Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Digital Art - 1/14/15: Trying an online photo editor

Natures Footstep memes 

The Digital Art meme now includes what was formerly the Abstract Photo meme.

Click on the links above to view the posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.

I've never had much luck using the "Colored Pencil" filter in Photoshop. I've played around with it, and usually don't like what I get.

In searching for online enhancement sites, I found one that has several good filters for creating colored-pencil-like effects and lots of other effects.

The only problem is that you can only use an image that is the maximum size of 2 MB, which is fairly small. On an image that was originally 12 X 9 inches, I had to reduce it to 960 X 720 pixels to get it to 1.98 MB.

Below, I'll show you some of the results and give you a link to the photo editor and instructions for using it.

NOTE: After I applied the effects on the photo of trees below, I did not make additional changes in Photoshop, so you can see what the actual results were.
(I made additional changes on the very last photo "Mail Pouch" but not on the trees.)

I suggest clicking on any image for larger views of the effects.

Original Photo
If you want to try the photo editor yourself: (Don't be intimidated by the numerous steps---it's rather simple to use if you can figure out how to reduce the size of your image, first.)

Understand that a filter might look great on one photo and look terrible on another, so try several to see which you like best. There are 123 effects to choose from. (I can't imagine ever wanting to use about 75% of them, but some look great on some photos and I might find a use for more than I can imagine now.)

"Dark Pencil Drawing" efffect
"Clean Pencil Drawing" effect
"Stroked Pencil Drawing" effect
"Detailed Pencil Drawing" effect
"Typographic Photo Effect 3"
"Clean Impressionistic Painting" effect



FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
1. First enhance your photo in any way needed. Save it as you usually would. (If you don't have software to do that, you might want to chose the "Colors and Details Enhanced" filter once you get to Steps 5 & 6.)

2. Then make your image dimensions very small. In Photoshop you can go to Image> Image size. Change the dimensions from inches or centimeters to pixels, then lower the pixels until it says 2 M or less at the top of that window.
        Examples:
        at 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at 960 X 720 pixels, the dimensions are 3.2 X 2.4 inches = 1.98 MB
        at 150 ppi (pixels per inch) at 960 X 720 pixels, the dimensions are 6.4 X 4.8 inches = 1.98 MB

3. Save it again in jpg format, adding something at the end of the title to tell you this version is very small or for this photo editor, such as Title960X720px.jpg or TitleSmall.jpg or TitlePictureToPeople.jpg

4. Go to the Picture to People website: http://www.picturetopeople.org/easy-online-photo-editor.html           
        I suggest that you bookmark the page so it is easy to go back to ---you have to do that between effects and images.

5. Scroll down through all of the options to find an effect you want to try.
        For a colored pencil effect, I like the "Stroked Pencil Drawing" or the "Detailed Pencil Drawing" filter under "Colorful Drawing Effects" but there are others, too.

6. Click on the icon of the effect you want.

7. Go to the bottom of the page and click on choose file. On your computer, choose the file then wait until you see the title of your image on the photo editor page.

8. Click on "View Effect Result" or "Download Result." In my experience, it is rather slow to view the effect. I often skip that step. (If I don't like the downloaded result, I can delete it later.)

9. Click on "Download Result." If you clicked on "View Result", you have to click the left arrow at the top of your window to go back to the original page to click "Download Result."

10. After it downloads ---and it may be slow ---it says to choose F5 to go back to the original page. However, that doesn't work for me (maybe because I have a Mac.) I just use the arrow to return to the previous page. I also have the page bookmarked so I can easily return to it.

11. Your first item will appear in your download folder with the name online_photo_editor-result.jpg or it might end in png if you used a black and white effect. You need to change the file names later.

12. If you want to try a different filter with the same photo, you have to start over, choose a filter, choose the file again, etc. It will go into your download folder with a slightly different title. It might have a dash and a 2 at the end, or jpg instead of png or vice-versa.

13. Open up your edited photos in your regular enhancement software to make additional changes, if you wish.

I haven't tried it yet, but I think some of these
might look good over others, either making the top layer transparent or changing it to overlay mode.


You might want to try clicking on other tabs at the top of the Picture to People page.  I attempted one watercolor effect that gave the option to choose some parameters, but it wanted an image of 1 MB or less. I had to reduce it to 4.3 X 3.225 inches at 150ppi. The only choice was calculate effect. But since there was no option to download, I had to right click and choose to copy it, then paste it into a new Photoshop file. I thought it looked terrible ---not like watercolor at all.


"Mail Pouch"
This was the first image I tried with this photo editor.
I used the "Dark Pencil Drawing" effect.
I then opened the image in Photoshop
to increase the color saturation and
add a signature.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *
See my photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cj_proartz
Below my name, click on albums to find a particular type of photo (Black and White, Fences, Abstracts, Landscapes, Still Life, Autumn Scenes, Bridges, Animals, Art Created from My Photos, etc.) Or view my entire photo stream which includes everything I've posted, with the most recent first.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Digital Art and Geometric Friday - 1/7/15 & 1/9/15: "Wheel of Fortune"


The Digital Art meme hosted by Natures Footstep memes   now includes what was formerly the Abstract Photo meme.

Geometric Friday hosted by LorikArt 

Click on the links above to view posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.

Since June 2014, I've been spending several hours each day (sometimes 10-12 hours) enhancing and posting my images on Flickr. Since I am spending so much time doing that, I may be posting here sporadically.   I do have several posts set up to post automatically in future weeks, but going forward, it may be hit or miss from week to week.

If you need some ideas for your digital art, I highly recommend browsing Flickr images. I've found some interesting ideas there. I "steal" many a concept, but I'm always sure to make it my own.



"Wheel of Fortune"
I used several photos of the former Penn Station rotunda to create this.
And I created several abstracts from my photos of this location.

Original photo:
Rotunda of the former Penn Station
in Pittsburgh, PA.

The former Penn Station in Pittsburgh is now a privately owned apartment building.

It is considered to be one of the the great Beaux-Arts symbols of the nation.

Originally called Union Station, it was renamed in 1912. Architect: Daniel Burnham (Chicago) ---built between 1898 and 1903 from terra cotta.

A renovation and expansion of the train station occurred in 1954.

This rotunda sheltered passengers as they entered or departed carriages. It was later closed to vehicular traffic as the floor of this area is the roof of a parking garage and is not strong enough to support modern vehicles.

Inside was a 'spectacular' waiting room. I was denied entry to take photos, but I remember being there as a child seeing my grandmother off on a train trip. At the time, it seemed enormous. It is now leased to businesses.

A small portion of the building still serves as the terminus of Amtrak's Pennsylvanian route.

The office tower was converted to apartments, renamed The Pennsylvanian and opened in 1988.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Geometric Friday - 12/19/14: Court Abstracts

Geometric Friday hosted by LorikArt 

Click on the links above to view posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.

SINCE THE NEXT 2 WEEKS ARE HOLIDAY WEEKS,
I'LL SEE EVERYONE BACK HERE ON 1/9/15.


I am like Alex Trebek who said,  "I'm curious about everything, even things that don't interest me."

I have almost ZERO interest in sports, but that doesn't mean I can't see the possibilities of using the designs on an outdoor basketball court to create some art. Since a basketball court is rectangular and has lines dividing it into more rectangles or semicircles, and since this one had several different colors and patterns on it, I thought it would be great for Geometric Friday.

I started out with about a dozen photos, but chose 6 of them. I arranged them in various ways.

The first composition is one of the images I started with. There are quite a few versions, but this gives you the idea of where I began by taking parts of several photos and overlapping them. This image shows the actual colors of the court.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEWS OF ALL.




Below are 7 of the 14 images I created using various combinations of images from the basketball court. Some have the same composition but different colors or textures. Others are somewhat different from the others. But they all started at one outdoor basketball court at a local park.

I rotated, flipped, scaled, overlapped various parts. I colored them with color overlays, added textures,  and made some layers transparent.

 I like different ones for different reasons.

Which is your favorite and why?
"Court Abstract" version B2
"Court Abstract" version D3
"Court Abstract" version E
"Court Abstract" version F
"Court Abstract" version F2
"Court Abstract" version H
"Court Abstract" version H2

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Digital Art - 12/17/14: "Winter Tree"


The Digital Art meme hosted by Natures Footstep memes   now includes what was formerly the Abstract Photo meme.

Click on the links above to view the posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.

SINCE THE NEXT 2 WEEKS ARE HOLIDAY WEEKS,
I'LL SEE EVERYONE BACK HERE ON 1/7/15.

"Winter Tree"
Original photo

See my photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cj_proartz
Below my name, click on albums to find a particular type of photo (Black and White, Fences, Abstracts, Landscapes, Still Life, Autumn Scenes, Bridges, Animals, Art Created from My Photos, etc.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Digital Art & Geometric Friday - 12/10 & 12/12/14: "Iron Oxide"


The Digital Art meme hosted by Natures Footstep memes   now includes what was formerly the Abstract Photo meme.

Geometric Friday hosted by LorikArt 

Click on the links above to view posts by other artists/photographers or to participate yourself.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
In August, I was called for jury duty. Once they picked all the jurors they needed, everyone else was dismissed around noon.  I have been called 6 times for jury duty and served 4 times, so I was not disappointed to be released.

I was not allowed to take my camera into the jury selection rooms, so I had locked my camera in the car, just in case I'd have time to take photos during a lunch break or after being dismissed for the day.

Butler (PA) was once home to several large industries. It was a wealthy town and has many beautiful buildings left from that era, including an impressive courthouse (in a photo at the bottom of this post.)  But the town has lost most of its large businesses, so there are also some run-down scenes in the city.  I like taking photos of both.

Once I retrieved my camera from my car, the first photos I took were in the parking garage.

Original photo:
taken in a parking garage in Butler, PA
For my abstract image, I used parts of this image and several others. I overlapped them and added a photo overlay with an image I had of rust, to add color and texture. I repeated the hexagon shapes to balance the composition and purposely left the parking meters (on the left) somewhat recognizable.

During one of my steps some blues and purples appeared, so I added more of those for variety and to balance the colors, and finally intensified all the colors.

The title "Iron Oxide" is the scientific term for rust.


"Iron Oxide"
I used the photo above and several other photos I took in the Butler, PA parking garage.
Butler County (PA) Courthouse,
built in 1885,
is on the National register of
Historic Places.
See my photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cj_proartz
Below my name, click on albums to find a particular type of photo (Black and White, Fences, Abstracts, Landscapes, Still Life, Autumn Scenes, Bridges, Animals, Art Created from My Photos, etc.)