Saturday, September 20, 2014

Being Painterly

My favorite filters are the Topaz set. I started buying them when Fo2Pix folded and the BUZZ 3 filters were no longer available. Topaz picked up the gauntlet and created a similar filter in their Simplifier filter. They went on to create a number of other useful filters which I use frequently but the Simplifier filter remains my favorite of the bunch.

What it does is average the tone and hue of groups of pixels so that you get patches of color and tone. How big the patches are, what range of  tone/hue is averaged, is adjustable with a slider control. With the original BUZZ 3 filter that control went so far that you could end up with a rectangle of one solid color. Topaz Simplifier doesn't have that range of control but who really wants to reduce their images to a single tone & hue anyway. Simplifier goes farther than I'm likely to ever want it to.

Today's photos all use (moderately) Topaz Simplifier in honor of two things. First, two of my images are in the 2015 Fine Arts Up North calendar. Both images made use of the Simplifier filter (along with other digital modifications). You can buy a copy of the calendar by contacting the Arts Council at this link. I don't get anything from sales but it supports our arts community.

The second reason for today's all Simplifier collection is that this was the last day of the Plein Air Festival in Potsdam. I'm not a painter (in recent years at least) but I went out in search of subject matter in the local community rather than running off to the mountains as I usually do and most of the subjects I found seemed best suited to this treatment which many people tell me makes the images look like paintings. Indeed massing tone and hue is exactly what painters do.

I went to three parks in Potsdam, Lehman Park, Ives Park and the small one on Fall Island. Afterward I drove to Canton to visit Heritage Park which I hadn't visited before. The photo above is from the parking area at Heritage Park and is my favorite of the day.  The one below is from Lehman Park.

The next was made in Ives Park. The wind gusts were quite strong and I wanted to capture the blowing leaves of a large willow on the bank of the Racquette River.

Then come two wildflower photos from the Fall Island park, a Thistle and a Black Eyed Susan.

Finally a photo of some Plantation Lilies by the foundation of the church on Fall Island. This is a repeat subject from many, many years ago. I originally photographed it on the 1st roll of film I shot in a used Fuji GX 645 folding camera. That was a great little camera that produced amazing negatives.

If you click directly on an image you will get a larger view. I took more photos but this mix represents all the sites I visited. I hope you enjoy seeing them and please remember that they are copyrighted. As always, if you want to share them with others, give your friends the URL to this page, Do not repost them elsewhere without my express permission.

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