Creating a Painterly Effect

When I was primarily a traditional photographer shooting film, taking the photograph was just the beginning of the creative journey.  How I processed the film and then how I printed in the darkroom all were important in creating the final image that I envisioned.

Now with digital photography, the same ideas apply. The image creativity for me does not just stop at the clicking of the camera. It continues with the RAW processing and into the creative digital processing.

I primarily use Capture One for my RAW processing and then use onOne's Perfect Photo Suite for my image enhancing.  For some images, I like producing a painterly look.   To create this painterly look to your photographs can be an easy task or a very difficult one. It all depends on how detailed you want it to be or how much work you need to do on the original image. 


This is my original image. Since i had pre-visualized a painterly look for this image, I was not concerned about the lack of excitement in the sky. I wanted to make sure I retained the details in the metal of this Pumpjack. 


In Perfect Photo Suite, I deleted the background using the masking module.  


I then added a white layer as my new background and converted the image to black and white.

In the layers module, I imported a BrendaStarr texture photograph.
I then adjusted the blending mode and opacity of the texture layer, duplicated my mask layer and adjusted it's blending mode. 

Once I liked what I did with the layers, I took the texture layer into the Effects module and added a blur filter to soften up the texture and then added a vignette filter to darken the edges. The darkening of the edges draws the eyes inwards towards the subject. 
After some final adjustments, the final piece is ready for sale on my online galleries. 


This is just a bit of what Matt Suess and I teach in our classes and workshops. I can also do private online instruction via Skype or in-person one-on-one workshops anywhere you would like to be. Just visit here for private instruction information.


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