Flypaper Textures

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butterfly and view

 

As its now cold and wet outside its nice to revisit unprocessed images from back in june whilst traveling in England. I stayed overnight at Leeds Castle, confusingly located in kent where I stole this shot of their cottage gardens looking down over the lake towards distant woods. You can just catch a glimpse of the lake between the topiary hedges.

Flowers and I don’t really mix as I’m 6’4″ tall and bending right down with my neck condition isn’t my idea of fun, thus I really miss the old flip up LCD screen I had on the Sony Alpha, though you can now get LCD screens to top your Canon full-chip camera but its just another gizmo to pack and carry! So thankfully, I came across these tall alliums and Iris flowers.

I decided early on to add a little something to try and pull the top and bottom parts together, bored with birds I remembered our old friend Susan of Glorious Nature overlays fame had some lovely ready cut out png butterfly sets, so i pulled out this large swallow tailed beauty and tried it in a few places, I had to tone it down slightly as my textures didn’t soften or mute it enough, and I also added a little movement blur, to make it appear it was fluttering into the picture.
The sky was far too bright even though it was early morning, so I doubled up the sky layer and brushed the rest away and overlaid in Multiply mode after warming the blue tones.

I used just 2 textures, Lime plaster to create a haze and finished with the old favorite – Muscatel to warm and add a slight vignette effect, both textures placed on top of Sue’s Glorious Nature Butterfly which bring a touch of summer to any dreary autumnal day!

Swallowtail in Flight II -@ Normal @ 68%
Lime Plaster -@ Soft Light @ 33%
Copy of sky only @ Multiply @ 73%
Muscatel @ Soft Light @ 65%

Lime Plaster and Muscatel are from Tex Box 2
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Books

 

As an avid reader and part time librarian I have an avid love of books, the real versions of course, ebooks are handy to read too but the paper versions are so much nicer…the rustle of pages, the weight, even the smell…the list goes on! You can’t take a nice photo of an ebook either!

Now the processing.
Opal Silver @ Soft light 100% masked from the books
Bauxite @ Overlay 81%
Then I used to Nik’s Brighten/Darken centre to add a bit of a glow to the central portion.
At this stage it looked okay but I wanted a little bit more warmth on the books so I added…
Casanova @ Soft Light 27% masked from everything except the books.

Opal Silver and Bauxite are from the Metallic Pack, Casanova is from the August Painterly.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Winnats Pass Lambs

 

I shot this English pastoral scene back in June, midsummer, but you’d never know it from the picture, having had such a long wet winter
the sun had only just begun to warm to earth up on these Derbyshire moors. Its a favorite visiting haunt of mine because as kids we’d come for the day, normally a bleak overcast sunday and be let loose climbing these huge mini mountains, in those days we’d not make the top but nowadays I can cheat and simply drive up through the pass and park around the back, so its just a short hike. We’d scramble into pot holes and find loads of Blue John, which is a semi precious blue/purple quartz stone, much loved by the occupying Romans 2000 years ago, its almost all spent now, and you’d be very lucky to find scraps of it on the hillside like we did. You can still buy large victorian decorative blue john carved urns for a small fortune in the picturesque Castleton antique shops at the bottom of the pass, again I always found it bleak and it still smells of the same sulfurous domestic coal smoke even in mid summer when i visited as its at such a high altitude.

Back to processing, I shot this in the early evening, and in the original capture the sky is almost blown out, so I opened it in raw and saved a bright version, then i repeated it but this time I darkened the 2nd copy to bring out the cloud details. In Photoshop I simply cleared off the darkened landscape after stacking and merged the darker sky on top of the lighter landscape to balance. Naturally you can now do this all in Camera Raw, but I guess Im still Photoshop old-school!
I then played with Russell Brown’s Adobe Paper texture panel loaded with several alternating Fly packs, thanks to my new Imac its a pleasure to load each full size pack one after the other, you guys that don’t have new computers will be in for a treat when you upgrade!
I ended up with just one texture – Nuriel Clouds to brighten the center and the classic Stygian Tin texture, to add a nice vignette and atmosphere, this time no Nik was used at all, just good old-school Flypaper textures!

Stygian Tin @ Soft Light 63%
Nuriel Clouds @ Soft Light 81%

Note from the base image Ive cleared away the messy sheep wool piles from the bottom left, its always a toughie as to wether or not to clean-up images, but I always vear towards illustration where cleaned-up images are needed.
Stygian Tin and Nuriel Clouds are both from the Summer Painterly Pack

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Fishing lures

 

I’ve built up a collection of old tobacco tins over the years, they’ve mostly been acquired from the family fishing bags and workshops. In their post tobacco lives they’ve held such things as screws and tacks, sinkers and hooks and lures! They’re great to take photos of too. Useful things tins!!

We’re often asked how we choose the textures we use in our photos, my choices are often fairly random, I just open a texture folder and try whichever texture catches my eye first, if it doesn’t work I try another. Once I’ve got one applied that works, and if the photo needs it, I look for another that will enhance the photo…add colour, add more texture or pattern, add softness etc.
Now the processing of this one.
Greystoke @ overlay 100% masked roughly from the background.
Palazzo @ Overlay 69%
Galatea @ Overlay 100% masked softly from the tins and desaturated a little using a hue adjustment layer.
Texturing done, I turned to Nik Colour Efex and used the Darken/Lighten Centre filter to add a little bit of brightness to the central portion.

Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly, Palazao is from the August Painterly and Galatea is from the Spring Painterly.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

An apple a day

 

Continuing the fruity theme here today….
Usually I don’t set out with an idea in mind for a photo, I tend to improvise along the way, adding and subtracting components till I find something that works. I started with a plain apple, added plates and knives before settling on a plain partially peeled apple and the knife and since I didn’t have a red apple in the house, you get a lovely green Granny Smith! Once again the photo was taken with the Lensbaby edge 80, I love it for still-lifes!
Now the processing
Greystoke @ Overlay 40% masked gently from the fruit
Aqua Vita @ Soft Light 68%
Then I merged visable CTRL -ALT -Shift-E on my PC
And used a Nik preset that I created which you can download HERE
It looked okay at this stage but I decided it needed a little more warmth and depth so I added another texture
Inferno @ Soft Light 38%

Greystoke is from the Autumn Painterly Pack, Aqua Vita and Inferno are from the August Painterly Pack.

How to import presets and/or recipes in Color Efex 4
Open Color Efex Pro 4 from the host application that you use (Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture).
Click “Recipes” in the left panel.
At the bottom of the Recipes menu, click “Import.”
Select the “.np” preset files you have saved and import them.
These presets will then be located in the “Imported” section.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Prickly Pears

 

It’s a little known fact, but whilst at school I was a nerdy member of the South Yorkshire Cactus and Succulent Society, and wore a cute little prickly pear opuntia sticking out of a house of York white rose enamel badge, unkindly abbreviated to… well, we wont go there!
Didn’t do much at the monthly meets, just had a slideshow and lecture by Cactus nuts, normally after their having visited the Arizona or Mexican desert. Also, members sold their plants cheaply to each other at the end of the evening, otherwise they cost a fortune back then..

So, many years later it came a nice surprise to discover after moving to the south of France that even here on the northern most edge of the Mediterranean, we get loads of these prickly pears growing like weeds in stony hedgerows!

The fruits innards are like a red-fleshed pulpy watermelons, and barely worth the trouble of picking as the spots are made of tiny fibres which irritate the skin, that’s if you get past their mothers giant spines!

The idea came to me to use these varied coloured pears for a collection type poster. I had it all worked out in my head, shot it in the roof with 2 velux windows above  and a couple of fill-in lights to take away the darker shadows. I shot them on cream card, it needed a warming background as the light was very blue and white can be a nightmare to texture as a background.

I made a Flypaper Prickly Pear preset in Nik color pro efex  and you can freely download  it  HERE – which really brought the fruits to life!  I textured in the normal way. I always load my full size fly sets into the Adobe paper Panel from our friend, Dr Russell Brown, btw, you lucky guys with CC cloud, there is a new texture panel upgrade just out!

I also tried uploading our French Receipts PNG overlays set into the panel, but even though it uploads fine, the PNG’s wont show up, so I hit ‘Random’ and got 3 overlays show up, click off the ones you don’t like, keep trying till you get the one you finally like and there you go, better than nothing! I finally removed the bottom half of the overlay, and I also cloned and moved – Fruits Sec. – header at the top right to line up with the first pear and finally adjusted the brightness to taste!

Sonnet – Soft Light @ 100%
Mystic Hues – Soft Light @ 20%
Muscatel – Soft Light @ 100%
Dangerous Liaisons – Overlay @ 26% Texture removed from fruits
Dried Fruits – Fruits Secs. PNG – Multiply @ 37% all text removed from fruit
Dried Fruits – Fruits Secs. PNG – Multiply @ 34% all text removed from fruit and a slight blurring with Gaussian Blur filter to soften.

Sonnet and Mystic Hues are from the Spring Painterly, Muscatel is from Tex Box 2 and Dangerous Liaisons is from Tex Box 1.. The dried fruits png is from the French Receipt PNG pack

How to import presets and/or recipes in Color Efex 4
Open Color Efex Pro 4 from the host application that you use (Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture).
Click “Recipes” in the left panel.
At the bottom of the Recipes menu, click “Import.”
Select the “.np” preset files you have saved and import them.
These presets will then be located in the “Imported” section.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Pear tintype

 

Another addition to my collection of pear photos.  They’re such photogenic fruit and especially this variety with its elongated shape, a Beurre Bosc in fact. The photo was taken with the lensbaby edge 80, a wonderful lens I must add! Perfect for still-lifes like this one and lensbaby shots have a natural affinity to textures.
Anyway the processing…no Nik presets this time sorry, I didn’t even use Nik on this photo.
Electra @ Overlay 100%
Etched Copper @ Soft Light 100%
Scuffed Rust @ Soft light 100%
Tintype 15 @ Normal 100% masked from everything except the edge.
Tintype 15 @ Hard Light 100%
Curves and Hue Saturation layers to slightly tweak the tone and colour.

Electra, Etched Copper And Scuffed Rust are from the Flypaper Metallic Pack, Tintype 15 is from the Tintype Edge Pack

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Medieval

 

Another image from the grounds of Leeds Castle in Kent, I came across this interesting themed hillside camp-site situated beyond their large vineyard which can be glimpsed in the background, and found they’re now running a new Glamping site!
All these lovely fresh new tents with their different primary colours were glowing in the morning sun, however, some were occupied so I didn’t like to get too close!

Using the Polarizer filter caused those dark top corners as I also had a stacked UV filter.

The ornamental axed spear or joust gave me the idea of doing a kind of medieval set-up. I find in illustration, one object is just an object, but add another relevant object and you begin to get a kind of narrative, a third addition being the textures and processing, this finishes the narrative by adding depth and atmosphere, yes, book covers can be as simple at this!

From the before and after you’ll see I tidied away a pole and removed some distracting light patches from the vineyard. Processing took quite a few steps so I’ve simplified it for this recipe and as the last giveaway with so popular, thanks for the positive feedback guys!

We also include the 2nd free Nik Preset;
Flypaper Medieval as promised! ☺

Flypaper Medieval Nik Preset Multiply @ 44%
Flypaper Medieval Nik Preset Multiply @ 21%
Flypaper Metallic Bauxite TextureSoft Light @ 100%
Flypaper Metallic Mars Texture Soft Light @ 100%
Tintype metal Edges no:2 Screen @ 87%
Flypaper Tex Box 1 Necropolis Soft Light @ 22%

Finishing with final colour tweaking and brightening.

How to import presets and/or recipes in Nik Color Efex 4

Open Color Efex Pro 4 from the host application that you use (Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture).
Click “Recipes” in the left panel.
At the bottom of the Recipes menu, click “Import.”
Select the “.np” preset files you have saved and import them.
These presets will then be located in the “Imported” section.

Tintype no: 2 is from the Tintype Edges Pack, Mars and Bauxite are from the Metallic Pack, and Necropolis is from Tex Box 1.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

The Lake House

 

If like us, you’re just back from holidaying  you’ll also have reams of new images to process. So with this in mind we’ve come up with a new idea, to help you on your way we’ll give you a head start with our Nik Color Pro free Fly Preset download, just hit this LINK and you’ll have the preset I created yesterday when I processed this English holiday picture, it’s a good all-round preset, and it compliments our Flypaper Tin edges beautifully. If you guys approve and we get some nice feedback, we’ll then be encouraged to share more of our Nik Presets!

The images location was from the grounds of Leeds Castle in Kent, where I spent a luxurious night after driving from France, taken quite late, well after the park had closed to outside visitors and thus had lovely clear views, stunning golden hour sunlight and plenty of tame peacocks to capture!

Processing was simple, you’ll see I cloned out some clutter from what I assumed was the Pump House, ran it through the Nik color efex pro preset I’ve given you and then applied the Tintype 18 texture  @ Screen 44%

How to import presets and/or recipes in Color Efex 4
Open Color Efex Pro 4 from the host application that you use (Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture).
Click “Recipes” in the left panel.
At the bottom of the Recipes menu, click “Import.”
Select the “.np” preset files you have saved and import them.
These presets will then be located in the “Imported” section.

Tintype 18 is from the Tintype Edges Pack
Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

Japonica

 

This was a quick shot I took yesterday on a shelf in our glasshouse, I put an old tray behind the shelf as a backdrop, gathered some vine prunings and then picked a twig of japonica from the shrub growing nearby and voila!  Japonica or Chaenomeles japonica has spiky branches, brilliant coloured flowers which appear before the leaves in spring, and in autumn there are japonica fruit. I’ve never used the fruit but apparently you can. Japonica Jelly anyone?

Anyway, the processing.
I started by processing the image in Nik colour efex, unfortunately I don’t remember the exact settings I used, I sometimes save my recipes but didn’t in the case. I “think” it could have been one of the vintage film presets, tweaked to give the colour you see here.
Then it was time for textures
Smoky Dusk @ Overlay 65% masked from the focus flower
Smoky Dusk @ multiply 39% masked from the lower portion of the image using a graduated fill mask.
Masque @ Overlay 61% masked from the flowers
Tintype 30 @ Multiply 75% it was partially removed from the central portion of the image leaving the edges untouched.

Smoky Dusk is from the Metallic Pack, Masque is from the August Painterly and the Tintype 30 is from the Tintype pack.

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.

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