Self Portrait


Found a super book on creating art with Photoshop Elements.  It is called “Digital Expressions” by Susan Tuttle.  I bought it on Amazon and did this piece by partially following a tutorial in it.  I used branch brushes and some grunge brushes in making this.  I also used Topaz ReMask to mask out my face from a photo I took myself. (Super hard to do without using a tripod and timer.  Both of which I have but was too lazy to set up!)  I used both a soft white brush and a dodging brush to fade the face.  Anyway, the book has lots of neat ideas and I hope to use them for future projects.  It’s all about inspiration!


After The Rain II

A bare tree against the stormy sky.  Applied a cool to warm filter from OnOne PhotoEssentials 3, adjusted saturation and added an acid frame also from OnOne.

I will be offline for the next few days.  See you all then!

Camera settings: F/5.6, 1/1250 sec., ISO 100, focal length 53 mm.  No flash.

Mini Assignment #1

I try to consciously use the rule of thirds when taking photos and especially when cropping photos.  It doesn’t always turn out that way!  On our trip up to the Sierras yesterday I tried two different ways to take a photo of the sunlight on the mossy fir trees.

In photo # 1 I placed the tree trunk in the middle of the frame.  Though it is not my favorite, I thought that the black branches on the left and the light branches on the right helped the composition and allowed the centered tree trunk.  What do you think?  I liked the change from dark to light going horizontally through the photo.  I adjusted levels and applied Topaz Simplify buz sim as it softened the moss and brightens colors in my view.

Photo #1

Photo #2 follows the rule much better and is probably better composed.  I do think that #1 gives a little more mood however.  Anyway, #2 was also levels adjusted and had Topaz Simplify buz sim applied to it.  Overall, photo #1 is more of a portrait and photo #2 is more of a landscape.  We’ll go with that :).   Let me know what you all think.



Happy New Year everyone!  This photo is of a sycamore tree that I took on our ride to the Central Coast on Wednesday.  I love trees.  Especially trees in the winter as their true shape is really evident without leaves.  Branches and trunks are so naturally artistic.  It is hard to take a bad photo of a beautiful tree.  In this photo I used a high pass filter slightly and adjusted levels on the first layer in Photoshop Elements.  Secondly, I applied Topaz Simplify buz sim.  Finally, I dodged the branches and trunk just a little to bring out the pale luster of the beautiful bark.  I really like the way that Topaz Simplify softens the background so that the tree stands out without being harsh.   Hope you like it.  Have a great New Year’s Day!!!