Push The Boat Out

I’m still struggling with the new schedule for the Weekly Photo Challenge. It just does not fit with my weekly schedule and so this week I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you.

I don’t know which is the more predominant colour here, that bright orange or the even brighter green of the benches in the shelter. What do you think? Green or Orange?

Beach Shelter

Now this is definitely green. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Tai O stilted village on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. you will see these little tourist boats running around. Personally I preferred to walk around the village, mainly because there are far better photo opportunities.

Tourists

Still in Hong Kong, if you get the chance visit the bird market, it’s right next to the flower market so you can kill two birds (excuse the pun) with one stone. Anyway, these are green birds with a little bit of red.. I’m very good at identifying birds as regular readers well know.

The Birds

Looks like I’m on a Hong Kong roll this week. This you definitely have to do. Catch the Star Ferry across the harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. It’s a quick trip across Victoria Harbour, lasting about 15 minutes. Push the boat out (not another pun?) and pay extra for the Upper Deck. HK$ 2.50 or about UK£ 0.25p, US$ 0.30c.

Celestial Star

My last one today. I’ve been playing around with compositing photos. The model is a stock photograph courtesy of Marcus Ranum

The Sword

Well that’s it for this week. As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site Photo Challenge- Green
New Shoots – Beyond the Window Box
A Texan’s View of Upstate New York Oh So Green
嘗試 Try – Lived in UK, Living in Taiwan
Welcome! It IS easy being Green! Photo gallery
It IS easy being green- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post – Weekly Photo Challenge…..GREEN
simply.cindy Gallery of Green
“Snotgreen Sea” – Beach Books Blog
through the luminary lens Spring has Sprung

Advertisements

No Entry

Sometimes you just get lucky and find a potential subject to photograph without even thinking about it. But you have to have your camera with you to get that photograph, although nowadays, that’s not too hard, as most people who have a cell phone have a camera with them.  According to Mylio

….it’s estimated that about 7.5 billion people will be living on our planet in 2017. Let’s say 5 billion have a mobile phone and approximately 80% of those phones have a built-in camera. That comes to about 4 billion people who can take photographs with their phones. It’s further estimated that on average they each take 10 photographs per day – 3650 per year. That’s a whopping 14,600,000,000,000 photographs annually…or to put it another way, just over 14 trillion photographs.

So when Ralph Gibson said in 1972;

Traditionally, photography has dealt with recording the world as it is found. Before photography appeared the fine artists of the time, the painters and sculptors, concerned themselves with rendering reality with as much likeness as their skill enabled. Photography, however, made artistic reality much more available, more quickly and on a much broader scale.

Ralph had no idea of the impact that cell phones would have to the world of photography. Certainly, photographs can be made available much more quickly, one click of a button and you can share a photograph with the world. And with so many people using the camera in their cell phones, there’s no doubt it’s on a much broader scale. But how many of those 14 trillion photographs are artistic…….

To this weeks challenge

Several years back I had the good fortune to be in Universal Studios, Florida. It was coming up to Halloween and the props guys were setting up some special scenes in the streets.

No Entry

I’ve got a feeling they both had something to do with Terminator, they were still setting up, so it’s hard to be sure.

Street Scene

 

Anyway, that’s it for this week. here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Die and Dazzle – Fill and Feel
On the road through my lens – And the penny drops…
Steps A Round – Kimberly Balles Photography
Deep in Thought- The Road Taken – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Louise-in-Btween- Embracing the Day Sunrise Road
Jackobo’s Photoblog The Road to the Top
Simply Photos Mule Train Route
Anvica’s gallery The Road Taken
The Yorkshire Dales  – Elaine’s Journey of Spiritual Awakening
Weekly Photo Challenge- The Road Taken – NJClicks

Weekly Photo Challenge: Art Imitates Life

I have searched through my back catalogue of photographs and managed to find absolutely nothing that I could use. Maybe I just don’t have any imagination. Then I had another thought. Why don’t I just twist everything around and create some art imitating life.

Carnival Queen

Everything you see in this weeks post originally started life as a photograph shot at the Weston-super-Mare Carnival several years back. But then I decided to have a little play in Photoshop with some of my favourite plugins

Scarecrows

“They . . . asked me:
“‘How do you make your pictures?’ I was puzzled . . .
“I said, ‘I don’t know, it’s not important.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Pirate

It’s been a while since I did anything like this. I’d forgotten how much fun it can be to just do something different and it makes a change from trying to master those pesky Luminosity Masks.

Doctor Evil

Photoshop is useful in many ways but must NEVER be used for the altering of photographs. My assistants and my agency do whatever Photoshop work for me that may be required as it is too complicated for my brain. – Elliott Erwitt

The Clown
I’ve always liked the one above, notice I don’t call it a photograph because it no longer is. I don’t know what you would call it now. Any suggestions?

The Red Hood

…painting is something you do. You make a painting. You don’t make a photograph. You see a photograph. Photography is seeing only, you see it, you release the shutter, you use your aperture, your machine and once you’ve seen it, that’s it. It’s done. – Jurgen Schadeberg

The Mask
That wraps it up for this week, I hope you enjoyed the artwork? Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge….

Life imitates art – the walking pencil
The Imitation Game – Story of My Life
LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art
Glass Manifestations Dog Imitates Art
Art imitates life – A Journey Called Life …
Life Imitating Art – Mostly Monochrome
Mama Cormier Life Imitates Art
Life Imitates Art …. – Rose Bay Letters
Jennifer Nichole Wells Life Imitates Art
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- Life Imitates Art

It’s Halloween

Depends where you live in the world you might have a different name for tonight’s fun and games. Round our way we don’t have any of the “little darlings” banging on our door and squealing “Trick or Treat”. I think the trick I played on them a couple of years back has scared them all off. Anyway to celebrate I thought I’d show you some pieces I have created over the years for posts about Halloween or ghouls and ghosties.

First up is this piece I created with a mixture of Photoshop Brushes and a photograph of the moon.

moonlit_blog2

I really would like to credit the creators of the brushes but this piece from my archive is so old that I have long since forgotten where they came from.

The next piece I would like to show you is my old friend the red monk. I have used him in several digital art works and my thanks goes to Marcus J Ranum for allowing the use of his extensive stock collection of models. His works are available from Deviantart but you do need to be logged in to view them.

Monk

It is a bit dark this one but that’s how I wanted it, with just the highlights on the monks face and belt.

It’s time to play a game of chess and I hope you will join my next friend. But don’t lose…it could be the death of you. Once again I am indebted to Mr Ranum for the use of the model. The room is a stock photograph from Fotolia and is one of a series of twenty-five that I was allowed to download for free when I bought a version of Corel PhotoPaint a long time back. I specifically chose rooms as they are always good for use in Digital Art.

grunge industrial background

Another brush artwork coming up. Once again from a long time ago but I do remember that the background was made from  a set of Galaxy Brushes by the very talented Sunira. As to the rest I am not sure but if you happen to view this and recognise your brush sets let me know and I will credit you.

graveyard_blog2

One more to go. The background of the trees is from one of my photographs. Lightning and birds are brushes. The young lady is from the stock collection of Persephonestock on Deviantart and I think she is called Miranda

Girl

That’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed this series of digital artwork. Please feel free to use them in any way you like as long as it’s not for commercial purposes.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

This weeks challenge photograph or should I say Digital Art is a composite made from several photographs, textures and text layers. Winter is a coming in and during the winter months I usually end up creating several pieces of art work sometimes from my own photographs and textures or from freely available stock. As usual when I do this I will cite at the end of the article where I sourced the stock from.

The challenge this week was to create cover art and I decided to go with a book cover, probably science-fiction, but it could probably fit into other genres as well.

The old stone building with staircase and entrance

You can see the separate elements here, the monk, the clock, the arch and stairs. Add some textures and a bit of text, then blend it all together in Photoshop to produce the final result. My thanks to Marcus J Ranum for the use of the Red Monk which I have used before in other artwork. The Archway and Stairs was a piece of stock that I got free a long time ago from Fotolia. The Clock Face is from a series of textures provided by So-ghislaine on DeviantArt. Other textures used came from the excellent addition to Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 called Adobe Texture Pro. Other than those I’ve already mentioned everything else in this piece of work is the product of my imagination and Photoshop.

52/2013 Week 24

52/2013 Week 24

I wouldn’t exactly say this is one of my best shots as required by the weekly challenge. In fact it was a desperation grab of an idea I had been playing around with.

During Week 24 I had been really busy with little or no time to get out and about for some photography. Just one of those things. So on the Saturday with the deadline for the week due to expire I did a quick still life. I didn’t even process this one, instead leaving it on the memory card until I came back from holiday.

It wasn’t the greatest of photographs but I didn’t have an alternative and somehow I had to make it a little more interesting.

It’s been a while since I’ve played around with texture layers in Photoshop which I used to use all the time when I was making dark and grungy composite images. Time to revive that ancient skill and see if I could do anything with the grapes.

In the old days i used to make a lot of my own textures but I’ve always been a fan of the great  textures and artwork that Jerry Jones, a.k.a “skeletalmess” or “ghostbones.” produces. So it was to Jerry’s site Shadowhouse Creations that I visited to find some textures that I could use for this one.

So there you have it. Not one of my greatest for the weekly challenge but thanks to Jerry I’ve managed to pull something out of the darkroom.

And the original image? Here it is, just to show the difference.

original

 

Lone Tree

Focus on Imaging tomorrow. It’s the annual trade show dedicated to all things to do with imaging, including photography, held at the NEC Birmingham. Three hours on the train, five hours at the show, three hours on the train again. It’s worth it though because there’s usually some great deals on cameras, lenses, etc.

Anyway I digress. Whilst I was at the National Slate Museum, blog article coming soon, I saw a tree standing alone on top of a pile of discarded slate shavings. It was silhouetted nicely against the sky but i had a problem; it was a bright sunny day and I wanted the tree to look dark and moody.

Lone Tree

With some work in Photoshop I managed to get it looking not too bad but I still wasn’t happy. To get the image this far, I had tone-mapped it using PhotoMatix with extreme settings. Then applied a filter from NIK Colour Efex called Tonal Contrast and finally another one from NIK called Glamour Glow.

Finally I decided that if I wanted the image to look dark and moody then probably Black and White was my best choice.

Lone Tree

To get the black and white look I didn’t just de-saturate the colour image. Instead I ran it through one of the excellent Black and White Photoshop filters from Topaz Labs.

There you have it, two versions of the same image, which has left our house divided. I like the black and white, my wife prefers the colour.

Which do you prefer, the colour version or the black and white one? Or maybe you don’t like either of them? Let me know, I’m always interested to hear your thoughts.