It’s warming up and the snow is melting. Probably it will be gone by tomorrow. Surely by Tuesday. Then, a few warm days after which, who knows? February and March are the crazy months, weather-wise. Anything can happen and usually does.
I’m pleased with these effects. For the first time, I created the effects I wanted. Not from scratch — I’m not that talented. I found basic designs I liked, but weren’t quite “it.” The originals were in black & white. I wanted color in a graphic sketch style using more detail, color, more texture to created a painted graphics image. Sort of.
I worked from two designs — an HDR-Micro format in which I loved the design but hated the colors –and another using a black & white graphics sketch that needed more contrast, color, and texture.
Then I saved my effects and released them to Topaz. I have been creating these or similar effects for a while, but I never saved them. Each time I wanted to use them, I had to reproduce them.
It finally occurred to me that I was wasting a lot of time creating the same things repeatedly when I could save them and add them to the studio. I had not realized I could release them so everyone can use them. That was a nice touch.
All of these oddballs are effects I originated based on models from Topaz.
What am I trying to do? Glad you asked. I’ve been trying to create a “magazine cover” graphic design. I want it to look like old copies of Look (think Norman Rockwell) or maybe The New Yorker. I’m not there yet, but that’s the goal.
I went to a birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been playing with the pictures ever since. The goal? To make portraits look like portraits, yet make it difficult to see specific facial features. Of course, if you know the people involved, you’d recognize them, but I’m guessing you don’t know them.
To be fair, it isn’t nearly as cold today as it was a week ago … and almost all the remains of the last snow have melted to nearly nothing. As winters go, so far, so good.
I haven’t been out much. I’ve taken a few pictures. Posted many of them. What I have been doing is opening up folders from times when I took a lot of pictures but didn’t get around to processing them. These are all from a few years ago. Not newly shot, but newly completed in the sense that I just processed them. I was surprised at how much better they are than I remembered.
Of course — why not? I’m still using the same lenses, though the cameras have been upgraded and no matter how great the camera is, no one’s pictures are any better than the glass on the camera.
Considering it has been snowing, blizzarding, pouring and/or freezing, this hasn’t been a great time for getting out with a camera. Other than Garry’s one trek into the blizzard for pictures (all credit to Garry for freezing in that bitter wind and actually getting some good pictures, too!), we haven’t been outside. I’ve been taking a few shots here and there inside.
The other thing I’ve been doing is poking around in my 100,000 pictures in folders. Those are a lot of pictures and many of the folders were barely touched by me at the time.
Some, quite literally, I never opened because something else came up and I didn’t remember taking the pictures. Thus this time has been a great time for exploration on my own hard drive.
Some of the pictures are oddballs, though to be fair, I’m not all that sure what an oddball is these days. Some pictures are a little bit odder than others, but there’s more than enough oddness to go around.
It has been really cold around these parts, though beginning tomorrow, it’s supposed to warm up. So although today is minus something or other, by next Friday it will be a lovely, springlike 50 and the entire world will be a mass of sucking mud.
I haven’t been doing much shooting and Garry’s pictures simply don’t fit into the oddball category. I think he deserves some kind of “frozen fingers” award for actually taking pictures in one of our more brutal patches of winter.
So my oddballs are less odd than local. I’ve been inside. In this weather, people with heart valve replacements and asthma are cordially invited to stay home. Which is where I’ve been. Home.