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Abstract Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs

Inverting Images In Photoshop

As an outdoor photographer and digital artist, I find it fun to experiment with creative effects in post-processing. Here is a super easy and super fast way to completely transform a photograph by inverting images in Photoshop and then applying textures and colors in Topaz Texture Effects.

Here is an image of birch trees reflecting in a pond at Crex Meadows Wildlife Area near Grantsburg, Wisconsin. Not a bad image, but nothing that really makes my head turn, either.

Birch Reflection Straight Out of Camera
Straight Out of Camera

I tried a few other edits using different color palettes, but nothing really got my attention. Here is an edit using Topaz Restyle to make it more of a cooler tones “winter” look:

Topaz Restyle Frozen Landscape
Topaz Restyle Frozen Landscape

Another edit using Nik Color Efex Pro to give it a warmer look:

Warmer Edit
Warmer Edit

These edits were “OK” but nothing special.

Inverting Images

Then I tried inverting the original image in Photoshop. By inverting, I don’t mean flipping it upside down – I mean making it look more like a negative. Simply open the image in Photoshop and hit “Ctrl” “I” (command “I” on a Mac).

Inverted Image
Inverted Image

I then took the inverted image in to Topaz Texture Effects and added texture and a color overlay. This is surreal!

Inverted Birch Reflection
Inverted and edited with Topaz Texture Effects

It really is that easy! Complete transformation of a typical landscape photograph in about 5 minutes. While I like the looks I got with the other edits, inverting images in Photoshop gives this particular image a completely different and surreal look that really grabs my attention. With just a fast and simple trick. I don’t think this type of edit would work with every image, but for trees or forest scenes it seems to come out rather nicely. Give it a try and see what you think!

Happy inverting!

 

Categories
Abstract Black & White Landscape Minnesota Nature Special Offer Wildlife Wisconsin

Blowout Holiday Sale on Gallery Wrapped Canvas Art

Just in time for last minute holiday shoppers, I’m having a blowout sale on gallery wrapped canvas pieces that have already been printed and are ready for you to pick up and take home – today! Wildlife, landscapes, nature, outdoor abstracts – there’s something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors! All of my pieces have all been printed by a professional lab using archival inks and materials and are ready to hang. All they need is your wall to hang on and be admired from 😉

Save Up to 50% on Select Pieces

These pieces are currently on display at Dow Art Gallery and Picture Framing on University Ave in St. Paul. Stop in during business hours to purchase.

North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery
North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery

Each of the four 12 x 18 pieces shown on the top of the gallery wall: Water Lily Reflection, Pattison Sunset, Lena, and Canada Lynx Kitten retail for $155 + tax. Sale price is only $79 + tax!

The Yellow Flower Abstract & Frosty Maple (not shown here) measure 11 x 14 inches and 1.5 inches thick and retail for $135 + tax. Sale price is only $69 + tax!

The Morning Glory Butterfly measures 11 x 11 inches and retails for $97. Sale price is only $59 + tax!

These pieces are not currently on display but are available for purchase:

Gallery Wall 1

The two Bald Eagle pieces at the top are photographs that have been digitized to make them look like watercolor paintings. They both measure 16 x 20 inches and retail for $185 + tax. Sale price is only $99 + tax!

The Trumpeter Swan Reflection at the bottom is a black and white photograph on canvas, measures 12 x 24 inches and retails for $175 + tax. Sale price is only $99 + tax!

Trumpeter Swan Reflection

I also have a single wood print available. Crex Meadows Crane Sunset measures 8 x 12 inches on 1/2 inch maple board and has keyholes drilled in the back so it’s ready to hang. The grain of the wood shows through on lighter portions of the photo (like the sky). Printed by a professional lab using archival inks. Since every board is unique, this piece is truly one of a kind! Retails for $149 + tax. Sale price is only $75 + tax!

Crex Meadows Sunset on Maple

All of these pieces come ready to hang and don’t need any other framing or hardware. Local buyers may arrange to purchase and pick-up locally to save shipping costs (and avoid any potential damage caused by shipping).

Shipping is available anywhere in the continental US and will vary depending on the piece and my cost to ship to your location. These pieces are available on a first come, first served basis. Additional gallery wrapped canvases can still be ordered through the online gallery at the regular price.

If you have any questions about a particular piece or would like to see a better photo, shoot me a message! We can also meet at Dow Art Gallery if you’d like to see anything in person before purchasing. There won’t be another sale on gallery wrapped canvas art any better than this, so get it while you can!

 

Categories
Abstract Creative Tips Landscape Lightroom Nature Photo Editing Photoshop Topaz Labs tutorial

How to Create Surreal Forest Photos in Minutes

Want to learn a fast easy way to turn “blah” forest photos into something surreal? I’m going to show you a way to get two different options out of the same “ho-hum” forest photo in just a few easy steps using Lightroom with either Photoshop for the blur option or Topaz Labs plug-ins for a super fast impressionist painterly effect.

Impressionist Painterly Effect
Impressionist Painterly Effect

Original Forest Photo

I took this during the middle of a sunny day at St. Croix State Park when the light was a bit harsh. I really liked the way the forest looked in real life, but the image straight out of the camera was, well…. lackluster to say the least.

Boring Forest Photo
Boring Forest Photo straight out of the camera.

Original Edits in Lightroom

For this one, I only did some very basic edits in Lightroom: brought the temp slider down to emphasize the blues and turned the hue slider on the aqua channel way up. You may have to make different tweaks depending on the image you’re starting with.

Adjust Temp & Hue
Adjust Temp & Hue in Lightroom

Option One – Linear Blur

From this point, I did two different edits starting with the basic Lightroom adjustments. For the first, I then took the photo in to Photoshop CS6 -> duplicate layer -> Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur and adjust to taste. For this one I had the angle at 90 and distance at 500 pixels. I used the normal blending mode at opacity of about 76. Save and fin:

Blur Effect
Linear Blur Effect

Option Two – Impressionist Painting

The second option was to take the basic Lightroom adjusted photo in to Topaz Clean to de-clutter some of the details. I wasn’t really satisfied at this point as it wasn’t the end result I was looking for, so I then tried Topaz Simplify and chose the Impressions Natural preset in the Painting category. In this case, I probably didn’t need Topaz Clean to get the result I ended up with. Since the Topaz Labs plug-ins work with either Photoshop or Lightroom, you can use them with either. I didn’t really tweak it beyond that except to add a vignette when I brought it back to Lightroom. Fin.

Impressionist Painterly Effect
Impressionist Painterly Effect

I got two completely different abstract forest photos that you’d never know came from the original – all in about 10 minutes. And I was lolly gagging. I’m not sure which edit I like better – I like them both for different reasons. I hope you like them, too! If so, do you have a favorite?

Both are available for purchase in the Abstract Gallery.

Categories
Abstract Creative Tips Photoshop tutorial

How to Create Twirl Effect in Photoshop

If you like abstract photography, you’ll LOVE this twirl effect in photoshop! It’s fast and easy – SO easy you could create an action for it and make it even faster if you want to!

finished twirl in photoshop

Here’s how it’s done:

Twirl Effect in Photoshop

Start with any photo in 8 bit. This is the original:

140615Original1

Filter -> Pixelate -> Mezzotint -> Medium Lines

mezzotint

Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur (slider = 100, blur method = zoom, quality = best)

radial blur

Repeat step 3 up to 5 times as desired. I just did it once in this example.

Duplicate Layer.

Remain on original layer. Filter -> Distort -> Twirl (angle value +80 or as desired).

Select new layer. Filter -> Distort -> Twirl (angle value = opposite of step 6, ie -80).

 

twirl

Alter new layer’s blending mode = lighten.

blend mode lighten

Merge layers. Fin.

finished twirl in photoshop

There you have it – the twirl effect in photoshop! Play around with it and have fun!

Categories
Abstract Black & White Landscape Minnesota Nature Wildlife Wisconsin

New Photographs on Display at Dow Art Gallery

There are now 10 new photographs on display on my wall at Dow Art Gallery and Picture Framing!

North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery
North Woods Photos Wall at Dow Art Gallery

I currently have six gallery wrapped canvases ranging in size from 11×11 to 12×18, all printed on Giclee archival 408gram 18mil canvas, and they’re ready to hang on YOUR wall!

In addition to the canvases, there are four framed photographic prints ready to hang. Frames are either 11×14 or 16×20.

Several matted and mounted prints are also available, which you can put into ready made frames or have Dow Art Gallery and Picture Framing do a custom framing job for you. You can choose from 5×7 prints that are matted and mounted to fit an 8×10 frame, or 8×10 prints that are matted and mounted to fit an 11×14 frame.

As always, ALL of my products are printed at professional labs who use archival inks, papers, canvases, and materials. Even the unframed prints you see in the basket are matted and mounted with archival materials. With proper care, these pieces should outlast you!

You can stop by Dow Art Gallery in St. Paul to view and purchase in person, or order from the online galleries and have the products drop shipped anywhere in the US.

Categories
Abstract Black & White Landscape Macro Michigan Minnesota Nature Special Event Wildlife Wisconsin

Take Dad to the North Woods for Father’s Day

I added a few new goodies to the gallery just in time for Father’s Day!

Walleye

Walleye – before you catch ’em!

Ideally, you’ll be able to take your Dad to the North Woods and experience it first hand for yourselves: tromping through hard woods or tall pine forests, fishing or boating one (or more) of the thousands of pristine lakes, relaxing next to a spectacular waterfall, camping under the Northern Lights…. you get the idea.

Willow River Falls

Willow River

But if you can’t, the next best thing would be to give a gift that makes him feel like he went! Choose between photo prints that you can frame yourself, or canvas or metal prints that come ready to hang. Your order can be drop shipped anywhere in the US, so all you have to do is select the image you’d like to send to Dad and we’ll take care of the rest!

Yearling Moose Pair

Yearling Moose Twins

Go to the gallery and ORDER NOW to be sure it gets there before Father’s Day. Use coupon code DAD2015 to get 20% off any size canvas or metal. Offer expires June 21, 2015.

Categories
Abstract Creative Tips Photoshop tutorial

Turn a Panorama to a Photo Planet with Photoshop

Learned a cool technique from Ben Wilmore during Photoshop Week on Creative Live a few weeks ago: how to transform a landscape panorama into a Photo Planet!

Planet Zumbro

Basic Photo Preparation

This was my first attempt at this technique, so it’s a little rough. I also don’t currently have an ideal shot to apply it to (you want a nice panorama) and it was taken as a jpeg with a point and shoot camera, resulting in more artifacts in the sky than I like, but here’s the general “how to”:

This is the image I started with before any edits at all:

150404Planet Zumbro1You can see how the sky has got some artifact and there’s a distracting tree branch imposing on the upper left side of the frame, but what I was looking for when selecting an image was one where the right and left edges would blend together fairly well without too obvious of a seam. The horizon matches fairly close, as does the grassy area in the foreground.

Landscape Panorama Zumbro River BottomsI did some of the basic edits in Lightroom to adjust clarity, contrast, vibrance / saturation, and get the tonal properties the way I wanted them. Then took it into Photoshop CS6 for further editing to get rid of the tree and some of the artifact in the sky.

How to Make a Photo Planet

Now to the nitty gritty:

Filter -> Other -> Offset

Use horizontal slider to move the edge of the photo towards the center. Make sure the wrap around setting is turned on so that the image “loops around” and the right and left sides join together. At this point, you will notice an obvious seam that will need to be blended. I used a combination of spot healing and patch tool with content aware fill to do what I needed for this particular image. Content aware has become a good friend 😉

Once you’re happy with your seam touch up, you need to convert the document to a square shape:

Image Size -> note number of pixels of longest edge. Deselect constrain proportions (it may be a chain symbol depending on your version of PS), and manually enter the pixel size of the longer edge to both height and width so that they are the same. Your image will now look distorted / stretched.

Now you need to flip the document upside down or your sky will be the core of the planet instead of the ground:

Image Size -> Image Rotation -> Flip canvas vertical

Make sure your document is in 8 bit or this next part won’t work:

Filter -> Distort -> Polar Coordinates

This will give it the round shape. You now have a photo planet!

Filter -> Distort -> Pinch (I used 50%, which was the default) to pull in the center a bit.

Planet Zumbro

Fin.

 

 

Categories
Abstract Black & White Landscape Macro Michigan Minnesota Nature Trails Wildlife Wisconsin

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

 Sandhill Cranes at Sunset

Crex Meadows sunset

Thank you for stopping by the brand spankin’ new North Woods Photos site! The purpose of this site will be to show you my stompin’ grounds in and around Minnesota and nearby areas of the Upper Midwest through my outdoor photography.  You’ll learn about local hot spots for viewing wildlife, see amazing landscapes, and see how I tweak some images to get more abstract or painterly results.  I also occasionally serve as a photographer for local trail races (I am a trail runner myself).

If you see something you like, you’ll have the option to purchase images as prints, canvases, or metals  from a professional lab  if desired!

Before any of that can happen, I’ve got to get the website up and running and take care of setting up the business 🙂

Anticipated Grand Opening date is currently April 2015. I hope you are as excited as I am!