Have you tried the the Nik Collection for photos?

Brugge canal houses
Brugge canal houses: A photo from my Canon Powershot with some curves applied in Photoshop. This is what I used for testing out the Nik Collection; it’s a lo-res version of original image).

Google has a set of photo filters that are really pretty powerful. There are loads of presets, and with ranges of layers that can be selectively controlled.

They say the filters work with Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, but you’ll see that they are installed as stand alone apps; I presume they draw upon Photoshop‘s engine to work their magic.

You will suffer from option paralysis!

Below are a few samples, with names of filters within each set. Captions note which are presets, and which have been modified. One of the most impressive tools in all of these is the integration of control points, with which you can affect specific areas of the image, when a global change isn’t optimal.

Analog Efex

Classic camera 2 [preset]
Brugge canal houses
Classic camera 4 [preset]
Silver Efex

Classic camera 5 [modified settings] Continue reading

Observationals near the end of March

How quickly the year moves forward! Already a quarter of 2017 has blurred by out the passenger window.

From the archive: an outboard motor and a few lines

A vector illustration that was used for a poster a number of years ago, around the same time the poem below was written.

An outboard motor,
its rotors dull and pitted,
hangs from a century-old beam
among the rafters.
The darkness up there
would be forbidding,
were it not for the string
of lights ‘round the mirror

Which smudged reflection
is filled with faces,
flickering in shadows
Of candles
and various states
of inebriation.

The man behind the bar wears a smile
He flashes it often,
but only at targets, and only
when warranted,
like any conscientious
man-at-arms.

(@JimO)

Kitchen Nook, revisited


You may recall a post in which I talked about getting a new (to me) piece of furniture for the nook between the kitchen and the dining area of my apartment. The secretary in question arrived a couple weekends ago, a piece from the childhood home of a dear friend of mine. Before it arrived, I cleared that wall and painted it as per my plan.

It suits very well! And brings a gravitas to the space; still has plenty of room for the do-dads that were on the old shelves, plus room for stemware, a jar of creepy dolls, and the nested mixing bowls that belonged to my great aunt Dot.

Now I just need a more elegant solution to the cords from the lamps, and to replace the broken drawer pulls. I also plan to get a globe lamp to reside on top to illuminate the nook in general, in addition to the string lights inside.
Below is the composite I made in Photoshop last year to visualize the transformation:kitchen nook redesign

Working with ink: three renditions of a narrow place

ink drawing of treesThis relates to my post yesterday, regarding a drawing of birch trees.

This is the finished inking of a closed in, tangled forest scene I drew last week— album art for a client. This was drawn with pale graphite, then outlined and hatched ten thousand ways to Sunday with a Micron .01mm pen, and finally some washes (a gentle blend of India  ink and water).

This piece was very much inspired by an illustration from Comet in Moominland, by Tove Jansson. The final art for the record sleeve is below, as it looks with color layered in digitally.

And below is the drawing prior to the background hatchings and ink washes. I quite like it as a snowbound clearing, but the purpose of this image (for the record) is to underpin a feeling of being lost, and in a dark, narrow place.ink drawing of trees

 

What Stella looked like

Brooklyn in snow
Here are some quiet scenes from my neighborhood yesterday, after the thundersnow and wind calmed. The storm never really reached any kind of pitch, but many cancellations were planned, so it was a peaceful day. I spent all but 30 minutes of it indoors; worked an 11 hour day. My wander through the snow was pretty pleasant, however brief.
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow
Brooklyn in snow