Photo Editing, HDR and all that stuff.


Digital photography has made photography so accessible that most of us can enjoy this creative experience. As a painter who works in a “painterly manner”… i.e. towards Impressionism, with lost edges and subtleties, I find the sharpness and colour intensity of much modern photography a bit over the top for my personal taste. But I can’t help being drawn to it and admire my husband’s crisp HDR images.

This photo is of Cape Tourville,  Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania. Taken on a bright morning I used a polarising filter to reduce the glare and improve the blues, I decided to duplicate and edit the copy in Photoshop using levels to increase the intensity. Not sure which I prefer.

Please comment.

Cape Tourville adjustedCape Touville original

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Paint little Watercolours for better health


I tend to get a bit anxious about things…. even when I don’t know I am…. and my bp goes sky high. But sitting in the studio playing with floating watercolours on paper helps return my body to a less stressed state.

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View to the Nut, Stanley, Tasmania

Although one of these works started from a photo reference, hence the view to the volcanic plug ( The Nut,Stanley, NW Tasmania), the other is purely from the imagination. This way of working encourages more play as you  are not aiming for it to represent anything in particular…. just enjoying the experience and letting the painting flow out of the brush. I start with the suggestion of a sky then each successive mark is in response to the previous one. Limited palette of 2 or 3 colours so little decision making. They are small works so I can watch the whole image evolve at once and judge timing and water content.    (both are for sale at $50AUD each

These have both now been SOLD. 

Imagined

Imagined

Mixed media paintings… the playful artist


wilderness track

wilderness track

For those of us who like to play with art materials and explore new avenues without boundaries, mixed media is wonderful. Above, “Wilderness Track” is a large work painted in acrylic which was applied from very dilute, like watercolour, to thick impasto painted on with a palette knife. Pencils, oil pastel, soft pastel sumi ink and white pigment ink were all applied at various stages. The ground was an Art Spectrum Colorfix paper in a rich terracotta colour, hence the warm overall glow. The inspiration was a coastal walking track on Tasmania.s Tarkine coast. Walking between the towering angular rocks is amazing.

Raw

Raw

On one of the days over Easter 2015 when I was, with about 70 other artists,on Tasmania’s Tarkine Coast, I was taken on a 4WD expedition down past the sealed tracks. To get to such remote and wild places was unforgettable. It is the geology of the area that continually attracts me…. and of course the ever changing ocean and sky.This work is also painted on Colorfix paper, this time in a warm grey. After working with very wet acrylic paints and a spray bottle of water, I used  the side of the wet solid Sumi ink stick  and  a little liquid ink applied with a rigger brush to keep the stokes fluid and loose. Finally linear marks with charcoal and a touch of pastel completed the textural effects for which I was aiming.IMG_8994This third painting was about the intensity of the colour of the red lichen so it was started with oil paint stick and oil pastel on a very rough Fabriano watercolour paper. Light watercolour washes were applied to the sky and sea as a foil for the heavy texture of the rocks. Watercolour was also applied as glazes over the rocks, with the previously applied oil based media acting as a resist, thus retaining the intense colour.  Finally Sumi ink was added in three ways….. dragging the broad end of the wet stick across the paper, drawing some crevice lines directly with the wet stick, applying the ink using 2 brushes to direct flow for tonal areas, and varied ways of applying with a rigger brush. Wonderful textures resulted.  
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This small,  quick work was completed primarily with acrylic applied with a palette knife and fingers. Final touches were added with Sumi ink and a little oil pastel. It captures the drama and inspiring natural forms of this threatened wilderness area.

Photos from the phone camera… to edit or not to edit? Table Cape, NW Tasmania


It was an overcast day yesterday, with patches of rain and then bits of sunshine peering through. We had been to Stanley, home of The Nut, an iconic volcanic plug. On the way home we drove along the beautiful drive atop Table Cape…. another area of past volcanic activity. The sun lit up the sea and I decided to quickly take some photos with the camera phone (Samsung Galaxy S5, on auto). Very lazy, I know, but still fun and still gets one looking more closely at the beauty that surrounds.

Tonight I decided to play with some of these. I have been noticing that many people’s photos seem to be increasingly edited. The results are crisp and sharp with incredible detail and often saturated colours. As a watercolourist, who loves soft edges, I am in 2 minds about most processing. But I appreciate that most people love a more powerful image and that we all “see differently”. Anyway it is all fun and with editing programs there are an endless array of possibilities. My editing here is fairly subtle. Levels mainly. A warm filter on one, lessening some of the lens flare, and on one I played with Photoshop HDR effect (pseudo HDR I suppose).

Table Cape WestTable Cape West warm filter straight from phone camera autoauto levels copy    View fromTable CapeTable Cape view westIt

Painting on canvas from a reference photo.


Reference photo from Sarah Anne Rocks, Tarkine Coast, Tasmania. Actually I took a number of photos at different exposure because the lighting was tricky. I was careful to compose my photo so that it would create a good composition for a painting. I was drawn to the geology and the colourful seaweed draped over the rocks… and of course the location!!!!!!

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Quick sketch with dilute paint. I draw loosely with the brush using dilute raw sienna rather than carefully with a pencil, as I want a free flowing work capturing the essence of the location rather than absolute photographic accuracy. This is really just a basic compositional guide to fit the features into the format of the canvas.

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First layers of paint. For the sky I mainly applied the paint with my hand and fingers….. for the rocks, more boldly with a flat brush and palette knife.

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I rather liked the white canvas for the sea in the photo above, but not in reality, so I added “sea” and more rocks.,,,, especially another layer on the right hand side.

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The sea needed lightening and a bit more variation in hue and tone, and I painted the rocks in the sea. IMG_0058

Still to go…. a few more little rocks to help link the sand to the larger formations and the decision as to how much “decoration” to include…. seaweed, twigs, beach debris.

Back down to the Tarkine Coast…. more photos of the Tasmania I love.


I can’t get too much of this place. The weather is so changeable, the play of light fantastic. And the colours!!!! Lichen in reds, yellows, oranges, green and white.  Twisted tree trunks and mounds of green vegetation crouching in the wind. Energetic deep blue seas decorated with brilliant white foam.  And skies full of light then hidden by threatening clouds. A photographer’s delight.IMG_8858

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IMG_8799edited SA rockstif copy

Colour magic, Sunset at the Beach, Tasmania


IMG_8512I can’t help myself…. a beach, especially one with a lovely mountain range as a backdrop, perfect weather, a camera and tripod, and an hour of down time. Turners Beach is only 5 minutes from home. The only thing I wonder is why I make myself so busy doing “things” that stop me form soaking this magic in more often. Dial Range is the backdrop. Near Ulverstone, Tasmania, Australia. I had fun experimenting with the camera settings this time…. some slower shutter to get that dreamy quality to the moving water. A few stopped down then I increased the exposure on the computer editor as they were too dark. This tended to increase the reds. No colour adjustments or digital enhancement other than this exposure adjustment on 2 or 3.  Canon EOS 600D

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