The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Posts tagged “blue

Playing in Photoshop

This month, I just wanted to have some fanciful fun with Photoshop. So I took some old pictures and experimented with filters, special brushes, layering, and the like. It’s been awhile since I’ve just let myself have fun, so I went a little overboard.


I also wanted to try a more subdued painting look on another photo.


I’ve always liked the winter fantasy land idea.


Now I can go back to normal editing for a few years.


Vases Part Two

I first photographed vases back in January. Since there happen to be a lot of vases in the house, I decided to give it a try again. When it came to the first vase, I started with the color. I searched the house for another object of the same shade and found a little glass bird. I thought of the vase as a tree of sorts that would scatter seeds or flowers the bird might be interested in. Beads became my seeds in the glassworld. Kitty was very interested in the little blue shiny things.

The second vase belonged to my great-aunt. Because it is a family heirloom of sorts, I used a more traditional approach with older objects such as a doily and old books. I wanted the vase to look like it was sitting in an older couple’s livingroom.

Next Week: Imagination

I’m going to try my hand at illustrating a concept like I did with love back at Valentine’s day. This time, I’m taking on imagination

Blue: A Study

This week, I tried something different. Instead of a type of object, I chose a color: blue. First, I thought of the emotional connotations of the color. For lighter shades, these include thought, powerlessness, and we’ve all heard of feeling blue.  Going with the initial emotional ideas, I started with a vase in the form of a young woman. She is sad and alone. The placement of light and shadows, as well as limited depth of field, make her seem vanishing and helpless. Empty, the vase seemed gaping, so I added a blue flower. It’s a bit warmer shade of blue with some yellow. The girl peers down at it like a cherished ray of hope.

 Darker and brighter shades of blue can give a stronger and happier impression. Since I didn’t want to keep on such a depressing path this week, I used two common household items to create a “design” style shot. Guess what they are?

One of my all-time favorite blue objects is this candle holder. I don’t burn candles, so I use it to store my watch and other commonly worn articles while I’m at home. The trick was trying to get it to look illuminated by a blue light source. I shined a blue LED flashlight into the candle holder. Since there’s such a range between the light and the dark, I composited three images in Photoshop to produce the final effect. Got to keep those Photoshop skills up somehow. I feel they’re slipping away.

Next Week: The Dawn of Spring or Vases 2

After weeks of waiting on the weather, it looks like spring is finally here! I saw the first flowers today, and the trees are budding out. But just in case it’s too stormy to shoot, there are a couple of vases someone I know would like photos of.

Liquid Experiments

I’ve been threatening to do these liquid experiments for weeks, so I thought it best to get it out of my system. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I did some test shoots and took a lot of pictures. This kind of work is like photographing fireworks without a script of the show. It takes a lot of trial and error and you never know exactly what’s going to happen. My first shots were of the food coloring shortly after it entered into the water. The drop would spread out like a chandelier as it sank towards the bottom. Then, I’d add another drop.

I tried letting it sit for a while to blend a bit and adding a drop or two of another color. The green looks like a flower.

As you can probably see, it’s not exactly sharp. Food coloring blends with the water and lacks distinct edges. I focused as much as I could, but eventually I had to think of a way to use this to my advantage. Patiently waiting to see what the food coloring did when allowed to sit in a still glass of water produced some interesting results. It fanned out into long, swirling trails. I even had some luck mixing two shades of purple. The indistinct edges could work well for backgrounds.

Using one of my shots as a background.


I continued my experiments varying color combination and water motion. At first, I filled the glass from the faucet and let it sit awhile before adding dye. Later, I discovered stirring the water gave an interesting effect.

Adding dye to a freshly filled glass of water was another variation. As you can see, I flipped the shot above and the shot below for artistic effect.

I know this is unorthodox photography, but it provided me with some images I can use for backgrounds and other elements in Photoshop work. Not to mention being a fun experiment and keeping myself and one of my cats very amused.

Next Week: Box and Folding Cameras

I’m going back to something more traditional next week: old cameras. This time, very old cameras, say 70 or more years old for some. Hopefully I can find the old Kodak folding camera.