Flypaper Textures

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Plums on white

A slightly different starting photo and slightly different processing.
I’m enjoying playing with photos in this soft desaturated style and have discovered after many failures that choice of subject and background are very important and likewise light, soft indirect light seems to give the best results.
After much playing with textures, I think I’ve come up with a winning combination:-)

I duplicated the background to start with.
Using a Hue Saturation layer I reduced the saturation a touch.
then:
Burnished Clay @ Hardlight 68%
Sail cloth @ Overlay 55%
Sail cloth @ screen 7% (this layer probably could have been omitted)
Gosgrain @ screen 54 % desaturated to taste. I started off having this layer toned blue to give the finished image a slight blue hue but changed my mind at the last moment and opted for just slightly desaturating the green of the texture. A touch of texture was removed from the focus fruit.

….and yes, that’s a cup ring you see on the original background (a piece of cardboard), textures are so good at covering up such things 🙂

The above processing is very similar to what I used on my recent stone and bowl image on flickr.
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the scary bit

On rediscovering my Thailand vacation pictures from last year,
I still find the odd thing to process.
This was shot in Portrait format, on a fast speedboat launch in poor early morning light, thus unfortunately most shots from this batch suffer from a little camera shake and were abandoned.
The rocks were very yellow, so to get around this, I simply added a final B/W base image layer to finish off the image.
It gives a cool modern look to the finished imagery.
I’m sure that if the James Bond franchise were to re-visit their famous nearby Kho Phi Phi islands used in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’,
would they be using this kind of desaturated filming, perhaps with a green filter?

Apple Blush – Soft Light @ 100%
Dangerous Liaisons – Multiply @ 30%
Base Image – Soft Light @ 31%
Base Image (totally desaturated) – Normal @ 45%

If you look closely at the flickr version you’ll see I removed a boat!
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Plums

We have a self sown plum tree in our garden it produces fairly tangy, yellow fleshed plums with dark purple skins, in fact they look a bit like the Grand Duke plums that grew in the orchard on the farm where I grew up. Unfortunately our tree doesn’t crop very well so I try not to let the plums go to waste, after I’d taken these photos I turned the fruit into plum sauce. The recipe I use is one my grandmother used to make; don’t you love old family recipes like this?.With these plums it makes a wonderful dark red, tangy sauce.

Grandma’s Plum Sauce

6 lb plums (I remove the stones to make the sieving easier at the end)
2 lb onions
3 lb sugar
3 pints vinegar (I use malt vinegar)
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cloves
pinch of cayenne

Boil all together till soft, then put through a sieve or mouli/food mill. Bottle in clean hot jars.
Use as a condiment and also in cooking, it’s great in marinades, casseroles etc.

Now the texture recipe!

Peach blush @ screen 35%
Backdrop @ multiply 72% desaturated to taste
Hue saturation layer remove most of the colour.
Dark blue colour layer @ screen 26%
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hydrangea resting on a stool

Continuing in a pale Dutch mood, this image was post processed in almost the same simple way as the last pears image, but omitting the muscatel texture.
The stripped Stool is originally antique English country furniture.

Lime Plaster (flipped vertically) Hard Light @ 50%
Lime Plaster (flipped vertically and brushed from flowers) Hard Light @ 12%
Ming (slightly desaturated) Soft Light @ 100%
Base image copy – Soft Light 52%
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The Road

This was taken while I was on holiday just last week on a very hot and dry North Canterbury day as we ventured high into the hills looking for a river. It’s beautiful countryside with rolling brown hills, the occasional tree and white roads thanks to the local limestone. The river, when we found it was a wonderful blue but it was so hot down there in the sheltered and almost treeless valley that we didn’t linger.

I had a lovely and relaxing holiday, the weather was perfect and I saw lots of new places, it’s good to be back though 🙂

After doing some rough cloning in of the sky to make my photo square, I processed this as follows using textures from both packs.
Peach Blush @ Colour Burn 23%
Leaden Hall @ Saturation 51% and removed a little from the sky (a strange choice of blending mode for this texture but it muted the colours subtly)
Necropolis @ Overlay 53% (desaturated a little)
Copy of background @ Overlay 20%
Pompeii Stucco @ Overlay 75% (this gave the vignette)
Muscatel @ Multiply 72 % desaturated and with the texture removed from the upper portions of the image using a graduated layer mask
Peach Blush @ Overlay 44% desaturated a little

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nature morte

Firstly, I must fess-up, I’m not too used to still-life set-ups,
as they’re a bit of a new thing for me.
But knowing those few basics about three being better than two
and five being better than four objects, gets you into the right arrondissement of Nature Morte! Don’t ask me why, I suppose seeing odd numbers disturbs the eye a little more than seeing evenly grouped numbers of objects?
More disturbance is obtained by placing the whole set-up, off-center.
Shot in my little French house’s top north facing room with reflected sunlight in raw.

Again, very simply processed. I used the most basic of painterly effects first, being just a slight noise reduction in the filters.
And then the following textures;

Ming – Hard Light @ 61%
Base image – desaturated – Soft Light @ 32%
Muscatel – Soft Light @ 61%
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The Bull on the Hill

This was taken on one of those hot summer days early in the morning when there was thick fog in the valleys. We were travelling to inland Otago via a road known as the Dunstan Trail which was used by the early settlers and miners heading to the Dunstan goldfields in the 1860’s. We were heading up a hill though farmland when we spotted a herd of cattle just beside the road, this young bull was rushing to join the rest of his “family”. Just a little way up the hill from here we suddenly came out into the brilliant sunshine.

Processed as follows:
Apple Blush @Soft Light 100 % desaturated
Ming @Soft Light 64 % desaturated
Tarte Tatin @Overlay 45 %
Lost Void @ Difference 35 % with some texture removed from the lower bit
Labyrinth @ Overlay 71 % blurred a little
Copy of background Overlay 45%

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soft blues

Its uncanny, but when I look at this image, I’m transported back to painting scenic backdrops for Harrods Bridal windows!
I had the job of doing all the back few dozen windows, all the while being chased from window to window by the designers.
Not that they had Cornishware in those windows, but the ‘look’ was the same soft dreamy white.

This effect was very simple, my main concern was to remove the warm tones thrown by the sunlit yellow building opposite my house.

Back on flickr, yesterday, Martine said;
“lovely set and light… like a dream kitchen”
– And I answered; “Lol, yes, after our flour fight”! 😛

Lime Plaster – hard light @ 66%
Ming – (slightly desaturated) @ soft light 100%

English Cornishware is still made by the original manufacturers;
T G Green and can always be purchased on-line.
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sweet peas

These sweet peas were growing over a neighbours fence and I appropriated a few flowers on my way past for photographic purposes. *notes to self to remember to plant some seeds next year*.

Processed as follows:
Curves layer to adjust the contrast
Archival canvas @ multiply 67%
Shargreen Bone @ soft light 100%
Apple Blush @overlay 100%
Peach Blush @multipy 100% desaturated
Copy of background @ soft light 20 %
Labyrinth @ vivid light 78 % with some of the texture removed from the focus flowers.
(Jill is on vacation)
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hare tricks

With Easter on its way, hopping through all this thawing snow,
I thought I’d try something a little experimental as well as seasonal
with our textures.
I was after an antique surreal scene, perhaps in the style of the old master Alfred Stieglitz ‘Camera Work’.
I used an old wine crate from my cellar, (with thanks to that Professor who also left me around a hundred empty wine bottles!) and placed a few things inside, held it up to the wintry light and took a few snaps.
And Hey Presto, the base image was the result!
I then added these few textures to create more of an antique atmosphere, and finally, to help pull it all together, turned the whole thing sepia.

Antique Liaisons (desaturated) Hard Light 59%
Raw Linen (part desaturated) Soft Light 100%
Elysium – Soft Light 69%
Labyrinth Soft Light 51%
Holmes (desaturated) Overlay 100%
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