Teacup and Violas

Just a teacup and violas set up on an antique washstand.  I tried this with flash and without.  This one came out the best for the processing I used.  This was processed in Photoshop Elements 6 using Topaz Simplify cartoon.  I used my own preset and adjusted it to achieve the painted look.

Camera settings: Fujifilm FinePix S700, F/3.5, 1/4 sec., ISO 800, focal length 6.3 mm.  No flash.


Cartoon effect Pepsi can.  Processed with Topaz Simplify.  Used my own adjusted preset.  Placed the can on my black office chair and shot from there.  I usually fuss and fume about my blog photos.  This one took about 10 minutes.  I also used quite a bit of burning on this one.

Camera settings: F/5.6, 1/60 sec., ISO 400, focal length 53 mm.  Flash fired.

Blue and Yellow Still Life

Picked a few calendulas and some leather fern and made this miniature arrangement.  I used my cardboard and tissue paper light box with some various lamps and flashlights as light sources.  Photo was levels, highlights and sharpness adjusted.  I used a fairly high (around 7 px) High Pass filter.  I then ran it through Topaz Detail to get this final result:

Camera setting on original: F/5.6, 1/60 sec., ISO 200, focal length 50 mm.

Bananas and Cream

I had been wanting to learn how to make a simple light box for a long time.    The rainy days make shooting outside pretty difficult.    I found simple instructions here .  I couldn’t believe that it took about 20 minutes to make a light box.  Of course I didn’t have poster board so I used printer paper :D.  That meant I had seams which meant I had to clone them out.  (I just couldn’t wait to try it out!).  So here I was lying on the floor, with a flashlight on the right and one on the left of the box.  A floor lamp gave light from above.  I was going to just photograph the bananas (hey, it’s what I had!!) by themselves and thought a little pitcher might add interest.  Anyway, here it is:

Click through twice to see a larger version.  Camera settings were Auto, ISO 800, F/3.5, 1/50 sec. and focal length 14.8 mm.   I adjusted levels and ran through Topaz Detail soft looking.  Frame matches the blue on the pitcher and I used Stroke Selection to make the white line.  Have a nice breakfast everyone!


This theme was very challenging.  I decided to try to do a still life using one of my teacups and Scottish shortbread.   I had made some at Christmastime and it seemed a good candidate. ( I could eat the results, too :))  I probably took about 40 shots trying to get one I really liked.  I used cardboard boxes, bed sheets, a floor lamp, window light and a a ceiling light as my “studio”.   Real tea and a pansy blossom were my additional “props”.  My built-in flash was used to fill light.   Processing included adusting levels, Topaz Simplify oil painting adjusted and some light burning.  Slight adjustments were made with the saturation to complete the photo.  I added a frame to this one in order to bring out the colors and make it look more like a true painting.  Have great day everyone!  Tea and shortbread are on me!  As Ellen gratefully reminded me, don’t forget to click through twice on each photo if you would like to see a larger version.