STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November Personal Photo Challenge: Layering Texture

It's time again for Donna's Personal Photo Challenge. I missed it the last two months so decided I should make the effort this month to get on it! This month's topic is Layering Textures. This is definitely a challenge for me as I have never done this! Nope. I don't play much with my photos - pretty much what you see is what came out of the camera, except for perhaps just a little lightening or darkening and the occasional slight sharpening. I don't own Photo Shop or any other editing programs. I use Picmonkey, a free online service. So this is all new to me, but I decided to give it a shot. Why not? It's fun to play! And play I did. Any suggestions or constructive criticism is welcomed!
First of all, to choose photos to work with... How does one choose just one or two when you have thousands???  With Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the US) just 2 days away, my thoughts turned to poppies so I found a simple photo of a single blossom, taken in July in Deb's garden.


  This is the original - poppy against blue sky. Pretty simple. Not a stunning photo.

First I looked at the exposure and decreased the brightness just a bit to darken the background slightly. Then I added a Picmonkey Paint background. I increased the saturation somewhat, then faded it slightly. Then I added a Bokeh effect and softened it a little on the blossom itself. And here's what I ended up with...


I liked it at this point, but it still was a little light for my liking so I went back to "Exposure" and decreased the brightness then brought up the contrast, shadows and highlights just a smidgen. 



 I like it better now. What do you think?

That really was fun (thanks Donna!) I guess it's good to give yourself "permission" to just play and see what happens. So I thought... why not do another? So for my second attempt I chose a simple sunset shot taken this summer at a friend's cottage at Maquapit Lake. Below is the original.


Again, nothing fabulous. It's not even in sharp focus. So I went to work. (I think I could really get into this.. it's fun. Donna, have you created a monster?) First I sharpened a bit. Then on to Exposure. I decreased the brightness and increased the shadows and contrast somewhat. Then I added Picmonkey's Water texture. Wow. All of a sudden, I had a more interesting sky- where did those "clouds" come from? Even though it's a "water effect" I think it worked in the sky as well - don't you think it looks very natural? The texture added more color to the water too, and perhaps at sunset you would not see as much blue and green there, but I don't think it's unrealistic, do you? In this case, I don't think the average viewer would even know I have added any "effects".. I've just used the texture to enhance the photo...



Be sure and drop by Donna's Personal Photo Challenge here and see what others have done this month. Thanks again Donna. I think I'll be playing with Textures more often!!

Peace,
Linda

"Texture is the most enduring and ubiquitous underpinning of form... certainly a calming, meditative and appealing world for both the eye and mind. " ~ Lynda Lehmann

16 comments:

Peggy Jones said...

Love the poppy. It looks like it is falling and the essence is falling away. Great job.

Donna said...

OMG, I think the two month break must have been a magic potion because you did this challenge like a champ! Are you SURE you never did textures before? You could have fooled me! I had to laugh at your text, and perhaps you will turn out to be a texturing monster, LOL.

First of all, you picked subjects with enough simplicity where textures could readily compliment them. Smart! And then you picked the perfect textures for each one. The poppy photo is beautiful without any embellishments. But you turned it into artwork with the paint layer! And the water image now sings with color, contrast, and "clouds!"

Seriously, you are a natural at this! I'm so glad that you decided to get out of your comfort zone and dip your toe into a whole different world of image creativity. Now run along and do some more...

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda
This photo work is absolutely amazing. The sunset would make a beautiful landscape (seascape) challenge. Imagine stitching the poppy in Japanese silks. Thanks for the new adventure.
Mary in Amherst

Ruthi said...

Wow, your photo treatment is awesome. i love it.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love what you've done and since I use Picmonkey I could follow along with what you did. I like to go to Exposure and take out the brightness and boost the contrast, too. It really brought the flower off the page...gave it such nice definition! Very beautiful photos! I'll try the Bokeh soon!

Pamela Gordon said...

Linda, your poppy photos are all gorgeous. You did a great job with the editing on it. The sunset edit definitely brought out the clouds and the water colours. It's fun to play with but I didn't have the time so didn't join in. Nice to see you at the market today. It sure was cold!

Lavender Cottage said...

I honestly can't decide which altered photo of the poppy I like best - they're both awesome Linda.
The sunset over water became more defined with the contrasts.
This definitely was fun, and I'm so glad we were able to use PicMonkey.
Judith

Jeanne said...

Well, it looks like there are more than a few new monsters! I too had a ball with this and never did it before. I love what you did with both and learned something too.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Hello Linda
How clever to find one of your poppy photos for Remembrance Day.
I've been thinking about my post for the 11th too!
Gorgeous layering and texture - I love it.
The water end result is magical!
Hugs
Shane

Brenda said...

Excellent work! I love, love, LOVE, the poppy!

Donna said...

Loved the poppy! It literally leaps off the page! Adore the red!
And the water with sunset...did I say GORGEOUS? No? Well, it is!
Great job!!
hughugs

ClickNCamera said...

Wow, I love the bokeh and what looks like brush strokes in the layer you chose...your photos are amazing! Enjoy your day...

Sharon Chapman said...

I like both your photos. I love poppies and what you did with them.
Thanks for your comments about Midnight and Teddy. It's been a rough week but things are slowly getting better.

Jeanna said...

You did a great job on both photos! The poppy is so unique...selling prints?

Lorrie said...

I love that poppy photo and how you've edited it. So apropos for this season of remembrance. The moodiness of your final photo really highlights the seriousness of the symbol.

Cheryl said...

Your layered images are just lovely! I find it hard to imagine that you've never used textures before. I agree that the average viewer would not know that the water picture was altered.

Great job!

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