Earlier today, Adobe’s Julieanne Kost shared some images of succulents she made using the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CS6. They were great – and brought me back to images of a succulent wall that I had taken using my tiny Canon PowerShot S90 at the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend in June 2010. This was a display by Succulent Gardens of Castroville, CA.
I pulled this image into Photoshop and tweaked the Oil Paint filter in initially add the artistic strokes. After that, I followed with a modified Picture Postcard workflow to add more depth followed by a trip in Lab color to bring out some of the colors. Fun!
After being reminded by a friend that we’re in the peak of rose blooming season here in Menlo Park, I headed out this afternoon with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a Lensbaby Muse to see what I could find. Here in Menlo Park, St Raymond Church on Santa Cruz Avenue has a beautiful rose garden on its property – and that’s where I headed.
The Lensbaby is an unusual accessory for photographers – it’s a low cost add-on that provides a very sharp in focus area combined with seriously out of focus areas in the same image. I first bought my Lensbaby Muse about five years ago and did a bunch of shooting with it at the time – including several fun visits to the nearby Filoli estate in Woodside. But since that time, my Muse has mostly been in the bottom of my camera bag.
I was stimulated to pull it out today after listening to one of Nik Radio’s podcasts earlier this week with Kathleen Clemons. Kathleen does some amazing work with her Lensbaby gear and stimulated me to pull mine back out and go shooting today.
The picture of the rose above is classic Lensbaby style. It’s been tweaked a bit in Photoshop using Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 to adjust the color and provide a vignette. This image was shot handheld at a high ISO on my 5D Mark II to stop the movement of the rose in the gentle breeze blowing at the time.
I really enjoyed my 20 minutes in the rose garden this afternoon – getting reacquainted with my Lensbaby and its unique style of photography!
Last year, I attended Sunset’s Celebration Weekend and, among the images from that day, I especially enjoyed this succulent wall. One of the exhibitors – Succulent Gardens – had put together this succulent wall that I found really interesting.
I took the photo with my tiny Canon PowerShot S90 (since sold and replaced with an S95). It’s been post-processed a bit more than usual – first I tweaked it in Nik’s Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 3 before adding just a touch of Photoshop’s Pixel Bender Oil Paint and then, back in Lightroom, gradients around all four sides with a bit of darkening and subtle blurring to keep your eyes from wandering off the edges! Hope it works for you – this is one of those images where there’s so much to see – a lot of visual interest! Click on the image to see a larger version.
When I began working on it, I thought it would be a good black and white candidate – but I ended up liking this color version better. For an example of a black and white – actually greyscale (!) version of a succulent, see this one taken in San Francisco in 2009.
It was another bright sunny January early afternoon today – following a clear, crisp night last night with temps early this morning in the mid-30′s and frost on the deck!
HDR – Fully Processed
After (seemingly!) playing endlessly with Twitter and FriendFeed this morning, I decided to leave the computer behind and to head outdoors to do some more mid-day, bright sun, high dynamic range (HDR) photography. For me, HDR is perfect for mid-day, high contrast sun/shadow photography – just the opposite of that special early morning / early evening soft light that photographers otherwise learn to love.
This time, I wanted to stay close to home and minimize the travel time. Stanford University is always an option – it’s literally just around the corner and is where I started my HDR exploits in early September 2008. There’s a world of photo opportunities still waiting for me there at Stanford. But, been there, done that! I was looking for new adventures today!