Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photo Art Friday, June 1st - 3rd

Welcome, friends, to Photo Art Friday.

First of all, did you pick up your free textures this week?  If not, they are waiting for you here.

Our virtual photo art gallery opens for early birds every Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.  You are invited to link up art you have created from your photographs.  Each week you can post any art piece that pleases you or you can post a piece of photo art based on the weekly prompt.  More general guidelines are available by clicking on the tab under my header. 

The challenge/prompt this week, if you choose to take it, is that your art contain "bokeh".  If you are not sure what bokeh is, you can revisit the prompt and find an explanation here.

Peonies are blooming in profusion in my garden right now.  Here are a few photographs and some derivative artwork that feature white peonies and bokeh.

This photograph was sharpened and had Poster Edges applied to the flower (but removed from background).

Photograph sharpened and processed with a Levels Adjustment to increase white values

Sharpened - Levels Adjustment - Poster Edges   (Layer Mask to remove poster edges off bokeh)

 Same treatment as above with extra definition from two more sharpening edits

Same as above then Filter>Stylize>Find Edges - Blended in Exclusion at 100% - 
Filter>Stylize>Diffuse  -  RadLab stylets of Divine Light and Clarify (reduced opacity of both)

Yes, the bokeh, while still there, is basically ruined, but I love the transparency and light the editing created on some of the petals. 

Next week you are welcome to link up any piece of your photo art you choose


you can link up a piece of art edited to black and white

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pick Up Your Free Textures

Hey there!  Hope you all had a great weekend and that this last Tuesday in May finds you well.

I was thinking about the challenge for the upcoming Photo Art Friday (to share a piece of photo-art that contains bokeh) and imagined you might fancy another bokeh overlay.

Below you can see I placed this overlay on a photo on a pair of pears  :)  blended it in Hard Light at 50% Opacity and used a Layer Mask to remove the overlay from the pears only.

For your high res download of pdpa Soft Light overlay, click HERE.

In case you would prefer a texture to give an old world vintage charm to any photograph, I have prepared and tested this one for you (and it's great!):  

To download your high res copy of pdpa Memories of Paris texture, click HERE.

I added Memories of Paris to the same photograph of pears.  It was blended in Hard Light with the Opacity reduced to 90%.  A layer mask was used to remove the texture from the pears.  I then flattened the layers and duplicated the flattened layer.  Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges.  Poster Edges opacity was reduced to 85%.  I added another layer mask, BUT this time I wanted the poster edges on the pears and wanted to remove it from the background.  Using a soft brush and the brush at 45% opacity I 'masked/painted' over the background to remove the poster edges and allow only the lovely texture to show.

Please read my Terms of Use for all of my custom-made textures, here.

Don't forget our standing date for Photo Art Friday.  I'll be looking for YOU!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo Art Friday, May 25th - 27th

Welcome to this week's edition of Photo Art Friday! 
(Click on the tab under my header if you are new to this showcase of photo art.)

This week you can post any piece of photo art you please


a piece of abstract photo art created with a design from nature.

I chose the second option.  Do click on the images to enjoy a larger view!


Open photograph in PSE
Duplicate photo
Filter>Stylize>Find Edges*
(I left the blend mode at normal and 100% opacity)
Apply **pdpa Lavender Row texture
Blend in Linear Light at 85%
Levels Adjustment to increase white values
Layer>Merge Visible
Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges (adjust sliders to your preferences)
Reduce opacity of Poster Edges to 75%
Add navy blue border
Add signature/watermark

* "Find Edges" is an interesting filter in both PS and PSE.  Try it out if you want to create a hand-sketched look on your photograph.  After you apply the Find Edges filter, try different blend modes and adjustments in opacity to discover all the different looks that can be achieved. 

If you leave the Find Edges application at Normal with 100% opacity, your subject matter will be outlined and desaturated of color (or you can desaturate it completely) - something like a charcoal sketch or an image in a child's coloring book.  You can then experiment a bit, by adding a texture to the now desaturated image.  Keep trying different ways to use this filter until you find the 'recipe' that please you.


Open photograph in PSE
Duplicate photo
Filter>Stylize>Find Edges
Blend in Overlay, reducing opacity to 80%
Apply **pdpa La Vie En Rose texture
Blend in Difference at 75% opacity
Levels Adjustment to increase white values
Layer>Merge Visible
Filter>Artistic>Poster Edges
Reduce opacity of Poster Edges to 30%
Add border
Add signature/watermark

**Check out the textures featured in this post's photo art by clicking here.

For next week's edition of Photo Art Friday you can:

showcase any piece of photo art you choose


showcase a piece of photo art that features bokeh*

* says:  "bokeh comes from the Japanese word ‘boke’, which means fuzzy. In photography, bokeh defines the quality of the blurred lights presented in a photo. We’re not referring to a badly taken photo that’s all out of focus, but rather the aesthetically pleasing background blur. Usually, this type of blur highlights the focused subject even more.  Producing nice bokeh involves creating a shallow depth of field."

Bokeh occurs naturally in photographs with a shallow depth of field and that are full of natural light.
Here is an example of naturally occurring bokeh:

While bokeh can result from the settings you choose on your camera and the right light conditions, you can also create the appearance of bokeh in a photograph using brushes or overlays.  Here is an example of an overlay with bokeh ... and ... you can download it, right now, for free!

To download your high resolution file of pdpa Golden Bokeh overlay, click here.

"Dear Photograph"

Hi there my lovelies!  Have you participated in the "Dear Photograph" phenomenon?  At Taylor Jones website you are challenged to take an old photograph that holds memories for you and hold it up in the original location and take a current photograph.  You can then post it to the Dear Photograph website.

Jones has now produced a book with some of the great shots featured on his site.  Here is the description has of his new book, Dear Photograph:

Product Description

"We all have moments we wish we could relive. We?d give anything to skid down the toboggan hills of our youth, to breathe in the smell of our children as babies or to spend just one more minute with a loved one we've lost. Dear Photograph provides a way to link these memories from the past to the present.

The idea is simple: hold a photograph from the past up in front of the place where it was originally taken; take a second photograph; add a sentence of dedication about what the photograph means to you. The results, however, are astounding, which is why millions have flocked to the site, and thousands have submitted their own Dear Photographs.

This stunning visual compilation includes more than 140 never-before-seen Dear Photographs. By turns nostalgic, charming and poignant, Dear Photograph evokes childhood memories, laments difficult losses and, above all, celebrates the universal nature of love."

About the Author

"TAYLOR JONES was inspired to start as he flipped through old family photos at his parents' kitchen table. The twenty-one-year-old came across one of his brother sitting at the same table and lifted it up to match the lines of the photo to what he saw in front of him, then snapped a picture of the picture. In a moment, was born, creating an Internet phenomenon that has captured the hearts of millions from around the world."


Don't forget ... the doors to our virtual art gallery, Photo Art Friday, open this evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.  As always, you can post any piece of photo art you choose, or this week, you are challenged to post a piece of abstract photo art using designs from nature found in your photographs. 

Are you up for the challenge?  You've still got lots of time to create your abstract photo art image!  Why not give it a try?

A free overlay will be available to you in the PAF post.  See you later!

Monday, May 21, 2012

"...the random array..." and a free texture!

"The healing power of the random array ...."

~Heinz Kohut

P.S.  I thought I was posting this to my other blog Original Art Studio.  Oooops!  Guess I do need that second cup of coffee!!   

I composed this piece of photo art for my son, with shots taken of urban elements around Montreal.  The bird and figures were outdoor art exhibits at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  The stairway leads from one street on "the mountain" (in the center of the city), to another.  I made the composition using one of my textures as a background and finished it with another texture (from my Vintage Manuscripts Set) and the addition of PSE 'poster edges'.

While I'm here, correcting my posting 'error', let me offer you the free texture I intended to post later.  I've called it "Sweet Thoughts".  It contains elements of the texture applied to the composition above.  Please read my Terms of Use (click on button under header) and give due accreditation when possible.  Enjoy!

To download your high resolution version of pdpa Sweet Thoughts texture, click HERE.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Photo Art Friday, May 18th - 20th

It's that time again! 

Time for Photo Art Friday.

If you would like to showcase a piece of photo art here, just read these guidelines and then link up once the virtual gallery doors open this evening!

This week you can post any photo art you would like to share
a piece of photo art featuring lines, angles and/or graphic elements. 

It would not be right to issue a prompt or challenge and not take it up myself.  Right?  So here's my take on the graphic, angular option.  Don't ask me what it represents or means, I didn't think about it -just applied image after image onto a graphic background - made a few move tool, layer mask and layers adjustments and then subjected the resulting composite to a couple of RadLab filters - and eh voila:

Image after RadLab treatment.  The sweet smiling b/w lips and eyes repeated here and there are those of my youngest grandaughter.  (Don't forget to click on image to enlarge.)

Image before RadLab treatment

For next week you are welcome to link up any piece of your photo art,


link up a piece of abstract photo art featuring an abstract design from nature - an image or composite of images extracted from your photographs of the natural world - with any editing enhancements or manipulations you desire.

Monday, May 14, 2012

... more "painterly" textures ...

Hey there!  Hope you are having or had (depending on what part of the globe you reside) a good day.

I've been busy making, testing and creating sets of textures.  Since the great response to my texture "Painterly", I've collected other such textures from my archives and created a couple of sets of similar painterly textures. 

These painterly textures give your photographs the feel of a lovely oil painting all on their own.  But you can also add them before or after using tools, brushes, filters, plug-ins to further the painterly effects, if you choose.

These sets are now available in my Texture Sets Shoppe.

Here are a few examples of textures from these sets applied to this very ordinary photograph of newly built homes beside a vacant water-filled lot.  Look at how the addition of some of the painterly textures transforms the photo.

Above, the texture "Heavenly" from the pdpa Painterly Finesse Texture Set was added to the photo.  The texture was added a second time by duplicating the layer.  Both additions were blended in Soft Light.  I flattened and duplicated the layers and added the PSE Filter, Poster Edges at a low opacity of 29%.  No painting filters, brushes, tools or plug-ins were used to enhance the effect.  The effect is the result of the texture and poster edges alone.  (Left click on the image for a larger view!)

Above, the texture "La Vie En Rose" from pdpa Painterly Finesse Texture Set was added to the same photograph.  The texture was again added twice and blended the first time in Multiply at 60% opacity.  Another layer of the texture was added and blended in Soft Light at 70% opacity.   A Levels Adjustment brought in a bit more white.  Again, no painting filters, brushes or plug-in enhancements were used on the image.  (Left click on the image for a larger view!)

Below, the texture "Monet's Canvas" from pdpa Painterly Pizzaz Texture Set was added to our example photograph.  It was added three times - the first two blended in Soft Light and the third blended in Overlay.  The layers were flattened and the image duplicated in order to add the PSE Filter, Poster Edges.  The opacity of Poster Edges was reduced to 45%.  Again, no further editing of any kind was used.  The texture and application of PS poster edges alone, produced the finished product you see below.  (Don't forget to click on the image for a larger view.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

free download for texture lovers

What a fabulous showcase of art at Photo Art Friday this week! 

If you have not yet wandered around our virtual gallery just click here to see some great photo art.  If you have not linked-up your photo art for this week there is still time.  The doors of the gallery remain open until Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

I think you deserve some tangible acknowledgement for your photo art efforts this week!  So here is a new texture for you.  Since Sunday has been designated Mother's Day, I have called this texture "Mother Love". 

If you are a mother you can download the texture for free!

Well ... okay ... if you KNOW a mother ... any mother ... you, too, can download it for free!  ;)

Please read my Terms of Use (under my header) and enjoy!

For your free download of pdpa Mother Love texture, click HERE.  Or if that file storage site happens not to work for you, click here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photo Art Friday May 11th - 13th

It's time again for Photo Art Friday!!  Another opportunity to 'hang' your photo art in our virtual gallery and commiserate with like-minded photographers and artists!

It's a real privilege to host this showcase for creatives around the globe.  Aren't we lucky and privileged to be able to interpret the beauty of life and planet Earth with our photographs and digital editing?!!  Such a joy!!!

(Just click on the tab of the same name, under my header, if you need to check out the guidelines for participation in Photo Art Friday.)

This week we have the option of linking up any piece of photo art that tickles our fancy, OR linking a piece of photo art that features a horizon.  Easy peasy!  I chose the latter.

This image has two applications of my texture "Painterly" - blended in Hard Light at different opacities.  A Layer Mask was used to remove some of the texture from the water to restore a bit of its smooth appearance and to remove tint of mauve from the cement in the bottom right corner.  A Filter from my one month trial version of Photoshop CS6 Extended, called "Oil Paint" was then applied and its opacity reduced to 60%.  I'm really happy with the result.

This image received basically the same editing treatment as the previous image with only one application of pdpa Painterly texture, and with minor differences in adjustments of sliders. 

This image is looking south on the Richelieu River which drains from Lake Champlain into the St. Lawrence River on its way to the Atlantic Ocean.  The previous image is a shot looking north on the Richelieu River.  I pass by this section of the river all the time - living only two blocks away.  The babbling brook that runs through our property drains from a mountain spring into this beautiful river.

Next week's challenge options:

*  any piece of photo art of which you are proud


*  a piece of photo art that features (in a strongly evident way) angles, lines or graphic elements.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

... working in my garden on a rainy day ... well, sort of ...

Hey there!  How are you on this Tuesday in May?  We had a beautiful, sunny day yesterday which allowed me to get some work done in the garden.  Today, however, it is raining and they are forecasting rain until Friday!  Well - guess what?  As photographers and digital artists we can still 'tend' to our flowers even when it is miserable outside.

Here's what I did with some delphiniums, brunnera and star of Bethlehem blooms as it rained:

Finished piece.

Elements used, scattered on finished piece.  The background is a texture in my pdpa Simply Irresistible Texture Set.

 Here you see my placement of each element set on the background (the background layer is not visible in this screenshot) and how I blended them into the background using layer masks.  You could make selections to place only the parts of the flower you want on your background, but I like the abstract, painterly feel achieved with the less precise techniques of masking and blending.

(Yes, I admit it - I don't always name my layers - especially when they seem self-explanatory!)

After the flower images were placed and blended into the background, I flattened and duplicated the image in order to be able to apply the cutout filter:  Filter>Artistic>Cutout.  The cutout filter will give a more abstract, painterly feel to your image.  I played with the settings on the Cutout dialogue pop-out so that the cartoon-y-ish result was not too extreme.  I also reduced the opacity of the Cutout effect to 40%.


Here is a screenshot after application of Cutout and before application of RadLab. I love RadLab for its many choices of effects, but also for the way it marries and blends all the disparate elements in a composite piece of photo art. If you can possibly afford it, I'm sure you would love it. Check out the site, subscribe to their newsletter and watch for announcements about special discounts. If I recall correctly, I got a 30% discount when I purchased it.

After I applied "Snap It", "Divine Light 1" and "Prettyizer" in RadLab, the Filter "Poster Edges" in PSE was added.  I always reduce the opacity to about 33% so that it is not too obvious.

And again, the finished product.

I really enjoyed working with my flowers today - in spite of the rain!  Guess we could call it creative, digital gardening!

Don't forget that Photo Art Friday will be here in a couple of days!  This week you have the option of linking up a piece of photo art featuring a horizon.  I'll be looking for your link.  :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You deserve a free, fine art texture!

Hi there fellow photo artists! 

Our gallery showcased some amazing art this week.  Thank you so much for your loyal participation. Those of you who chose to link up something 'theme' related did an amazing job.  And with Spring 'busting out all over', the photo art featuring flowers were delightful!  Everything in between tickled my fancy too - especially those with a bit of whimsy and humor.

Thought you might like to have a new texture to play with this weekend.  I'm calling it "Autrefois" ... which could be translated literally from the French as 'other or previous times'.  It is also often used to signify 'olden times or days' - of which I was reminded by the lacy embellishment in the corners of the texture.

Hope you find interesting and satisfying ways to use it in your photo art!  I love receiving links to view your work with the textures I share!!

To download your free, high resolution copy of pdpa Autrefois texture, click HERE.

(Please read and follow my Terms of Use page under the header.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Photo Art Friday, May 4th - 6th

Welcome to this week's edition of Photo Art Friday! 

PAF is the original gallery showcasing photographs that have been digitally processed into art pieces.  Each week dozens of amazing artists, such as yourself, hang their works in this unique community gallery. 

One of the best things about our photo-art gallery (apart from the art, of course) is that we get to visit with other artists, sharing applause, encouragement, feedback, resources and recipes - in a non-competitive atmosphere. 

With the virtual champagne served each week, this showcase is truly like a vernissage* of your photo art in an e-gallery!  :)

(* 'Vernissage' is the French word for varnishing.  The varnishing/vernissage of a piece of art usually took place the day before the artist first exhibited the new piece.  The term is now used to denote a reception at a gallery for an artist about to show their work to the public.)

If you are thinking about creating a little 'vernissage' for yourself by hanging your art in the Photo Art Friday gallery, and are not quite sure what is required,  just click here.

This week we can, as usual, showcase any piece of photo art,


we can showcase a piece of photo art that references, in even the most oblique way, the title of one of your favorite books - any kind of book - within the bounds of good taste, of course.

I am showcasing a piece created based on Michel Kundera's work, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  The book was published in the 1980s and is set in Czechoslovakia during the politically charged years of communist domination (1960s to 1980s).   I only liked the actual book - but I LOVED and continue to love the words of the title. 

A variation in the editing.

For next week's Photo Art Friday you can showcase any piece of your photo ART in our on-line gallery


showcase a piece of photo ART with a horizon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

are you working on the challenge?

Okay - tell me, who is the crazy person who set the theme for this week's Photo Art Friday, of linking a piece of photo art to the title from one of your favorite books?!!  What was he/she thinking????!!!  ;-) 

Have you come up with a title and a photo in your archives you could use to illustrate it?  Not yet?  Me either! 

Well, we better get working on it because it is more challenging than one might think!  I've been racking my brain - going through a long list of fav reads and trying to imagine how I could illustrate the title in a piece of art.  For example:

The Talented Mr. Ripley, hmmmm don't think I want to make a piece of photo art referencing that.

East of Eden, hmmmm - nothing comes to mind for that.

Thoughts Without A Thinker, hmmmm - I have an idea, but it seems like a tremendous amount of work to produce.  (This book is not a novel.  You can choose ANY book!)

Loving What Is, - I've already embedded that title in several pieces of photo art.  (This book is not a novel either!)

Love In The Time of Cholera, himmmm - I don't think so.

The Golden Notebook, well that's certainly doable and not too difficult ....

Atonement, - I'll take a pass on that one.

Hmmmm - how about Gone With The Wind?

Well - you see what I mean ... So if you like to be challenged and want to use the prompt this week ... you better get working on it!   The Photo Art Friday gallery opens it doors in two days!

I do hope to see lots of photo art referencing books of all kinds.  Oh - yes, you do have the option of linking up any piece of photo art that pleases you - but I'm really hoping to see a lot based on the challenge.