Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturdays are for food shopping. These neatly aligned peppers were at Whole Foods. I like the cotrast between the orange of the flesh and the green of the stalks. A combination of the Smudge Stick and Posterize Edges filters emphasized it.

Thanks to Julie for her suggestion about putting two photos in one post. I had actually tried that in the beginning, and my Internet connection just froze up. I'm giving it another go--if it works...well, then, the fact that this is here means it worked!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A combination of the Accented Edges and Posterize Edges filters seems to bring out the motion of the wind.
Today was windy and overcast, tossing about the phragmites at Paper Goods Pond.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I wanted to bring out the aged, rusted nature of the wheels and the track. I ended up using a series of effects: the Carving effect, then covert to B&W, lower the opacity, then apply the Film Grain filter.
The evening sun brought out the red and gold in these rusted wheels and the track on which they rest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Posterize brings out the the edgy urban nature of the battered train.
The lowering sun cast the shadow of a piece of construction equipment against the side of the train that sits next to the parking lot at my office building.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Pencil Sketch effect, at a reduced opacity, better conveys the muted colors of an orchard in February.
The orchard is beginning to show hints of awakening--there's a subtle red shade to the tips of the trees. I'm intrigued by the bars of snow and bare ground.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I really didn't play with this image very much. I tried out the Old Photo effect, and I loved it. The horizontal lines made it look almost like an old scientific drawing.
Some days it's tough to snag a photo. When the schedule involves either being in the car or in a building involved in situations not amenable to photography, there may not be an opportunity to take a decent picture. Such was today. The few shots I got off in various parking lots were pathetic. So I asked my daughter if I could take a picture of her eye. She thought this was weird, but she did consent. The new point and shoot doesn't realy do a great job in low light situations, but this is reasonably in focus.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Glowing Edges created something fun and funky--it's great to just play on a cold gloomy day like this. It looks like I've been fingerpainting!
Outside, it was a dirty day with fitful showers of raw rain. On the altar at church, however, there was color in the stained glass rose window over the altar and the flowers that were around it. These three daisies caught my eye (and kept distracting me from the homily.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

To be honest, I really liked the original photo. It's not one I would ordinarily try to "improve" with a filter. But since the theme of the blog is to see what Elements can do with photos, I had to give it a shot. I used Corey Barker's technique: duplicate the layer; then use the Glowing Edges filter, adjusting it so the edges are well defined; then hit CTRL-I to invert it; desaturate it; then uus the eraser at various levels of opacity to paint back color. I still like the original better, but this does create a certainly dreamlike look. I wanted to try to generate a shadow, but I couldn't seem to manage it, and it's getting really late--so I'll present it as it is.
Today we went to the annual Hartford Flower and Garden Show. There was a display of tropical butterflies. I loved the symmetry of color between the butterfly and the flower beneath it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I don't think I've ever used the Smudge Stick filter before. It really intensifies the fire in the clouds.

Winter's back is breaking. When I leave work at 5PM, the sun is just setting. This evening, it fired up the clouds.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The watercolor filter brings out the bold graphics and grungy nature of the graffitti.
Several of the cars of the train that's parked behind the parking lot of my office building sport colorful graffitti.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Carving effect combined with the Texturizer filter produced something that looks like a print on linen.
When I left work today, a sulky snow was falling. It made for an intriguing design when the trees outside were viewed through the sleet-splattered windshield.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Once we realized that my beloved little Samsung was not to be revived, we went out to shop around for a new camera. I ended up getting a Nikon CoolPix S550. It's smaller than the Samsung--it'll easily fit in the pocket of my jeans--and it has a 5x optical zoom, which I'm going to love. I'm less happy about the rechargeable lithium-ion battery (I always carried plenty of charged AAs just in case), but before our camping trip in April, I'll buy a back-up. I'm working the next three days, but I hope to give it a good trial work-out at the Flower Show in Hartford this coming weekend.
A combination of the Watercolor and the Ink Outline filters enphasized the brilliant colors of the building as well as the dark, muted shades of the surroundings.
This little building has something to do with the City of New Britain's reservoir system. It's old, but still well-maintained. I love how the bright colors stand out against the dreary tangle of winter woods.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I used Posterize to bring out the stong colors and planes in the original photo.
We had the day off, so we decided to go somewhere we'd never been before: the Mohegan Sun casino. We're not gamblers (we didn't even play the quarter slots), but our daughter wanted to see the shops. This shot of an animated wolf is the last good picture taken my faithful little Samsung point-and-shoot. I bought it about four years ago with my winnings from the photo competition at our local agricultural Fair. All but one or two of the photos in this blog were taken with it. When I pulled it out about ten minutes later as we were sitting at Starbucks looking at the lights and the people, it would no longer focus. It had been hiccoughing a bit lately, so I suppose its time had come--but I'm going to miss it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Pencil Sketch effect softens the effect of bright sunlight, so that the photo better expresses the sense of waiting in a winter orchard.
In late winter, the awakening of the orchard is still in the future--not yet seen, but begining to be felt.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Flourescent Crayon does a great job in bringing out the striking patterns in the flower.
Valentine's Day, and there are flowers everywhere to jog even the most amneisac memory. This one was at the checkout line in Target.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's subtle, but using the Colorful Center effect (and then erasing some of it) focuses the attention on the place where the lowering sun lit the trees. It looks much more like what my eye saw this evening than what the camera actually recorded.
It's all about the light. The low evening light lit the trees across from this small pond in Middletown, Connecticut.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This photo was an invitation to Fun with Filters. So many of them produced intriguing results. It was hard to decide, but in the end, this was my favorite. It's a combination of the Old Paper effect with the Equalize filter. I used the Photo Filter to help adjust the tone.
The weather today was unsettled, shifting from sun to spitting rain. As it shifted, the skies were dramatic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The original photo is fairly ordinary, but I liked the simplicity of the colors. I wanted to bring out pure planes of color to play up that aspect. I used a combination of the Posterize and Cutout filters to achieve it.
As I was leaving work this evening, there was this wonderful light on the pillars of the highway overpass and there was no one behind me.I whipped out my handy point and shoot, pointed and shot--and got an error message that there was no memory. AAUURRRRGGHH! There was no memory because the memory card was back home, still stuck in the computer! By the time I got home, it was dark outside, and we had a few meetings to attend. I was feeling a bit of despair, when I spotted a bowl of fruit at the back of the room at one of the meetings. The comparison between the photo I wanted and the one I got is like...well, apples and oranges.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To me, there is something about this version that seems to increase the sense of subliminal life moving under the surface. I used the Flourescent Crayon efffect, then decreased the opacity so more of the original photo showed through.
In another few months, this orchard will be all aglow with blossoms. Right now, it feels like it's holding its breath. One can sense the stirring way down low in the roots, but nothing is on the surface yet.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The application of the Carving effect and the Halftone filter creates the look of an old postcard.
This is the trash-to-energy plant near my office buidling. It's an ugly thing, but there's still something striking about it when it's hit by the light of the setting sun.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's still not a great image...but after applying the Water Paper filter, it might be decent as a background.

Well, this one didn't turn out the way I thought it would. We've finally had a thaw, so there's liquid water on the streets. It's such a change to see puddles glistening and shifting in the wind. I took a picture of branches reflected in a puddle, but it didn't come out the way I saw it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Posterize combined with Flourescent Crayon (the latter toned down with a relatively low opacity) emphasized the red-and-green contrasts.
Thank goodness for Stew Leonard's! We'd had a hectic two days: we'd gone out to dinner with our son and daughter, then spent the evening and morning at a workshop about communication between teens and parents. We had our closest friends coming over tonight for dinner-- dinner is whatever's on sale at Stew Leonard's. I love the contrasts of the bright greens and reds in the bin of vine-ripened tomatoes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I played around with this quite a bit--I can hardly remember what I did to it. I used a combination of Poster Edges and Palette Knife to soften it. Then I duplicated the top layer and converted it to B&W. I used the Soft Light blend mode and lowered the opacity a little. I like the muted colors. I think it puts more emphasis on their faces, and their personalities shine through. I used the frame to try to screen out the glare from the library window. Perhaps I should have blurred the edges of the frame more...but we're taking them out to dinner tonight to celebrate, and I was running out of time!
This is a picture of my son, Christian, and my daughter, Sierra, taken today after she was inducted into the National Honor Society. The high school library was not a great setting for photos, and the young people were not being terribly cooperative. It was the only shot I got of the two of them together.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I got a few zoomed in shots of the moon with my little point-and-shoot, but they lacked interest. Combine with the original and apply the Blue Tint effect, and there's a certain element of mystery.
As I was leaving work today, the moon was rising and the sun was setting. Here's the moon caught in the branches of an evening lit tree.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To me, there's something iconic about this tower; I thought it would work well with a version of the Andy Warhol look. First, I converted it to B&W, then posterized it with two levels. I used the Magic Wand to select just the black and made the selection into a brush. I created rectangles in different colors, and just clicked once to put the image of the tower on each layer. I put them together and added a black border around each image. I played with a lot of different colors, including primaries, but (maybe because the original image was taken at sunset) I liked these best.
The evening sunlight glowed off this tower that stands near the Connecticut River in Hartford.