painting and photographic works

Posts tagged “Color Efex

Reference Photos for Painting

Photography for me is a means and an end. At times,  I appreciate and strive for interesting good quality photographs. Other times I use photography as a jumping off point for my painting. In this post I share some recent photos that are destined to become painted images.

Abstract Landscape 426-048

Sometimes what attracts me to the image and make me want to use it in a painting is a result of an abstraction created during the photo-taking process. At other times (like in the image above) I discover what I am looking for through photo post processing – sometimes relatively minor tweaking of contrast, saturation and cropping. At other time I may explore some filtering options to enhance the image. On the above image I used an infrared film filter in the program Color Efex Pro 3.0.

Abstract Landscape 426-074

Abstract Landscape 426-030

Abstract Landscape 426-026

It is never my intent to make a photo realistic painting of a photo which has already been abstracted. My challenge is to capture the essence of whatever it is about the photo that appeals to me and to develop a technique in painting to maintain that essence.

Abstract Landscape 426-080

Landscape Photos Abstracted

While at Red Deer College in the Series “Color in the Landscape”  painting course, I always had a camera with me to capture reference photos for the  landscapes I would be painting (in a mostly representational manner). However, I could not avoid also capturing interesting photos purely for their abstract appeal. I particularly like to put the camera in motion to capture some atmospheric images. I find that the initial image is only half way to the finished abstract image. the post-processing  on the computer is equally important for me to realize a satisfying final work. I typically use Capture NX2 to adjust contrast, saturation and to crop the image.

Abstract 238-032

Occasionally I will use a digital “filter” from Color Efex Pro to coax out a unique effect.

Abstract 238-034

A full moon, slow exposure and panning the camera provided the basis for this Rothkoesque image:

Abstract 238-057

In this next image I applied an infrared treatment with Color Efex to get the strong yellow/pink color scheme to an image which I already had achieved the motion blur by a horizonatal sweep of the camera during exposure:

Abstract 238-031

Hillside is one of my favorites of this group and is at the top of my list to turn into a painting. The colors, composition and motion all appeal to me in this image:

Abstract 238-067 (Hillside)


Abstract 110610-515

I was walking through an older part of downtown the other day when some interesting architectural details caught my eye. Combine those details, with different points of view for a photo and then different cropping twisting and processing after the shutter press, leads to some interesting images:

Abstract 110607-515(2)

This second image started from the same original photograph. This next one, is not the same photo but is from the same wall, at a different perspective:

Abstract 110610-514(2)

Across the street from this wall, I took this image:

Top of the Wall

This image was processed with the Color Efex infrared film filter through  Capture NX2.

Down an alley, and 30 meters away, I found another intriguing exterior wall that I just had to capture:

Old Brick Wall

And finally, another take on this highly textured brick wall:

Bricks and Mortar

Color Efex – Infrared

Since getting my Nikon back from repair I’ve been shooting a lot of photos. At the same time I got the camera back I also purchased Color Efex Pro 3.0 software. This software is a photo processing add-on to the Capture NX2 that I regularly use to work with my Nikon RAW photos (it is also available for PhotoShop and a few other image processing apps). Color Efex provides over 50 (in the pro version) “filters” to apply to the images and I have been exploring what I can do. Here are a few results (just with the infrared film filter) that are interesting and that I am pleased with:

Stairway to ?

That photo uses one of my favorites options with the infrared film filter. There are 4 black and white and 5 color options with this filter (and then 3 slider controls for highlights, brightness and contrast). I like this combination that accentuates the greens and provides that orange sky/background. Here is another photo using that filter:

Street Cleaner 2

Another of the five color options turns the green grass to orange:

Down and to the Left

Or yet another of the options – the green tree  becomes pink.

Parking Lot Tree

I like how these color options can be quickly explored and give me ideas for non-conventional color palettes for my paintings.

While Color Efex is primarily about color effects, there are some black and white options. Here is one of the infrared black and white effects:

Snow in June

This shot was taken in early June in Edmonton and while it was a very cool day there was no snow on the ground, as you might think from looking at this photo. This is what the original looked like: