decided to turn it into a digital oil painting. Again, I used Topaz Impression and one of the Oil Painting presets as a starting point. I did a lot of experimenting with the sliders until I came up with what I feel is a lovely image that has a lot of color, depth, and a  feeling of movement.

 

I know many of you have tried this type of processing before, and there are also some of you would never try it, as it feels to be untrue to the original photograph.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your processing forays and journeys.

In the end it is up to each of us to find new ways to keep inspired, to get our groove back, or maybe just try something purely for fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and might even be inspired to try something new yourself! 🙂

 

"Pink Bling" Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.
“Pink Bling”
Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.

 

"Pink Floral Oil Painting" The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Pink Floral Oil Painting”
The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

“Think Spring”

We may still be in the thick of winter but my thoughts are now of spring! I have been going back over some of my spring photographs from last year and really enjoying the beautiful colors and delicate blossoms. I decided to process a few images for everyone else to enjoy also.

If you’re stuck indoors on a cold and dull winter day, just have a look at what awaits us in just a few months! Think spring!

 

"Fresh as Morning Air"  Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!
“Fresh as Morning Air”
Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!

 

"Foggy Spring Morning" Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!
“Foggy Spring Morning”
Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!

 

"Feel the Love" Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!
“Feel the Love”
Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!

 

"Floating Raindrops in Spring"  One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils.  Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful  spring morning it was!
“Floating Raindrops in Spring”
One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils. Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful spring morning it was!

“2015 My Year in Review”

Here we are at the end of 2015, and what a year it’s been! As I’ve done for the past four years in a row, I am posting my favorite images of this past year. Not necessarily the best, but my personal faves. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I finally did after a lot of going back and forth. These are not in any particular order and are of several different subjects. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like to look at my 2014 year in review you can check that out here. Best of 2014

Jim Goldstein in his Blog Project has hosted the year in review or top 10 images on his blog for a number of years, and I always look forward to it!  There are photographers from all around the world with amazing images! I hope you’ll check out his blog and take a look at the wonderful array of photographers and gather inspiration from their images! His post should be up in the early part of January 2016!

"Kayaking at Miners Falls" Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!
“Kayaking at Miners Falls”
Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!

 

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves" A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”
A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!

 

"One Very Fine Day" This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!
“One Very Fine Day”
This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!

 

"Life is But a Dream" This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!
“Life is But a Dream”
This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!

 

 

"My Sweet Lady" This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!
“My Sweet Lady”
This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!

 

"Grape Hyacinth"2 One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!
“Grape Hyacinth”2
One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!

 

"Beautiful Cedar Falls" I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!
“Beautiful Cedar Falls”
I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!

 

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray" This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”
This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!
“Sweet Potato Mash”
I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!

 

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh- nature abstracts this year!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh-licious abstracts this year!

 

As we end this year and head into 2016, I’d like to wish everyone and their families all the best in the New Year. I wish you all good health, good times, plenty of adventures and family to enjoy it with!

I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.  ~ Edward Abbey ~

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

 

 

“The Humble Sunflower”

Behold the humble sunflower! Could there be a happier and sunnier flower? Enjoy these images and quotes!

"One Summer Day" A beautiful flower with a sunny disposition!
“One Summer Day”
A beautiful flower with a sunny disposition!

I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.
~Helen Mirren~

"Sunflower Halved" Wonderful sunlight streams through this beautiful half of a sunflower!
“Sunflower Halved”
Wonderful sunlight streams through this beautiful half of a sunflower!

Does she realize she looks like a sunflower, ready to rain sunlight on all who look down upon her?
~Simone Elkeles~

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”

~Helen Keller~

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“In the Morning Light”

These images speak for themselves. What more can me said about gorgeous morning sunlight! Pure happiness!

"Sun Drenched Orchids" Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!
“Sun Drenched Orchids”
Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!
"Morning When I Rise" Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!
“Morning When I Rise”
Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!
"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!

“Peonies at Nichols Arboretum”

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite times of year at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The time when The Peony Gardens come to life!

In early June, depending on the weather, these beautiful show stoppers begin to make their appearance. For the next couple of weeks you’ll have the opportunity to stroll through and enjoy these gorgeous peonies!

Below you’ll find a few of my images of the Peonies at Nichols Arboretum with a brief description underneath.

I have many more photos of peonies of every variety in my online galleries if you’d like to take a look!

Flowers and Wildflowers

and even more images at: Flowers

"Dusted in Yellow" Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!
“Dusted in Yellow”
Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!
"Nestled Peonies" A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!
“Nestled Peonies”
A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!
"Pink Sorbet" That's what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I've seen before!
“Pink Sorbet”
That’s what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I’ve seen before!
"Ahead of the Crowd" Lovely light pink and peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!
“Ahead of the Crowd”
Lovely light pink peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!
"Peony Garden Stroll" Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!
“Peony Garden Stroll”
Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through a very special place, and time of year! A morning of Peonies at Nichols Arboretum!

“One is Not Like the Other”

It’s summer and it’s such a great time of year to get out in nature so I’ve been taking full advantage of the warm days and great things happening in the garden and other local green areas!

Here are a few photographs of my recent nature abstracts from the garden. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

Ferns in a simple but beautiful pattern.

"Fern"
“Fern”

Green ground cover with a few of the rosettes having bloomed yellow.

"Yellow on Green"
“Yellow on Green”

Green ground cover in the shape of rosettes.

"Living Green"
“Living Green”

These purple flowers have just begun to burst forth.

"Never Ending Dream"
“Never Ending Dream”

Here’s the one image that is not like the other! These purple flowers are just starting to bloom. There are rows of them dreamily layered behind each other!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

“Spring Happenings”

With spring in full swing here I thought I’d bring you a few of the recent images from what seems to be about peak for our spring happenings, at least as far as tree blossoms go!

The crabapple blossoms were amazing this year, so here is just one variety in beautiful soft sunlight!

"Crabapple Blossoms"
“Crabapple Blossoms”

We had a robin nesting in a magnolia tree. I wasn’t able to get close to the nest for three reasons. Firstly I didn’t want to disturb the nesting process. Second the nest happened to be higher up than I could see into, and thirdly the robins were so protective that even coming withing twenty feet or so, they’d start swooping down on me! I took this image as the robin perched in a nearby crabapple tree as the blossoms were just starting to come out.
I never got to see it but the Robin’s eggs did hatch and the baby birds were born and eventually flew away without me being able to see more than a peak of a baby beak!

"Robin in Spring"
“Robin in Spring”

I love Hostas and they came up pretty quickly this year. I went out after a spring rain one day and made a few nature-abstract images with these beautiful plants. Here is just one example.

"Hosta in the Rain"
“Hosta in the Rain”

I hope you enjoyed a bit of my local spring happenings, and I hope whether your area of the world is in spring or fall, that you are experiencing a beautiful season!

“Garden Bench Floral”

While anxiously awaiting the dawn of what I hope will be a springtime full of abundant blossoms and flowers, I thought I’d take a moment and share an image from last summer.

This winter has been quite long, and even though the calender says spring, it still feels and looks more like winter.

This lovely garden bench with flowers growing around and through it, gives a glimpse of good times to come. An image from the garden during the most prolific time here, which is late summer.

I included some garden quotes and proverbs below. Enjoy!

"Garden Bench Floral"
“Garden Bench Floral”

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
~ Victor Hugo ~

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.
~ David Hobson ~

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
~ Greek proverb ~

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.
~ Allan Armitage ~

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!
~ Irish Blessing ~

“Best of 2014”

Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.

This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!

"Miner's Falls in October"
“Miner’s Falls in October”

In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!

"As the World Turns"
“As the World Turns”

During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.

"Meadow Run" 2
“Meadow Run” 2

This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!

"Tahquamenon Falls Autumn"
“Tahquamenon Falls Autumn”

As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!

"Miner's Castle on Ice"
“Miner’s Castle on Ice”

While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.

"Gray's Lily"
“Gray’s Lily”

A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!

"Blue Ridge by Daylight"
“Blue Ridge by Daylight”

As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.

"Mackinac Reflections"
“Mackinac Reflections”

Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.

"Soothing"
“Soothing”

On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!

I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!

Here we come 2015! Get Ready……..