If you’ve been following my blog, then you probably already know that I am a big fan of adding a little something extra to my photographs. Lately I’ve really been enjoying using the Topaz plugin Impressions on my flowers. But! I don’t want my photography and/or artistic skills ~ the art of composition, color, and most of all my vision ~ to get lost in all those special effects. Finding a balance has become an essential part of my creative process. Take the peony above. Can it stand on it’s own, without the painterly effect? You bet! So why add a painterly effect at all? Apart from personal preference (which I tend to think is really at the root of all art, regardless the medium), I happen to really like the way textures or other effects give my images a bit of a boost, whether it accentuates a mood or adds a bit more dimension to the overall composition. This flower in it’s natural state has a flowy painterly look, even the fabric I used has some painterly-like texture to it. I just wanted to enhance those subtle details a bit more.
My process to find the perfect balance ~ I usually drop the opacity of the painterly effect (or whatever type of effect I’m using) to less than 50%, just enough… but not too much to overshadow the original image. And even that’s not really a rule; there may be tweaking with blend modes, adding more layers, some masking… and sometimes I stumble across something I hadn’t even thought of which is why I now have a third version in the works using some distressed textures (my first special effects love). One peony… three different ways… so far.
Whatever it takes, it’s finding that balance that gives my images just what I’m looking for… that painterly kiss.
Until next time,