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Lily-of-the-Valley

Another small scented treasure that’s flowering in my garden at the moment. Lily-of-the-valley is one of my favourite flowers and I look forward to its season every year.  It’s amazing how such a small flower can give so much fragrance, a tiny sprig can fill a room with it’s scent.

Now the processing, I didn’t like the darkness of the wood in the background of this shot so used textures to lighten and brighten. The recipe is very simple.
Lyme Fossil @overlay 47%
Peach Blush @ Hard light 100% masked from the focus areas (it’s this texture that did the lightening of the wood.
Copy of Background @ soft light 50%
I could have left it at this but to soften things slightly I added
Gelato Ice @ screen 10%

Lyme Fossil and Gelato Ice are from the Spring Painterly Pack, Peach Blush is from Tex Box 2
See it slightly bigger on Flickr

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

Pumpkin seat son!

Summers strong clear light is great but Textures and Autumn were made for each other!
Less than 2 weeks ago we were bathing in the sea and basking in 90F here in the south of France, now the heaters are on low as there is a chilly north wind a-blowing. With it comes the Mediterraneans smoky evenings as many people burn old Vine stumps in their kitchens and cook in their ashes. The downside is that those Vines are steeped in years of sulfur applications against mildew, and I’m quite allergic to this in the air. Still it has its upside, the seasonal celebrations are a fun distraction and give us an excuse to do a shot or two, with tongue firmly in cheek!

Shown here in front of my new chocolate colored wall, did I say chocolate? Because look how the lighting has changed it to green!
Shot very simply with reflected sunlight from the right and a cheap, 120w small halogen lamp’s light is reflected from the left hand white wall.

Nothing was planned, I sat on the floor and snapped a couple of fast shots as I had an appointment to go to. I’m glad I did as we now have a week of low light and rain forecast!
Processing was fairly simple, I wanted our flypaper texture showing on that back wall, which has already been slightly enhanced in CS5 HDR, or with the Nik HDR Efex Pro I’d recommend number 26 Friendly scenery, and take down their effect with their sliders.
Before merging I removed around 50% of the HDR enhanced layer.
I also used Nik – darken lighten center moving the brightest part to the pumpkin and finally after the textures were fattened I gave a slight Glamor Glow from the Nik filters. Naturally, you can do all this with photoshop, but I like Nik these days for its speed and ease of processing.

Finally, I clicked auto tone in photoshop on a duplicated layer giving an effect like turning on a spotlight, however it was in the wrong place above the chair, so I brushed away most of this final layer leaving the brighter Pumpkin, nicely highlighted!

I chose Flypaper Summer Textures, as I didn’t want the Spring paint brush effect, but I could have chosen any pack in reality, perhaps it was a hankering for those balmy summer days?
Anyhow, I opened Dawn Grunge, and it brightened up the chair a little too much so I removed a little from the chairs top fabric. Then opening up Sariel Leather, thinking it might enhance the autumn tones, and it worked a treat.
Sometimes the first textures you choose work perfectly and this was one of those spooky days!

Happy Halloween!

Dawn Grunge – Overlay @ 65% brushed from chairs highlights
Sariel Leather – Soft Light @ 48%

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

Vase of Lisianthus

After a hectic summer working non-stop, I decided to treat myself by reinvesting my earnings in a Photographic lighting studio set-up. Its still very basic.
(more about that next time) And as Canon 5D had no flash I had to buy one. At least i’m ready for those darker Autumnal months!
I painted my top floor studio wall a chocolate brown, Id give you the colour, but I mixed it by hand from old Farrow and Ball British paints,
I bring this up because the local French paint is terrible, you buy a big can and only get around two thirds of very watery paint at twice the price of UK paint – Lol, don’t get me started! Anyhow, I use Farrow and Ball because its organic, doesn’t smell and is dead flat Matt, giving a ready distressed effect if you use just one coat.

This vase is illuminated from a right side window, with reflected sun from the opposite yellow house. I used a fill-in flash bounced from a sheet of white card to the right of the camera, there is a white reflector to the left of the table. The Flash is on the camera, but pointing to the right.
Its well worth investing in a good all round orienting Flash, mine is the Canon 430EX II.
The camera was mounted on a tripod and tethered to my laptop with a USB wire, so I can view as I click, Its a luxury to see the image at large size as you shoot so you can sort out hot spots and snags.
Using a tripod helps get your composition sorted out, so you don’t need to keep doing this, it saves time and shakes!

I used one of my old free negative textures, and you can find it here on Flickr The base image is already treated with CS5 HDR effect to brighten and then a De-noise.

Free Neg Texture Overlay @ 100%
Free Neg Texture Soft Light @ 100
Heather Overlay @ 100% – brushed from table area
Fly Edge no.10 Colour Burn @ 23% Dust and Scratches cleaned and softened.

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

Bluebells

It’s been a while since we updated the blog, we’ve both been busy with other things.  I’ve been trying to get my garden organised amongst other things, I spent some of today planting my vegetable garden, I’m looking forward to heirloom rainbow carrots this season along with golden globe beetroot and celeriac, providing they grow that is.

In the flower garden the bluebells are still flowering, I love their elegant arched stems.
I gave these ones the Flypaper Texture treatment.

Eau de Nil @ Overlay 100% I  converted this layer to a smart object and blurred it using a gaussian blur and because I wanted some of the texture showing I removed the blur from the edges using the smart object layer mask.
Cobalt Cloud @ Soft Light 100%

Eau de Nil is from the Spring Painterly set and Cobalt Cloud from the Summer Painterly.
See it larger on Flickr

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

Stormy Sunday

Yesterday our daylight saving/summer time started here in New Zealand, the weather was far from summery with showers and a biting cold wind. In the afternoon we decided to go for a walk at one of the city beaches but on arriving we discovered that the tide was too high to actually get down to the beach added to this it started to rain and sleet!
The sea however was wonderfully dramatic -just the kind of seas I love and getting photos like this one made braving the weather worthwhile. We’re hardy souls down here in Dunedin -there was even a surfer out amongst the waves,  I suspect the water may have been warmer than the air yesterday.

So onto the processing, and it was relatively simple….
Villa Adriana @ Overlay 77%
Umbra Eclipse @  Soft light 100% and masked from the lower portion of the photo using a graduated mask.
Curves layer to tweak tone/contrast
I finished with a Brilliance/Warmth filter from Nik Color Efex to add a tiny amount of warmth.
And it was done.
Both textures are from the Spring Painterly pack.
See it larger on Flickr

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

Tower Bridge

During a recent summer stay in London, I visited some old friends who have moved to the now very fashionable South Bank of the Thames. As it was my first trip to this area I was amazed to see such regeneration and life in this ancient, and once shabby area! We did a several mile loop of both sides of the Thames with the black pug – you can see him in the first image, edited out with a clone tool as he looked, well, too blobby!
Also edited out was the company name on the left-hand building. I almost removed the lady in red but thought she added a bit of interest, and anyhow, it would have taken me ages to match up those floor tiles!

This is a modern day London Canyon view of the old Tower Bridge, recently shown in all its close-up glory in the recent sherlock holmes
movie. Unfortunately it was a very gloomy and overcast day, thus my pictures were a tad on the dark side. However, by running the image through Nik – HDR I was able to bring out the colours.

For a final tweak I used just one Flypaper texture, mostly over the over-bright sky area and also to rebalance the picture.

Orange Blossom – Multiply @ 50% over bright sky areas only.

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

Another Beach

I textured and posted this one to flickr soon after we launched the spring painterly set, I especially loved the effect the impressionist Sisley texture gives here.
Often you can get away with using just one texture in processing, but I tend to build up the layers to add depth, even repeating the same texture twice at different opacities often works wonders.
Anyway here’s the processing….

Curves layer to tweak tone this was masked off the upper portion using a graduated layer mask
Spring Equinox @ Soft Light 62%
Syrinx @ Soft Light 100% masked from upper portion using graduated layer mask
Syrinx @ Soft light 100% masked as above
Hue saturation layer to warm the image slightly
Sisley @ Soft light 77%
Spring Equinox @ Soft light 100 % masked from the central portion as I just wanted the texture on the edges
Gelato Ice @ Multiply 100% Masked from the sea

All textures are from the Spring Painterly Pack

 

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

Daydream

I’m just back from a short holiday at Kaikoura, a lovely coastal town several hundred kilometres north of here. Kaikoura is famed for its whale watching but there’s much more to do…wildlife, fishing seals, wild beaches, walks etc etc….
My holiday coincided with one of the most widespread snow falls we’ve had in New Zealand for many years and while there wasn’t much snow in Kaikoura itself, it was freezing and the surrounding mountains were covered in a good dusting of snow. The bad weather meant grey overcast days, not the best for photography unfortunately. I haven’t had time to do much processing of the photos I did take so here’s an old one featuring the kind of weather I’m dreaming of at the moment.

The processing….
Brushed Rose @ overlay 51%
Scotch mist @ overlay 100%
Peacock @ Soft light 36%
Tempest Sea @ Overlay 51% (masked from the sky using a graduated mask)
At this stage it looked fine but I thought a bit of contrast wouldn’t go amiss so I added…
Nik Contrast Colour Range (but lacking Nik you could use curves or PS Hdr to give a similar effect)
And it was done.
With the exception of Brushed Rose which is from the Summer painterly set, the textures are from the Spring painterly collection.

See it a little larger on Flickr

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

Books

In recent times I’ve been going through a slow phase, photography wise, it being winter here in New Zealand is probably something to do with it.  Anyway I was getting sick of going through my archives looking for something to process so decided to do a quick still-life with the first thing that came to hand…these old books.

My set up is as always very simple, I put them on the living room table and they were lit by afternoon window light.

My processing was equally simple. Both textures used are from the Spring Painterly pack.
Catacomb Frieze @ soft light 60% desaturated using a hue saturation adjustment
Swanns Way @ Soft Light 83% masked from the focus areas as desired
Finally  the very useful Nik Tonal contrast  (from Nik Color Efex Pro) to add drama and bring out the details.

See it a little larger on Flickr

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

Sunflowers at days end

They say you have to suffer for your Art, and here is a prime example!
Who would have known that sunflower fields had to have many bee hives to pollinate all those flowers, and who would have known to carry a bee sting antidote in the car?
I do now… Ouch! I was stung on the palm of my thankfully left hand, which blew up to twice it’s size!
Now I carry a small pot of Bicarb powder in the glove compartment, next to my photo filters!

Here is a square crop with a very simple, yet effective, one texture combo use, later zapped up in Nik color Effex Pro 3.
I simply upped the color brightness, the effect was like turning on a light switch!

Lyme Fossil – Soft Light @ 100%
Nik Color Pro 3 – Color brightness tweak.

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

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