For the last few weeks, I have been playing with an app called Dreamscope, which is a way of applying filters to existing images to create some painterly effects. There is little control on the app; in most cases, it works, or it doesn’t. And whether it does or not is obvious pretty quickly.
Here’s an example. Yesterday morning, my wife Donna took an image of some April irises popping up beside our front porch. Very nice. Beside them is an image filtered through Dreamscope to turn it into a faux-painting.
I then experimented with a photo of my wife. The first is a photo I took of her last summer, at an occasion when the light was right. And the next several are filtered via Dreamscope, to pretty good effect.
So this is fun, and effectoive in some cases, and puts the capacity of an IPhone to good use. But what if you want more control?
I assumed you could do this if you created the file in Dreamscope, imported it along with your original file in Photoshop, then treated that file as a layer. If you’ve ever done much editing with textures, you probably have a good idea where this is going.
Several years ago I took some photos of Stephen and Angela. Angela posted this one for his birthday today. I downloaded it, and opened in Photoshop.
Then I also uploaded the image to the Dreamscope app, where you can select from a number of filters. For this one I used the “garden” filter. Dreamscope rendered the effect, then I imported that file into Photoshop, rasterized it and treated it as another layer. Changed the opacity of the layer, did a little erasure around the faces, and this is the result.
I always make a second copy and turn that layer off, in case my editing is too heavy-handed or destructive. I can then just throw the layer away, create new one from the saved original, and try again.
Happy birthday, Stephen! Here’s how to add more dimension to existing photos.
It was a beautiful wedding at the Williamsburg Community Building on August 9.
Megan and Nate were married, and guests came from all over North America.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to do something that we haven’t done before– to attend a bride’s dress fitting. It was an exciting time at David’s Bridal on a Saturday afternoon– as you might imagine. Amanda will make a lovely bride. We’ll be delighted to be there to shoot the wedding.
It was a great deal of fun to shoot some holiday portraits of our friends Dan and Kathy.
August was the occasion for a beautiful beach wedding between Kristopher and Christina-
these folks and their families had more fun than the law allows.
Just for fun, I went out last night to take some performance pix for an old friend, musician Amy Ferebee. The Herbie D Band with Amy Ferebee performed at the Courthouse Gallery, from 5-8pm during the gallery opening and Portsmouth First Friday. Most excellent acoustic blues and Americana music.
It was quite a night with a number of other local musical luminaries sitting in. They had another gig to play at 8, so it didn’t last long enough. But it was good!
From Martha and James’ wedding December 3, 2011, at the Lynnhaven House in Virginia Beach. A lovely affair, and quite remarkable. Both the bride and the groom are unusual and unconventional. And so was their service. It was lovely and full of emotion.
From a recent article on advice for photographers:
“Master ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Shoot everyday. Study your results (including what shutter speed, ISO and aperture settings you used for your favorite shots).
“Anytime you feel that your equipment is inadequate, it just means you need to master the basics better. The master photographers from 50-100 years ago didn’t have anything as fancy as you are holding in your hot little paws, so claiming inadequate equipment isn’t a good excuse. Work on your skills.
“Composition is everything. Study the master painters (Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc) for inspiration in composition. Start to see things as a painter.
“Hit us over the head with your subject. Make it obvious what we are supposed to be seeing. Remove the clutter.” -Karen Rader
Even though photography is largely digital these days, I began my career as a news photographer, learning to shoot, compose in camera, and process my own film and prints. The vast majority of this work was black and white. In those days, if you wanted color, you shot Ektachrome and processed slides, from which the printers made separations.
While “digital smells better,” as some wags have it, there is something timeless about a black and white image. You know for yourself, two versions of the same image “feel” different, and seem to have a different emotional resonance.
In my early days I was greatly influenced by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, as I continue to be today. Adams said,
“To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.”
Froma recent session in which the primary lighting was hot lights. As a video pro, this is second nature. As usual, the rest is posing the model.
Got to love black and white processing. The combination of hot lights plus B&W (Silver Efex Pro) gives this image a retro look that I really enjoy.