I’ve started playing with the new Adobe Photoshop Oil Paint filter to get just a little more creative with some older HDR images; kind of a rejuvenation process. This macro shot of a pen point atop an antique inkwell was originally done in its rustic, “classic” condition as you can see below. But, I wanted to do a more artistic transformation.
After loading the image into Photoshop, I created a duplicate layer and applied the Oil Paint filter. The filter is pretty flexible and no absolute settings work with every image. So, I played around until I got what I wanted, a flowing, painting look. I then used the dodge and burn tools to create my own tonal variations for a controlled increase in contrast.
One of the nice things about photographic technology is that we have the ability to modify our HDR images in practically endless ways. And the art of blending a Sepia toned monochrome with an original color image can yield interesting results.
For this “How To Do Stuff (HTDS)” post, I’ve started with a color version of an old street scene that has obviously had, shall I say, a more illustrious career in the past.As you can see, there’s still life here with the storefront church on the left along with a shoe shop (they also repair saddles) and the barber shop on the far corner.
The MonoBlend – Sepia Beauty
I loaded the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for a mild monochrome, sepia treatement. Scenes like this seem to always look interesting when given a vintage look. The warmth of the sepia complements the aged surroundings. Prior to the Silver Efex Pro work, I used Curves in Adobe Photoshop to balance the contrast and punch the light areas. This image was shot with an inexpensive 70-300mm zoom lens that caused quite a bit of pincushioning at 86mm. So, I used Lens Correction, Auto Correction and checked Geometric Distortion and Vignette (cleans up the corners). This gave me a beautiful result. And I was amazed that there is no Chromatic Aberration in this shot.
The MonoBlend with Bits of Color
The Sepia conversion gave me a new layer in Photoshop so I used the Fill percentage to adjust the blend of Sepia and Color. The four shots below seem to portray an aging process. The Sepia fill is 25, 50, 75 and 90 percent. Note how the increase in fill overpowers the color but gives a nice graduated antique look to the scene . . . almost like seeing a photo age that many years.Well, anyway, working with the fill level can make it difficult to select a final image so I’ll just leave it at that.
The MonoBlend with A Touch of Duo
And now for the Touch of Duo. Photoshop allows an infinite palette for (color) tonal blending. For this shot, I started with the full color version and converted it to Grayscale mode. Then I selected Image > Mode > Duotone and chose a dark burgundy red and pale yellow to create this duotone version. The yellow tones tend to give the light areas a nice punch.Equipment used: Nikon D700 with 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens at 86mm, f/11, ISO 200.
For today, I’d like to revisit a time before HDR imaging as we know it today and even before digital imaging. Anyone remember the old brownies (cameras)? And those glossy black and white pictures that were returned with each shot attached to those little plastic comb binders?
I know, I’m really reaching way back and most of you will be scratching your heads wondering what I’m talking about. Well, I’m referring to ancient times. And I processed this image in remembrance of that grand old period when young photogs ventured out with their Kodak, roll film cameras. Some of the more affluent would be toting an Argus. And the elite? Well can you say Leica, Zeiss, Nikon (RF), Linhof, Rollie, etc.
Ah, those were the days for the young future photog arteests . . . no clue about shutter speeds, f stops, film speed or focus. Just point and shoot and enjoy the endless depth of field and incredible contrast of those prized images, always making sure that the subjects were well lit by the sun with big smiles and squinty eyes.
Processing: This image is of a more modern era . . . couple of weeks ago. I decided to give a nostalgic look to the Howard House in New Bern North Carolina with a little sepia tone and an antique boarder for the old timey effect. All complements of Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I started with nine images that were spaced .5 ev apart for a nice tonal blending. I used just a little Curves in Adobe Photoshop to get the right contrast levels.
Equipment used: Nikon D700with20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens at 35mm, f/5.6, ISO 400.